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Below, find our most recent blog posts; please join in the conversation by leaving a comment.

Ecstatic Mysticism, a quote from Martin Buber

By Glenda | August 6, 2023

“I am not concerned with finding a conceptual ‘pigeonhole’ for ecstasy. It is the unclassifiable aspect of ecstasy that interest me…The ecstatic individual may be explained in terms of psychology, physiology, pathology; what is important to us is that which remains beyond explanation: the individual’s experience. We pay no heed here to those notions which are bent on establishing ‘order’ even in the darkest corners; we are listening to a human being speak of the soul and of the soul’s ineffable mystery.” Martin Buber, a Jewish Philosopher, from Ecstatic Confessions, the Heart of Mysticism.

Dances of Universal Peace

By Glenda | July 25, 2017

Four days in Southwestern Colorado with about sixty other people, chanting, praying, singing and dancing the Dances of Universal Peace, has reminded me of many things I hold dear, all of you among them. I have held you in my heart often as I opened myself to the mysterious expansion of consciousness that occurs when that many people are focused on the highest purposes.

The practice of the Dances of Universal Peace, a branch of the Sufi tradition, is to bring many people into what is most often circle dances, sometimes many circles deep, with individual people holding hands to become part of a larger whole, then moving in simple , meaningful, synchronized patterns, while chanting in unison sacred songs or mantras from various spiritual traditions from all over the world.

The particular dance steps for any one dance, as well as the meaning of the words or syllables that are sometimes sung in their original languages, are explained briefly before beginning, so that the dancers and singers can all focus on a particular intention for the dance. Sometimes the tone is joyful and celebratory, sometimes petitionary, sometimes even humorous, often exuberant, but always respectful, honoring, and prayerful.

The music begins, with drums, guitars, bass, flute, various percussion instruments, etc., all gradually leading the dancers and chanters into a deeper and deeper immersion in the meaning of the particular song. Any one dance goes on for a long time, and gradually the movements and the voices become more and more in harmony and in step, voices rising into strong praise or quieted into subtlety, ascending, descending, transcending, until at last the dance ends, and a period of deep silence is held, followed by a closing, sealing statement, often simply “Amen.”

Observing from the outside as a witness, one sees an almost hypnotic movement, circle upon circle, so beautifully synchronized, with dancers moving in unison, sometimes inward toward the center, then outward, hands often over the heart and then lifted upward to Spirit in whatever form is being evoked, or “scooping up” the sorrow or obstacle or whatever is holding the world back from peace, and then offering it up to Spirit for transformation, for healing, for compassionate awareness. Other movements, so simple, yet so meaningful, when explained in terms of the spiritual purposes of the dance, are beautiful and powerful, filling the dancers with love and with a sense of service, sending out the energy of the dance to the world.

Always, though, any movements are followed by bringing the dancers back to the joined hands, and the joined hearts, as that which is “particular” becomes one with the “unified,” the individual person necessary to the dance and uniquely contributing to it, while also participating in the wholeness of the circle, the dance, and the All One, whatever that means to any of us.

It is this convergence of the meaningfulness of each individual person or action with the important emphasis on the whole, the community, the oneness—it is this at once “horizontal” and “vertical” joining that so appeals to me.

This, of course, has been much of my life work, honoring the paradoxical “Yes, that!” and “That!” and “That too!” of the way it all is, or so it seems to me. The inclusiveness of the Dances, taking in the basic core truths of all spiritual paths, is resonant with the mission statement of the Fellowship of Comparative Religion and of this website, Toward Common Ground.

And it this same “All That!” that shows up for me when I pack the sacred medicine pipe, or join in the communion service of Christian traditions, or chant the many names of god in Pali, or Hindi, or when I sit silently in Buddhist or Taoist meditation—all of these lead me to begin and end my prayers with “Leaving nothing out, named and unnamed, known and unknown, Great Mystery.”

Perhaps the best part of the experience I have just completed at this Dances camp has been the joy that pervaded the people and atmosphere. When one is so focused on the highest good for all, there is, perhaps inevitably, a discovery of the bliss of “seeing the face of God in every face,” of knowing that goodness and kindness and holiness are realities, and that each of us embody them and can share them.

