Saturday, December 15, 2012

I am posting this because a classmate of mine from high school sent me a lengthy tome on justifying the continued "right to bear arms" using statistics from Great Britain to justify his point of view. He sent this in response to the tragic loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut. Although I understand the original purpose of this "right" as it was put into place by our founding Fathers, it seems to me it needs some revision at this point in time. We have gone from muskets to assault rifles, and the carnage in our country is devastating to those who have experienced the damage done to human life by these weapons

Here is what I wrote in response:

Last October at a beauty salon directly across the street from my church in Seal Beach, a man who was filled with rage took several assault rifles, donned a vest, and walked in and shot and killed his ex-wife and seven other people, including one man who was in the parking lot in his car. Survivors were brought across the street to gather in our sanctuary until loved ones could come to comfort them and take them safely home. Our community was shattered by this horrific act. Not only were there many grieving families and friends, but there was a young boy who had lost both his parents because his father had taken the life of his mother.
I went into the salon after the tragedy and saw the size of the bullet holes that were all over the salon. I could feel the fear and horror of the place, and knew some of the people who were affected by this loss. 

To me, here are two issues - one, why would anyone need to own  assault weapons that can wreak such havoc? Two, what can we do to find ways to deal with the mental health issues that plague us in our society today? When I hear the arguments against gun control, I wish everyone could see what I saw that day.

Our community came together, we held prayer vigils, there were many funerals, and today the salon has been remodeled and reopened as if to say - "this will not defeat us." But the shootings continue - Wisconsin, Aurora, Portland, and now Newtown - and that is just in the last year.
When our founding fathers wrote the right to bear arms into our guiding documents, they did not know how much this "right" would be abused. I don't know how we can "control" the guns that are already out there, but we must find a way to prevent more of this violence in our nation. Since I am married to a retired law enforcement officer, I am aware of how dangerous it is out there for our own police, and I also know many cops who do support gun control.
In Israel, where violence is an every day possibility, the process to own a gun is lengthy and very successful - it includes background checks, psychological exams, a valid reason to need to carry a weapon, and a waiting period before the gun is delivered. Terry should look at those statistics - no "socialism" there - just good, common sense. Does it rule out gun violence altogether? I don't know - but it certainly reduces it.
I know this issue is a "sacred cow" to many - but when 20 beautiful five -year-olds will not be home for Hanukah or Christmas or family meals, when a mother looks into a laundry basket to see the clothes her child will never wear again, and will never feel the warmth of one more hug, how can we continue to justify this "right" over the preciousness of human life?
I must also say how grateful I am that in spite of people who perpetrate such horror - terrorist acts, if you will, there are thousands more who reach out in compassion and in sympathy for those who have been so tragically affected. Please, let's at least look at a more sane way to deal with this issue than politicizing it - let's humanize it.
Blessings to all,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mondo Migliore Conference Center - somewhere outside Rome --

I haven't written for several days so this post is very long - my apologies -

Last Friday we hired a tour and went to the Vatican. Although the tour meant we didn’t wait in long lines to get into the Vatican Museum or the Sistine Chapel or St. Peter’s, we did not avoid crowds. I think everyone should visit the Vatican once – but unless it is a day when one can get inside without crowds, I would not recommend it for a second visit.

I was most impressed with St. Peter’s Basilica. When I taught design, I always included St. Peter’s in the church architecture unit, as it has so many beautiful design elements – seeing it and standing inside its beautiful marble columns alongside the incredible baldachin proved that no photograph can capture its beauty or the skilled craftsmen who created it.

Now it’s Monday evening of the second day of the conference. It has been a challenge to have time to write, and the only wireless connection is in the lobby of the conference center, so I will make this a long one, but hope to convey some of what is going on.

We arrived here at Mondo Migliore on Saturday after a very long drive from our bed and breakfast which was near the Vatican in Rome. We rode up a mountain road through a beautiful forest. The road was full of the hairpin turns one sees in a movie with someone driving a Lamborghini at 100 miles per hour. Thankfully our driver only went about 60. He found Castel Gandolfo, which is where the Pope frequently spends the summer. It over looks a beautiful lake, and the village that surrounds it is charming. However, that was not our destination.

