The Ambrosia of Truth

Happy New Year,

I have been making my E Pluribus Flag series for 15 years now. This year I plan to celebrate diverse culture more than ever and I have a simple way to do this. I hope you too will join in. I plan to watch out everyday for special gifts of culture that enrich all of our lives. Yesterday you might have seen my first Instagram post. I used a pair of Nordic patterned socks to patch the elbows of my favorite cashmere sweater. Enjoying and putting to use colorful patterns and craftwork inspired by one culture is one thing but today I want to go to the utterly opposite end of the spectrum and share something deeper.

On New Year’s Day I listened to an inspiring New Year’s talk by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. I came away cherishing the term Satya Rasa – the ambrosia of truth. Today the idea of truth is very confused. It is too often manipulated, politicized, misunderstood and abused. I for one feel battered after this last year but yesterday I dipped into a sweet, calm, delicious pool of truth and enjoyed profound, ancient gifts of wisdom from across the world.

The company of truth is unmistakable when the heart is open and when the mind is awakened, it is ambrosia. It is, also, as I heard yesterday “available to everyone.” I am reminded that my passion for exploring all the aspects of culture began during a fire ceremony at the Siddha Yoga Ashram upstate New York many years ago. Whether dealing with a damaged sweater or a battered heart we all have so much to offer each other. The fabric of our civilization is strong because of the profound and the practical gifts we share. I will be watching for them and sharing on Instagram, I hope you will join in and share inspirations about your culture too. Check in at – murielanyc

Gabriel Born Book Signing Next Week

In Muriel Stockdale’s debut novel, Gabriel Born, science and the mystical merge in this fast paced and entertaining story. Our heroine, Sheila, embarks on a mission to save her life with science and ends up transformed by the unusual child she creates.

Sheila, a cold and calculating scientist discovers empathy and love. This sends her in a direction conflicting with the scientific reality she once knew and relied on. Gabriel, her miraculous son, is a gift she must protect. She and no one else can contain Gabriel. Encounters with her magical child become awe-inspiring events that uplift characters and readers alike.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Muriel Stockdale’s successful 35-year career in entertainment as a designer, director, filmmaker, teacher and artist honed her ability and desire to tell stories. She has spent her life devouring material about the inner, sacred, unknown nature of man through sacred texts and scientific studies. Although she loves science fiction she is disappointed in the lack of awakened or enlightened consciousness expressed in the genre, this book is an effort to explore that idea. In 2003 she created the support group The Institute of Spiritual Entertainment dedicated to helping artists share enlightened ideas. A graduate of the University of Vermont and New York University, Muriel is also an artist currently completing a study of diverse USA flags entitled – E Pluribus. They can be seen at

To find out more about Muriel please visit:

Contact: Muriel Stockdale O: 212 475-1875 M: 646 522-3819

New Milford Library

January 3,
6:30 – 9:30 PM

23 Main Street, CT 06776

(860) 355-1191

“It’s a thrilling and vertiginous ride.”
– Paul Shavelson, Executive Producer of Crossing Over with John Edward

“Muriel Stockdale’s debut novel Gabriel Born is a riveting and emotional story, complex and modern set in the world of genetics and the laws that define them. Sheila Jensen is a fully drawn, richly realized character who navigates the twists and turns, disappointments, challenges and failures with a sense of purpose and ultimately hope.”
– Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of All the Stars in the Heavens

Two Chances to see E Pluribus Flags

E Pluribus presented at The Sherman Library
– What does our U.S. motto mean today?


Sherman Public Library
1 Sherman Center
Sherman, CT 06784
(860) 354-2455

February 2 – March 2, 2017

Open Hours:
Tues. Wed. and Fri. 11 – 6
Thurs. 11 – 7
Sat. 10 – 4

Opening Reception:
Friday evening
February 16, 6 – 9

Please come in any traditional dress to celebrate diversity if you like.

Also if you can’t make it to the charming town of Sherman, CT. 16 E Pluribus flags will be on display at 315 Hudson Street, NYC. beginning mid January, dates to be determined. I will keep you informed.

