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Archive for February, 2010

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what if all our paths are the right path

what if there is no wrong path ever

what if the only thing that held us back from knowing this,
is a conclusion that it’s a bad unfolding, it’s not good, it’s wrong

what if we took a deep conscious breath up from our
toes through our legs and spine and up to the tippy top
of our head

and exhaled onto the shores of this Divine Knowing:

All our paths are the right path.

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Innocence

this world is innocent

free of motive or agenda

the only question that remains:

are we?

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Imagine a world where
“not one illusion is accorded faith”

If it isn’t the voice of strength,
if it isn’t the voice of love,
if it isn’t the voice of confidence,
it is the voice of illusion.

Imagine according your faith only
to the voice of strength, love and confidence.

Imagine withdrawing your consent,
your agreement with all else.
Imagine paying all else no mind.

Imagine.

[“not one illusion…” is taken from ACIM]

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If a sadness rises in front of you,
larger than any you have ever seen;
if an anxiety like light and cloud-shadows
moves over your hands and over everything you do.
You must realize that something is happening to you,
that life has not forgotten you,
that it holds you in its hand
and will not let you fall.


~Rainer Maria Rilke~
Letters to a Young Poet

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“Pain Is Inevitable. Suffering is Optional.”  (Zen Aphorism)

It’s a very famous quote that I’ve heard many, many times but only recently began to get a sense of what I think it really means.  Life happens, stuff happens — this is inevitable and responding with pure, genuine, heart felt pain is what is natural.  Or said another way, it is letting your heart break open with love.

But what is suffering?  I think suffering is letting your heart close down in judgement — judgement either of one’s self, another or a situation, whatever that may be.  Suffering includes regrets, all forms of “if only’s” and “I should have’s”.  It also includes believing that there is something wrong that you have done or something intrinsically wrong with you or another.  Blame of anything or anyone leads to suffering.  Negative out-picturing of events, past, present and future also cause suffering.  An idea that says life can never be the same without a person, a situation, or a condition being met, will certainly lead you on a path to suffering.  If we do the simple math, it often looks like: this happened + I judge it to mean this painful thing = I now suffer.

Any time you are in pain that has led to suffering you can be certain it includes some type of discrimination.  I call it discrimination because it selectively screens out what is truth in favor of a perception that separates you from believing in yourself or others and ultimately from believing in Life’s tendency to flow towards well being, balance, order, benevolence and grace.  As long as we are willing to settle for conclusions and judgements that separate us from all that Life willingly and daily offers up to us, we will suffer.

Where’s the way out?  When suffering, ask yourself what are you believing about yourself, another or the situation right now.  Now ask yourself if you unequivocally know that whatever it is you are believing, is absolutely true.  There is very little, if anything, to which you can honestly respond with a yes.  Now, are you willing to suspend what you’ve been believing?  You see, wanting to be on the other side of suffering is a beginning and wanting to be in self friendly relationship with yourself is a must.  Yet wanting won’t be enough, it requires your willingness to live in harmony with yourself.  And sometimes that willingness comes a bit at a time but come it will for one who is ready to walk in harmony with his or herself.

Want the world to be a peaceful, harmonious place, a world filled with love and loving people, want it to be a world without discrimination?  It all starts at home with a willingness to walk the inner walk of living in friendship with ourselves one step, one day at a time.

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the beauty of the trees


the softness of the air


the fragrance of the grass


speaks to me


and my heart soars


~Chief Dan George~
Opening Ceremonies Vancouver Olympics 2010

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Here is another “found” poem I have created.  This time I’ve brought Rumi and Rilke together.  No small task!  Great poets they were but not contemporaries as are Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry in my previous found poem.  This particular found poem starts with two lines from a Rumi poem and then alternates with Rilke’s words on the next two lines. This pattern is repeated with Rumi’s words then Rilke’s. No more than 1-3 lines from any one poem is used. There are many ways to create a found poem – this is one way. Below I list the eight poems that were used to accomplish this.

At first I thought: I really can’t do this.  This could be tantamount to blasphemy on some level.  However I’ve recently discovered that God is a cat lover.  When I get to the pearly gates, I’ve got extra credit as well as he’s grading on a curve, so blasphemy I can do a little and still not risk the fantasy suite and hot tub that awaits me.  :)

And now without further adieu, I bring you Rumi and Rilke, together at last.