Then our driver asked for instructions and we drove back down that road to the point where he had taken a wrong turn, and drove on to our center which also overlooks the same lake. This is a very large conference center which houses very small cell-like rooms with private baths that are really quite comfortable.

We began with a women’s pre-conference which gave us an opportunity to bond and connect with one another prior to the main conference. We have many New Thought ministers here, as well as women from all over the globe who are religious leaders, academics, activists, even a police sergeant from Denver who has a Doctorate in Social Psychology and is studying police culture.  We found that most of us want to do more to support and empower the marginalized women of the world who do not have the advantages of western women. It is clear that their lives in so many cases are beyond difficult. We see and understand that those of us who live a life of privilege can and must find ways to raise up the level of education for women to allow them more opportunities economically. It is clear that educated mothers raise children who are less likely to turn to desperate measures in order to survive.

Now the Awakened World Conference is underway – we are here to explore four major areas in which we see change is taking place. They are Reconciling with the “Other,” Rediscovering the Sacred, Caring for the Earth Family, and Transforming Society. My area is “Reconciling with the ‘Other.” I’m co-facilitating with Kenn Gordon, who is the Spiritual Leader over all of our churches worldwide.

I iwlll save reporting on our dialogue sessions until a later blog when I can synthesize them better.

At this morning’s plenary session, we had several speakers – first being Marcus Braybrooke, a theologian from England – “Faith is a living relationship with the Divine – not a rote recitation of dogma. – Abandon the male image of God who only spoke once and then repeats over and over the same message.”

Joan Chittister – Benedictine nun and outspoken feminist critic of the Catholic church – “Women must be the ones to change the world.  –Referring to inclusive language she said, “ Words that are not in the mind are words that are not in society.

Hyun Chung -  Korean theologian and educator – “The Western view of the world has caused change – and a narrow vision of science – earth has been seen as an object to exploit. The new world view is that earth is a subject to commune with. There needs to be a feminist breakdown of hierarchy – and see earth as God’s dwelling place – learn from nature. Time for the rise of Yin energy with balance – and movement of inclusivity and economic justice.”

Jenny Joe – Native American Grandmother – Our responsibility is to be stewards of the land. Indigenous identity is the land – place where we are born, place where we go when we die. /animals do not draw lines (borders). Taking care of the land means restoring, repairing and blessing.

Brother Ishmael Tetteh – African spirituality – The sacred life is here as me – you – Discover the sacred in yourself and in all others.

Lawrence Carter – Professor of Theology– Morehouse College-“Rediscover the sacred assumes we were once familiar with it. Wherever you go, bestow and confer love – you create an affirming, positive atmosphere.”

Azim Khamisa – Sufi – Father of the boy who was shot delivering pizza to a group of young gang members – featured in film “The Power of Forgiveness” – When making a decision as to how to act, first go to the mind and ask, “Does this make sense?” Then go to the heart and ask, “Does this feel right?” Then go to Spirit and ask “Is this inspiring?” If you have answered yes to all three, it is a good thing to do.

There is so much more I could write about, but it is late and you have more than enough to read. I will write again when possible.

It is chilly and raining here, and I understand it is still hot in LA – could you please send us a little sunshine, and we will happily trade a little rain and cooler air.
I send my love, my blessings, and arrivederci!

Written Thursday, October 11

I am grateful to Aerosoles walking shoes. The cobblestones of Rome can do a number on feet, and we did a lot of walking today!

We arrived in Rome via London on the night of October 10, and were taken to our Bed and Breakfast by a driver who met us at the airport. our lodging in on the fifth floor of an apartment building near the Vatican and the Castle St. Angelo. Our host, Luca, made us a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, croissants, "pizza rosa", fresh fruit, and more. Our rooms are cozy and have everything we need for a comfortable stay.

Today is the first of two days we have set aside for sightseeing prior to the conference. we visited the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and the fountain at Trevi. I threw three coins into the fountain to be sure that I come back here with Don the next time to enjoy this with him.

There was clearly no general plan for the city of Rome. Streets meander, making random pathways as we referred to our maps and found our way to each location we had chosen to visit. Each turn meant another discovery. At one location were two portions of an ancient wall - which stood like bookends between a building from perhaps the seventeenth century. we have no idea how old the wall was, but it clearly had been an important structure in its day.

