Friday, December 16, 2016

There's No Need for Nones to be Grinches

Dr. Seuss, christmas stories, christmas traditions, nones and religion, nones
Navigating traditional holidays can be tricky for nones (those of us who check off none of the above when defining their religious affiliations or spiritual tribe), but it doesn’t need to be.

NOTE: If you’re a religious-ex, i.e. if you were born into a family that practiced an organized religion (be it Buddhism, Christiantiy, Judaism, or Islam), and you have come to see the limitations of said religion, the first few years of moving away from that mindset can be challenging. You might even find yourself feeling angry at anyone or anything that reminds you of what it is your working to separate yourself from.

Thankfully, that passes.

However, don’t let it preclude you from experiencing the joy of celebrations—drawn from traditional rituals—that ground the expression of your values.

Let’s take Christmas as an example. No one really knows the date of Jesus’s exact birth, if Jesus is in fact an historical figure. But pagans celebrated the Winter Solstice at the end of December, and it’s believed many of the rituals associated with those parties were adapted to Christianity. This is what humans do. We take what works from the past and carry it forward into the emerging order. So … to pick and choose whatever year-end rituals and traditions hold meaning for you is a perfectly legit way to go.

As each calendar year draws to a close, and the days become shorter, I find it to be a natural time to express gratitude, seek inspiration, contemplate life in greater depth, feast, and experience renewal.

Here are a few specific examples:

1. [GRATITUDE] Since 2007, on December 17th, Wreaths Across America has honored those veterans who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms. You can donate $15 to place a wreath on the grave of someone who gave their life for our country, and/or volunteer to attend the wreath placing ceremony at a cemetery near you where you can #SayThereNames. Since I didn’t serve in the military, nor has any of my immediate family, this is a great way to take action and say a deep and sincere thank you to those who do and have.
Honoring our Fallen, US Military Deaths, Attitude of Gratitude, the Power of Gratitude, Christmas Rituals
2. [RITUAL] Celebrate with an Evergreen tree: It’s not just a Christmas tradition. Egyptians, Romans, Druids, and Germans used a variety of greenery to symbolize the promise of Spring during the shortest and darkest days of the year. So no need to hold back on this one!—History of the Christmas Tree
Old Christmas Traditions and Rituals, Holiday Traditions Around the World
3. [MAKING WHAT’S OLD NEW] I love christmas music. I can’t help it, I always have and always will. I only listen to it in December, but I really only enjoy it in two specific ways:

  • Performed by contemporary artists. Have you heard Pentantonix’s Hallelujah, Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, Whitney Houston’s Do You Hear What I Hear, or one of my all time favorite versions of The Drummer Boy by Mary J. Blige?
  • A local live performance. I have snuck into Christmas Eve masses, attended tree-lighting ceremonies, wherever I can find the best christmas music in the city. Nothing beats the chills live music can give.
4. [THOUGHTFUL] There’s not a thing wrong with being thoughtful of those who guide you, help you, and/or just make you smile throughout the year. A card or simple gift will do. Make it a game and challenge yourself to be as thrifty and as creative as you can be.

5. [INSPIRATION] Schedule a binge watch of Peter Jackson’s movie adaption of J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic Good vs. Evil story, The Lord of the Rings. (Caveat: PLEASE do not RUIN the experience by watching any installments of The Hobbit! They will only make you weep!) If you're a true Tolkien fangirl or fanboy check out our J.R.R. Tolkien Epic Reads Group on Goodreads ...
Epic Fantasy, Cast, Crew, Movie, J. R. R. Tolkien, Best Shows to Binge watch
6. [CONTEMPLATION] During the week of December 25th to 31st, set aside some time each day to reflect on: the closing year; the story of your life up til now; what’s coming and/or what you hope will be coming in the upcoming year; and how you’re doing on this journey we call life.

7. [RENEWAL] Send New Year’s Cards. I don’t know if it’s because my Mother’s birthday was on January 1st or because I love new beginnings, probably both, but I just love New Year’s Day and love sending out New Year’s cards!

9. [FEAST] Enjoy a delicious decadent breakfast on December 31st! Once a year isn’t going to hurt you … Because on January 1, whether or not you “diet”, you’ll probably be more than ready for something totally “healthy” … bwahahahaha!
New Years Diet Resolutions, post holiday detox, holiday feasting
See. No matter who you are or what you believe, you can enjoy this end-of-the-year season which humanity has been celebrating since the beginning of time in one way or another!

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Mystical War Between Globalism and Populism

What is globalism? I came up with this definition: Corporate and political advocacy for bodies of global governance whose functional purpose is to secure the concentration of global capital in the hands of less than 1% of the world population, i.e …

Today Credit Suisse released its latest annual global wealth report, which traditionally lays out what is perhaps the biggest reason for the recent "anti-establishment" revulsion: an unprecedented concentration of wealth among a handful of people, as shown in its infamous global wealth pyramid …
global wealth report 2016
As Credit Suisse tantalizingly shows year after year, the number of people who control just shy of a majority of global net worth, or 45.6% of the roughly $255 trillion in household wealth, is declining progressively relative to the total population of the world, and in 2016 the number of people who are worth more than $1 million was just 33 million, roughly 0.7% of the world's population of adults. On the other end of the pyramid, some 3.5 billion adults had a net worth of less than $10,000, accounting for just about $6 trillion in household

Go here for a really detailed breakdown.


Okay, let’s move on to populism. If you do an internet search you quickly find many definitions of populism clearly colored by the person doing the defining.

For purpose of the coloring I’m doing, I’m going to pull the two most interesting definitions to me from the definitive Wikipedia. (That was a joke.) (Sort of.)

Classical Populism: espouses government by the people as a whole (that is to say, the masses). This is in contrast to aristocracy, synarchy or plutocracy, each of which is an ideology that espouse government by a small, privileged group above the masses.—Populism, Wikipedia

I chose this particular definition because it is in diametric opposition to my definition of globalism above, thus furthers my point.


