in its own true nature

A fish cannot drown in water,

A bird does not fall in air.

In the fire of its making,

Gold doesn’t vanish:

The fire brightens.

Each creature God made

Must live in its own true nature;

How could I resist my nature, 

That lives for oneness with God.

                                     ~Mechtild of Magdeburg*


Women in Praise of the Sacred

J Hirshfield

A Meditative Journey with Saldage

A Meditative Journey with Saldage  BookCover


This work interweaves elements of the author’s own history within a fabric composed of Buddhist philosophies of suffering and Christian ideals of forgiveness, as well as traditional elements of psychology and universal threads of myth.  The result is a rich tapestry of value to anyone seeking a personal and compassionate guide towards self-discovery and recovery from the sources and consequences of human suffering. The practical illustrations of overcoming suffering within this experience make this work a valuable tool for individual women and a significant contribution for the therapeutic environment.

Available through:

Barnes & Noble


Better World Books

Google Books

Author’s Note:

It is my hope that those who journey through A Meditative Journey with Saldage return again and again to the wisdom within the Kalama Sutta. If you find that the words, images, and/or cited quotes trigger any discontent within, please abandon them. If you find that they lead to an easing of discontent, please accept my written thoughts as a gift from me to you.

back way

perception is never purely in the present – it has to draw on experiences of the past; “the remembered present”…detailed memories of how things have previously looked and sounded, and these memories are recalled and mixed with every new perception…every act of perception…is to some degree an act of imagination.*

back way




Oliver Sacks

recurrent calling…

Listen, listen:

longing and loss.

In the struck bell’s 

recurrent calling,

no moment in which to forget.

                                   ~Izumi Shikibu*


…though it is often stated that animals find symmetry in a mate attractive, humans appear not, in fact, to share such preferences. Even in cases where symmetry is clocked as more healthy, it is still experienced as less attractive.  In fact symmetry in living faces, because it suggests something mechanical and unreal, borders on the uncanny… And, as one might expect, in portraiture of the Enlightenment ‘faces generally are represented more symmetrically than in any other Western style’… ‘That is one of the reasons why this portraiture is as Wilde puts it, “once seen, never remembered.”**



*The Ink Dark Moon

Trans: J. Hirshfield with M. Aratani

**The Master and his Emmissary

Iain McGilchrist

the brain cognizing itself


From the earliest, all the Renaissance arts showed a newfound expressiveness, a delicacy of feeling… In the visual arts this was manifest from Giotto onwards in a preoccupation with the expressive powers of the human face in particular… It will be remembered…that during the Renaissance there was a peak in left-facing (right-hemisphere favoring) profiles in portraiture.

Intriguingly, there appears to have been a marked shift, according to James Hall, in the way the left and right sides of the body were viewed at around this time. The traditional view of the left side as, literally, sinister would appear to have softened at the Renaissance, and given way to an intuitive sense of its positive qualities. According to Hall, ‘the superior beauty of the left hand was an important opponent of the courtly love tradition’…As the Renaissance unfolded, the claims of the left side were advanced at the expense of the right; it was seen as the more beautiful side – finer, more gentle, more truthful, more in touch with feeling. The entire left side of the body took on a cast of beauty, truthfulness, and fragility. Given that it was centuries too early for these views to be influenced by knowledge of hemisphere different, it looks like another possible instance of the brain intuitively cognising itself.*


The Master and his Emissary

Iain McGilchrist