In the course of these four days, I prayed for you, often by name in my mind, as I offered myself to this wonderful experience. I also received many blessings, many hugs, many uplifting words, and in every case I have incorporated you and each of you into those blessings and hugs and uplifting intentions. As always, I have carried you with me into these sacred, precious moments, wherever I am.

My love remains with you as I journey on northward now toward the next adventure. I know that many of you are not in such blissful conditions, but rather are in challenging situations and sacred “bardos” of loss or transition, and so, even though I am on the road away from Earthsprings, I am available by phone, by email, by “heart waves” of energy. We are not separate and cannot be. This I have danced for four days, and I send it out to you again in these few words.

Gratitude to Refugees from Africa

By Glenda | July 17, 2017

Amazing African teenagers sang and danced in an event organized to raise money for refugees that Chris and I attended yesterday in Albuquerque. They sang in Swahili and danced with such exuberance that one would never know the hardships they had endured coming to this country, so strange to them, just about 15 months ago on average. Their moved our spirits so much that when, at the end of their performance they invited the audience to come up and dance with them, we did—Chris, Victoria, and I, along with many others. I was reminded again that amidst even the greatest and most discouraging challenges, the possibility exists for us to rejoice, to pray and praise, and to act in service of ongoing, ever-changing life.

After Absence

By Glenda | July 8, 2017

You have received more love than mail lately from me.  For good reason, I assure you.

I was told by the eye doctor that the “narrow angles” of something in my eyes would threaten blindness if I did not have surgery immediately.  So I did!  The doctor wanted me to rest and rest my eyes, so I stayed off the computer.

Meanwhile, I thought about narrow angle vision.  Wow!  Metaphors abound.  Having too narrow an angle or perspective, in the broadest sense, also means blindness.  How much that resonantes with my sense of what is going on in the world today!  Narrow viewpoints are the norm these days, it seems to me, even among the best of us.

So in my quiet “resting,” I have been contemplating how my new implanted lenses will give me a broader vision, a broader perspective, and I have been trying to imagine what that means and how it might be brought to bear on my place in the world I so love.

I assure you that you are a part of that much loved world.  I promise to be back, full-tilt, on this website more frequently now that my “narrow angles” have been corrected.

About Today

By Glenda | March 24, 2016

Today I had to reach deeply into the sources of my spiritual life, seeking the means to be with, in a sacred way, as I like to say, what I am experiencing of the outer world.

It was not easy, for at first I could only see a world full of both bomb blasts and bombastic rhetoric.  I felt the impact of a world swamped by grief, fear, and anger.  I listened to accounts of the hypocrisy involving a governor who won an election by running on a holier-than-thou ticket of his version of “family values” who is now caught up in a shocking sex-scandal revelation that has his wife releasing salacious materials to the public and filing for a divorce.

In short, I felt overwhelmed by a world full unhappiness: the self-righteous outraged by the ludicrous, the dangerous exploiting the naïve, the uninformed believing absurdities, the manipulative and the power-hungry apparently out-maneuvering overly-gentle non-partisan progressives.

To escape all this doom and gloom, I thought to step outside, right here in the deep woods where I live.  But, although I immediately found myself listening to the wind in the trees, looking at the radiant blooms of the spring flowers, walking the familiar paths down to the creek, I still kept wondered how, on such a beautiful day, things could be so awful elsewhere, and, I kept asking myself why it is so difficult for human beings simply to quieten themselves, live in peace, and, as they say, “smell the roses.”

To quieten my own self, however, I knew I would probably have to first listen to myself;  I’ve learned to pay attention in a respectful way to whatever is surfacing from deep within, without becoming obsessed by it.  So, as I walked, I allowed my frazzled thoughts to float where they would, without trying to censor them too quickly with Pollyanna pretense or my own over-simplified pontificating.

So, my thoughts turned first to the pain I felt over the suffering of people wounded in the current bomb blast.  I allowed myself to imagine the fear and horror of the bystanders, the agony of those grieving for the dead.

Then I began to think about those who had caused this tragedy—the radicalized Islamic terrorist suicide bombers who had said they believed so completely in their “holy war” that they were willing to do battle, to die to make the world live by to their religious beliefs.

