Two Stories About Ants

By Celia Coates This has been an up then down week in America filled first with highs – love, honor, and gratitude in the farewells to Aretha Franklin and John McCain – followed by a return to the on-going lows of chaos and selfishness.  I had to step aside from the dark torrent of breaking…

What Is Service?

By Celia Coates I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I woke and saw that life was service. I acted, and behold, Service was joy. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) This is one of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore’s best-known poems. It is lovely and deceptively simple, an easy read as a kind of lyrical haiku. But…

How To Choose Your Prince – Or Princess

Some of the best advice about how to make a good marital choice is in a children’s book published in 1967: PICKLE-CHIFFON PIE. It’s not like the usual sources of wisdom, but wise it is. Jolly Roger Bradfield is both the author of this book’s clever words and the artist who created its goofy, lively, charming…

LEARNING TO HATE …

NEW SCIENTIST is one of my favorite magazines and more than one WINN post has included research found on its pages. The first one, two years ago, presented a charming discovery that involved diversity and cooperation in the natural world. Researchers had found that “a crab, a shrimp and a fish” had teamed up for their…

Good Lessons

Last week I read this statement by a Shoshone elder: “Do not begrudge the white man his presence on the land. Though he doesn’t know it yet, he has come here to learn from us.”  It’s from a book by Kent Nerburn  – VOICES IN THE STONES: Life Lessons From The Native Way– and it reminded…

Wisdom And Oliver Sacks

By Randolph Fiery Neurologist Oliver Sacks’ book, HALLUCINATIONS, was published in 2012. I really enjoyed reading it and I decided to send him an e-mail about my experiences with my grandfather’s hallucinations. Several days later I received a letter from Dr. Sacks – hand written with a fountain pen. He told me that he was…

In A Different Light

A few weeks ago a dear friend told me a story that a friend had told him. Here is an account of what he heard Robert McNamara say: “Robert McNamara described a personal experience that Lyndon Baines Johnson had that taught the President what life can be like for people who are the targets of…

Practicing Compassion

By Craig Hase There are many benefits that come with the practice of mindfulness meditation.  Here is an account of my favorite empirically validated benefit – love. Yes, love. No, not that sappy, sugar coated, fickle, inconstant moon type of pop-song teenage love. Love as a stance. Love as practice. Or, as psychoanalyst Erich Fromm…

How Things Work Out

Sometimes it seems as though there’s just no way to get what we need – or want. With today’s headlines, it’s certainly hard to see how things will turn out okay for us, our country, and our world. But then there are stories like the one my daughter told me this week. She lives in…

The Eight Social Sins

Three months before he was assassinated in 1947, Gandhi gave his grandson a list of seven social sins: Wealth without Work Pleasure without Conscience Knowledge without Character Commerce without Morality Science without Humanity Religion without Sacrifice Politics without Principle The list was originally published in 1925 in Gandhi’s newspaper, YOUNG INDIA, and although it is…

A Caring Mindset

“Don’t let yourself be a fake person by treating those around you as if they don’t matter.”  That was an unexpected sentence to find in the business book I’d just picked up in an airport gift shop. I don’t usually browse in the business section, but the only other choice was a display of publications…

Mr. T. H.

Mystics, saints, and sages know that living with compassion is of enormous value. And so do many people who visit “heaven” because of a Near Death Experience and who return with descriptions of a dimension filled with warm welcome, kindness, and love. We are caught in a culture that does not put these generous qualities on…