It’s hard to believe that two years have passed since we began publishing works by artists and writers whose lives and art are informed by contemplative practice. We received hundreds of submissions for this issue and we want to thank all who contributed.

In the process of assembling all the pieces for this issue we discovered, purely by chance, that certain harmonic resonances began to arise between, say, this essay and that poem; this story and that image; this poem and that piece of music. It was as if we’d constructed a gamelan composed of poetry, prose, images, and sound. Sympathetic chords are struck on the themes of social justice, the transformative power of nature, the liberating effects of present moment awareness, and more.

Two pieces in this issue perform a duet on the score of social justice. Roshi Joseph Bobrow’s essay, “The Beating Heart of Standing Rock—Walking the Great Mystery with All My Relations,” takes us right into the fray at Standing Rock in November of 2016. Here we meet activists of all sorts who join hands with Native water protectors in their fight against the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Margaret Rozga’s patchwork postmodern poem “Difficult Sermon at Barcelona Cathedral / Difficult Lunch the Next Day” is like a broken mirror reflecting the commingled images of globalization, the Occupy movement, homelessness, Donald Trump, and Marine Le Pen.

Several pieces in this issue remind us that the calming and transformative power of nature can provide a refuge from the relentless stress of our lives. Poet and novelist Christien Gholson will introduce you to the tenacious, desert-dwelling pinyon pine, the horned lizard, and share the breath-taking effects of a meteor shower alongside 8th century Chinese poet Li Po. Switching mediums, you might want to gaze at one of Linda Laino’s mesmerizing nature mandalas as an object of meditation, or listen to the melodic accumulation of tonal resonances in Suss Müsik’s vibrational healing audio “03 Euclidean.”

When we find ourselves spinning out in an endless feedback loop of anxiety or worry—or, for that matter, even excitement and anticipation—often the best thing to do is drop into the present moment, ground ourselves in awareness of the body and the senses, noting what is happening this very moment. . . and the next. There, we’re open to the freshness of life.

Several authors in this issue do just that. In her essay, “Cake or Death,” H. Ní Aódagaín confronts her fears, and, while on a solo a trip to Europe, learns that being alone in crowds of strangers results in a kind of transformational freedom. Author Doreen Schweizer’s essay, “Finding Refuge in Daily Life: It Takes Practice,” illustrates how being in the present moment while dealing with the death of a friend leads to a feeling of “deep gratitude and awe for any number of things.” In “The Only Work,” author and yoga instructor Jesse Curran—mother of two children—is able find release from the pressures of motherhood by focusing on one. . . breath. . . at a time.

Please, immerse yourself in this issue of Leaping Clear, and journey with our contributors to places of compassion, beauty, mystery, appreciation, and abiding calm.


Alyson Lie

2018 Spring Refreshing


As we continue into our second year of publication, we’re reaching more and more people who tell us that Leaping Clear’s celebration of the arts and meditative practices nourishes both their inner and outer lives. Thank you for joining us and for sharing the site.  

We’re delighted to feature one of our favorite poets, Jane Hirshfield, in this issue. The power, insight, and beauty of her poems and essays amplify the deep place poetry holds in human history.

Music is another, perhaps prehistoric, ancient art. Roseminna Watson’s “Limbic Hymnal,” touches the embodied and moving power of music with violin and voice.

Black River,” a video by Georg Koszulinski, uses what would be conventionally called a newer medium. In this piece, however, we’re brought to focus on a primal sense—seeing—and the interplay between seeing and perception.

We’re refreshing the site itself, so you can more easily visit or revisit previous issues. They’re under the new Archives tab. And the Links tab now features contributors’ sites, as well as other sites of interest.

Wherever you choose to dive into Leaping Clear, we believe you’ll find that the artists and writers offer gifts of fresh viewpoints, emotions, perceptions, and understanding of what it is to be humanly alive.

Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor



Happy New Year


Wishing all of you a Happy and Peaceful and Joyful New Year! We’re leaping into the new year with new artists and writers and musicians from around the world. They’ll join us in the wonderful Spring 2018 Issue, March 20. The dedication and quality of these artists working in all forms continue to bring us insights and joy.

At the New Year, many of us stop to check in with our deep intentions. We renew our aspirations in resolutions. We breathe in and out to feel life’s creative force moving within us. We taste freshness and hopefulness from the original and bountiful wellspring that is part of our human heritage.

We make art and stand before it in wonder to remind ourselves of the wellspring. We write poetry and stories, make music and videos, and read and listen and look to inspire ourselves. We turn to the wellspring of meditation and contemplation to see clearly what’s important.

My own intentions this year also include diving deeper into collaborative artistic work, and into working with others on social equality and justice.

                        Every day’s a new day. Beginning
                                    again’s a long story we
                                    restore again and again.
                        Hallelujah, a New Year anew!


Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor


Giving Thanks


Thanksgiving Day always reminds me of how our lives are connected to so many others and to the innumerable conditions that sustain us: our loved ones and our societies, as well as the impersonal forces of life. Different spiritual traditions use different phrases for this.

Years ago, I was fortunate to attend the sweat lodges of Fred Wahpepah, a Native American elder of the Kickapoo and Sac-and-Fox tribes. Fred shared his great-hearted presence along with some of his sacred Native American traditions, including the Lakota phrase, Mitakuye Oyasin, which commonly translates as “all my relations.” This includes all of life: the life of humans, of all animals, the life of all plants, the life of water and earth and rocks and soil, the life of planets and stars.

Today, my thanks go also to our contributors and subscribers and donors. Thank you all. Our contributors inspire us with their diverse talents and dedicated contemplative practices which bring alive the deepest human aspirations for wisdom and beauty, compassion and truth. Our subscribers energize us with their enthusiasm and comments. Our donors sustain Leaping Clear with their open-hearted generosity.

I’d especially like to thank our Editors, Alyson Bloom and Margery Cantor, and our Webmaster, Dick Walvis, for their voluntary service to the magazine in the midst of their busy lives, as well as for their ideas and perseverance in finding the best ways to create each issue.

I also want to thank our Web Designer, Joe Hall, whose artistic sensibility and technical knowledge guided us to the web design that best highlights our contributors’ works in a welcoming and beautiful space.

Leaping Clear began as an idea, one that is now a flourishing reality, with the support of many individuals with many talents and dedication. To mention all would mean a long, long list, but our former editors, Diana Deering and Walt Opie, gave essential guidance and support for the first issues. And our gratitude continues to the Advisory Board who from the earliest, exploratory conversations have been generous with encouragement and contributions.

And thanks to the unknown stones
that reflect the moon in my mind
so I see how I have finished and
must begin again.

Thank you all, 

Carolyn Dille
Founding Editor