Suddenly, I heard in my mind the words of an old hymn I haven’t sung in many years, words that go something like this: “Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching as to war, With the cross of Jesus Going on before.  Christ, the royal Master, Leads against the foe;  Forward into battle, See his banners go! Like a mighty army moves the Church of God; Brothers, we are treading where the Saints have trod. We are not divided; all one body we: One in hope and doctrine, One in charity. Onward, Christian soldiers! Marching into war.”

Militant crusade lyrics, these, urging “one in doctrine” to do battle, and this from another side of the current religious fault line.

As I thought about the history of ideologically driven chaos and suffering, I wanted to cry out, “How long shall we be torn apart by fanaticism, of any and every kind?  What can we do to stop this escalation of verbal and physical violence, coming at us from every direction?”

Thinking about the long history of war, I remembered Carl Jung, who, as Hitler rose to power, wrote in his journal, agonizing over his awareness of the developing catastrophe, feeling unable to stop it, even though he spoke again and again about how people needed to examine their own “shadow” selves and the “shadow” side of the culture and even the “shadow” side of their particular concept of God if the horrors he could see coming were to be prevented.

I also thought about a German couple I once knew in California who tried to explain to us Americans how “good people” in Germany could have stood by and allowed the holocaust to happen.  This nice man said to us, “Well, in the beginning, Hitler wasn’t that bad; after the previous war that had been and still was so hard on all of us, Hitler at first said things that made us feel better, promised us good things to come, and, really, none of us ever believed that what eventually happened could happen in our enlightened nation, the nation of Goethe, Bach, Beethoven, etc…”

Now, I watch what is happening in my own country, what dreadful things are developing, and I search inside myself for the words, the ways that I myself can speak out, can reach out, can make a difference in this present chaotic state of the world.

So easy it is to feel helpless in the face of such a whirlwind of emotion and such a variety of passionate energy propelling us as a society into further conflict and horror.

Lately, alone here in the deep woods, I pray.  I sit so quietly, day after day, trying to be starkly present to the reality that is happening that some of my friends are beginning to fear that depression has overtaken me.  But I wait for inspiration, guidance, for the future and my part in it.

And, again and again, my spiritual bedrock beliefs stand me in good stead.

The title of a book I read years ago rings in my ears, “I never promised you a rose garden…”

As concerned as we all rightly are about justice and injustice, rights and privileges, freedoms and the lack thereof—I am constantly reminded that an unevenness apparently pervades nature and reality itself, that beyond any sense of right-and-wrong or good-and-evil, for example, a storm can suddenly destroy forests or cities or whatever is in the path, that meteors can hurtle through space and smash into things, that the innocent often suffer and the unrighteous sometimes escape punishment.  I am reminded that reality seems equally fraught with pain and sorrow as well as it is suffused with delight and happiness.

How to make my personal and spiritual perspective large enough to encompass that reality, while maintaining any kind of hopeful balance, any kind of overall concept of wholeness and spiritual well-being—that is the ever-necessary discipline I face.

I have been taught well, of course.  My spiritual mentors would expect nothing less of me than to meet this current challenge to my spiritual compass with the strongest thing I know to do.

So today, I focused on this one assertion–that love is still possible, even in the worst times.

What kind of love, though, you may ask?  Well (and this is the tricky part), for whatever is at hand—a violet, small and shining in the new green grass; or a friend, confessing his grief on the other end of the telephone; or a blithering someone on the television that I really want to call the most awful names because he seems so vile—that is the challenge.

We have been taught, all of us, to love, to love each and all of what is, the beautiful, the precious, and the awful and the frightening—that is what all the world’s religions teach.  To love our enemies, to have compassion for those least loveable, to be gentle with our own failings, even to reverse the teaching and “Love ourselves as we love our neighbors.”  For truly, there is no difference.

I have to sit still a long time to work it out though.  It’s complicated, many sided.

If I believe, as I do, that ultimately, in the big picture, there is no separation, that we are, indeed, One, that Life itself is indivisible, then my neighbor, my enemy, myself (and the violet and the storm and the meteor) all are inter-connected.  Loving anything or anyone touches everything, while withholding love, or even hating anyone one or anything touches everything too.

