Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back


We continually
remake our past
as we learn more
about ourselves
in the ever-present,
ever-changing now.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Life After Calamity


Calamity can strip us to the bone,
but even a bare tree will leaf again
after winter has finished its work.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Necessary Blessing


From rage to bliss, 
my emotions are like
the weather at sea.

To trust there will be
calm after the storm
is a necessary blessing.


Monday, December 28, 2015

One True Path


The only true path
to the safe haven of God
is the path before you.

It's the same path
that will take you
many other places, too.

But one thing never changes.

The only true path
to the safe haven of God
is the path before you.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Four Choices


First is the choice of habit.
Second is the choice of friends.
Third is the choice of god.
Fourth is the choice of ignorance.

The first determines my daily life.
The second determines my contentment.
The third determines my prejudices.
The fourth determines my limits.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Stormy Wisdom


Valleys make mountains.
Rivers make valleys.
Storms make rivers.

Insight brings wisdom.
Experience brings insight.
Difficulty brings experience.


Friday, December 25, 2015

Denial


Denial allows us
to believe there are
always enemies
hidden in the fog.

Clear skies take
away that option.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merely Observed


Apathy scatters us.
Disaster draws us together.

Shared suffering heals faster
than suffering merely observed.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Three Flowers


One flower rides
down into the grave
with the dead.

One flower lights
the faces
of newlyweds.

One flower fades
when Tao
breathes upon it.

Each flower marks
a turning point.


Monday, December 21, 2015

A Whole Life


After forgiveness comes acceptance.
After acceptance comes appreciation.
With appreciation comes compassion.
With compassion comes a whole life.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Forgiven for Being


The more likely I am to forgive
others for being who they are,
the more likely I am to be
forgiven for being who I am.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Finding Their Own Way


From flesh and bone
to ash and rock,
our bodies wither
into stepping stones
for those who
have not yet arrived.

We make a path
until they find
their own way.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Silent Voices


There are two
silent voices.

First is the voice
that cannot speak.

Second is the voice
that will not speak.

We carry both
voices within us.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Unleashed


Every created thing
wants to express itself.

Whatever we create,
we unleash into the future.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Already There


No one path to God
is the only path to God.

No one way to Tao
is the only way to Tao.

In the end, we discover
it doesn't matter anyway.

The journey is unnecessary.
We were already there.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Followers


True leadership comes
from following the Way.

For others, following
the follower is enough.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Stopping


The journey is more
than the destination.

The journey is more
than the journey itself.

The journey is also
the stopping to help
others along the way.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

What Salvation Isn't


Salvation isn't about tomorrow
and what may happen after that.
Salvation isn't about what isn't yet.

Salvation happens here and now.
If we can't experience it here, now,
we will never be truly saved.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Complete


What is crooked
when there is no straight?

What is broken
when there is no whole?

What is false
when there is no true?

One makes the other.
Tao completes both.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Making Room


If we don't make
room for others,
the room we expect
for ourselves will
already be taken.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Walling off Heaven


It seems so simple,
but apparently it isn't.

When we wall off heaven from
those who follow another way,
we wall off heaven from ourselves.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Fear Response


Nothing wrong
with being afraid.

It's how we respond
to fear that matters.

A response out of fear
always draws more fear.

A response out of trust
stands a better chance.


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Dangerous


Dangerous times.
This present moment.

Dangerous places.
This piece of ground.

Dangerous people.
This face in the mirror.

Danger starts within,
but we don't want to see this.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Three Turns


Deep reflection
turns the mind.

Deep sorrow
turns the heart.

Deep pain
turns the spirit.


Friday, December 4, 2015

What Remains


When I put limits
on what God is like,
I'm putting limits on God.

When I get rid of limits,
God is what remains.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Possessed


The more possessions I have,
the more important they become.

The more important they become,
the more powerful they become.

The more powerful they become,
The more I become the possessed.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fear Lovers


Eliminate fear, and wars cease.
Soldiers drop their weapons.

Nations open their borders.
Cities open their gates. 

Families open their doors.
People open their hearts.

What a shame we love
our fear so much.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Expectations


The more expectations
we place on the future,
the less satisfying
our present will become.


Monday, November 30, 2015

Seeking to Control


Honor isn't high.
Dishonor isn't low.

Each carries the seed
of the other within.

Both are ways we seek
to control each other.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Only the Seeking


I can look and look
and not see.

I can listen and listen
and not hear.

Seeing doesn't depend
on the eyes.

Hearing doesn't depend
on the ears.

In the end, only the seeking
truly matters.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Eye Level


The horizon is
always at eye level.

Every boundary is
a matter of perspective.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Deeper Reflection


There is what you see.
There is what I see.
There is what is unseen.

The unseen leads
to deeper reflection.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Separately Whole


Separately whole,
we are islands of
a common ground.

The ocean between us
covers over this
and teaches us fear.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Killers


No food or drink.
No spiritual journey.
No pious life.

The first kills the body.
The second kills the soul.
The third kills the ego.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Whole World


When I listen only to myself,
when I look only at myself,
when I care only about myself,
my world shrinks until
I'm the only one in it.

On the other hand,
I'm a member of
a communal species.
I can't survive without others.

When I discover this,
I start listening to others,
I start looking at others,
I start caring about others,
and my world becomes whole again.


Monday, November 23, 2015

The Last War


We are no longer
warring over territory.
We are no longer
battling over possessions.

Our new wars are fought
over hearts and minds.

They should be fought with
compassion instead of killing,
but the only war we know
how to fight is the last one.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Harder Lesson


Every hand reaches for something.
Our desires are without end.

To reach is not the problem.
Our desires teach us who we are.

To fear what we want also teaches us.
But it is a harder lesson to learn.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Three Weapons


Disappointment.
Displeasure.
Disapproval.

Three of the
sharpest weapons
we use against ourselves.

Overcome them within,
and they cannot pierce
from without.

Friday, November 20, 2015

What Should Matter


No color is perfect.
No pigment is pure.

What flows from within
is what should matter.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Playing with Tao


Competition
focuses my mind,
but not my attention.

Awareness
sharpens my attention,
but not my compassion.

Service
hones my compassion,
but not my joy.

Only playing
with Tao can do that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ten Thousand Homes


Darkness within darkness.
Light within light.

Tao needs no dwelling place.
Ten thousand homes are enough.


Monday, November 16, 2015

The Powerless


You may
have the power
to threaten us
and intimidate us
and terrorize us
and kill and maim us,
but you are powerless
to stop us from forgiving you.
You are powerless
to keep us from asking
our God to heal your fear.
You are powerless
to end our compassion for you.

Powerless against powerless.
Guess which one will win in the end.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Carrying a Mystery


The body is a shell
that carries a mystery.

Unravel the mystery,
and the body
becomes a body again.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

It Takes Two


It takes two
to start a community.
It takes only one
to disrupt it.

More weapons
aren't the answer.
It takes community
to save us.


Friday, November 13, 2015

The Innocent


Violence scatters the innocent
and draws into itself more violence.

Violence may grow and grow,
but innocence cannot be destroyed.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Without Strings


When we stoop
to help those in need,
how often is it because
we want to serve them,
and how often is it because
we want to control them?

Help without strings
is true service.

Easy to admire.
Hard to do.