i've been absent from the weblog in recent weeks because i've been all caught up in 'amma season' - that wonderful time of the year that is better than school letting out, better than ski week, better than any holiday i can name - that time of year when amma visits the bay area from india. we all had a fabulous time, and are still savoring our enjoyment of our time with her as she moves on her way across the country. tomorrow will be her last day in los angeles and from there she will travel to santa fe new mexico.
as part of my service to the community this time around, i've published a new e-magazine called 'amma's forest dwellers' for old-timers, retired persons, contemplatives, hermits and the like - all of whom used to be called 'forest-dwellers' in the old folk-tradition of india.
i've also been reading Karen Armstrong's 'The Spiral Staircase.' Years ago, I read her first book, 'The Narrow Gate,' about her time in the convent back in the late 1950's and early 1960's. 'The Spiral Staircase' tells her story after leaving the convent and eventually writing her best-selling books, such as 'A History of God.' I found 'The Spiral Staircase' an engrossing memoir, plus entertaining (for example, her charming stories of Jacob), intriguing and educational (her description of her health issues), and I appreciated her articulate personal sharing.
i've been playing my dulcimer in the evenings more, as a part of my spiritual practice. Toning and singing are even better, really, but i feel charmed by the mellifluous tones of the dulcimer. like to feel the vibration under my hands and where the dulcimer lays flat across my lap. my blue lion really truly does make exquisite sound. very conducive to meditation.