Look to the right - a beautiful doorway - look to the left, an open archway leading to an elegant building, a park, or a church. Shops carry exquisite handmade goods, restaurants with outdoor seating spilling out onto the piazzas, and did I mention the shoes?

It is a city of hues from buttery yellow to rich sepia tones on multistoried shuttered buildings. Look up and see another spire of a beautiful church or a sculpted statues on a pediment over a doorway. it is a city of art and architecture, beauty and at the same time,  a bit tattered around the edges.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Today is the day I am off to Italy for the Association for Global New Thought Awakened World conference.

If you want to follow along, just check into this space from time to time - my posts will be irregular but hopefully filled with enthusiasm for the work we are going to be doing at this groundbreaking event. If you want to know more about it, go to and click on Awakened World 2012.

My friends Kathe Schaaf and Kay Lindahl leave tonight for Rome to have a few days of sightseeing first, then off to Mondo Migliore where the conference will be held.
 So Ciao for now!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What is the Divine Feminine?

I was asked to write about the Divine Feminine. How does one write about something that is beyond words? I gave it my best effort and thought I would add it to my blog. I am about to begin the second Annual Aloha Goddess Retreat with Faith Rivera in Keauhou, Hawaii. This article ties into the focus of our retreat this year.

Divine Feminine
She stands gracefully within a large seashell as though offered up from the depths of the waters that lap beside her. Her hair cascades over her breasts as if to embrace the swells that hold the sweetness of life. Her graceful body is uncovered and her belly is slightly rounded as if to hint of the life born of her life – birthing the entire universe. At once she appears soft, graceful, serene – which belies another image of her as the fire goddess birthing the new land while at the same time clearing away all that is in her path. The image changes again to a squat figure with pointed, erect breast and huge belly and thighs – the quintessential Ma – immediately recognizable.
I look in the mirror. I see the reflection – white hair, sagging breasts skin loose around what was once a tiny waist. I look into my own eyes and see the evolution of a life – from child to adolescent to woman and mother to crone. I see the wounds, the tears, the heartbreaks, and I see the triumphs, the joys and the wide open loving that finally broke open my heart. The belly sags from the carting of new life within it. But this body, as all the bodies of all women everywhere carries so much more than what is seen in the mirror.
How does one describe the Divine Feminine? I am the Divine Feminine, just as all women everywhere are the expressions of the creatrix, mother, lover, nurturer and warrior that we are.
And this essence indwells the male manifestation as it does the female.
I always knew she was within me, but growing up I was shown a caricature of “feminine” which I tried to emulate. Soft spoken, submissive, perfect housekeeper, immaculately coiffed, ready for dinner guests at a moment’s notice. Behind the sweet smile there was a rage and weeping that took place in the dungeon where the prisoner lived in darkness chained to an expectation that could never be met.
The mystery was too terrifying, to difficult to understand, too wild and it had to be contained. How could the “feminine” be Divine? Was that not the realm of the patriarchs?

On a soft, moonlit night in the midst of winter, the tides rise high and cover the marshes over with the cool waters of the sea – the mighty ocean is tamed by the pull of the moon, and even on a wild night when the seas are tossing their waves so high as to topple ships, the moon has her pull – her waxing and her waning.
There is a power there. It is a deep ancestral pulsing that calls with a siren song, or a lullaby or the ecstatic expression of the orgasmic moment. It is the soft whisper and the rage filled scream, the ancient call of the indigenous, and the aria of Carmen.
It is a Spirit- it is felt and cannot be adequately named. It plants star seeds and harvests great love. It has the power to tear it all apart and to plant again. It is the tenderness that caresses the infant suckling and the power to protect her own when threatened.
She is the whirling, twirling dervish in a fluffy pink tutu, the quiet women who walks consciously across the planet for peace, and the one who defends her nation to be burned at the stake.
She is the keeper of mysteries, which she holds in her depths and only shares with those who deserve to know. She is the provider of warmth and nourishment when there seems to be only a crust of old moldy bread in the house. She is the wise one, and she is the naïve one. She is the vulnerable one who allows the sacred wound, and as her heart is pierced, she is the one to cry out her forgiveness.
She sits in circles and knits mantles of peace as she weaves her spell of light and grace around the children dancing at her feet.
How do we describe this life force we call the Divine Feminine? She expresses through the heart. She cannot be measured. She has many names, she moves fluidly in gossamer ribbons of mist through our souls. We cannot capture her nor can we contain all of her – she is the mystery, the essence, the warmth and the bringer of life. She has always been and will ever be. She is Love, she is Life, she is Divine.
Rev. Dr. Peggy Price
Written in Keauhou, Kona, Hawaii
October 21, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fly Away Home

