Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Slow Demise of Winter


Dripping snowmelt
leaves icy stalactites
along the edge of the roof.

White glitter-strewn lawns
dissolve into mud
and standing water.

Overcast days finally
wear off the calendar
and leave sunny air behind.

Winter is still breathing heavy,
but the monitor
throbs a different tale.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

When I Am on My Path


When I am on my path,
the way is smooth and clear,
the air sunny and warm.

When I am on my path,
the difficult becomes simple.
Answers arrive before questions.

When I am on my path,
everything I need shows up
when I need it, right on cue.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Lost


When I'm focused on some favorite task, I often get lost in it.

It's as if I disappear into the task itself -- as if my life is living me instead of the other way around.

Then I remember, once again, that it is in losing myself that I find my true self.

No surprise there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reference Points


If I'm walking down a highway and the mountain in the distance never shifts perspective, how can I know I'm really moving?

If I'm living in the bowels of the earth and never climb out to see the light of day, how can I know when I'm awake and when I'm asleep?

We are each a knot of perceptions traveling through time and space. Without something to perceive, how would we know we exist at all?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Much I Will Never Know


When I stand on the shore of a lake, I feel dwarfed by its open expanse of water.

When I stand at the edge of the ocean, I cannot imagine another continent somewhere beyond its curving horizon.

When I stand on the ridge of a mountain, I get lost in the distance to the farthest peaks.

It is sad sometimes to think how much I will never know.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Part


By the time we become conscious of our own existence, we've already started vibrating back and forth between wanting to be a part of and apart from.

We discover our own apartness by discovering others. Our interactions with them help us understand ourselves more clearly. Part of us wants to be separate. Different. Unique. One of a kind.

And we are.

Another thing we've learned by the time we become aware of our own eyes is that we cannot survive without the help of others. We need each other, so Part of us wants to be connected. Accepted. Included. Joined. One of the tribe.

And we are.

Wisdom brings these parts of ourselves into balance.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When God Made Clay


When God made clay, was Adam already in the grit?

When God made Eden, was the serpent already within its walls?

When God made Eve, were the rest of us already in her womb?

That last one -- something worth remembering in these interesting times.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Easy and Hard


Why are some things easy and some things hard?

Is it our expectations?

Is it our set of mind?

Is it our fears of what we cannot control?

When something is hard to do, sometimes it is the universe saying to us, "Don't go this way."

Sometimes, it is the universe saying, "Don't give up. The view is worth the climb."

In figuring out which one, we have to choose not only to listen but also to hear.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Bell Rings Once


A bell rings once
in the distance.

A church bell?
A temple bell?
A clock bell?
A dinner bell?
An alarm bell?

How can we tell
from just one clap?

For those who know its sound,
one note is enough.

That and listening, of course.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rain and Rain


Rain and rain and rain
until you think it will never
stop.

But it does.

We are always between rains.
Even when it is raining.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Build a Tribe to Help


Have a task?
Build a tribe to help you with it.

Figure out what you want the tribe to do.
Pick the right people to do it.
Tell them what you need.
Get out of the way and let them work.

When you can trust yourself, you can trust the tribe.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sharing Experiences


Even though experiences happen to us as individuals, they have an impact on us as a whole.

Because of this, our personal experiences don't necessarily belong to us alone. Others may need to own them, too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beyond Time and Space


The wheel of seasons brings us back around to the same place every winter, and yet it isn't the same place.

The orbit of the earth spins us around the sun year after year, but it isn't the same year.

We are forever moving in time and space, always changing. The universe is an expanding exploration of uniqueness.

Before it, in it, and beyond it, though, is the timelessness of eternity, the stillness of complete presence.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"Love Your Enemies"


"Love your enemies."

Why?

Why should we care about people who seek our demise? Why should we love those who would do us harm? Why should we concern ourselves with their well-being?

When we love those who oppose us, we are recognizing that even though we are separate and in conflict here and now, we are also inextricably one in the divine. When we love our enemies, we are loving ourselves. When we protect ourselves from our enemies, we are also helping to protect our enemies from the destructiveness of their own fears.

Why should we love our enemies? Because it is another way to love and respect ourselves.

Go figure.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Decades in the Wilderness


The distance from one point along our spiritual journey to another may look short, but it can take decades of wandering in the wilderness to travel the space between them.

The reason is because it can take decades for our original ideas about the journey to die off, one by one.

No way into the promised land before then.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

High Water


When a river overflows its banks,
it scours the landscape like a thief
and carries away what it does not own.

When my desires overflow my needs,
I become a river of selfishness
drowning any thought of others.

When my needs overflow my desires,
I become a dry valley with no memory
of how I should go about praying for rain.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I Am an Island


I am an island joined
to the rest of the chain
under the surface of the ocean.

So I am not really an island.
It only feels that way because
I am surrounded by water.

I am not an island,
and yet no other island
offers a view just like mine.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Simple Life


As I grow older, it becomes easier to see the bones of my life. I come to realize how simple it all is.

My needs become stripped down like winter trees. My grievances turn into dry twigs. And every moment is filled to overflowing if I will only open my eyes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Another Day


Moment by moment, another day begins somewhere on the planet. Light and shadow shifting across a turning world. We are hung out in space like an electron circling a giant burning nucleus.

How do we know we aren't also part of a carbon atom in a little girl's knee in some alternate universe?

How do we know we aren't made up of countless galaxies of atomic worlds ourselves?

For now, this world is more than enough for me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Prove It


If our conscious awareness of the world is based on electrical impulses racing through our brains, what happens when those subatomic streaks take a different path?

How do we know that we know what we think we know? What can we really prove? What can we truly know at all? Why do we want "proof" anyway?

Proof is about confirming our inner experience by some exterior means. It gives us a sense of equilibrium, of time and space.

After all, without a clock or horizon line, how can we know we even exist at all?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Expanding Universe


Grass and people.
Crows and seeds.
Water and mindfulness.
Laughter and bitterness.
Arrows and pigs.

Each expands the other.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fame


Fame is the price of being known.
It is the residue of a separate journey --
a journey deeper into the singular self.

When our journey within leads
to the universe without, we become
known through what we bring back.

When our journey within leads only within,
we become known for what we take.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stillness in the Meadow


Stillness in the meadow.
Stillness in the hills.
Stillness in the fields.
Stillness in the valley.
Stillness in the forest.
Stillness in the river bottoms.
Stillness in the lowest places.
Stillness in the heart.
Stillness in the mind.
Stillness in the hands.
Stillness in the spirit.
Stillness in the fabric of time.

Stillness begins in the stillness
of that which cannot be expressed.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Four Houses


The first is the dwelling of the powerless.
The second is the dwelling of the determined.
The third is the dwelling of the selfish.
The fourth is the dwelling of the tolerant.

When you enter the first, be full of respect.
When you enter the second, be full of questions.
When you enter the third, be full of praise.
When you enter the fourth, be full of thanks.