Do You Feel Burnt Out At Times? Me, Too

Beginning in September, rather than posting every week here at sweepingheartzen.org, I’ll cut back to posting twice a month.  That is, I’ll post only on the second and fourth Saturday each month.  I’m really looking forward to having a weekend off between posts. Especially since I feel a stronger case of burnout than I have now may be in my future.

Take Care of Yourself!

I have to remember I’m getting older.  And, I’m taking this step so I can stop what I think and feel is a deepening state of exhaustion  that’s slowly creeping up on me.

Here is a link to an article on the signs of burnout: www.themuse.com/advice/16-signs-youre-headed-for-burnout

I hope that you can rest, relax, and be good to yourself, especially if you’re feeling like burnout may be in your future.

And here is a link to an article on the all important subject of being good to yourself: www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-karpel-phd/be-good-to-yourself_b_8744738.html

Very best wishes,



The Rewards of Kindness Go Far

People do many ordinary things each day to make their world better. For example, they exchange smiles with a stranger, or hold the door open for someone.  They let a driver merge ahead in traffic.  What does it  feel like to share a simple act of kindness?  I’m confident you’ll agree that it feels pretty good. This good feeling is one of the rewards of kindness.

Continue reading The Rewards of Kindness Go Far

Relax, Let-Go

Relax! Really, You Can Do It!

The very best teaching my first Zen teacher gave me was: No matter what is happening and, no matter if it’s happening “on the inside” or “on the outside”, first and foremost, be aware of what’s happening and do your best to relax. Fear might be happening, be aware of fear and relax. If joy is happening, know joy and relax. If a flat tire is happening, be aware of that and relax. Another way to say this is: be aware of what’s happening, notice, and let go of any drama. Simply work with what’s happening as calmly as possible.

Continue reading Relax! Really, You Can Do It!


Living Full of Compassion

The early teachings portray the Buddha as the ideal of peacefulness and pacifism. We’re told, “The Buddha gave up killing living creatures. He renounced the rod and the sword. He was scrupulous and kind, living full of compassion for all beings.” And, in his 45-year teaching career, there isn’t a hint that he ever wavered from teaching or living out his commitment to nonviolence.

Continue reading Living Full of Compassion


Day of Prayer and Fasting

Join in this Interfaith Day of Prayer and Fasting called by the Associated Clergy of Cape Ann

​Please join us on July 8th at 5:00 p..m. at the Fisherman’s Wives Statue on the Boulevard in Gloucester, to begin a 24 hour communal day of fasting and prayer,  in whatever ways your particular tradition teaches, to intercede and ask for God’s help right now for our nation, especially for the crisis concerning immigration and family separation.

We will gather at the Fishermen’s Wives statue on the Boulevard in Gloucester for a Service of Reckoning and Hope. Rabbi Lewis will preach, and we will offer prayers and songs. St. John’s Episcopal on 48 Middle Street will be our rain location.

For 24 hours, we will ask participants to fast and pray, meditate and dedicate themselves to action to support those most in need, on behalf of the children and families who are suffering in ICE detention facilities, for those who are fleeing their countries, for those at the borders of our country and other nations, and for wisdom for our national and international leaders, for compassion, and for hearts to be softened and turned toward mercy.

See yourself in others.
Then whom can you hurt?
What harm can you do? ~The Buddha

On July 9th, at 5:00 p.m., we will re-gather at the Fishermen’s Wives statue to close the fast with a brief service of prayer and blessing.

We decided to call for this day as one form of religious response to the painful time in our country.  Our traditions share a common ground in fasting and prayer as spiritual practices of communal intercession, especially in times of crisis or great suffering. We hope you will join us, wherever you are.