Muriel Stockdale’s E PLURIBUS flags are on exhibit for the month of February at the Sherman Library. Muriel’s surprising series of art flags that celebrate the diverse cultures of the United States are skillfully crafted from multiple materials including fabric, wood, beads, paper, raffia, cork, shells and more.

Since 2003 Muriel has created United States flags to honor the people that make up our diverse U.S. society. Her collection includes U.S. flags celebrating English, Greek, Native, Chinese, Congolese and over 50 diverse cultures. They are made from paper, wood, grass, leaves, beads, cork and fabric. Each is skillfully handcrafted and may be embroidered, crocheted, stitched, glued, nailed or knitted together. Each element of her flags is carefully considered to best express the enriching gifts of the culture they represent. In these divisive times Muriel is determined to celebrate harmony, unity and the respect for diversity our country was founded upon. All are invited.

To see more of Muriel Stockdale’s E Pluribus series of U.S. flags please visit:,

E PLURIBUS UNUM, what does the U.S. motto really mean to us today?

There is no going back. You cannot remove the cocoa from hot chocolate, the curry from the rice or the jokes from the sitcom nor can we remove diversity from the U.S. Not without extraordinary pain and suffering at least.

As an immigrant from England 50 years ago this year I was first struck by the pride our new American friends expressed when they first met us. People needed to share origins of their own families, a grandparent from Russia, parent from Germany or great-grandparents from Ireland for example. Each haled from some diverse mix to become the very embodiment of the U.S. motto E Pluribus Unum; Latin for “out of many, one.”

Let’s remember that our motto originated at the formation of our country and was adopted in 1782 as the defacto motto of the United States. According to Wikipedia it dates all the way back to Cicero who said in somewhat of a paraphrase of it, “When each person loves the other as much as himself, it makes one out of many.”

We stumble across this motto everyday it is on our coins and paper bills. Whenever the president speaks he stands behind this motto. So it is a very important ideal that our forefathers hoped we would live by. It seems we have for the most part.

Originally the motto was created to represent the six countries and thirteen independent States of America that came together to expel the British. According to Charles Thompson who created the first design for the United States seal which included the motto it also alluded to the union between the federal government and the states, which was symbolized by a shield on the eagle’s chest.

Today our motto feels profoundly prophetic and relevant. It seems from six countries and thirteen states we have grown to 50 states and counting plus immigrants from all of the countries in the world. I’d like to point out that if we go to war with any other country we go to war with our self. I have close friends and family from all over the world including Muslim countries. My family embraced our German in-laws without a moment’s hesitation even though Germany bombed my parents during the war. I feel excruciating pain at our new administration’s mean and exclusionary policies. What seems to be missing from our US motto today is the most important and hidden ingredient: love.

Let’s put aside the “touchy feely” part of love for now though and look at the real effects of our current administration’s fight to exclude.

We have no arguments with Chinese food, Italian pizza, sushi, and Matzoh balls though we may have in the past rejected these immigrant groups when they were new. Today our lives are richer for the inclusion. Perhaps the only food discriminated against in the U.S.A. is English fruitcake. I don’t get it I love fruitcake but I am still English even though I am naturalized. We also seem to universally enjoy and accept diverse music. African drums, Indian chanting, didgeridoos, Sufi Quawalis and other ethnic sounds appear in all kinds of popular music. Protests and complaints are minimal; Sting, Carlos Santana and Robert Plant/Jimmy Page have all produced award winning “e pluribus” type music with diverse sounds creating excellent unified sounds. There have always been intersections of culture where brilliant enhancements to civilization have blossomed. Pasta, flamenco, and jazz grew through cultural fusion. Silk, coffee and law as we know it would not enhance our lives if not for cultural exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Many gifts of diversity are forged together to make this country into the exciting place we enjoy today. For example we are made from English legal precedents dating back to the Magna Carta, Indian spiritual tools like yoga from the Ancient Vedas, French fashion influence, Italian high design, African rhythms and passion, Chinese work ethic, food, and fabrics and it goes on and on. No part of our culture, society or personal lives can be seen to be untouched by the gifts of diversity that make up these U.S. of A.

