Tuesday, April 19, 2011


We had 18 people here last night! I created a mini-Haggadah that had ceremony, tradition, spiritual significance and education. Blessings began rather unconventionally, by expanding the naming of the One so that It is not gender-based:

Baruch Atah Adonai, Shekhina, Ruach Ha'Olam...

On the traditional side, we sang traditional songs and I made matzoh balls (from a mix), and the charoses. This was not a veggie seder, as we have had in the past - I bought the entree from a gourmet market (delicious brisket and chicken) and people brought lots of side dishes - potato pancakes and more.

Passover recalls the exodus from Egypt. The Hebrew name for Egypt is Mitzrayim, meaning “a narrow place.” Each Passover, we have an opportunity to note our own current journey in life. We can acknowledge any narrow places we are stuck in – physically, emotionally or mentally - and we can welcome the wider spaces that we are transitioning into. Liberation and freedom are ongoing qualities of life.

We had used stones from our yard to hold down the 2-page Hagaddahs on each place setting (fans overhead had blown them about) so I used the stones in ceremony. We let the stone be our Mitzrayim, our narrow place, placing into it that which holds us back, and then we acknowledged moving through to liberation by tossing the stones back out into the yard!

As I have often done, since graced many years ago with a vision of Miriam, I played flute for an interpretive "Miriam dance" by a lovely young Swiss woman, Jayanara, here studying at Rising Tide Spiritual Center. Then her equally lovely boyfriend and I drummed while she and others danced. We handed out percussion instruments and everyone joined in making music, even my mom.

We ended the evening with a reading from the Velveteen Rabbi's Passover Haggadah: It is traditional to end a seder with L’shanah ha-ba’ah b’Yerushalayim —Next Year in Jerusalem! The root of the word Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) can be read as Ir Shalem (“City of Wholeness”) or Ir Shalom (“City of Peace”). Even if we don’t perceive ourselves as being in exile from the literal Land of Israel, we may find ourselves in exile from the wholeness and unity which only connection with our Source can provide. Next year, wherever we are, may we – and Israel - all be whole and at peace.

And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both women and men will be strong
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the earth
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again. —Judy Chicago

On a less fun note, an old friend of mine from when I studied Aikido and meditation in California, Marty Weiner, took leave of this life this past Saturday, by his own choice. I honored him too while playing Miriam's Song on my flute.

Monday, April 11, 2011

ABC Nightline News - national TV coverage!

ABC Nightline has filmed a story about our workshops!!! Having the producer and film crew with us for a whole weekend was quite an adventure. We led the workshop as we always do and they stayed in the background. The participating couples were just amazing - so willing to help spread the word about Intimacy Retreats. Changing the world, one happy couple at a time!

The show was supposed to air tonight, but has been postponed... I'm told that "nothing in a news room is ever definite." Stay tuned...