Sunday, October 29, 2017


     Having had a mighty close encounter with death just three weeks ago, and lots of time to reflect on the nature of mortality since then, Zet and I are particularly focused on the power of living mindfully in the face of death these days. I discussed this subject at some length last Sunday morning (as you can see by clicking on the video clip displayed above), and will delve further into the subject this Sunday. Given the context of our creative ritual, poetry, music and communal Dia de Los Muertos altar, it promises to be a particularly powerful morning. Plus, Zet is doing really well with her physical therapy, and is looking forward to being with us back in the Circle again.

      I hope you can be there, but If you can't attend in person, you can always join us online via the Celebration Circle Facebook page and watch the Livestream Video from 11am - noon, or view the archived Live videos any time by clicking on the Video button on our FB page.

     In any case, I hope that you, too, find yourself feeling grateful to be alive and surrounded by love. With joy and hopes of seeing you Around the Circle,

     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.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


     It was a mighty sweet seeing Zet back at home yesterday, even if it was for just a couple of hours. She and her occupational therapist came to measure and assess the dimensions of our house, and determine which minor modifications need to be made in preparation for her return, which, hopefully will occur within the next week or so.
     In the meantime, the surgery on her left hand was successful, and the orthopedic surgeons have determined that her hip bone, sacrum and pelvis fractures are all healing well and won't require any surgery -- and neither will my fractured knee. Yippee! Meanwhile, my dad and his partner, Dawn, continue their healing process, and all four of us share a renewed appreciation for the precious gift of life itself -- and for the many folks who have been praying for us throughout this time.
     We have so much to be grateful for, having been richly blessed by the loving kindness and generosity of so many people over the past couple of weeks, dear friends and total strangers alike. Having had such a close brush with death has really brought our priorities into focus, deepened our commitment to each other, and underscored the depth, breadth and preciousness of our Celebration Circle family. Our hearts are filled to overflowing with gratitude for the many lessons learned and blessings received.
     That's why I'm starting a new campaign to "Make America Grateful Again" -- because I think most of us take our blessings too much for granted, and don't spend nearly enough time feeling grateful. I know I didn't, until I came within two inches of losing my life and/or my loved ones in the blink of an eye. I don't ever want to go back to taking these many, many gifts for granted. Having spent these past two weeks feeling the deep joy of living with a heart full of gratitude, I'm really looking forward to being back in the Sunday Morning Circle this weekend. I can't wait to share my words and songs of gratitude with you and the rest of our beloved Circle of friends.

 With joy and hopes of seeing you Around the Circle,
     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.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


    Zet and I are so very grateful for the amazing outpouring of love and support we've experienced since surviving a high-speed, highway car wreck near Midland last Friday. It's a miracle that we're alive at all, much less doing as well as we are. Zet, my dad and his partner, Dawn, are all back in their home towns, having been transferred to rehabilitation centers where they will undergo physical therapy in San Antonio, New Braunfels and Seguin, respectively.  I am convinced that the positive outcome is due in large part to the abundant outpouring of love that was sent our way within minutes of the accident, thanks to the supportive power of the Circle community, multiplied by the speed of social media. We literally had hundreds of people praying for us before our ambulances even reached the hospital from the rural site of the collision, and that number has grown exponentially since then - which has blessed us many times over.
     This has been a humbling process on many levels. All four of us experienced painful injuries, which will take some time to deal with. Each of our lives were changed drastically, plus our newly purchased 2014 Honda was totaled before we even made our first car payment. Nonetheless, I truly believe that this wreck is one of the best things that ever happened to us, topped only by the day Zet and I met for the first time. We've learned so many lessons from the incident, experienced such deep peace, and been inundated by so much love and affirmation, that I can't help but feel grateful for these gifts, even if they came wrapped in a devastating, painful collision.  As the Book of Thessalonians reminds us, "In all things give thanks." 
     We are very grateful for the many people who have prayed for us, reached out to us, and blessed us with generous donations. We are still accepting contributions to our Medical Expenses Fund, you can DONATE
     And we are truly thankful to you, for your companionship around the Circle, as we travel on this healing path together. Truly "all is well, and all shall be well." 

With joy, 

Friday, October 6, 2017


     My dad is doing quite well. At age 93, his mind remains sharp, his spirit is strong, he lives in his own home and still drives his car to visit his girlfriend who lives 45 miles away. However, his health is declining steadily, as is his energy level and he's at peace with the fact that his time is drawing nearer. So last month, when he declared wistfully over dinner that he "sure would like to go to the mountains and see the aspen trees turning gold one last time," Zet and I felt it was important to honor his wish.
     So, here we are, sitting alongside a gurgling mountain stream in the Jemez Mountains in the heart of New Mexico, drinking in the stunning, sun-drenched view of the golden-hued aspens splashed across the valley. It's always a pleasure to see any variety of trees change colors in the fall, but there's something particularly hypnotic about the way that the dazzling yellow aspens perform their distinctive dance at high altitudes, shimmering in the crisp autumn breeze while murmuring their seasonal song of surrender to the rhythm of changing seasons. It's a brief, but glorious blaze of beauty; soon these bright, golden leaves will flutter to the ground and slowly turn into fertilizer for next year's foliage.
     It's painful to watch Dad struggle to maintain his balance, clinging to his stroller as he takes a few doddering steps toward the nearest stand of aspens, as if wanting to immerse himself more fully in their golden glow, one last time. He, too, appears to be shimmering in the breeze, responding to the pull of gravity and the changing seasons of his life. Yet, while his shoulders may be stooped, and his gait has slowed considerably in recent months, his gaze remains clear, reflecting the fact that he is a man of deep faith with an abiding trust in the Divine, which helps make him unafraid of what lies ahead.
     A thin stream of salty tears comes trickling down my cheek as I watch him, but I choose to remember that I, too, have faith. Even when it feels frail and faltering, that faith remains alive and willing to welcome whatever may come.  And this sadness I'm feeling? Whether it is for Dad or for me -- or for those who are suffering in Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, the GulfaCoast nd all the other newsmaking places where logic, love and loss are colliding and creating chaos - this sadness, too, is a gift, waiting to be faced and embraced. And now is as good a time as any...
     All too soon, it's time for us to get back in the car, drive down the mountain, and head for home. Watching Dad's face as we pass through the last of the aspens, I remember once again the words of the ancient promise: "All is well, and all shall be well... today, tomorrow and always."  It may be just a small comfort, but that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

In peace,
     Rudi Harst