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The Inner Life of Poet-Sage Robert Lax, Thomas Merton’s Close Friend

November 30 would have been the 100th birthday of Robert Lax, a poet perhaps best known as Thomas Merton’s close friend. Merton said of Lax, “His was one of the voices through which the insistent Spirit of God was determined to teach me the way I had to travel.” A native of New York, Lax  Continue Reading »

The Everywhere Oracle – a New Poetry Book for the Inner Life

Inside an Ancient Rhythm I was very young with this energy signature of fear, a grip of tension embedded deep in my gut, brought in from Another Time. It sounds like these clicking computer keys: tap tap tap, the clatter of a mind with the 3 a.m. blah blah blahs of small worries. Like unanswered  Continue Reading »

So Much Beauty

Photo courtesy of Lynn Purdon Yenkey Wrestling with the Questions How do I find silence in the midst of chaos? What do I do when my exhaustion overrides my compassion? How do I make sense of watching someone I love change so much? Why do I have to be the one to put my life  Continue Reading »

Leading Through the Blizzards

There’s a Leonard Cohen song, The Future, which refers to “the blizzard of the world” crossing the threshold and overturning “the order of the soul”. Leaders experience this blizzard in many forms, including an ever-increasing volume and velocity of challenges and complexity. The blizzards faced by business leaders can cause them to lose sight of  Continue Reading »

Anyone Can Sing

I have trouble with the title of this poem, “Anyone Can Sing.” You see, in junior high school choir my teacher once approached me during a song we were preparing for a concert, tapped me on the shoulder and told me to “just mouth the words.” Yet I am also drawn to the title of  Continue Reading »

Five Questions for Crossing the Threshold

This “New Year” thing is a curious fiction, isn’t it? The planet on which we’ve hitched a ride has been wheeling through space a lot longer than 2,014 years. And the hoopla we make at midnight on December 31st is a tad over the top for one more tick of the clock. But this annual  Continue Reading »

African Youth Leaders Explore Difference, Creativity, and Self-Awareness through Poetry

On August 10th, young leaders from eight East African schools set out to engage in dialogue across religious, ethnic and gender differences at a camp called The African Youth Leadership Experience (AYLE) 2014. The goals of AYLE were: to develop life skills in self-awareness and self care, appreciate and learn from difference, learn how to  Continue Reading »

Dialing in to a Circle of Trust

Wide open spaces that isolate. Tight finances and long travel time. That makes it hard for pastors to leave their congregations for one retreat, much less a seasonal Courage to Lead series. But the value of connecting rural clergy with each other was too great to ignore. We wondered if there was another way  to  Continue Reading »

A Day That Sings

With the onset of summer, I am taking a week to be with my extended family. We take time to simply be together–to refresh, revitalize, to languish in an abundance of time and leisure. The kitchen is filled with fresh local fruits. The days are warm and long. For a brief time, busy work lives  Continue Reading »

Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” Gives Strength to Teacher & Students

For five years I worked at a “persistently failing” elementary school in West Philadelphia. More than 90 percent of my students received free or reduced lunch, and many were exposed to violence in their home and in their neighborhood. Over the years, I hardened myself to navigate the trials and tribulations associated with the violence,  Continue Reading »