Monday, February 28, 2011

Reflecting the Sky

The ocean can perfectly reflect the sky,
but only if it remains motionless itself.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

When Things Go Awry

When things go awry,
is it because I have more to learn?
Or was a deeper calamity waiting?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ocean of Gravity

I must stand before I can run.
I must sit before I can rest my feet.
I must lie down before I can fall asleep.

From running to resting to sleeping,
I tread through an ocean of gravity,
slowly pulling me down into its grave.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Always Tao

Before you
this journey
of separateness
you call your life,
you were Tao.

Tao is changeless.

You were Tao.
You are Tao.
You will always be Tao.

You do not stop
being Tao
just because
you journey into being.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How Do You Build a Bridge?

How do you build a bridge
across a rushing river?

How do you build a bridge
across a river of years
that separates you from someone
who has hurt you too many times?

How do you build a bridge
across the present moment
into a future of slow healing?

How do you build a bridge
across the moat you dug
to protect yourself from one
who would kill you
if given the chance?

How do you build a bridge
across your own fear
and into the yet-to-be?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Money Is Like Fire

Money is like fire.
It has a life of its own.

A fire out of control
can burn down a mountain.

A fire barely fed
will never warm a house.

If money is what you crave,
give it plenty to burn.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Risky Existence

Safety is an illusion.
Security is impermanent.
Existence is by nature a risk.

For the part that passes away, that is.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Memory Like a River

Memory is to ego
what a lake bed is to a lake.

To remember is to be bound
by how I remember.

Memory changes over time, though,
like a river.

How I remember is like a river, too.
Never the same twice.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Anger Management

Anger is simply a gauze over pain.
It covers over hurt like a quilt
and keeps injury hidden and warm.

A warm, cozy hurt can last a long time.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Is Light

What is light
but radiant energy?

We are part
of this radiance.

We just haven't learned
how to burst into light yet.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Boundary

Clothes are
another set
of boundaries
we mark off
between us.

They are like
a second,
fourth skin.

Our first
hard shell.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walking to Work

Sometimes I walk to work when the weather is nice. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes.

What a small section of ground I cover in that time -- and yet, there is enough in that one walk to fill a universe.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Each human intersection
creates a community --
whether intended or not,
whether good or not,
whether desired or not.

Another reason
to pay attention
at every crossroad.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Being a Child

I don't mind being a child --
even when it means I have to play
the naive one in certain circles.

I don't mind being the innocent --
even when it means I must admit
I don't know what everyone else knows.

I don't mind being a virgin --
even when it means I must remain
clueless about certain aspects of life.

To be a child is to be released
from the rigors of serious adultness
and to be sent out to play.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Estranged from ego, I feel lost.
Estranged from Tao, I feel fear.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

When Pain Runs Deeper Than Usual

When pain runs deeper than usual,
it's like digging up an ancient oak, roots and all.

When pain runs deeper than usual,
it's like heavy rains draining through karst.

When pain runs deeper than usual,
it's like an anchor dragging down a boat,

until you cut the rope.

Friday, February 11, 2011

When We Are Grieving

the best thing
someone can do for us
when we are grieving
is just to sit down
beside us.

not even this
is enough.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Strange Lands

A stranger in a strange land.
We come into this life unaware
that we are a point of view,
a knot of perceptions.

It takes years
to realize we're separate
from everything
and everyone around us.

It takes decades more
to realize how connected we are
in spite of what our separate,
conscious mind tells us.

With every new connection,
we land again on foreign soil.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No Center Point

Any point along an infinite line is a center point.
A fulcrum that balances two infinite halves.

In a friendship, there is no center point.
This is why we invented compassion.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Breath and Light

Breath and light.
Fire and cloud.
Mountain and tree.

One sets free spirit.
One sets free life.
One sets free the ten thousand things.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Helping and Not Helping

Helping create kindness and joy is helping.
Helping create pain and fear is not helping.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Rocks in a Tide Pool

Starfish constantly move about a tide pool, but we do not see their progress because it is so slow. They are like five-pointed rocks to us. And yet, they have a life, and that life comes to an end.

Trees never move from the place they were planted, and yet they can reforest a mountainside if left unmolested for a few generations. To us, they are like giants sleeping on their feet. And yet, they have a life, and that life comes to an end.

Mountains are heavy, solid, mute, and immovable, but every storm carries away another layer of skin. To us, they are eternal. We cannot imagine them melting away over time. And yet, they have a life, and that life comes to an end.

Every impermanent thing is aware of its impending demise, whether we realize it or not.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Light and Dark

One light creates darkness.
Before light is also before dark.

One dark spot creates light.
Before dark is also before light.

Darkness and light bring one another
into being so that we may see.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two Quiets

The quiet in the middle
of a rainstorm is not
the quiet in the middle
of a warm, still night.

One is a calming silence
that stills from within.
The other is a cocoon
you could cradle
in the palm of your hand.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

When I Wear a Mask

When I wear a mask around others, it's a tactic.
When I wear a mask before a mirror, it's a defense.
When I wear a mask while alone, it's a disease.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Send a Message

Send a message that is welcomed,
and you send hope and cheer.

Send a message that is dreaded,
and you send sadness and despair.

Whether welcomed or feared,
some news cannot be held back.