Friday, September 30, 2011

Cleaning out the Temple

Did Jesus cleanse the temple to punish disrespect of God? Or was it to wake the rest of us from our spiritual slumbers?

Thursday, September 29, 2011


A window to look out.
A window to look in.

Where there is a window,
there is also a wall.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I throw a straw
into the river.

Water flows into it.
Water flows out of it.

Does the water stop being water
just because it flows through the straw?

We come into life.
We go out of life.

Does Tao stop being Tao
just because it flows through us?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Strength to Misery

Strength flows toward power.
Power flows toward control.
Control flows toward greed.
Greed flows into misery.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Be Kind for Your Own Sake

Clothe the naked,
and warm your own soul.

Feed the hungry,
and fill your own spirit.

Comfort the sick,
and heal your own sorrows.

Visit the imprisoned,
and free your own mind.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Every Leaf. Every Footprint.

Leaves litter the path like footprints.
Footprints litter the path like leaves.

Both are relics of recent history,
reminders of what was and is no more.

Every season casts its own residue.
Every traveler continues down the road.

Yet, every leaf and every footprint
contains a universe of meaning.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five Houses of Money

First is the house of need.
Second is the house of want.
Third is the house of enough.
Fourth is the house of greed.
Fifth is the house of possession.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Here. Now.

When sitting,
just sit.

When eating,
just eat.

When walking,
just walk.

Of course.

But it isn't
the sitting
or the eating
or the walking.

It's the being.


Thursday, September 22, 2011


We build a bridge
so we can cross a river.

Below the bridge,
below the water,
below the muddy bottom,
the earth spans the river, too,
joining both sides into one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What Comes Before

Everything began as something else.
Sand. Water. Ocean. Planet. Sun.
Even these eyes that record it all.

What was I before flesh but grass?
What was I before grass but earth?
What was I before earth but flesh?

Tao alone has no antecedent.
Tao has no history and no future.

Even in impermanence,
we, too, are Tao.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Off Balance, In Balance

Balance comes in two ways:
how you divide the load,
or where you move the fulcrum.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Future View

If we knew what each new day would bring,
how many days would we show up for?

If we discovered our predictions could be wrong,
how many days would we miss?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Difference

A cup of water
when we are thirsty
is a blessing.

A cup of water
when we want wine
is a curse.

Same cup.
Same water.

We make the difference.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boundaries Among Us

One land's sunrise
is another land's sunset.

One country's northern mountain
is another country's southern peak.

Shorelines mark the edge
of both continent and ocean.

But the starkest boundaries
are the ones we set among ourselves.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Survival of the Species

If we don't find a way
to get along with each other
and make a place for everyone,
then we will never survive
as a species.

This is
another reason
we will never
survive as a species.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Every Path Is New

Walk up a hill.
Walk down a hill.

Walk across a city.
Walk across a field.

Every path is new,
whether known or not.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Disadvantages of Advantage

To seek my own advantage
at the expense of others
brings its own disadvantages.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Good That Comes After

When I decide
to be grateful
for the sharp edges
and rough passages
in my life,
I find that the pain
does not go away
or even fade.

Gratitude just
makes it easier
to see the good
that comes after.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Half and Half

The horizon is always
at eye level.
Half earth. Half sky.

No matter where we move,
up or down, left or right,
ahead or back,
the horizon fills our view.
Half earth. Half sky.

Even when it lies hidden
by storms or mountains or forests,
the horizon remains constant.
Half earth. Half sky.

The universe is full
of metaphor.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why a Death Hurts So Much

A death is something
that cannot be repeated.

This is why it hurts so much
when a loved one dies.

We know we won't be able
to repeat the experience,
no matter how painful it is,
to have back the life before.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What Does Not Burn Away

When a body burns away,
it leaves ashes and grief and
memories for those who remain.

When money burns away,
it leaves dread and suicides
and the collapse of nations.

When freedom burns away,
it leaves a silent labyrinth
of walls that keep us divided.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spiritual Thicket

How do I find my way
out of a spiritual thicket?

Do I try to pick my own way out,
one thorn at a time?

Or do I wait for a clearer path
to make itself known?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The True Goals of Government

Where the true goal
of government is service,
everyone will have enough.

Where the true goal
of government is power,
only some will have enough.

Where the true goal
of government is money,
no one will have enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Busy Mind

My mind talks to itself all day.
It's like being with children.

Sometimes that's fine.
Sometimes it turns me gray.

When it goes suddenly quiet,
I start wondering what it's up to.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Sadness waits for each of us
and mugs us
when we do not expect it.

No protector can shield us
from its criminal behavior.
All fall victim sooner or later.

The best response to its pain
is to let it have its way,
knowing it will soon move on.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I hate these people because they're evil.
I hate those people because they're idiots.

I hate this group because they're not like me.
I hate that group for the same reason.

I hate I hate I hate I hate I hate I hate.

I hate?
Is that where I want to live?
Where's the future in that?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Old and New

What was old is new again.
What is new was never new.
This is true even for galaxies.

And yet, the universe is born again
moment by moment by moment.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What Is Natural?

What is natural?

Anything free
of human invention.

What is nature?

Everything outside
of human intention.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hot Blink

From a summer
of record heat,
the thick of winter
is less than half
a year away.

The blink of an eye.