Fly Away Home
I don’t want to let my thoughts fade too quickly as I return home from this memorable trip.
I wrote a prayer for the ministers while I was in Istanbul, and I want to be sure to include it in my blog, as it was most significant to the way that I was feeling on the morning of June 6.
Istanbul, Turkey -
Outside my window, I can see the spires of the Blue Mosque. As I crawled into bed last night, the call of the muezzin for night prayers echoed across the Old City. Again this morning, at dawn, came the call to prayer. While in Jerusalem, I could hear the call to prayer from the Dome of the Rock, followed a bit later by church bells that rang out over the Old City. Countless numbers of people responded by facing Mecca, or attending morning mass, or praying at the Western Wall. What gentle reminders to turn our thoughts to God!
So this morning, I offer to all of us a call to prayer -

In the morning light and in the evening quiet, I rest in God. I know that wherever I am i am in the Presence of the One - all Knowing, ever present, and all powerful Has-hem, Allah, God. In the Call to Prayer from the minaret, or the bells from the church tower, i am reminded over and over again of the Presence that is my very life, and the creative Spirit of everything that is.

I see the faces of the people wearing hijab, Yarmulkes, top hats, long, flowing robes and Arab headgear, and I know that God is expressing itself in myriad ways. So we, too, feel the call to prayer. We turn within to feel at our center, the power, the grace, the love and the joy of life itself. As we go through this day, and each day, we turn to remember God, and as we do, we find we are guided, enfolded and sustained as we go through what is before us to do.

I accept and embrace the gift of prayer, and all that it offers in my daily life - prayers for others, for the planet, for ourselves, and most of all prayers of gratitude and knowing that Grace is taking place in every moment of every day.

I know that our ministries are blessed, and that we are given all that we need for today - enough - so that we might be a shining example of the call to prayer in who we are.

I gratefully release my thoughts and words into the universal Mind and rest in the Truth.
And so it is.

One of the remarkable things about countries where Islam is widely practiced is the call to prayer from the mosque.  In years past, the muezzin (the one who leads the call to prayer) would climb to the top of one of the minarets or tall spires that stand alongside the mosque and call out to the surrounding area a proclamation that invites all believers to stop what they are doing and pray.
As you may know, Muslims pray five times daily. They do not simply stop where they are for five minutes, say a quick prayer and go on. They first do the ritual washing as I had explained in an earlier post, then do a very active prayer that includes kneeling, bowing, standing, and saying both rote prayers as well as personal prayers.
Today, most mosques have loudspeakers at the top of the minarets, and the call to prayer can be heard from a farther distance than before. In Istanbul, which is sometimes known as the city of mosques, what one hears is almost like a call and response; one muezzin will begin the call, pause, and down the way another muezzin begins the call to prayer again. One can almost tell time by these calls – at least one knows when it is dawn, when it is mid-morning, noon, sunset and the last time for evening prayer.
The first time I was awakened by the morning call to prayer was on my earlier trip to Turkey, and I was staying in a village with a Turkish family for the night. The mosque was within a city block of the house, and the window was open. I must say that it startled me awake, as I was not expecting it, and I found myself slightly annoyed. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t want to be awakened by that every morning.
After hearing the call of the muezzin in both Jerusalem from the Dome of the Rock, which was close to our hotel, and also from the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, I found I was able to simply incorporate it into the sounds of the day, and realized that I had found it rather comforting. It was a time to remember God. I am impressed by the devotion of Muslims to the practice of prayer five times a day.
As one who is part of the New Thought movement, which I feel suits me very well, I realize that we do not have rituals in the way that Orthodox religions, Islam, and many other religions do. I realize there are both pluses and minuses to this, yet I found I great sense of commonality in them. As we visited a number of churches that had been built at holy sites, we sat in on several masses. One always knew where they were in the mass, even though it was being said in different languages. A global consciousness builds out of that – the web of the Eucharist binds them together. I see the same to be true for the Muslim who daily answer the call to prayer. Wherever a believer is in the world, they are in unison five times a day.
There can be a kind of arrogance about one’s religious practices. We pray affirmatively, and I have heard colleagues criticize those of other religions who do not pray that way, as though we are somehow superior to others because of the way we teach affirmative prayer.  I am of the opinion that one prayer, regardless of how it is spoken, if expressed with a sincere heart, is as valid as another. Spirit within, or God outside are still one God, and prayer works from the inside out or the outside in, changing us, not God.
In Jerusalem, the ringing of church bells would follow the Muslim call to prayer. I would imagine that somewhere in the city there might also be the sound of the Shofar – the ram’s horn used by the Jews for purposes of worship.  The sights, sounds, and even fragrances (incense, etc.) of worship all add meaning and allow us to involve more of the senses in our reaching out or within to experience God.
That is what religion can do best. It can give us a vehicle to experience God. I felt such a deep connection when I touched the spot in the small cave at the church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. I felt it again at the Dome of the Rock when I entered the grotto and saw the people praying at the foot of the tock of Abraham. I felt it sitting on a bench at the walkway between the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, watching the pilgrims from all over the world who had come to admire these historic and holy sites.
You and I, and all of humanity, are such tiny intersections in the web of life. We are interconnected, and we are all here for a brief moment. We are here for a breath – a heartbeat – a glimpse of something ineffable. To experience God is different than worshiping a dogma or doctrine in which we make the religion more important than the experience. In that, I think one cannot really find the very thing we seek- because it has been lost in the set of laws that entangle it. The Ineffable is within us – and it is everywhere, but sometimes, a place, a fragrance, a sound, a whisper of a breeze or the call of a muezzin, reminds us once again of who we are and where we came from.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Day to Reflect

