Insights for January 2018

Awakening:IMG_0808 (1)

“By releasing something, we will draw new energy into our core.”  Dana Gerhardt,

” Clouds are just temporary; eventually the wind will come along and blow them away.”  Khenchen Thrangu, On What is Most Important, tricycle, Fall 2015.

​”Taking joy in the day, even in the simpler fact of the effort we have made, is important.  It gives us something positive to carry into the next day, and helps us harness motivation in the service of our intentions.  Joy plays a crucial role in our motivation, especially in sustaining motivation over a prolonged period of time.” Thupten Junpa Langri, PhD, Today Will Be a Day of Love and Joy, pg. 57, Lion’s roar, January 2017

“Enlightenment is a state of consciousness in which the ego disappears.” Dana Gerhardt, “Gods”, The Mountain Astrologer, Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017, pg. 19.

“This is the great invitation – to live with a trusting heart.  This is our freedom.  The greatest Zen masters say, “Enlightenment is fulfilled by the trusting heart.”

“Learn to trust your body.  Begin by mindfully and lovingly feeling what is going on in your body.  Sense the state of your body today, its signals and needs.  Listen carefully to what your body has to say to you.  What healing does it want?  What care?  What wisdom does it have to offer you?  Your body has been waiting for your attention.  Trust it.  Even if you have been out of touch for a long time, you can regain confidence step-by-step by trusting your bodily experience.”  Jack Kornfield, No Time Like the Present.

“The person you thought you were five years ago, one year ago, even yesterday, is not quite the same person you are today, potentially in some profound ways. To the extent that this is shaking up your consciousness and that of the people around you, you simply must develop confidence in yourself.” Eric Francis,

“Love yourself enough to say no to what isn’t right for you. Case closed. Final sale. No returns.” Chani Nicholas

“Renewal is happening.

Take quiet time to listen to your heart, to meditate and to rest amidst the great turnings.

Feel the renewal of spring that can be born in you.
Align yourself with goodness.
Let yourself blossom like a lotus or whatever unique flower you are,
shining in the world, offering tiny seeds of love amidst it all.” Blessings to you in 2018, Jack Kornfield


“With the senses no longer struggling to reach pleasing forms and no longer regarding unpleasing forms as repulsive, the mind is able to see more clearly what is actually arising and falling away.” Andrew Olendzki, “The Ties that Unbind.”


“The year begins as Saturn in Capricorn barrels through the most object-dense portion of one of our galactic arms. He passes by a stream of binary, x-ray eclipsing pulsars, including the pulsar that spins the fastest. Take a moment to tune to the constancy and consistency of the pulsations. Look inside. Dive deep, then deeper, consider all sides of any issue at hand, then find the flow and groove onward. In the flow, with the pulsating messages heard, work can occur faster and more effortlessly than previously imaginable.” Philip Sedgwick,

“Bottom line: as with all eclipse periods, the more you can focus on where you want to take your life, and do the things you love and want to cultivate, the better you’ll orient yourself for the next few months. The idea is to set new patterns for yourself — in my experience, even new patterns of attitude or mindset count, especially if you reinforce it with tangible action.” Eric Francis,

Mark your calendar for the 2018 Mercury retrogrades! Mercury is all about the mind and communication, and its retrograde periods are when both work in reverse or other odd ways (rethink, redo, rebuild, reconsider, revise, etc.)  so it’s helpful to know the dates!

March 3 – April 15
July 26 – August 19
November 17 – December 6


“When I feel wise and gracious, I see that ageing is just natural.  It’s what bodies do in the last chapters of incarnation.  And then I go through periods of denial, ignoring or struggling against the stream of life.  I don’t want to discount the value of healthy living to stay alive and fit, but the decline is real and inevitable.”

 You can choose to resist or be gracious [about aging], If you age without trust, you will contract and suffer, already turning toward death.  Your heart will not be free to love and enjoy each day, to dance with life…”  Jack Kornfield, No Time Like the Present 








Insights for October 2017


“When we recognize the spaciousness that is our universe, around us and within us, the door of freedom opens. Worries and conflict fall into perspective, emotions are held with ease and we act IMG_0081amid troubles of the world with peace and dignity.”

“Whether it’s physical or emotional pain, anything you give space to can be transformed

“Love and spacious awareness are your true nature. They comingle. The sage Nisargadatta frames it this way: “Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says I am everything.” Consciousness knows each experience; love connects it all. For a time you can get caught up in fear and separation. We all do. And then loving awareness remembers. Oh, this too, is a place to love.” “It is this simple: your whole life is a curriculum of love.”

“During hard times, trust demands a shift from the small self, the body of fear, to a connection with that which is vast, sacred, holy. It is a trust in the greatness of the human spirit.”

“We can’t step into the same river twice.”  Old Buddhist wisdom on impermanence. Each moment is born and dies. Moment to moment.

“Yes, things are uncertain, but wisdom brings us to love, perspective, and the ability to trust. Wisdom invites us to live, with a trusting heart.”

“The best forms of healing, therapy, and meditation are all about learning to trust.”

