We Are All Truly Miraculous

An Evening of Poetry, Music and The Spoken Word at The White House May 12, 2009.

I'm incredibly moved and inspired. Beautiful opening performance by ELEW and Esperanza Spalding, soulful spoken word by Mayda del Valle and a powerful performance by ELEW.

“We’re here to celebrate the power of words and music to help us appreciate beauty and also to understand pain. To inspire us to action and to spur us on when we start to lose hope." President Obama tells the crowd as he opens the evening.

"It is one thing for people to tell their stories in their own spaces and quite another for those stories to be welcomed in this space. Barack is president today because many people who thought their voices didn't matter or wouldn't be heard decided to show up on election day and vote anyway." Michelle Obama

"Abuela, how did you pray before someone told you who your god should be? How did you hold the earth in your hands and thank her for it's fecundity? Did the sea wash away your sadness? How did you humble yourself before your architect? Did you lower yourself to your knees or rock to the rhythm of ocean waves like I do? "

“To be able to go in the White House and to represent my grandmother and my ancestors, it really means a lot. It’s a generation of women that don’t often get heard, you know, these old Puerto Rican women that no one ever really thinks about. To be able to use my voice to represent them on this kind of platform is really powerful.” Mayda del Valle


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posted by ashley


Some Little Tid-bits of Delight

A fabulous new find, Zooglobble - Kids music worth sharing - which led me to Tres Leches which is quite sweet (I really like Listen) and this fabulous kid hop song by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Gotta Be Me

My brother called me yesterday, excited to tell me that today is a day that the sun is celebrated in Judaism. This celebration comes once every 28 years. Christy shared some of the prayers and chants and a video of this sweetness. Birkat Hachama blessing

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posted by ashley



Center the mind in stillness
Center the heart in love
Center the body in breath

Quote from 13-moon natural time calendar
Stone circle at Story House

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posted by ashley


Sailing Through This Puzzling and Beautiful World

“I want people to sail with me through this puzzling and frightening world. I expect to fail at moments on this journey, to get lost–how could I not? And I expect that you too will fail. Even our voyage is cyclical–we can’t help but move from old to new to old. We will vacillate, one day doing something bold and different, excited over the progress, the next day, back to old behaviors, confused about how to proceed. We need to expect that we will wander off course and not make straight progress to our destination. To stay the course, we need patience, compassion, and forgiveness. We need to require this of one another. It will help us be bolder explorers. It might keep us from going mad.” ~Margaret Wheatley

Thank you for this invocation, invitation and reminder. Thank you Ria at Seeds for a Happy Planet for the quote.

I also want people to sail with me through this beautiful and mysterious world. Sometimes we'll trust what is emerging, surrendering to the unknown wrapping its tendrils of possibility around life. Other times we'll doubt, shy away or be afraid, attempting to avoid or control the uncertainty of seemingly dark abysses. Sometimes we'll sail in solitude and sometimes with mates. My hope is that we always know we're held, supported and connected and that we stay awake to the beauty and mystery guiding our eyes wide open and our hearts' passions into action.

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posted by ashley


Dwelling Together in Unity

While I was on retreat a few weeks ago a Hebrew prayer began to sing through my being. Often since then I've found myself in moment's of reverence singing this tune. The other night I looked up what the prayer is about... what is the message that arrived to me in Hebrew's harmony, stirring in me a connection that I know runs deep in my soul.

He-Nay Ma Tov-u Ma Nayim, Shevit Acheem Gam Ya-Chad
He-Nay Ma Tov-u Ma Nayim, Shevit Acheem Gam Ya-Chad
He-Nay Ma Tov, Shevit Acheem Gam Ya-Chad
He-Nay Ma Tov, Shevit Acheem Gam Ya-Chad

This prayer comes from the beginning of Psalm 133: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

I'm still feeling how this touches me. For now it is the Hebrew and melody of the prayer that stirs me most. This morning, the English is sitting with me in an echo of, "See, feel, experience the peace of us being together, living our unity."

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posted by ashley



i collect prayers.

it first came as quite a surprise to me to feel a rising attraction to prayers and blessings again. i liked prayers in my childhood but lost contact when i became cool. even until several moons ago the thought of prayers had an embarrassing quality to it - or lets say, it made me feel immature.

the arrival and birth of my son brought many changes, inner and outer. and many questions rose to the surface. one of those questions was how to experience god, the one, the source, together with my son. and that gently set my inner prayer wheel in motion again.

then i saw rabbi zalman schachter-shalomi in a short clip say a little prayer, and this changed my perception of praying once more. it was a short petitionary prayer for malka, a young, sick girl, simply spoken with an open heart. the power of this simple prayer eased the way through my barriers and touched my heart. it made me feel quite sad, really, to realize that i neglected something as accessible and beautiful as the power of praying for so long. but this small, simple prayer also let me experience god in the most immediate of ways and sparked a new interest and longing in the art of praying. genuine prayer always involves a personal dimension, along with the intention to go beyond one's separate self and towards the divine. prayers are thresholds to the ever-present source.

as you know by now i collect prayers and blessings. so, if you have a favorite prayer, one which is close to your heart, one which gives you comfort and lets you connect to the ever-present, please feel free to share!

here is one of my favorites, conceived by an australian cartoonist, poet and writer called michael leunig.

