Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cream, Two Sugars, Please

Within… Fullness, Completion, and Bliss,
Without… She prefers milk chocolate to dark.

Within… nothing can be added, nothing taken away,
Without… everything comes to Her, and goes.

Within… Unmoving, Ineffable Sublimity,
Without… She experiences ever changing manifestation.

Within… joy and sorrow have never been,
Without… She Shines, even in the midst of tears.

Within… time and space have never existed,
Without… She is born, grows old, and dies.

Within… within and without never were,
Without… within and without ever are.

Within… no preferences, propensities, proclivities,
Without… cream, two sugars, please.

Within… The Sun Shines,
Without… All is Illumined.

Friday, September 25, 2015

this we have now

This we have now 
is not imagination. 

This is not grief or joy. 

Not a judging state, 
or an elation, 
or sadness. 

Those come and go. 

This is the presence 

that doesn't.

Translation:  Coleman Barks 
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Monday, September 21, 2015

What's in the Temple?

In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring. 
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing. 
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here a while.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are very still.

If I say the word God, people run away.
They've been frightened - sat on 'till the spirit cried "uncle."
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can't name.
They know he's out there looking for them, and they want to be found,
But there is all this stuff in the way.

I can't talk about God and make any sense,
And I can't not talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.

I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God.
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur,
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the consequences of carelessness,
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.

We don't build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned that the sacred can't be contained.
Or maybe it can't be sustained inside a building.
Buildings crumble.
It's the spirit that lives on.

If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

Go there now.   

Tom Barrett
Photos:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, September 20, 2015


There's no intimacy in talking “about” The Beloved,
Moving away from Her into words and concepts,
As if She is not Present.

How rude.

She exists in the Quiet Stillness of our Heart,
When Attention returns from outward wandering,
And falls into Her awaiting arms.

How Inexpressibly Beautiful.

Some have turned Her into a science,
And argue Her existence, lawyerly.
They know nothing of Her.

Arid minds.

She cannot be “proven” through argument,
Or anyone “convinced” of Her reality,
Short of direct Experience.

Direct... Experience.

Only Longing entices the Beloved,
From Her Secret Garden…
In the Cave of your Heart.

How Ineffably… Sublime.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, September 18, 2015


not pretending to know
not pretending to not know
she stepped into her shoes


Friday, September 4, 2015


The sun has entered me.
The sun has entered me together with the cloud
and the river.
I myself have entered the river,
and I have entered the sun
with the cloud and the river.
There has not been a moment
when we do not interpenetrate.

But before the sun entered me,
the sun was in me -
also the cloud and the river.
Before I entered the river,
I was already in it. 

There has not been a moment
When we have not inter-been.

Therefore you know
that as long as you continue to breathe,
I continue to be in you.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo:  Peter Morgan