“Feel yourself being held by a living universe.” Jack Kornfield, No Time Like the Present

“In your life, something must die so that something new can be born. One trick is to take it on faith that something is being born even though you can’t yet see it.  Recognize that whatever is dying needs to get out of the way. You can take comfort in that perspective now – or you can take comfort in it later.” Steven Forrest,

” ‘We should not think of our past as definitely settled, for we are not a stone or a tree,’ wrote poet Czeslaw Milosz. ‘My past changes every minute according to the meaning given it now, in this moment.’

So, yes, you have the power to re-vision and reinterpret your past. Keep the following question in mind as you go about your work: “How can I recreate my history so as to make my willpower stronger, my love of life more intense, and my future more interesting?” Rob Brezsny, *PRONOIA IS THE ANTIDOTE FOR PARANOIA*, Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter, November 8, 2017


“The secret to healing lies in exploring our wounds in order to discover what is really there.” Frank Ostaseski, “The Five Initiations”.


“I am not the only person with aging parents. It is part of the human journey.  … With a spacious heart, we can remember the bigger picture. Even when illness strikes, a parent is dying, or any other form of loss is upon us, we can recognize that it’s part of life’s seasons.”  Jack Kornfield, “No Time Like the Present,” pg.10.

“In my end is the beginning” T.S. Eliot

“Human incarnation is mysterious because it ends. Death will come to you and wipe the slate, no matter who you are, no matter how small or great your accomplishments.” Jack Kornfield, No Time Like the Present


I have a list of recommended books on my web site at Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.







Insights for June and July 2017

Lotus Blossom in Portland

Lotus Blossom in Portland


 “Do the work to become the source of self love that you need.”

 “You can’t harm the soul; it’s outside of time.”

“How do we become the source of love ourselves? Your soul allows rejected-ness and pain – guaranteed – to help you find self love.” Tom Jacobs, podcast,

“The consciousness behind your human life is your soul, and your soul comes to Earth again and again in order to learn what i’s like to be human. Families are agreed upon by souls before incarnation so that all members get the chance to learn how to be human. It’s an incubator for your soul’s growth while human, as it knows you need to be trained how to be a person. It knows you’ll be helpless and clueless and birth and you’ll need help to survive as well as models of how to be human.” Tom Jacobs,

“Growth is uncomfortable because you’ve never been here before – you’ve never been this version of you. So give yourself a little grace and breathe through it.” @spiritsoul, Instagram

“Your body ages, your awareness/your soul, does not.”

“We are part of an enormous life force; and its ageless and timeless.”

Our capacity to awaken is endless.”

“Who you are was born into your body; it is not your body.” Jack Kornfield

“The stories we tell of our past are written on water.” Jack Kornfield, “no Time Like the Present”, pg. 102

“It is because we’re afflicted by the thorn of craving and attachment that we act unskillfully.” Andrew Olendzki

“What would happen if you looked straight at your fear and said, ‘Hello, what are you here to teach me?'”

“Life throws you curve balls, be brave.”

“I am not then, I am now.”

“You can reconstruct the present in the past and you can reconstruct the future in the present.” Margaret Gervais

“Not one of us is here by mistake. Not one of us is out of place. Not one of us is unwanted by life. This world is deeply incomplete without each of us in it. Incomplete without each of our individual imprints on it. Our specific touch.” Chani Nicholas,

“We are not the small self our worries believe us to be. We are life renewing itself again and again. Trust knows that nothing real can be lost. …Be the One Who Knows (the original nature of mind, the silent witness, spacious consciousness, according to Ajahn Chah) the witness to it all. This is how trust grows.”  Jack Kornfield, “No Time Like The Present”, pg. 11 and 41.

“Wise trust is not naive.” pg. 44.

“Hardship and loss are the graduate school of trust. They teach us survival and freedom that is unshakable. There is a force born in us from a thousand generations of ancestors, survivors who have offered us life. Now it’s our turn.”  pg. 44.

“The heart can trust in the timeless spirit behind the magnificent dance.” Jack Kornfield, “No Time Like the Present”, pg. 46.



The August 21, Solar Eclipse

As everyone probably knows, a total Solar Eclipse occurs on August 21, 2017 (11:30:41 PST) . On this day, the Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth, in a direct lineup, blocking the light of the sun from reaching the Earth, thus the Sun is eclipsed. It will be completely visible from a pathway crossing the United States, and if you are in the center of the pathway (path of totality) you will be in the center of the Moon’s shadow hitting the earth.   The sky will become very dark, just like nighttime. If you are outside of the pathway, you will see a partial solar eclipse, where the moon covers part of the sun.

You don’t have to see the total solar eclipse to be impacted by the phenomenon (energetic shift) of the eclipse. Many are feeling the intensity of the energy already, as these kinds of shifts start before the actual alignment and build toward the day and time of the event. Others will feel more of a shift during that week, or during that day of the eclipse.   As the energy is now moving toward the eclipse, we can benefit from being aware and prepared. Also be aware that the energetic impact of the eclipse will last months after the actual event.

