Mindful lessons from buddhists

horseshoe

“Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible. We all wish for world peace, but world peace will never be acheived unless we first establish peace within our own minds. We can send so-called ‘peacekeeping forces’ into areas of conflict, but peace cannot be oppossed from the outside with guns. Only by creating peace within our own mind and helping others to do the same can we hope to achieve peace in this world.” – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

The first buddhist I remember meeting went by the name of Rinzin. He wrapped himself in a red robe, had a shaved head and sparkling blue eyes. It’s hard to explain what captivated me so much in those eyes, except to say that it felt like I could see water flowing through them, a trickling stream. There had been flyers for “guided meditation” around the Language Arts building and campus where I regularly walked. One day a friend and I decided to see for ourselves the benefits of this meditation everyone spoke of.

Continue reading

Seattle in the rain

In May 2015, I moved from Arizona’s sunniest city to Seattle, Washington. As a perfect summer in Seattle progressed, my worry about the sure to be coming onslaught of rain and dreary winter increased. I likened it to the thought my time waiting for winter in Germany, when I lived on the Eastern side of the country, just a quick skip to the border of the Czech Republic. I wasn’t sure what to expect there, I had never experienced a place where the sun would disappear completely for weeks or months on end, the sky turning into clouds, rain and snow. Continue reading

Could you give us a lift?

GalwayTourBus

County Clare, Ireland – Wednesday, September 2010 

“I won’t be giving you a ride deary, but I’m happy to give you a lift!”  I blushed, immediately realizing what I had just said to the older gentleman bus driver. He was about 5’5 with sparkling blue eyes and wirey gray hair. He had a sharp twinkle in his eye. The passengers of the Galway Tours bus made their way back onto the bus we stood before, the wind was just picking up around the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland.

Continue reading

How do you embrace diversity?

Fellow Study Abroad Students at Bamberg - Schloss Seehof

Fellow Study Abroad Students at Bamberg – Schloss Seehof

I was lucky enough to see a very inspiring man speak last year at a conference, you may remember – I talk about it HERE . “Normal?” He pleaded, “who wants to be normal?” His presentation began with a slide picturing three upside-down bats. “Look outside the box, what do hanging bats look like if you flip over the picture?” “They look like some saucy vampire dance scene set in New York City.” The man giving the presentation was Seth Godin.

“Show up different, treat different people differently, you will get a different response,” he emphasized. Continue reading

Life, this incredible ride

You know you're close to Seattle when ...

You know you’re close to Seattle when …

One sunny Thursday a few weeks ago Brent called me, just as I was heading into the office. “So… EBR shut down, for good,” he said. I could hear the uncertainty on his lips, as if the impossible had just come crashing around him. His dream job had disappeared out from under his feet, over night.

Continue reading

The Hills Do Have Eyes! – Adventure To Big Eye Mine Cabin

Jeep Wrangler Arizona Big Eye Mine Cabin

 

From the passenger seat I watched the front right tire of the jeep roll up, and twist over a big rock in the trail. In the shiny, black metal I could see the reflected red hued mountains in the distance along the desert trail, wrapped up in the endless, clear blue sky above.  Our friends followed along in an older little vehicle, their windows down, in awe at the Jeep crawling over the rocks, flexing and bending over the washed out parts of the road. It would go anywhere. It also made a big spectacle of everything it went over, a nimble black widow scampering across its web on long, nimble legs. Their little vehicle, sporting brand new little tires lightly rolled right over the same obstacle with much less of a show. The wind whistled between the cactus spines along the trail before us.

Continue reading

If you could permanently get rid of one worry, what would it be?

BooksBambergcopyright

I am the “zen” one. I have an amazing ability to be calm and relaxed when the world is crashing around me. Sometimes it might seem like I’m always calm and worry free. But that is not always the case, I do have worries and struggles, I just don’t let anyone on to them, it shouldn’t be their worry. But I worry about money, a lot. I think a lot of Americans do.

Continue reading

Where do I find my voice?

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 10.21.01 PM

Sometimes I feel that I left my voice in graduate school. Perhaps I left it behind when I learned the German language. I wouldn’t say that I found my voice on my blog, though. My voice was found through four years of school in creative writing classes, and studying abroad in Germany where professors were not shy is saying, “no… that doesn’t work,” or “no, that doesn’t make sense.” A seemingly forbidden saying here in the United States because we so often dance around student’s feelings.

Continue reading