Sunday, October 30, 2011

Carvings


Tao carves the ten thousand things
like a stream carving a block of wood.

Does the block know it's being carved?
Does the stream know it's shaping wood?

They work as one to make something new,
knowing only that the carving is what matters.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zero Sum


Money is a zero-sum game.
The more I hoard what I have,
the more it eats away my soul.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Community Standards


Something wise heard inside one house
can sound stupid inside another house.

The teachings of one tribe can ring false
in the schools of a different tribe.

A beautiful painting in one gallery
can turn ugly on the wall of another one.

Each community sets its own standards,
but success needs balanced input from all.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Not Here


I am here, and I am not here.
I exist in this familiar human form,
but what am I?

According to the current theories,
I am mostly empty space.
I am quivering strings of energy.
I am the sum of countless strands
of potential converted into existence.

But how does that explain
this awareness I have
of my own hands,
this taste of saliva in my mouth?

How does this vibrating horde
cavort into me?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Examination


What is wise?
What is strong?
What is clear?
What is full of trust?

A silent breeze.
A spider's thread.
A starlit night.
A singing sparrow.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sequences


Sequence matters to us
in the universe of time and space
because it gives us the context we need
to understand our surroundings
and what is happening to us.

But how do we know
the future doesn't create the past
to bring itself into being?

How do we know
this present moment
where we live our lives
isn't creating the past and future
it needs to exist?

How do we know
cause and effect
aren't illusions we create
to limit our fears of the unknown?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Time Spent


Time spend waiting for an answer
is time spent in frustration.

Time spent in the future or past
is time spent in worry or pain.

Time spent in the present moment
is time spent in patience and awe.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Always and Ever Tao


Tao flows where it wills,
appears when it wants,
creates whatever it chooses.

It leaves nothing untouched,
hides nothing from view,
takes nothing for its work.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wisdom Is Light


Wisdom is light.
Silence is its home.

The doors are always open,
questions always answered.

Listening, rather than asking,
is the best way to know this.

Friday, October 21, 2011

To Know or Not to Know


Our need for permanence
grows from our hunger
for predictability.
We want to know
what to expect.

But when our lives
become too predictable,
our expectations grow
spoiled and stale,
and we crave novelty
like a strange diet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

No Answer


No answer is sometimes the answer.
Too many answers are sometimes no answer.

When you ask a troubling question
and no answers satisfy, look inside.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Four Ironies


Thoughtlessness brings misery,
but misery brings insight.

Laziness brings frustration,
but frustration brings action.

Weakness brings struggle,
but struggle brings strength.

Folly brings defeat,
but defeat brings wisdom.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Four Answers


The first satisfies curiosity.
The second leaves room for more.
The third arrives as a question.
The fourth ends in wisdom.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Listening for Silence


Listening for silence.
Waiting for belief.
We wish we could know
what cannot be known.

Believing in silence.
Waiting to hear.
We wish we knew more
of what is ours to grasp.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Not One


Two or more.
Some things cannot be known alone.

We discover who we are in part
through the eyes of others.

We learn in relation to one another.
We become both teacher and student.

We discover those parts of us
that come to life only in community.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Waiting for Discernment


How long does it take
to find your footing?

How much pain does it take
to make you change?

How many answers does it take
to dissolve your confusion?

The discernment you seek
is already in your hand.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hard Travel


Some paths seem
harder than others,
and maybe they are.
Only those who travel them
would know for sure.

As all travelers know,
every path has rough patches.
And every path has moments
of beauty and grace.

Sometimes, the hardest part
is to keep walking.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bringing the Universe Into Being


Grass grows whether we watch it or not.
Trees put on leaves regardless of our awareness.

Rivers rise and fall even when we are not around.
Clouds drift overhead in the middle of the night.

The universe does not need us to pay attention,
but it only comes into being for us when we do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Three Lessons


Every hard line is an illusion.
Every fortified border is temporary.
Every sacred belief is too small.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Not Just


Loneliness is a disease
of the community,
not just the individual.

Greed is a curse
of the poor,
not just the wealthy.

Fear is a weapon
of the beggar,
not just the powerful.

Compassion is a task
of the bellicose,
not just the priest.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Our Best Choices


How often do we really know
what is driving our actions?

How many times do we recognize
our agendas toward others?

How much of what we do
is beyond our own making?

Sometimes our best choices
are the ones we do not make.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Words Matter. Words Fail.


Words matter to us
because they are the tools
we use to understand
who and what we are.

Words fail us
when we try to use them
to understand what lies
beyond names.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Building the Universe


Random waves travel across the ocean.
Birds blaze invisible trails through the air.
Trees send roots and branches in every direction.
We create the universe with every step we take.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Only the Walking


How many steps will I take in a lifetime?
Where will that winding journey take me?

The distance I cover will never seem enough.
There will always be more than I can ever see.

Every footprint I leave behind will disappear.
It is only the walking that lasts forever.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Greatest Value


Gold has its greatest value
not among the hungry,
but among the wealthy.

Tao has its greatest value
not among the satisfied,
but among the lost.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Inner Light. Inner Darkness.


A bright light shines
inside every one of us.
We do not see this in each other
because we do not see it in ourselves.
When we see our own light within,
we see light all around us.

A shadow darkness hides
inside every one of us.
We see darkness in others
because we cannot see it in ourselves.
When we see our own darkness
we begin to see our own light.