Friday, July 28, 2017


Zet has just been named the Texas Festival and Events Association Professional of the Year! We are in Ft. Worth for the annual TFEA convention, where Zet received this prestigious award from her peers in the event production industry. This award is in recognition of her many years of organizing and developing the King William Fair, as well as all her work with the Celebration Circle and numerous other non-profit organizations.
I don't know if you're aware of how truly blessed we are to have Zet's energy in the Celebration Circle.  She brings such a loving, caring and organizing force to everything she's involved in, but most of what she does goes largely unrecognized, because she works so quietly and effectively, seldom drawing attention to herself.  After twenty-five years of organizing our weekly Circle gatherings, as well as the many art exhibits, classes, retreats and concerts that the Circle offers, she makes it all look easy, but it isn't always. As Spiritual Director of the Circle, as well as her partner (and a grateful beneficiary of her gifts as a facilitator, producer and organizer) for the past 38 years, I'm delighted that she has finally received this high level of recognition for her many years of service to the ideals of community and creativity, translated into action through her loving attention to detail.

It was a meaningful day for her with family and friends present. Her brother and sister-in-law, Gary & Ann, drove in from Oklahoma City, plus her brother Linus flew in from San Antonio for the presentation. Mateo and I were glad to be there to witness her happiness, along with her co-worker, Syeira Budd, plus other Fiesta event friends joining in. It was a special time!  Congratulations, Zet!
With joy,

Saturday, July 22, 2017


     The weather forecast says it will get back up to 100 degrees again this afternoon, but right now, it's a pleasant 78 degrees and the early morning breeze makes it downright pleasant to be here on the screened porch. I spend a lot of time indoors, breathing air-conditioning, for which I'm grateful. But mornings and evenings I do my best to spend some time outdoors, surrounded by greenery and feeling the gifts of time and space. I wish you could be here on the porch with me, but since that's not possible, I'll simply share a poem I wrote years ago, and invite you into this space:
Wrapped in a robe of sunlit silence
the armless rocking chair takes me back
to where I haven't been for far too long
moving in place, back and forth,
noiseless as the swishing of my tabby cat's tail.
Just five minutes earlier,
I was firmly wrapped in a relentless hurry -
barely past sunrise and already my plate was full
of projects, plans and unkept promises,
feeling sullen and surly
wondering how did it get so late so early?
This quiet moment
snuck over the threshold on soft-slipper feet
first catching me by surprise
now holding me as willing captive.
This is my Waterloo, and I surrender to you, little rocking chair
Feed your prisoner steamed brown rice,
one grain at a time
water my thirsty heart,
tear my well-planned day apart.
With joy,
And a few personal invitations for those of you who want to get out and "do" something this Summer.
Please join me for these evenings of music as I share my passion for entertaining and enlightening, anytime, anywhere:
Saturday, July 22, 5:00 - 7:30pm, Barriba Cantina on the Riverwalk, 111 W. Crockett
Saturday, July 29, 7:30 - 9:00pm, Unity Church Coffeehouse, CommUnity Center, 8103 Broadway

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


     I've heard several friends fret about last week's round of hard-hitting news:  North Korea's first successful ICBM missile launch; the public acrimony swirling around what the Trump administration did or didn't do; the melting ice sheet in Antarctica; the horrifying acts of violence in Nigeria, Syria and Afghanistan; the outbreak of murders in Chicago. The list of reasons to feel scared, mad and/or hopeless goes on and on, if that's where you chose to focus your attention.

     But I choose to remember that I am not the victim of the circumstances surrounding us, much less the latest headlines. I am always free to choose where to focus my time, energy and attention. In the words of Mark Morford, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, "For every ongoing war and religious outrage and environmental devastation... there are a thousand counterbalancing acts of staggering generosity and humanity and art and beauty happening all over the world, right now, on a breathtaking scale, from flower box to cathedral...  Resist the temptation to drown in fatalism, to shake your head and sigh and just throw in the karmic towel...  Realize that this is the perfect moment to change the energy of the world, to step right up and crank your personal volume. Right when it all seems dark and bitter and offensive and acrimonious and conflicted and bilious... there's your opening." 

     I am not here to bury my head in the sand and deny the existence of the war, darkness and devastation in the world - but I choose to invest my time and energy in planting seeds of peace and possibility instead. That's why I invite you to join us this Sunday in the Circle, where once again we'll be focusing on the power of naming, claiming and framing our own stories. We'll share words, music and meditations that magnify the human potential of our hearts and minds, added to our Spiritual identity of our souls, and multiplied by the number of us gathered to explore, experience and express our Oneness. I hope you can join us, whether in person or from afar, as we engage in this important antidote to fear and hopelessness, one breath, one prayer, one person at a time.
At least, that's my invitation, but I'm sticking to it.  
With joy,

