• August 30, 2023
    There Is No Such Thing As Trash

    Dear readers,    The other night, I reread one of my favorite Zen books—Novice to Master, by Sōkō Morinaga. He shares a wonderful story of the time when he first began to study at Daishuin monastery. His first task upon being accepted to the monastery was to sweep up the temple garden. When he had […]

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    July 26, 2023
    The Power of Story

    Dear Readers,   As long as I can remember, I’ve collected people’s stories. Whether it’s a close friend or a stranger I’ll never see again, there are few experiences I treasure more than sitting up late in a darkened kitchen, or riding a bus through an endless sunrise, listening to someone tell me about their […]

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    July 11, 2023
    Balancing Skepticism and Receptiveness

    Dear Readers,   One of the unexpected benefits of living on a ramshackle off-grid homestead in rural Hawaii is that whenever friends come to visit from the “real” world, they can never quite restrain themselves from fixing things, building things, or making the small but necessary changes I never seem to get around to completing […]

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    May 18, 2023
    The Magic of Oneness

    Dear Reader,    A short way down the trail from my cabin in rural Hawaii, there is a little old man who lives in a shack with a pig, three dogs, and four cats. Everyone worries that he is getting too frail to live in our remote off-grid community—carrying bags of dog food across the […]

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    April 18, 2023
    Hitchhiking to Freedom

    Dear readers, As an editor at a spirituality and self-help publisher, I learn profound lessons from all the books and authors I work with. In fact, I often joke that it’s like getting paid to do therapy all day—there’s just no way to spend so much time reading and editing uplifting books without having those […]

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    April 18, 2023
    A Tale of Two Waterfalls

    Dear Readers,    For the first three years I lived on my land here in rural Hawaii, I didn’t have running water. Instead, I hauled drinking water from a spring in five-gallon jugs, and set out buckets to catch rainwater for washing dishes. This sounds like a hardship, and it was—but the upside of living […]

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    February 27, 2023
    The Downside of "Having it All"

    Dear readers,    Ever since I moved to my small, off-grid community in rural Hawaii, I’ve relied less and less on the grocery store for my daily sustenance, and now live to a large extent on food grown or foraged within a short walk of my home.   A record of my meals is a record […]

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    February 2, 2023
    Is the Mind an Escape Room?

    Dear readers,   Sometimes—many times—my work at Hierophant just makes me grin. Reading Professor Chris Niebauer’s brand new book last weekend was one of those times. In The No Self, No Problem Workbook: Exercises and Practices from Neuropsychology and Buddhism to Help You Lose Your Mind, he writes, “What if life is an escape room? […]

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    December 15, 2022
    Pruning Trees, Words, & Life

    Dear readers,   My land here in Hawaii is bordered by a guava thicket. The first year I lived here, I gathered entire buckets of the round, fleshy fruit, and spent many happy afternoons making juice and jelly. The following year, I eagerly awaited the return of guava season, only to discover that the harvest […]

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    November 23, 2022
    The Magic of Nature

    Hello dear readers! As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter (which you can read here if you missed it), I am the new senior editor at Hierophant Publishing. One of my first tasks in this role has been to familiarize myself with our catalogue by reading as many Hierophant books as possible (which gives new […]

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