Friday, December 31, 2010

Separation Anxiety


Unleash anger on the unsuspecting,
and you send wolves among children.

Turn a cold eye toward your neighbor,
and you grow blind to your own humanity.

Build a wall from the stones of silence,
and you cut yourself off from friends and allies.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Motion


Set in motion, a body moves
until friction brings it to a stop.
What is friction to a soul in motion?
What is motion to a spirit at rest?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In the Wilderness


In the wilderness,
we pay attention
to everything.

We consider
every possibility.

We remain
fully aware
at every moment.

Such a place
is the wild.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What if the Universe


What if the universe
with all its hordes of time and space
is really just the Divine looking at itself?

What if the ten thousand things
are simply God exploring
what it's like not to be one?

What if we are each the eyes, ears,
skin, nose, and tongue of the Tao?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Arrested by the Frenzy


To be arrested again and again
by the frenzy of life is inevitable.

I am captured by the seductions
of my senses at every moment.

The pain and glory and boredom
of every breath holds me in thrall.

These exist at the edges of who I am,
the boundaries of my skin.

Inside me is a room of silence
where all storms go calm at a whisper.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

When I Know a Thing


When I know a thing, I only know it for a time. If I don't reknow it and reknow it and reknow it, I'll eventually not know it.

It is a good lesson to learn over and over again: Nothing is permanent. Nothing is permanent.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I Am Not Perfect


I am not perfect.
I have flaws that distress me.
How do I accept the parts
of myself that are dirt?

I am not profane.
I am sewn into the hem of Tao.
How do I accept that
there are no boundaries in God?

Friday, December 24, 2010

When We Are Moving


Walk down a hallway
and pass doors on right and left.

Drive down a highway
and pass crossroads on either side.

Opportunities abound
when we are moving.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Outcropping of Rock


An outcropping of rock
allows a view of the valley below
and the mountains beyond.
Without it, there is no vista.

What landscapes do we miss
simply for lack of a vantage point
from which to look and see?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Toward All That I Am


When I turn deeper into my separate self
and away from my connected oneness,
my discontent turns deeper, too.

I become unhappy, irritable, anxious,
impatient, angry, fearful, depressed.

When I turn toward all that I am,
I become like leaves turning toward sunlight.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Power Over Others


Having power over others is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you. Tread lightly.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peace of Mind Does Not Require


Peace of mind does not require a peaceful setting.
Freedom from fear does not require a safe place.
Contentment does not require a contented life.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Remembering Injury


We remember the injury,
but we do not remember the pain.
It isn't the pain that makes
forgiveness hard to grant.
It is the memory of being hurt.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Waiting for the Right Moment


Waiting for the right moment
is not the way to wait for the right moment.

The way to wait for the right moment
is to live each moment as it arrives.

When you live each moment as it arrives,
the right moment arrives at the right moment.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fearful Adversaries


To have an adversary
who is afraid of you,
is this a blessing or a curse?

To strike fear
in the heart of an enemy,
is this really what you want?

To make an opponent tremble
at the thought of your name,
is this a weapon or a defeat?

A victory with only one victor
is never a lasting victory.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Solve One Puzzle


Solve one puzzle,
and you hunger
to solve another.

What a quality it is
to want to untangle
every basket of yarn.

What a blessing it is
to want to take on
the next conundrum.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peace of Mind


Peace of mind
does not come
from outside the mind.

A peaceful heart
does not arise
from outside the heart.

These are inner works
of our individual journeys.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If I Were Never Afraid


If I were never afraid,
would I be better or worse?

If I had no fear,
would I be happy?

If I overcame all dread,
would I really be free?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

When the Dancer Becomes the Dance


When the dancer becomes the dance,
does the dance know this?

When the dancer becomes the dance,
where does the dancer go?

When the dancer becomes the dance,
what does the dancer do when the dancing stops?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nothing Begets Something


Nothing begets nothing
begets nothing begets something
begets nothing again.
This is how a table is made.

Time is not a river but a hillside.
We walk along its flank
as each nothing begets nothing
begets nothing begets something
begets nothing again.

Every something springs into being
exactly in place and on cue as we travel
over the ground of time.

What is something?
Something out of nothing.

What is nothing?
The source of everything.

What is everything?
Whatever you believe it to be.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Outside Inside Outside


Taught under the law.
Raised in the air of scripture.
Schooled in all walks of the Word.

What is outside was once
also inside. Now, what is outside
is still outside, but no longer inside.

This is the path for some.
For others, it is the precipice to avoid.
Both paths are dangerous.
Both paths are holy.
Both paths lead to the Divine.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trusting What Isn't Real


If I trust what isn't real,
do I make it real?

If I make it real,
does it deserve
the trust that created it?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walking a Wide Circle


When I walk a wide circle,
I am tracing the courses
of planets and galaxies
and spinning electrons.

Step by step, beat by beat,
I echo the rhythms of time,
the pulsing waves of its vast body,
breathing, breathing.

When I walk a wide circle,
I create my own universe.
I invent my own body of time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Freedom from Fear


Freedom from fear is not freedom.
Freedom from fear is the source of compassion.