And. Oh, I found this definition so interesting …

In the late 18th century, the French Revolution (1789-1799), though led by wealthy intellectuals, could also be described as a manifestation of populist sentiment against the elitist excesses and privileges of the Ancien RĂ©gime.
mysticism, divinity, french revolution, age of enlightenment, Isaac Newton
In France, the populist and nationalist picture was more mystical, metaphysical and literarian in nature. Historian Jules Michelet (sometimes called a populist) fused nationalism and populism by positing the people as a mystical unity who are the driving force of history in which the divinity finds its purpose. Michelet viewed history as a representation of the struggle between spirit and matter; he claims France has a special place because the French became a people through equality, liberty, and fraternity. Because of this, he believed, the French people can never be wrong. Michelet's ideas are not socialism or rational politics, and his populism always minimizes, or even masks, social class differences.—Populism, Wikipedia

Ahem. The bolded segments segue nicely into my own ruminations upon globalism vs. populism. Because, ultimately, there is a “presence” in the Universe. Whether or not you choose to call it god or not, whether or not you choose to practice an established religion or not, you cannot deny in LIFE, there is an animating force which is not you and it is not me. Yet it is within us in some way as long as we are alive. To me this is a fundamental reality which supersedes any government, nation, state, geopolitical reality, etc.

Do we serve our governments our nations our states … or do our governments our nations our states serve us, furthering the evolution of this animating LIFE force within us?
the evolution of man
The reasons I love the French and Michelet’s conception of populism are:

  1. The French Revolution (1789-1799) was birthed by the Age of Enlightenment (1715 to 1789) which was birthed by (among other things) the publication of Issac Newton’s Principia of Mathematica in 1687 (which I intend to further explore in another blog post), i.e. the advancement of knowledge (TRUTH’S MOVING POINT) itself destroyed the globalization efforts of the Catholic Church and the European Aristocracy. As long as they were in charge, your individual sacred LIFE, i.e. that LIFE animated by some mystical force over which the Pope and all the ecumenical hierarchy and monarchs had no control over—other than to arbitrarily quench it—was at stake. Literally, i.e. you could end up burning at the stake if you DISAGREED with their very self-serving ideologies regarding LIFE.
  2. It acknowledges the “animating force” we actually depend on for LIFE and locates it within the individual citizens of the state (and globe). Pesky, that reality.

It’s an interesting parallel: the aristocratic/ecumenical stranglehold upon global capital back then … and the corporate/technocratic stranglehold upon global capital today.

The problem seems to be: Bossy/greedy folks will invariably rise up using whatever platform/rhetoric will work to convince you, the individual, that they know what is best for you, even though they don’t know you at all.


In God’s Ecstasy, mathematician and philosopher Beatrice Bruteau, traces the evolution of Earth from “mostly minerals” through “chemistry turning into biology” and the biochemistry of bacteria who “are still the ones who run and regulate the planet” to the development of gametes (sex cells) …

Very fascinating stuff, evolution.

And it seems that LIFE favors:

Replication. The world of self-organizing beings evolves. They experiment with ways of interacting with their environments (both living and nonliving aspects) and the better ways are able to make more copies of themselves and become more prominent in the their populations.God's Ecstasy, Beatrice Bruteau

Novelty. Even better ways to find better ways are developed, better ways to evolve are evolved. It one long fascinating story of the creation of novelty.God's Ecstasy, Beatrice Bruteau

Responsiveness. Be-ing is essentially dynamic. To-exist is dynamic, not static.God's Ecstasy, Beatrice Bruteau

Viability. The new things build on the old things. And as the better working ones crowd out the poorer ones, the population as a whole comes to be characterized by the innovations. Those innovations then become part of the foundation on which the next round of innovations is built.God's Ecstasy, Beatrice Bruteau

Variety. We must not attempt to reduce everyone to one single kind, nor should any of us undertake to bring all of us to be like ourselves. Diversity and variation must be preserved, nurtured.God's Ecstasy, Beatrice Bruteau

Bodies of global governance which have a propensity to manifest as inert and sprawling bureaucracies/hierarchies can hardly be accused of promoting novelty, are largely unresponsive enforcers of static and meaningless regulations, tend to crush innovation in favor of old things, and are incapable of adapting to anything. They do seem capable of replicating … rules … and programs that require funding.
types of bureaucracy
Globalism almost by definition has a gnarly undercurrent of cleansing meaningful complexity at any and every level—including nation, state, and culture—in favor of instituting meaningless and obstructive detail in its place.

Hmmm …

It’s not surprising that the efforts of a few to inflict globalism/world domination upon a massive majority continues to fail. LIFE—the animating force—which—even with all the years we’ve spent on the planet—we’ve been unable to replicate—seems to say: THERE IS ANOTHER FORCE AT WORK HERE.

Inspirational … as to inspire is to breathe …
future predictions of the world
Whatever you want to call it … its very essence, which is oddly unpredictable and uncontrollable, thwarts the efforts of globalists again and again in organic and mysterious ways that are simply breathtaking to behold.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election as Story

The one thing we can all agree on today is: Thank gawd the U.S. presidential race is finally over!
November 8 2016
And the long-shot candidate won: Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.

Let’s be honest, whether or not you voted for the Donald, no one but the Donald thought he could win.

Keep Calm & Keep Campaigning

Sometime last year I caught a glimpse of his announcement to run, not sure exactly where or when I saw the clip, maybe on a treadmill at the gym, but my thought was: OMG! He’s riding down an escalator with his wife in an off-the-shoulder dress in the Mall of America.

What the heck is this country coming too?
trump tower
The next thing I remember seeing was the New Yorker's cover (July 27, 2015) of a bloated Trump diving into a pool. Again, I wasn’t really paying close attention.

At that point, the only thing that mattered to me was: #NeverBush and #NeverClinton. After all, we don’t do dynasties in the United States … Right?

In February of this year I discovered Diamond and Silk, the hosts of The Viewers View (VV) on youtube. Again, I don’t remember exactly how or exactly when I stumbled across them, but after one episode, I was hooked on their engaging, energetic, insightful, and humorous election analysis. As the year progressed and the election turned REALLY nasty, I relied on every VV episode to keep me sane.

