I am so grateful to all the kind people I met at St. Juliana’s Cancer Survivor support group this evening. Every encounter is an exchange, just as we were talking about. I was fortunate to receive some tips on how to bring meditation to patients of all sorts in the hospital, whether in the MRI lab or on the TV.

I encourage all of you to follow up on your own with the audio tape I mentioned. The link to the audio file is here. Click the file to play it in your computer or on your phone. Right-click and choose Save File As to save it to your computer or phone to play it later. The recording takes you through the Awareness/Body Scan meditation we did near the beginning of the session, and then the chair yoga we did, and finally the relaxation meditation we did at the end.

Even if you don’t listen to this entire file, just practice taking a few mindful breaths whenever you feel distracted or anxious. Even just a minute of mindful attention will break those thoughts and bring you to the Now.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions!

Walking meditation 

January 11th, 2017

Walk mindfully, whether you are in the garden, going to your doctor’s office, or to the supermarket. What are you feeling? Pick a feeling and say this about it:

I know that _____ is here. 

I know this is just a feeling. 

I know this feeling will pass. 

I know I am calm. 

I know I am strong enough to take care of this _____. 

In the Cancer Ward

September 21st, 2016

I have chosen Oncology as my first area of focus. Morale among the staff seems generally good. Among the patients, those who are going to be discharged soon are upbeat. Most, though, are weighed down by the great iron ball of illness. They walk doggedly down the hall, a nurse at their side, dragging the ball behind them. Or they lie in bed with the ball pressing down on them, looking up, wondering what will happen next. I long to take that ball away, or at least lift it up and make it a little lighter. 

Diary of a Chaplain

July 24th, 2016

People look at me oddly when I tell them I’m going to spend Sunday at the hospital. Or when I tell them I voluntarily spend time in the emergency room. Why would go spend time doing that? their expression says.

If you have spent years caring for kids, if you enjoyed the “job” of parenting and miss doing it, you will feel at home caring for people in a hospital. At least I do. It’s good to have a role to play. It’s good to have staff people greet you when you come in,  and patients look happy when you appear. You do worry about what’s going to happen, and you do dead some disaster. But must Minnehaha are small and human and quiet, and I like being part of that.

Beautiful Music in the Hood

December 22nd, 2015

One of the most successful online marketplaces for musical instruments in the country is located just four or five blocks from my house. It’s caed Reverb.com and I got to visit the offices recently. Thanks to the people who work there for letting me hang out them them. There were lots of instruments in their space. They get together and jam sometimes after work. Cool place to work!

The article is here: http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abu/y215/m11/abu0384/s02.

The Only Way to Be Happy

December 20th, 2015

Over the past four months I have undertaken two life-changing projects. I am taking a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL. And I have helped create a nonprofit organization called Devices 4 the Disabled (D4D). These two things have given me a new direction. Bu they are tied together because they are both ways to help people. The Dalai Lama said that the only way to be happy is to practice compassion. When you cultivate loving kindness you yourself are happy. CPE and D4D both act as laboratories for this. But we all have our own laboratories.

August 16th, 2015


One big kid joined all the little kids in the sprinkler at our block party yesterday.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 16th, 2015

“The atomic bomb is the perfect symbol of wicked wisdom.”
–Gelek Rimpoche

Change Your Inlook

August 11th, 2015

“A lot of our research is based on outlook, not inlook. If people did inlook research just as we research rabbits and mice, they would have a big surprise.”
–Gelek Rimpoche

Greg’s Fermentation Factory

August 10th, 2015

Yogurt in back, kefir in front on the left, kombucha on the right. You can never have too many probiotics aroun


d the house or in your gut, I say.