As I said in earlier posts, I'm sure I learned more during my semester of teaching middle school than my students did. And a lot - probably most - of what I learned was about myself. In this post, I'll share one of the "good" things I learned. I learned that I am a great deal more … Continue reading My Middle School Experiment: What I Learned, Part 2. Less ego, more patience.
I start to feel panicky. I'm sweating. And I have to calm myself again.
I knew this time was coming. I didn't know how long it would take. But it has arrived. The time when I know my students well enough that I start seeing or sensing their stories. Their challenges. Their deep pain. Communities in which poverty trickles down and settles carry the pains of our society. My … Continue reading Teaching Middle School, Weeks 10 & 11: Sadness & Grace
April 24th is a kind of birthday for me. It's the day I completed breast cancer treatments. And fittingly, this year's local Relay for Life is on April 25th. So I'm looking at this year's Relay event as a "birthday" celebration of my third year as a cancer-free person. But I'm not only feeling celebration … Continue reading An Upcoming “Birth”day: Three Years After Cancer Treatments
Soulful people temper our tantrums by their calm, lessen our urgency by their peace, exhibit a world of options and alternatives when all the conversation turns into dualistic bickering. - Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life I was struck by nearly every sentence of our reading in our centering prayer group … Continue reading Betweenness
So it's time for me to take another silent retreat. Silent retreats do my soul so much good. I leave tomorrow for an eight-day centering prayer retreat and will be in silence about five and a half days of it. Three hours each day of centering prayer/meditation. No internet or online access. No phone calls. No … Continue reading Into the silence again
Part of my celebratory mini-retreat last week included walking the labyrinth. I discovered labyrinths over a decade ago at a workshop, and I was hooked. Labyrinths aren't mazes. You simply follow the path in and then follow it back out. For me, walking a labyrinth is moving meditation. It's a way to let go of … Continue reading Walking a labyrinth
On Monday, I had surgery to have my port (or portacath) out. That event was a marker in my breast cancer treatment path but also a reminder of the journey and its beginning, the advent of the terror and wonder. Getting ready for surgery was much easier this time than back in September when I … Continue reading Terrible and Wonderful: Chapter 1
Our days of silent retreat had a rhythm, and for me, that contributed to the depth of the experience. The schedule held the day in a scaffold that allowed me to be present to the sunrise and deepening day and sunset and night and meals and centering and sleep - all within that cycle. I … Continue reading The rhythm of a silent retreat day
I've been trying to find the words to describe my retreat last week. When people ask how it went, I've been answering, "wonderful," but that doesn't really tell much, does it? The experience of being in silence for almost six days, sitting in three hours a day of centering prayer sessions with a group, having … Continue reading Returning from the silence