Monday, November 30, 2009

A Tangled Knot

I am a knot of perceptions moving through a small sliver of time and a small sliver of space.

There's so little of me that it's almost as if I'm not here at all, but to me, it's everything -- to me, that is.

But what is "me"?

The older I become, the more mysterious I find "me" to be. The knot grows ever more tangled and intricate.

The more I know, the less I understand.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Longer Journey

I can walk back and forth
to my neighbor's house
day after day after day and see
something new every time I go.

I can also travel around the world
and never really notice anything
and in the end come back home

Which is the longer journey?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Consecrating the Temple

When the temple is made by hands, it is consecrated with blood.

When the temple is made by the mind, it is consecrated with guilt.

When the temple is made by the spirit, it is consecrated with humanity.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Four Things

Four things bind us together.

The birth of a child.
A common enemy.
The setting sun.
The fear of being alone.

Four things separate us.

Belief in only one way.
Infallible scriptures.
The fear of dying.
God's exploration of discreteness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gifts of Growing Older

What is wisdom?
The answer to the question before the question arises.

What is insight?
The discovery of a truth inside that is also mirrored outside.

What is vision?
The recognition of one's path as it becomes one's path.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Every step we take is a pilgrimage -- because every step we take is a step along the journey we make every day across our own holy ground.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

High Math

Numbers have made it possible for us to construct -- literally -- the modern world we live in. Arithmetic. Calculus. Mathematics in general. Without these, we would still be living in caves -- and there are too many of us to go back to that.

Without math, we don't even know how many of us there are.

But math is just a symbol system we use for seeing the world a certain way. Language is the same thing -- a tool we use to see and "understand" the world a certain way.

The deepest "world," though, is the one that cannot be reached through numbers and words.

Monday, November 23, 2009

One Thousand Steps

One thousand steps make you tired.
One hundred steps make you exhausted.
Ten steps make you nigh unto death.
One step makes the next one possible.
No steps make the journey complete.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Nomadic Life of Money

Money has no home of its own. It travels a nomadic life from pocket to pocket. This is as it should be.

In a healthy land, money flows back and forth from those who need to those who have. The needs and the haves change, too. Some days, I need. Some days, I have. When I need something, money flows from me to those who have it. When others need what I have, money flows from them to me.

In a sick land, money stops flowing. Its nomadic wandering ends. It hardens into numbers on balance sheets designed to secure the future.

The future is not about security, though, and life is not about money.

We create the future right here in the present, moment by moment by moment.

We become the true nomads -- nomads of time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Center of the Universe

The concept of infinity
allows anything to be
the pivot of the universe.

How does it feel
to be the center point?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Turning Point

A turning point
at the right moment
is a blessing.

A turning point
at the wrong moment
is a tragedy.

A turning point
at any other moment
is probably not.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why Go to the Trouble?

Why sew a coat
if you don't want
anyone to wear it?

Why plant an orchard
if you don't want
anyone to eat from it?

Why build a house
if you don't want
anyone to live in it?

Why seek the truth
if you don't want
anyone to have it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What We Do

What we do
in this life matters.

It matters at
that point where
our separateness begins.

It matters how
we treat others.

It matters because
we are there, too,
inside their skin with them,
even when neither of us
realizes it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Separateness Brings

Separateness brings fear.
Fear brings suffering.
Suffering brings guilt.
Guilt brings pain.
Pain brings wisdom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Pointing Finger

By pointing to one thing
as a way to understand
something else, we can
help others understand.

On the other hand,
when we turn one thing
into a symbol
for something else,
we lay the groundwork
for misdirection.

Best to remember
the symbol is not the thing.
The pointing finger
is not the moon.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Snake and the Mouse

The snake said to the mouse one morning in the corner of the field, "You have eaten well, my friend. You're quite a tasty morsel."

"Gout," answered the mouse. "It's a misery to live so high."

"Then let me dispose of your misery for you, sir," said the snake.

"Oh, but I would be gone with it, and you would inherit a terrible pain in your tail. I'm not worth the trouble," the mouse replied as he slowly turned and waddled away.

The snake flicked his tongue and followed not far behind.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

When the Teacher Is Ready

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

This is true.

It is also true that when the teacher is ready, the student will appear.

A good guide is the secret to good teaching.

Friday, November 13, 2009


As we discover who we are,
our perspective changes.

As our perspective changes,
we are born into a new reality.

As a newborn in a new reality,
we explore our new world.

We discover more of who we are,
and our perspective changes again.

In this way, we are resurrected
countless times before we die.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spending Time Alone

Spending time alone
lets you see how much
you like yourself.

Or how little.

Best to become
the person you want
to be with.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

River Time

When I watch a river,
I am watching time.

Whether I scan the surface
upstream and downstream
and upstream again
in slow-moving arcs,
or keep my eyes focused on
the narrow swath between
me and the opposite bank,
I am watching time.

There are different ways
to watch a river.
There are different ways
to watch time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Do Birds Know?

Do birds know I am listening to them sing?

Do trees know I am cooling myself in their shade?

Do flowers know I am sniffing their fragrance?

Does the sun know I am warmed by its light?

Does the earth know I am on my way there?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Because Every Moment Is Unique

Because every moment is unique,
it contains a universe of possibilities.

Because every moment is unique,
it holds things you do not expect.

Because every moment is unique,
it requires your utmost attention.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where There Is No Center

All is contained in the Tao.
All that is and all that isn't.
Infinity and eternity.
Emptiness and completeness.

Where there is no center,
everything is in balance.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Bucket of Stars

One stormy afternoon, a man set out a bucket to catch rainwater, but when he checked it the next morning, it was almost dry.

How can this be? he thought. The rains beat on the roof all night long, so why is the bucket not full?

He picked it up and looked inside and saw dozens of tiny suns blazing in the bottom.

Look what the rains have left me, he thought.

He threw a blanket over the top and hid the bucket of stars in the pantry. He wanted to save their light for another rainy day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

When a Question Arises

When you go looking for an answer to some question that keeps pushing its way into your mind, how can you be sure the answer isn't secretly begging you to find it?

How do you know the question that keeps plaguing you didn't originate with the answer you're trying to find?

What if the mystery you keep trying to solve is really just the solution trying to attract your attention?

How do you know that questions rising in your mind aren't really answers shouting to you at the top of their lungs?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

When I See My Connectedness

When I see my connectedness,
I recognize my oneness.

When I see my oneness,
I recognize my divinity.

When I see my divinity,
I recognize my abundance.

When I see my abundance,
I realize salvation is already mine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You Carry Music Inside You

You carry music inside you
whether you want to or not.

It beats inside your ribs.
It taps inside your feet.
It hums inside your head.

When you hear it clearly,
you will want to share it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Paradox of Sacrifice

When you give yourself away bit by bit,
you end up with everything you need.

When you give yourself away all at once,
you end up with nothing.

This is one of the paradoxes of sacrifice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bound by Birth?

Even if we are born into poverty and shame,
we can still grow up to become saints.

Even if we are born into wealth and privilege,
we can still grow up to become thieves.

Even if we are born into a work-a-day world,
we can still grow up to become monsters.

If we are not bound by our birth, why
would we not take a chance to prove ourselves?