This video brought tears to my eyes. It’s about Mindful Parenting as taught by Dr. Shefali Tsabary, a powerful philosophy through which parents learn to create deep transformations in their relationship with their children. Parents learn to deepen their sense of emotional connectivity to their children, and equally importantly, learn how to build their children’s sense of inner connection.

Through Mindful Parenting, parents learn the power of allowing their children to live in a state of “being” rather than incessant “doing.” Instead of imposing their will onto their children, parents learn to build alliances with their children in a manner that optimizes their inherent strengths and virtues. Here, the parent-child relationship is viewed as a two-way street where transformation is deeply and mutually reciprocal.

Our firm intention is and has been to be with Gracelyn and one another in this way.

I’m a long-time fan of Tom Robbins , having resonated with with his first book, Another Roadside Attraction, in the ’70s. In fact, I fancied myself one of the characters in the novel: Plucky Purcell, former college football star and sometime dope dealer. Actually, that description fit pretty well at the time. Therefore I was truly excited when I learned Robbins was scheduled to speak at the Jubilee! Celebrations this morning. And Tom didn’t disappoint, reading about his spiritual (not religious) awakening at age 13 from his memoir, Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life.Tibetan Peach Pie

Being baptized in the Rappahannock River in Virginia by a Southern Baptist minister did not bring Robbins any nearer to Jesus than he had been previously (not very). However, after seeing a Natalie Wood film at the age of 13, he says his “scruffy whippersnapper heart opened like a sardine tin … radiating such a vortex of woo woo love it would have made Saint Francis of Assisi seem like a mink rancher.”

Jubilee! Minister of Ritual Howard Hanger and Robbins have been friends for some time, and it was, of course, at Howard’s request that Robbins delivered the weekly meditation.

FYI, Robbins was born nearby in Blowing Rock, North Carolina and both of his grandfathers were Southern Baptist preachers. In 2000, Robbins was named one of the 100 Best Writers of the 20th Century by Writer’s Digest magazine, while the legendary Italian critic Fernanda Pivano called Robbins “the most dangerous writer in the world”.

Finally, a few bits of Tom Robbins wisdom throughout the years:

Tom Robbins at Jubilee! Photo by Peg Heup Pillsbury

“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.”

“The trickster’s function is to break taboos, create mischief, stir things up. In the end, the trickster gives people what they really want, some sort of freedom.”

In 2003, George W. Bush hornswoggled this nation into an “illegal, immoral, ill-conceived war against Iraq.” A few years into the occupation when public opinion was turning against the war, the Bush administration argued that a bloodbath would ensue if we pulled our troops out before the Iraqi government and its armed forces were prepared to stand on their own. At that time I wrote: “If the warring factions in Iraq are intent on more sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing, keeping our troops there only forestalls the inevitable,” a prediction that has proven chillingly accurate.

Now, once again, some of our so-called leaders in Washington are absurdly calling for intervention in Iraq’s current internecine savagery. One definition of insanity: “Continuing to do the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result.”

For a review of the lessons learned from our most recent  military misadventures, check out “When will they ever Learn? America on Brink of another Military Engagement.”

In light of current events in Iraq, I’m reposting a piece I wrote in 2007.

George W. Bush’s ill-fated decision to frighten this nation into an illegal, immoral, ill-conceived war against Iraq, a country that posed no real threat to us, will haunt him throughout history. Now most Americans believe the U.S. should never have undertaken this calamitous military misadventure and support bringing our troops home.

Let’s look at the current reality in Iraq. Thus far in April, an average of 25 American soldiers have died each week, a rate that could bring the total to more than 4,000 by year’s end. The unrelenting violence currently claims approximately 50 Iraqi lives daily, with total civilian deaths estimated at more than 60,000. Our allies in this conflict are drawing down their forces. The various factions in the Iraqi government continue to squabble rather than deal with pressing issues. (more…)

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