Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Friday, June 15th, 2018

2018 Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day All In One



The Solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice, once in summer and once in winter each year when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole. During Solstices the tilt of the axil of the Earth (with respect to the Sun) is the maximum at 23° 26′. In the Northern Hemisphere, this solstice marks the longest day of the year. Early dawns. Long days. Late sunsets. Short nights. The sun at its height each day, as it crosses the sky. South of the equator winter begins.

The 2018 Solstice happens on June 21 at 10:07 UTC (coordinated universal time) and 6:07 a.m. for our time zone.

Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India about 6,000 years ago. In the 19th century, yoga, along with a general interest in Eastern culture and philosophy came to attention of the West as Swami Vivekananda, the first Hindu teacher to actively advocate and explain yoga to a western audience, toured Europe and the United States.

The United Nations General Assembly declared International Yoga Day official on December 11th, 2014.

Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi

Celebrate International Yoga Day along with the Summer Solstice June 21st. l’chaim

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Ichi-go ichi-e: this is the moment

ichi go ichi e

A simple practical idea from the art of tea or Sadou, the way of tea. Ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会) is a concept expressing the ideal roughly translated that means one time, one meeting or one encounter; one opportunity. In the way of tea we respect and honor the moment as a once-in-a-lifetime gathering, a simple encounter that will never happen again. Ichi-go ichi-e reminds us that each tea ceremony (and each moment) is unique unto itself. Even though the elements may seem familiar, remember, they are not.

One Time; One Meeting; One Moment; Never Repeated; Totally Unique and Original.

Friday, May 11th, 2018

The Blending Balance of Masculine and Feminine

Boynton Approach

Boynton View

Boynton Yin and Yang


Sedona is a blending of all things. This can be deeply felt in The Boynton Canyon Vortex, the site of balanced male/female, yin/yang energy.

Historically our public lives have been dominated by the masculine need to survive and thrive in the physical world with the me first (substitute America first) attitude in the areas of finances, politics and technology. With that the feminine care of others was relegated to the private life of home and family. A stronger masculine employs greed, selfishness, and exploitation all with the end to elevate the self. A stronger feminine sits in the spirit of generosity and equality.

It is a tumultuous time in the Boynton Canyon Vortex. Feeling the masculine influences of technology, politics and ethics, we recognize that we are at the moment in our evolution when we need to, more than ever before, incorporate and balance our feminine side strengthening our relationships with intimacy, commitment, honesty and generosity.

Friday, April 20th, 2018

What We Need More Than Even: Patriots


I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom…At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in. Rosa Parks

Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. Remember Rosa Parks. The moment you set an example the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow. Timothy Snyder, Lesson Number 8.

There is so much information coming to us of late, I understand how it can cause overload and the need to withdraw, but I found a book and the interview that gives me good reason to see good emerging from all of this bad.

Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny is a very practical book. He reviews the outcomes learned from the history of the last century, outlining 20 everyday measures each of us can take to resist authoritarianism. The list (complete list here) includes among other things, being polite to strangers, making new friends, joining social, and donating to power-checking institutions.

Of all the James Comey interviews, Stephen Colbert did the best job. Watch it HERE. For sure, the best line was “I’m like a breakup he can’t get over” but when he talks about how it’s not okay for just shrug his shoulder’s at Trump’s indecent and immornal behavior, he is showing us the steps he is taking to be the Patriot that Tim Snyder says we need in these times.

I’m impressed and encouraged by both. Maybe it will do the same for you.

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

Enlightenment Now


…The story of human progress is truly heroic. It is glorious. It is uplifting. It is even, I daresay spiritual….

…We are born into a pitiless universe, facing steep odds against life-enabling order…We are made from crooked timber, vulnerable to illusions, self-centeredness, and at time astounding stupidity.

Yet human nature has also been blessed with resources that open a space for a kind of reception. We are endowed with the power to combine ideas recursively, to have thought about our thoughts…We are deepened with the capacity for sympathy-for pity, imagination, compassion, commiseration….

…We live longer, suffer less, learn more, get smarter, and enjoy more small pleasures and rich experiences….We will never have a perfect world…but there is no limit to the betterments we can attain…

And the story belongs not to any tribe but to all of humanity-to any sentient creature with the power to reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.

Steven Pinker Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

The Spiritual Path On Counting The Omer

My Kabbalah- detail

My Kabbalah- detail

In the days of the Temple, Passover marked the ripening of barley by offering a special measure called an omer. The forty-nine day omer count begins on the second day of Passover in preparation to receive the Torah on Shavuot.