Freedom from fear is not security.
Freedom from fear is the seat of wisdom.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reaching the Bottom


I can see the bottom of a creek.
I can touch the bottom of a stream.
I can swim to the bottom of a river.
I can dive to the bottom of the sea.
How do I reach the bottom of the Tao?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

When I Am Asleep


When I am asleep,
the universe continues unfolding
as if I were not part of its fabric.

When I am awake,
the universe continues expanding
as if my wakefulness were blind.

When I am simply here,
the universe continues calling
as if I were the only one around.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Insights


Slow and not slow.
Some insights come easily.
Some take a lifetime to gain.

Do I come to them
because I go looking for them?
Or do I come to them
because they are calling me by name?

Some are found in seeking.
Some are found in silence.

Do they come to me
because it is time for me to have them?
Or do they come to me
because I petition the Divine?

Some come when ready.
Some come when called.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Really a Journey?


Is a spiritual journey
really a journey at all?

How have I traveled
such a great distance
over the decades of my life
and never left the skull
of my own mind?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still River


Still river.
Rushing river.

One day one.
One day the other.

Still the same river.
Still never the same.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Show Up


I show up, and answers arise.
I show up, and the cup overflows.
I show up, and the universe is waiting.
I show up, and my work welcomes me.
I show up, and the next task wonders where I've been.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Call and Response


One dog barks
in the neighborhood,
and another dog
barks an answer.

Call and response
are natural rhythms
of the universe.

The Tao talking
to itself.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wishing Is Only Wishing


Wishing is only wishing until I turn it into doing. When I turn wishing into doing, I make possible the already done.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

What Step Is Your Next Step


Wait until you know
what step is your next step
before you take your next step.

How do you know
what step is your next step?

Sometimes this is easy to know.
Sometimes not so much.
Sometimes it's impossible to know.
This is when you must step before knowing.

In these cases, it's best to let
the next step take itself. Sometimes,
this is the only way to discover the next step.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Settlement


Settlement.

To mark off
a segment of ground
and make it comfortable
and safe for living.

To draw others to it.
To divide the labors required
to survive and grow.

To work for the good
of the community.

To make a place for everyone
and find useful tasks for each.

To establish something permanent
in one place over time.

To consecrate a piece of land
just by living on it, with it, through it
generation after generation after generation.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Every Creative Act


Every creative act
is also a spiritual act.

Every creative task
is also a spiritual task.

Every creative work
is also a spiritual work.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Balancing a Friendship


How do you balance a friendship
that has never been in balance?

Balance achieved through the work
of only one side is never true balance.
True balance requires the work of both.

Without that, there is not balance.
There is only compensation.

What appears as balance
is simply a shift of the fulcrum
away from the center.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To Be Perfect


To be perfect means to be in perfect balance.
How does perfection balance pain and joy?

To be perfect means to be in perfect form.
How does perfection take on any form?

To be perfect means to be in perfect harmony.
How does perfection harmonize fear and love?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peel an Onion


Peel an onion.
When do you know
when to stop?

Slice an apple.
How do you find
the edges of the core?

Crack open a nut.
Where do you see
the tree inside?

Split your mind.
What do you think
each half knows?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Another Mystery of Being


Ground rests solid as granite,
hard and unmoving, yet
filled with empty space.

Planets spin around stars
spinning in galaxies spinning
in space like invisible dancers.

Dancing waves of energy burst
into being and then into matter
and then into nothingness again.

What is here is not here.
What is now is not now.
Another mystery of being.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Talents and Skills


If I have a talent for something,
where does that talent lie --
in me or in the Tao from which I arise?

If I am skilled in certain tasks,
am I the source of these abilities,
or do they flow from the Divine?

When I claim what is not mine,
I become responsible
for the calamities that follow.

When I let go of what is not mine,
I become the bearer of gifts
I could never afford on my own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happiness Is Fleeting


Happiness is fleeting,
as it should be.

Its ebb and flow
is like a tide that marks
time for us and lets us know
we are still alive.

To hold onto it too long
is like sleeping on only one side.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Listening Beyond My Shadow


When I want to be heard, how often is it because I have something to say worth hearing, and how often is it because I've stopped listening to anything but the sound of my own voice?

If I want to be heard, my first task is to listen beyond my own shadow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holding On


When trees flourish
on a mountainside,

their roots help keep
the mountain intact,

even as time and gravity
work to pull them both

down.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What Tears Carry


Tears carry
the salt of sadness,
sorrow, and pain.

The savor
of passion, joy,
laughter, and awe.

The brine
of boredom, terror,
sickness, and fear.

They are the rivers
of emotion that keep us
healthy and sane.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Face to Face


The safest way forward
is not always the truest path.

The bitterest fruit
is not always the worst meal.

The calmest lake
is not always the smoothest sailing.

Look below the surface
and come face to face with the Divine.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Letting Go of Results


Letting go of the results of my work after my work is done is also my work. When I trust the workings of the Tao, that last task is easy. When I don't, the results are seldom enough.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love's Opposite


Hate is not the opposite of love.
Hatred is a symptom of fear.
Fear is the true opposite of love.