Friday, March 31, 2006
Am I not among the early risers
and the long-distance walkers?
Have I not stood, amazed, as I consider
the perfection of the morning star
above the peaks of the houses, and the crowns of the trees
blue in the first light?
Do I not see how the trees tremble, as though
sheets of water flowed over them
though it is only wind, that common thing
free to everyone, and everything?
Have I not thought, for years, what it would be
worthy to do, and then gone off, barefoot and with a silver pail,
to gather blueberries,
thus coming, as I think, upon a right answer?
What will ambition do for me that the fox, appearing suddenly
at the top of the field,
her eyes sharp and confident as she stared into mine,
has not already done?
What countries, what visitations,
would satisfy me as thoroughly as Blackwater Woods
on a sun-filled morning, or, equally, in the rain?
Here is an amazement -- once I was twenty years old and in
every motion of my body there was a delicious ease,
and in every motion of the green earth there was
a hint of paradise,
and now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.
Above the modest house and the palace -- the same darkness.
Above the evil man and the just, the same stars.
Above the child who will recover and the child who will
not recover, the same energies roll forward,
from one tragedy to the next and from one foolishness to the next.
I bow down.
~ Mary Oliver
Thursday, March 30, 2006
You're living out your life by unconsciously
reacting to what you've purposefully forgotten
that you already are.
Throughout your entire life, you will probably
remember and then forget this same truth
again and again and again.
Just as the depth of your sleep cycle varies
throughout the night, so will you also feel clearer
and more spiritually awake at certain times in your
life than you will at other times.
Allow yourself to comfortably move in and out of
your uncomfortable confusion.
And remember: "This, too, shall pass."
- Chuck Hillig
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Not for me is the love that knows no restraint
and is like foaming wine that, having burst its
vessel in a moment, would run to waste.
Send me the love that is cool and pure like
Your rain, which blesses the thirsty earth and fills
the homely earthen jars.
Send me the love that would soak down into
the center of being, and from there would spread
like the unseen sap through the branching tree of
life, giving birth to fruits and flowers.
Send me the love that keeps the heart still
with the fullness of peace.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Deluded, a Buddha is a sentient being;
Awakened, a sentient being is a Buddha.
Ignorant, a Buddha is a sentient being;
With wisdom, a sentient being is a Buddha.
If the mind is warped, a Buddha is a sentient being;
If the mind is impartial, a sentient being is a Buddha.
When once a warped mind is produced,
Buddha is concealed within the sentient being.
If for one instant of thought we become impartial,
Then sentient beings are themselves Buddha.
In our mind itself a Buddha exists,
Our own Buddha is the true Buddha.
If we do not have in ourselves the Buddha mind,
Then where are we to seek the Buddha?
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Surrender is to surrender your concept of separateness, your ego.
Surrender is to submit your stupidness, your wickedness,
to the will of Existence. That's all.
You must surrender like a river discharging into the Ocean.
Surrender is to discharge your river of separateness
into the Ocean of Being, losing your limitations,
and allowing to happen what happens.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Friday, March 17, 2006
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men
There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Loosen the load of sweetness I'm carrying.
The sling-knot is biting into my shoulder.
This day has been so meaningless.
I feel I can't go on.
When I was with my teacher, I heard a truth
that hurt my heart like a blister,
the tender pain of seeing
something I loved as an illusion.
The flocks I tended are gone.
I am a shepherd without even a memory
of what that means, climbing this mountain.
I feel so lost.
This was my inward way, until I came
into the presence of a Moon, this new knowledge
of how likenesses unite. Good Friend,
everything is You. I see only God.
Now the delightful forms and motions
are transparent. I look through them
and see myself as the Absolute. And here's
the answer to the riddle of this dream:
You leave, so that we two
can do One Dance.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
It's not the Cosmos
that's going to tumble down
back into your bottleneck,
into the bottle;
it's the breath in the bottle
which has to mingle
with the Cosmic breath.
It's the Oneness
which the objective world
has to seek
rather than expecting
the subjective Divine to descend
with labels on them.
~Swami Amar Jyoti
Monday, March 13, 2006
Saturday, March 11, 2006
My distress is great and unknown to men.
They are cruel to me, for they wish to dissuade me
From all that the forces of Love urge me to.
They do not understand it, and I cannot explain it to them.
I must then live out what I am;
What love counsels my spirit,
In this is my being: for this reason I will do my best.
Whatever vicissitudes men lead me through for Love's sake
I wish to stand firm and take no harm from them.
For I understand from the nobility of my soul
That in suffering for sublime Love, I conquer.
I will therefore gladly surrender myself
In pain, in repose, in dying, in living,
For I know the command of lofty fidelity.
I do not complain of suffering for Love:
It becomes me always to submit to her,
Whether she commands in storm or in stillness.
One can know her only in herself.
This is an unconceivable wonder,
Which has thus filled my heart
And makes me stray in a wild desert.
~Hadewijch of Antwerp
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The mind remains undetermined in the great Void.
Here the highest knowledge is unbounded.
That which gives things their thusness cannot be delimited by things.
So when we speak of 'limits', we remain confined to limited things.
The limit of the unlimited is called 'fullness.'
The limitlessness of the limited is called 'emptiness.'
Tao is the source of both.
But it is itself neither fullness nor emptiness.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Shoveling Snow With Buddha
In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wok
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over a mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
his hair tied in a knot,
a model of concentration.
Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
for what he does, or does not do.
Even the season is wrong for him.
In all his manifestations, is it not warm or slightly humid?
Is this not implied by his serene expression,
that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the universe?
But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.
This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.
He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.
All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside his generous pocket of silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.
After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?
Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck.
and our boots stand dripping by the door.
Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering white snow.
~ Billy Collins
Thursday, March 02, 2006
my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and
taste and smell and hearing and sight keep hitting and
chipping with sharp fatal tools
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of
chrome and execute strides of cobalt
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am
becoming something a little different, in fact
Hereupon helpless i utter lilac shrieks and scarlet
XLI Poems, 1925 Portraits VII
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
I have missed the guardian spirit
of the Sangre de Cristos
against which I destroyed myself
every morning I was sick
with loving and fighting
in those small years.
In that season I looked up
to a blue conception of faith
a notion of the sacred in
the elegant border of cedar trees
becoming mountain and sky.
This is how we were born into the world:
Sky fell in love with earth, wore turquoise,
cantered in on a black horse.
Earth dressed herself fragrantly,
with regard for the aesthetics of holy romance.
Their love decorated the mountains with sunrise,
weaved valleys delicate with the edging of sunset.
This morning I look toward the east
and I am lonely for those mountains
though I've said good-bye to the girl
with her urgent prayers for redemption.
I used to believe in a vision
that would save the people
carry us all to the top of the mountain
during the flood
of human destruction.
I know nothing anymore
as I place my feet into the next world
is vast and stunning,
brims with details
of steaming, dark coffee
ashes of campfires
the bells on yaks or sheep
sirens careening through a deluge
or the dead carried through fire,
through the mist of baking sweet
bread and breathing.
This is how we will leave this world:
on horses of sunrise and sunset
from the shadow of the mountains
who witnessed every battle
every small struggle.