Sunday, July 25, 2021
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Friday, July 2, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Is my everyday discovery.
Each thing is what it is.
How can I explain to anyone how much
I rejoice over this, and find it enough?
To be whole, it is enough to exist.
I have written quite a number of poems
And may write many more, of course.
Each poem of mine explains it,
Though all my poems are different,
Because each thing that exists is always proclaiming it.
Sometimes I busy myself with watching a stone,
I don’t begin thinking whether it feels.
I don’t force myself to call it my sister,
But I enjoy it because of its being a stone,
I enjoy it because it feels nothing,
I enjoy it because it is not at all related to me.
At times I also hear the wind blow by
And find that merely to hear the wind blow makes
it worth having been born.
I don’t know what others will think who read this;
But I find it must be good because I think it
And without the idea of others hearing me think,
Because I think it without thoughts,
Because I say it as my words say it.
Once they called me a materialist poet
And I admired myself because I never thought
That I might be called by any name at all.
I am not even a poet: I see.
If what I write has any value, it is not I who am
The value is there, in my verses.
All this has nothing whatever to do with any will
Friday, June 25, 2021
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
Friday, March 12, 2021
Owl in the black morning,
mockingbird in the burning
slants of the sunny afternoon
declare so simply
to the world
everything I have tried but still
haven't been able
to put into words,
so I do not go
far from that school
with its star-bright
or blue ceiling,
and I listen to those teachers,
and others too -
the wind in the trees
and the water waves -
for they are what lead me
from the dryness of self
where I labor
with the mind-steps of language -
lonely, as we all are
in the singular,
I listen hard
to the exuberances
of the mockingbird and the owl,
the waves and the wind.
And then, like peace after perfect speech,
Photo: Peter Bowers
Friday, February 12, 2021
Once someone asked a well-known Thai meditation master, "In this world where everything changes, where nothing remains the same, where loss and grief are inherent in our very coming into existence, how can there be any happiness? How can we find security when we see that we can't count on anything being the way we want it to be?" The teacher, looking compassionately at this fellow, held up a drinking glass which had been given to him earlier in the morning and said, "You see this goblet? For me, this glass is already broken. I enjoy it, I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, 'Of course.' But when I understand this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious. Every moment is just as it is and nothing need be otherwise."
When we recognize that, just as that glass, our body is already broken, that indeed we are already dead, then life becomes precious and we open to it just as it is, in the moment it is occurring. When we understand that all our loved ones are already dead - our children, our mates, our friends - how precious they become. How little fear can interpose, how little doubt can estrange us. When you live your life as though you're already dead, life takes on new meaning. Each moment becomes a whole lifetime, a universe unto itself.
When we realize we are already dead, our priorities change, our heart opens, our mind begins to clear of the fog of old holdings and pretendings. We watch all life in transit and what matters becomes instantly apparent: The transmission of love, the letting go of obstacles to understanding, the relinquishment of our grasping, our hiding from ourselves. Seeing the mercilessness of our self-strangulation, we begin to come gently into the light we share with all beings. Taking each teaching, each loss, each gain, each fear, each joy, as it arises and experiencing it fully, life becomes workable...
If our only spiritual practice were to live as though we were already dead, relating to all we meet, to all we do, as though it were our final moments in the world, what time would there be for old games or falsehoods or posturing? If we lived our life as though we were already dead, as though our children were already dead, how much time would there be for self-protection and the re-creation of ancient mirages? Only love would be appropriate, only the truth.