The Secret Ingredient

It's simple yet obvious. Salt. As in salt, salty, salting. It's a great metaphor for mindfulness - the obvious and mundane, right before us, yet endlessly beautiful if we'll only take a closer look. Learn more about layering salt, which is the best kosher salt to buy and what kind of salt to sprinkle on chocolate chip cookies before they go into the oven. What is the overlooked ingredient in your everyday life that makes everything else more of what it already is? 

About That Hard Rain

That's right: it is gonna fall. And @PattiSmith delivers the message in this elegant squib from The New Yorker; Find a few minutes to view her performance at the Nobel ceremony. Oh, The struggle of mastery, the call to performance, the flat out truth that we will stumble  alongside those 12 misty mountains.  She says "I felt the humiliating sting of failure, but also the strange realization that I had somehow entered and truly lived the world of the lyrics." She risked so much to honor the work, to serve its creator, to share its difficult message. And that is all any of us can do. Thank you Patti and kudos to Carolyn Patierno who riffed off this message in today's sermon at Fourth U. 

Between Slave and Robot

Erich Fromm said "The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots."  I've been thinking about the ways in which my life is automated, the simple choices I make without a deeper awareness. How I have become enraptured by my virtual life, the endless stream of e-mail, all the bits I must respond to. What do I initiate? What time do I set to create, to absorb good writing, to witness art, to gather in deep community with others? Guess I'm back to that "one wild and precious life" query; it continues to stir me up. 

Famous like a pulley? A buttonhole?

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

 Naomi Shihab Nye's words stop me in my tracks. What would it mean to achieve "fame" by honoring our own given truth? Following our essence back to its source and sitting with that, knowing we can tie things together or fasten what seems ruptured or that we can lift lift lift our spirit flag and let it unfurl?

Ask Different Questions

In my quest to understand how we got here as a nation, I'm thinking that maybe if we asked different questions - "HOW" questions - maybe we wouldn't have ended up in this mess. Here are some examples; I welcome journalists to plunder this list:

How do you make difficult decisions? Can you give us an example of how you've handled conflicting information from trusted sources and reached a decision?

How do you choose advisors? What's important to you in the circle you keep close?

How do you take in information and tell us what your appetite is for learning, giving us a concrete example?