November 16th, 2005

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I woke this morning feeling wonderful.  I’m not clear what happens but today I feel at peace and like bamboo with knees like knots where “dwells the spirit of meditation, a true purity of happiness.”


My dear friend Petra sends me a photo each day from Germany to cheer me up.  This morning she informs me she is feeling romantic, and so, she offers me some “alpenglow” or “afterglow”, as the meterologists say.  It is a photo of the Alps touched on the meringue-like tips with rose-pink. 


She says the word “Alpengluhen” (I don’t know how to type the two gutteral dots over the u,  but breathe deeply into the You.)   She says the word has a more romantic touch in German than in the English translation.  Yes, I can imagine that is so as I breathe into what is so much more than just an afterglow. 


She speaks of a power greater than us, and suggests I let myself go and “experience the peaceful and overwhelming atmosphere and the existence of something (… honestly I don’t believe in someone …) some power greater than us … (… which is perhaps the love for another that keeps us together and gives reason to our lives….??)”


I breathe in her words, feeling it is so.  The love for another, attraction, flow, care.   The reciprocity enriching us all.  The leaves of the bamboo fall and rise in the stalk to stake the sky again.  


The photos Petra sends are magnificent, and one day I will have Jeff place them on the blog.  For now, this moment, this day after the full moon, feel and live in “alpenglow,”  whatever that means to you. 






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Peace and Joy!

I decided to organize my email in this few moments before I go to the dentist, and came across an article from Anne Lamott called The Ham from God. She wrote it in her despair over the Iraq war. Today, these words resonate with me.

"My pastor says that peace is joy at rest, and joy is peace on its feet, and I felt both that weekend. It didn't matter that Bush said we were just a focus group."

She wrote this after her 49th birthday, and after Bush dismissed the eleven million people who marched for peace as being simply "a focus group."

And yet, isn't focus great? In that, we feel our strength. Bush dismissed a focus group that continues to pray and do Tonglen for him and the world. He has made grave mistakes, that now swing back to balance, after incredible pain.

I see a Jay on the branch, preening and feeding in sun and in shade.

He lifts with a shriek, announcing joy, peace on his wings.
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Health Note -

In going through old emails, I find one that I might have paid attention to, and now, I will.

I realize no one knows what causes breast cancer, and I am not saying this might have prevented anything for me, but I am certainly more aware of my health and what I might do now to give myself more care. I offer this to you. The second paragraph on hormones is what most struck me, as I now understand that estrogen which I thought was "good," can, if not properly utilized, become a bit delinquent and strew some problems in its path. You could also eat more broccoli! Happy chewing cruciferous vegetables, and also, possibly the addition of Indolplex to your diet.

Janis Feichtmeir said this in her May 2003 newsletter:

"It’s “Liver Time”!!! Since it is the Liver’s role to keep everything flowing, now is the time to take advantage of the upsurging of that energy and make it work for us. Since the movement coming from Liver also propels the bowels, it may be time to consider a gentle detox program to ensure the elimination of old waste and toxins. This can be a physical or metaphorical cleanse- letting go of the old and welcoming change into our lives. The Liver’s movement is also aided by physical movement, especially aerobic exercise that inflates and deepens our breathing; expanding our ribcage and diaphragm so that we can let go of the holding in the chest. This will improve sleep as well as increase oxygenation and support detoxification."

She continues:

"I wanted to say a little about hormones and their relationship to Liver. The Liver is responsible for metabolizing estrogen as well as our other hormones. This is not necessarily a straightforward process. If the Liver is stressed out, the hormones can be broken down (metabolized) into harmful substances versus more beneficial ones. I am now suggesting to many of you that you take the supplement Indolplex to facilitate the appropriate metabolism of estrogen. (Soy does a similar thing but you would have to eat a ton of soy to get similar effects. Also, its really important be sure you’re eating organic soy products, since soy crops are sprayed with very high levels of pesticides). Even once we’ve stopped our periods, we are still producing low levels of estrogen and we want it to be metabolized into the best kind of estrone. Indolplex is an incredible product; a concentration of the active ingredient in the cruciferous vegetables, it ensures that estrogen ends up not only as the benign and helpful 2-hydroxy estrone, but also breaks down the harmful 4-hydroxy and 6-hydroxy estrones into the beneficial 2-hydroxy estrone. All this good work with taking one pill a day. I have noted no side effects with anyone who has been using Indolplex. I think this is an,easy, important addition to every woman’s regime. If we were to sit down and examine assorted symptoms, a great majority of us have symptoms related to the inappropriate metabolism of estrogen, including symptoms of PMS, fibrocystic breasts, fibroids, irregular periods, painful periods, symptoms related to menopause, or even life threatening conditions such as breast cancer or other estrogen stimulated cancers. Men also are impacted by estrogen and there is new research relating the stimulation of estrogen receptor sites in the prostate to certain prostate cancers. Therefore, even men can use Indolplex to ensure a benign stimulation of these prostate receptor sites."
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more perusing -

