Yesterday was the conclusion of a nine month group I’ve been in to explore the layers of unfolding from conception, then, birth, to death.  We learn to walk, talk, relate, lead, and then how do we meet that final breath?

I found myself allowing the exhalation to explore as it let go, to be curious about my nooks and crannies.  How much could that precious breath touch before it released back into a wider world?  Of course in the world of non-duality there is no in and out though it may feel that way.  

What I know is that for some reason, I tend to hold onto breath, to keep a little in reserve, just in case.  It goes with my need to keep a supply of food, blankets, and books in the house, just in case, just in case, of what I might ask?

In this exploration of curiosity of just how much is happening inside this organ of skin I perceive of as “mine”, I came to a settling into ease and peace, an expansion of ah and awe.  A gift!

Last night I finished reading High Conflict by Amanda Ripley, a book I recommend as a way to soften the differences between us.  

Many of us read The Lord of the Flies when young, and may have been raised on survival of the fittest, a philosophy now disproved as more and more we see interconnection and the essential need for communication as we each fulfill our niche.  

We may have feared the chaos, cruelty, and violence in Lord of the Flies, but there is another story.  In 1965 a group of boys were shipwrecked on a remote Polynesian island.  Rutger Bregman in his book Humankind describes how the boys hollowed out tree trunks to catch rainwater.  They worked in pairs, drawing up a schedule of chores for gardening, cooking and guard duty.  They started a fire and kept it going for 15 months until they were rescued.

How did they do this?  They created rituals.  When there was a conflict between two of them, each boy would go to the opposite ends of the island to calm down.   They made a guitar out of a piece of driftwood, a coconut shell, and six steel wires scavenged out of the ruins of their boat.  They started each day with songs and prayers.

We can change the story.  We can listen to each other and feed back a loop, a response, that shows we have received the other and what they are saying.  We all want to be heard.   

We’ve been living in a world getting more and  more divided, when, at heart, we all want the same things – family, friends, connection, clean air and food, and space in which to breathe.  

May we extend each breath, inviting it further in, and allowing it to reach further out, as we connect our intention by massaging our hearts.


This morning I was out watering at a time in the summer it would be light but instead the darkness was lit by the moon and stars. All was quiet and still, and for some reason, Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence moved through me.

My cat Bella is now on antibiotics and eating a few bites, but in my worry I’ve been with the words that complete the poem “In Blackwater Woods” written by the late Mary Oliver. 

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.

Recently I learned that the strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue.  This tells us why we must be so careful with our words, words we say to ourselves and to  others.

And now, be with The Sound of Silence!