Hold It All

Month: October, 2012

Dipa Ma

We are so fortunate to be alive at this time, so many teachers to learn with and from.

Here’s one: Dipa Ma who was born in East Bengal, lived for years in Burma, and spent her last years in Calcutta. Several American teachers were greatly inspired and influenced by her, such as Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield.

A book worth meditating on is by Amy Schmidt, entitled, Dipa Ma: The Life and Teachings of a Buddhist Master;  here are a couple short anecdotesI’ve adapted from her students, which I think you’ll appreciate! Read the rest of this entry »


SLU is Tony Albrecht (Law, 2009)
SLU is Josh Aranda (A & S, 2009)
SLU is Laura Aranda (A & S, 2010)
SLU is 783 Facebook friends
SLU is 14 years of life
SLU is 50-something courses I facilitated/animated
SLU is all the surrounding cafés (6 North Coffee, Laclede Coffee, Cafe Ventana, Na-Doz)
SLU is Fr. Biondi Read the rest of this entry »

A Poem by Li Ch’ing-chao (Lǐ Qīngzhào)

Autumn Love
“A Weary Song to a Slow Sad Tune”

Search. Search. Seek. Seek.
Cold. Cold. Clear. Clear.
Sorrow. Sorrow. Pain. Pain.
Hot flashes. Sudden chills.
Stabbing pains. Slow agonies.
I can find no peace. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Mark

Dear Mark,

Here is my reflection of Dear Layla, I thought at first that I should apologize for the scatter-brained style of writing I’m sure this letter will take. Then I thought, he probably doesn’t mind. So here it is, as it is, in my head.

When you sent me the pdf of Dear Layla I could not wait to read it. After reading The Book of Mev, hearing you speak, drinking coffee with you. I knew it was going to be good. Little thoughts here and there, ideas from different points in time, people met at different places. Somehow beautifully put together to create this one incredible story.

I read Dear Layla in less than 24 hours. And by that I mean I started the moment it arrived in my facebook inbox, and kept reading until my eyes really couldn’t stay open anymore. Then I picked it up again the next day, and read until I was already a few minutes late to class and I remembered we’d be reviewing for our midterm so I should probably go. Then I ran home from class to make myself a sandwich before the next one, only to forget the bread in the toaster because I was too busy reading. Read the rest of this entry »

A Poem by Charles Reznikoff

My grandmother in her old age
Sold barley and groats at a stall
In the market place. She did not measure her cereal
More carefully
Than I must minutes.

The Poems Of Charles Reznikoff: 1918-1975


Community, Liberation, and Resistance: An Evening with Carolyn Griffeth

At our next Share the Wealth gathering, Carolyn Griffeth, a long-time member of the Kabot House Community, will lead a discussion connecting personal liberation and public resistance.   She will invite us to explore the questions: What is the connection between our inward movements towards wholeness and becoming agents of social change?  Do we need to resist to reclaim our power?

Join us Sunday 4 November.
Potluck begins at 6:00 p.m.
Carolyn begins sharing at 6:45.
At the home of Mark and Joanie
4514 Chouteau Avenue (63110).


Carolyn Griffeth

Now/here Man

You said, “I don’t seem to fit anywhere”
I can relate to that—
Fourteen years teaching at the university as a statusless adjunct
No tenure
No bulging curriculum vitae full of books, articles, papers, conferences, grants and all the signs, tokens and rewards of playing by the game with brio

People we know make references to heady, intellectual, FIVE types
I know they mean me Read the rest of this entry »


This morning, we shared the following  reflection after meditation.

Someone asked Thich Nhat Hanh: “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader with the ability and the knowledge to truly transform the world into a place of peace and cooperation. Will we ever have such a leader again?”

His response: “Martin Luther King, Jr. is still here. There are among us more than one Dr. King; there is continuation.  But we have to be very observant in order to be able to recognize his or her presence and offer our support and our help. Often, we feel that we need a leader outside of ourselves—a Buddha, a Gandhi, or a Martin Luther King, Jr.—to show the way. But we have the Buddha inside of us. We have Gandhi and King inside of us as well. We are interconnected. We don’t need to wait for some other person to be the change we want to see in the world.”

Share the Wealth with Chris Wallach: Experiments in Mindfulness

“Breathing with full awareness helps our mind stop wandering in confused, never-ending thoughts.”
–Thích Nhất Hạnh


Chris Wallach will share her experience of mindfulness and her initiatives to incorporate mindfulness at New City School, where she has taught first-grade children for many years. Please invite anyone who works (and plays) with children & adults to join us!

Sunday 28 October
Potluck begins at 6:00 pm
Chris begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Mark & Joanie
4514 Chouteau Avenue (63110)

In touch with the sunshine, I breathe in.
Smiling with the sunshine, I breathe out.

–Thích Nhất Hạnh


Thở vào biết thở vào
Thở ra biết thở ra
Hơi thở vào đã sâu
Hơi thở ra đã chậm
Thở vào tôi thấy khỏe
Thở ra tôi thấy nhẹ
Thở vào tâm tĩnh lặng
Thở ra miệng mỉm cười
An trú trong hiện tại
Giây phút đẹp tuyệt vời


–Thích Nhất Hạnh

Plum Village flower
Plum Village