Reflections on inner demons, hungry ghosts. Calling on saints, angels & bodhisattvas. Themes from Mark 1.

Your body is woven from the light of heaven. Are you aware that its purity and swiftness is the envy of angels and its courage keeps even devils away. — attributed to Rumi

Lord, the demons still are thriving in the gray cells of the mind:
tyrant voices, shrill and driving, twisted thoughts that grip and bind,
doubts that stir the heart to panic, fears distorting reason’s sight,
guilt that makes our loving frantic, dreams that cloud the soul with fright.
… Clear our thought and calm our feeling; still the fractured, warring soul.
By the power of your healing make us faithful, true, and whole.
— Thomas Troeger (excerpt from hymn ‘Silence, frenzied, unclean spirit’)


We consider mindful, spiritual and positive psychology approaches to issues with which we wrestle. These issues may be known in Biblical texts as ‘unclean spirits’ and also referred to in our culture as as inner demons or in Buddhist canon as hungry ghosts. We offer below some resources to reinforce the practice of calling on God, love, compassion, acceptance … maybe through simple exercises and spiritual practices, or with the belief in God, Christ, Spirit, angels, saints, and bodhisattvas as well as self and other people in community.

Continue reading “Reflections on inner demons, hungry ghosts. Calling on saints, angels & bodhisattvas. Themes from Mark 1.”

Remembering Steve Farish

Stephen H. Farish, Col USAF (Ret) lost on his battlefield of life after suffering from Dementia and symptoms of Parkinson’s leading to Alzheimer’s.

An expert in logistics and program management he saw several high profile Air Force acquisition programs to the field. As logistics lead on the Joint Air Force-Army Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, commonly called Joint STARS, his goal was to field a system that could be easily maintained. He worked relentlessly with Northrup-Grumman to develop an easy to release mechanism for the canoe shaped cover protecting the 24 foot radar.

After retirement from the AF he worked for the MITRE Corporation, a not for profit firm supporting the Department of Defense. Working with another MITRE team member, their innovative and non-traditional approach to industry outreach, as well as their skillful strategy for influencing stakeholders, has had a far reaching impact across the Department of Defense programs and networks today and into the future, savings the government millions of dollars.

Early in his Air Force career, while serving in England, he became the only non-British member of the Oxford sailing club. Steve loved to cross country ski and play golf, two sports he picked up relatively late in life. He enjoyed traveling for fun, single malt scotch and long talks with his daughter, Elizabeth. He and his wife, Jeanette love the outdoors and enjoyed it from their home in Jackson, NH.

Special recognition goes to his caregivers. Their diligence allowed him to stay in the home he loved.

A celebration of life and scattering of ashes will be held at a later date.

Memorials should be made to the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer Association, the (NH) Carroll County Visiting Nurses and Hospice or as a donation to the Jackson (NH) Community Church.

Remembering Catherine Pfeiffer, mother of Meg Phillips

For friends of Meg and Lee Phillips, please note that Meg’s mother died last Sunday at Mineral Springs.

Obituary: “Catherine McGuigan Hursh Pfeiffer, age 95, died at Mineral Springs Rehab, North Conway, NH on January 14, after a period of declining health. Catherine is survived by her husband of 73 years, Ralph; her children, John Pfeiffer (Bev) of Silver Spring MD, Kathleen Wishard (William) of Corona CA, Margaret Phillips (Lee) of Jackson, NH, and David Pfeiffer (Stephanie) of Winthrop, MA, ten grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her brother, Robert D. Hursh, and her infant son, James Gerald.

Catherine was born on August 26, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA, daughter of Dr. Alexander M.W. Hursh and Grace Devers Hursh. She graduated from Richmond Hill High School, attended St. Joseph’s College for Women in Brooklyn, and graduated from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital School of Nursing in 1944. After 20 years as a fulltime homemaker and volunteer, she returned to Brigham & Women’s Hospital, retiring over 20 years later in 1987. She was most proud of her achievements as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery under Nobel-prize winning surgeon Joseph Murray.

Most of her married life was spent in Natick, MA where she helped lead and found many church and civic organizations, including Pax Christi, the Catholic peace organization, St. Patrick’s Catholic Women’s Club, Ladies Sodality, Adoration Chapel, and Seamless Garment Movement to foster a consistent life ethic, the Natick Mother’s Club, the Natick Girl Scouts, the Congregational Church Couples Club, and the Natick Junior Women’s Club. She loved working with children as a volunteer teacher of religious education at every grade level at St. Patrick’s, leader of Girl Scout Troop 25, and director of Camp Nacochwa. She was co-leader of the Peace and Justice Committee at St Patrick’s for many years. Throughout her life, she sought to promote peace and the consistent life ethic. With Ralph, she traveled the world extensively and helped lead many tours to the Holy Land and other religious sites.”

Arrangements: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Noon, Monday, January 22, 2018 at St. Patrick’s Church, 44 East Central Street, Natick. Interment will follow at Dell Park Cemetery.

Visiting hours at John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park Street at Natick Common, on Monday prior to service from 9:30 to 11:30 A.M.

In lieu of flowers, Catherine wanted donations to be made to Brigham & Women’s Hospital Brain and Neurosciences Research at 116 Huntington Ave, 3rd Fl. Boston, MA 02116.

Thank You from Jeanette Heidmann

To my friends in the Jackson Community

First I wish to acknowledge all of your prayers, cards and concerns for Steve and & over the past weeks, months and years.  While his passing leaves a great personal void, I am comforted by your eagerness to reach out and help in whatever way is needed.  Right now slow, small contacts seem best, rather than the overwhelming idea of facing all of your loving and caring faces at once. You have been such a great community not only for myself but also good friends to Steve. While not a great church goer, you are the community he called friends and neighbors.

So many have offered to bring food, but with just me, my needs are small and I have a large stockpile of items in the pantry and freezer. If anyone would like to arrange to come over and cook lunch or dinner with me that would be welcome, as long as it wasn’t every night. :-).

Don’t be surprised if you see me on the snowshoe or ski trails or at the post office. Getting out and being active is great therapy and I look forward to joining you in these adventures over the next couple of weeks.

With Love & Thanks, Jeanette Heidmann

Farewell to Steve Farish

With permission from his wife Jeanette Heidmann, Jackson Community Church shares the sad news that Jackson resident, and friend, Steve Farish, died this morning following an extended illness. More information will be shared at a later time, but no please note that the family does not have plans for a memorial service at this time. Such arrangements will take place at a later date. For now, we ask that you simply take a moment to give thanks for his time among us, and to wish peace to Steve and to his family, friends, caregivers, and colleagues.