Sunday, August 27, 2017


As Hurricane Harvey approaches the Gulf Coast, we send blessings to those whose homes, health and safety are being threatened directly - and to the many others who are feeling anxious for themselves and their loved ones in this time of uncertainty.
In view of the severe weather predictions for the San Antonio area, we are cancelling this week's Sunday Circle gathering at SAY Sí, as well as the Qi Gong class that meets at 10:00AM. Rudi will lead the Wednesday night Meditation Circle as usual, and we look forward to gathering again next Sunday, September 3rd.
Whatever circumstances may arise this weekend, may our hearts stay open, may our minds stay clear, and may we take appropriate, compassionate actions toward ourselves and others, remembering that We Are One.

With love and blessings,
     Rudi Harst

PS: Below, please find some valuable information on congregational preparedness provided by the City of San Antonio's Faith-Based Community Initiative, Department of Human Services, which is urging local faith communities like Celebration Circle to take compassionate action:

1. If you live in the South Texas area, please consider downloading the ReadySouthTexas app, readily available on GooglePlay and
. It is the official, comprehensive resource supported by the state and multiple local government agencies, as well as the National Weather Service, with the very latest information on weather and emergency logistics -- as well as readiness suggestions to help you help yourself and others

2. If you would like to volunteer to support the thousands of Gulf Coast evacuees who are seeking shelter in San Antonio, please contact the SA Red Cross at 210-224-5151

3. Visit or the City of San Antonio Facebook or Twitter pages for more information.

For the complete list of the SA Faith-Based Community Initiative suggestions for ways to respond compassionately to this situation, click here.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


     Here we are, helping Mateo move into his college dorm room, located on the third floor of an old building with no elevator. Between making multiple trips up and down these narrow concrete stairs carrying luggage - as well as a couple of walks back and forth to our car, parked halfway across campus - my lungs and legs are feeling maxed out.
     Please don't misunderstand. I'm not complaining; there's no place I'd rather be than here with Zet, supporting our son in his transition to college life. It's just that these circumstances are making me feel "old" for the very first time. Turning 65 a few months ago, and dealing with Social Security and Medicare was no big deal; that was just a matter of numbers and government regulations. And watching our "little boy" turn his attention away from our family and toward his new life at the University of New Mexico was a little tough, but we'd long been expecting that, because it's a normal part of the growth process.
     But this moment feels different. I tell myself that the reason I'm gasping for breath on the 3rd floor landing is because Albuquerque is 5,000 feet above sea level, which is about 4,000 feet higher than San Antonio. And that's probably true, too. But there's something else that's different about this physical sensation of fatigue, combined with the act of crossing over this threshold to Mateo's new life, as well as the smell of this old stairwell, which brings up old memories of being a college freshman myself many years ago, in a dorm building that smelled, sounded and felt much like the one I'm standing in now. That particular combination of sensations has just sucker-punched me, sending me lurching downward on a gut-wrenching journey across the many years that have passed by and into the depths of the mysterious abyss that lies ahead - a voyage through many decades in the span of a few seconds.
     Leaning against the wall to catch my breath while carrying another suitcase, I take another glance down the stairwell, and feel the power of simply being aware of all the thoughts, feelings and sensations spiraling within and around me. Grounded in this awareness, it's easy to embrace and accept this situation as yet another gift from Source, then shift into a place of deep gratitude for all of it: the joy and sorrow, the fun and the fatigue, the faith and confusion. How wonderful to be here in this particular space, at this particular moment, experiencing this particular set of circumstances. May I remember to continue being grateful for it all.
With love and blessings,
     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.

Friday, August 11, 2017


     Zet and I are helping our son, Mateo, get ready to leave for college next week. Sorting through stacks of clothes, discarding high school books and mementos, buying school supplies, trying to anticipate the stuff he'll need for his dorm room. It's a little hectic, but we're doing our best to savor this process, knowing that all too soon this time will pass, and we'll have the proverbial Empty Nest.
     It's also a little discombobulating, because he's so ready to be gone that much of his energy has already left the building and zoomed ahead to Albuquerque, where he'll be at the University of New Mexico. There are times when he's barely present while sitting across the table. We were both 47 years old when Mateo was born, so many of our peers went through this phase with their children years ago. They assure us that, based on their experience, his desire for distance and independence will eventually give way to an even deeper, warmer relationship with us.
     I'm sure that's true. But, in the meantime, I'm doing my best to embrace the principle of impermanence, and the awareness that everything and everyone must pass from our lives. It's one thing to know that intellectually; it's quite different feeling the truth of it at the cellular level, experiencing the expansiveness of breathing into the knot in my stomach, the ache in my chest. Feeling blessed by the love and awareness flowing through the moment at hand, knowing it to be a true gift - far more potent than the illusory images of our family I've created in my head. It's just the latest in a long line of lessons and blessings I've received from being Mateo's father. And for that, I am deeply grateful.
With joy,
     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.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


     We haven't had much rain around here since the last week in May, yet temperatures have been hovering near 100 degrees almost daily for over a month, leaving our surroundings parched and dry.  So when some rain finally arrived last night, I was really grateful, even though we only got about ¼ of an inch from all that thunder and lightning.
     And then the sun came out this morning, evaporating whatever water had landed and instantly turning the city of San Antonio into Sauna Antonio once again. The moment I walk out the door, the ambient humidity hangs heavy on my skin, like a thick, too-warm blanket, making even small tasks like taking out the trash or walking the dogs seem like it's too much trouble.
     It's one of those days that make me feel particularly thankful for the blessings of central air conditioning, and for the solar panels on our home, which make the AC more affordable. And yet...I also love being outdoors, and am uncomfortable with the idea of feeling stuck inside my body's reliance on air-conditioned comfort. Humans lived without AC since time out of mind, and as recently as the 1950's, many public buildings and most residences (including my childhood home) were not air-conditioned. How did we come to be so dependent on this now ubiquitous technology in just 50 years time?
     Fortunately, our yard is filled with giant pecan and hackberry trees which make it possible to sit out here comfortably, for even the slightest breeze, combined with the shade, dissipates much of the heat. The thermometer on the side of our house reads 98 degrees, but here in the shade it's quite pleasant. That's a good thing, because I've been drawn outside by the bright sunshine and puffy clouds floating through the sheer vastness of the deep blue sky, providing a much-needed antidote to the hypnotic glare of the various-sized computer screens I've been staring at for hours while working.  
     And then there are the various songbirds that I can't see, but can clearly hear, calling out to each other from far and near, back and forth, drawing me into their conversations. Meanwhile, a red-tail hawk circles high overhead, seeking its' next meal in the grass below, while cicadas buzz all around, having spent several years underground in their larval state, before emerging for a few brief weeks of loud courtship before dying.
    Meanwhile, a slow but steady stream of leaves comes fluttering down out of the trees at random intervals, one at a time, graphic reminders of just how small and transient I am in the big scheme of things. And how soon Autumn will arrive.
     Sitting in the office, hemmed in by four walls and the ceaseless procession of e-mails, posts and phone calls crawling across my desktop, it's easy to allow the twin illusions of permanence and self-importance to trick me into imagining that the world revolves around me and my thoughts. But out here, the birds, trees, cicadas and breezes all conspire to demonstrate again and again, that everything and every one is temporary, for "This, too, shall pass."  I, for one, am deeply grateful for the reminder -- and am hopeful that you, too, will be able to spend some time outdoors sometime soon. 

With joy,
     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.