Jewish mystics use seven of the ten divine attributes to contemplate the count in terms of our personal and moral growth. There are books and web sites to help you follow along to this outline: Counting the Omer with Rabbi Yael Levy
Counting the Omer by Day
1.Chesed of Chesed: generosity vs. lack of boundaries
2.Gevruah of Chesed: strength that enables generosity
3.Tiferet of Chesed: compassion of generosity
4.Netzach of Chesed: perseverance in generous
5.Hod of Chesed: sincerity of generosity
6.Yesod of Chesed: connecting to the task of being generous
7.Malchut of Chesed: accepting and including generosity
8.Chesed of Gevurah: kindness in strength
9.Gevurah of Gevurah: strength vs. rigidity
10.Tiferet of Gevurah: balance and mercy with strength
11.Netzach of Gevurah: persistence with strength
12.Hod of Gevurah: surrender as an expression of strength
13.Yesod of Gevurah: focused intention applied with strength
14.Malchut of Gevurah: receptivity as an expression of strength
15-21.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Tiferet: compassion
22-28.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied Netzah: perseverance
29-35.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Hod: surrender
36-42.Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Yesod: intention and connection
43-49. Each sephirah, Chesed, Gevorah, Tiferet, Netzah, Hod, Yesod, Malchut applied to Malchut: receptivity and nurturance

Ritualwell, a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and Ma’yan, the Jewish Women’s Project offer feminist resources and rituals to count the omer: The Kolot Egalitarian Omer Calendar and An Omer Calendar of Biblical Women By Rabbi Jill Hammer which offers this female version of the daily omer prayer:

Beruchah at yah, eloheinu ruach haolam, asher kidshatnu bemitzvoteha vetzivatnu al sefirat ha’omer.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler/Spirit of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.

May we move out from our narrow constrictions to a more authentic life.

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Today’s Seder Plate


Many years ago we altered our seder plate to use red beets to represent the blood on the door posts (as opposed to a lamb shank) and orange slices for equality, not to mention the addition water cup of Miriam next to the wine of Elijah.

Those of us old enough remember when we added a fourth matzah for the Soviet Jews who were not free to practice Judaism, olives for peace in the Middle East and an empty picture frame to symbolize China’s suppression of Tibet including its ban on pictures the Dalai Lama.

In addition to all of those, this year’s plate will be that much bigger and fuller with these important additions:

Potato peelings to commemorate Jews who starved during the Holocaust.

Roasted potatoes as a symbol of solidarity with refugees unable to maintain sustainable diets as they flee.

Artichokes as the symbol for interfaith families.

Fair Trade Chocolate or Cocoa Beans as a symbol of forced labor.

The Banana to represent the victims of the Syrian refugee crisis who see these as a luxury in their native, war-torn country.

A Pinecone housing the precious pine nut that is impossible to extract without great effort, representing mass incarceration and the difficult work it will take to repair this injustice.

Cashews to honor our troops stationed in the desert who request salted cashews as the best source of sustenance and hydration in this challenging environment.

A whole Tomato representing workers who deserve to be paid a living wage.

Chag Sameach

Monday, March 19th, 2018

Ending The Search


In this very moment lies an invitation to the Silence that reveals itself when you simply stop.
Perhaps your mind is asking, “Stop what?”
Just stop. Stop asking.
Stop trying.
Stop pretending.
Stop believing your stories of whom you are or where you have to go.
Stop thinking you know something don’t know something.
There is no “how”; “how” is more mind activity.
Silence needs no “how.” It simply IS.
You simply ARE.
If you want to discover what you truly are, just stop-even an instant long enough.
What is here when you simply stop?

Do not be too hard on yourself. All of your attempts to shame, degrade, renounce, reject, or beat upper ego into submission only serve to strengthen your belief in its separate existence, which is actually an illusion. You might as well allow yourself into your heart. Love is the greater dissolver of separation. Yet from the Heart that accepts all and sees with both clarity and love, you are invited to question the questioner; double the doubter; look for the seer.

Come into the sense of Now, quietly present to your innermost Self.
Invite your attention deep inside, beyond the concepts covering your naked, open awareness.
Bypass all remembered definitions of your self, even for a moment, and come inside your Heart….
Turn your attention toward your innermost silent Source; feel its Presence. Let yourself return again and again to this felt sense.

Until we have fully embraced our humanity with out relinquishing our divinity,
we have not yet come Home.
Love is the invitation beyond separation.

