It can be difficult for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to live with the heat and humidity in Northern Virginia. So, before Most Beautiful One (MBO) and I moved to Bainbridge Island in 2004, we took month-long summer vacations in the cooler climate of British Columbia. One of our favorite places to visit was Salt Spring Island where we saw Harry Manx perform for the first time. He is an award-winning Canadian musician and lyricist who blends blues, folk music and Hindustani classical music. His signature instrument is a 20-string mohan veena guitar.

Manx played a haunting song called Only…

In June of 1969, at just 19 and 17 years old, Trude and I ran away from home. We were disillusioned with the “establishment” and I was forbidden by her parents to date her.

Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

After months of hitching around California and living on a friend’s porch, we began a daily Buddhist practice to polish our enlightened natures, overcoming numerous obstacles and consistently working to improve our relationship and contribute to a more peaceful world.

TRUDE: Mike and I were so fortunate to have embraced a spiritual practice at such a young age. Some of my many benefits include:

· Building a lifelong partnership with Mike against all odds — love triumphed!

· Having two wonderful daughters who cherish their childhoods and consider time spent with Mike and me to be their happy place.


Photo by modern.affliction on Unsplash

I grew up in a neglectful lower middle-class Jewish American family where no one taught me I was lovable. This became crystal clear yet again in discussions with my new therapist, who I will call Kathleen (because that’s her name). Yesterday, after doing a Buddhist chant together for a few minutes (she’s very open-minded), we launched into an exploration of self-love.

Many people are feeling emotionally overwhelmed by today’s uncertain social and political realities.

Photo by Morgan Sessions on Unsplash

They feel powerless about their ability to make a difference. I recall experiencing a similar despair in the 1960s. I have vivid memories of the school bell ringing three times to alert us to drop beneath our desks in case of an atomic bomb attack. Coupled with the war in Viet Nam and the absence of civil rights for a large segment of our population, there seemed to be little reason to have hope for the future. …

Finding Hope in the Face of Yet Another Senseless #Shooting

After the latest horrific shooting, this time at a #Jewishsynagogue, most of my social media friends have understandably been losing their minds. And it’s easy to see why. So, I feel a little like an unwelcome guest at a honeymoon when I talk about the importance of finding #hope.

As a relatively sincere Jewish Buddhist (on Halloween, we’re called JewBoo’s), I looked for encouraging words. The Rabbi of Lelov, according to the book The Spiritualism of Imperfection, said to his Hasidim:

“A man cannot be redeemed until he recognizes the…

Last month, I spoke to 175 worried first-year high school students about life lessons I wish I had learned in school.

One of their biggest worries was knowing what they wanted to do for their career. This is what I shared with them.

When I graduated high school, I was living in in my car and, occasionally, a friend’s living room. I had absolutely no idea what the next day was going to bring much less my future career. Then I ran away with my girlfriend and life became even more difficult to predict. …

and learned to love my life!

Little me was afraid of everything!

Multiple emotions co-exist in the place inside me I label “fear.” There is the fear of loss, of discovering the truth about something, of never finding something or of being found out. I’m not sure if these fears already existed in my own mind or evolved as a reaction to the world around me. Maybe both.

Many times, while growing up, I found myself paralyzed — afraid to take a chance, afraid to venture out into the unknown world. This emotional paralysis was based on the assumption that what I didn’t know would surely harm me. So, I created a…

Well, you know, we all want to change the world…

You say you want a revolution, Well, you know, We all want to change the world. You tell me that it’s evolution, Well, you know, We all want to change the world.

- John Lennon, 1968

Most Beautiful One and I ran away from home together shortly after the Beatles first performed this song. We were part of a counterculture that, like John Lennon and friends, renounced violence and promoted peace and love.

Okay. I’ll say it. We were hippies! We were living on a friend’s porch and didn’t have…

Sometimes I need to remove the punctuation from my life the barriers of understanding that separate me from other people and other ways of looking at the world

Sometimes it is not easy to break out of the masculine side of my experience of my genetic code that would have me withdraw from the connectedness that is so vital to a better world

Withdraw behind the walls of a security that is not really security at all

There are times when I am moved to tears by the willingness of women to fight for peace to engage for peace to…

An enlightened concept for our fairly unenlightened time

“Buddhism teaches that all people are inherently Buddhas [have the potential enlightened inner life state of a Buddha]. I believe that this…view of humanity embodies a fundamental principle for world peace. You are a Buddha and I am a Buddha. That’s why we must not fight each other. That’s why we must respect each other.” — Daisaku Ikeda

The universality of the Buddha or enlightened life condition is perhaps the most important lesson of Buddhism. And yet it is also the most elusive and often misunderstood. When I first encountered Buddhism in…

Michael Lisagor

I write, speak, create art & play music to inspire and give hope to myself and others.

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