I’m not so good at this, I confess.   First it requires discernment.  While everything may be One, I am Me.  Boundaries matter.  Safety matters.  My values matter.  Not just in an egocentric way either, but in a big way too.

If we are, in fact, co-creating the universe, then my actions for good, for what I believe in, my actions against what is dangerous and dreadful—this too is important.

So figuring out where I begin and end, where I should act or refrain from acting, where I can trust “the universe” or “spirit” or whatever to take care of the “big picture,” and where I need to speak out and act strongly, that is the first challenge.

What form shall this love so ardently advocated take?

Then, whatever way I go, it requires honesty.  And courage.

For me, that means not trying to hide in stupefied revulsion, or self-induced ignorance, or deepening self-pity, or ranting and railing in an impractical and fruitless exposition of my own opinions. That’s all so much easier to do.  But it doesn’t work.  Not the way real love works.  Not the way kindness works, or compassion, or forgiveness, or even equanimity.

Knowing, as I surely do, that love is actually the secret ingredient, the very essence of all life, allows me to trust that, even now, love is available and strong enough to change this troubled world.  I do believe, when I get quiet, that love can be channeled through me, through all or any of us, enough to fill each moment, however dreadful, for us with “peace that passes understanding.”

This is not just Pollyanna pretense either.  Again and again, it has been proven.  “Be still, and know….”

When we quieten ourselves enough, our souls expand, and filling the space carved hollow by sorrow, a healing compassionate tenderness rises in us, with love for friend and foe alike, along with an awareness that we are loved, and that we embody love, that we can manifest love in the world.  No matter what.

To feel the power and strength of that, even in the face of the worst days, the worst news, the saddest images, that is the ground of my practice.

As I said, I’m not so good at it.  But today I return to it yet again, tenacious and fierce in determination.

And, there’s this.  Equally important, I know I must give myself permission, even discipline myself, to allow joy and beauty often to sweep into and over me, filling me with bliss and perhaps swaying me with giddy pleasure—that too is equally necessary “medicine” for me in these otherwise draining days.  I must not fall into the false trap of feeling guilty for feeling good.  My joy, too, like my pain, radiates out into the world, so you might say I have an obligation to participate in joyfulness as in suffering!

Those are some of the things I thought about today.

And because of my love and respect for you, and because of who I am, I felt a need to reach out to you on this difficult day.  So these are the musings I chose to send on to you.  Not “nine simple rules for survival.”  Not a big sermon or a profound statement, to be sure.  I never have that to give.

I merely send out my voice to you, hoping to remind you that together we are, truly we are, we can be, we must be a force for good.  We must not hold back, we must not give up, we must not lose our courage, our sense of proportion, our sense of humor, or our deep awareness of the many dimensions of history and of an unseen reality broader and deeper and wider than we can imagine, a reality that is manifested in love.  We must not give up, or give in to hopelessness.

Together we stand for sanity and peace. Together we can choose to restrain our most virulent comments and opinions and actions.  Together we can, in the familiar words, “bind up our wounds,” and carry on. Together we can find the strength to be still, and, also, paradoxically, the strength to act, to speak out, to say, perhaps,  “The emperor has no clothes,” or “This shall not stand,” or “This I believe, but I will listen respectfully to what you believe,” or whatever other words finally find their way through each of us.

And, at times when we feel most alone, we can practice listening, deep inside ourselves, as I had to do today, to what the old Eskimo shaman called “the still, small voice of Spirit that says, ‘Be not afraid.’”  Or to what Jesus said: “I will be with you, even unto the end of the world.”  Or to what Krishna said: “A person who remains steady and unattached when pleasure and pain comes and goes will achieve the highest goal.” Or to what Buddha said: “The only way you can become free is to love those who hate you.”

I write this message to you, to the world, I suppose, as my own practice in loving.

I am just wanting to let you know that I am here, just being here, holding this space on the wheel, holding you, as always, in my heart with love and with the utmost respect.

Glenda Taylor

Director, Fellowship of Comparative Religion




By Glenda | September 25, 2015

Had I power to command, I’d command everyone to take the time to watch this entire interfaith ceremony at Ground Zero, with participation by all the world’s religions. Of especial note was the equal participation of women,the embrace of the rabbi and the Muslim cleric, the emotion of the young Muslim woman participating at this sacred site, the appeal by all for peace. May peace indeed be with us.

