Thursday, May 30, 2013

Good Medicine

Unbelief is good medicine, undoing belief
all beings free to leave their being
 and enter silence.

The nameless tree with its forest
of green, 
the endless expanse called
sky, beaks and

feathered wings with their urgent 
all around, the light that sets the vital body
to humming, 

and the dark of re-creation:
the world held for us in promise
until it is loosened from
our thinking.  

Andrew Colliver
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


But the mind always wants
more than it has - 
one more bright day of sun, 
one more clear night in bed 
with the moon; one more hour 
to get the words right; one 
more chance for the heart in hiding 
to emerge from its thicket 
in dried grasses - as if this quiet day 
with its tentative light weren't enough, 
as if joy weren't strewn all around. 

Holly Hughes 
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

For the Traveler

Every time you leave home, 
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in. 

New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home: 

How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening a conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
You needed
To illuminate
Your way.

When you travel, 
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
 You will hear 
What your heart would 
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth, 
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way, 
Gathered wisely into your inner ground; 
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you. 

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed, 
And live your time away to its fullest; 
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you. 

John O'Donohue
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Living Dharma

Why cling to some idea
or philosophy uttered
thousands of years
(or maybe just a moment) ago?
Why, when there is already
this explosion of life,
would we ever look back?

The real dharma lives here,
breathing as this that has
never been seen
or heard before - 
this symphony of sounds
and sensations right now - 
the rustle of leaves, 
a chorus of birds,
the ache in my back,
the rush of color everywhere,
this wondrous mystery of thought,
appearing then disappearing
like everything else...
This is the living dharma, 
this timeless presence
that welcomes everything
that has come before but
is defined by none of it - 
every teaching, every tradition, 
the words you are reading now,
all of them, gone, 
consumed in the fires
of this living truth...

John Astin
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Monday, May 13, 2013

...for this pure delight

the flower can only wait
for the bee to arrive
yet passion appears from nowhere
to play hide and seek with peace
all that is gained is lost once again

timeless dreams are swallowed 
in the yawn of an awakened sleeper
yet spring arises like a phoenix
from the ashes of winter
all that is lost was never real

is the heart big enough
for the source of weeping
is the heart big enough
for this pure delight

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This World

I could never choose,
Even if it were possible, 
A moment in which to leave this world. 
For there will forever be, 
Wonder upon wonder,
Beauty upon beauty.
And yes... trial upon trial,
Sorrow upon sorrow, 
And an ocean of those in need.
Unfathomable Beauty
Immeasurable Suffering, 
And the movement of Loving Kindness.
This stew of all possibilities.
Flowing like a river into form,
From the Ocean of...

Photo:  Peter Bowers

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now?  Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day.  This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life - 
What can anyone give you greater than now,  
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

William Stafford 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


This is now.  Now is, 
all there is. Don't wait for Then; 
strike the spark, light the fire. 

Sit at the Beloved's table, 
feast with gusto, drink your fill

then dance
the way the branches
of jasmine and cypress
dance in a spring wind.