What’s the energetic shift?  The Sun is our life force personal (ego) energy, it is how we shine, and the Sun will be blocked (eclipsed) by the Moon, which is our emotional security energy. In other words, our ego will be blocked by our emotions. The light of the sun, which sustains us will be blocked. It’s a deep and intense time for realizing what works for you and what doesn’t.  What has been hiding? What do you want to continue to shine in your life and what will you allow to fade away?  These are deep issues to be aware of, contemplate, let go and reset. Sit in meditation. Take time out to be quiet and reflect. Write. Draw. Paint. Read. Be in nature. Yell out loud. Dance. Do what feels good to you and allow yourself to transform.

What does emotional (moon) energy and life source (Sun) alignment look like for you?  What doesn’t fit into this alignment?  What will be eclipse for you?  And what will be aligned?

This is a powerful time to recalibrate. The solar eclipse is happening in the sign of Leo, which is a very bold, brave, highly charged regal force of energy. Be aware. Be open. Be contemplative. Seize your power.   Seize the power of solar and emotional shift and alignment and create from this place. Create what will evolve for you out of this manifestation for change. Have a vision of your six months and twelve months following Aug 21and hold that in a sacred space for yourself.


“The Five Invitations”

  1. Don’t wait
  2. Welcome everything. Push away nothing.
  3. Bring your whole self to the experience.
  4. Find a place of rest in the middle of things.
  5. Cultivate “Don’t know” mind.” Frank Ostaseski, “Starting With the Fruit”, Heart Wisdom Podcast. May 18, 2017.

“Don’t just stand there with your hair turning grey,

soon enough the seas will sink your little island.

So while there is still the illusion of time,

set out for some other shore.

No sense packing a bag,

you won’t be able to lift it into your boat.

Give away all of your collections,

take only new seeds and an old stick.

Send out some prayers on the wind before you sail.

Don’t be afraid,

someone knows you are coming.

An extra fish has been salted.”

Sono. Frank Ostaseski, “Starting With the Fruit”, Heart Wisdom Podcast., May 18, 2017.’

“Not one of us is here by mistake. Not one of us is out of place. Not one of us is unwanted by life. This world is deeply incomplete without each of us in it. Incomplete without each of our individual imprints on it. Our specific touch.” Chani Nicholas

“Mother’s dying almost stunned my spirit….She slipped from our fingers like a flake gathered by the wind, and is now part of the drift called ‘the infinite..'” Emily Dickinson, from

“Whether it’s physical or emotional pain, anything you give space to can be transformed.”  Jack Kornfield, “No Time Like the Present,” pg. 17

Insights for March and April 2017


“You get to be at home with change. You get to be at home with uncertainty. You get to be at home with not knowing how it all comes out. And you make a plan knowing full well that it may be totally irrelevant a moment later, and you’re at peace with that.” Ram Dass

“The more you let go the higher you rise.” Yasmin Mogahed, #inayahquotes

“What we choose, creates. Have courage to say yes and courage to say no.”

“Our level of embodiment matters a lot.”

“The need to say yes always comes with the need to say no.”

“Edit what you vibrate.”

“The courage to say ‘no thanks.’ to the little stuff builds courage to say ‘Yes.’ to the bigger things.”

“Exercise a muscle in your subconscious.”

“Can I expand through this relationship?”

“Every choice is in alignment of not. Alignment builds, dis-alignment leaks.”

“Look where you are leaking energy and plug it.”

Tom Jacobs, Astrologer, Tom Jacobs has an excellent grounding meditation available on his website that you can listen to for free.


“The more I watch astrology work the more I firmly believe that Saturn absolutely rules good strong results. He rewards hard work. He rewards discipline, dedication and drive. All these attributes neatly apply and become exceedingly useful when working “plan your life,” “grab that goal” mise en place activities.” Philip Sedgwick,


A Meditation on Grief

“When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end?”~Ghalib

“Grief is one of the heart’s natural responses to loss. When we grieve we allow ourselves to feel the truth of our pain, the measure of betrayal or tragedy in our life. By our willingness to mourn, we slowly acknowledge, integrate, and accept the truth of our losses. Sometimes the best way to let go is to grieve.

It takes courage to grieve, to honor the pain we carry. We can grieve in tears or in meditative silence, in prayer or in song. In touching the pain of recent and long-held griefs, we come face to face with our genuine human vulnerability, with helplessness and hopelessness. These are the storm clouds of the heart.

Most traditional societies offer ritual and communal support to help people move through grief and loss. We need to respect our tears. Without a wise way to grieve, we can only soldier on, armored and unfeeling, but our hearts cannot learn and grow from the sorrows of the past.

To meditate on grief, let yourself sit, alone or with a comforting friend. Take the time to create an atmosphere of support. When you are ready, begin by sensing your breath. Feel your breathing in the area of your chest. This can help you become present to what is within you. Take one hand and hold is gently on your heart as if you were holding a vulnerable human being. You are.

As you continue to breathe, bring to mind the loss or pain you are grieving. Let the story, the images, the feelings comes naturally. Hold them gently. Take your time. Let the feelings come layer by layer, a little at a time.

