Bubbe Wisdom Blog

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

It Takes A LifeTime-ReBlog

Some of my personal favorites

This is a reblog from 2015 I discovered while researching my newest project. It remains a thoughtful answer to the most often asked question.

The big question that I am getting lately is- How long does it take you to make that? Oh my, what a loaded question. There are so many factors that go into each and every quilt: the purpose, the budget, the materials, and the use to name the most basic. That requires a face-to-face meeting with the client- asking critical questions to understand the needs and goals for the project.

I go through the materials and organize them to make sense for this particular project. I begin with my experience- recalling past projects that fit into the same classification. For example, someone is interested in a curtain- I look back at all of my curtain projects and see what will help me this time.
I search through other pieces of art that will engage my creativity looking for innovations that will help make this piece better.

I decide on the format- do I need a drawing? a pattern? a series of cuttings? Are there different components to the project- does it need a border- will it be used as wall art? What is the backing?
Finally, the work begins, a very organized and speedy process of cutting, piecing, ironing, pinning, observing, correcting, noting, quilting, binding………………..

How long does it take to make a quilt? A lifetime of experience.

Working 2019

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

Coming Out Of Shavasana

When the time comes to return to life by allowing your breath to become deeper, longer. Bring some movement to your fingers and toes while you move your head from side to side. Take a moment to move your wrists and ankles in circles, circle in both directions to stimulate energy flow again. (There is an old Daoist saying that if you roll your ankles in circles every day, you will never die of a heart attack.) When you are ready, hug your knees to your chest in preparation for making your body small and round. Take a deep inhalation, and on the exhalation bring your head and knees together, and squeeze. Make yourself as small and as round as you can. Release.

Wake up by stretching out the whole body-this is a natural energizer. Move any supports away, stretch your legs along the floor and stretch your arms over your head. Interlock your fingers and turn the palms away from you. from you. Press your lower back down; flex your toes toward your nose. Now take a huge inhalation, fill your lungs- and stretch. Make yourself as long as possible; contract your facial muscles and make your face as small as possible. Push and pull yourself longer. Then release with a long sighing “Haah”. Once more flex the toes, flatten your lower back, and take a big inhalation. Stretch your body. This time, open your face, mouth, and eyes, as wide as you can, stick your tongue out, touch your chin- stretch. Reach! Exhale and relax with a sigh.

Hug your knees once more into your chest and roll to your left side; pause there a moment and let the energy settle. Stretch out your bottom arm under your head and use it as a pillow: enjoy how this feels. Often teachers will ask students to end the class by lying on their right side to relax the heart. This is a great suggestion for ending a yang class. Lying on the right side helps to open the left nostril, due to the sinus reflex. However, the left nostril is the yin channel. After a yin practice, it is nice to balance the body by lying on the left side, allowing the right nostril, the yang channel, to open.

Don’t linger too long here; coming back to life is like being reincarnated. Don’t stay in the bardo state between Shavasana (your little death) and rebirth too long, or you may decide to stay there forever. When you are ready, spill up to sitting and prepare your your final meditation.

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Relax Completely

Scan your body slowly. Start with your toes and feet-allow your feet to relax. Feel them becoming heavy on the floor. Allow your awareness to rise up to the ankles, calves and shins. Feel them melting into the earth; no effort needed. Feel the space in the knee joints. Move slowly higher. Relax the thighs. Feel them become heavy, warm, soft. Notice your buttocks, hips and groin relaxing; they too become soft and warm. Linger here feeling the flow of energy through the hips.

Now allow your awareness to come to the tailbone, feel your sacrum and lower back release into the floor. Feel your lower back and stomach muscles relax. Allow this sensation to rise up the spine. Feel each vertebra- the space between them and their alignment. Allow the upper back muscles and the shoulder blades to sink into the floor. Relax your chest and all the muscles between the ribs. Come now to the shoulders, where we carry so much tension in our bodies. Let the shoulders release completely. spend an extra moment here, and really soften. Feel the weight of the shoulders sink into the earth. Relax the upper arms, the elbow, and the forearms. Feel the space in the wrist joints. Feel the space around each finger and the energy in the palm of each hand.

Bring your awareness to your neck and throat, and release all tension there. Relax your jaw, lips, and tongue; relax your checks and eyes and all the muscles around the eyes and deep in the eye sockets; relax your forehead and your scalp. Allow your head to rest heavily on the floor.

