Author Archives: Andrea M. Winn

Buddhist Project Sunshine is complete – Farewell from Andrea

It feels like a momentous occasion today as I close Buddhist Project Sunshine. I launched the project two years ago on Shambhala Day* 2017 with a mission to bring healing light to the sexualized violence embedded in the Shambhala community.  … Continue reading

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A community member speaks: Richard’s heartfelt post

I know that many are feeling despair as we witness each further step of Shambhala leaders covering up the sexual violence that has happened. It feels important to reflect back that Yes, there are good reasons why you might feel … Continue reading

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I am closing my Buddhist social justice campaign February 4th

Without doubt, it can be said that the mission of Buddhist Project Sunshine has been accomplished at this point, and far more. The original mission was to bring healing light to the sexualized violence in Shambhala. That has happened beyond … Continue reading

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Happy New Year from BPS!

Buddhist Project Sunshine wishes everyone a healing, growing and inspiring year in 2019. After a volatile 2018, it is important to set strong and firm intentions for charting pathways of authentic peace in the new year. There will undoubtedly be … Continue reading

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BPS Wraps Up 2018

With February just around the corner, it’s time to wrap up the activities of last year. Here are some highlights, right off the bat: Three police investigations of Shambhala leaders The most important wrap up news is that there are … Continue reading

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The Healing is Taking Root in Buddhism

Two heartening updates to share today….   An important letter to Tibetan lamas A large group from Rigpa have written a letter to lamas teaching in the West, asking them to break their silence and speak out regarding disclosures of … Continue reading

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The impact of trauma on personal meditation practice

We had our first BPS community zoom call last weekend, and it was a very positive step for our community. In that call I shared some thoughts about meditation and trauma, and I’d like to share them again here. In … Continue reading

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We hope you can join us

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Buddhist Project Sunshine: Closing One Chapter and Beginning Anew

Buddhist Project Sunshine: Closing One Chapter and Beginning Anew By Andrea Winn, Founder – September 28, 2018   There are important things to share today, as Buddhist Project Sunshine is shifting the focus of our work away from Shambhala and … Continue reading

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Thank you, Carol

  Carol and Andrea were on a zoom call with the women survivors just before releasing the Phase 3 report, and one of the women spontaneously said how grateful she is to Carol. She talked about how deeply compassionate Carol … Continue reading

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Assault survivors share why they are not participating in Shambhala’s Wickwire Holm investigation

  In the Kalapa Council email to the community two weeks ago, they attempted to deny allegations made by Ann in the Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 report. We are aware that Ann’s story is shocking, and it takes time to ground … Continue reading

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BPS Healing Message

As promised, Buddhist Project Sunshine is offering a healing message today for everyone impacted by the situation in Shambhala, including those who have left the community. We understand we have now entered into a time of profound grief. The growing … Continue reading

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BPS Update September 6, 2018

BPS healing message coming soon We understand the distress and grief community members are experiencing after reading the Phase 3 report and learning of things none of us would ever have wanted to happen to students within this community. In … Continue reading

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BPS Phase 3 report coming next Thursday

After the last memo Buddhist Project Sunshine released on the alleged sexual assault in Chile, more women came forward with a deeper level of detail that I feel is important for the community to be aware of. BPS will publish our … Continue reading

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New BPS Administrative Assistant & BPS Feeding Your Demons event with Lama Tsultrim Allione

Buddhist Project Sunshine is developing into a more stable organization. Financial support is crucial for our stabilizing and continuing to serve as a beacon of sanity. Also, embracing a new level of volunteerism is going to be the way of the future for … Continue reading

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In gratitude for the Shambhala dakinis

These are times of startling brilliance. Waves of gratitude have been hitting my email inbox as community members express sincere thanks for the light Buddhist Project Sunshine has brought to abuses happening for decades within Shambhala. Thank you so much … Continue reading

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Buddhist Project Sunshine Update – July 19, 2018

I had a vision yesterday morning of rich, fertile, feminine earth. A place where we can all draw the strength needed to face what is occurring in Shambhala. A place where we can receive good nourishment for our spiritual practices … Continue reading

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Update On The Findings Of Sexual Misconduct Of The Sakyong

Buddhist Project Sunshine’s investigator, Carol Merchasin, has prepared an update on the findings of sexual misconduct of the Sakyong. An excerpt from her update: “Within 24 hours of the Phase II Report’s June 28thairing on the Buddhist Project Sunshine blog … Continue reading

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Let’s celebrate Andrea’s retirement and all that has been accomplished!

