FREEDOM Right In On Time

It’s freedom we truly want. And fear. Freedom from attachment, freedom from anxiety, freedom from bad relationships, freedom from our habitual and negative states. We want freedom to create, to love, to speak up, and to be ourselves. We were born free. Yet, dependent. Those who raised us either trained us toward freedom or toward an increased dependency on establishing our worth and self-hood on outward validation. We all experience suffering; this is the core teachings of the Buddha: We suffer but there is freedom from suffering. (The Four Noble Truths). We have the capacity to bring forth lasting states … Continue reading

The Two Wells

How Everything Has A Place I take my blind dog out under the white and pink blossomed apple tree to brush her. She groans as hair falls from her old body into soft golden piles in the greening spring grass. Just moments before how I worried about where I would be a season from now. Where might I live and who will share my days? She rolls around, such a happy dog Her golden hair remains behind an invitation to the birds now collecting in the trees take me use me to build your nest. I don’t enjoy worrying or obsessing about what … Continue reading

How To Let the Light In

“I never saw a discontented tree.”  –John Muir There is no solo journey that leads to awakening. Maybe a few thousand years ago sitting solo under the Bodhi Tree was the way to enlightenment. Now, if we want to fulfill our greatest capacity as human beings, here on planet earth, we cannot do it alone. The trek to the mountain’s summit, the scientific discoveries, personal and global awakenings will all take place in conversation, in circles, in gathering together with others. It will happen only as we participate in the collective dance of life. “The Buddha, Shakyamuni, our teacher, predicted that the … Continue reading

Here, Take This Gift

For life to happen we have to receive the first breath. For life to continue we have to receive the abundance of light, nourishment, love and care offered us. If we don’t know how to receive, we will starve. When we are not receptive, we become like Hungry Ghosts. These are the creatures from a Bardo state, where ghosts have small mouths, so little nourishment gets in and the food just falls through their phantom bodies. As a result they are always hungry. Parker J. Palmer refers to this state of chronic hunger as the “Empty Self Syndrome.” We may even win the presidency … Continue reading

When The Soul Calls

“In This Moment” In this moment One foot in front of the other I hear chickadee I see spaciousness of blue above me In this moment One foot in front of the other The road meets my feet, while Above a flock of blue birds migrate In this moment One foot in front of the other I make my daily walk To the broken tree In this moment One foot in front of the other I host the longings in my heart As the friends they are In this moment One foot in front of the other one foot then … Continue reading

Our Secret Lives

“After all, conventional wisdom recommends the divided life as the safe and sane way to go: ‘Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.’ ‘Don’t make a federal case out of it.’ ‘Don’t show them the whites of your eyes.’ These are all clichéd ways we tell each other to keep personal truth apart from public life, lest we make ourselves vulnerable in the rough-and-tumble realm.” –Parker J Palmer, Let Your Life Speak Writing is a true vocation for me. A benefit of being a writer is that I find clues to my own true nature’s voice in my writing. My … Continue reading

After The Final No

After the final no there comes a yes And on that yes the future world depends.                          – Wallace Stevens I led my first book, Hidden Victims Hidden Healers with this verse from Wallace Stevens.  I chose it to remind myself, and the reader, that there is a yes there, somewhere. You know as well as me, life is full of various versions of “NO:” rejections, pit falls, mistakes, losses, disappointments, misses, and more rejections. With the above book it took three years to find a publisher and I could have wallpapered my … Continue reading

Don’t Cling to the Raft

“To call something ‘a fundamental principle of Buddhism’ is only correct if, first, it is a principle that aims at the quenching of dukkha (pain, misery, suffering) and, second, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others.”–Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree Last night, the eve before this new year, I wondered why I vacillate in my commitment to my spiritual practices. How is it after so many years of study and practice I get caught up in some concern or behavior that results in more suffering? How after been given so many spiritual teachings that, at … Continue reading

Writing as Distraction

I had hoped that writing could be a distraction from missing my daughter. If wishes were fishes! “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride, If turnips were swords I’d have one by my side. If ‘ifs’ and ‘ands’ were pots and pans There would be no need for tinker’s hands!” So I tinker. I find, as all writers do, that writing takes us into our lives, our stories. Writing explores our possibilities, where we can become “intelligent tinkerers.” We tinker with an idea or an experience until something fruitful results. But we must not give up on our tinkering . … Continue reading