Wednesday, January 30, 2013


+ updated at 2:24pm EST on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

+ Spirituality and Practice offers "Ten Reasons Why Gandhi is My Hero" by Frederic Brussat. I particularly like Reason Number 5:

5. He practiced compassion in creative ways.
"One day Gandhi stepped aboard a train as it started to move, and one of his shoes slipped off and dropped on the tracks. Unable to retrieve it, he calmly took off his other shoe and threw it back along the track to land close to the first. When an amazed passenger asked why he had done that, Gandhi smiled and said, 'The poor man who finds the shoe lying on the track will now have a pair he can use.' With the eyes of his imagination, Gandhi saw a man with bare feet, saw him coming across a lone shoe and desperately searching for the other, and saw the disappointment on his face when he didn't find it; seeing these things, Gandhi did what he could to help."
— Donald McCullough in
Say Please, Say Thank You | Read all of the reasons

+ A wonderful eCourse, Choosing to Love, is coming to an end.  Today, after listening to Brother David Steindl-Rast, I posted the following in the practice circle in response to the suggestion of using a photo to see your true Self.  The aim is to see your Self in all others with the same curiosity as seeing your self.  Hard to explain.  Oh well. Here is my post:

A Photo
At you will see "Rose" & me & "Wendy" & Mary at the Great Wall last October.

After a couple of days we began calling "Rose" and "Wendy" by their real names. They chose "Rose" and "Wendy" as their names in English. We were treated to amazing hospitality by these 2 young women for almost 4 days. We became one as we visited The Great Wall, The Forbidden City and The Summer Palace.

"Rose" and "Wendy" go to the Beijing University of Medicine School of Nursing. They were chosen to be our guides because their English is pretty good. They enjoyed having the time with us to practice.

Mary was invited by the Dean to give a lecture. The Dean was a guest professor at The University of Rochester a couple of years ago. We reached out to her and she reciprocated.

Some of Mary's favorite colleagues and students are from China. We have been blessed by this new and wonderful connection in our life.

Something wonderful happened during our time with the 2 students. We went through the Gate of Heavenly Peace and into the Forbidden City in more ways than one. We connected. We became one. It's impossible to explain. They would do anything for us with a smile, with simplicity and grace. They helped us figure out what to eat, something which had eluded us for the most part in the previous few days in Beijing. They helped us use chopsticks with skill. But far more than that was this sense of harmony and unity which I have learned is a Chinese trait from years of reading the ancient wisdom of The Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tse and a great book, The Tao of Abundance by Laurence G. Boldt. Also I do Chi Lel Chi Gong, a type of Tai Chi for physical and spiritual healing.

But, now, The Tao and the Tai Chi mean more than great books and great quotes and great body stretches. It means hospitality and communion which Mary and I will remember forever. We were blessed. We were surprised by grace. It was an amazing 4 days.

The Tao is an orientation to life based on balance and harmony, unity of all things, following the path of least resistance, letting chi (energy) circulate freely, being over doing, "trusting and embracing the organic pattern of your life" (Boldt).

You can see more photos from those glorious days at

love, john + + “Everything that is in the heavens, on earth, and under the earth is penetrated with connectedness, penetrated with relatedness.” — Hildegard of Bingen quoted in The Sun & Moon Over Assisi by Gerard Thomas Straub

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