Whatever was happening, those ladies made me think (rethink) and laugh out loud.
Anyway … the night before the election, after the Real Clear Politics average showed Trump ahead in: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio, I stared at the Seabiscuit poster in my office—1938, Seabiscuit Moves Ahead of War Admiral—and thought: OMG! Donald Trump is going to win because he’s moving ahead of Hillary Clinton in all these state polls and peaking at the right time.
Seabiscuit horse, seabiscuit facts
And whether you love or hate or are indifferent to Donald Trump, you have to admit this story, like Seabiscuit’s, is a uniquely American one. With everyone in “the establishment” against him, attacking him, and piling on, he just kept on campaigning.

No matter how much was thrown at him, he just kept on going.

I was astounded. I think we all were. I mean how many of us didn’t ask ourselves at least once during the campaign, How is he doing it? How does he keep going? Where does he get the energy?

I mean, the guy has a work ethic.

And his age!?!?!

Is it because he’s never had a drink of alcohol or smoked a cigarette? Or is the key ingredient to his Energizer Bunny ethos the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Big Macs?

Maybe beneath the spray-on/tanning booth suntan he possesses the faith of an Old Testament prophet.

I don’t have the answers. But as someone who long ago lost faith in both political parties and is a reliable fan of the underdog, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2016 Presidential Election as “story.” It’s an incredible one, and an incredible fighter won against incredible odds.
donald trump news, donald trump today
As Hillary Clinton quoted from the Bible in her concession speech: Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

Trump never lost heart.

And he never grew weary.

Now, if that was all there was to this story, you might call it inspiring but one-dimensional. Well, life is #NEVERONEDIMENSIONAL.

Going back to Seabiscuit's unlikely and inspiring win over War Admiral during the Great Depression, there were three critical players in that story: automobile entrepreneur Charles Howard, horse trainer Tom Smith, and jockey Red Pollard.

And the Donald—and his indefatigability—was not the only critical component in yesterday's historic upset.

The Relocated Trickster from Down Under

In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a Trickster is a character in a story (god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphisation), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour. —Wikipedia

Julian Assange, the Australian founder of Wikileaks, who will (apparently) live in perpetuity in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with a now-famous kitten, played the trickster in the story of the 2016 Presidential Election.

After throwing the Democratic National Convention into chaos by releasing hacked DNC emails on the eve of the convention, Wikileaks relentlessly dropped John Podesta’s (Clinton’s Campaign Chairman) emails on the American public through the remainder of the campaign—up until the final hour, when we learned the Clinton Foundation funded Chelsea’s extravagant wedding. Practically a minor revelation by that point.

I’m not going to recount all the bombs, they’re easily found all over the internet. Their effect: It became impossible to watch Hillary Clinton’s lips move without comparing the yawning gulf between what she professed with those moving lips and the pesky truths exposed in digitally preserved archives.

If that weren't enough, Assange’s interview with John Pilger, released on November 5 threw a great big wet blanket on the second Clinton’s grasp for power.
If you don’t have time to watch the 25 minute video, its two salient points:

As Secretary of State, the war in Libya was Hillary’s War. In overthrowing the Libyan government to advance her anticipated presidential campaign narrative, 40,000 lives were lost in Libya, and an international migrant crises was unleashed upon the globe.

Second point: United States international arms exports doubled in dollar value under Obama/Clinton. (This, while they attacked the constitutional right of their own citizens to bear arms.)

“If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth,”—Julian Assange

Poetic Justice

In 1994 Bill Clinton signed The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which “led directly to the destruction of African American families, had disastrous economic consequences and led to an escalation in the criminalization of young black boys and girls.”—Goldie Tayler, Daily Beast

In 1996, Hillary Clinton infamously used the term "super-predator" in defense of this bill.

For five decades, whenever a Democratic candidate won the White House, it was a reliable and largely monolithic Black vote that delivered the margin of victory. In 2008 and 2012, more Black Americans than ever came out for Barak Obama. In 2016, Hillary Clinton took their support for granted.

Analyzing county-by-county results for Tuesday’s election, it's clear that Black voters didn't turn out for Hillary. In flipped states, the margin of her loss was Black voters in urban areas.

Why weren't they with Her? Because they didn't like Her anymore than anyone else did, and the Obama Administration has never delivered to this key constituency.

An unlikely but extraordinary cast of characters.

What a story.

Diamond and Silk's Unity Message on Facebook:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Millennials & Nones Refuse to be Programmed

I confess, I'm intrigued by millennials. I'm even more intrigued by nones. I didn't know I was one—a none, not a millennial—until I discovered a "label" has been coined for people like me. (Nones are those who embrace "spirituality" while claiming no religious affiliation with Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any other organized religion.) So ... in this my second blog series on spirituality (the first being Sunburned), I'm going to be including more musings on nones, and how they might just be the crest of the wave of the 2nd Age of Enlightenment.

But today ... I'm just going to riff on voting since the United States 2016 presidential election is next month!

There are a lot of articles around the internet about non-voting millennials/nones.

The main question being: Why—aren't they voting?

Generation Y, Millennials, Nones
Could it possibly be because ...

They know it’s complicated.
They know life is not a soundbite.
They know the whole purpose of talking points is to manipulate.

Politics, okay, the world, is suffering from the application of “marketing strategies” designed to manipulate the target. Vote. Buy. Like. Follow. Sign up.

Millennials/nones recognize the shallowness, dodge the bullet, and avoid further invasive interaction at all costs.


Many (most?) millennials/nones grew up in divorced (let’s talk about being sick and tired of divisive rhetoric!), single parent, and/or blended families. Parents break the family vase (or simply never have one) and amazingly expect their children to look the other way.
Broken Home, Child Abuse, Child Neglect
Suck it up, Buttercup.

While I destroy your life, I’ll go out and fulfill mine. While you’re deprived of the basic nutritive ingredients upon which human-beings thrive: attention, security, and the savoring of a child’s unique history, we’re gonna focus on this stranger (new guy or gal) who's—guess what?—moving in with more strangers (kids). And we’re going to create this new family (vase).
Broken, Homes, Parental Alienation
What’s that stinky smell beneath the rug? The corpse of your first family—or just the corpse of your other parent, who after all, wasn’t up to snuff. Oh, well. We’ll just spritz it with some nifty lemon-scented air freshener. BECAUSE mommy and daddy are happy—and really!—that’s ALL THAT MATTERS, because we’re in charge. OF YOU.

