Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Original Mind

How many evenings
have you turned away?

As if the life you really want
could only begin

once something else had happened,
something else that was not yet here…

All the unmet conditions
you’ve placed before happiness

have kept you a person in waiting
like someone overlooked, someone

whose time has yet to come,
as if God somehow

forgot to pack you a lunch…

Right now
a wheel of fortune is spinning

but notice: its center is completely still,
unchanging, completely empty

Bet all your money here
on a clear reception

of that hollowness
a nothing that lacks nothing.

It’s like we have two minds.
One is conditioned, and conditional…

And it’s filled with drama:
—your anchorless ship ever drawing close

to fearful rocks of loss
or hopeful shores of gain.

But we don’t need all the drama
--or special conditions, for happiness

to visit and stay awhile.
It doesn’t need to be imported,

doesn’t need to be Maui
under a full moon,

with a special enchanting
someone in tow. Nor do we need

all our duckies
finally lined up in a row.

Our original mind
is already content

standing in any line, sitting in any chair,
or parked in an old jalopy

in any Safeway parking lot.
This mind is empty

of all that clutching
to outcomes and conditions.

Less picky, more eco-friendly.
Just this is enough.

Gary Rosenthal
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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

Being the Song

Reminding others of the enormity of their own 
Great Nature is the highest service one can offer another.

Kyoto Zen Master

First we serve, then we become service.
It is alot like prayer; first you pray, 
but eventually your life becomes the prayer.
First you sing, then you become the song.
Gandhi said, 'My life is my message."

Stephen Levine
Photo:  Peter Bowers


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Avowal

As swimmers dare
to  lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain 
freefall, and float
in Creator Spirit's deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace. 

Denise Levertov
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, January 1, 2016

the deep innerness of all things

You are the future, 
the red sky before sunrise
over the fields of time.

You are the cock's crow when night is done,
you are the dew and the bells of matins,
maiden, stranger, mother, death.

You create yourself in ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff of our days -
unsung, unmourned, undescribed,
like a forest we never know.

You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:
to the ship as coastline, to the shore as a ship.

 Rainer Maria Rilke
photo:  Peter Bowers