Words of John O'Donohue

May you be blessed in your inner world.
And may you bring a kind gaze
inwards with the eyes of your soul.
May you see nothing impoverished within you.
But may you see the great riches that await you there.
May you learn to love your inner world
with the eyes of your soul.
May you be given the gift of seeing
the eternity that is within you.
May your Angel become a real companion
to you in your life.
May you learn that the secret and the sacred are sisters.
May you never blaspheme
against the Divine which is within you.
May you allow the wild beauty of your invisible world
to gather you and mind you
and help you to dance in wonder.
May your Angel free you
from the inner prisons
of fear, false identity, rejection, bitterness or role. And may the wall of your inner prison
become the threshold
of the new land of springtime
which is full of surprises
which have been dreamed
and prepared by the Great Spirit
because it loves you so tenderly.

Ah!! Awe!!! Ommmm!
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And here is Hafiz!!


To Anything That Moved

Yesterday it was sweet madness,
Reciting poems for hours

And talking about love to anything that
I lay down late thinking I might be able to sleep

All the way until there was light
Of resplendent sounds - and polished jokes
From the morning birds.

That was foolish of me,
For in just a few minutes, three worlds
Crawled from a cave in my heart,
Built a huge fire and yelled,
"Get Up!"

They could not contain their happiness
Living in one as ripe as I.

We began jumping up and down
And banging our heads
Like a drunk bronze clapper in a sacred Buddhist bell

Against the fields and mountains,
Against all the jeweled walls of this Universe.

Yesterday was such exquisite madness,
Singing about the Friend for hours

And talking about love to anything
That dared to move.
Yet I believe another wonderful day,
And perhaps even a sweeter height of rare, inspired insanity,
0 Hafiz, has just begun.

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Heron Dance!

I enjoy my e-mail newsletter subscription to Heron Dance. You can check them out at

This comes today from Rod, the founder of Heron Dance.

It is written by Robert Muller, who was executive assistant to U Thant when he was Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Robert Muller writes:

"When I worked for him, U Thant was for me not only the Secretary General of the United Nations but also a master in the art of living. . . . I never heard him speak ill of another person. . . . I never heard him complain. Nor did I ever see him impatient or irritated. His capacity to endure the shortcomings and errors of other people was boundless. At nine or ten o'clock in the evening, after seeing dozens of visitors at quarter-of-an-hour intervals and after being bombarded by a succession of insistent problems, he was as calm and controlled as when he arrived in the office in the morning. Kindness, love, and understanding for his fellow humans were his sole motivations. Discipline and self-control were his ways.

Often, in the evening, when I presented him with a problem on which he was asked to make a decision, he simply remained silent. This was especially the case when difficulties arose between two heads of departments at the United Nations. Their memoranda requesting resolution often remained unanswered. U Thant was looking at me patiently with his kind eyes, hoping that I would understand his philosophy. And I finally did when one day I found myself holding the following language to two high officials, each of whom was looking to the Secretary General for total support:

"Can't you understand that U Thant will simply not make a decision in favor of either one of you? Your memoranda will be returned to you unanswered, no matter how often you raise the issue with him, unless you yourself take the initiative in proposing a common course of action. He feels that you know the answer to your problem much better than he does. You are well-trained and highly skilled officials. You are expected to solve problems, not to create them. The UN is preaching understanding and accommodation among nations. This is the least that can be expected from its officers. U Thant wishes you to understand that the solution rests between the two of you."

To my great surprise, the two officials agreed to a mutual solution within minutes. Both had thought of a common course, but it was to be tried only if neither could score a full victory over the other!"

Robert Muller, from Most of All They Taught Me Happiness
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Oh, My!!

Not another entry, you say, but this one is so good!!
This is a poem by Billy Collins that is fun!
Read it slowly! It purrs!

Forgetfulness by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never
even heard of.

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses good-bye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.