  Today I am retiring from a job that has been the hardest thing I have ever done – cracking open healing light on a deeply suppressed systemic infestation of sexual abuse within the most precious Shambhala community. I would … Continue reading

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Andrea’s last words

I’m hanging up my social activist hat tomorrow. My activist retirement has been on the horizon for a week now, and tomorrow will be the official day. I hope you will join me in a little celebration tomorrow of the … Continue reading

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Horizon Analysis of the Sakyong’s “apology” letter

  We all grew up with caregivers, and we looked to them to help us sort things out. Then some of us grew up and engaged spiritual traditions with leaders who we looked to for answers. At some point, however, … Continue reading

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Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 2 Wrap Up: Report To Be Released Thursday June 28th

  Dear Noble Sangha, Happy Summer Solstice! Today is the day of most sunlight of the entire year and an auspicious day to release the light of Buddhist Project Sunshine. The project is wrapping up, and we’ve got three important … Continue reading

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Protected: A new vision for Buddhism in the West

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Healing trauma in Shambhala and other Buddhist communities

Dear friends, I am hearing from a growing number of people who feel traumatized by reading social media, specifically from reading posts on the Shambhala Facebook page and the Shambhala Office of Social Engagement Facebook page. I am very interested … Continue reading

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Project Sunshine has evoked a flow of goodness – Let’s celebrate!

This image of a snow capped mountain, warmed by the sun, so that the glacier can melt into a stream of pure turquoise water – this is what seems to be happening now for Shambhala. I have important news to … Continue reading

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April 28 Campaign Update

We are heading into the last 3 days of the campaign, as it closes on Monday. This is a time to bring focus and clarity to achieving the success needed at this time for this work to move forward. Thank … Continue reading

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What could an abuse-free Shambhala look like?

 Spring Romance, by Karen Tarlton I was having an exploratory conversation with someone on the Project Sunshine team yesterday, and he said,  “I want to help make Shambhala safe. We all want to be safe, we all want to be loved. … Continue reading

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Is there really a problem?

  I think there is a part in most, if not all, of us that hopes this is all a dream, and that we will wake up and everything will be the way it used to be. But you know, … Continue reading

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A letter from a loving Kusung

  Life seems to come in waves, and the past two weeks I have found myself in conversation over tea with two of Trungpa Rinpoche’s long-term Kusung here in Halifax. These conversations have happened with care and mutual respect. I … Continue reading

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Shambhala citizens expanding the borders of this conversation

  I’m sharing a few more emails I’ve been getting from the community. All are shared with the writer’s permission.   ~~~~~~~   Just remember that whatever happens that you changed the dynamic and the discourse for the entire Shambhala … Continue reading

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Words from a Seattle, WA citizen of Shambhala who “wants to do what is right”

  Whatever happens with this Project Sunshine Phase 2, know you’re on a path of growth and healing. And you’re helping all of us Shambhalians go along that path too. Project Sunshine opened up an abyss of darkness and shone … Continue reading

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Advice for how to relate with this controversial time

  This is a very controversial time. The world is rocking with the current political environment. Buddhism is rocking with the increasing revelations of violence and sexual abuse. And on top of that, there are always things happening in our own … Continue reading

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A message from Karmê Chöling

  “Thank you Andrea! I’m so grateful for all you are doing, it’s amazing. I stand behind you. I want you to know I live at Karme Choling and yesterday we had a community meeting about Project Sunshine and the … Continue reading

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How did Project Sunshine come to have a patron saint, St. Joseph?

