Trudy Goodman

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Ram Dass is Soaring

Waking up today, I see Ram Dass is soaring… That is the word that keeps coming to me every time I see a bird coasting in the wind across the rainy clouds this morning! Ram Dass magically resurrected for the December retreat which he really wanted to do. He swam with us in his beloved… Continue reading

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Counting Blessings

December solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year. The sun seems to stand still for a few days as the axis of the earth pauses and shifts direction to bring longer days and new light into the world. Winter solstice can be a time to reflect on our heart’s intention and… Continue reading

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Thanksgiving Pilgrimage

Whether you welcome Thanksgiving as a harmonious feast day to celebrate with family and friends, or dread conflicts with family; whether you tell the story of Pilgrims and Indians enjoying three days of harvest festival bounty together, or mourn the genocide and conquest of Native Americans; the holidays can be a time of inner pilgrimage,… Continue reading

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Listening

He didn’t say much; he didn’t have to. The quality of his listening itself was so warm and loving, everyone would relax in his presence. Like my father, my beloved Uncle Jim was wise and focused; he could see the humor in all of our various life dramas. Losing him signals the last of his… Continue reading

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Quenching the Fires

Jack and I just co-taught a meditation retreat at Spirit Rock with no electricity – until the very last evening. Imagine no hot water and no heat; it was 37 degrees when we woke up before dawn in the cold moonless black velvet night. Turning off my flashlight, I could see the vast starlit trail… Continue reading

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Makeup on Empty Space

Excerpted from Anne Waldman’s poem, “Makeup on Empty Space” I am putting makeup on empty space rouge blushing on empty space I am putting makeup on empty space pasting eyelashes on empty space painting the eyebrows of empty space piling creams on empty space painting the phenomenal world I am hanging ornaments on empty space… Continue reading

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Only go straight, don’t-know!

My first teacher Dae Soen Sa Nim taught us to practice mindfulness with simple Zen phrases: “Only go straight, don’t-know!” He encouraged us all to “Keep this don’t-know mind, try, try for 10,000 years, non-stop.” This was the beauty of his dedication, to keep practicing the teachings of mindful awareness from this moment all the… Continue reading

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Retreat to the Future

I’m about to enter a meditation retreat at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in rural central Massachusetts with one of my dharma heroes, Bhikkhu Analayo. Since 1975, the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with its Retreat Center, the Study Center and the Forest Refuge, was my loving home away from home when I lived in… Continue reading

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A Powerful Week

This is a week of spiritual streams converging in the autumnal equinox and the Jewish New Year beginning Sunday eve. Monday was the time in the earth’s annual cycle around the sun when day and night are equal in length, a moment of perfect balance where the tilt of the earth allows the sun to… Continue reading

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Restoring the Goodness of our Hearts

This week, I’m in the beautiful high desert of Lucerne Valley, co-teaching our 7-night fall InsightLA meditation retreat at Royal Way ranch with Celeste Young, Lienchi Tran, and Justine Dawson, with Vince Perata as retreat manager. The ranch is an oasis of waterfalls, walking paths, carefully tended orchards and gardens, poised at 3800 feet at… Continue reading