Breaking Hearts Open

Special to the Portland Press Herald Maine Voices I applaud the recent teen-age letter writer who has the courage to express her feelings about our suicide epidemic, and encourage that helpline numbers be posted in high schools. She is correct that we have an epidemic of young adult drug use and suicide. Almost every day these tragedies shout out from the newsprint, or from the television and Internet. May the telling words in the obituaries of young people, "died unexpectedly at home" wake us up! Adolescence is rightfully the time of experimentation and searching. We leave the familiar surroundings

India Slideshow

I'm home after a month-long pilgrimage to India where I lived in Shantivanam, a Hindu-Christian Ashram, and visited ancient Hindu Temples. To join the established prayer, chanting and meditation routine of the Ashram dropped me down into a sweet and deep reverence for the accessibility of the divine presence, a minute-by-minute communion that I found both gratefully relieving and quietly exciting. Seven days of silence and solitude offered me a further needed respite from usual social contact, and space for deep reflection and prolonged meditation. On trips to south Indian temples we participated in devotional rituals that have been

Fog – A Visualization

Here in Maine, the thick wet fog rolls slowly in from the Atlantic Ocean. The fog gathers density from the white surf breaking on the hard black rocks, first at the outermost islands: towering Monhegan, then low and long Damarisicove Island, safe haven for the men and women of the coast’s first fishing community. Then the fog moves on south down to the hulk of Sequin Island, then to tiny Halfway Rock with its tall stone lighthouse. After touching stately Jewell Island and the rest of the Calendar Islands, the fog lumbers onto the mainland at Portland, touching and

As Five Senses Fade – Spiritual Life Revealed

As I advance into my elder years - my seventies - I notice that my eyesight is not as keen as it used to be, I cannot hear as well as I used to, my touch is not as sure as usual, food tastes a little weird, things even smell different! My sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell are fading; these losses are organic, inevitable and common. The sensory habits connecting us to the material world are fading away, but they don’t mean that we are fading away! As my five senses fade, new valuable gifts are presented. One

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