Category Archives: Change

Excuse Me, Mr. Buddha

  I spent last week in a monastery praying with Buddhist monks and nuns. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. Every November I take a week of retreat—almost always to a Benedictine monastery. I love to sit in chapel and hear the monks chant the Psalms, to walk the cloister, to sit in the…

Moving Maggy

Eight boxes. That’s how many they packed for their last move to a new apartment in Manhattan. Thirty boxes. That’s the number for the move three years later. On Saturday, Pam and I helped our daughter and son-in-law, Maggy and Andy, move into their new apartment in New York. After years of renting, they finally…

The Heartbreak of Truth

There is an old Jewish story about the young pupil who asks the respected rabbi a question about that well-known passage in Deuteronomy 6:6. “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart.” “Why is it this way?” the pupil asks. “Why are we told to put these words upon…

My Night in Sing Sing

On Monday night I sat in the most exciting, powerful and inspirational circle I’ve experienced in years. I was conversing with convicted felons at Sing Sing prison—homicide, armed robbery, drug dealing. We sat in a classroom, maybe fifteen of us from the “outside” and ten inmates. We had come to learn more about a program…

Of Groundhogs and Light

(We’ll get to Gobbler’s Knob in a moment.) Today—February 2nd—is a big turning point. It’s a great cross-quarter day, midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. In ancient, agricultural societies it was regarded as the beginning of spring—the time for first turning the soil in preparation for March planting. There were prayers and…