So Much Here

“The entire heavenly realm is within us, but to find it we have to relate to what’s outside.”  ­ –Joseph Campbell No signs of our cranes this year, although a male crane appears each sunrise calling out his primordial song. My husband claimed this could mean a female is there on her nest. I doubted it because there wasn’t any sign of them doing their usual mating dance or nest building. I’ve been holding a conversation with the pond and its inhabitants for nearly two decades. Most of my attention has been on the comings and goings of a certain pair of … Continue reading

Writer’s Bliss

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are – if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time. –Joseph Campbell It takes discipline to follow our bliss. Bliss is a result of having taken some heart-directed action. Bliss is not something some are born with and others are not. Following your bliss gives lasting results of fulfillment, connection and … Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late to have a Second Adulthood

There is a bumper sticker that says: “It’s never too late to have a second childhood.” But I don’t want a second childhood––I’ve earned a more expansive and mature place in this world. I prefer to experience this next stage of life as my second adulthood. It’s never too late, as Joseph Campbell says, to follow our bliss. I am determined to have a second adulthood as my daughter ventures out on her first. I turn 60 this summer and our only daughter leaves for college in the fall. Approaching this time as my second adulthood brings to mind how … Continue reading

What Now?

“Awe is What Moves Us Forward.”  Joseph Campbell When there is no more awe, no more wondering what could be next or what is possible, we may give up on life. I don’t know if this is what Robin Williams experienced. I have witnessed others so deep in their own darkness or depression they can’t see anything in front of them. This makes it hard to keep moving forward, to keep living. We have to have something to move toward. What helps you keep the awe alive? Many Buddhist teachers refer to this awe as a sacred curiosity. Last night … Continue reading

How to Be Who You Already Are

Life is a journey of discovery and belonging. It is about making meaning from our experiences for ourselves while allowing the meaning we have made to change.  The active life is about being able to create and discover meaning in an ongoing way and not hold on to one meaning or we may miss an opportunity at hand. As Joseph Campbell put it, “If we are hanging on to the form now, we are not going to have the form next.” When we review our life and recall times that we experienced an awakening or an epiphany (either through someone else’s teachings … Continue reading

A Healthy Dose of Doubt

Doubt can be an enriching and favorable state of mind. The old myth around doubt and curiosity – that it killed the cat, and that it will get you in a heap of trouble, is not only outdated but a myth that intends to control the congregation. Keep naughty kids in line. Make you uncomfortable and unwilling to challenge what you are told. In his commentary on Aryadeva’s Yogic Deeds of the Bodhisattvas Chandrakirti tells the story of a ship’s captain whom an ogress captures. (It could just as well been the other way around – the captain captured an … Continue reading

Winter Writing

 Freedom involves making decisions, and each decision is a destiny decision.- Joseph Campbell   What do a snowstorm, winter prairie, prayer flags, frozen seeds and enlightenment have in common?   Well, being a meaning-maker, I decide that. Oh how I love the writer’s life, I can take and make meaning of everything!  As the spiritual practitioner I am also the meaning maker but use sacred texts as a skillful means to make meaning of my encounters and experiences. After all, awakened Beings have gone before me and traversed the difficulties and distractions leaving behind many maps for me to use.   So my … Continue reading