Keep breathing softly, compassionately. Let whatever feelings are there, pain and tears, anger and love, fear and sorrow, come as they will. Touch them gently. Let them unravel out of your body and mind. Make space for any images that arise. Allow the whole story. Breathe and hold it all with tenderness and compassion. Kindness for it all, for you and for others.

The grief we carry is part of the grief of the world. Hold it gently. Let it be honored. You do not have to keep it in anymore. You can let it go into the heart of compassion; you can weep.

Releasing the grief we carry is a long, tear-filled process. Yet it follows the natural intelligence of the body and heart. Trust it, trust the unfolding. Along with meditation, some of your grief will want to be written, to be cried out, to be sung, to be danced. Let the timeless wisdom within you carry you through grief to an open heart.” Jack Kornfield, The meditation is taken from the book, The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace.

“Being alive means engaging in a continual process of transformation. Nothing in the natural world stays the same. Everything shows signs of being in relationship with its environment. Trees cannot deny the effects of a forest fire. Rocks do not try to hide the smoothness that results from the relentless pounding of waves upon them. Icebergs do not feign being untouched by the rising temperatures of our planet.

Yet we humans try to defend ourselves against the inevitable changes. Aging. Loss. Grief. We spend so much of our resources chasing some external solution to our internal discomfort. We have such difficulty sitting with the feelings that, if felt all the way through, could renew us. Release us. Transform us.

Our transformation depends on our ability to sit with and accept the feelings that arrive with the truth. Not our version of how we wish life would be and not the version of reality that we need to be true in order to justify how we are living. Just the honest truth. How it lands with us in this moment. What it means for our life. Right here, right now.”

Nothing about our lives or about this world will ever change without our willingness to be relentlessly honest. Especially about our past. Especially about our present. Especially when accepting the truth means that it’s time to let something go.” Chani Nicholas,













Insights for February 2017


“the only way you can keep you heart open is by living simultaneously on more than one plane of consciousness. When I was in India, there was a time in Bangladesh when things were just falling apart, and I wanted to take my VW and use it as an ambulance. My guru didn’t tell me to or not to, but he saw how agitated I was, and he said, “Ram Dass, don’t you see it’s all perfect?” and I said, “Perfect?!” – I was outraged because people were dying and suffering.

My self-righteousness was outraged. How could it be perfect if people were being violated, and there is injustice?

Yet he would cry over the suffering, and he would do things to alleviate suffering, so I began to try to embrace the paradox of the planes of consciousness, in which there are inconsistencies. It involves the evolution of the individual soul through all kinds of learning experiences that involve suffering and death, but if you are looking at it through the eyes of your separateness, through your individual rational mind, it becomes a trap where you cannot see that it is all simultaneously perfect and it stinks.” Ram Dass

“I won’t walk the path of the false hero.” Margaret Gervais 2.7.17

“You are the universe expressing itself as a human for a little while.” Eckhart Tolle

“I have sovereignty over my reactions.” Ann Ortelee

“Reality has cracked apart. Enter the crack and fly.” Kathy Biehl.

“It is as it is
I am as I am
and now is my time.” Kathy Biehl

“If you are dancing in front of someone and your feet are bleeding and they aren’t ever noticing you, it’s time to leave the room.” Kathy Biehl.

“With maturity, one learns to be at peace instead of just keeping it around you.” Dana Gerhardt

“Turn away from the polarized political confusion.
Quiet your mind, listen to your heart, follow the Dharma.
Embody compassion for all.
Stand up for your highest values. Speak out for tolerance.
Turn toward that which is important.
Now is the time to reflect,
to care, to act wisely
and to protect one another and all that matters.

May you do so and bring your blessings to this earth.” Jack Kornfield

“Accepting the weather is a beautiful practice of tolerance and impermanence.” Margaret Gervais 2.23.17

Insights for November/December 2016 and January 2017


“There’s an unbroken wisdom tradition inside you. That’s one way to understand your intuition.” Dana Gerhart, ‘Why Naked?’ The Mountain Astrologer, Oct/Nov 2016, p. 10.

“How do we know if we are attached to something? Because it creates tension in your mind. Sending love to all beings. May we all learn that when we let go we can be more present and loving.”

“Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting,
it just means we stop carrying the
energy of the past into the present.”
Yung Pueblo beautifully describes letting go and healing.

“Healing begins with acceptance and culminates with letting go.

They taught us that we can’t change the past, but in a very intimate, profound, and beautiful way we can. When a great misery occurs it remains with us for as long as we hold on to it, attachments become attachments because of the energy we use to keep what happened or the image of what we want to happen locked away within our mind and body – this is the cause of tension in our being. When we hold on to these attachments they travel with us as a burden, from the past, to our present, and into our future. They can even travel forward in our lineage long after we are gone.

The miracle of healing ourselves is so powerful, because in the movement of accepting and letting go, we relinquish the energy of burden not only in our present, but in our past and future as well. Imagine the timeline of your life, now imagine the burdens that you carry as an extra line layered on top of your normal timeline. As we let go of our miseries, this extra layer becomes thinner and thinner. Yes, it may not change what happened, but the extra energy we carried because of these occurrences will no longer weigh down the timeline of our life. What happened happened, but now these moments are no longer attachments of pain and sorrow, now they are lessons we learn from, lessons that bring us into a present of greater freedom, happiness, and wisdom.

