Monday, October 11, 2010


As the seasons change, I think of possible influences that war, hatred, politics and climate change will have on our planet in the coming year. I wonder why it is that we are often occluded to each other's humanity? Why do we notice the differences between us but not the similarities which by far, out-number the differences? I am reminded of the essay by the late Carl Sagan called, "Pale Blue Dot". I am reprinting it here as a reflection on the only world we know.

Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Nature: Beauty, Power, Mercy

It’s that time of year when Nature is resplendent with her beauty and her power. For me, appreciating her beauty goes along with respecting her power. In Upstate New York and New England, we have been having thunder storms. Seeing them, I am in touch with how very small I am in comparison. I contemplate the meaning of mercy.

This post is just a reminder to all to practice safety as we enjoy the bounty of Nature. This means staying hydrated, wearing sun block, checking ourselves for ticks and exercising caution when there is a chance of thunder storms. Below is an excerpt from the most recent newsletter for the "Adirondack Mountain Club “.


UNSAFE SHELTER AREAS include all outdoor metal objects, like power poles, fences and gates, high mast light poles, metal bleachers, electrical equipment, mowing and road machinery. AVOID solitary trees. AVOID water. AVOID open fields. AVOID high ground and caves.

4. Lightning's distance from you is easy to calculate: If you hear thunder, the associated lightning is within audible range ... about 6-8 miles away. The distance from Strike A to Strike B also can be 6-8 miles. Suspend activities, allowing sufficient time to get to shelter. Of course, different distances to safety will determine different times to suspend activities. A good lightning safety motto is: If you can see it (lightning), flee it; if you can hear it (thunder), clear it.
The 30/30 Rule says to shut down when lightning is six miles away. Use a "flash to bang" (lightning to thunder) count of five seconds equals one mile (10 = 2 miles; 20 = 4 miles; 30 = 6 miles).

5. If you feel your hair standing on end, and/or hear "crackling noises," you are in lightning's electric field. If caught outside during close-in lightning, immediately remove metal objects (including baseball cap), place your feet together, duck your head, and crouch down low in baseball catcher's stance with hands on knees.

6. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes from the last observed lightning or thunder before resuming activities. Be extra cautious during this phase as the storm may not be over.

7. People who have been struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to handle. Apply first aid immediately if you are qualified to do so. Get emergency help promptly.


Adirondack Mountain Club website:

National Weather Service website:

Center for Disease Control website:

Mayo Clinic website:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Remains

(special thanks to Lisa who formatted this text for me)

The Remains

Last night I had another dream about you
In my dreams
I have no memory of your death
I have no judgement of your life
In my dreams you're just there
being you -
watching me, being me, watching you.

In every spiritual tradition I know there is a concept
of something within us that survives
after the flesh dissolves
It is the essence of is-ness
It is the pure awareness that is consciousness
it is the soul of a being -
the light that returns to its source.

It can not be found
because it is everywhere
in everything and
I did not know for sure it existed
until I saw it in you.

I saw that “something”
grow brighter and brighter
as I watched you fade away physically
as you flowed into silence and stillness -
as you accepted the Eucharist of surrender.

Two weeks earlier
coming out of unconsciousness
you looked at me and asked if you were going to survive.
“Am I going to make it?” you wanted to know
I promised you
that no one had given up
on your healing -
and you smiled with your hopes intact.

You were and are my sister
My other self
the self I never was
the self I never knew
the self that rescued me
from expectations I could not fulfil.
You were and are my sister -
A mirror, a constant companion, a constant teacher, a constant antagonist.

One year after your death - your transition
I want to believe that light remains
and that It survives in all things because
it is at the heart of creation -
not in the past but in the now.

It unites us in my dreams,
I have dreamed about our childhood;
I have dreamed about our laughter;
I have dreamed about our aging;
I have dreamed about our struggles -

and I never dreamed I would survive you.

Written for Andie...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Revelation - Saint Lucia - CMEX

It occurs to me that my interest in spirituality is based on a deep desire to be fully present in my life, to perpetually find joy and grace in all of my experiences. This is what some call “bliss” or “enlightenment”. It is a delicious state of consciousness and being to which the mystic aspires.

Knowledge stored in ancient spiritual texts combined with the expansion of consciousness that occurs during meditation put our feet firmly on the path to this enlightenment. Time spent in solitude can bring us closer to the experience of being 'one' with creation.

I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in Saint Lucia, West Indies at a Caribbean Media Exchange conference on “Sustainable Tourism”. Saint Lucia is a beautiful island with warm and friendly people. I was awe-struck, from the lush, ancient rain forest to the modern resorts architecturally designed to blend into the ecology. The representatives of the island whom I met had a passion for the land that showed in their commitment to sustainable farming and eco-tourism. The conference schedule left little time for reading my sacred books and I did not do my regular meditations. There were so many people interested in talking with me that I found it difficult to be in solitude even for a few moments.

It was on this exquisite and beautiful island that I had a revelation. Looking out at the clear, blue ocean with the mountains all around me and feeling the sun pouring over my skin, I realized that I need to incorporate this kind of activity into my life on a more regular basis.
I realized that every once in a while, I need to get my head out of the spiritual texts, open my eyes from meditation, come away from my solitude and truly experience the glorious creation of Almighty God.

1. St. Lucia Ministry of Tourism -
2. Caribbean Media Exchange -
3. Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain -
4. Coco Palm -
5. Hotel Chocolat -
6. Indigenous Environmental Network -
1. The Pitons, St. Lucia, West Indies
2. Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia
3. "Inside" the Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy 75th Birthday to Carl Sagen !

Ann Druyan, the wife and long-time partner of Carl Sagan often said that Science is as spiritual as any religion. What it lacks is good music. John Boswell may have created the first "scientific hymn". In this video called, "A Glorious Dawn", he pays tribute to Sagan. I think it's a wonderful blend of science, art and creative license. Druyan could have stopped the video with a threat of copyright infringement but did not. Instead, she praises Boswell and says that Carl Sagan would have loved it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Possibilities of Time Travel?

Although Einstein's theory of Special Relativity shows that time is relative and travel is theoretically possible, in the physical world is believed to be impossible because in would require a velocity greater than the speed of light to achieve.

As a particle approaches the speed of light, the effects of gravity on its mass would make it too heavy for any known force to enable it to continue to accelerate. Actually, we experience time travel continuously but only in one direction –forward.

So this applies to particles with mass. Thought consciousness, presumably has no mass so is it possible, at least in theory, for our consciousness to experience time travel into the past? Mystics through the ages have reported an ability to move through time. This is even hinted at in the Sci-Fi show, “Lost”.

Here’s an interesting article about a real-world attempt to build a Flux Capacitor for time travel.
The popular film, "Back to the Future" was based on this idea. Any rocket scientists out there?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

…and now a disclaimer:
This is a somewhat difficult subject for me to pursue. I am not a scientist but I am a strong advocate for science. Much of the science is over my head and certainly most of the math is way over my head.

So my approach here is more philosophical and spiritual than scientific. Therein, lies the rub: How does one negotiate the intersection of science and spirituality? Is there even an intersection? I’ve heard it said that science attempts to answer the questions what and how whereas spirituality attempts to answer the questions why and who. In this blog, I am exploring the possibilities or the questions about if.