On the “Useless” Emotion of Guilt

  On the third night of a weekend retreat on Buddhist grounds, somewhere in the state of New York, I asked a question of my teachers: what is the antidote for guilt in Buddhism?  A soft-spoken nun named Chen-Ma laughed a bit and spoke into her mike after a measured pause: “In Buddhism, we consider…

Climbing Trees, Smelling Flowers: A Rainy Nature Walk

 I kneeled to the glory of mushrooms growing up from cracks in the pavement. How tough must they be to choose this place to live.  I looked deep into layers of rough, rain-stained bark, wondering at the strength of this skin. I climbed a tree! It was soaked and full of young bugs. I recognized the hunger after…

Snow Day in Brooklyn!

This afternoon I filled my travel mug with coffee, laced up my snow boots and walked around Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn. This is what I saw: The buildings are old and lovable with their many shades of weathered red brick, fortressed in by high, steep, often crumbling front steps and scraggly branched…

Walking Through Blizzard Juno in Central Park

Yesterday the city of New York was wrapped up in a blanket of giddy cheer because almost every municipal worker, chain shop keeper, and commuter knew they were going to be home, in snow-globe like surroundings until Wednesday. Mayor De Blasio granted the first snow day of the year and since the announcement came at…