Time out from "herding."

One of the challenges of a group tour, even when the group is small, is that one is "herded" from one place to another. I decided that this was my day to step off the path, and give myself permission to meander. We are in such a lovely place - the Old City of istanbul is so charming with its narrow cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, quaint shops and tearooms, mosques, and the diversity of humanity that walks by my window Our hotel is small - only 29 rooms, and so comforting - duvet comforters, Turkish tea (my favorite), and gracious staff - the name of the hotel  - in case you come to Istanbul Is The Almina Hotel.

I found I needed to be quiet for a while- i love my traveling companions,and we have become a family as we have journeyed far and wide together. I will miss them. I find I have been teary-eyed a lot these past few days, just thinking of how we have bonded. Our group ranges in age from 19 to well - my age (ahem), and we have five students, several educators,one Jewish, one a Sister of St. Joseph, an Imam, a Carmelite priest who is also a microbiologist and geneticist, one Quaker, two Unitarians, and me. Counting our three leaders, there are fifteen in all - a good size for a trip such as ours.

I was thinking about water again this morning, and how significant it has been on this trip. First is the simple necessity of staying hydrated in the desert areas we have visited. As I thought about water, I realized that I had crossed many American rivers, the Atlantic Ocean,  several smaller bodies of water and European rivers, before ever arriving at my destination.  As I shared in my post last night, we floated on the Sea of Galilee, and the Bosporus in boats, and floated our bodies in the Dead Sea. We put our toes in the Mediterranean at Caesarea, and filled bottles on the banks of the Jordan.

We were sprinkled with Holy Water at a Trappist Mass spoken in French in the hills of Israel, and watched as Dr. Shafiq showed us the Islamic ritual of ablution at the Blue Mosque.

Each of us expressed gratitude for good showers in some hotels, and grumbled in others. The cleansing, purifying life-giving and refreshing gift of water has been both necessary and a blessing for us as we have wandered the lands of the prophets. When I think of the great challenges water must have been for the people of these lands throughout the ages, it is no wonder that for some it is like gold.

We noticed that much of the Palestinian agricultural land is parched and dry. It relies mostly on very sparse rainfall, with no infrastructure for irrigation. The Israeli fields have irrigation systems more often than not, and the quality of the crops is dramatically different.

Most of the stone in Israel is limestone, and the color is a yellow-beige. Every building in Jerusalem, old and new, with the exception of a few ancient structures, is made of this stone, and the dry, dusty ground is pulverized from this rock. When the bible speaks of shaking the dust from your feet, it is no exaggeration, as one looks at their shoes or sandals at the end of the day, we see how true the images are. Running water over our feet at the end of the day was another small blessing.

