Being the witness

Great Big Crazy Love is the virtual manifestation of bearing witness to the joys and sufferings of our world. Born of the inspiration of an improbable Buddhist chaplain trained at the Upaya Zen Center, trips to the Gulf of Mexico in response to the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon rig, visits to prisons and the desire to help fund spiritual first-response efforts, she drew the circle wide enough for everyone's story.

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May 6th, 2012

For Whitney

If there is only one voice of bitter skepticism that can be silenced; one closed, judging and sleeping mind awakened to have compassion on her memory - then my putting my feelings and perspective into song will have been worth it.

Mar 25th, 2012

Giving Thanks for Cancer

My eyes blinked open as consciousness returned after the colonoscopy. Before I could say anything, the doctor leaned over my shoulder and said in an urgent voice, “You have cancer!” “Geez, what kind of a bedside manner is that?” I thought in a fuzzy blur. A few hours before, when I had arrived at the [...]

Feb 10th, 2012

Dealing with cancer by going through nature

Anne Rudloe is an old, afar friend. She and I have been in Tallahassee, Florida for many years. Our paths have crossed rather infrequently, most often at some kind of Buddhist gathering. Anne is biologist, writer and and dharma master in the Kwan Um School of Zen. Lately, we’ve been working together on her blog. [...]

Feb 4th, 2012

Pooks on Veteran’s Day

We never know what is going on for others. We can't at first glance know the stories they carry; where they've been and what they've seen. Even as a crack might slowly make its way in the seeming refuge of silence or rage, we simply cannot know. What we can know, is that we don't know.

Oct 30th, 2011

Thank You and Goodbye: A Meditation on my Breasts

Even after all I’ve learned from this, still I get preoccupied with details and feel impatient. I wake up every morning thinking about all the things I have to do each day. I study my body — the brown age spots dotting my arms, the thinning, translucent skin of my hands, beginning to resemble my grandmother’s. The crow’s feet around my eyes, the loosening in my cheeks. Only rarely do I remember that my body is perfect and holy. Too seldom do I remember, as Marla says, that life is fabulous.

Sep 8th, 2011

Between Two Worlds

This little digital story was created for a Spirituality and Culture in Health and Education class I just completed in July.  We were invited to develop a 3-4 minute story blending words, images, and music to express an awe-inspiring, spiritual, or transformative moment(s) in our lives.  My own spirituality is deeply rooted in nature, and [...]

Jun 13th, 2011

How to Be Bigger Than Your Suffering: Lessons From a Buddhist Monk

I was lucky enough to meet Maha Ghosananda once, in 2004 at a conference not far from one of his communities in Western Massachusetts. The moment he entered the room, the more than 150 people in attendance suddenly fell silent. Though he never said a word, he was an incredibly powerful presence. As he bowed to all of us, a palpable wave of joy spread throughout the room.

May 30th, 2011

Rikki and Arnold at Florida State Hospital

The Aborigines have a saying: “Dogs make us human."

Apr 9th, 2011

Journalist Sam Slovick Spotlights Los Angeles Homeless Through Words, Pictures, Video

It is tough to truly understand the plight of the homeless if you've always had a place to live. For many of us, attempting to look at the world through the eyes of the homeless would be a big step outside of our comfort zone.

Mar 25th, 2011

Quake of Earth, Quake of Heart

I just got off the phone with Nont, our good friend in the Hoi Yuak Akha Village in Chiang Rai, Thailand. After the 7.0 earthquake, I called to see how he, his family, and his village were doing. Myself and Cynthia were there in their village for the last one in August 2010. At that [...]