It is important to remember that all this richness comes from people, from individuals who bring their passion, their work ethic and their resources together to make an offering to everyone’s life here. Great new ideas like Steve Jobs’ technologies to connect us to each other in new ways improve our lives. Adam Neumann’s radical idea to rearrange the work place in his business WeWork create superb opportunities for so many to make their own dreams come true. Hamdi Ulukaya founder of Chobani Yogurt whose explosive start up is built on the peculiar idea of employees sharing in the success of the company reshapes the whole business landscape for a new kind of success. These guys were from Syria, Israel and Turkey. Where would we be without them? In Ellis Island there is a chart that clearly marks a steep decline in national productivity during every constraint on immigration.

“E Pluribus, Unum” is a great motto, a motto that permits us as United States to remake our selves as we incorporate more and more many into the one. “May you live in exciting times” is the old Chinese proverb. Curse or blessing, who knows but here we are, living in exciting times. Diversity creates change and change is exciting when celebrated rather than feared.

One of the best books I’ve ever read, The Bhagavad Gita, speaks of the nature of war and refers to dharmic war as opposed to adharmic war. The dharmic war is the righteous war, not in the Christian sense of a righteousness that is explained or taught but in a sense that is a heartfelt understanding of what we know is good and right in our heart. It comes from a foundation of respect and love. In a dharmic war you see the other as equal to your self. In the best understanding you see the other as your self. In the adharmic war the opponent is seen as inhuman, some kind of animal or devil that is evil. Sound familiar? This is how human beings can be convinced to kill someone else who is exactly like themselves – someone who also strives to live a good life and provide the best for their family.

We, in the United States of America, are already an un-paralleled diverse culture there is no going back. As I said it is impossible to remove the cocoa from the hot chocolate and who makes hot chocolate better than the French or curried rice better than Indians? Where would our TV be today without the influence of Yiddish theatre? I am thrilled to have joined the American experiment so many years ago but I know now that in my birthplace, Yorkshire, diversity is taking over too. So there was no avoiding this world trend of mixing and there is no getting away from it. Nor will we be able to reverse it the thought is terrifying. This world belongs to all of us.

It is critical to remember the gifts we share together, to celebrate our success and help each other in our failures. Let’s dance rather than fight, make art instead of bullets and gardens instead of battlegrounds. Everyday we face choices and I personally resolve to choose actions, thoughts and words that affirm life, the right to happiness as well as to freedom, liberty and justice for all. I resolve to love the other, hating is just too painful and takes far too much energy.

To add one final note: I just googled multicultural celebration looking for images for this post and discovered that Multicultural Celebrations seem to have sprung up all over the country. About a dozen years ago I researched this when presenting the idea of a Multicultural Celebration to a small town in Connecticut and found no such events anywhere. How great it is that they are finally happening now, we are already in the place of harmony together we just don’t notice it enough and point it out enough.

NEW TITLE for E Pluribus Flag project – Please help.

It’s time for an update on the latest and lastest flag in the E Pluribus effort. This large flag will be installed at the World Trade Center later this year. You may have seen the previous post entitled Reconstructing E Pluribus – a few things have changed. Now it looks like 3 World Trade is the destination. The flag will now be 50′ by 30′ but everything else is the same.

Right now I have a third of the flag completed with fabrics that I have along with the many beautiful contributions people have sent. So far the flag includes Indian, Scottish, Balinese, Botswanan, Brazilian, English, Nigerian and more fabrics. I still want and need your culture represented. Please contact me if you would like to send some unique or meaningful cloth.

I’d like to shoot for an opening coinciding with 9/11 but that depends on space, so well wishes on that front are welcome.

Now to the critical question, what should I call this flag? If you scroll down to the last blog about it you can see the cumbersome place holder title – Reconstructing E Pluribus Unum during Political Storm Winds. Now I am looking for something catchy and eloquent. The inference of the old title is just too heavy for me now. I am tired of the political games going on and want to focus on the brightness of amicable relations usually evident between us in our diverse communities at all times normally. Right now I really like the word Simpatico it seems to fit but it is too much of one cultural reference to stand alone. Should I pile a few words like that from different cultures together to make the point? Do you have any recommendations?

