Thursday, January 2, 2020

how did the rose

did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all if its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too

~ Hafiz

great bell chant

~ Thich Nath Hanh
chanted by brother Phap Niem.
 thanks to Love is a Place

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

up with the morning breeze

Wake up with the morning breeze
and ask for a change.
Open and fill yourself
with the wine that is your life.
Pass it around
Pass it to me first.

~ Rumi

over the endless oceans -


The sea wind sways over the endless oceans -
spreads its wings night and day
rises and sinks again
over the desolate swaying floor of the immortal ocean.

Now it is nearly morning
or it is nearly evening
and the ocean wind feels in its face - the land wind.

Clockbuoy toll morning and evening psalms,
the smoke of a coalboat
or the smoke of a tar-burning phoenician ship faces away at the

The lonely jellyfish who has no history rocks around with
burning blue feet.
It's nearly evening now or morning.

~ Harry Martinson
from The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart

when we convene again

When we convene again
to understand the world,
the first speaker will again
point silently out of the window
at the hillside in its season,
sunlit, under the snow,
and we will nod silently,
and silently stand and go.

~ Wendell Berry

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

who yawns

It is God who yawns and sneezes
and coughs, and now laughs.

Look, it's God doing ablutions!
God deciding to fast, God going naked
from one New Year's Eve to the next.

Will you ever understand
how near God is
to you?

~ Lalla
from Naked Song
translations by Coleman Barks

lute music

Let us celebrate. The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents—
A small franchise indeed.

Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once—
Here at the year's end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts—
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses—

Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.

—Kenneth Rexroth
 from The Phoenix and the Tortoise


Saturday, December 28, 2019

in a mystery to be

in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remembering how

in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of walking is to dream
remembering so(forgetting seem)

in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remembering yes

in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)
and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me, remember me

~ e. e. Cummings
from Selected Poems

Thursday, December 26, 2019

unending love

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.
Rabindranath Tagore
from Selected Poems

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

for Ram Dass

Imagine the time the particle you are
returns where it came from!

The family darling comes home.   Wine
without being contained in cups,
is handed around.

A red glint appears in a granite outcrop,
and suddenly the whole cliff turns to ruby.

~ Rumi


Ram Dass, beloved spiritual teacher, psychedelic pioneer and perhaps one of the greatest cultural creative of our generation, whose book Be Here Now kindled the consciousness revolution of the sixties and launched the mindfulness movement, died this week. His passing illuminated the Facebook feeds across our community with touching personal tributes and reflections on his contribution to the shape of consciousness on this planet. One couldn’t help but feel how deeply his teachings entangled a mandala of hearts the world over. His legacy was one of Love.

"Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object."

Monday, December 23, 2019

awaken to the mystery of being here

May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter
the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
May you receive great encouragement when new frontiers
May you respond to the call of your gift and find the
courage to follow its path.
May the flame of anger free you from falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame and may
anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that
seek no attention.
May you be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven
around the heart of wonder.

~ John O'Donohue

a gift

The gift of God is absolutely gratuitous.  It's not something you earn. It's something that's there. It's something you just have to accept. This is the gift that has been given. There's no place to go to get it. There's no place you can go to avoid it. It just is. It's part of our very existence. And so the purpose of all the great religions is to bring us into this relationship with reality that is so intimate that no words can possibly describe it.

~ Thomas Keating

Monday, December 16, 2019

simple seeing

Joan Tollifson

you bind yourself though you use no rope

What is the master [within you] who at this very moment is seeing and hearing?
 If you reply, as most do, that it is Mind or Nature or Buddha
 or one's Face before birth or one's Original Home or Koan or Being
 or Nothingness or Emptiness or Form-and-Color or the Known
 or the Unknown or Truth or Delusion, or say something
 or remain silent, or regard it as Enlightenment or Ignorance,
 you fall into error at once. What is more, if you are so foolhardy
 as to doubt the reality of this master, you bind yourself though you use no rope.

 However much you try to know it through logical reasoning or to name
 or call it, you are doomed to failure. And even though all of you becomes
 one mass of questioning as you turn inward and intently search
 the very core of your being, you will find nothing that can be termed
 Mind or Essence. Yet should someone call your name, something from 
within will hear and respond. Find out this instant who it is!

If you push forward with your last ounce of strength at the very point

 where the path of your thinking has been blocked, and then, 
completely stymied, leap with hands high in the air into the tremendous abyss
 of fire confronting you -- into the ever-burning flame of your own
 primordial nature -- all ego-consciousness, all delusive feelings
 and thoughts and perceptions will perish with your ego-root 
and the true source of your Self-nature will appear. You will feel resurrected,
 all sickness having completely vanished,
 and will experience genuine peace and joy.


a Rinzai Zen Master born in modern-day Kanagawa Prefecture who had trained with Sōtō, Rinzai and Ch'an masters of his time. Bassui was unhappy with the state of Zen practice in Japan during his time, so he set out in life with the mission of revitalizing it. The problems he saw were really two sides of the same coin. That is, he saw both too much attachment by some monks and masters to ritual and dogma as well as too much attachment by some monks and masters to freedom and informality. 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

between human beings

Harlan disliked handling money because of its abstractness and impersonality;
 for he did not enjoy either paying it or receiving it in payment. 
He felt a social embarrassment in monetary transactions that country people
 still feel, as if money is simply too crude a means of exchange 
between human beings.

~ Wendell Berry
from Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work