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Friday, July 7, 2017


     Zet, Mateo and I drove to Albuquerque last week for Mateo's three-day Freshman Orientation session at the University of New Mexico. It was a heart-warming, mind-melting experience, and a wonderful opportunity to practice the "empty nest syndrome" for a couple of days. Afterwards, Zet stayed in New Mexico for a weeklong art camp, while Mateo and I drove home via Durango, where we spent a few days deep in the San Juan Mountains, visiting dear friends.
     Mateo is a wonderful travelling companion, and I was grateful to be able to spend that time together before he heads off to college "for real" next month. However, we had car trouble on the way home, as well as many hours of driving through heavy rainstorms, and arrived back in San Antonio feeling exhausted, rather than rested.
    So now, I'm sitting at my desk for the first time in ten days, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of papers, tasks and phone calls/e-mails that need attention. But I know this feeling all too well, and this time I refuse to let myself get pulled back down into that dark, moldy old hole.
     Instead I choose to take a few moments to remember my statement of purpose: "to experience, explore and express the free flow of Life moving to me, through me, as me, in a world of prosperity and peace."
     Those are fine words, and of course, they're far easier to say than put into action. But that doesn't make it less important -- or any less possible -- to stay focused on the power of being propelled by my purpose, rather than feeling powerless in the face of the circumstances in front of me, as was so often the case in years past.
     Sure, part of me is fully prepared to head back into that tired, old familiar habit pattern once again. And yet... as I pause in the headlong rush to Get There, just long enough to remember who and where I AM right NOW, a subtle but power-full shift occurs. Lifting my heart, shifting my vision, feeling my Wholeness as part of the Whole, I release my need to control what comes next.
      Rather than feeling defeated by these tasks, I choose to take a few deep breaths, in order to relax, remember, review, and take responsibility for who I AM in truth, and what I'm really here to do:
     1. I relax (from the Latin relaxare, "to let loose"), and feel my willingness to let go
     2. I remember (from the Latin, rememorari, "call to mind") o clear my mind of the limiting beliefs and memories of what has gone before, and focus on the present moment.
     3. I review (from the French revoir, "to see again") is to look beyond what was, then open myself to new possibilities.
     4. I take responsibility, knowing that I am "response-able" and fully able to respond to the tasks in front of me, trusting that I have all the time and resources necessary to handle all these things I've attracted into my life...
      Afterwards, I open my eyes and see my desk in a new light. It's still full of papers, tasks and phone calls to be made. But now they are no longer problems to be solved or challenges to be overcome. Instead, they're just invitations to a dance with Spirit and reflect, connect and communicate with others... Trusting that all of the necessary tools, guides and resources are available, I feel fully capable of doing what needs to be done in service to the One Love connecting us to the All and the Everything. At least, that's my story, and this is how I choose to see it.
    With joy,

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


I wrote the following poem many years ago while hiking through the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas:
The cold clear water of Charlton Creek
murmurs and mumbles an ancient song
as it tumbles headlong through the mountains
I try to sing along, but my tiny human voice is swept aside
by the breezes stirring through the trees
by the sheer size of this majestic forest, stretching far past the horizon
by the strident cries of a zealous blue jay
guarding his wooded domain
There is nothing to do but remain
in the face of such a display of royalty
and wait in humility
Kneeling on the spongy, green woodland floor
I swear my oath of loyalty once more:
"I pledge allegiance to Mother Earth
and to all Beings which walk, fly, swim or stand
One Strand, indivisible,
With affinity and respect for All"
At the time I wrote this, the feelings which this creek fostered and the solemn oath which it imprinted on my soul seemed unique to that particular "power spot" and its breathtaking vista. 
     But, since then, I've had similar experiences in a variety of locations: from the top of the Rockies to the bottom of Grand Canyon; from the heart of the Yucatan jungle to the edge of the Bavarian Black Forest; floating on the Dead Sea, and wading in the river next to my own back yard. Each of these (and many others) was a sacred space in its own way, engendering a sense of awe and wonder. Time and again, I've been forced to release my tenuous grasp on the top rung of the "food chain," and remember once again that every creature is my relative, that every spot is Holy Ground, and that becoming aware of our Oneness is not just a good idea, it is the very ground of our being. 
      As the national debate over climate change and environmental regulations continues, I believe it's more important than ever to be mindful of our relationship to Mother Earth as servants and stewards, not dominators and manipulators, of our environment. Such a shift in consciousness requires a massive change in orientation and acculturation occurring one person, one day, one decision at a time.
     It is precisely this kind of incremental, individual shift in perspective that we seek to nurture and support in the Celebration Circle. Week after week, we meet to affirm our willingness to learn new ways of being and seeing. To free ourselves from the grip of our fears and unfold into our limitless possibilities.To be more compassionate with ourselves and each other. 
     Sure, it's a big order, and we fall short of the ideal, time and again in the course of our daily lives. But that's no reason for us to stop moving toward our Big Ideas. To keep meeting, meditating, praying, singing and ritualizing together with other like-minded, open-hearted folks to share our strengths, heal our weaknesses, and feed our deep longings for connection to the "One Strand, indivisible - with affinity and respect for all. " To think Big Thoughts, feel Big Feelings, and see the Big Picture as we remember together: "We Are One."
     With blessings and wishes for a safe and happy summer,
     Rudi Harst

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.