Improvisation II


Second in a ten part series.

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Audio mediation, click here:


Graffiti, pen marks on page. 2019 © Julia Haris

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This week’s entry is sponsored by a generous Zen donor.  

Improvisation I

“I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once.”― John Coltrane

Audio reflection, click here:

Audio meditation, click here:


“There is never any end. There are always new sounds to imagine; new feelings to get at. And always, there is the need to keep purifying these feelings and sounds so that we can really see what we’ve discovered in its pure state. So that we can see more and more clearly what we are. In that way, we can give to those who listen the essence, the best of what we are. But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror.” John Coltrane

NPR: The Story Of A Love Supreme

Handwritten sheet music for John Coltrane’s religious suite A Love Supreme. Original author, John Coltrane. Reproduced from the archives of the Smithsonian. Source: Wiki Commons    

Meditation: Body V

Our last in the “Body” series, we aptly end with the idea of resurrection.

Recorded reflection, click here:


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“Resurrection” by Alma Thomas, 1966
Medium: acrylic and graphite

Painting credit: White House Collection/White House Historical Association

This acrylic and graphite on canvas painting was done by Alma Thomas, who was an educator and artist in Washington, D.C. for most of her career. She was a member of the Washington Color School. This painting was unveiled as part of the White House Collection during Black History Month 2015 and is the first in this collection by an African-American woman. This painting was acquired for the White House Collection with support from George B. Hartzog, Jr., and the White House Acquisition Trust/White House Historical Association.  Source: The White House Historical Association

“For a human being to possess true poverty, he or she must be as free of his or her created will as they were when they did not yet exist. … People should be as free of their own knowledge as when they were not yet, letting God accomplish whatever God wills. People should stand empty. … Following the way of my unborn being I have always been, I am now, and shall remain eternally. What I am by my [temporal] birth is destined to die and be annihilated, for it is mortal; therefore it must with time pass away. In my [eternal] birth all things were born, and I was cause of myself and of all things.” — Meister Eckhart

(From Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations (p. 146). New World Library. Kindle Edition.)


Our next series explores “Improvisation.”

Please join us for this ten part series.

Meditation: Body IV

“But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”― George Eliot, Middlemarch


Audio reflection, click here:


Audio meditation, click here:



The House of Death, William Blake. 1795-c.1805. Used under Creative Commons license, The British Museum


This week’s entry is sponsored by an anonymous Zen donor.

Note: This year I’m exclusively reading women writers. I’ll be posting intermittently, around mid-week, on my discoveries. The entries will be brief, but a necessary if rough chronicle of my literary excursions.

Please join us on this adventure, though you will sometimes receive two emails in one week.

I hope this causes no undue annoyance; please let me know if you enjoy the entries.

Meditation: Body III

Number three in a five part Intentional series.

Reflection, click here:

Meditation, click here:


David by Michelangelo Florence Galleria dell’Accademia

(Photos courtesy Wiki Common Use license.)

This week’s reflection and meditation are sponsored by an anonymous Zen donor.

Sponsorships help pay for web hosting, recording materials (music licenses, audio equipment), and the time involved to produce a weekly podcast.  Please contact me at julia @ juliaharis. com if you’d like to become a sponsor.  Thank you.

Meditation: Pause

Quiet In White, Maine.  2019 © Julia Haris

In the middle of our “Body” series, I get this year’s flu.

There’s a lot to think about in that — including the importance of rest and comfort to restore ourselves, as well as the reminder of how precious our bodies are.

My voice is trashed, my throat raw, and today will be the first day I’ve eaten since Wednesday, I think. Can’t be sure. The past four days are a blur, between fever and sleeping and aching discomfort. Every minute aching.

My baseline health is great. Lots and lots of fruits and veggies, vegan, low processed foods, good activity levels, so I feel for those who can’t bounce back fast.

The CDC says this year’s influenza is hitting infants, toddlers, and kids the most and the hardest — which breaks my heart.

Another factoid: this year’s flu vaccine was way off, easily verified with a quick google.

Today’s entry is a therefore a brief pause in our series.  Though I’m thrilled we’ve been meeting weekly for months and months now, steady as a stream. Or, perhaps, water.

I’m also elated to announce that I have my first patron, an anonymous donor who loves what we’re practicing and doing.

If you would like to become a patron, please free to contact me: julia @ juliaharis. com. (I cannot publish the address without the spaces or as a link, as bots flood my inbox.)

Thank you for subscribing or following.

Until next week, when we continue our series.



Meditation: Body II

Body II, click for audio reflection:

Body II, click for audio meditation:


Photo: Wikimedia Commons GNU FDL

Photo: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain



Waldemar on the Ice Age exhibition at the British Museum (and The Venus of Willendorf)

How This 30,000-Year-Old Figurine Continues to Captivate Today at My Modern Met

Meditation: Body I

The first in a five part Intentional series on connecting to the body.

To listen to this week’s discussion, click here:


To join this week’s meditation, click here:


Study of a Kneeling Nude Girl for The Entombment, Michelangelo, c. 1500–1501. (Source: Wiki)

Wiki entry: Study of a Kneeling Nude Girl for The Entombment

Men with Breasts (Or Why are Michelangelo’s Women so Muscular?) Part 1 by Jill Burke, University of Edinburgh 

Intention VI: Decade

Water In Winter, Maine. 2019 © Julia Haris

Audio meditation, click link to listen:


“The wave does not need to die to become water.  She already is water.” — Thich Nhat Hahn


Transformation by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

The Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy, pdf

Intention V: Solstice

Solstice, the longest night, light’s rebirth.

Audio meditation, click here:


Solstice sun on winter berries, Maine. 2019 © Julia Haris

“The danger is not that the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but that, by a lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry.” — Simone Weil

From Self-Hate to Compassion by Jack Cornfield