We give thanks for our friends.
We anger each other.
We fail each other.
We share this sad earth, this tender life, this precious time.
Such richness. Such wildness.
Together we are blown about.
Together we are dragged along.
All this delight.
All this suffering.
All this forgiving life.
We hold it together.

WELCOME kojan... what a treat to have you posting here. it is truely a dream come true to have you and maria and patti sharing your hearts and souls here at easily amazed. THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

This line touched me beautifully:
"how to experience god, the one, the source, together with my son."

it is in the word together that i melt every time i read that line. how to experience god together with another... and how to tailor that experience to who the other is... recognizing the differences and the similarities in experiencing with a small child and a grown adult. i'd love to hear more of what you've discovered in this quest and adventure with your son.

and then the image of your inner prayer wheel being gently set in motion... my grinning is as far as i can go in commenting my feeling!

i too was profoundly effected by the prayer for malka clip. for me, however, it was when the rabbi asked to speak to the god in ken... explaining that sometimes it's easier to connect to the god inside of another, that really struck me. he looked into ken's eyes and then spoke the simple prayer. it was such a reminder and invitation for me to speak to the god inside of others.

as for favorite prayers. one i say every night (except for the nights i forget) that i particularly enjoy is:

thank you for the gift of breath,
for another day of loving.

my heart lies open
in your divine embrace.


i too would love to hear some other favorite prayers... from any and every or no tradition.

Gravatarthank you, ashley,
for your light and for your open heart. and thanks for sharing your night prayer, it's lovely (and finn will like it...)

Gravatarwhat a lovely thing to collect!

one of my favorite prayers lately is the traditional Jewish morning prayer, but i am finding that it is just right for any time i remember to pray, plus the melodies that go along with it are all beautiful:

Modah (women say "modah" men say "modeh") ani l'fanechah,
melech chai v'kayam
shehechezarta bi nishmati b'chemlah,
raba emunatechah
(loose translation:
I am so thankful to be in Your Presence
Source of life and eternity
You mercifully restored my soul to me
great is Your faith (in me)

Gravatarthanks a lot, christy, another beautiful gem to keep the prayer wheel turning!

Gravatarkojan, one of my favorite prayers is:
I will arise
and lift my eyes
to see your holyness,
my hope is in your name Lord
my trust is in your name Lord
you are faithfull.
i too thank you for your wonderful post, im with ashley when you speak of including your son in your relationship with God! what a blessing you are!
thank you again,Maria

GravatarMaria, your so kind, thank you!

May God grant you always...

A sunbeam to warm you,

A moonbeam to charm you,

A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

GravatarOh Kojan, how sweet of you!
you lifted up my day!
God bless you,maria

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posted by kojan


shabbat prayer

it is said,
that the soul of man
is like a
candle to god.

and so we light our
inner flames
letting them shine bright with
the light of god.

and the peace within us
shining with the light of
the source of all life.

and the light of the candles
illuminates the home
filling it with peace within-
within thy family and within thy soul.

oh-so thankful,
we invite-
we breathe in this light of peace
deep into our souls.

and as we exhale,
the light travels out.
it recognizes, harmonizes, and unifies
with scattered sparks of holiness
all around the world.

and in this sacred moment,
our hearts are united,
with the light
of god.


thanks for this prayer, ashley.
it doesn't always need much light to lighten up the dark. resting the eyes on one small candle flame can be enough to embrace the thunder clouds floating through the mind.
one small candle can heal this moment and bless you with its simple grace.

Gravatarlightening up the dark

resting the eyes
embracing the thunder clouds

one small candle-
healing this moment
blessing you
simple grace.

thank you for this prayer, jan.



Hi Ashley,

As always your reflections stir if not disturb - there must be a response!

In that space of my own reflection in the moment I'm wondering about the struggle to keep balance between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. While lawyers seem to be dominating decision making on our behalf can we expect peace? Isn't it their nature to be combatitive?

I am eagerly looking forward to a world where our thoughts and actions are more guided by poets and visionairies like yourself.

Thank you for the Light and the Fire!



posted by ashley

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