Red and Green

By Celia Coates Years ago I heard a simple story that I’d never heard before: Once upon a time there were two creatures, one red and one green, who lived in a forest near the top of a mountain.  They had lived there for centuries and even though Green was easy-going and liked peace and…

What Does Synergy Mean?

By Celia Coates In the headlines this week it was reported that a negotiator for Russia had offered to make a deal with the 2016 Presidential campaign, a deal to create something they called “political synergy.”  Originally synergy was a medical term and meant that the combined action of the physiological components – muscles, nerves, organs,…

What’s Real and What’s Not

By Celia Coates Perhaps the most famous reported case of bilocation occurred in 1774, when Saint Alphonsus de’ Liguori, then a bishop in southern Italy, celebrated Mass in the small village of Arienzo. After the liturgy, he fell into a prolonged spiritual trance, and his vicar-general told people not to disturb him. When he finally…

Fourth Grade Hero

By Richard Howland When Mrs. Parmelee sat up there behind that gigantic desk, tapping the point of her red pencil and looking out over the tops of those gold-rimmed glasses like that, we knew somebody was going to die. And the way Bobby Livingstone was staring down at his hands, lying there on top of…

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…