Letting go is not an easy process, it requires a practice that produces results and a commitment to continue delving inward so we can release deeper and deeper attachments. We all heal differently, but know that there is something out there for you. Be bold, courageous, find a practice that suits you and meets you where you are. Healing will come to those who seek it. Sending love to all beings. May we all reap the benefits of letting go. May we all be happy and peaceful.”

“the goal the universe has for you is freedom.” yung pueblo (follow him on Facebook and Instagram.)

“Truth is one of the vehicles for deepening spiritual awareness through another human being, and if there is a license for that in the relationship, in any relationship – with guru, with friend, with lover, with whatever it is – it is an absolutely optimum way of coming into a liquid spiritual relationship with another person. But it’s very, very delicate because people feel very vulnerable. They have parts of their mind that are cut off, that the idea that’s been socialized is, “If I show this part of me, I would not be acceptable.” And the ability to risk that, finally you learn how to have your truth available.” Ram Dass

“To learn to trust – start with ‘I don’t know.'” Adam Gainsburg, January 2017,

“Empower your own truth (your internal truth is connected to your heart and your soul) and that’ll weaken their truth.”

“Make space for essential self and you’ll feel your creative source; your unique mission for the shift.”

I love this, from Monique Leurink:

“What is your truth?
What do you hold inside?
How much percentage do you live this truth?
Please increase this percentage.”

“I rule my life using my creative force.”

“Don’t stay focused on what doesn’t work. Focus on what works and it will expand.”

“The more you take power in the more power you will have.” Monique Leurink, January, 2017,

“I’m done limiting how I show up in the world. I’m done hiding. I’m going to take the blessing of being sensitive and let go of the curse. I’m not interested in avoiding negativity. I want to help heal it. The weight of the world is not on my shoulders, but bringing a peaceful world out of my heart is. There are two ways I handle the negativity of others. One believes that even though I feel it, I don’t have to allow it close to me. Being sensitive doesn’t mean I don’t have a choice as to what I take into my heart. I absolutely have a choice. Once empowered by this, I no longer feel vulnerable. I don’t have to avoid the news or negative people. I can stand in my light and trust myself. The other way…” Search for “Protecting my Sensitive Self: How to Cope with Anxiety about the world.” to read the rest of the article. elephantjournal on Instagram.

“What raises consciousness? Sustained intention.” Margaret Gervais 11.15.16 Portland

“When you get a cellular calling, respond.” Isabeau Corbridge, 12.25.16, Portland.

“If you tell a mountain that it should be an eagle, surely that mountain will spend its days wishing it could fly, instead of being proud of its incredible strength.” Topher Kearby, spiritualrevolutionary, Instagram.

“feel everything, because you’re healing. and because you are allowed to experience all of your emotions at once or in waves. feelings give you permission to start the process of making your way back home. why get lost in hiding from yourself?” spiritsoul, Instagram.

Astrology for 2017:

“Be radiant like your sun [sign] and combine it with your truth:
Aries – boldness
Taurus- down to earth
Gemini – wit
Cancer – tenderness
Leo – strength
Virgo – attentiveness
Libra – justice

Scorpio – depth
Sagittarius – fiery depth
Capricorn – class
Aquarius – freedom
Pisces – mysticism” Monique Leurink, January 2017, Astrology Hub.


“Much of the time our mind is thick, with thoughts and emotions and cognitive content, but when focused on the breath or on some other object it narrows, gets sharper and more precise, and is increasingly capable of becoming aware of just that thin sliver of experience presenting itself in the present moment.” Andrew Olendzki, “Giving Pain the Slip.”

“When do we know if we are attached to something? Because it creates tension in your mind. Sending love to all beings. May we all learn that when we let go we can be more present and loving.” yung pueblo.

Current Affairs:

A Trump Presidency Need Not Be the End Times
Posted on November 9, 2016 by Bhikkhu Bodhi |
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

It was with feelings of shock and dismay that early this morning I woke up to learn that Donald Trump had been elected president of the United States. Although, as a monk, I do not endorse political candidates or align myself with political parties, I feel that as a human being inhabiting this fragile planet, I have an obligation to stand up for policies that promote economic and social justice, respect for the innate dignity of all human beings, and preservation of the earth’s delicate biosphere. By the same token, I must oppose policies detrimental to these ideals. I see politics, not merely as a naked contest for power and domination, but as a stage where great ethical contests are being waged, contests that determine the destiny—for good or for ill—of everyone in this country and on this planet.

Trump’s presidential campaign challenged each of the ethical ideals I cherish, and if he acts upon his campaign pledges, his policies may entail misery for people in the United States and all across the world. His campaign repeatedly demeaned people because of their ethnicity, religion, and national origins. He threatened to deny women their reproductive rights and access to critical healthcare. He said he would cut taxes on the rich, curtail essential social services for working families, and deport millions of undocumented immigrants. He proposed to deal with crime by imposing “law and order,” a code expression affirming the harsh American system of mass incarceration, particularly of black males. Most alarmingly, he said he would promote an energy boom in fossil fuels—just at a time when we desperately need to be launching a renewable energy revolution. If he actually acts on his words, carbon emissions will soar, climate change will spin out of control, and water and air will become terribly polluted. Huge swaths of the planet will be rendered barren, decimating ever more species and bringing disaster and death to hundreds of millions of people.