Ancient Wisdom

By Glenda | September 3, 2015

I have entered a new phase of my life.  That does not simply mean I have gotten older, although that is certainly underway.

I refer rather to something else, far more difficult to summarize with a label or a cliché.

An aspect of this new phase, however, seems to involve making an attempt to communicate, ever more clearly, what it is that I have been about, what has been evolving in and through me, all these years, willy-nilly, haphazard as I may have manifested it, however little I myself may have consciously understood it.

Hence this urge today to speak yet again about our human place in the whole scheme of things, insofar as I continue to experience it.

I have spent a good bit of time recently visiting a number of ancient ruins built by a society obsessed with their own proper place in the whole scheme of things.


The ancient Puebloan people of the Four Corners Region of the Southwest devoted generations of human effort to replicate here on earth, in the placement of the very house beams and doorways and windows of their every dwelling, an alignment with the precisely observed patterns of the stars, moon, and sun.

Their homes, their communal structures, and even their long roads were extraordinarily aligned in accordance with their correct observation of patterns of light during cycles of sunlight and moonlight—of solstice and equinox, of the many-year-long sequences of the moon’s cycles, of the infrequent but regular intersections of moonset and sunrise at particular times of the year, of seasonal changes etc.


To be aware enough to observe such natural periodic alignments, especially over extended time and space, is an amazing accomplishment.  More importantly, perhaps, to be able to see that one’s place in the midst of it all could be rightly ordered—that was part of the genius of this people.

It is clear that their spiritual perspective was replicated on the very ground itself, extended over miles and miles in what is now several states in the region, in an amazing alignment of constructions—observatories, carefully selected and placed domestic communal complexes, ceremonial sites, and roads running straight as an arrow, aligned to true north, over hill and canyon for hundreds of miles between sites.  At least some of the roads apparently had to do with certain ceremonial occasions when many people went on spiritual processions on the roads, one of the roads being thirty feet wide for many miles.

How much had to be learned by these people about the inter-relationships of the natural world, about the permanence or impermanence of materials.  How many timbers had to be cut with stone tools and how many building stones had to be carried for miles.  How much vision occurred to initiate such massive projects.  How much  leadership skill, workmanship skill, and extraordinary human dedication and discipline was required to accomplish such incredible feats of aligned construction, over many generations, without modern tools and scientific equipment.


The Puebloan people who designed these communities could study the patterns of movement of stars and planets, the periodic changes in light that impacted the plants and the animals and the human community itself, in part because the sky here is so wide open.  In a time without electricity and all the distractions it provides, they would have spent many a starry night looking up at the rotation of the constellations across the sky.  The movements of the planets would have been as familiar to them as the patterns of the seasons are to us.

During the day in this region, the horizon is so clearly marked in the far distance, by this mesa or that remote mountain peak, that one has a fixed directional perspective.  One is not confused by the overshadowing of chaotic forms that other environments, like the flat-land woodlands of my home territory, provide.

So my own sense of self has been altered, deepened, as I have stood again and again this summer within the order, symmetry, and beauty of the ancient pueblos, and especially as I have prayed in one or another of their kivas, their place of “emergence” from one world into the next, the ceremonial site that both centers one in and allows one to transcend the natural world of time and space.

Great Kiva

This time here in the Four Corners has cleared away a lot of my own mental “clutter,” revealing in the clear light of contemplation a renewed appreciation for intangible kinship, relationship, reciprocity, resonance, and the ongoing and ever-changing dynamic of Beingness Itself.

My growing humility about my own alignment (or lack thereof) with the incredible harmony and symmetry and emergent powers of the universe fills me with a great tenderness.

My gratitude and appreciation for those people who went before us and for all that they have left for us—these push me to care ever more deeply for what we may yet leave to future generations.

One contemporary Puebloan woman remarked that so many visitors to these ancient sites ask “What happened to these people to make them leave these sites they had built so carefully over generations?”

“Well,” the woman said, “First, they didn’t abandon the sites mindlessly; they left because all of the environmental circumstances which they were so in touch with made it appropriate to move; on the other hand,” she said, “they just moved to a different location.  They didn’t disappear.  They were our ancestors.  From them we came.  And we are still here!”