Now relax your inner organs. Bring your awareness to the reproductive organs and either feel or imagine them relaxing. Relax your intestines and kidneys. Imagine your liver, stomach, and spleen being filled with healing energies, Soften your diaphragm and lungs. Relax your heart. Let your heart become open…vast…undefending, and…smiling.

Release the breath totally; let it be whatever it wants to be. Notice the breath-become aware of the short pauses between each breath. Relax your mind…notice that the moment between the breath is the moment between the thoughts. Enjoy those moments of complete silence and peace; feel this sense of peace growing deeper. Let this feeling of peace fill you; let it fill the space around you, let peace fell the room and beyond, toughing everyone and everything.

The Complete Guild To Yin Yoga; Bernie Clark; pg.137

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Preparing To Relax

Make your environment quiet: turn off noises, remove pets, turn lights down but not off. Begin by letting the body become open: take off glasses and watches; let your hair down, remove anything that may restrict the flow of energy. Ensure you will stay warm-put on socks, a sweater, and/or cover yourself with blanket.

Make yourself comfortable as you lie on the floor. Bending the knees a little will allow the lower back to release to the floor. Place a folded blanket or bolster under them so the legs can relax. Allow the feet to fall inward or outward, whichever feels more relaxed. To really allow the sacrum to lie flat, slide your tailbone away from you. Next, let your arms lie beside you, palms face up and about a foot away from your hips. This will allow your shoulder blades to lie flat; snuggle them into the floor.

Lengthen the neck slightly by pointing the chin toward your feet. You can even roll your head from side to side a few times, until you find a comfortable position in the center.

Get all of your fighting over with: become still. Often, one or two deep breaths here with a loud sigh are delicious. Release your bones, let go completely- you are ready. Now close your eyes, time to relax.

The Complete Guide To Yin Yoga; Bernie Clark; Page 136

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Reclaiming Religion

Ala Rabbi Sharon Brous’ Ted Talk. It is time for:

Wakefulness- pulling people into the anguish to promote social change.

Hope- a single act of defiance will give us a means, a sense of purpose

Mightiness- Understanding the act of being strong, mighty and worthy where we can’t do everything but we can do something.

Interconnectedness- Any problem is our problem too. We are in this together. None are free until all are free.

Time to end the failed religion of extremism and routinism and instead, the spiritual shift toward love, justice equality and dignity for all.

Monday, September 9th, 2019

Renewing The Human Spirit

The absolutely easiest, best path to renewal is a trip to one of our Natural Wonders. Magically, simple food becomes blessed:

Simple findings turn into meaningful representations:

The personal transforms in perspective:

And everything seems like the right place at the right time with the right purpose:

Friday, August 9th, 2019

No, You Cannot Shoot Someone on Fifth Avenue and Get Away With It

Last night I attended the Vigil in Squirrel Hill and I realized that I have been complicit because of my lack of action during this troubling times. Some ideas:

Join us at Tuesdays with Toomey Pittsburgh every Tuesday, 12:00, Toomey’s office City-County Building

Fax Your senators daily and particularly Mitch McConnell about bringing Gun Control legislation to the floor.

Identify your representatives and write to them or use social media for contact

Register to vote and find others to register.

Explore Michael Moore’s 10-POINT ACTION PLAN TO STOP TRUMP

Join a local Group like Bend the Arc or Casa San Jose

Stay informed!!!! My favorite way is podcasts like Talking Feds and Mueller She Wrote and The Daily.

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Prayer To Michal

Michal the Archangel, the champion of The Divine’s people, help us in our struggle against evil in our hearts and in our midst. Guard and guide those whose special task is to work for the welfare of all. Keep our homes and families safe from harm. Be at our side at life’s end and lead us safely to The Divine whose great love we cherish and whose mercy we implore. Amen

Arch Angel Michal

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019



Cleaning Piece IV
Write down everything you fear in life.
Burn it.
Pour herbal oil with a sweet scent on the ashes.
Yoko Ono




It is no easy feat to walk 115KM/70MILES, the minimum requirement to receive a compostela, the certificate of completion of the pilgrimage and be awarded the credencial, the official St.James stamp; but three of us, along with 9 new friends, made the effort and feel the significant benefits of such an exertion.


The Way











a ha moments





















Buen Camino!

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Teresa Of Avila


I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond.

Teresa of Avila is the queen of Catholic mysticism. Her book, The Interior Castle, first published in 1588, derived from profound personal experience. Her castle is a metaphor for the human body with the human soul as part of The Oneness, dwelling within its innermost mansion. Our challenge is to overcome and forgive mortal short-comings to identify and unite that within us to the Divine Presence everywhere.

