It should have been a wonderful journey, organized by three dear friends who run a yoga center in Costa Rica. I would be traveling with my husband, these friends, and thirteen other like-minded folk to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Andes highlands of southern Peru. We’d be staying at a lovely retreat center just outside Pisac, an ancient market town encircled by imposing mountains. And our itinerary would take us to some of the most important Inca sites, including the iconic, hauntingly beautiful and remote Machu Picchu.
I’m giving you a twofer this month: a poem and a ritual. I’m writing this a few days after the latest mass shooting in Texas by a crazy white man and a few days before the next debate by Democratic… Read More ›
Our visit to Poland coincides with the Feast of the Assumption, a time when tens of thousands of pilgrims arrive on foot to pay homage to Our Lady of Częstochowa, Poland’s Black Madonna. I too am a pilgrim, visiting the sites, not of miracles but of martyrdom. As I make my way through what Pope John Paul II called “this Golgotha of modern times,” I am overcome; like him, I “am here kneeling down” to implore Our Lady to help us heal the vast, still open wound that is our life on this earth.
It looks like it is time again for me to pack up and drive a few hundred or more miles to a new destination, a place I will finally try to plant roots, this time offering commitment + endurance, hoping… Read More ›
Rebirth is challenging. It demands that we be accountable, acknowledge failures and fears, recognize the ramifications of our actions, and the ways we impact those who share our journey. We often don’t realize that denying self-love and care in favor of sacrifice for others results in a double negative. If we don’t care or ourselves, we cannot care for anyone else.
For the past fourteen months, I’ve been going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what ails me. Specialists I’ve seen included wonderfully competent people immersed in their individual disciplines of nephrology, cardiology, rheumatology, and neurology. At long last,… Read More ›
Let me tell you, the dating world is a whole different universe. Especially for a woman my age and who do what I do. I am sure many reading this can relate. Here are some comments I have received from… Read More ›
The forest calls me. I long for her lush coolness, her sheltering trees, her world filled with life.
From the day my Father, Theodore, was brutally and callously murdered in Toronto, on Easter Monday, March 27, 1978, I wanted to meet his killer. I wanted to know how it was possible to do such a horrific thing. I… Read More ›
Dear World. You are On fire. Why Do you condone Time And time Again The guns The hate The greed The violence The oppression. Why do you not speak For all.
In November, my paternal grandmother passed. She was five days away from her 93rd birthday. As I was/am going through the grieving process, I started to actively recall all the studies I have done regarding death and grieving practices across… Read More ›
Mantra and Meditation in Buddhist Hospice Chaplaincy to Alleviate Anxiety by Karen Nelson Villanueva
Mantras are not just the prescribed sound formulas or sentences found in Eastern religions, but they can also be thought of as the words or phrases that we continually repeat to ourselves. The word mantra comes from Sanskrit and its… Read More ›
As I follow my program, I grow clearer and stronger. I know exactly what I want and I take it. When I sit down to eat, I feel my appetite, healthy and strong. I feed that appetite, choosing just what I need and what will truly nurture me. When I get up from the table, I am complete and whole within myself. Whether I reach my “goal weight” or not, I’ve already succeeded. And so, this New Year, I won’t be making any new resolutions. I’m already on my path, shedding shame.
We’ve all been there.
Sitting around the tree watching the kids open presents. Attempting to enjoy a holiday meal with extended and immediate family that you may or may not have traveled thousands of miles to see. Trying with every fiber of your being to not talk about the elephant, or red hat, in the room.
In order to transform what is happening at the Mexico/U.S. “border” (and elsewhere) we must first break down the borders within our heads—all the borders in all our heads. Mr. Trump tells us “If you don’t have Borders, you don’t have a Country”; my response today is: “Who needs countries? Who needs genders? Who needs races or competing religions? What we need is Coatlicue.”