In the face of Trump’s victory, we are likely to feel dejected and demoralized, but this is exactly what we must resist. Yes, we should feel saddened. Yes, we should feel worried—very worried. We should feel moral outrage at what his victory portends. But we should not feel despondent and resign ourselves to a passive acquiescence in our fate. We have to preserve hope. We have to arouse courage to withstand the tides of hatred, bigotry, and resentment that may be unleashed by a Trump administration. We need to resist the growing tide of fascism, in whatever guise it may appear, and to root out the lies and disinformation that nourish it. No matter how ominous the coming years may be, we must remain determined to preserve our democracy from being undermined from within and transformed into an autocratic plutocracy—government by the rich and privileged.

In my view, the struggle that lies ahead requires that those devoted to a progressive vision of American society transcend the particular interests of the groups with which they are personally aligned and form alliances to create a broad-based progressive movement rooted in a recognition of our shared values. Whether one’s calling be with Black Lives Matter, with the living wage campaign, with women’s reproductive rights, with gender rights, with environmental and climate issues, with contemplative spirituality, or any other, we must come together under a common banner, recognizing that it is only by standing together in a unified front that we can prevail against the regressive forces that will be trying to destroy our noblest ideals and greatest democratic achievements.

While Trump’s victory probably stemmed largely from the support he gathered from white working class people whose jobs had been exported overseas through free trade agreements, it is far from certain that the policies he adopts will actually benefit these people. If he fails to meet their expectations, it is possible that white working class people, whether in the Rust Belt or the South, will come to see that their interests, too, align with those of other members of the “underclass.” This could result in the emergence of a stronger united front, one that brings together minorities and white working people in a common demand for a new moral economy, a social and economic order that works for everyone and enables everyone to flourish.

For the present, however, we have to be prepared to face dark times. To prevail against the darkness, we must hold fast to our cherished ideals of truth, love, compassion, and justice. We must also maintain the faith that, while ignorance and hatred may at times be dominant, through concerted action patiently pursued we can finally usher in an era of justice, love, and human unity.

The above essay represents the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the view of Buddhist Global Relief as an organization. This entry was posted in News item, Politics & food justice, Social justice and tagged Bhikkhu Bodhi, Engaged Buddhism, Global warming, Poverty in America, Social justice.

Now is the Time to Stand Up“, Jack Kornfield,

“Collective wellbeing arises when we govern by wisdom and loving-kindness instead of fear. “Human beings should refrain from causing harm to one another and not allow their actions to be based on hatred and greed,” said the Buddha, in words that speak directly to modern times. ‘They should refrain from killing, from stealing. They should refrain from occupations that bring suffering, from weapons trade, from any actions that bring the enslavement of others.’ Through these words, he was not proclaiming a religious code. He was providing a social psychology for the happiness of individuals and the collective.” Jack Kornfield, “The Wise Heart.”

“For each of us, you’ve got to be very quiet to hear your unique dharma, your unique way of expression.

Somebody comes along and their major thing in life is to regain the rights of indigenous peoples.

Someone else comes along and their major thing is to awaken people to environmental degradation.

Someone else comes along and their major thing is to clean up the incredible oppression of women.

It isn’t a question of which thing is worse, or which is more worthwhile. Each person has to hear what is their part in the whole process of how their compassion expresses itself.

I am doing this gig. This is my part. It’s no better than your part, it’s just my part. I’m not under some illusion that I have a different part and I honor everybody else’s part, I just have to constantly keep listening to hear what my part is anew.” Ram Dass 1.8.17

“At the worst extreme, good intentions can be mixed with profound delusion. Stalin and Mao Tse-tung each claimed good intentions, trying to purge the exploitation of the past, and to enhance the power of the masses. Under their deluded intentions, millions were starved or murdered. To be wise, we have to examine our intention to ensure that it is free from delusion. The ends do not justify the means. If our actions will bring harm to others, even in the service of some “good,” most likely they are deluded. If our actions do not come from a kind heart, from loving courage and compassion, they are deluded. If they are based on “us” and “them,” they stem from delusion. Only to the extent that we act from the wisdom of no separation, understanding how we are woven together, will our intention bring benefit.” Jack Kornfiled,”               `





Insights for October 2016


rain on rose in sunshine Margaret Gervais.


“If you spend 30 seconds in the luminous experience of why you were born to live, it will change your life forever.”

“When you are serious about deepening, circumstances will arrive to challenge you.”

“When the light starts to shine within you, more is exposed.”

“How afraid are you of your own internal depth?”

“Find your ‘thread of continuity’ from what you are deeply meant to do to how you are living.”

“Don’t rush a solution – stay with the problem and digest the issue and solutions will manifest.”

“Reality is the constant self expression of who you are.”

