Monday, April 29, 2013

peace is

Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself?...
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all.  This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgement,
this moment in the heart-space where
everything that is is welcome. 

Dorothy Hunt 
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, April 19, 2013

Deep Peace

Deep peace of the running wave to you.

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.  

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you. 

Deep peace of the shining stars to you. 

Deep peace of the infinite peace to you. 

Old Celtic Blessing 
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Good-Bye Fox

He was lying under a tree, licking up the shade.

Hello again, Fox, I said.

And hello to you too, said Fox, looking up and 
not bounding away.

You're not running away?  I said.

Well, I've heard of your conversation about us.  News
travels even among foxes, as you might know or not know.

What conversation do you mean?

Some lady said to you, "The hunt is good for the fox."
And you said, "Which fox?"

Yes, I remember.  She was huffed.

So you're okay in my book.

Your book! That was in my book, that's the difference
between us. 

Yes, I agree.  You fuss over life with your clever
words, mulling and chewing on its meaning, while
we just live it.


Could anyone figure it out, to a finality?  So
why spend so much time trying.  You fuss, we live.

And he stood, slowly, for he was old now, and 
ambled away.

Mary Oliver

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Listen to This Stillness Moving

Listen, Listen to this Stillness
moving as the Silent Wind through Mind - 
the Mind of all creation - 
blowing as the glistening brook,
the salamander struggling up a wet incline of leaves,
a tiny purple flower offered to the buddha,
joyful wind chimes jingling,
scampering squirrels and squawking jays,
preening peacocks and balls of furry cats,
this statue of dear Lama Yeshe
that came to life one day and spoke
these words inside my heart:
"Never read yesterday's news."

This Silent Wind blows as the innocence of minds
that fear a war that's neither here nor there
yet stirs the bubbling pot of God's vast
soup of energies that cast this world
into endless Dream creations.
Listen ! Listen to this Silence
moving as this moment's Being -
loving a thumb that rests on a book,
uncomplaining iris beaten down by a storm,
a tiny spider crawling on my face,
and white worms wiggling in the mud
beneath the blessed gaze of Tara.
Listen ! Listen to this Stillness moving !

Dorothy Hunt
Photo:  Peter Bowers

The Buddha Has Come, and So Has Death

The Buddha has come, 
and so has death.
I can no longer sleep.
I sit burning incense 
to the gods again,
Om Mani Padme Hum.
Candles flicker in the darkness
as fingers move along
the lotus seeds,
no longer wishing for a jewel.
Om Mani Padme Hum.

Nothing is known.
How have I come to 
sit alone again,
reading unread sutras I forgot
were even on the shelf?
The Perfection of Wisdom
in Eight Thousand Lines.
How have I come to 
sit alone again,
the pendulum winding down.

Sitting with a friend,
the pendulum completely stopped,
but the friend mistook it for rejection,
or so it seemed.
When energy wasn't moving 'toward,'
it was perceived as 'away,'
but there simply was no movement
of That which never comes or goes.
No emotions rising from separation
and the hope of sweet reunion.
I am alone.

As I sat reading in the night,
"How to stand in emptiness,'
a moth flew right into the light
above my book, 
then fell into my lap
seared and stunned
and fluttering for life.
It crawled into the folds
of my white nightgown
beneath a woolen prayer shawl
and grew still as death.

Like the moth,
I, too, will seem to die.
Will it be from cancer
or flying with abandon
straight into the Light?
Or is there any difference?
I do not know.
I only know I am content
to shelter this small moth
that seems so close to death
as it lies shrouded in my prayer shawl
next to my still warm and living body.

When the insect's breath has ceased,
I take its body to my alter
and place it on a smooth
black stone to Shiva - 
Om Namah Shivaya - 
encircled by a mala
made of lotus seeds, 
and then I simply weep
for the beauty of its life
and the beauty of its death.
It died by flying into Light. 

Dorothy Hunt 
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Such Singing in the Wild Branches

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves - 
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness
- and that's when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree - 
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying, 

and the sands in the glass 
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising, 
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing - 
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers, 
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky - all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed, 
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last

for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you've been there, 
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you, 
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then - open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

Mary Oliver

Thursday, April 11, 2013


The rain is 
falling now;
grass grows wet
and green,

No reason, 
no purpose, 
no philosophy
or theology
could ever touch
the simplicity
of this.

John Astin 

Friday, April 5, 2013

for your birthday

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.

John O'Donohue

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

mental health days

all you need is love
kara bowers


with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you 
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you 

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you 
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you 
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is.  

W.S. Merwin

Monday, April 1, 2013

Standing Deer

As the house of a person
in age sometimes grows cluttered
with what is
too loved or too heavy to part with,
the heart may grow cluttered.
And still the house will be emptied,
and still the heart.

As the thoughts of a person
in age sometimes grow sparer,
like a great cleanness come into a room,
the soul may grow sparer;
one sparrow song carves it completely.
And still the room is full,
and still the heart.

Empty and filled,
like the curling half-light of morning,
in which everything is still possible and so why not.

Filled and empty, 
like the curling half-light of evening,
in which everything now is finished and so why not.

Beloved, what can be, what was,
will be taken from us.
I have disappointed.
I am sorry.  I knew no better. 

A root seeks water.
Tenderness only breaks open the earth.
This morning, out the window,
the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.  

Jane Hirshfield

In the realm of the passing away

This is the realm of the passing away.  All that
exists does not for long.
Whatever comes into this world never stops sliding
toward the edge of eternity.
Form arises from formlessness and passes back,
arising and dissolving in a few dance steps between
creation and destruction.
We are born passing away.
Seedlings and deadfall all face forward.
Earthworms eat what remains.
We sing not for that which dies but for that which
never dies. 

Stephen Levine
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Blending With the Wind

Blending with the wind, 
Snow falls;
Blending with the snow, 
The wind blows.
By the hearth
I stretch out my legs, 
Idling my time away
Confined in this hut.
Counting the days,
I find that February, too,
Has come and gone
Like a dream. 

Taigu Ryokan