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Maia’s Oct 2014 E-Newsletter

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Moonrise over Santa Fe / photo: Maia Duerr

Moonrise over Santa Fe / photo: Maia Duerr

Finding Your Way Home 

I’m a bit behind in sending this out, but then I realized that the full moon is a perfect way to schedule my newsletter, much better than “the first of the month.”

Time and space are how we move through this world. In this digital age, we’ve gotten so attuned to our devices, whether they are smartphones or laptops or something else. The more digital we get, the less human we are…. that’s my feeling, anyway.

Over the past few months, I’ve been remembering how good it feels to pay attention to the moon. When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, I was part of a small sangha (Buddhist community) that took full moon walks along a eucalyptus tree-lined trail in the Oakland hills. We would walk about 20 minutes in silence until we reached a certain overlook. Along the way, someone would ring a bell of mindfulness every so often. Then on the way back we took time to catch up on each other’s lives, renewing friendships and connections that might have been put aside in the busy-ness of the previous month.

In July, I co-led a full moon ceremony at the International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice center in northern Thailand. My co-conspirator for that ceremony was Nicole Sangsuree Barrett, an extraordinary young woman who was there for the Buddhist Education for Social Transformation course that I was helping to teach. Sangsuree was a gifted ceremonialist and she designed a beautiful ritual to support all of us to reconnect to the earth and with each other. Just five days later, Sang was killed instantly when she was hit by a car in Chiang Mai.

As you might imagine, her loss was devastating for so many people who loved her. At the same time, there were many gifts that flowed from her death (I wrote more about Sangsuree’s life and death here). For me, it was that reminder of how important ritual is, how deeply we human beings need that chance to find our way back to the ‘home’ that is always there in nature and deep inside each of us.

As you move into this next month, how can you create time and space in your life to re-connect and renew yourself? It might be as simple as turning off all your digital devices for one day of the week and being more present to yourself and those you love. This is so important in this world of ours these days… it’s really an act of healing to be present. I’d love to hear how you do this in your life – drop me a line and let me know.

In freedom,


What’s Been Happening


Here’s what’s been going on my world work the past month:

  • Kicked off the October/November round of “Fall in Love with Your Work,” the e-course that I created three years ago. This time around we have 24 people taking the course from all over the world. I’m looking forward to watching big transformations unfold!
  • I’m helping the Academy for the Love of Learning, a wonderful Santa Fe-based nonprofit, to lay the groundwork for a very exciting project called “The City That Learns.” I’ll be sharing more about that in the near future.
  • On another note, I just returned from a journey through the Southwest. One of the highlights was spending time at Canyon de Chelly, in Chinle, AZ. Joseph Campbell once called this “the most sacred place on earth.” Yes. I want to return and have more time there.


What’s Coming Up…

photo: Katya Lesher

photo: Katya Lesher

Re-Connection and Renewal

Interested in bringing mindfulness into your workplace? Re-Connection and Renewal (R+R) workshops and retreats are designed to do just that. This month, I’m traveling to Ohio to co-lead a one-day retreat for the staff of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Get in touch with me to learn more about how you can bring a custom-designed R+R to your group or organization. 

June 2015: Retreat at Upaya Zen Center

Katya Lesher and I will be co-leading “Re-Connection and Renewal: A Women’s Weekend of Mindful Nourishment” at Upaya Zen Center, June 26-28, 2015. I’d love to have you join us here in beautiful Santa Fe. 


It’s been a quiet month for writing… more coming soon!

About Maia

I've been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1994, and exploring the question "What is engaged Buddhism?" since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I had the honor of meeting and working with many practitioners of engaged dharma, including Roshi Joan Halifax, Joanna Macy, Alan Senauke, and Robert Aitken Roshi. I write about socially engaged Buddhism on my blog, "The Jizo Chronicles," as well as on the theme of personal and collective freedom on my website, "The Liberated Life Project." Through my Five Directions Consulting, I offer support to individuals and organizations who aspire to integrate awareness into their work.

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