“When you are serious about deepening, circumstances will arrive that will challenge you.” Mark Jones, ‘The Destiny Line” workshop, 10.8.16, Portland.

“You don’t have to overthink being in alignment with your destiny.” Margaret Gervais

“It’s a little more like the image of a caterpillar – enclosing itself in a cocoon in order to go through the metamorphosis to emerge as a butterfly. The caterpillar doesn’t say: “Well now. I’m going to climb into this cocoon and come out a butterfly.” It’s just an inevitable process. It’s inevitable. It’s just happening. It’s GOT to happen that way.

We’re talking about a metamorphosis; we’re talking about going from a caterpillar to butterfly. We’re talking about how to become a butterfly. I mean, the caterpillar isn’t walking around saying, “Man I’ll soon be a butterfly, because as long as he’s busy being a caterpillar he can’t be a butterfly. It’s only when caterpillarness is done that one starts to be a butterfly and that again is part of this paradox – you cannot rip away caterpillarness.” Ram Dass

“To be free means to open your heart and your being to the fullness of who you are, because only when you are resting in the place of unity can you truly honor and appreciate others and the incredible diversity of the universe.” Ram Dass

“You can reconstruct your future in your present.” Margaret Gervais 10.31.16

“The challenge of total transformation – individual – personal and collective – social – is confronting us, if our eyes are open, our minds clear, and our ego allows us to reach beyond its fears and its insecure boundaries. When we are able to accept such a challenge, everything changes.” From Humanistic to Transpersonal Astrology, Dan Rudhyar, 1975.

“From the same inexhaustible source all seeds grow and develop, all cells realize their function – There is a structural law, a cosmic principle by which perceptible forms are sustained and which governs the process of transformation in all things. This can be realized only because the center principle manifests itself through man in the same ways as it does through a flower or a star; in it we may discover our cosmic commonality – our cosmic community … At the core each man is the center of his own compass and experiences…”

“We are defined not only by our place on the physical level, but by our position in consciousness, and these are an interdependent whole…” Mandala, Jose and Miriam Arguelles, 1972, p.12-13.

“the secret

is believing in yourself

so deeply

that no matter the obstacle,

you will be able to create a bridge

from your deepest aspiration

to a future that you always knew

was your destiny” yung pueblo


“I kept

running away

from my darkness

until I understood that

in it I would find

my freedom” yung pueblo


“if you ignore it, you cannot heal it” yung pueblo


“the people

with the power

to move and act through

unconditional love

will be the healers and heroes

of our planet.” yung pueblo


“it is not over until you are free” yung pueblo


“Future fear is only based on actual past fear re-enacting.” Mark Jones, ‘The Destiny Line” workshop, 10.8.16, Portland.


“Before I could release the weight of my sadness and pain, I first had to honor its existence.” Yung Pueblo

“By pushing away the painful aspect of an experience, Freud observed, his friends were isolating themselves from their own capacity to love. …love and grieving, like separation and connection, are co-constitutive. Opening oneself to one emotion deepens the experience of the other. The heart can open in sadness as much as it does in joy.” Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, Mark Epstein, M.D., p. 64.


“I think in relationships, you create an environment with your own work on yourself, which you offer to another human being to use to grow in the way they need to grow. You keep working – you become the soil – moist and soft and receptive so the person can grow the way they need to grow, because how do you know how they should grow?” Ram Dass

“…love — at its truest and most potent, love invariably does change us, deconditioning our painful pathologies and elevating us toward our highest human potential.”

“In the most nourishing kind of love, the communion of togetherness coexists with an integrity of individuality, the two aspects always in dynamic and fluid dialogue.”

Brain Pickings,


“Healing yourself is the development of your personal feeling of freedom and happiness.” Yung Pueblo

“Nothing softens the wounds of your ancestors like the sweetness of your existence.” undocumedia on instagram

“It doesn’t matter that you can’t remember past lives, you are still existentially responsible for it.”
“Bring the truth of your history to the present.”

“Don’t give up what’s most precious to your deeper self to function as a conditioned self.” Mark Jones, ‘The Destiny Line” workshop, 10.8.16, Portland.

“if you ignore it, you cannot heal it” yung pueblo


“before we can

heal and let go,

what ails us


must first

come to the

surface” yung pueblo



Where is Uranus in your birth chart, email me back and I will tell/remind you!

“Uranus represents energetic soul memory.”

“Uranus is the critical astrological significance of trauma.”

Mark Jones, ‘The Destiny Line” workshop, 10.8.16, Portland.

“Pluto starts to make soul memories into a narrative.” Mark Jones, ‘The Destiny Line” workshop, 10.8.16, Portland.

“Every birth-chart is the mandala of an individual life. It is the blue-print of the process of individuation for this particular individual. To follow it understandingly is to follow ‘the conscious way,” the way of collective wholeness, that is, the way of the active fulfillment of the wholeness of being that is Self (as Jung understands this term.) The Astrology of Personality, Dane Rudhyar, 1936, p.113.

For those of you curious about the BBC story that tends to resurface now and then that says there are actually 13 signs of the zodiac and your sign is off, this is the best description I have seen in a long time that explains how astrology uses the signs of the zodiac – not the actual exact degrees of the stars forming the constellations in the sky.

