Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Another Word for Grace


Those who fear that the world
is threatened by demons
do not understand Tao.

What is Tao?
Another word for grace.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Familiar and Exotic


Seen in one context, it looks familiar.
Seen in another context, it looks exotic.

The familiar teaches mindlessness.
The exotic teaches vigilance.

What is the middle way?
The choice to see all things as new.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Husk


Who we are is
only part of who we are.

What else do we carry inside?
What will live beyond us?

What seeds do we husk?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Grinding Time


The present grinds future into past
like a mill crushing a river of corn.

What mattered before was for before.
What will matter after will be for after.
What matters now is for now.

But always,
what matters now is what matters.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Easy Decision


How do we make room for each other
on a planet of shrinking resources,
growing populations, and warming seas?

How do we help each other have a chance
not only to survive but also to thrive?

How do we motivate one another to take
responsibility for our own individual lives --
to "get up and do what needs to be done"?

How do we heal our political wounds
and learn to treat each other as humans again?

How can we accomplish such impossible tasks?

By deciding to.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Split Mind, Singular Mind


A split mind asks
do I go right or left?

But a split mind
will never reach
a singular answer.

Singular answers
only come to
singular minds.

A split mind offers
a more interesting
conversation, though.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Best Path into the Future


How do we figure out the best path into the future?
By being completely present in this moment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Easing the Way Through Pain


When we ease the way
for someone in crisis or pain,
we build community.

When we build community,
we ease our own pain.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Where Nothing Is Free


Where nothing is free,
nothing is sacred.

Where nothing is feared,
everything is sacred.

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Do You Believe?


Tell me what you believe,
and I'll know how you see.

When I know how you see,
I'll know what you see.

When I know what you see,
I'll understand what you do.

This works both ways.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two Minds


Split mind.
Single mind.

One is broad.
One is deep.

One roams.
One runs straight.

One stalls action.
One stalls thought.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Deep Music


Grace wells up
out of solid ground
when it needs to.
Like lava. Like water.
Like the stem of a tree.

Whatever comes
from that far down
carries wisdom.

Deep music
worth listening to.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Even a Stranger


It's hard to watch
someone suffer.

Even a stranger.

Is it because we suffer
when others suffer?

Or is it because we all
feel like strangers at heart?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Servants


When we serve the poor
at the expense of the wealthy,
we send money running
through the halls of government
like rats.

When we serve the wealthy
at the expense of the poor,
the sound of mothers weeping
will only grow louder.

When we use our shared wealth
to serve those in true need,
we sow peace and justice across the land.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rainy Season


A hard rain
can cause havoc.

So can a long rain
over many days.

So can no rain.

We clean up the debris
after a hard downpour.

We repair the damage
from days of steady rain.

We draw water from other sources
until the clouds pour down again.

This is life between storms.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bells Ring. Bells Toll.


Bells ring, and children flood the halls.
They swim and turn like fish in schools.
In this shared moving, they become one.

Bells toll, and a funeral procession
leaves on the last trip for one departed.
In this final journey, we become two.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Strong Threads


Do you see the house?
Do you see the light in the window?
Do you see the family at the dinner table?
Do you see the threads that tie you together?

Shelter, light, family, food.
These make strong bonds.
But they are not the strongest.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hardly the Point


How many steps to climb a mountain?
How many miles to cross a desert?
How many days to travel an ocean?

How many is hardly the point.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Memory of Holes


Memory is spotty at best.
Even vivid ones have many holes.

What matters more to us?
What we remember?
Or why we remember it?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Changing Thoughts


If you want to change your life,
start by changing your mind.

When you bend your mind
to a new way of thinking,
you're already halfway there.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Already Inside


Heaven is not in the sky.
Heaven is not in a lover.
Heaven is not a destination.
Heaven is already inside.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Infinite Resource


Fear is a finite resource.
It only seems endless
because there's so much of it.

Only love is infinite.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Young Tree of Life


The tree of life is
so very young --
barely a sapling.

How will it look
when it's old?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Meadows or Mountains


A kite flies easily over a meadow.
Not so easily over a mountain.

A canoe floats calmly over a pond.
Not so calmly across an ocean.

What is easy in one setting
is not easy in another.

For an easy life, seek meadows and ponds.
For a larger life, mountains and oceans.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Afterimage


Stare at a white wall for a minute,
and the afterimage will be black.

Stare at a black wall for a minute,
and the afterimage will be white.

Each follows the other in turn.

What follows fear but joy?
What follows gladness but pain?

Nothing lasts forever.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Only One Way


When there is only one way forward,
it isn't because there's only one way forward.

It's because I've chosen to believe
there can be only one way forward.

When I believe this, I make a lie into truth.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Wilderness Between


I travel from one
moment of knowing
to the next moment of knowing.

Between each moment of knowing,
I cross a wilderness of not knowing.