There’s a surge up from the surface
into what is beyond dying

Like dew from the morning grass,
what is ours floats into the air

It is sunlight slicing the dark
The way the night knows itself with the moon.

Then the knowing comes: I can open
to another’s life that’s wide and timeless

If each of us held a candle there,
and if we went in together,
we could see it.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.

Inside this new love, die
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.

The Vigil – Rumi
The Second Elegy – Rilke
All Rivers at Once – Rumi (note: “I am” replaced with “It is”)
In the Arc of Your Mallet – Rumi (note: it is sunlight… and the way the night…, two separate Rumi poems put together in this one verse)
The Book of Monastic Life I,5 – Rilke
Elephant in the Dark – Rumi
The Book of Pilgrimage, II,1 – Rilke
Quietness – Rumi

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I’ve been thinking lately that night dreams are my final frontier in consciousness.  They fascinate me and I wonder if they might be a link for us between the physical world and the non-physical, Spirit world.  Or as Susie called it in The Lovely Bones, the Inbetween.

I dream every night vividly.  Last night before I went to sleep I was thinking about my Mom who died in 1988.  Macabre thoughts perhaps about whether her body deteriorates even though its embalmed.  Thoughts of that moment when I was saying goodbye to her, as she lay in a coffin, and just had to reach out and touch her hand one final time.  I cringed and quickly withdrew my own hand as I felt her cold, hard skin.

Last night in my dreams, we have moved into another house again, something we so far seem to do about every five years or less.  Even in my youth we moved around quite a bit.  So once again another move, but this time it’s back to the first home I ever purchased.  I bought it about a year after my Mom died.  She had never seen it, my home, my first “real” home.

There are boxes everywhere.  We are in the living room and there’s a lot of talk with the kids about their first day at a new school.   The front door slowly swings open and my Mother walks in.  I know that she’s visiting us from the Spirit world and I yell out to the rest of the family that my Mother is here.  She takes a seat on a couch.  There are boxes cluttered all around her.  I sit outside the ring of boxes that seem to surround her.

My Mother then comments how she has finally come to see me: “I’m so close you could touch me but you don’t, you let the boxes be in the way,” she says.   “Here’s your chance and isn’t it interesting that you let the boxes get between us.”  I tell her, “oh my gosh, you are right, what am I thinking, let me move the boxes.”

I clear a space and I sit down beside her.  Yes, here is my chance.  My Mother has only ever played small bit parts in my dreams, almost as an aside.  Now here she is playing a central role.

I look deeply into her eyes, they’re bright and dark and luminous just as I remember them.  Her eyes are the darkest brown, so dark, they remind me of the color of dark chocolate.  I take her hand in mine and run my hand slowly over hers.  It’s warm, soft and smooth.

She’s wearing a navy blue suit, large lapels and buttons the size of small saucers.  I note that her outfit is circa 1970s.  The decade when she would have been in her 40s still wild around the edges, still relatively young and most of all, free of the medical label she would later have pinned to her.

I see that she has two necklaces on.  One is a rhinestone necklace and the other necklace extends long down her chest and at the end of it dangles a small golden whistle.  I reach out to touch it.  “It’s a God whistle,” she tells me; “I use it whenever I need God.”  “I want one,” I say to her.  And the next thing I know, I’m awake and the dream is over.

I could analyze the dream “to death” if I wanted to but I don’t.  I love living in the questions and not having all the answers.  I love final frontiers that are never conquered.  I love, as my friend Kim says, being alive in the mystery.  I love that I get to be alive and live in the mystery of it all.

I love you Mom, the path is clear now, no more boxes to get between us.  Your fair skinned hands — they are warm, soft and smooth, that’s what I take back with me.  It’s the gift you left for me in the Inbetween world of my dreams, that, and a small golden God whistle.

And now, I’m off to find my own God whistle.  It’s what we’ll share now.  It’s my forever link to you Mom.

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stop

the turning wheels of your mind

look

the miracle of life is happening all around you

walk

out that door with a heart filled with wonder

breathe

it all in

you

are alive

feel

the rhythm of a heart pulsing within you

you

are a part of this miracle

here, now

bask in the splendor of it all

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