Entering the first mansion, the soul spends time in self-knowledge and humility, defending against the attractions of worldly pleasures, ambition and deception.

In the second mansion, the soul grows in holiness through perseverance in prayer, contemplation, conversations with forthright people, reading good books and listening to edifying talks. Contemplation advances its ability to concentrate the mind, withdrawing the senses from all outward things and consciously looks inward.

Souls entering the third mansion have overcome their initial ego defenses, are careful in their speech, consciously avoid committing negative actions, and practice works of charity. Souls in this mansion are still governed by reason, learning the value of perseverance and suffering that prepares the soul for the life of mysticism.

Entrance into the fourth mansion marks a significant advancement in the soul’s journey to a greater and more profound intimacy with Divinity marking the transition from the purgative and active stage of the journey to the illuminative and passive stage entering into the supernatural power of more direct Divine Communication. Teresa reminds us that the interior world of Divinity is always close hand and if we continue to persevere in the practice of prayer, overcoming obstacles, trials and servile fear, a greater, disinterested love of The Oneness will arise in the soul allowing us to experience a temple of solitude accompanied with great peace and quiet sweetness.

Entering the fifth mansion, the soul is still in the illuminative stage of the journey with hidden treasures to be found in the castle as the soul falls asleep to the things of the world while faculties are suspended, and virtual unconsciousness of a soul withdrawn from the body appears as a kind of mini-death.

Entrance into the sixth mansion marks the transition from the illuminative stage of the journey to the unitive stage. The soul has fallen deeply in love with The Oneness and is now ready for spiritual betrothal. The suffering experienced by the soul in the sixth mansion will be counter-balanced by many mystical experiences the soul undergoes of a truly amazing nature. It is in the sixth mansion that the soul begins to experience extraordinary mystical phenomena that one associates with some of the great saints including: visions, raptures, and/or jubilations. Teresa explains these experiences in significant detail through eleven chapters, but cautions the soul not to rely on them, fearing the soul might think too highly of itself or even become delusional.

When the soul comes to the seventh mansion, she enters into spiritual marriage with Shekina where self-forgiveness becomes so complete that it seems as though the soul no longer exists independently and has a marked detachment from experiences in almost constant tranquility.

The Interior Castle reminds us that:

The Oneness is always near dwelling within each of us.
Contemplation is absolutely, unequivocally indispensable, with humility and self-knowledge of personal weakness and Infinite Goodness being the foundation.
Profound interior peace helps soul deal with exterior trials. All harm comes to us when we fail to realize that Divinity is near and instead take your gaze off The Power.
The spiritual journey, although sustained by grace, demands intense effort, including detachment, mortification and perseverance, as well as patience.
Progress not perfection is the way of the true spiritual journey.

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Some Resources for 2019 Seder


I am hard at work on this year’s Seder and found lots of great resources I want to pass along:

NEXT YEAR IN A JUST WORLD AJWS’s Global Justice Haggadah

The Indivisible Haggadah by Invisible Nation BK

THE FOUR CUPS OF WINE: Awakening, Solidarity, Action, Freedom by American Jewish World Service

5 Haggadahs and other Passover supplements to modernize your seder this year by the Jewish Telegraph Agency

the always invigorating The Maccabeats singing Dayenu.

New Freedom Seder for the Earth by the Shalom Center

And if you are not sure that you need to adjust your Haggadah to the times read this article in the Forward: Why You’ll Need a New Haggadah For Trump’s America.

La-shanah Ha-baah shalom: Next Year peace and the end of suffering

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

Honey In The Rock


This life may be a mystery, but it is a mystery of love. We simply need to know how to surrender to whatever God gives us, like mana, each day.

One day I realized that something that had always plagued me in meditation was my own voice speaking to me from the far reaches of my childhood, sending me a message from past times in the only way it knew how. Even though I had thought it was a negative voice, I realized it was not speaking doom or sending out a challenge: It was offering an opportunity to heal a split that kept me from some of the most precious aspects of life. On that day, I discovered that this voice that afflicted me was actually a great friend.

We nay never completely understand the fullest extent of God’s love and how it manifests in unexpected ways, sometimes within difficult circumstances or impossible situations. But we can make a start by acting as if we understand, by changing our behavior.

Do This Each day pick one small difficulty and hold it gently, with the understanding that something inside this difficulty is precious. Don’t demand that God show you the ultimate meaning of this difficulty, but take it on faith : There is honey in the rock.

The Instruction Manual for Receiving God: Jason Shulman; page 106

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