Sunday, September 27, 2015


Living like a shadow shifting, eyes closed in the passing of another's light.
Pushing off the notion before it breathes, that what you are is excellent.
Caving to a swagger you think is better.
Heading towards the exit before the show begins is somehow better than an aisle seat.
Convincing to the world underneath.
When is the light that you are enough my friend?
Waking up, instead of tossing restlessly amid all that sacrificial spin.
Bowing in humble gusty servitude or absorbed in maniacal gesticulation.
Shadows waver and then slowly vanish.
Where are they once night falls?
Let your heart open, afraid as it is.
Rush in, beneath the windy spacious sky.
Are you waving at me?  Are we shadows of each other?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Who do you think you are?

Self righteous thoughts give me a lot to grasp and lead to a good deal of suffering.  The whole notion of, I am right, they are wrong, is like a massive rock that I am attached to.  It pulls me down into a murky, miserable place where I feel alone and sad and angry.

To be free of this crushing weight I first have to see it.  The tiny boat of morality and judgment I am floating in bumps into the right and wrong within my perceptions.  But how accurate are my ideas of things?  And, even if they are correct, what really matters most here, my response or what I think another being should be doing?

Discernment is wisdom.  Grasping is everywhere and everyone does it.  Daily I have opportunity to empty the boat that I perceive as confronting my own and let go of the urge to shout at those other boats I inevitably bump into.  I can be angry with someone or I can try to listen, watch, and respond without a mind caught up in the wrongness of that other boat.  I can be still.  Quiet.  Speak late and less.  Answer when asked.  

Not with disdain or malice then I can ask myself, "Just who do you think you are?"  The answer will be without judgment and swaddled in compassion and loving kindness.  I can put down my rock.  I can rest on this path.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


The little girl never knew how small and vulnerable she was.  She lived in a world that seemed to her both vast and uncomplicated, immense in scale and minute in detail.  And all this within herself, coexisting in perfect balance.  For a long time she never saw a problem with this arrangement.  The boldness of innocence swept her along past the mirrors of social  acceptability.  

Small things were just as weighty as those considered large.  A grain of sand was a mountain waiting throughout eternity to meet her on a sunny summer day.  A small smooth stone had patiently existed through countless sunsets for a moment of marvel in the palm of her hand.

And so, without being a partner in the scheme, she seemed to be okay.  No need for raucous hilarity, pious solemnity or cataclysmic despair.  There was air to breathe and poetry to write and birds that sang every morning.  And then one unremarkable day the whispers came.

The gut level inkling that the previous rhythm had lost its place became a constant companion.  Was it when the mean girl pulled her hair and followed her after school to taunt and tease?  This mirror was, she thought, a fearful nuisance and if ignored it would surely go away.  Which it did.  The content of its incidence was so beside the point that it was hastily forgotten and never mentioned to anyone at home, shifting naturally out of the moment while in the same instant quietly present with her tormentors.  

The mystery of transition is that it is always happening.  At times rapidly, always an eternal event and sometimes difficult to perceive.

Tormentors abound obvious.  Woe to those who pause to acknowledge and collapse exhausted and sad from the din of those who pester and annoy.  Woe to those who ignore their attackers, waiting out the onslaught, all the while expecting to be jumped and beaten to the ground.  The only question really, is, “Will I, should I fight back?”  The answer will arrive when it is needed.  Meanwhile, transition happens, continues unceasing and needing no help from anyone.

Little girls transition to bigger, older little girls.  The world is still vast and minuscule, simple and complex, simultaneously filling up each living being.  Continuance requires change.  The transitory is always with us.  Ignore it and it will not go away.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Doorways and Anchors

Another experience of separation came to teach me this week disguised in the sudden death of a beloved pet.  What I took for granted, expected to exist and cared for every day, was gone in a matter of seconds.  How do we, how do I bring the truth of life's frailty into a shared space with the pain of separation?  Acceptance and helplessness seem joined at the hip in some circumstances.
The Buddha taught that impermanence will cause separation from everything and everyone I care for.  Pain will occur in some shape or form, in every living being.  Suffering, however, arises from grasping for what cannot be, and also for what can be.  We do not have to suffer.
These teachings are beautiful, simple truths.  As I live out my days in these latter years of my existence my feelings seem more intense than ever.  And as I make a space for my experiences to dwell, I am learning to hold them and regard them with loving compassion.
Without judgement, I look at them all; the anxious thought, worry, sadness, peacefulness, joy and acceptance as they appear.  No longer do I entertain negative self-talk as I did for so many years.  Shaming, chastising internal dialogue has been exposed and abandoned.
Where there is love, kindness and self-acceptance alive in me, all these can then be available to others, genuinely.  Life in this moment is our agent for joy, peace and hope.
Another loved one passes through the door of earthly time, and what I feel is what it takes to anchor them within my heart forever.