Why would kids raised in that kind of environment buy into any system? Once a kid figures out the “family system” is a convenient ruse to gain buy-in without any/much/reciprocal investment or consideration on the parents’ part, it’s not a leap to extrapolate that equation to (any) (all) other systems.

Millennials/nones are self-protective. With good reason.

Ironically, as much as the human brain has been compared to a machine, and just as we get all swept up in the glamor and the “maybe it will fix-it-all or maybe it will destroy-it-all” siren song of artificial intelligence … Millennials/nones are refusing to be programmed.

By family—“It is for many almost [obvious] how difficult it is to pass religious passions from one generation to the next.”
By religion—“nones have outstripped the single largest religious group of Americans: Catholics, who are now 21 percent of the adult population. The next largest group, white evangelical Protestants, represent 16 percent.”
By politics—“the religiously unaffiliated is no voting bloc”

Droids, robots, can't do that, by the way.


Perhaps it will be the millennials/nones who tear down the media mind-meld-wall and envision/create a geo-political future beyond the banal-baiting marketing strategies which increasingly reign supreme around the globe. To its obvious detriment.

Will millennials/nones vote in the upcoming presidential election?

“They could have considerable impact on the political direction of the country but have so far chosen not to do so.”
2016 Presidential vote count
All quotes are excerpted from this RNS article: More ‘nones’ than you think, but many won’t show up on Election Day by Lauren Markoe

Quantum Physics Basics

Friday, September 23, 2016

Great News!


Isolt's Enchantment, The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales, and Beautiful Beautiful are available at! YAY! For years, we've been unable to offer Nook Readers free books—without going through a convoluted process which ... well ... I won't bore you with the details.

But this week, Barnes & Nobles has updated their policy and now Nook Readers can grab these amazing reads for free. (Android Readers they're available at GooglePlay, iPad & iPhone Readers they're available at Apple's iBooks store, Kindle Readers they're available at Amazon, Kobo Readers they're available in the Kobo store!)

Isolt's Enchantment is a prequel to Daughter of Light, although many readers enjoy reading it after they have read the first book in the trilogy, Half Faerie.

The slim novel is a collection of tales chronicling the historical events which have seeded the looming battle between Dark and Light in the enchanted world—the battle being the apocalyptic threat the eighteen-year-old Melia must face in her epic quest.

The tales are interwoven with the moving and inspiring story of Ryder's early years. An orphan adopted by the priests of Idonne, Ryder is determined to overcome his rootless past and safeguard the Whole from Umbra, a sinister consciousness dwelling in the Void.

Half Faerie and Half Mortal are currently available at all online book sellers.

War & Grace Update: I'm still cranking out the first draft of War & Grace. When I began writing this final book in the trilogy, I guesstimated it would be approximately 120,000 to 150,000 words. Well ... I've just passed 150,000 and have approximately seventeen more chapters to write! This book has been a huge challenge for me, and when I realized it was going to be bigger than either Half Faerie or Half Mortal, I freaked out! Should it have been published as a series rather than a trilogy? Bites nails. I turned to my trusted inspiration, The Lord of the Rings. How many total words were in that trilogy? Since you can find everything on the internet these days, I was able to find the exact word count of each LOtR installment at the LOTR Project:

Fellowship of the Ring: 188,000
The Two Towers: 157,000
The Return of the King: 137,000
Total: 482,000

I compared those word counts to the word counts in Daughter of Light:

Half Faerie: 120,000
Half Mortal: 150,000
War & Grace: 190,000 (yep!) (current estimate)
Total: 460,000

As far as word count, when compared to LOtR, DOL works as a trilogy! YAY! With that concern out of the way, revising my time schedule has been the remaining hurdle. As the story has taken some surprising turns, I've had to hunker down and accept: The first draft will be complete ... when the first draft is complete! I'll continue to post updates ... but please rest assured, I'm thrilled with the story up to this point and am committed to writing an enchanting, action-packed, and original end to Melia's story.

So ... Nook Readers, pick up a copy of Isolt's Enchantment for free!

The Girl Who Believed in Fairy Tales is a prelude to my Once Upon a Time Today collection. Throughout my life, many friends have said, "You should write a story about your life." Ugh, is pretty much how I feel whenever I hear that. However, I have loved fairy tales since I heard my first one as a child and have found them to be instructive, inspiring, and ... just plain great escapes. In TGWBFT, I share three specific times when fairy tales helped me navigate the dark woods of my own  psyche and helped me to: survive a wicked witch, transform overwhelming desire, and recognize that a duck trying to be a swan ... probably really isn't a bird at all!

Beautiful Beautiful is the first novella in the the Once Upon a Time Today collection.  OUTT are fairy tales retold as contemporary stories for "those who have already left home." In BB, a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairytale, Beautiful, a mother analyzes her own past experience and perspective on beauty as she spins extemporaneous bed time stories for her young daughter.

So why offer these books for free?

To allow readers a risk-free glimpse into my writing world!


Friday, August 12, 2016

We Are the Creation

We are the creation,
The creation unfolding,
Infinitely loved by the Divine. — Heidi Garrett

Beyond the cliches, platitudes, and other superficials spoutings on love, lies an experience of a type that surpasses verbal explication. This is the experience of which I will attempt to speak. The love that brightens our lives with ecstatic joy and sustains us when we are beyond reach of all else, in the abyss of despair. Every life claims such peaks and troughs of human existence.

And yet love never abandons us.

I’m in the midst of my first read-through of God’s Ecstasy by Beatrice Bruteau. I say my first read-through because this book is going to require a re-read, if not several re-reads. Bruteau is a mathematician and philosopher. She has a mastery of quantum theory that will remain forever beyond me, but it is her extrapolation of that understanding into a theology of “the creation” that has had my mind pinging around like a ball in a pinball machine for the past few months. I read a few paragraphs every day with breakfast and let them percolate. She's the first “theologian” (I use the term loosely to mean anyone who applies spiritual concepts to our experience) who has satisfied my longstanding disagreement with the “we are one” religions and philosophies. [We are one and many.] I love it. Doesn’t THAT have a ring of truth to it? Okay, I’m tangent-ing …

Last summer I began to consistently meditate again. I’d fallen off the bandwagon. As someone who doesn’t have tons of worldly attachments, loosening my spiritual ones has never really been a helpful thing in the long run. So last summer, when I began to realize something was missing from my life, I began consistently meditating again, often outside in my backyard. Among the grass and the trees, the wind and the bugs, the sky and the clouds, the wonderful fresh scent of it all … and I connected with an abundance of love that I don’t remember ever connecting with before.