Some thoughts as I prepare to go home--

I want to share some thoughts about my impressions of the situation in Israel. First off, it is complicated. There are no easy answers, and there is no singular answer.

Some of our young students commented that they thought we would have many more religious encounters than we had, and they wondered why everything seemed so political.
The quote from Gandhi ran though my mind often as we reflected on history itself, and the journey of the three Abrahamic faiths through this land of such rich heritage. Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

During the Roman Empire, both Jews and Christians had to carefully move around the land in order to co-exist with Roman rule and the consequences of stepping out of line. 
Each ruling empire, the Crusades, the Ottoman Turks, all had religion interwoven into politics. Today is no different. 

in addition, each group, whether it be Jewish, Muslim, Christian, has their own narrative about the Holy Land and what it means to them. The Jews believe it is their land, that God promised it to them, and they have won it fair and square. The Palestinians believe it has always been their land, and that they should not have their homes destroyed, walls built on it, nor should they be denied access to move freely across the land. The Christians are simply trying to say, "We're still here" although the numbers seem to be dwindling. Many of the Arab Christians have left for other countries where they feel more comfortable as both Arabs as well as Christian.

Some progressive Jews have compassion for the Palestinians, and many of them are working together for some kind of peaceful solutions. The grass roots organizations are working to find pathways to better understanding. The many Orthodox Jews (and this is the majority of religious Jews) do not wish to budge on the issue. There are also many secular Jews who live in Israel and love being where they feel they are at home with their heritage, even thought they do not practice their faith. In fact, several of the Jewish educators and rabbis we spoke with told us that the biggest problem in Israel is not that Jews and Palestinians do not speak to each other, but that Jews and Jews do not speak to each other!

Remembrance of the Holocaust is also a powerful motivator for the people of Israel. The memory of the eradication of 6 million of their own relatives, families, neighbors, and friends, cannot be easily forgotten. It plays a major role in what may appear at first glance to be a kind of paranoia about the neighboring countries surrounding Israel. The narrative here is "people tried to eradicate us before, what would stop them from trying to do it again?"

It would be naive to think that something as traumatic as the Shoah could be healed and released in only one or two generations. It is in the bones and DNA of the Jewish people and will remain there for many long years. For many, it colors their daily lives, and even in their own homeland, they still feel the tension that come from not feeling able to fully trust what life brings them. To me, this affirms the concept, "it is done unto you as you believe."

On the other hand, the Palestinians we met who are working for peace seem optimistic about the future. They are working on the ground to build relationships with the more open-minded Israeli people, and the younger generations are finding ways to connect. if you Google Israeli peace organizations, you will see how many groups there are that in some way are working to bring unity to a divided land.

Patience, persistence, and prayer will be required in very large doses as the Middle East moves forward toward a new paradigm. How I wish it would come easily but history continues to show there is a high cost for bringing about change, even when it can be positive. I think the youth "get" what it mens to be free - how they get there may be a long and difficult road, but at least there is a potential for it now.

For me, I am more committed than ever to serving as a bridge of peace between people of all faiths.

Yesterday I was outside the Suleiman Mosque looking for a special style of Muslim prayer beads that I had found here on my last visit. A man asked me, "Are you Muslim?' I answered "No, but I am a teacher, and I want people to know more about Islam in my country so they will stop being afraid." I told him that I was here to learn more about all three Abrahamic traditions, and that I know we are all the children of one God. He said, "I will help you do anything you need." Unfortunately, he couldn't find the beads I was looking for, but he walked all over the area around the mosque, pointing to me, and asking the vendors if they knew where I could find such beads. it was clear I had made a friend.

If I can be remembered for anything in my lifetime, it is that I have wanted to express love in as many ways as I can in my lifetime. I have not always succeeded; in fact, sometimes I have failed completely. Yet, I know that at the core of every faith tradition, love is found there. It often gets covered over by dogma, doctrine, history, narratives, and the like, yet when we touch the spot where love dwells, hearts are broken open, the tears flow, and miracles happen. I want to know that whatever I have done has contributed to that.

I am going home tomorrow, and I know that this trip will linger on within my heart and soul for the rest of my life. I am so grateful that I came.

That's all for now - and it's enough.