Thursday, September 30, 2010

Canary in the Mine


Singing and
singing and
singing and
then not.

We know that
the frail among us
are the first to go,
but they're often
such lovely souls,
so light and fragile,
that we want to keep
them with us as long
as we possibly can.

This is not the first reason
we want them around, though.
The first reason is because
we're not ready to be the next to go.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Death Is a Door


We cannot know
if death is a door into,
or a door out of,
or a door both in and out.

What we do know, however,
is that the door swings
in only one direction.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mine to Give Away


When I give away what is mine to give away, it comes back to me as something new.

When I try to hold onto what I have to give away, it turns sour like milk and has to be thrown away.

What has to be thrown away never comes back new.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Locked in My Cell


I sit in the cell of my mind morning, noon, and night. I am locked in by the bars of my own perceptions. We all are. This is the nature of the ten thousand things.

But it doesn't stop us from tapping out messages on the pipes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wilderness Journey


Into the wilderness.
Out of the wilderness.

Was it a journey through?
Or a journey back from?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Center of the Universe


To be
timeless.
Motionless.
Silent.
Still.

This is
the center
of the universe,
if you can
stand it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Bend at the End of Summer


The year bends around
the end of summer
and curves into fall.

The sun crosses lower.
The nights grow cooler.
Long shadows change.

A life in transition.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Six Questions on Healing


What does it mean to be healed?
Is any healing a true return to the former?

Where does healing come from?
How do we know when we have been healed?

What do we gain from being healed?
What do we gain from needing to be healed?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Traveling to the Wilderness


The wilderness is the wild unknown where nothing is predictable. It is the place we go to confront the demons within us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Predictable or Unpredictable?


If I seek a strictly predictable life,
I should be aware of its pitfalls:
I will seek only my own kind.
I will exclude the other --
no matter who or what it is.
I will strive to control those around me.

If I seek a strictly unpredictable life,
I also risk falling into traps:
I will lose all roots.
I will give up compassion for others
and become indifferent to their woes.
I will ask little or nothing of myself,
despite my abilities.

If I seek both the predictable
and the unpredictable,
I chance living a larger life:
I will seek to know others
even as I live contentedly inside my own skin.
I will realize I am happiest in my own life
when I care about the lives of others.
I will go out into the world,
curious.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hidden Rooms


Everyone carries hidden rooms inside,
places where no one else is allowed to go.

These rooms help make us aware
that we are separate from one another.

It isn't the hidden rooms that harms us.
It's the amount of time we spend in them.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Solid or Free


The rock turns the river.
The log follows the flow.
Which is the better course?
In the end, it doesn't matter.
The river swallows both.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seven Steps Forward


Wake up.
Pay attention.
See the pain of others.
Ask questions.
Discern what is wise.
Sharpen the tools.
Close the door and set out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Mask of Impatience


Impatience comes from
living in the future
instead of the present moment.

It is one of the masks
fear wears to trick us
into thinking we are not afraid.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Watching Others Suffer


It should be hard
to watch others suffer.
If their pain doesn't create
pain within us, too,
then we are looking
only at surfaces.

Under the surface,
pain grows like capillaries
beneath the skin,
spreading until every cell
in the body is touched.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bad News, Good News


The bad news is that
I create what I see in others.

If I'm lazy, I'll see laziness.
If I'm dangerous, I'll see danger.
If I'm greedy, I'll see greed.

The good news is that
I create what I see in others.

If I'm patient, I'll see patience.
If I'm kind, I'll see kindness.
If I'm hopeful, I'll see hope.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blind Men


If I see a blind man
tapping his way
down the sidewalk,
should I feel sorry for him?

After all, his blindness
is easy to see.
Mine, not so much.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Are We Doomed?


Are we doomed?
Yes.

As we are plural,
we will always come to an end.

It is the nature of
the ten thousand things
that each follows an arc
through time and space
from beginning
to middle
to end.

Are we doomed?
No.

As we are one,
we live forever
outside time and space.

It is the nature of the one
that there is no thing,
no beginning,
no middle,
no end.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fear Is Our Greatest Weapon


Fear is our greatest weapon
against our own best interests.

Fear strips us of our willingness to see
the divine in, around, and among us.

It leaves us unwilling
to believe we will be okay.

No matter what,
we will be okay.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Lowest Moment


The one good thing about being at the lowest moment is that it is the lowest moment.

The rest may be uphill, but at least the view gets better the higher I climb.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two Minds


If I am to succeed in changing someone else's mind, two minds must change.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No Simple Task


Simplifying my life
is not a simple task.

How do I strip away
what I do not need
when I don't know
what I'll need
going forward?

It helps to remember
my needs are simplest
when I live in the Tao.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Giving Forgiveness


To give forgiveness to one who has wronged us is to give a gift not only to the forgiven, but also to ourselves for our own healing.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Like Miners Tapping


Like miners tapping
on a wall of rock,
we sit in darkness
and tap for the divine,
then wait for an answer.

If we listen,
we always hear.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Am I Lacking?


What am I lacking in this moment?

Nothing.

If I were, I'd be spending this moment filling that lack.

The odd thing is that every time I look, I discover -- again -- that I have what I need.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Without My Help


When I make a decision to change something in my life, my life takes over and begins the work of bringing that change into being.

My job is to show up every day, ready to do my part -- whatever that turns out to be.

When I do, I'm always amazed to discover how much my life can accomplish without my help.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Humble and Bright


How do I live
in harmony with the Tao?
How do I follow
"God's will" for me?
How do I stay within
the currents of the divine?

Just watch and follow
what is humble and bright.