Sometimes when I meditate I get eureka-type insights. I prefer to not write them down, because I have a strange (is it strange? I don’t know) belief that if the insights are valid they will endure … or rise again until I won’t forget them.

The insight I had on one of those summer nights beneath a full moon was that: We humans are incapable of unconditional love. I know! You laugh that I had to meditate to come to that realization. But this was a cellular understanding. Think about it … we’re all exhorted to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and told that “love conquers all” and, well, you know, “love means never having to say your sorry”. But who is supposed to do all this loving? Imperfect humans? We, who none of us have ever been loved perfectly or unconditionally, are supposed to expect ourselves to be perfectly and  unconditionally loving of others? We who learn by imitation?

Isn’t that a double bind? A demand that simply can’t be achieved?

So … what if we have it a bit wrong? What if all these exhortations, guilt trips, shamings, cajolings, to love one another perfectly and unconditionally are simply … misguided?

I think we do need unconditional love.

But maybe, just maybe, the answer isn’t an outside to outside connection. Maybe the answer is an inside to outside connection. Let’s just say you meditated, and in that meditation, you connected to a source within (What source within? That spark of divinity within us all … the spark I call the soul flame) … so let’s just say you meditated, and in the silence you were able to experience an infusion of unbounded love. Let’s just say, you did this, experienced this for 3 - 5 - 10 - 20 minutes every day, most days. And it was the most complete thorough experience you ever had of feeling perfectly and unconditionally loved. Like you didn’t have to hide even a speck of who you are. And you felt that unbounded love FOR every quark of your being and IN every quark of your being.

Mightn’t that alter the way you perceived, approached your day … and the people around you? Mightn’t you naturally (no pasted on fake sh*t here) smile at the next person who came across your path?


Would it create a lightening-strike transformation? Like, would you in one fell swoop be delivered from your old grumpy, irritated-irritating, distracted self?

Probably not.

But, what if … you meditated every day?

I'd like to re-quote a powerful message from one of the meditation articles I linked to in Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 4.

A Case for Meditation in Schools: Aguirre's conclusion to this opinion piece is quite powerful:

When we are able through meditation to take the time to love ourselves, we stop looking to the world for love and find it within. Through self-love and awareness, there is no longer a need to inflict your emotional pain upon others, as it becomes easier to view yourself in others, and realize that hurting others is hurting oneself.

I'd like to posit replacing the concept of experiencing self-love with the concept of experiencing the unconditional love of our creator ... the same creator that created the universe the galaxy the stars ... and loves it all.

Friday, July 8, 2016

We are Simultaneously One & Many

Like most of my fellow Americans, I find myself reeling from and grieving the shooting of Alton Sterling on Tuesday, Philando Castile on Wednesday, and 12 Dallas police officers, five who lost their lives: Brent Thomas, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa, on Thursday.

I don't have adequate words. But this morning, I listened to the live streaming of a prayer vigil held at Thanksgiving square in Dallas, TX. It helped me a lot to watch it. It helped me because it reminded me that as Americans we want a better reality for our shared lives and community than we have witnessed this past week.

As soon as I can find a video of the full interfaith prayer vigil online, I'll post it here. Here is a link to one of the speakers (there were many):

Yay! The 48-minute service has finally been posted on You Tube (highly recommended!) (please take the time to listen to the many voices of the entire service):

I have often griped about the failures and shortcomings of religion, but in the service today, the faith in a divine intelligence and the fruits of developing a relationship with that Source shines through, a transformational beacon of light.

I simply cannot abide to hear anymore divisive rhetoric. We must evolve beyond duality and non-duality. The way forward is embracing the reality that we are simultaneously one and many.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 17

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Since the foundation of the story is the evolution of consciousness, I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I really do believe it is all about evolving our consciousness—and meditation is one of the best ways to do that!

This week's links all have a "when the rubber hits the road" quality, i.e. this stuff really works in real life ... and you don't need to subscribe to any particular religion to reap the benefits!


Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant's Meditation Coach on How to be 'Flow Ready' and Get in the Zone: I highly recommend this long video. The time stamp appears to be wrong ... it says 18 + minutes but it's more like an hour. But Dan Harris's interview with with George Mumford is worth every minute.

How meditating in a tiny Iowa town helped me recover from war: A moving meditation transformation story.

Some are writing obituaries for American religion. Karen Tippet is documenting its revolution: Rethinking the sea change that's lapping at our collective shore ... Nones, SBNRs (Spiritual But Not Religious) ...

The Yoga of College Life: A fun trip through a (potentially mindful) day in the life of a college student.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 16

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Since the foundation of the story is the evolution of consciousness, I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I really do believe it is all about evolving our consciousness—and meditation is one of the best ways to do that!


DC's Catholic Archbishop: People ask me why religion matters today. I tell them we'd be a mess without it. Hmm. Not so fast. Religion has been both a positive and negative force in the evolution of humanity. Religious wars anyone?!? And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As much as I see myself as a "spiritual" person (and, yes, I do hate all the "baggage" people load that term up with, ahem) mathematics in the service of science has been the chief propellant of the largest leaps in human thought. Galileo was persecuted by the Church in the 1600s and Voltaire in the 1700s. Galileo was a mathematician, among other things. Remember he was the guy who said the world was round. Voltaire was a writer, who he had a love affair with Emile du Chatelet, who was, you guessed it, a mathematician, obsessed with Newton's Laws of Gravity, their mathematical underpinnings, and the truths those understandings expressed about the universe we live in. Their partnership resulted in Voltaire's scathing critiques of the French Monarchy and religion which ushered in the Age of Enlightenment and had him imprisoned or living as a fugitive for much of his life. Now, we're faced with the mathematics of quantum physics. I have no doubt that the future of human spirituality (for lack of a better term) is to expand beyond the limitations imposed by religion. Nones, SBNRs, etc. are the fragile buds breaking through to a new age of enlightenment.