We are still here, all of us, who can learn from these ancient ways.

May we too become observant enough to recognize the dangers facing our environment.

May we too be more aligned with our natural world so as to be responsive to the changes that are threatening our future existence.

May we also have the humility and the courage and the discipline to do what must be done to create and recreate our own societal structures in right relation to all else.

May the beauty and sacredness created by these ancient peoples emerge again in the kivas of all our hearts, even today.

That is my prayer.

Topics: Climate, Earth, Pueblo Peoples | Comments Off on Ancient Wisdom

Diversity and Oneness

By Glenda | August 14, 2015

I am spending a brief time of rest, renewal, and reflection in the area of the United States called Four Corners. Here the “corners” of four states touch: Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Here, too, different topographical regions touch: towering mountains dip rapidly down to high desert, the temperature dropping ten degrees in a matter of twenty minutes driving time.








Here too there is the meeting of a diversity of cultures. On the street corners of Durango, for example, Tibetan Buddhists walking in procession on their way to scatter the colored sands of a recently created sand mandala may brush shoulders with Navajo sheep herders come to town for supplies, or with real cowboys with muddy boots and well-smushed hats, or with deeply tanned mountaineers in hiking boots, or with art connoisseurs checking out the many fine local art galleries, or with strolling tourists out of Texas just enjoying the cool dry air, or with someone emerging from a local smoke shop, smiling slightly askance.

I thrive in such an eclectic environment. To be able in one place to dance with the Sufis in the Dances of Universal Peace, to sing Hindu chants accompanied by local musicians who combine guitar, tabla, and digeridoo, to attend an Intertribal Indian Ceremonial with Native Americans, to sit in silence in the peace of the mountains or to stroll along the side of a rushing river—all of these feed me in a most essential way.

For my own “way,” if I can be said to have one, is the practice of inclusive, all-encompassing wholeness, while celebrating the rich diversity of life and finding a sacred place for it all on the great wheel of meaning.

I’m not, of course, talking about making a sort of spiritual stew, where everything cooks up together and becomes something else. No. Each thing has a savor of its own, a meaning of its own, a way in which it alone rings true and shines forth its essence, its aspect of the Overall Whole.

Nor am I interested in robbing any spiritual tradition of its sacred secrets, its traditional teachings, its ways of being, in some sort of superficial collector’s mentality. No. I “practice” only those traditional things that I have been properly taught and given permission to use and in some cases to share; beyond that, I stand, silent and in awe, before the mystery and uniqueness of each tradition and each individual, and hold them sacrosanct in their way of being.










But I contemplate them, all of them, what I learn of them, allowing each to deepen my own unique perspective, my own way of being.

For, as I said, most of all I believe in wholeness.

I grew up on Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung and Allan Watts and a remembrance of Walt Whitman.

I memorized very early in life the little poem: “He drew a circle to shut me out, heretic, rebel, a thing to flout; but Love and I had the wit to win; we drew a circle that took him in.”

I live in an era in which conflict, controversy, rebellion, and polarity are the main energies on the airwaves. One hears little praise of tolerance, inclusiveness, civil discourse. Even the good words “hope” and “trust” are cynically dismissed. I live in a time when being “middle of the road” is likely to result in getting run over. Most everyone would rather I had a label, that I belonged to some certain sect or tradition with specific doctrines that could be agreed with or disdained.

Well, I belong to the Universe. I am a daughter of the Earth and a child of the Sun and a grandchild of the Cosmos. I am made of Star Stuff. So I will not be shut down by prejudice or small-mindedness.

Years ago, I helped to organize the Fellowship of Comparative Religion so that like-minded individuals could celebrate both the sacred diversity and the over-arching wholeness of all that is.

I suppose that, from time to time, I feel the necessity to explain this all, once again, just to set the record straight, not defensively or even offensively, but just in answer to some deep Calling to reveal the beautiful depth of this way of seeing things.

For it is beautiful! To see the similarities and redundancies of human endeavors, as well as to savor the subtle distinctions in time and manner, what an adventure!