So I’m counting on you my friends to help me get this right.

Here are some of the fabrics donated, including a pink pussy hat.

Thank you all.

Equador Fabric from Rosa

Happy New Year Norooz 1396

Again and again we have the opportunity to celebrate a Happy New Year, we are blessed to have so many cultures in our country that designate different times of the year as the beginning. So we can begin again now. I am just now discovering a new holy day I never knew about and I love it. Thank Ed and Nahal for sharing and permitting me to share here too.

My dear cool rocker friend Ed Hale wrote this on his Facebook page today about sharing the New Year with his gorgeous wife, Nahal, who is from Iran. I am delighted to share it here because what he said exemplifies Heaven is Here and E Pluribus with a state of mind of celebration and unity. You all know I am passionate about that.

“So here’s the thing about marrying a Persian… As a society we in the West have evolved to a place where we celebrate, or at least acknowledge, several of the various “New Year’s” holidays of some of the different cultures that comprise our great melting pot. We just recently welcomed in the Chinese New Year of the Rooster…. And many of us are used to celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, every year.
Persians use the Spring Equinox as their New Year. Some of us are already accustomed to this as it is one of the major shabbats of the various different pagan or Goddess-based religions like Wicca, High Magic or Witchcraft, globally always called Ostar — which of course is the foundation for the origin of the more recent “Easter” celebration the Christians adopted from it (having absolutely nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with bunnies and eggs…)
BUT… Persians, in their effort to stay more committed/honest/sincere/true/faithful/(fill in the blank), literally wait to celebrate the Spring Equinox at the exact time that it takes place wherever and whenever they are on the earth at the time. So for us this year, being in New York, that moment can at 6:28 am. Which means one wakes up at least an hour before to partake in all the rituals associated with this beautiful celebration.
As some know, your’s truly didn’t go to bed last night till 2:00 am… so yes, I… am…. TIRED. BUT this holiday to a Persian is literally like Christmas is to a Christian. So there’s no sleeping through it. You wouldn’t even consider it.
One of cool things about it is that once we count down the New Year, just as we do in the West on December 31st at midnight, we take calls from all over the world ? and each of these people are in a totally different timezone. Friends and family from CA and Vancouver are calling from 3:30 am, from Europe at 12:30 pm and from Iran and the Middle East at 3:30 pm. No matter where or when we are we’re all doing the same thing. It’s pretty cool.
With that, I’m going to curl up here and try to catch a few more winks before we officially start the day. Happy Norooz everybody! May PEACE and LOVE find a way to dominate our world regardless.

Get information about Norooz.

Beautiful photo by Nahal Hale.

Let’s Share Uplifted States of Being

It’s been a rough two weeks since the inauguration of our new “president”. I put that in quotes because of the way he took the post, the way he comports himself in the role and the fact that I just cannot accept him for so many reasons. My reasons are obvious to everyone by now so I will not rehash them anymore. Since the night of the election and the excruciating agita that ensued I have to admit that I have indulged in despair, anxiety, fear, endless addicted news consumption followed by over sharing and dismay. I have also felt a shattering confusion and a profound desire not to accept what Trump’s election says about the American people as a whole. This leaves me with a deep sense of loss. I feel as though someone dear and near; a chosen friend; that precious and fragile ideology – E Pluribus Unum – has died.

As an immigrant from England 50 years ago I have always marveled at the diversity of cultures here and at the diversity inherent in so many people that I know. If you are a recent immigrant you might be mostly of one culture but most Americans are the embodiment of E Pluribus Unum with ancestors from so many cultures or countries.

For the last 14 years I have worked on an art project to celebrate the idea of diversity in unity. I believe we can and do live together in harmony and that fact needs to be explored and shared. We only hear about the conflicts in the media we need to celebrate what works more. What is most special about the US is that we are free to express our culture in our own way or we can integrate and become ‘Americanized’ or we can straddle both worlds. Then there is another benefit to this diverse mélange of culture; everyone has access to the gifts of their neighbor’s ancestral wisdom.