Morgan Freeman & The Story of God: Okay, this link is dated! But I'm going to see if I can find this and watch it.

How to Feel Like you Went on Vacation by Meditating 15 Minutes: I like this article because it asserts the freedom that is meditation, i.e. there is no certain way it must be done!

KidSpirit Online Magazine: KidSpirit Online is a free teen magazine and website for kids that empowers 11-to-17-year olds everywhere to tackle life’s big questions.

Forget the Foosball Table. This Startup Office was Built for Meditation: Making it real, grounding it. Cool.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 15

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Since the foundation of the story is the evolution of consciousness, I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I really do believe it is all about evolving our consciousness—and meditation is one of the best ways to do that! The articles this week are great!


3 things you might not know about Nones: This is a GREAT article about Nones!

1. Many resisted religious labeling and, with it, the idea that, once set, religious beliefs, identities, and affiliations remain fixed over the course of a lifetime. Indeed, attention to the evolution of spiritual and religious identity, practice, and belief throughout life was a defining feature of Nones.

2. “I feel comfortable in a church for the most part, or in a Buddhist temple, or whatever, even if I don’t exactly believe what they believe. All religions have something good in them,” he acknowledged, “even the most small-minded of them. I like that. I like to be open to all of it.”

Such viewpoints mark Nones as very different from the Baby Boomer “generation of seekers” profiled by Wade Clark Roof (1993) in that they are not on an ongoing quest in hopes of finding one, lasting spiritual home. Rather, they enjoy the array of spiritual experiences available to them, and which they can create, in a more open and diverse spiritual environment.

3. ... New stories of spiritual and religious experience that both draw upon and move beyond traditional religious language are beginning to emerge. (See Talking the Talk)

Oh, yes.

The best place to meditate? At work: This is absolutely a great idea!

5 Ways That One Minute of Meditation Could Change Your Life: Great insights!

Goodbye Depression: I'm always seeking to share articles that bring something fresh to the discussion of meditation. This one does. The idea that depression is caused by repression rings true from my personal experience. And the solution: Dynamic Mediation certainly likes like something intriguing to experiment with!
A Blog Series About Spirituality

Friday, June 3, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 14

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Since the foundation of the story is the evolution of consciousness ...

Foundation: Consciousness is the purpose of the Whole.
In this regard, two fundamental principles exist:
1. A dynamic equilibrium sustains the metaphysical energies between the mortal and enchanted worlds;
2. The Whole forever seeks the conservation of psychic energy, e.g., consciousness.
Within this framework, the purpose of mortal life is to bring the soul’s essence to fulfillment. —Half Faerie, by Heidi Garrett

... considering how our human view of religion and spirituality has evolved over the centuries has helped me finesse the arc of this third and final book in the trilogy.

In the meantime,  I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I really do believe it is all about evolving our consciousness—and meditation is one of the best ways to do that! I try to keep things fresh and avoid repetitive articles.


Why Should You Meditate?: So you can embark upon your own epic journey & fearless transformation.

Meditation Beats Inflammation: This is a benefit I haven't specifically heard of before, but it totally makes sense to me.

"Inflammation is a common contributor and possible cause underlying all diseases, whether you are talking about heart, liver, kidney problems, obesity, or psychiatric disease,” says Dr. Daniel Lee, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center and School of Medicine. In general, when your mental energy takes too much from your physical energy, it puts your body in a state of deficit, and inflammation in the body occurs.

My exhausting meditation retreat—10 days of Vipassana, silence and spiders: He-he.

Why I'm teaching my 6-year-old to meditate: Really lovely piece. Strength. Power. Comfort.

A History of Spirituality in Santa Fe: This sounds like a totally fascinating read.

Meditating United Passenger accused of turning violent: Umm. When meditation doesn't work.

Pediatrician turns to meditation for kids: And ... when it does.

A Blog Series About Spirituality

Friday, May 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Half Faerie

The short & sweet conclusion:

"a mythical tale as appealing as it is impressive"Kirkus Reviews

The full Kirkus Review:


Heidi Garrett
(446 pp.)

$13.95 paperback, $4.99 e-book

August 13, 2014


A half-faerie teenager struggles to stop a malicious entity from destroying both the mortal and enchanted worlds in this YA fantasy.

Life as a half-faerie has never been easy for 18-year-old Melia. She and her sisters, Melusine and Plantine, were born to mortal druid Elynus and full-blooded faerie Pressina. But when Elynus broke the faerie troth by seeing his wife at childbirth, his family had to return to the Realm of Faerie in the enchanted world. The sisters can communicate telepathically, but Melia’s disturbed by her telepathic link to Elynus, which triggers visions of violence and death. The druid’s trying to incarnate Umbra, a sinister consciousness that needs a living vessel and whose emergence can destroy the Whole, encompassing all known realms. Elynus wants to reunite with Pressina but hints to Melia, who visits him in the mortal world, that Umbra will right the “horrible crimes” in Faerie. Melia’s determined to stop her father, but a sudden tragedy rattles her faerie household. At the same time, others hoping for an Umbra incarnation kidnap Plantine (a family secret explains why) and seek a sword and basin that together can lead Umbra to a vessel. Melia and friends, from spring faerie Flora to priest Ryder, set out to save Plantine and thwart Umbra. The tale is practically bursting with characters, all of whom Garrett (Half Mortal, 2015, etc.) skillfully molds into individual personalities. Flora, for one, is reputedly the last of the spring faeries, while 19-year-old Ryder is the same soothing green-eyed stranger from Melia’s visions. There’s an unmistakable villain—Plantine’s abductor, who plans on marrying Melia’s seemingly spellbound baby sister. Quite a few characters, however, are deliciously ambiguous, including Pressina, who dabbles in black magic, and Sevondi, a dragonwitch who may be bad but is also a scorned lover. Other mythical characters crop up, like dwarves and elves, and though the story’s primarily a rescue mission, simply reaching Plantine involves an arduous journey. The indelible ending resolves much of the plot while a lingering uneasiness aptly sets the groundwork for a subsequent volume.

