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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Each Moment Contains


Each moment
can contain only itself.
It does not carry the future.
It cannot hold the past.

It has only enough room
for the timeless now.
The true home of eternity.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Divine Deafness?


When I ask for insight
and no answer offers itself,
is it because the Divine is deaf?
Or is it because I am?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keys to a Simple Life


When Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor, he wasn't talking about wealth. He wasn't talking about the evils of being rich.

He was talking about simplicity.

The more I have, the harder it is for me to live a simple life. The more I have, the harder it is to let go of what I have. The more keys I have on my keychain, the more complicated my life becomes. My possessions begin to possess me.

To live a simple life is not as simple as it looks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Secrets of a Sound


A low gong echoes across a valley
from one mountainside to another.

The sound travels unseen by any eye
like a secret meant only for the ears.

What else lies hidden within its depths?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not a Substitute


Presence is not
a substitute for awareness.

Awareness is not
a substitute for mindfulness.

Mindfulness is not
a substitute for compassion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Being Strong, Being Broken


Allowing myself to be strong
where I am strong is one
of my greatest spiritual tasks.

Allowing myself to be broken
where I am broken is one
of my greatest spiritual treasures.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Startled Mind


Like clapping
under a tree
full of birds,
I can startle
my mind
into silence.

But I cannot
startle my mind
into stillness.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Open Hands


When I open my hands,
is it to give what I have?
Or to receive what life offers?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sunrise. Sunset.


Sunrise. Sunset.
One opens the day.
One opens the night.

Sunrise. Sunset.
One closes the night.
One closes the day.

Open. Close.
One cannot live
without the other.

Monday, November 1, 2010

When You Make a Decision


When you make a decision,
you collapse waves into particles.

When you choose one way over another,
you set a universe in motion.

When you cut off deliberation,
you free yourself for the next step.