Sunday, October 31, 2010

Four Fruits

Four fruits grow
on the tree of good and evil.

First is the fruit of envy.
Second is the fruit of fear.
Third is the fruit of innocence.
Fourth is the fruit of compassion.

Be careful which ones you pick.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

When You Were Younger

Do you know what color
the sun was before it was the sun?

Do you know what sound
the moon made before it was the moon?

Do you know what flavor
the earth was before it was the earth?

You used to know.
You just don't remember.
You were younger then.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Smell of a Rose

For some, the smell of a rose
brings on memories of a favorite aunt.
For some, the memories of a lost love.
For some, the memories of blood and thorns.
For some, the memories of a cemetery and death.

No rose contains these things.
No scent carries these memories.
They are only fingers pointing to the past.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Love or Hate?

Which is
the greater good?

To love your neighbor
as you love yourself?

Or to preach a gospel
that "God hates fags"?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why So Hard?

Why is it so hard
to believe what we cannot see?

Why is it so difficult
to trust what we cannot hear?

Why is it so tough
to lean on what we cannot touch?

Why is it so complicated
to depend on what we cannot know?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seven Sounds of Breathing

The singing of a sparrow.
The wind through pines.
The crack and pop of fire.
The stillness before thunder.
The boulders in a stream.
The rippling of a flag.
The silence after prayer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Traveling by Boat

A boat on calm waters
travels under its own power.

A boat on a flowing stream
follows wherever the current directs.

A boat on a windy lake
charts an erratic course.

A boat on a stormy sea
makes the longest crossing.

A boat on a mountaintop
trusts in the miracle of rain.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When I Say Thank You

When I say thank you,
I open the gate of the Divine.

When I pray thank you,
I enter the house of the Divine.

When I live thank you,
I sit at the table of the Divine.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Accepting Each Moment

Accepting each moment
as it presents itself
requires presence of mind.

Maintaining presence of mind
moment by moment
requires steady attention.

Holding attention steady
in the currents of time
requires a curious spirit.

Staying curious
even in the mundane
requires seeing nothing as mundane.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What Door?

Knock and the door
will burst open for you.

What door, though?
And to what does it open?

The door is the door
to your own wisdom.

It opens on more questions
than you can imagine.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Empty and Full

Empty your mind in one breath,
and you fill eternity with stillness.

Empty your hands in gratitude,
and you fill the coffers of justice.

Empty your heart of fear,
and you fill the earth with birds,


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All I Want

Sometimes all I want is just one thing.
Sometimes all I want is everything there is.

Sometimes all I want is not enough.
Sometimes all I want is what I already have.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Casting Shadows

Birds cast shadows on the surface of a lake.
Fish cast shadows on the bed of a stream.
Leaves cast shadows on the floor of a forest.
Memories cast shadows on the ground of the present.
The Tao casts shadows on the mind of reason.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seeking for Truth

Seek for truth,
and you will encounter yourself.

Seek for depth,
and you will encounter the Divine.

Seek for mystery,
and you will encounter only mystery.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Silence of Trees

Listening to the silence
of a tree is quiet work.
It takes patience
to hear the silence clearly.
Sometimes, you even have
to put your ear right up
against the trunk,
but when you do hear it,
it's like music.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Don't Miss Anything

Nothing is permanent.

An oak can outlive me.
A hill can outlive a forest.
Earth itself has already outlived
entire mountain ranges.

Best to pay attention while I'm here
so I don't miss anything.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Green Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Green leaf,
yellow leaf,
red leaf,

Do leaves have
an afterlife?
Do trees?
Do mountains?

And if so, how
will they be judged?
By their leafness?
Their treeness?
The colors
of their stones?

Or are they
already saved,
already children
of the Divine?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Light of the Moon

The light of the moon
is not the light of the moon.
It is light from the sun
reflecting off the face of the moon.

The life we live
is not the life we live.
It is the life of the Tao
reflecting off the ten thousand things.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Future Is Not a Place

The future is not a place.
It does not exist in time.
It is not a part of the universe.
It is, instead, an idea.
Another article we must take on faith.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Branch or Root?

Branch or root.
Which is stronger?

Earth or sky.
Which is harder?

Ocean or face.
Which is deeper?

Fullness or emptiness.
Which is greater?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Simple Gestures

Simple gestures often mean more than grand ones. Why is it so hard to remember this?

Saturday, October 9, 2010


A tree sheds its leaves in autumn.
A dog sheds its fur in the spring.
One prepares for winter cold.
The other prepares for summer heat.
Shedding the innocent airs of youth
prepares us for the weather of adulthood.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Water Runs Over

Water runs
over sand,
over pebbles,
over rocks,
over stones,
over boulders,
over mountainsides.

This is how rain
changes the landscape

One drop at a time.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mysterious Life

My life is a mystery to me.
And every piece of it I solve
leads to yet another mystery.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hard Enough

Honesty is hard enough
inside my own skin.

Why should I expect it
to be easier on the other side?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When I Worry

When I worry the well will run dry,
rains suddenly flood the land.

When I worry the money is not enough,
I hear sparrows singing all morning.

When I worry an illness will turn worse,
the fever breaks overnight.

When I worry things won't work out,
I hear angels laughing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Seven Sleeps

The first sleep calms the body.
The second sleep quiets the mind.
The third sleep swims with dreams.
The fourth sleep brings disturbing visions.
The fifth sleep silences the dark.
The sixth sleep lights the dawn.
The seventh sleep leads to waking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


To accept others as they are is sometimes hard.
To see and accept others within myself is harder.
To see and accept myself within others is harder still.
To accept myself as I truly am is hardest of all.

Why is that?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beyond Death's Door

Heaven, hell, another life,
or even nothing at all.

We may think we know
what lies beyond death's door,
but our knowing is really only
a decision to believe we know.

When we give up knowing
and instead live each moment
as an opportunity to do our best,
death will arrive for us in due time
as one more pleasant surprise.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Burned Down

When a forest burns down,
it starts coming back to life within months.

When a house burns down,
the owner often rebuilds on the same foundation.

When a nation burns down,
there's no telling what will grow in its place.