While you sense the extraordinary in each moment and each form as it is, including your own, there is no need to be seen to be extraordinary. Dwelling in the ordinary, you can appreciate the natural unfolding of life, moments, thoughts, feelings, body sensations, spontaneous actions, whatever appears and disappears….Dwelling in the ordinary means laughing when something is funny, crying when something is sad, enjoying the taste of food when you eat, feeling compassion in the face of pain or suffering, accepting what comes and accepting what goes, with love infusing it all.

Ending The Search by Dorothy Hunt, pgs. 23; 55; 85; 167; 240

Monday, March 12th, 2018

The Call From Deep Within


There is something larger than self, that we either mangle or make significant. Dante

According to James Hollis these are the stages of our common developmental journey:

1. One is called to the next stage, to a task.
2. The task that each of us is to address is different, the summons to individual personhood.
3. Such tasks pull us out of our comfort zones.
4. In these moments, we risk inflation, as much as intimidation.
5. We are summoned forth redeeming values that has been lost or repudiated through the adaptations of the society. These must be revisited, integrated, lived, in order to bring healing to the earth or trigger the next stage in our personal development toward wholeness.
6. Flight from this restorative task, as well as the honest experience of exile, will bring retribution, neurosis, repressed power and energy.
7. The pathology that arises from any flight from the task is necessary to get out attention.
8. Suffering is the requisite for consciousness and recovery.
9. Homecoming is the goal, but not a geographic home out there or a comforting theology or psychology but a healed relationship with self integrating all parts of the soul and its journey to allow spontaneous generosity in every circumstance.

Failure to incorporate these challenges, tasks, losses into our lives means we have not yet accepted the full package life brings to us. Everything given to us is lost and redeemed by us through more conscious affirmations and actions of values that we continually uphold and serve.

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

A Little Ray of MoonLight


This week we witnessed a spectacular celestial event: the alignment of Super, Blue and Eclipse Moon. Star gazers call it the Full Moon of Unity where the power of the individual joins the power to the people to brings us together as one heart, one voice, and one action.

I felt the moon’s power to bring us together listening to Joseph Kennedy’s response to the #notmypresident State of the Union. Read it, pass it on, feel the rays of moonlight that are among us.

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Moral Obligations To Strangers- Unite The Families


Our immigration laws are a nightmare. The 800,000 Dreamers are one group but there are many more residents in our country who are not being at all included in the current discussion. Two cases in point:

Democracy Now has been following the case of Ravi Ragbir, an over two decade undocumented immigrant with US citizen wife and children. The story is both heart wrenching and revolting, certainly because of his treatment, but more so because there is no conceivable path to legalization and citizenship within our current system. That situation has lead to his current condition, Ravi being arbitrarily removed from his home and family- taken into detention.

José Ángel N., who was here in Pittsburgh recently reading from his book, Illegal, tells the story of living an American dream characterized by constraint, deception, and humiliation. It is poignant and personal, well told and easily felt, a precarious situation at best, as he ponders his life as an illegal with a citizen wife and child.

Both men are two of the 11.3 million US immigrant residents who have no path to citizenship. A Shunda! Here are 7 Ways You Can Help Undocumented Immigrants Right Now.

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Five Secrets to Lasting Love


The following Languages of Love are our means of communicating and demonstrating our love. Most of us can easily rank one or two of these above the others both to give and receive our love. Which mean the most to you? Which are you going to try to improve?

1. Words of affirmation
Words have meaning. If this is your language hearing I love you and other verbal compliments are what you value the most. On the other side, negative or insulting comments cut deep and won’t be easily forgiven.

2. Quality time
Giving the ones you love your undivided attention and more quality time is what matters on this one. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful to loved ones who value this form of love.

3. Receiving gifts
Don’t mistake tangible gifts for materialism, but as a way to feel cared for, appreciated and loved. People who thrive on this do not deal well with and absence of everyday gestures let alone forgotten or ignored special occasions.

4. Acts of Service
Anything you can do to ease another’s burdens is always appreciated. Lending a hand, taking helpful action without being asked speak a meaningful and thoughtful love. If you’re not willing to show your appreciation by doing a loved one a favor, you’re saying you don’t value them.

5. Physical touch
Nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch. Everyday physical connections, hugging, handholding, pats on the back or any type of re-affirming physical contact is feels great not just physically but also emotionally. A favorite of mine is group hugs.

Learn more here.

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