At an early age, I sought differences, was highly attracted to them, had to know, curiosity.  In my early 20s, I was plunged into an occupational world that held much diversity in acquiring knowledge, languages, cultures, traditions–a banquet.

And, I always thought I had to keep a secret:  I thought I wasn’t patriotic.  That admission in my country will not be followed by asking questions or listening – no logic involved – you will be boiled in oil.

Why not patriotic?  Well, in my occupation, I saw people from other countries, educated academically in other countries, in other traditions/languages/customs/cultures/religions who were intelligent – brilliant even, talented in many fields, kind, compassionate, humorous, wise.  Those ‘strangers’ came to teach something, to give us (the US) something of their experience/knowledge/art.  I got to witness that, be in on that, marvel at that.  I believed people of all countries had something to offer.  I believed many countries had come together and made unimaginable, heartwrenching sacrifices so that they could begin their journey to freedom and equality; that many helped mine continue that journey.  I believed that all countries were made up of human beings, living beings and they wanted freedom, just like I did.  I love the richness of traditions, cultures, languages, knowledge, art and I don’t think, to love my country, that I have to think any other is less, inferior.  That is deemed unpatriotic, heretical and a few other terms.

To love who I am, what I have, where I live, I do not have to think anyone is less.  To appreciate and express gratitude for the life I live in the place I live, I do not have to think anyone is less.  I love the ideals and principles for which I strive:  To be a good person, to do good to self and others.  I’ll do that anywhere and love who’s around me, and acknowledge and appreciate the sacrifices they made so that I am free to pursue that.

May there be compassion.  May there be awakening.  May there be freedom.  Thank you for taking your time.

Love, Lilie



Uh oh, old story time, again. Thought I’d drag this one out because I saw something the other day that made me sad. Maybe this helps others and me, too.

Many years ago, I had become very sensitive about hunting. My dad was raised on a farm, hunted and fished all his life and that was a great help to him in a troubled, lonely life. But, not to me and I felt sick about killing. So, he took me for a nice ride (I loved the car rides, off the road) and he showed me where, the previous winter, deer had starved to death and some had developed disease and died from that. No hunting in that area. He told me, for whatever, reason, that this was part of the life cycle. That when there was overpopulation there was trouble for people, trouble for animals. And, he told me it was ok that I didn’t want to hunt, that it bothered me and that I saw it differently from the tradition and world he grew up with. So, he said, don’t hunt, don’t fish but t-h-i-n-k about it. Think about your feelings and think about the truth of a thing. Don’t do what goes against your conscience and trust that others are doing that same thing.

What I don’t understand — why is it necessary to belittle, to ridicule anyone who doesn’t agree with you, who has a different tradition, or grew up feeling differently from you about any issue. Why not take the ‘dad’ approach. Why not treat someone with respect, speak what you know to be truth with kindness and love and let them be. I’m disappointed. Because you know what they call it when you disrespect someone like that? It’s bullying and whatever your ‘reason’, it ain’t right.

I think what we fail to do, what I’ve noticed the bullying and judgmental fail to do, we don’t ask questions.  We jump to conclusions, assume, ridicule, react, but we don’t ask questions.  Why not?  Why not ask why someone feels about some issue the way they do?  Why not find out why someone developed the attitude or feeling they have?  We might learn something.

The state I live in is 4th in the nation in problems with bullying – adults and children.  How about asking some questions?  We all want happiness and freedom from suffering  which means we’ll have to be willing to see we all have access to that, too.  Thanks for listening.



el medico said I’ve lost my hearing – in my right ear

gone it’s gone

but he said, I adapt well

maybe because I read a lot

I absorb from context

what I don’t actually hear

he says

he does that too


it was an old injury, another consequence

of tolerating abuse

I lamented to my friend

my stupidity, my lack of self-regard

and the loss of the gift from which

I’d made a living, gained some pride

listened to music and

oh listened to music  —  every day


my koan friend

says to me


yes be proud with tender kindness

you heard with your mind

and you changed your life

be proud of your hearing

for no one can take that


it won’t fail or grow old

your hearing is fine


and music

well music lives

in your body

you’ll always be dancing

some internal rhythm