Kristie Dahlia Home
A tulip; stems and leaves in the background, blossom held tenderly in Dahlia's palm in the foreground.
We Are Beloved

Lovingkindness Begins Next Week

Feb 23, 2024

Beloved friends,

Next week is the opening of my next longer offering, Lovingkindness: A Course in Meditation & Living. I hope you'll consider joining us! 

Why should you take a meditation course?
With apps that offer meditation recordings making it easy to access those nowadays, some folks will wonder what working with me has to offer on top of that. The answers are deep: community, intimacy, and personal instruction, which helps you to take the teaching home and integrate it with profound depth. 

“There’s a piece to this class that I wasn’t expecting and that’s been very meaningful to me, which was to bear witness the journey everyone else is on. We are all going through so much shit. We rarely get to watch others going through stuff in real time, especially as an outsider. But…we’re sharing that with each other in real time. That’s just really beautiful.” — Crystal

If you've taken courses with me before you'll find the structure in this one has similarities and also innovations; I'm always adapting my work to suit the changing tools and needs we share. For this, the primary teaching will be offered on Saturday mornings on Zoom and recorded in both video and audio formats, which gives you the chance to join live or later as suits your own life. There are still written Sharing Circles which you could choose to read each week, but each person writes in once a month to keep the volume of reading and writing gentle. You also get an hourlong 1:1 session with me monthly for more direct and intimate connection, conversation, and personalized teaching. 

"A session with Dahlia was the catalyst to finding answers to questions I didn’t want to ask myself.  She is compassionate and tender, and she offers such wonderful options regarding the solutions.  Anyone facing difficult life situations can always find excellent tools and resources by having meaningful conversation with this wise friend who is so well-connected to the universe." — Mary

Why Lovingkindness?
I've chosen this topic because I believe it is the fuel and medicine we need right now and in days to come. This is a time of incredible, dizzying change. We are moving both forward and backward, culturally and politically, quickly and all at once. We are bearing witness to tremendous suffering globally driven by fear and greed. I am speaking of this broadly, but each of us experiences these events with wrenching intimacy. Life is asking more from us, in our close relationships and on the wide scale. The greatest salve and spark anyone knows is love. It lights our way toward one another in both joy and sorrow. Love meets us in wholeness: in our hope, our celebration, our grief, our wishes for better things for everyone. The cultivation of metta bhavana, lovingkindness is ancient; humans have done this practice for millennia. This is powerful foundational support for all of living; it can revolutionize our sense of what being alive is. Someone said of the last time I taught on this topic:

"The classes have really changed how I think about my relationship with myself. I feel more capable of treating myself kindly and that has transformed my relationship with other people."

You can read more about the course here. Please reach out with questions; I'd love to talk.


Our Reading Circle
This week we began Braiding Sweetgrass, which opens with the Indigenous creation story of Skywoman, who fell from her realm to watery Earth with her pockets full of seeds, and for and from whom this land, Turtle Island, was co-created with the other animals.

"It was through her actions of reciprocity, the give and take with the land, that the original immigrant became Indigenous. For all of us, becoming Indigenous to a place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depend on it... Can they, can we all, understand the Skywoman story not as an artifact from the past but as instructions for the future? Can a nation of immigrants once again follow her example to become native, to make a home?" 

This is the central premise for this astonishing and nourishing book. we'll begin next week on the second chapter, The Council of Pecans. You are welcome to join, reading at home or in our Circle! Details below.

Becoming the Land
In the discussion of Braiding Sweetgrass, the work of Jeanne K Simmons was mentioned; she creates incredible art that combines earthwork with performance; you may have seen her viral piece in which she braided a meadow and a woman's hair each into the other. If you are a neighbor of mine, you likely know that Jeanne is here, too, and perhaps you'd like to attend the opening of her upcoming show at the Jefferson County Historical Society on March 2. In hunting for this art after we discussed it, I also found that grass-braiding has been a form of earthwork for some time, and one you might explore yourself. Thanks to Leah

Glorious Song
Feist's new album Multitudes has been playing nonstop in our house, and oh, it stopped me in my tracks to ask WHAT IS THIS?! Exquisite stuff. The Guardian called it "a soul-stirring career highlight".  A mini-concert, 15 minutes longOn Spotify. Thanks to James

Bookshop Update & Mmmmmm
What a joy it has been to see folks choosing books I love from my bookshop! If you bookmarked it, please update with my apologies as the url has shifted in the process of making my new site. Soon you'll be able to visit it on my site itself! The first book purchased was Magnificent Sex: Lessons from Extraordinary Lovers, and the person who did so says, "Bought this, and I LOVE it. I might use some of our 1:1 time to discuss- which will be so fun!!"  It is "based on the largest, in-depth interview study ever conducted with people who are having extraordinary sex", which was done be sex therapists who realized there were no norms for GREAT sex, though there were many diagnostics for challenges. It is frank, funny, practical, and changed my own approach to intimacy in my happy, 27-year-long, non-monogamous marriage.

Brrrrr and Ahhhhhhh
Perhaps you're aware that cold water swimming and plunging is really having a moment. People who are into it are super into it! We read in the Reading Circle for Wintering about Dorte Lyager whose bipolar disorder has been in remission since she undertook ice swimming in Denmark -- there is research going on about how this may affect inflammation in the brain. On a gentler note, there's simply ice plunging, which the kind and wonderful writer Catherine Newman, who I am smitten with, rhapsodizes about in this lovely blog post. Research is showing ease of menopausal symptoms from cold water immersion. Have you done it? Would you? My local waters are currently at a chilly 45 degrees, but there is a local group who plunges a couple times a week. I'm working away at learning to drive so that I can join them. I'll report back when I do! Thanks to Christine

Mars and Venus are visible in the morning sky before sunrise now! What a joy to gaze upon them as I light my dawn candle on these winter mornings.