Kristie Dahlia Home
Image shows my hand holding open a hardcover copy of Braiding Sweetgrass
We Are Beloved

Braiding with Life

Feb 15, 2024

Beloved friends,

This week is powerful turning for me, the first anniversary of our home-coming. The day before yesterday I woke in the same place as the year before, and in the same place where I hope to wake again next year, for the first time in the larger part of a decade. It was so good to wander and wonder and heal, and oh, it is so good to be home! I am filled with awe and reverence for the opportunity to watch the cycle of the life of the Earth for a year again in the same place. The violet blue swallows who nest in our eaves should be returning soon. I have so much more energy to give now that much of my life has grown steady! 


Currently I'm cultivating internally in preparation for my next course, Lovingkindness: Meditation and Living -- registration is open now. I've been collecting poems and wise sayings about the vast love that lies at the heart of this human experience.  Lovingkindness meditation, metta bhavana, is a practice that humans have performed for thousands of years, and this spring I'd love to share it with you. 

In meditation and conversation we will explore our natural access to lovingkindness, cultivate a deep somatic experience of feeling love-drenched, and practice the cultivation of lovingkindness for other people. We will explore boundless love, loving boundaries, and how to hold people we find difficult in loving compassion. In this we will be connected with one another, with people all over the Earth, and with the life of the universe. I hope that in this, we will feel ourselves and contribute to creating for others what Raymond Carver speaks of here:

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Reading Circle: Braiding Sweetgrass
We will begin next week, Tuesday February 20th. You can simply show up; the Zoom link is below. Anyone who wishes will take a turn as we read aloud together, and just listening is fine. We'll read for a while and discuss for a while from Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, which Elizabeth Gilbert has called "A hymn of love to the world." There's no homework; we just read together and pick up the following week where we left off. If you are interested in the journey but are not free on Tuesday evenings, I'll be sharing here each week how far we've gotten and a glimpse of what was resonant that week, and you can read along at home! I enjoyed hearing from folks who did this with our last round. In related news: I've curated a selection of books to share on Bookshop! Purchases there or from books links here will send a small commission my way. You can check out my bookshop here.


For the past several years I've tithed 5% of my income each season. Generally I-and-therefore-we give to groups that support the wellbeing of people of the global majority – people of color. Winter's donation comes with a story: I have a friend named Simon who is a brilliant photographer. I've known her well over 20 years and trust her inside and out. She's been studying Arabic, and her teacher is a Palestinian woman who lives in Gaza. Heba and her family have been displaced from their home and sheltering at a school for weeks now. Simon has been sharing about this on Instagram, where she is selling prints of her work as a fundraiser. This season I have made my offering directly to this family via Simon. If you wish to learn more you can check out Simon's Instagram or Venmo her at @sarah-keough. May all the people of the Middle East know safety and peace. May all the people of the world know peace. 

Website Transition is currently down; the old site has been removed and the new one is very close to being ready to share with you! If you have taken a meditation course with me from HMC12 onward, the old links to the Materials Drives with recordings of my meditations are broken. All the material is there, and I will be sending updated links as soon as my workflow allows, hopefully in the next couple of days.


The Awe that is Coming
On April 8 there will be a total solar eclipse, the last one visible from the United States for more than 20 years. A huge proportion of the people reading this are in California, which will not have a view of the full eclipse. The path of the eclipse runs through Mexico and then across the US from Texas to the Northeast; here is NASA's information on where the eclipse can be seen and when. An astronomer friend who saw the last full eclipse began to encourage me strongly to make plans for this a couple of years ago, and now I'm passing that on to you! Earthsky is counting down daily. I've got tickets to visit my Dad, who lives in the path of totality. Where will you be?

Nesting Season
Friends of Big Bear Valley are livestreaming an eagle nest! It is  "located in Big Bear Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California. It is about 145 feet up in a Jeffrey Pine tree. The nest is the current home for Jackie and Shadow, a local bald eagle pair." 3 eggs have been laid, on 1/25, 1/28, and 1/31. "Pip watch begins on 2/29." This is a wonderful thing to share with people of all ages, especially children, and is a great use for that big screen you might have at home! I keep it running in a tab on my browser, too, where I keep coming across it with surprise and delight. 

On Language and Being
Adam Aleksic is a brilliant and charming linguist who shares fantastic short-form videos on Instagram and TikTok as @etymologynerdAs a lover of the mystery, of course I adore this list of unsolved problems in linguistics, which includes things like: "We don't know what a word is." Perhaps you saw him when he went viral for inventing a dolphin language — there's a great interview with him about that. His work makes me think about thinking and being and knowing and life in gleeful ways. Thanks to Hazel

The Mystery of the Cosmos Itself
Speaking of glee, the James Webb Space Telescope continues to throw glorious wrenches in our understanding of being. The latest is that we'd previously thought that after the Big Bang, stars and galaxies formed before black holes, but — "Black holes not only existed at the dawn of time, they birthed new stars and supercharged galaxy formation, a new analysis of James Webb Space Telescope data suggests." You can read more at the Johns Hopkins University HUB. It makes my heart sing how vast the mystery is! Thanks to Earthsky

Om Ma
With a new film out from Hayou Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli — (Have you seen The Boy and the Heron? I hope to do so soon!) this simple elucidation of the concept of Ma made my heart sing and this more detailed one has been echoing in my heart and meditations; in it Donna Canning describes Ma as "Ma has been described as a pause in time, an interval or emptiness in space. Ma is the time and space life needs to breath, to feel and connect."