Friday, July 20, 2007

Prayer for America

Years ago, in my work running groups, I discovered an important principle. This has sometimes been described as 'Begin with the end in mind". In my case, the end that I reached for was a feeling-tone, not a specific accomplishment, but a spiritual sense, a vision.

I asked myself... How do I want us to feel at the end of this group...or even at the end of this meeting? Hopeful? A sense of unlimited possibilities? Respect? Understanding? A confidence in each other, even a tenderness toward each other? Each group is different, yet each contains unlimited possibility.

Once I had a clarity about the feeling-tone I was aiming for, everything else easily fell into place. Planning was effortless, the details almost seeming to arrange themselves. I could rephrase this method as "Begin with the healing-tone in mind".

This morning I found myself applying the same test to an issue that has troubled me greatly - my country, America, its leaders and media obsessed with terrorism, seemingly having lost its moral compass in the world.

How do I want my country to feel? What feeling-tone for the people in my country? What kind of leadership-tone to aim for as we head into the next election?

I want my America to feel vibrant, hopeful, creative, powerful, generous, inspiring. Unafraid of difference - indeed, appreciative and respectful of the wonderfully diverse human qualities and traditions on earth. An America that is unafraid to join with others to create a future worth living for - a future that allows for the never-ending unfoldment and diversity of life on earth.

This is my prayer on a morning in July.

With love,


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bill McDannell's walk

I continue to be moved by the example of Bill McDannell and his wife Jonna in their walk across America to deliver a petition to Congress end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sometimes just up and doing the one thing you can do, whatever it is, is enough to tip the balance toward justice. Toward that more perfect Union we know is possible, the real promise of America.
Bill is a former Methodist minister, Vietnam vet, and lifelong Republican who has simply had enough. He and Jonna sold their home in California, bought an old camper, and began a Walk to End the Wars. The journey is chronicled in Bill's daily Journal in
Basically, Bill walks, and Jonna drives the camper which includes their two dogs, Finn and Spoof. She drives ahead some miles and he walks to join her. He rests, then they repeat the process. If he is invited to speak somewhere, he does, then returns to continue walking to where he left off. They stay in campgrounds. Sometimes friends they meet may offer an overnight plug-in and water in their driveway. As of today, they have made it more than halfway through Ohio.
Bill took this photo of his shadow on some dunes while walking. When I saw it posted on the website, I thought it would make a great t-shirt design, so I formatted it with text and background color. Theresa Bescher who manages the Cafepress function for the walk, took the graphic and voila! A whole bunch of shirts and cards and things you can buy with this image on them. I'm impressed. I bought some cards and a t-shirt. I'm going to wear that shirt with pride. To see the Cafepress shop and what is available, go to . 20% of the cost of items purchased goes directly toward the Walk. Donations of any kind are needed and most appreciated.
Not all of us have legs that can do this kind of walking, and that includes me. But we all can do something. What that something is, we have to listen and trust our inner guidance to show us. I can write and make graphics. I can pray and ponder deeply, until I reach that point of clarity and sweet relief that is the sign of Spirit, of blessing. And from there I will know the next good thing to do.
Life is a journey, whether feeling our way by foot or by heart. Let us each find the hidden path where the human life and the soul life can beat as one.
With love,

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live Earthquake

I watched Live Earth on computer and later on TV. I was simply blown away by the event. Coming of age in the Sixties, I remember Woodstock, and though I wasn't there, the ripples of that event got the attention of my generation in the way Live Earth will speak to the generation that is now coming of age - across the globe.

It wasn't just the music, but the sheer magnitude of the day - with simultaneous concerts across the globe, the clear message of environmental urgency, the sheer cultural richness of it all, the huge stadium-filling crowds, the intimacy of the internet as I hopped via keyboard from continent to continent, savoring the crowds as much as the performances.

Sure there was trash and excess, same as any ballgame. But there was no violence. And lots of hope, lots of awareness of the common breath of humanity we all must share. I predict the ripples from this event will stir the next generation like nothing that has been seen before. You just have to know what you're looking at.