Therese DesCamp

The First Practice: Learning to love what I love

The Red Thread Songyuan asked, Why can’t clear-eyed Bodhisattvas sever the red thread? When I was in my early thirties, a ragtag group of friends and family assembled weekly in my living room to meditate. Our teacher was a recovering alcoholic and self-identified Sufi who taught us glorious chants. We’d sing and sing and sink …

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Singing the Red Dress Song

I roll over to turn off the light and address a silent prayer to my deepest part, to the Holy, to my unconscious, to whatever or whomever prescribes the nightly play that goes on when I slump into sleep: May I please have some joy in my dreams tonight? I’ve been tired, bone tired. The …

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Wide Spot: Fog Blind

I am blind. This is legally true—without glasses, my eyes are so bad that I should only be behind the wheel if I have a guide dog on my lap who has a driving license. Fog exacerbates my vision problems. Driving Highway 6 in the dark and the fog is hard enough; when another car …

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Hands Like Roots

Our hands imbibe like roots, so I place them on what is beautiful in this world, and I fold them in prayer and they draw from the heavens light. St. Francis of Assisi, as interpreted by Daniel Ladinsky This is not a sound bite about how to reduce anxiety. This is not a short course …

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WideSpot: Beautiful

“Our fingers imbibe like roots,” begins a prayer by Francis of Assisi, “So I place them on what is beautiful in this world.”   Beauty may feel like a shaky reed these days, nothing much to hang our hat on. Most of us are more inclined to attend to what’s ugly: environmental degradation, wars, famines, loss …

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Wide Spot: Set the Table

If I had five bucks for every time I’ve heard someone grieve over feeling like they don’t belong, I could spend a month in Costa Rica with money left over. I don’t want to denigrate the sincere yearning for community. Many of us lack friends who are willing to hear the longing of our hearts. …

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