Remember three years ago, when the shutdown happened and we were hiding in our apartments, scared to go outside… Scared to breathe on each other. Scared to go to the grocery store. Scared we were going to run out of toilet paper. (smile). Remember all of that? I sat down to watch Jeopardy! the other day, noticing that it was light out because of Daylight Savings Time. I looked at the cow bell and the pliers still sitting on the shelf … read more »
Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
My sister-in-law posted a piece by DEI trainer Madison Butler on LinkedIn this week that started, “I always keep the receipts. As a Black woman, I feel compelled to keep every receipt, document everything I do, preserve every paper trail. I delete nothing. I throw nothing away … When Black women talk about racism, homophobia or other abuses we deal with, people demand to see the receipts. That is the writing of someone who does not expect to be given … read more »
Who Made the Pie?
When I was in law school, I was active in an organization called PILA – the Public Interest Law Association. We raised money to sponsor paid summer internships for our fellow students to work at legal nonprofits. We would bake casseroles and sell lunch outside of faculty meetings and hold a yearly auction – real grassroots stuff. Then one year, my friend, Mary Marrow suggested that we hold a Thanksgiving pie sale. I was living in an apartment on 114th … read more »
PS – Thanks for the Invitation!
I’ve taken to watching TikTok videos to wind down before I go to sleep. I love the music and the stupid dad jokes and the dancing and the cute dog videos (have you seen scruffabella?). But I’ve also started watching Cory Booker, who shares stories about kindness and compassion after his morning run. This video is about 9 seconds. It’s for those among us who are confronted by people who get on our last nerve. For those who spend time … read more »
Layers of Sound
I have been meditating for a few years, and was part of a workshop recently where the facilitator had us listen to “layers of sound.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about at first. It sounded a little mysterious, and a little woo woo…. But I decided to try what she was asking. And it’s not hard – I’ll show you. (This is an interactive blog post!) Listen – right now – first, to the sounds that are farthest … read more »
Jazz and Mediation
A few months ago I printed a wonderful quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. about the contributions that jazz makes to humanity. That touched me, particularly coming from a minister, because there are some who have said that jazz is antithetical to religion. I have been listening to jazz since I was a teenager, and have been trying my hand at it (on the flute and on the piano) for a few years. Still amateur, for sure, but trying. … read more »
My mediation partner, Jane Ginsberg, PsyD, and I, led two workshops on Cape Cod this week regarding elder decisions. Both workshops were well attended, both by caregivers and by elders themselves. I was amazed to see how quickly people opened up to us and to each other. Some of their concerns were logistical – for instance, about where they might live, or whether they should still drive. There were also concerns about being lonely, and about the ongoing grief of … read more »
Compassion and Mediation
I am taking a course this weekend from Zoketsu Norman Fisher – a Zen Buddhist priest, and a teacher of meditation. In preparation, I read an article he wrote entitled, “Developing Compassion.” He writes, “to be narrowly self-interested and self-identified is simply a very dangerous and unhappy way to live – the wider your interest and larger your sense of identity, the happier and the stronger you will be.” And this reminds me of words of my mediation teachers, Jack … read more »
I and Thou
My favorite book is I and Thou by Martin Buber. It is the defining book of my life, I think. It is based upon a simple, but profound, premise: that each relationship we have is either I:It or I:Thou. I:It relationships with things – I:Thou (I:You) relationships are those with beings. It is contained, inanimate, what you can experience. Thou is spirit, limitless. “If I face a human being as my Thou,” Buber says, “and say the primary word I-Thou … read more »
We are all made of Sound
Mediating a few weeks ago, a client said, “We are all made of sound.” She meant that we are all influenced by others, shaped by others. What a poetic way of putting it. I have commented before on the “ghosts in the room,” in mediation – the parents, girlfriends, best friends, etc. who influence our thinking. These people, who are not actually sitting around the table, can have a deep effect on mediation. How do we address their thoughts … read more »