Melia isn’t the only character who can carry her own series in a mythical tale as appealing as it is impressive.—Kirkus Reviews

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 13

While doing some research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light, I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality. The world I created in Daughter of Light, the Whole, draws on my (somewhat limited) understanding of quantum theory.  (I am no mathematician!) i.e. there is no Heaven or Hell, etc. in the Whole. The resolution of a mortal life is not judged with a standard of good or evil, right or wrong, but rather on the extent that consciousness has evolved and been integrated. Considering how our human view of religion and spirituality has evolved over the centuries has helped me finesse the arc of this third and final book in the trilogy.

In the meantime,  I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I really do believe it is all about evolving our consciousness—and meditation is one of the best ways to do that! The past few weeks, it's been tough to find articles worthy of sharing, but this week, I've found some great ones.


Mystic Mantra: Sanyas - Art of meditation: I appreciate much of the insights shared in this article, particularly this: "The life has not to be in any way renounced but transformed. Renunciation is escapism, it is cowardliness. Till now you have worshipped cowards as saints. You have worshipped people who were not courageous enough to accept all the challenges of life. And there are millions of challenges — every moment is challenging. The coward escapes."—Osho.

Now, as a guru, Osho is as flawed as any other spiritual leader, but at least, like Sri Aurobindo, he was intelligent enough, perhaps "in touch" enough, to throw off some of the tired dogma inherent in eastern "religion" that most prefer to call "philosophy" and discover/receive something unorthodox.

It baffles me when believers insist eastern philosophies/religions are far superior to western philosophy/religions. Really? They're both entrenched models that are as accurate as "The world is flat", i.e. when you're standing on the ground and looking about five feet in front of you, you might think that were you to just keep moving forward, one day you'd reach an edge ... and fall into oblivion! But when you're flying in outer space, planet Earth appears spherical. Hmmm. No matter what, the commonality between eastern and western religions is that bits of truth are littered with distortions, distortions we're still evolving to recognize. Zooming in, the texts are different, but when you zoom out, they're still filtered, canonized perceptions of the things we still really don't fully understand, like "What is the essence that animates us, and to what purpose?"

For whatever reason, we humans like to cling to our pasts, and that desire persists equally in the lifeboat of holy texts promulgating both eastern and western religions/philosophies.

Was that a rant? Possibly.

Deepak Chopra: Spirituality in Business is Profitable: Some folks decry the idea of secularizing spirituality but there really shouldn't even be a line between the two, should there?

How Spirituality helps us grow in a physical world?: Yes! We're multi-dimensional beings. Currently, I perceive a continuum of consciousness: awake in daily life, daydreaming in daily life, imagining in daily life, meditating in daily life, the dreams we experience while asleep, and asleep. So, I agree that the dreams we dream at night might be a reflection of the depth—or lack of depth—to which we've integrated our life experiences within in our consciousness.

Winner of teaching award says children benefit from yoga, meditation, and mindfulness: Hopeful.

Seeing Spirituality in Chimpanzees: I posted a link to an earlier article regarding this subject by a different writer a few weeks back (see Volume 9). Although King is a sceptic, I was thrilled to see her point to Donovan Schaefer's work, Religious Affects: Animality, Evolution, and Power, and that as a result of reading the book, she was willing to reconsider opening a door she'd previously closed. After all, opening a door we'd previously closed is something that an evolving consciousness demands from time to time.

A Blog Series About Spirituality

Friday, May 13, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 12

While doing some research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light, I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality. Daughter of Light is placed in a cosmology that is more quantum based and metaphysical, one that values the primacy of evolving consciousness. Although I've long known how Melia's journey would end, the nuances needed to be hashed out. Considering how our human view of religion and spirituality has evolved over the centuries helped me formulate the arc of this last installment, and now that I'm deep into the writing of the first draft, I'm getting really excited about it.

In the meantime,  I've been posting weekly links to meditation (& ecletic) spirituality things around the web ... because I believe it really is all about evolving our consciousness and meditation is one of the best ways to do that!


'Billions' Co-Creater Brian Koppelman on Why the Shows Main Characters Meditate: Take the time to listen to Dan Harris's 45-minute interview with Brian Koppelman. It's a great conversation comparing two popular types of meditation and ... the idea that meditation might not necessarily make you kinder but just might help you be "more of who you are".

This is Why Meditation Makes You Feel Better: And it has nothing to do with the opiod receptors in your brain! Love the definition of meditation: The mindful art of doing nothing but sitting still!

The Big Quiet is Bringing Meditate to the Masses: Did you make it to the meditation party in New York City's Central Park last year?

Silence is Golden: the art of meditation and inner stillness: Can't sit cross-legged? Sitting upright supported on a chair or lying on a comfortable surface is perfectly acceptable.

Is meditation better for you than exercise?: I'd rather do both.

How Running and Meditation Change the Brains of the Depressed: Like I said, both.

Deepak Chopra's Top 8 Meditation Tips: Yes, trying to stop your thoughts is a thought!

A Blog Series About Spirituality

Friday, May 6, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 11

Following up on Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality that I wrote while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light, I've been posting weekly links to meditation-stillness-(& ecletic) spirituality things around the web.


Ooom: Colleges turn to meditation to her you destress: it’s “self-directed” and costs nothing

The Baffling Appeal of Being "Spiritual but Not Religious": The baffling appeal of believing you can find God in a book ... or by joining ...  a group who believes you can find God in a book ...

Treat What You Love to Do as God: Violinist H. N. Baskar offers a refreshing perspective on things spiritual.

How Dreams Shaped the Evolution of Spirituality & Religion:  To the big dreamer and little dreamer in each of us.

Neurotheology helps settle relationship between spirituality, science: Cool. A new word. And a new way of understanding the connections between our reality and how we experience our reality; neurotheology: the scientific study of the neural correlates of religion or spiritual beliefs and practices.

No Texts, Please, We're Meditating: The door through which we may all enter and be welcomed.

Put meditation on the menu to boost weight loss success: I love the idea of using meditation in the treatment and prevention of childhood obesity.

A Blog Series About Spirituality

If you'd like to submit a link for a Friday post, please email me at Heidi _ g @ comcast . net, thanks!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 10

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Neither the book nor the series is about meditation, they're about consciousness ... and I suppose, a spirituality/worldview beyond the religions that are commonly practiced today. Anyway, because meditation is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to transform your consciousness, I enjoy sharing interesting links from around the web on the subject every Friday


How Meditation Increases Happiness: By elevating your baseline happiness level. Continue to page 2 for the animated video: Mindfulness is a Super Power.

