Monday, April 30, 2012

On Being Awake


When am I fully awake?

Is it when I'm fully aware
of what I'm doing in a given moment?

Or is it when I'm fully lost
in what I'm doing in a given moment?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

None


None of the pictures of God
I carry around in my head
are really pictures of God.

None of the images of Tao
that I think are true
are anywhere near the truth.

As intimate as my face.
As near as my hand.
Why can I not see this?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Extinction



The gate closes.
The latch turns.

What was loose
on the land
is now gone.

Locked away
for another eternity.

Friday, April 27, 2012

What I See


I see what
I expect to see.

When I don't know
what I expect to see,
I see what I think I see.

When I don't know
what I think I see,
I see without prejudice.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Six Tasks



Grow still.
Bend down.
Discover patience.
Accept imperfection.
Listen with both eyes.
Say thank you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wall Reality



A wall stands
between us.

My bowl is full.
Your bowl is empty.

You're hungry.
I want to share.

How real
is the wall now?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Breaking Ground


Seeds of the next generation
will always seem sharp to some.

We forget how important sharp
can be when breaking ground.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cathedral in the Woods


Pine grove at the edge of town,
a dark cathedral with swaying roof
and ruddy needle carpet.

Two pines make a wide door.
The rest make tall, open windows.
Beyond, the river flows fast or slow
depending on the time of year.

A chapel built completely by the mind
and yet what basilica can claim better?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Practices of Trees


Stillness and awareness.

How do we know these
are not the daily practices
of every tree we see?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pain Is a Delicate Thing


It turns out pain
is a delicate thing.

Distractions blow it away.
Time buries it in memory.
Normality swallows it whole.

Accept it as a child.
Let it go when it's time.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flowing River


A river flows through
the ten thousand things
like space through matter.

Flowing, and yet still.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Finger on the Scale


How easy it is
to judge someone else.

How easy it is
to misjudge myself.

Every ego is like this,
a finger on the scale.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Long Looking


Look up and see more than sky.
Look down and see more than dirt.
Look left and right and see more than air.

We are embedded in the body of Tao.
Tao is embedded in the body of us.
Sometimes it takes long looking to see this.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What My God Demands


If my God demands a sacrifice,
why should I not tremble in fear?

If my God demands perfection,
why should I not run and hide?

If my God demands awareness,
why should I not just open my eyes?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Life in Death


Does God live on in
a dead leaf on the ground?

Does Tao still flow through
an ancient riverbed?

Does Allah exist inside
the curve of an empty skull?

When life leaves the living,
doesn't it live on in the dead?

Isn't this what keeps
the ten thousand things growing?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Equal Weight


One man carries
darkness on his back.
Another man carries light.

Do their burdens weigh the same?
Or is that an illusion, too?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Forget Yourself


Forget who you
think you are.

Give up your
ideas of yourself.

Let go of everything
your ego tells you.

What you have left
is more than enough.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vine Work


The work of a vine
is to explore as far as
its tendrils will spread.

But how far is that?
How far can you stretch
if you don't know your reach?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why Worry


Why worry about the future?
It's full of change.

Why be anxious about the past?
It's mostly forgotten.

Why be afraid of the present?
It's the best gift you have.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flight


What father doesn't want
his sons and daughters to fledge?

What mother doesn't want
her daughters and sons to fly?

Surely somewhere back there,
we had ancestors with wings.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring


Sitting on the porch
at night while it rains,
lights off, thunder
in the distance,
everything green.

No birds need to sing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What We Sacrifice


What we are
willing to sacrifice
to get what we want
will tell us more
about ourselves
than we probably
want to know.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Good?


How good does a bird have to be
to be a good enough bird?

How good does a mountain have to be
to be a good enough mountain?

How good does a river have to be
to be a good enough river?

How good does a soul have to be
to be a good enough soul?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Two Sides


Two sides to every story.
Two sides to every mouth.
Two sides to every battle.

Two sides to every coin.
Two sides to every argument.
Two sides to every equation.

Two sides to every river.
Two sides to every border.
Two sides to every conflict.

One side to every Tao.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Best Response


The best response to fear?
Compassion.

The best response to hurt?
Mercy.

The best response to defeat?
Humility.

The best response to loss?
Generosity.

Monday, April 2, 2012

How Many?


It doesn't matter how many
will listen when you say your name.

It doesn't matter how many
will turn as you walk through a crowd.

It doesn't matter how many
gifts you bring as your offering.

It doesn't matter how many
memories you leave behind.

How many doesn't matter
once you discover who you are.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Playing to Play


Playing to win is not playing.
Playing just to play is playing.

Tao rises to the surface in play.