Midwest Buddhist Temple hosts author Barbara Mahany and the Fused Muse Ensemble for an Interludes on Mindfulness concert on Sunday, April 26

“It’s seesaw season, yin and yang. It’s stripping off old skin, it’s starting over. It’s tender and it’s green, beginning green. Everything feels tender all over. Even us, some days. Be kind to your tender spots—they just might be where essential truths seep in.”

—Barbara Mahany on springtime from “Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door”

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The Fused Muse

There’s something undeniably magical about reading insightful looks at life in words full of rhythm and soul. There’s something even more magical hearing those words spoken in the writer’s own voice.

We will be able to experience that magic when Wilmette author Barbara Mahany reads from her recently published book “Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door” at the Midwest Buddhist Temple on Sunday, April 26.

But the magic will go even further when Mahany is joined by Fused Muse Ensemble members Sophie Webber and Soo Young Lee, who will combine the poetry and emotion of cello and piano with Mahany’s spoken words.

The Fused Muse Ensemble, led by cellist/musical director Sophie Webber, is made up of “innovative and top-ranking international musicians…interested in increasing classical music’s engagement with the public and with important global issues.”

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Soo Lee

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Sophie Webber

Each year, Fused Muse themes its performances to a different global concern and partners with local charities that represent that concern. This year, the group is dedicated to working to help the homeless. Because of MBT’s involvement with New Life for Old Bags, which makes sleeping mats for the homeless out of recycled plastic grocery bags, and the temple’s Clothes and Food Donation programs, Fused Muse is especially excited to bring this program to the Midwest Buddhist Temple, says Webber, cellist and Fused Muse musical director.

Lee, who earned her doctoral degree from Northwestern University after studying with Dr. David Kaiserman, has taught and performed piano across the United States and currently teaches piano, chamber music and theory at The Music Institute of Chicago and at the MIC Academy. She also is on the piano faculty at Lake Forest.

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Barbara Mahany

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Slowing Time

While Mahany’s perspective is from a Catholic background and her blended family with her Jewish husband, Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, what comes through in her essays are some fundamental Buddhist teachings—mainly about mindfulness.

The Interludes on Mindfulness concert will be held in the Midwest Buddhist Temple Social Hall from 1 to 2 pm. While there is no admission fee, a $5 donation and a canned good wil be welcomed. The canned goods will be donated to MBT’s Food Donation program and Cornerstone Community Outreach, which distributes the sleeping mats made by New Life for Old Bags.

Refreshments will be available for purchase. Limited free parking is available in the MBT lot. The temple is handicapped accessible. For more information, call the temple office, 312.943.7801 or email office@midwestbuddhisttemple.org.