Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rings


We are all many layers thick.
We build each layer from the inside
in response to something on the outside.

What these many rings protect
is sometimes heartwood.
Sometimes a hollow trunk.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Split a Log


Split a log,
and I am there,
Jesus said
in the gospel
of Thomas.

We're there, too.
Just not the same
way the log is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What There Is to See


We see so little
of what there is to see.

Is the universe
hiding from us 
to protect us from itself?

Or is the blindness
our own to discover?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beauty and Decay


Beauty and decay
create one another.

One wants to see joy.
The other expects destruction.

To get rid of one,
get rid of the other.

To embrace both as one
is the only other way.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Enough Sometimes


It is enough sometimes
to study the reflection
on the surface of the pool
while you wait
for the water
to clear.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Only Thing Left


The chance to do something
is not necessarily the time to do it.

What looks high today
will look low tomorrow.

When I trust for a path and look,
the only thing left is to see.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Without Time


Without time,
distance is an illusion.

Without distance,
ego is an illusion.

Without ego,
the ten thousand things
are an illusion.

Without the
ten thousand things,
always Tao remains.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brush


Do the fingers
of tree branches
touch other trees?

Do they run
their hands over
each other's bark?

Do they scratch
one another raw
until bleeding sap?

How do they
keep from driving
each other crazy?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Creation and Destruction


Making and destroying.
Building and tearing down.
Filling up and pouring out.
Being born and being buried.

The ten thousand things
forever arise and wither away.

Is death so hard to take
because we don't want
to leave all of this behind?

Or is it because we know
that nothing we leave will last.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Coated in Time


A layer of life lies
between earth and sky
like a boundary.

Not earth. Not sky.

But what was once
sky is now earth.
What was once earth
is now flesh and bone.

The universe is an illusion
Tao creates with time.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Without Both


Light and dark bring
vision into being.

Without both,
we remain blind.

Good and evil
work the same way.

Without both,
we're spiritually blind.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Water Tao


Water flows forever downward
and dissipates into thin air.

It is the bearer of all things.
It endlessly flows and returns.

It is like a reflection of the Tao.
A reflection of your own face.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Difficulty


Difficult passages are always ahead. 
Even the rich and lovely are not immune.

Do what each moment calls for,
and even the difficult cannot last.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skeletons


Bare limbs in winter.
Skeletons of clouds.

Dreams all night.
Skeletons of Tao.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What a Stream Brings


An eddy in a stream
traps fallen leaves.

Minnows hide underneath.
Bass haunt the edges.

The fish draw the anglers.
The anglers draw the shops.

Commerce builds a community.
The stream changes course.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Reach Across


When I cultivate a friendship
with someone who is not like me,
both of us grow richer.

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Mystic Hears


A mystic hears a voice.
Who whispers in her ear?

A sage listens deep inside.
What wells up from within?

A baby stares unblinking.
What holds its attention so?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The World Described


Words are tools of thought.

We use them to explain
the world to ourselves.

The world we describe inside
creates the world we see outside.

This is why words matter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mossy Path


A moss-covered path
is still a path,
a way through the forest.

Well-worn paths
lead to places where
people want to go,
but don't want to stay.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Four Walls


The first keeps us
from seeing our flaws.

The next keeps us
from seeing our merits.

The next keeps us
from seeing each other.

The last keeps us
from seeing ourselves.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Blind Light


To be struck blind
on a spiritual road
is nothing new.

It happens all the time.

The arresting thing
is how much light hides
in that temporary darkness.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stop Looking


I am a knot of perceptions
traveling through time and space,
and yet every moment contains
more than I could ever take in.

When I stop looking, I see this.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Below


What is surface?
What is depth?

First we learn
to see the surface.

Then we learn
to seek what lies

below.

Friday, February 1, 2013