People continue to say to me how stunned they are that I could have accomplished so much for the Shambhala community in such a short time. They are startled by my bravery and perseverance in the face of all the … Continue reading

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#ShambhalaMeToo

============ Project Sunshine is announcing a new initiative today: #ShambhalaMeToo. We want to empower you to share your stories of how MeToo in our community is impacting you, and what your dreams for a positive resolution look like. Now is … Continue reading

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How do we trust, in this time of the abuse coming out?

I have been asked to be not only a truth teller, but also a comforter in this time of change within our community. My words today come from a place of comforting. People are struggling with many things right now, … Continue reading

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What You May Not Know

Critical information that the Shambhala community needs to know  I am proud that Project Sunshine pushed Shambhala International to publicly acknowledge the abuse problem in our community. They worked hard to compose a public statement to release days before the … Continue reading

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Nikita and the enduring power of humanity

An elderly man with thin white hair entered the garden. I looked up from my writing at the sound of the oxygen machine hanging in a sling by his side. With the oxygen tube across his face, he smiled gently … Continue reading

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How to open space in our heart to care for the earth

  How can we open the space in our over-burdened, over-worked, and over-scheduled hearts to contemplate the welfare of the earth, and even more ambitiously – how we can give back to the earth?   Last week I wrote about … Continue reading

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The healing power of laying in grass

Last week I wrote about the necessity for putting your own oxygen mask on first. In other words, attend to your own basic needs as a basis for helping others. Over the years I have built in many layers of … Continue reading

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Put your own oxygen mask on first

There is fundamental wisdom in the Buddhist approach: Get yourself in a better place first. Then help others. We see this wisdom reflected in the emergency instructions on an airplane. The flight attendant says, “In case of the loss of cabin … Continue reading

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Loving Kindness and the Power of Going Slowly

It is a powerful decision when we choose to love ourself Loving Kindness… One thing we lack in Western culture is valuing loving ourself. In fact, in many ways we are taught that we are being selfish or self-centered if … Continue reading

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Is something feeling out of sync?

  Many of us are going through life with a distant awareness that something feels out of sync. It’s important to recognize this feeling is about something important that needs to be acknowledged and processed. The longer we sit on … Continue reading

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We are loving at heart

We are loving people at heart. It can be easy in our consumer-oriented, advertising-filled, and entertainment-focused society to lose connection with how love is at the root of our being. How can we stay connected and rooted with our true … Continue reading

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How to deal better in conflicts

  When you are at your wit’s end and ready to throw in the towel in a conflict, how can you deal with it constructively? We have been exploring the Heart Chakra, the source and home for the energy of … Continue reading

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How can we live with more Love?

If we want to live with more love, we need to look at the foundational importance of self-care – caring for ourselves – so that our cup is full and overflowing. I think we have all had the experience of … Continue reading

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Poem for Mother

  Mother Giver of life Breathing softness Gentle… That small life May grow   Protector Fierce bear! Deepest compassion that no hand may harm the young one   Delighting her with play that she may want to explore   Teaching … Continue reading

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Do you have will power? Steve Jobs did

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner … Continue reading

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Summer Solstice: Activate Life Force Energy in the month of June

June is the month of the Summer Solstice – it is the month of Sun power. In honour of this I am bringing attention to the Solar Plexus Chakra, the connection with Sun power within our body system. The Solar … Continue reading

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Why should you care about your Solar Plexus Chakra?

The Solar Plexus Chakra is where you experience strength of character, learning and comprehension. When healthy, it guides you through life by creating a strong sense of self, setting personal boundaries and building self esteem. The seat of authentic willpower, … Continue reading

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What are chakras?