“What we use is really the earth’s Aura, It is a sphere or ovoid, the poles of which coincide with the poles of the Ecliptic and its middle or equatorial plane is the Ecliptic. … This sphere is divided into twelve parts like the sections of an orange, and it is these sections which constitute the “signs” of the zodiac. We are, however, chiefly concerned with its equatorial plane, for it is this which we measure in signs or degrees, and which determines the zodiacal position of a planet. … The “aura” does not turn round each day with the rotation of the earth on its axis, but the Earth spins round within it, like the wheel on a gyroscope.” Casting the Horoscope, Alan Leo, p. 229-230.


“True maturation on the spiritual path requires that we discover the depth of our wounds. As Achaan Chah put it, ‘If you haven’t cried a number of times, your meditation hasn’t really begun.'” Jack Kornfield

In dealing with trauma, and working to heal trauma, we need to discover its roots.   This is really important work about inheritance of family trauma.…/

Insights for August/September 2016


“…the human adventure is a wandering through the vale of the world for the sake of making soul. Our life is psychological, and the purpose of life is to make psyche of it, to find connections between life and soul.” James Hillman “Re-Visioning Psychology, pg. xv

“But what if life is the perfect expression of our own soul nature meeting the field of everything, meeting the free space in which divinity has allowed us to express ourselves? Essentially, we meet our own karma out there in the world. We meet the products of our own life and energy.” Mark Jones, The Mountain Astrologer, Aug./Sept. 2016, page 45

“… human beings do not earn free will except through self-discovery, and they do not attempt self-discovery until things become so painful that they have no other choice.” Liz Greene, “Saturn, A New Look at and Old Devil” pg. 11


“Within the silence that follows the final breath of a dying person is the certainty that something is occurring. In the no moving movement of air in the room one senses a deep, deep loneliness and at the same time the connectedness of everything.” Robert Chodo Campbell, “Death is not an Emergency,” Tricycle, fall 2016


Where is Saturn in your chart and what sign is it? Email me and I will tell you!

“Saturn symbolizes a psychic process as well as a quality or kind of experience. He is not merely a representative of pain, restrictions and discipline; he is also a symbol of the psychic process, natural to all human beings, by which an individual may utilize the experiences of pain, restriction, and discipline as a means for greater consciousness and fulfillment. Psychology has demonstrated that there is within the individual psyche a motive or impulsion toward wholeness and completeness.” Liz Greene, “Saturn: A New Look at and Old Devil”



Insights for July 2016

Sedum, Image by Margaret Gervais

Sedum, Image by Margaret Gervais


“From the soul’s point of view, you come to appreciate that each one of us is living out his or her own karma. We interact together, and those interactions are the grist for each other’s mill of awakening. From a personality point of view, you develop judgment, but from the soul’s point of view, you develop appreciation. This shift from judging to appreciating — to appreciating yourself and what your karmic predicament is, and who other beings are with their own karma — brings everything into a simple loving awareness. To be free means to open your heart and your being to the fullness of who you are, because only when you are resting in the place of unity can you truly honor and appreciate others and the incredible diversity of the universe.” Ram Dass

“Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes, American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves. Thank you to Carol Ferris for sharing this with me.

“As she swam in the ocean of wisdom, the distance that she once saw between her and the stars in the sky began to vanish, all that once separate no longer felt far away. Gently, the “I” that caused so much trouble began to evaporate. As she embraced the oneness of life, it dawned on her that the entirety of the universe rested completely in her heart.” Yung Pueblo, Swimming Freely

“There is a larger frame to the painting than the one that bounds our life’s events.” Ram Dass


“The young psyche is absorbed in itself and its point of view, until something happens to destroy that innocence – we fall in love and the person leaves us, or someone in our family dies, or there is a crushing disappointment, like not getting into the college we had our heart set on because we didn’t’ make the grade. Whatever it is, something breaks the heart, and when the heart is broken, the wound begins in the psyche, the wound that will act like the grain of sand in the oyster. Dealing with that wound over years, with awareness and hard work, will produce the pearl of inner essence that cannot be taken away, because it’s indestructible. But to build an inner indestructible essence, we must first be destroyed in our more naïve form. “ James Hillman


“The focus of the trauma healing work [for highly sensitive beings], then, is two-fold: warmth and empathy for the original experience and empathy for the child who received a negative, rather than a caring response.” Sarah Peyton


“’Eris is the Greek goddess of discord and strife,’ Astronomer Mike Brown, a member of the discovery team, said via NASA. “She stirs up jealousy and envy to cause fighting and anger among men.” Eris is currently conjunct (right next to) Uranus – the planet that is electrifying and impulsive and causes quick dramatic change. They are both square (causing conflict) with Pluto – the planet of power and transformation, all for the next four years. Make sense? Powerful changes+immediate impulsive changes+discord and strife. What to do? Do what you can. Don’t ignore the trauma happening around the world, and possibly around you, be aware and see what it is in you that needs to and can change. Then go with the flow of deep strong powerful transformation and be part of the power of good.” Margaret Gervais