In my encounters with people of diverse cultures that coexist here in New York I have found that everyone is delighted to share and honored that I am interested. So here I willingly share some ancient techniques for living a great life that I have gleaned from my enriching encounters. They are a gift for coping with these stressful times in order to cool the heated mind, calm the agitated heart and lift the depressed spirit.

First I recommend chanting. Many traditions employ chanting as a way to still the mind. I recommend Hindu or Indian chants. Regulation of the breath slows the heart and soothes the mind. Pretty soon you can breathe more deeply, relax your muscles and even settle into a super quiet, nourishing and comforting place within yourself. New York is full of welcoming centers, ashrams and temples.

Meditation is another profoundly relaxing and nourishing practice that many spiritual and religious paths recommend because it works. It is not as complicated as it may seem at first try. My teacher Gurumayi Chidvilasananda says that just sitting to meditate is meditation. When you embrace that attitude and allow yourself that time to watch your mind it soon quiets itself. Even if it doesn’t you learn useful things about how the mind works and with faith the mind will still.

Walking is a very traditionally English relaxing thing. Again there is a stilling effect born out of rhythm and regular breath that calms the mind and warms the heart. But in addition there is the passive enjoyment of the scenery. In England that might be classic English countryside in New York there is so much else of passing interest. Often when I go for a long walk through the city streets I click into a mode that feels like I am on vacation and we do have some very nice parks here.

One of my favorite and most powerful recommendations is acupuncture. My acupuncturist Lida Ahmady rescued me from chronic acid reflux about four years ago. I am forever grateful to her. Now acupuncture provides me with a continuity of health and deep rejuvenating rest. I can feel how this ancient Chinese technique balances my energy. Apparently acupuncture restores healthy function of the subtle channels in the body before imbalance or dis-ease is even recognizable in Western medicine.

Another deeply soothing, centering and nourishing self-care practice is Reiki. I studied with a dear friend, Pamela Miles, and I only practice on myself. Whether your Reiki is self-administered or under the practiced hands of a healer it is deliciously calming. You always have your own hands with you though so I recommend finding out about self-practice.

One of the most profound and even enlightening experiences I have enjoyed was at the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Masjid on West Broadway for a night of Sufi whirling. Under the guidance of Sheikha Fariha we chanted and whirled late into the evening. By the end of the night I was ecstatic. Chanting and whirling can definitely lift the mood and under the watchful guidance of a master you may even tap into mystery.

Again on the subject of movement I recently resumed studying Tai Chi. I want to improve my balance but after just a couple of weeks I realize there is so much more going on. Tai Chi is grounding, centering and empowering all things that make me feel better. One good thing out of this disastrous election is the realization that I must take better control of my own state.

I was feeling an insidious creeping intrusion into my psyche earlier this week. It feels like Donald Trump has wormed his way into everything I see, read or hear and it’s making me nauseous. That is why I am contemplating my own self-care management now (a bit late, I admit). I also feel compelled to share it so I’m going to share even the most profound techniques.

On a very esoteric note I have studied now for about five years with Jim Self whose program Mastering Alchemy offers profound and incredibly effective tools for clarifying the mind. All cultures have core mystical teachings, Jim Self’s are the most accessible, comprehensible and practical that I have ever discovered.

A different kind of esotericism is poetry; especially Rumi. Everything Rumi says can feel like a helium balloon that lifts the heart. Rumi and another Sufi mystic Hafiz were so dedicated to the idea of divine love that there was no room for anything else. Contemplating their words pulls the reader out of the ordinary and into an ecstatic state.

This points out the key aspect of the work of state management; our state is our choice. We can decide to dive into the despair of the election result and wallow there or we can decide to choose another happier state. Our health depends on it. The great masters and mystics knew this and often with stories, poems and songs they coached us into more uplifted states to match their own. Very often if I am feeling blue all I need to do is listen to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Qawwalis and my mood shifts.

