Thursday, April 28, 2016

10% Happier

If you've always wanted to meditate, but could never figure out how to start, or how to keep going day after day, I would highly recommend a new meditation program called 10% Percent Happier. The program, which offers a "clear, easy to use, step-by-step guide" to meditation, is billed as "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics."

Each day, the instruction begins with a short conversation between a highly experienced meditation teacher and ABC News Anchor Dan Harris. In 2004, Harris suffered an on-air panic attack in front of millions of TV viewers. The experience led him to daily meditation. These conversations are aimed at people who have looked askance at meditation, even as millions and millions of Americans are turning to the practice to reduce stress, improve concentration and boost brain health.

The introductory conversation is followed by a ten to 15 minute meditation with the experienced meditation teacher. The first seven days of 10% Happier are free, so you might as well try it (if you subscribe, the program costs only $10 a month.) 

Even after all these years I have been meditating, I am learning an incredible amount from this wonderful series. Try it and see for yourself!

Friday, April 22, 2016

About a Robin

What magic is this
robin, creeping so softly
over the green green grass.
As she passes my window
I marvel.

Here is another miracle.
Inhaling, I cannot
imagine which who what
unfathomable force or being
is at work here,
creating this black and
rust-colored  bird.
I have stared at so many
creatures and growing things
and still

I am awed by
and Lakes
and Oceans
and Babies’ toes and fingers.
I will always wonder,
My God, who makes them!?

Dedicated to a muse and my dear friend, Sharon Flitterman-King

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Jackson Pollock I am NOT...

But I sure did get inspired seeing his work last week in an exhibit at MOMA.  He was brilliant and innovative and so prolific.

Here is the first painting I did after seeing the show:

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Have You Seen the Pale Blue Dot?

My son has a small round tattoo on his arm. I asked him about it and he told me it was "the pale blue dot." Many of you may already know what that dot is all about. I didn't. But this is what I have learned: 
The pale blue dot appears in a photograph of the Earth taken on February 14, 1990. The Earth appears as a barely visible blue speck in the dark space of the Universe. The photo was taken by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) as the space craft was leaving the solar system.  
At the suggestion of astronomer Carl Sagan, NASA turned Voyager I's camera around and took one last photograph of Earth across a vast expanse of space. Later, Sagan wrote a book called The Pale Blue Dot, in which he said:

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
"The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
"The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space