Finding a collective path forward–Reflection for Tuesday, August 15

Collectively, as a nation, the recent division in the country has been dark and frightening, appalling many of us each day as we worry how others outside of our country will both disregard and/or hurt us permanently. We worry how long the stain of separating children from parents, polluting our water and air, idolizing money and violence, operating with no knowledge of or wisdom about economic systems—not to mention mocking honesty–will defile a culture we once revered.

The old path home to national reverence will not reappear. If we find a way to heal our nation, it will not be in drawing lines in the sand between Democrat and Republican. A new way will have to unite the John McCains with the Barack Obamas, the Robert Muellers with the Joe Scarboroughs with the Tammy Duckworths to find a “party” whose central tenet is authenticity and honor.  That will be no easier than setting aside our personal grief, anger or regret to shape a new way forward with lessons learned from dark times.

Can we find a new way?


Reflection for Tuesday, August 7

My wise friend Charlie Martin once told me, “Sometimes the grace of a situation ends.”

Noted speaker and author Steve Maraboli said a similar thing: “Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go and the power of moving on.”


Reflection for Tuesday, July 31

Author Tom Robbins wrote, “Religion is nothing but institutionalized mysticism. The catch is, mysticism does not lend itself to institutionalization. The moment we attempt to organize mysticism, we destroy its essence. Religion, then, is mysticism in which the mystical has been killed. Or, at least diminished.”

What do you think of this quote? Have you had a transformative experience of spiritualism or mysticism that was a part of your “institutionalized” religious practice?


Reflection for  July 24

Author and veterinarian James Herriot provides today’s reflection: “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”

Are love and loyalty and gratitude simply manifestations of the brain, or do they indicate a higher consciousness?


Reflection for  July 17

On my desk is a gift, a hand-thrown Buddhist begging bowl. The lesson of the begging bowl is this: What we need will come to us–in the end, our        bowls will be filled.

And so, of course, I embrace this quote spoken by Patel in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (though the sentiment is originally attributed to John Lennon):‘Everything will be all right in the end. If it is not all right, it is not yet the end.’

I think of this today in relation to both our country and to our personal experiences of the world and universe.


Reflection for July 10

Brené Brown, in her book Braving the Wilderness, argues that both individuals and groups experience spiritual crises of disconnection and polarization. She writes that our polarized country currently finds itself in a wilderness, an unpredictable place of dismay and disconnection. 

I observe that many people around me are grieving for the wholeness of our country in the same way that we grieve because of personal losses. And so the reflection for today from writer Anne Roiphe offers both a provocation for thought and a reason for hope. “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.”




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