On another note a Japanese Zen koan also shifts our state. A perplexed mind wrapped up in the complexities of a koan cannot be worried. The koan is like a nimble finger untying a knot, not necessarily answering a question but opening the mind to a wide-open sky of possibility.

Considering the excessive amount of worrying that many of us are entertaining ourselves and our various bubbles with now I’d like to share a trick from the Mayan culture. Those folks are our Mexican, Guatemalan or Ecuadoran neighbors who will soon be behind the wall. Anyway they have a lovely tradition of a cornhusk doll made to assuage worry. It is a brilliant mind trick; you take the doll tell her your worries and the tuck it under your pillow for the night. Perhaps the doll will just hold them for you so that you can get a good night’s sleep, or perhaps she will solve them for you.

Now I am not an advocate of drinking although many of my friends are but I am an advocate of friends. So like the Irish, Scottish or English get to a local public house and imbibe the sweet nourishment of the company of good friends and possibly even some great music. Don’t talk politics.

Of course another rich cultural tradition is the family dinner. We seem to have too little time to even sit together for dinner these days let alone actually prepare the meal together. But one of my fondest memories is of visiting my sister in law at Christmas and working in the kitchen with her Italian step mother-in-law to make pasta. Yes, our families are complicated multi-cultural, multi-national and sometimes not multilingual. She couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Italian but we worked together all day and had a great time together. This political environment is separating families mine included so we just don’t talk. The divide is like a language gap but we can still enjoy each other’s company.

Now let me go into another direction entirely. This is for the women; we know that French women have a certain saying, “Bien dans sa peau” meaning, “comfortable in her skin.” Well a personal recommendation to me came from a French friend the trick is to wear exquisite silk lace underwear even under jeans or sweats. So if you need to lift your mood do some lingerie shopping. You might just lift your guy’s mood too.

Simple quick things that can be done to shift state, air and space are flowers, incense, a sage smudge or a candle paired with a short prayer of any denomination or your own design. All cultures use these things, which distill to water, air, fire and earth in the practice of their various devotions. That is the key as far as I can tell; our mental state, our sovereignty and happiness is our own most important work. Each culture has multiple ways of celebrating that inner divinity, higher self, or uplifted state of mind and today here in the US we have the benefit of so many cultural traditions and new experiments to choose from.

The image is a mock up for a new massive flag I am making to celebrate diversity. Please go to if you would like to participate. Look at my epluribus blog for details.

Reconstructing E PLURIBUS UNUM During Political Storm Winds

A conversation through community art.


A 60′ x 40’ U.S. flag made from fabrics donated by diverse U.S. citizens and immigrants. Large wedge shaped pieces of fabric representing the diversity of people in the U.S. will be loosely laced together in an energetic version of the US flag. It will possibly be the largest flag at Ground Zero when done and will be a flag of great meaning reminding us that we can and do live here together respectfully.


4 World Trade Center, 69th floor as part of an art installation including 37 noted street artists including, Ron English, Logan Hicks, Bradley Theodore, WhIsBe, Zimmer, and Rubin 415. The flag will cover almost the entire ceiling of the southern most section of the 38,000 square foot floor.


The flag is designed and implemented by artist Muriel Stockdale. Sculptor, Jim Hunter will design and construct the stars.


This flag is an effort to bring awareness to the cultural contributions of Americans who hale from all over the world and live here in this country in harmony together. We need to remind ourselves that our difference of lifestyle, opinion, religion, etc enriches all our lives. In this time of renewed world xenophobia we must remember the founding principles of the United States of America as stated in our motto – E Pluribus Unum meaning Out of Many, One. We want to show how we get it right here.

The project is designed to open and continue the conversation about what it means to come to the U.S, and make a life here. People from all cultures live and work together. Many Americans with ancestors from all over the world are the very embodiment of our motto, Out of Many, One. E Pluribus Unum is a prophetic motto that has become so much more meaningful than in the beginning when it referred simply to the initial 13 states and 6 countries that started the United States.


