Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The First


Listen for the first note.
Watch for the first sign.
Wait for the first answer.
Act at the first opportunity.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Growing Bent


A twig is bent,
and the tree grows bent.

A twig is staked,
and the tree grows straight.

A twig is bent,
and the tree grows straight.

A twig is staked,
and the tree grows bent.

All are true.
It is their numbers that vary.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Time Sweeps by in Decades


Time sweeps by in decades like a line of thunderstorms, and suddenly, we are decades older and can't remember how we got here. How did we get to be so old? Why do we still feel so young? Why do we still know so little?

Every age has its compensations, its own benefits, its own points of light. One of our tasks as we go through life is to notice and appreciate these as we go along.

Another reason to pay attention.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Progress


Stones into weapons.
Weapons into tools.

Caves into houses.
Houses into homes.

Curiosity into wisdom.
Wisdom into love.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Your First Decision


You make
your first decision
when you decide
you no longer want
to follow the path
laid out before you.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Blank Wall


A mind closed
to the Tao is like
a blank wall.

Solid.
Inanimate.
Unmoving.
Yet always
wearing away.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Six Choices


First is the choice of parents.
Second is the choice of families.
Third is the choice of friends.
Fourth is the choice of others.
Fifth is the choice of enemies.

You, too, have a choice in these.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Six Changes


Watching your child be born.
Losing faith in your parents' religion.
Being told of your mother's death.
Making the decision to get married.
Being confronted by your own prejudices.
Discovering the universe within.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No Tragedy


The blood of a tomato sliced
open on the cutting board,
why is this not tragic?

Why is not every end a tragedy?

Because nothing is permanent.

It is the ending that makes each
of the ten thousand things
appear luscious and bright.

Monday, June 21, 2010

We're Right


If we believe we can't get along with our neighbors because of their politics, we're right.

If we believe we can't work with our opponents to solve our mutual problems, we're right.

If we believe we can't find ways to live around people who are not like us, we're right.

What happens if we believe we can do these things?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hearing Is Not Listening


Hearing is not listening.
Looking is not seeing.
Thinking is not understanding.
Feeling is not knowing.
Living is not being.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Potential


The potential
to transform the world
lies within each of us.

We do it first
by changing ourselves.

Then we give others
a reason to change.

Then we let go.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When Is?


When is a summer night's noise not music?
When is a strong wind not a hard embrace?
When is a pinch of salt not a feast?
When is a wet forest not perfume?
When is a river not a galaxy?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Make a Difference


Tutor a child in school.
Teach an adult how to read.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
Donate blood.
Help build a Habitat for Humanity house.
Recycle everything you can.
Be tolerant and courteous toward those around you, no matter where you are.
Read to a sight-impaired person.
Visit someone in a nursing home.
Check on someone in a hospital or recovering at home.
Add to this list.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Not Necessarily


The next step is not necessarily the best step.
The wisest move is not necessarily the wise move.
The straightest path is not necessarily the straight path.
The final destination is not necessarily the last destination.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Curve


The curve of the earth along the horizon
is like the bending of space as it crosses infinity
from one edge to the other and back again.

A long journey.
But what is long on the clock of eternity?
What is missing from the circle of infinity?

There is no long when there is no time.
There is no journey where there is no space.
The horizon is the bar that keeps us here, now.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

One Thing, Something Else


It is one thing
to depend on other people.

It is something else
to be dependent on other people.

It is something else still
to be as dependable as we can be.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Charting Accurate Maps


Adversity deepens life.
It is like charting
the jagged depths
of a rolling sea.

How useful it is
to have accurate maps
when navigating
difficult waters.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Stilling the Squirrels


To still
the squirrels
in the trees
of my mind,
I clap out loud,
then I lose myself
in the moment
they're startled
silent.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Points of View


Seen from space, I am invisible.
Seen from within, I am enormous.
Seen from a distance, I am mysterious.
Seen close up, I am flawed.
Seen through other eyes, I am separate.
Seen through my own eyes, I am also separate.
Seen in full, I am not.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Have Patience With Yourself


Have patience with yourself
when you are trying to do something hard.

Have tolerance for yourself
when you are struggling with your flaws.

Have compassion on yourself
when you are lost and cannot find your way.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Salvation Journey


Salvation comes to us through our individual spiritual journeys. We find our way to it -- whatever it turns out to be for us.

When we find it, it is as if we have discovered our true selves. This is because all salvation comes from within. It is our rope to who we really are.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Seven Names


First is the name you were born with.
Second are the names you acquire.
Third are the names you call yourself.
Fourth are the names you never repeat.
Fifth are the names you are not aware of.
Sixth are the names you deserve.
Seventh is the name that is not a name.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Inside Out


What happens
when you recognize
your own divinity?

You discover
the sacred
all around you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How Long


I hike through a stream
and stop to watch algae
flowing like green hair
over carved river rocks
under the current.

How long this algae?
How long this green hair?
How long this rock?
How long this stream?
How long the river it feeds?
How long the oceans?
How long the mountaintops?

Someday, it will all pass away.
It will all perish into nothingness.

Maybe this is why eternity
is contained in this moment.

This one right here right now.