Monthly Archives: December 2021

Kwanzaa day of Nia: Purpose


As I prepare for birth, I haven’t been blogging much. Which is ironic, since this blog is called “blog from the belly.” My ‘belly’, a euphemism for my womb, has been expanding over the last 9 months. I’ve kept a private journal, but haven’t published about it. Perhaps that will change.

One thing that has happened is that I’ve cried every time I’ve had to set aside something that I LOVE doing in order to make room in my life for the baby. Overall I am happy that I will bring a child earthside. However, it has been a necessary practice to take time to grieve the loss of the rhythm and life that I know well at this time. For example, I was so crunched for time in early November that I could not present at the Rich Earth Institute‘s awesome annual conference. I really wanted to, the panel invitation was around meaning-making in the relationship of people to their excreta, and how to promote nutrient cycling and safe reuse of excreta. Really it was the heart of what I work on–and I couldn’t meet the growing demands of (pre)motherhood, finish up my speaking engagements, complete my teaching assignment, and prepare a presentation + attend the conference. So I opted out.

Right before I sent the email stating my regrets I was really cranky… I realized what I needed was a good cry. I had so much sadness and shame built up around letting my amazing colleagues down, as well as feeling the loss of not being in those life-giving conversations for the next while. So I sat by one of my home altars and just let loose. I let myself feel it all directly. And afterwards I was able to do what I needed to do, and release in peace. Since that time, with everything else that I’ve had to lay down, I’ve felt the build-up of the angst, made room for it, and then took a deep breath, and moved on.

One of the beloved activities from which I am taking a maternity break is Buddhist Peace Fellowship. I have deeply enjoyed learning and growing together with members of that organization. Our shared intention is to serve collective liberation through “connecting Dharma to the current moment through convening spiritually and politically engaged individuals from Buddhist and other lineages. Our programs are led by and lift up the voices and priorities of our QTBIPOC and Heritage Buddhist community who share commitments to ecological anti-capitalism, queer feminism, and racial justice within the USA.”

It was an organization started by white western Buddhists, who were visionary and committed. They saw that the NIA (purpose) of Buddhism was not (only) individual enlightenment, but deep enlightenment of the whole, since none of us are truly individuals but completely interdependently with one another in the web of entangled life/death/suffering/non-suffering cycles. One of my colleagues has written about one of the co-founders, Robert Aiken. I invite you to click here to learn about him and other amazing teachers who are so committed to the purpose of their life earthside this time around. I’m excited for our child to learn from leaders such as these!

May your purpose become and remain clear for you as you live out your days.

Feast of the Holy Innocents: Protesting Drone Warfare


Today was the Feast of the Holy Innocents. It is a day that is part of the Christmas arc and remembers the young children of Bethlehem slaughtered by Herod soon after Jesus’ birth because Herod felt threatened that another king would arise to challenge him.

Being 39.5 weeks pregnant helps me feel with all the mothers who have lost children to drone attacks.

To observe this day, our entire household went to remember the Holy Innocents that have died from US drone attacks. NY Times and Fox News NY reported on the coordinated actions from yesterday, as well as the Pentagon info has just come out about the patterns of immense failure in the US drone program. Whistleblower Daniel Hale made documents public about the huge numbers of innocent people (including many children) slaughtered in their homes or yards.…/veterans-for-peace-protests…

More on Daniel Hale’s courageous choice to bring the truth to light, and the years of jail time he faces because of his witness:…/daniel-hale-whistleblower…/

More on why we need a ban on drones:

We stood across from the base, as the shift changed. We stood, and held the faces and names of the victims in the sightlines of the engineers, pilots, janitors, and managers as they departed from work at Hancock Air Force Base.
This vigil has gone on consistently since 2001 and the advent of the drone program. Elders have, and continue to lead the way. We were blessed to join them, and bring up the next generation to follow their example.

Find out what you can do, so that what is done in YOUR name does not continue to create violence and harm.