A very ugly swan

In the face of earthquakes, floods and fire, and the agonizing injustices and repression being played out in Libya and elsewhere as I write this, why would I care about a movie? Well I do, not least because this movie normalizes violence under a veneer of beauty and art. And I feel so strongly that […]

Choose life!

“When do you write? Do you make a time every morning…?” I was asked a couple of nights ago at a wonderful event at Shearer’s Bookshop in Leichhardt, Sydney. (The picture above shows me there with fellow writer Walter Mason.) It was a loaded question and I answered with a joke: “Morning, noon and night!” […]

Peace from the inside out

These words from Zen poet and teacher Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh have been the greatest support to me and countless others for many years. Let’s imagine the world we would live in if each day, several times a day, we paused just long enough to say the following four lines: Breathing in I calm my […]

Stella Cornelius: a tribute

(What follows is Quaker and development activist  Jane Sloane’s January 2011 eulogy at the memorial service for peace activist, Peace Prize winner, and conflict resolution writer and teacher, Stella Cornelius, founder of the Conflict Resolution Network and loved by so many. Stella died, still engaged with the activities of peace-making, aged 91.) Stella, beloved: Appropriately, […]

Religious bigotry: a global challenge

There are few expressions of human ignorance and misery worse than religious bigotry. Bigotry of any kind harms those who express it as well as those who are its targets. Religious bigotry, though, generally  comes heavily tainted with self-righteousness. At its worst, it’s sustained by the noxious belief that it expresses “God’s” will, or that […]

Readers’ responses to Seeking

The following responses from readers mean much more to me than simple praise and encouragement – as vital as encouragement always is. If you have read Seeking the Sacred – or any of my other books but especially Seeking and In the Company of Rilke – you will know how mindful I am of the […]

NY Resolutions, 2011

NY Resolutions, 2011

“You will never achieve what you can’t imagine.” And that’s never more true than when it comes to New Year resolutions. These absolutely don’t need to be made before the new year dawns. Yet there is a particular magic in starting the year with a clear sense that it is you who is choosing; that […]

Words from Gandhi

I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I greet that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love. These words from the great peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi inspired the […]

The rhythms of parenting

Most parents think of the birth of their children as an emotional high point in their lives.There is no adventure like it!  But the majority will also say that turning themselves into relaxed, confident parents remains one of the greatest challenges of their adult lives. Where I live in inner-city Sydney there’s been a rapid […]

Caring about carers

One of the most challenging roles that any of us can find ourselves in is that of carer.  I am not thinking about professional carers now. They also do a fine job but can go home at the end of a shift. Nor, in this instance, do I mean parents of ordinarily robust children who […]

At home in Australia

Today we celebrate Australia Day – or do we? For many it’s a last-ditch chance to revel in the lazier pace of the Christmas and New Year holiday period before school begins and work takes off again with a gallop. But can it or should it be something more? After all, this is the single […]

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