Muriel invites you to participate in any of these following ways:

  1. Donate fabric – something representative of your culture (nothing precious).
  2. If you donate fabric please include your name or a dedication and a short paragraph about you or your family. We will create a webpage of stories. Tell us something about what living in the U.S. means to you, or who the fabric came from, why it’s meaningful, or what part of your culture to you bring to life in the U.S.
  3. Help! Muriel will be stitching the panels together beginning in January. Then each of the 132 panels will be tacked to a mesh for hanging. Handy people would be so welcome.
  4. Donate cash or goods. We need sponsors for the various items required – fireproofing, clamps, mesh, cable,and more. (Budget still in the works.)


We are collecting fabrics now please send to Muriel. We’d like to be done by March, so please send soon.

Please contact me here.

Responsibility lies within the heart.


I have been struggling since the results of the election came in to sort out my feelings. That was a terrible night; I have never before in my life felt such agita born solely from events and not from appendicitis or chili peppers. I feel as though something near and dear to me has died. It appears that the very idea of the United States has come untied and E Pluribus Unum will be struck out as our motto. Since that night I have been going through a variety of strong emotions: fear, outrage, shock, indignation, sadness, and worry. This has caused many fruitless arguments inside my head with those I know who favored Trump. I can’t talk to them in person, they are rabid and the disrespect and hate that boils up is just too painful.

So, what to do? Lately I tried acceptance, it is a sublime and very high spiritual practice that is essential for any kind of progress on the path but wow, is it hard to practice right now. One thing I know is that the only thing I do have control of in this situation is my own feelings. This is, admittedly, a tad late to start thinking about now, a full month later. I know better, I am blessed with many spiritual tools and much support.

Why did I wait so long? Why do some people I know choose to wallow in vitriol berating, hating and scorning people they don’t even know like Hillary and Obama? To some extent I think it’s for the same reason I have wallowed in my despair, a terrible reason. A dear spiritual teacher I knew once said this to a large gathering: “You insist on gnawing on your own bones so that you can taste blood to feel alive.” I paraphrase because I don’t remember it exactly but I’m sure I have the essence of the message; we are not content to rest in quiet, to breathe deeply into our heart and settle in the confidence and truth of our own deepest sense of being – the drama outside is too tasty.

This is where the danger lies. People not centered in the heart that knows truth are easily controlled. I need to take back the sovereignty of my own feelings; all of us need to do that. We can strike a balance of being involved and caring without losing our center.

For me the greatest shame of late is the steep slide our culture has taken into disrespect. The disrespect has morphed into hate and blame and usually it is built on baseless lies. This is more evidence of permitting our centered being to be hijacked. There is a discussion in the Baghavad Gita about the nature of war. It describes a justified war versus the unjustified war and the difference is very simple. The justified war or dharmic war is when both sides recognize that they are opposed to their equal. The unjustified war or adharmic war is when either or both sides demonizes, diminishes, vilifies, or negates the humanity of their opponent.

There is an additional layer to this dharma or justification of war though: all wars are fought within our self – pitting our own demons against ourselves in a timeless inner battle. Until we acknowledge that all outside events manifest the condition of the mind and heart inside we will be swept about on the emotional roller coaster of the times. I encourage all to take responsibility for our feelings. I am trying.

Good luck with that I say with all my heart, all my love and with supreme respect.


It seems as though uncertainty is the prevailing feeling at the moment and it’s making us all edgy and nervous. With Brexit fallout, rancorous politics, terrorist threats and racial tension it sometimes feels hard to breathe. However, uncertainty is where the power lies. In uncertainty all possibilities are still potent. In uncertainty power is shifting, minds are changing, lines are being redrawn, hearts realigned, new ideas forming, and a new future is becoming.

Only with deep breath and in stillness can this wave of change be ridden with grace and certainty. When the outer world is full of uncertainty the only place to turn is inside where true certainty resides. In the outer world is chaos and churning potential, inside where we are quiet and calm lies the ability to choose with certainty when the opportunity to react flies in our face. So when I feel a bit stressed by the day’s news, I try to remember to take a breath or sit on a park bench and watch the sunset.