The human nervous system is a network connecting the sensory organs to the brain. Chakras are energy centers which act as a “pump” to direct spiritual energy through this system.  For example, Earth energy is drawn up through your Root … Continue reading

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Homage to the Sun’s Warmth

  Homage to the Sun’s Warmth   Oh ye Sun Hail the power of your gentle glow That even this lake could thaw! A lifetime of winter Face cracked from lack of tears Frozen deeper and deeper With every turning … Continue reading

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The Great Thawing

  The Great Thawing   How can I touch your tender face When my heart has been frozen for as long as I remember?   Buying the groceries. Doing the laundry. Cooking. Eating. Cleaning the dishes. And that is calm … Continue reading

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Remember the Mystery

  Remember the Mystery   Lost in the surface of life Living veneer existence No life No heart Practical efficiency Checking off To Do lists The inner child knows different She knows the greatness of life To explore To look … Continue reading

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Hello, Sunrise!

  Hello, Sunrise!   Most tender peace at the foot of the mountain caressed by morning glow   The clouds accompany thee As you rise up  to meet the sunshine   Could we stand so bold as thee to feel … Continue reading

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The night my life changed completely

It was November 21, 2001 when I returned home from a long day of work at IBM’s Toronto Software Development Lab. I was a software developer specializing in usability (making software user friendly). On the outside, things were going well. … Continue reading

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Finding the still place of peace in the centre

That summer at the seminary was not all about the Kasung and falling in love with Setter San. Something else happened too. Spending all those hours, day after day meditating… Hearing the wind blow and catch the top of the … Continue reading

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Love attack in the Shrine Tent

Getting through that final year of high school felt like walking through deep mud – Angie didn’t see how she would get to the end. But somehow she made it! And she entered into a very different world that summer … Continue reading

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Falling in love for the first time

This is the second chapter in a series called, “Growing Wings to Love,” an exploration of a young woman developing the capacity to love deeply. Enjoy! And may there be great blessing for your own journey of love! Angie walked … Continue reading

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The first tear drop

This is the first chapter in a series called, “Growing Wings to Love,” an exploration of a young woman developing the capacity to love deeply. Enjoy! And may there be great blessing for your own journey of love!   This … Continue reading

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I love your comments on the story!

I am blown away by your insightful comments on the Dorothy and Alexandra posts! Susan has brought forward the insight that Dorothy and Alexandra are going to need to create the space to honour what each woman needs in order … Continue reading

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Dorothy could no longer feel her heart

Dorothy could no longer feel her heart. She couldn’t remember who she was – she couldn’t even remember what it felt like to know what she wanted. She found it hard to make even the simplest of decisions. It felt … Continue reading

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Dorothy comes undone

Dorothy felt her grip on sanity slowly slipping away. She had worked so hard for this day! She had sacrificed so much to be with Alexandra. And Alexandra’s emotions and reactions were completely baffling her. Why wasn’t this woman opening … Continue reading

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Dorothy and Alexandra’s love gets mysteriously hijacked

The two lovers reached the other side – the place where things would be safer, clearer, and they’d finally be able to build an ordinary relationship outside of the messiness of the love triangle with Victoria. Dorothy’s final words of … Continue reading

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Will Dorothy and Alexandra reach the other side?

Looking back, it all seemed like a big messy blur – like a smeared dream happening in a fitful sleep. Dorothy forced herself to pack, with her heart growing smaller and smaller under the stress. She gave up her plans … Continue reading

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Dorothy blows a fuse!

Dorothy COULD NOT BELIEVE how childish Alexandra was being! Didn’t she understand how difficult this was for her?! She was leaving a 13-year relationship with Victoria. Victoria had been the love of her life, and they had built a strong … Continue reading

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The Final Word on HL’s Vision for Find True Lesbian LOVE

This 5-week journey of exploring HL’s vision has been intense and profound – not for the feint of heart, that’s for sure! Life is busy, and we all have practical demands on us. And yet… we have carved out quiet … Continue reading

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The next chapter with Alexandra and Dorothy

Alexandra was in the foulest of moods when she woke up the next morning after the blow out with Dorothy. It didn’t help that she had stayed up until almost 2:00 in the morning FaceTiming with her, only for them … Continue reading

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When you have two good women together, why does love go bad?

