I have given up religion

May 21, 2013
I have given up religion
and follow only Love

Mullahs, Priests and Rabbis
Imams, Buddhists, Zoroastrians,
All laugh at my naivete
But my ears hear only You

Beards and robes and cassocks
outward signs of piety

Mean nothing, are worthless
without a heart of love

Heaven and hell are empty
tales to frighten children

Only to You do we return
home at last, home at last

Good and evil counterbalance
men and women, all that live 

drops falling into the Ocean
Home at last, home at last

- Irving Karchmar, 2013
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Spiritual Evolution – “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.”

May 15, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“All I’m saying is simply this, that all life is interrelated, that somehow we’re caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Ya Haqq!

Note: Dr. King is talking about the dynamics of spiritual evolution, which I have written about HERE.


The Women in Our Lives – Happy Mother’s Day 2013 :)

May 12, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Everything I know of love, I’ve learned from women –  my mother, my daughter, and my wife. This is absolutely true. And more, all that I comprehend of God’s love and mercy, I have learned from their love; and even that small fraction of His infinite bounty has its root within my heart in the endless kindness and patience and endurance and generosity of these women.

My mother was the kindest, gentlest soul I have even known. I cannot think of even one instance where she considered her own needs before that of her children. I wish I could say the same for myself.

My daughter is simply remarkable. Smart and funny, tall and lovely, in whose company I take great delight. Every man should have such an honest critic :) She is a mother of two now, as is my daughter-in-law, so I will add to the list my darling granddaughters Hayley and Sophia. The pure love of children lights up the world.

And my beloved wife, who is the soul of patience with Lara and Quinn, her daughter and granddaughter, embodies all of those attributes, and many more, especially kindness and patience with my eccentricities :)

So on this Mother’s Day, here’s to the women in our lives. May we be worthy of them.

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are — chaff and grain together — certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

-George Eliot

Ya Haqq!


“What we are asked to do is to love…”

May 9, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”
~ Thomas Merton


Life Song of the Child – Welcoming Spirit Home

May 6, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it does not. In the end, we all recognize our song.  Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.

– Excerpt from: Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community, by Sobonfu Some, about her own Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso.

Ya Haqq!

Note: Read a great review of the book HERE.


Be Praised, My God!

May 3, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Be praised, my God, by butterfly and dragonfly wings exercising for their first flight.
Be praised by lightning and thunder causing spring showers.
Be praised by the silent voice of grass growing and trees budding.
Be praised by all the colorful flower trumpets of spring.
Be praised by downy feathers freshly dried on newly hatched ducklings and chicks.
Be praised by the songs of birds, crickets, and frogs.
Be praised, my God, by all your creation which tells of new life.

– A new canticle, from Sr. Mary Goergen, OSF

(Sisters of St. Francis, Rochester, MN)

Ya Haqq!