October 27, 2014 § 12 Comments
Go be busy.
Live in that zone of frantic illusions.
Still you sit.
And still you wait.
Just open the vein, he said.
Until intention strangles her creation.
Mesmerizing mocking cursor.
The pulse of your palsy.
Sitting on the fault line between stillness and surrender.
Hustling the game only one can play.
Performing the crime that no one can abet.
October 25, 2014 § 2 Comments
Soaring above me.
Hurtling down airy corridors.
He sees, as in a sped up movie.
I stand in the field beneath,
Then to perch, imperial.
A hunter’s gaze,
lacerating the flesh.
Who to be,
What to become,
The next move,
As he launches for the climb,
Prelude to the kill,
I take his eyes.
The world now beneath me,
So many small, distant things.
There below, I see him,
Narrow and alone.
Jealous eyes upward.
Prey to his affliction,
father to son.
September 6, 2014 § 15 Comments
Days roll by.
I recall them as busy, sometimes even hectic. Fulfilling responsibilities. Work. Errands. You know, just what we call “life.”
And then I make those moments. Standing in the woods in the early morning, in wonder at the misty rays of light piercing through. Tasting a cup of tea. Noticing again the graceful way she moves.
All else just being busy. Dodging and weaving. Perhaps afraid to live. Easier to keep plugging, I imagine.
But the choice is a matter of life and death.
Moment by moment.
June 21, 2014 § 9 Comments
Foolishness and vanity took me there.
Stuck on a steep rock face. Looking down at a sheer drop of lethal dimensions. Looking up at thirty feet of brittle sandstone that came off in my hands in clumps at any serious pressure.
No way up, no way down.
I lost it. Molten anger. Screaming at myself- what the fuck where you thinking? Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Perched there, I settled and took a breath. I looked out at the stunning vistas before me, the mountains in the distance. Breathing, waiting.
Looking over my right shoulder, I saw something familiar. Nothing special, just a bush. But a green, living thing amidst the rock and rubble. Perched, like me, but different.
And I just knew. Twisting my body to the right, I held that bush to my chest and as I did, the rubbly ground beneath my feet slid away. And that rooted living thing held me.
Looking up, I saw the other bushes scattered amidst the rubble field. Using them as anchors for my feet and my hands, I scrambled my way up through that rubble field back to the rock outcropping above and walked the trail home.
The Tao teaches us that “the soft overcomes the hard.” Hard rock, soft plant. That day, on that rock face, I felt the lesson in my body.
Saved by Nature’s grace and a regained posture of openness.
Feeling a gratitude beyond words.
June 17, 2014 § 6 Comments
I am just leaving the airport, headed to Tassajara, the great Zen Buddhist monastery in the mountains east of Big Sur. Thinking of the precious time ahead in that sacred place.
The rental car’s GPS demands that I turn left, which I do, and I find myself in a parking lot. I explode in rage, screaming at the machine and at myself. You are so stupid, why did you listen to this ridiculous machine?
I finally gather myself, take a breath, exit the parking lot, and drive on.
Patience and impatience.
Patience seems to demand so much energy and will. It feels like such a very hard thing.
Impatience in contrast seems to come easy. The trigger is pulled and out it spills, without conscious effort or will.
But this is not right.
First, the impatience that slides into anger takes enormous energy. The shaking body, the racing heart, lungs propelling the screams. This form of impatience takes great effort and leaves us wasted.
And patience, that thing we think of as so difficult to sustain, actually demands no effort at all. That is, to be patient, truly, is to give no effort or will to the circumstances. To just let it be.
Each moment of challenge and difficulty, when we are consciously striving to be patient, we are actually still locked in our impatience.
Only when we let all that go, stop trying to push away the rage, stop grasping for patience, only then might we come to that exquisite place where acceptance reigns.
Effortless patience. The quiet and still source of infinite power.
May 24, 2014 § 12 Comments
I have written often of struggle and effort. I have seen my life as a constant state of struggle to achieve and hold some particular way of being. Finding what I suppose to be peace but then feeling it slip away.
Never mind, try harder, I think. You will get there.
But this seems all wrong to me now. The effort and struggle, which I saw as worthy, even ennobling, is actually taking me away from what I seek. As though I am swimming towards a boat that moves further away the harder I stroke.
I must simply accept that I will sometimes be anxious, angry, or sad. I will feel lost and unworthy. My busy mind will fill my head with colliding illusions. This will not end.
What must end is the judgment that I attach to those feelings- and hence to myself. The sense of dissatisfaction I feel in those turbulent moments, the weight of trying to will my way back to that imagined other place, and the corrosive sense of failure that I attach to my efforts.
Each moment exists just as it is, perfect in its imperfection, as exquisite in its pain as in its joy.
And so I will put away the illusion of my quest.
Let the weight of my task fall away.
Stop seeking and simply let what I seek arise.
April 6, 2014 § 21 Comments
I am alone in this moment.
Empty house. Solitude.
Not lonely, not disconnected or isolated. Just alone.
I have been in crowded rooms, surrounded by familiar faces, and yet nearly undone by a sense of loneliness and disconnection.
Solitude helps me to settle, to center. From that place I can feel the connection to all things- the woods just outside the window, the cloudy evening sky, the bird sailing on.
And the connection with all those who have been truly with me, those who share this sense of unity, those who allow themselves to be open and vulnerable. The tender filaments of true human connection.
Feeling connected can come in solitude and it can come in company. Not a matter of physical presence. Spiritual presence.
When I am here, really here, fully and spiritually, I am never isolated, never apart.
Alone, yet never alone.