Alexandra is feeling a bit lonely and looking forward to connecting with Dorothy at the end of the day. At 9:23 pm she texts Dorothy, “How is it going?”. Dorothy responds, “Very tired, so resting and watching movie. And typing … Continue reading

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The Oneness of this Island we call “Home”

HL is steeped in Taoism, and she told us last week that the notion of “Oneness” comes from Taoist philosophy. For those of us who have not been exposed to this deep tradition, it can be quite difficult to have … Continue reading

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Good Lesbian Leadership Can Open the ONENESS of Life

I let HL know last week that I have been exploring her vision for Find True Lesbian LOVE with all of you in my weekly emails to you. She said she is very happy that I am sharing her vision … Continue reading

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What is most important for finding a long-term fulfilling partner?

Women tell me they can’t find a relationship with the right woman. They know they want a love relationship. But the relationships they get into turn into Lesbian Drama…  where feelings get out of control and it feels like their worst … Continue reading

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Why is it so hard for many lesbians to foster a healthy love relationship?

You who were part of the The Key To Finding Your Dream Woman Teleseminar had great insights into this intriguing question. Your contributions show the real issues and challenges that lesbians face in our world today. Here are a few your … Continue reading

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HL’s Vision for Find True Lesbian LOVE

I sent the following message out to the community on June 12th: Something new is opening up today for us in this venture of LOVE! As I have said in the Teleseminars and emails, I have found myself in a … Continue reading

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Part 1: A Story to Open Your Heart To LOVE

HL, my girlfriend, told me the other day, “I thrive on LOVE.” She knows this. And in all honesty, ALL of us thrive on love. When we are in love, we feel better, we perform better, we live better. HL … Continue reading

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Part 2: The Power of Good Lesbian Leadership

We are in the middle of a process of sacred “Revelation” – of revealing the vibration of LOVE, as it has been communicated by my own dear love, HL. She composed a vision for Find True Lesbian LOVE on April … Continue reading

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There is nothing more precious than this space of home

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd Soft winter breeze brings me present to the beauty amidst the bustle. Why is it so easy to get lost? Or better, How can I open to more of these moments? What causes moments of … Continue reading

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Lift up your heart!

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd December is an incredibly busy time – when we are putting on that last crunch to finish the year, plus on top of that getting ready for the holiday season. What is the antidote to … Continue reading

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Creating a moment of peace for the weary heart

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd Do you feel weary? Perhaps weary to the bone even? It is natural to feel that way as we approach the end of the year. And especially this year – 2012. Many predicted this would … Continue reading

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Dating and the art of giving ourselves permission

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd I’m taking a risk and sharing something personal with you this week. I started dating early this Fall ~ an adventure that demands great courage! I am blessed in my circle of friends, and it … Continue reading

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What is the key to mastery? Connection.

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd One of my idols, Insoo Kim Berg once said, “If you wanna go fast, go slow.” Is this a Zen koan? What is she getting at? If I think about a professional race car driver, … Continue reading

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Times Change

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd Eleanor Roosevelt  said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Many of us have become jaded by the “realities” of life, and we have forgotten how to open our … Continue reading

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I have a dream

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd Martin Luther King Jr. enflamed the hearts of over 200,000 people with his I Have a Dream Speech delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial August 28, 1963. He powerfully proclaimed his dream of … Continue reading

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Welcoming an ocean of love in 2012

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd Popular wisdom teaches us to keep busy… fill our lives up with anything that might keep us entertained with a superficial promise of fulfillment… smooth over the raw moments and then promptly forget they ever … Continue reading

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Choose to be present this holiday season

By Andrea M. Winn, MEd Living in Toronto we are surrounded by people of many cultures with many traditions, some of whom celebrate at this time of year and some who do not. No matter what our tradition, it is … Continue reading

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