Practice: connecting to the self

Ropes tied in a knot

We've talked a lot so far about the theory and architecture of practice, so I think it's time to get into some specifics.  Here's one practice for connecting with parts of yourself that I use and teach frequently.Take a breath.  Notice your physical body.  How do you feel physically?  Do you have aches and pains?  Are you energized?  Tight or loose?  On an exhalation, let go of any tension or discomfort that doesn't serve you.  Then notice that you are a physical body, and you are something e … [Read more...]

Anne Lamott on finding time

Forest walk

This is one of my all-time favorite quick reads: Anne Lamott on finding time for what is important. I ask them, is there a eucalyptus grove at the end of their street, or a new exhibit at the art museum? An upcoming minus tide at the beach where the agates and tidepools are, or a great poet coming to the library soon? A pond where you can see so many turtles? A journal to fill?If so, what manic or compulsive hours will they give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or meander? Time … [Read more...]

Practicing Together #9

beech tree in winter

Hello, week!  Hello, practice.  Every Monday, we practice together.This past week, I noticed that my idea of what I need to do isn't always right.  I heard myself saying to several people this week "I need to do X, and Y, and Z, but there just isn't time."  This was true, so I didn't do X and Y and Z and it pretty much turned out okay.  Some of those are things that will eventually need to get done, and some of them are things that just don't need to make the cut.This coming week, I invit … [Read more...]



I stand in the snow, holding more snow in my palm.  Touched by the air, the sun, and my own vital heat, it melts, transforming from white into a glittering translucence.  My life, my aliveness, transforms it.  I hold it up and try to look through, but it is too slippery to keep hold of. *     *     * I breathe.  Beneath me, the earth breathes a thousand thousand times more slowly.  I lose track of my hands, my cheek on the grass, where the skin of my belly separates me from her body. *     *   … [Read more...]

Practicing Together #8

concrete blocks form a pattern

Ritual is important, so every Monday, we say hello and practice together.  This practice grew out of a practice I have been doing once a week with my friend Rachel for over a year now, and I find it so helpful to approach my week with intention instead of having it happen to me.This past week, I noticed that sometimes solving one thing makes other things feel more solvable.This coming week, I invite in the experience that there is plenty of time.  I have talked about time before in this s … [Read more...]

Bodywork and spiritual practice

Ali giving massage

Here's a Friday treat: an interview with my friend Ali Bourgault!  I met Ali, who is an amazing bodyworker, when she was doing massage work at a Pagan gathering, and I love the way she focuses on results and on empowering her clients to take charge of their own healing.  She lives in Massachusetts and is the owner of A Healing Vibration, where she specializes in creating personally tailored sessions with unique combinations of therapies.How does bodywork connect to your personal practice -- o … [Read more...]

Five one-minute practices


We're all busy.  Here are five practices you can do in 60 seconds or less, although many of them are also lovely if you have a bit more time.1. Presence: Take three deep breaths.  Pay attention to each one as fully as you can.2. Ground: Think about your feet.  Feel them on the ground.  (Stand up if you can.)  Notice that you are pushing down on the earth, and the earth is pushing back up on you, supporting you.3. Gratitude: Say thank you to the air or yourself or your gods for some … [Read more...]