Salesforce put a meditation room on every floor of its new tower: Because it's just a great idea.

5 Things You Need to Know About Ditching Perfection During Meditation: Because 'Meditation is about touching your authentic truth and learning to be ok with whatever arises and that is going to look different for each person.'

How Meditation Went Mainstream: A time capsule of meditation's rise in the West.

Meditation and Ballet Tied to Wisdom: Perhaps a mind-body connection is an intrinsic and necessary ballerina skill that lends itself to mindfulness?

How Life Changes After a Year of Meditation: Another meditation transformation ...

How Meditation Transformed This Entrepreneur's Approach to Work and Life: And another one ...

A Blog Series About Spirituality

If you'd like to submit a link for a Friday post, please email me at Heidi _ g @ comcast . net, thanks!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 9

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Neither the book nor the series is about meditation, they're about consciousness ... and I suppose, a spirituality/worldview beyond the religions that are commonly practiced today. Anyway, because meditation is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to transform your consciousness, I enjoy sharing interesting links from around the web on the subject every Friday


Use Mindfulness to Create Better Habits: By turning of autopilot.

Natural Living: The healing power of meditation: Keeping things simple.

Meditation for Kids: Which might better for those (ADD) kids in the long run? Medication ... or meditation?

Don't Just Lift, Get Lifted at SF's Newest Strength + Meditation Workout: What a great mix!

It's Brain Science: University Fights Binge Drinking With Meditation: Each year 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries ... Really?!?!? That is mind-boggling (no pun intended)! Are you in college? Would you take the challenge to live in a substance-free dorm?

How mindfulness meditation teaches children to manage their emotions: Again, the benefits of a few minutes a day isn't just for adults.

The images of chimps thrilled me: do they show evidence of spirituality in the wild?: Here is something to ponder ...

Goodall witnessed chimps performing a specific kind of swaying dance around large waterfalls, in thunderstorms, and during heavy rains. This dance suggests a sense of ceremony and appreciation of the natural world, which as Goodall speculates, might be “related to awe and wonder, that could lead to one of those early animistic religions where people worship water and sun and elements they can’t understand”.
A Blog Series About Spirituality

If you'd like to submit a link for a Friday post, please email me at Heidi _ g @ comcast . net, thanks!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 8

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Neither the book nor the series is about meditation, they are about consciousness ... and I suppose, a spirituality/worldview beyond the commonly accepted religions that claim our present world ... ummm ... attention and devotions. But ... so ... anyway, meditation IS a great way of experiencing, exploring, and evolving your own personal consciousness ... thus, I've been posting links to articles about meditation (and spirituality) from around the web every Friday.


Meditation not limited to Buddhist spirituality: I am not sure who Michelle Conover is (sorry!) but the salient point is: Many people of all faiths throughout the world meditate — even atheists.

Spiritual but not religious?: The highlight of this piece? I had no idea that "spiritual but not religious" had become an acronym: SBNR

Science finally proves that meditation helps make your body markedly less stressed: It's all about changes in the neural networks: Scans from the group that meditated showed greater measures of connectivity through parts of the brain associated with calmness and stress.

5 Ideal Yoga Destinations in India: Some of these were just added to my: To Visit Someday list!

Why Science is Ultimately Spiritual, and Vice Versa: This is the future. Period.

No matter where science and spirituality go, their ultimate unity is inescapable. That realization is likely to grow more powerful in the coming years, as physics and cosmology are taken to the very horizon of dimensionless being.

Why insurance should cover meditation: Yep. Uh-huh. Not just cost-effective, also life-effective.

Meditating on life: Getting down to the basics.

A Blog Series About Spirituality

If you'd like to submit a link for a Friday post, please email me at Heidi _ g @ comcast . net, thanks!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Meditation & Eclectic Spirituality, Volume 7

I wrote Sunburned: A Blog Series About Spirituality while doing research for War & Grace, the final installment in my epic fantasy trilogy Daughter of Light. Neither the book nor the series is about meditation, they are about consciousness ... and I suppose, a spirituality/worldview beyond the commonly accepted religions that claim our present world ... ummm ... attention and devotions. But ... so ... anyway, meditation IS a great way of experiencing, exploring, and evolving your own personal consciousness ... thus, I've been posting links to articles about meditation (and spirituality) from around the web every Friday.


What Can & Can't Be Taught: I totally agree: Meditation is deeply personal.

Neurobiological changes explain how mindfulness meditation improves health: Yet another study proves meditation actually ch-ch-changes your brain.

Mrs. Madhavi and the art of Meditation: If Mrs. Madhavi had been my geometry teacher, she would probably have been my favorite, too.

Calming the teenage mind in the classroom: Meditation is a life skill. Haven't we all, a decade or so out of school, moaned and groaned about how so many of the really important things just weren't taught in school? Teaching meditation to teenagers is great because it gives them a free, easily accessible approach to increasing their quality of life. Plus, most, all? religions have contemplative practices ... so ... why not?

Prison Yoga: Is Meditation the Cure for Recidivism: "Apparently there is a high demand for a higher consciousness. There is a one-year wait list for yoga classes at San Quentin, one of the largest prisons in the nation."

The Top 10 Cities for Meditation in The U.S.: Yes, I really have lived in two of them: Austin, TX & San Diego, CA. Yes, I began meditating when I lived in Austin ... all those years ago ... Coincidence?

mindfulness, meditation, yoga and the united states constitution: Just in case you were wondering ...

The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether moments of silence are constitutional, although they did strike down an Alabama law that required a mandatory moment of silence for meditation or voluntary prayer. After looking at the law's legistaltive history, and how it was implemented, the court decided that the Alabama statute didn't have a secular purpose.

Many States have enacted moment of silence laws, and some of them make moments of silence mandatory. Lower courts have held that neutrally crafted moments of silence statutes are constitutional and a number of constitiuonal scholars believe that the Supreme Court will agree.

Okey, dokey.
A Blog Series About Spirituality

If you'd like to submit a link for a Friday post, please email me at Heidi _ g @ comcast . net, thanks!