As of May 1, 2024, Therese is going on sabbatical for several months. You can continue to read from the Writings page and the Red Dress page, where new chapters will be added regularly.

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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Twenty years ago, in a fit of wild openness, my husband and I decided to move. Not just to another city or state, but to another country. It didn’t happen all at once, but about three years after the initial spasm, I found myself transplanted (alone; it took him two and a half years to …

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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: Temper, temper

First you heat carbon and iron to 1450 C, then cool it rapidly. This makes the steel hard, but it shatters easily. Next you heat it to a lower temperature, say, 650 C, and cool it slowly. The end result is hard but not brittle, with springy strength. This is tempering. I thought about tempering …

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Mini-Retreat: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, OR

Therese will be leading the November Mini-Retreat at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, November 18, 2023. This in-person gathering will focus on the inseparability of grief and joy. The event begins at 9 am and ends at noon. More information to come.

Wide Spot: So say the lichens

She was getting out of her van by the beach, clearly unnerved by the thick smoke in the air. “Did you hear that they’re evacuating all of Yellowknife?” I blinked; I didn’t know her from Adam, but she sure needed to talk. “Yes,” I said. I felt anxious too. But I know how to listen …

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Wide Spot: Don’t Kick

I had a list a mile long, I did, of plans for July. Not only family visits, but writing space, study time, a week-end board planning meeting, a personal retreat week. My overall longing for this month was for big blocks of quiet reflection time, something that’s felt sorely lacking during the last six months. …

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Wide Spot: Stung

Last year, my revered teacher made some unconsidered remarks to a board on which I serve. Part of the problem was that she didn’t recognize the competence of the people in front of her; that stung us. Another board member pointed out her misconception, and the group went on to vote in favor of the …

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