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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Mojo Gathers Momentum

This was not originally a poem. It was a summary of the past year and the struggle to find a new space where I could create and be fully present. It all began in Oakland about this time last year and has grown with each ensuing day.

It just happened–

I let go

Spoke without anger–

A sadness;

For what is lost.

Stared into the abyss–

Sat with unformed questions


The darkness;

The incompleteness.

Took stock

Looked inwards–

Accepted extended hands

Discarded baggage

Walked towards the light.

Mojo gained momentum–

Sprung up in a creative space

Simple presence

Live my truth;

With each moment’s question.


Have you ever just woke and let the day unfold and reveal its mystery?

Leaf And Twig

the sun will unveil
today’s mystery and magic.

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Do Pigs Have Udders?

I had some serious fun today with students. I was alone which is not the norm, but, on short notice, the parent helper could not make it. It is extra demanding on those days where I learn alone with the kids, but it is, many times, the  most interesting times. While I was away a most interesting question came up: “Do pigs have udders?” Apparently, this was a hotly debated topic and it was brought up again today. I laughed. It was funny and pointed to an irrevocable truth: human curiosity and eloquent questions lead the way as we learn.

A simple question

Eloquently posed

Curiosity fueled;

The energy behind learning.

What does that mean?

Is it true?

Many more queries;

We seek and fill gaps–

Not with certitude;

Uncertainty prevails.

Years later

I am sure I will smile and chuckle;

I recall–

Appreciate the quality

A simple, provocative question–

Do pigs have udders?

As best as we can learn, they do and it was fun trying to figure it out. Adolescent children ask the darnedest things. Laughter is a great cure for even the most challenging moments.

I attended a retreat based on Parker Palmer’s thinking and writing this past weekend. This quote summarizes the importance of relationships and lifting the other from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

It Started with a Quote

If we want to grow as teachers — we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives — risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract.
― Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life

Consider that we are all teachers…and learners.

What are my personal experiences, fears and dreams?  What is my inner life?  Am I sharing it with others?

I talk, and listen, to myself, practicing in the safety of my journal.

Laura, it’s time.

Here’s a bit of sharing…My after school kids playing darts in the Number Games class.

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I love eloquent questions which according to Vico and later Gadamer are foundational in the building of community. They tap into the wisdom of the elder generation and support the younger generation. Here are some great ones to start the day.

Welcome Differences

I sat in SeaTac airport in Seattle for about 6 hours and had much time to reflect. The result was a number of poems. This one wrote itself based on a wonderful conversation about the need for leadership to allow the disallowable into the circle. We each have gifts to offer. It takes patience and a new conversation to welcome others into our tight little circles. In the end, we share a little of each other and there is more the same than different in all likelihood.


We need it to converse fully;

A new conversation

One that allows the disallowable.

‘Intelligence’ prevails–

Facts and knowledge

Supplant heart’s courage–


Common sense.

What seems obvious now

Was all along

We pause briefly

Just long enough


Awaken, listen deeply.

Welcome that which is different

Invite him or her forward

Complete the circle–

Another piece of peace.

Each unique view fills a void

Give each one voice

Herald it with life;

It is one I do not have

I cannot have

It belongs to someone else

Yet, to me, as well.

Just a thought for adults beginning the week. Creativity is something you can bring forth. My comment to Mike’s excellent post was add a quiet space and disconnect. This has worked wonders for me.

Mike Saporito

My two year old daughter is proud of her pumpkin. The trip to the pumpkin patch included lots of searching, sifting, and sorting. Then it happened. She selected her pumpkin from hundreds of others.

Now instead of talking about pumpkins, let’s talk about ideas.  How proud are you of the ideas you select? How do you sift and sort before sharing them with the world?

The secret is to unlock your creativity by using a brainstorming process on a regular basis.

Pumpkins Are Like Ideas

You’ll find a few prize pumpkins and a few rotten ones in every patch.  But your first impression may not be the right one.  The same holds true for ideas.

Whether you are creating a presentation, delivering a sales pitch, or solving a complex problem, you need a process that reliably identifies your best thinking.  Below are five steps to move you in…

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Gentle Rain

I wind down the week and head into Sabbath. It is odd to say and write those words, because I have celebrated Sabbath since my arrival at Bainsbridge. When I come to a courage retreat, I enter into a covenant, at least with myself, that I slow down, talk less, and listen more deeply to others and myself. The great thing is this is the norm here. Time is purposely and purposefully set aside to share in small groups, listen and be fully present for each other, reflect in our  corners, and find our way back to the joyful circle of kindred spirits. It is unlike any other conference, workshop, or training I take. The focus is on opening up creative space and that requires different being present. It is a space of vulnerability and solidarity, of coming together to find ourselves coming home.

I meditated this morning and sat inside the main hall. It was raining which I understand is often the case in Seattle at this time of the year.

We sat inside the drum;

A small group

I heard rain overhead

Its song reverent

A gentle tap on the roof

Occasional increases in tempo

More rhythm in that fresh moment.

Perhaps, as gusts of wind shake trees–

Fresh dreams

Break us free from reverie

Together, we embark


Perhaps, even pirates.

From golden hearts

Gentle invitations sent

And received.

Whatever, each chooses;

Wherever, each walks;


We do it together

Joyously, in community

We carry a little of each other on this journey.

Last year, after the sudden and tragic passing of a young woman we met several years ago, I recounted a Buddhist understanding passed on by Senryu Suzuki and Thich Nhat Hanh. Each person we greet on life’s journey leaves an indelible imprint on us. We only need to stand or sit quietly and listen and like a wind and gentle rain voices are heard again and again in the silence of that moment.

I wish all homes and schools were like this.

Ralphie´s Portal


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For the past couple of days and the next couple of days, I am in a space where I am thinking about these thoughts. In my email this morning, is a daily mediation from Father Richard Rohr which often challenges me the same way this post does. Be good is more than saying the words for me.


Whenever you see something unfair and not right happen around you, how do you feel?

Whenever you read newspaper, there are a lot of violent cases, tragedy, bribery, war, natural disaster and other negative news? How do you feel?

Are you angry?

Are you frustrated?

Are you seeking for justice?

Are you helpless?

Are you sad?

Nothing you can change if you keep your anger, frustration whenever you read negative news in newspaper.

Perhaps, we can change our negative emotion to positive energy.

To be compassion, The best way is to pray for any victims, “May all beings be Happy and Well.”, ” May all beings relieve from suffering.”

As a Buddhist, I strongly believe in “Karmic Relationship”, whatever we are experience now is due to the our “PAST” Karma. The best example to understand about karma, If you sow a watermelon seed, you are going to get a watermelon…

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