It seems that every spiritual tradition shares in a common basic human need and spiritual aspiration, while each spiritual tradition in its own way has shown some unique face or way of being. To love both and all—what could be better?

I have often said that on whatever memorial marker may be put up for me when I am gone on, I hope it merely says “Yes, And…”

So this area, this Four Corners, this is heady stuff for me.

Last weekend I was in Canyon de Chelly, surely one of the most conspicuously holy places on earth, talking with a very young Navajo, as he explained the symbols on the ancient pictographs to me.












His gentle words echoed the wisdom of dozens of teachings I have heard from others explaining a variety of different traditions, while his unique sweet spirit touched me deeply.

I was especially moved by his words about part of the little slab of rock he held in his hands, a small pictograph that he himself had made that day. He spoke about many symbols—the spiral, the wheel, the scorpion, the rain and rainbow, etc.—but I focused on one special symbol—two circles, one inside the other.


Pointing to the inside circle, he said, “This is our visible world, what we can know or see, this little circle is us …..see…..and this little circle, us, we are inside the larger circle which is the Wholeness, the Invisible, the Holy World.” The two circles, one inside the other—I had recently heard a famous Jewish rabbi use exactly the same analogy to explain reality.

And standing there in the clear air of the ancient canyon, I almost wept, as I held the little rock carving the young Navajo boy placed in my hands, his deep brown eyes smiling at me, full of wisdom from many and many generations, handed down, passed on, a treasure for me to hold and share, the same treasure of knowing that I had received over and over, from that Jewish rabbi, from Episcopal priests and Buddhist monks, from secular philosophers, from many Grandmothers, from Sufi lovers, from Life itself. The little circle, inside the Great Circle. The little self, inside the Great Self. The many, inside the One.


Here in the Four Corners area, I am enjoying rest, renewal, and also a recognition of who I am, small and great, simple and complex. And I feel, stirring within me, once again, the Call, the deep, resonant Call, to show forth this Beauty Way, this beautiful truth that surpasses all differences.

When I return back to that opposite sort of topographical climate where I live most other times of the year, when I go back to the river bottoms and heavily forested southern woodlands of East Texas, to the “Bible Belt” and the long-prevailing conservative political bent of much of the populace, I will take with me this repeated and cherished experience of the Four Corners’ vast wide open skies, the quickly passing storm clouds, the rich diversity of life and population, and the touching in balance of different distinct state’s boundaries.

I am blessed. I am grateful. I have spoken. Again.

Topics: General, Oneness, Pueblo Peoples, Religious tolerance | Comments Off on Diversity and Oneness

The essence of Buddhism

By Glenda | July 25, 2015

“Gratitude for the past, service to the present, responsibility for the future…” Huston Smith’s definition of the essence of Buddhism.

Topics: General | Comments Off on The essence of Buddhism


By Glenda | May 20, 2015

A quotation from the book Creators on Creating:


“Myriad connections, though perhaps unseen, exist between all things. While I may jump in the air, I fall down again; and the sun energizes plants and they energize us; molecule after molecule is stacked up to make a tree, which is pulverized to make the paper for this book in your hand; ideas float on the air between mouths, between cultures, and the world is changed; a painter’s palette expresses emotion, as well as a photochemical reaction in his eyes; zeroes and ones in particular sequence solve differential equations that describe complicated natural systems; a long-lost friend telephones just after she is remembered; slate under pressure over eons becomes diamond; musicians get in tune by feeling for beats; water and oxygen flow continually through our bodies; DNA connects grandmothers to mothers to daughters; electrical sparks across synapses connect neurons together in thought, and axons to muscles in limbs, so we are mobile; shadowy imprints of dinosaurs and asteroid dust, ancient cities, are layered underneath earth’s lively crust; ancient plant bogs formed carboniferous pools of oil, which now power industries and automobiles; an atom metamorphosed becomes light; wishes become dreams become realities; and black holes suck in plasma to where? Another universe?

“Universal patterns inform creative symbols and the symbolizing mind of the creator. The ancient Greeks called such patterns archetypes. Archetypes or not, history is always there, but ahead of it there is a future not determined by anyone or anything, but contingent on the products of our own creation. It is we who make the future, and our imagination of the future affects who we are and what we do now…”

Editorial comment by Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, and Anthea Barron

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