December 30, 2004


Practice really is a lifelong thing.
Not because it's hard work,
but because it's beautiful and
because we love it,
and because seeing and experiencing and feeling
what it's really like to be human,
what this world and our connection to it is really like,
is a beautiful thing.

~ John Tarrant

December 28, 2004

Radiant Vision

“There is a Divine Center into which your life can slip, a new and absolute orientation to God. A Center where you live with God, and out from which you see all of life, through new and radiant vision, tinged with new sorrows and pangs, new joys unspeakable and full of glory.”

Thomas R. Kelly


Having material wealth, increasing possessions and your bank account will not cure inner poverty. Financial solvency will not fill that hole. We may have a measure of wealth, status and power in our little mini-series called "my life," in our little epic drama called "What About Little Me." But still we may be living in poverty within. What cures that hunger is divine love. And there are so many hungry people around. When you look, there seems to be so much misery. All this striving desperation; trying to shore up and built up, protect and defend a child's sandcastle on the beach, a house of cards. With our allegiance to ego fixation we go on laying our treasure up where it is corrupted. We spend our precious time and attention on the impermanent, and ignore being, we ignore the eternal. We are starved, and that which would feed us is minimized and discounted. In ego world divine love is scoffed at. It seems to have little or no value, yet it is the only food that will satisfy our deep hunger.

We have glimpsed the treasure house within. We have tasted this nectar, become intoxicated with the fragrance of divine love, meditative love. We have experienced firsthand the bliss of open space empty of self. We now know what real food, real sustenance looks like. We have eaten it. In other words there is awareness of enlightened energy, of energy moving in the enlightened state. This feeds us and encourages us to further opening. When we realize and share this enlightened energy, it grows in us; it manifests more and more in our world. Isn't this the fulfillment of our hearts desire? Isn't this the source of a rewarding and fulfilling life? Can you describe for me a deeper source of bliss? So however awkward it is to share, however clumsy we feel, however difficult or challenging or embarrassing it is to share, we should take the risk. Because in this sharing we are uplifted, the world is uplifted.

Post by Akilesh

December 26, 2004

Trusting Life Completely

The journey of spiritual awakening leads us into the arms of the Divine Beloved, the graceful Presence that transforms our life from ordinary to Ordinary -- a way of living beyond the confines of our habitual patterns, limiting beliefs and self-seeking desires. In order to manifest our spiritual destiny, the ego self -- that which perceives itself as separate and alone -- must discover and follow the Higher Self, or Spirit. In the beginning of one's spiritual journey, these two aspects of the Self seem to be at odds. Ultimately, they are realized as one and we come to trust life completely.

Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian

December 21, 2004

At Blackwater Pond

At Blackwater Pond
the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands.
I drink a long time.
It tastes like stone, leaves, fire.
It falls cold into my body,
waking the bones.
I hear them deep inside me,
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened?

Mary Oliver

When we are quiet, we may notice a gentle, yet powerful consciousness in the background. This is a benign love we all possess; a love always available, if we pause, cup our hands, dip them into the cool water, deliciously take the time to drink in this presence, and let it refresh our bones. It is a beautiful thing.

December 17, 2004


I have a Friend who walks with me. Daily we meet for this time together. We walk and talk and share effortlessly, and sometimes we just walk silently together. Our cheeks blush radiantly from the fresh air, our heartbeat becomes strong and steady.

You, my friend, respond like you know my thought before I express it, and understand my feelings so intuitively. We share a comfortable and unique intimacy. You reassure and encourage me, and deepen my understanding of our reality with your insights. When I am cold you have put your arm around my shoulder. When I have fallen behind you have waited, and reached out and taken my hand to help me over the rough terrain.

I love how you draw my attention to the natural beauty of the changing seasons, and the multitude of little creatures that join us along the path. Sometimes we have walked in the rain, and have become delightedly drenched. You playfully stomp water onto my legs, and we laugh together. We have walked in the fog, when we couldn’t quite see what was ahead, though this fogbank usually lifted as we strolled. We have walked at night, and watched the stars turn in the sky, and found our way by moonlight. Other times, mid-day, the sunlight beams down on us, warming and illuminating us. We have melted into the sunrises and sunsets.

Often, our pace is even; I cannot hear your footsteps apart from my own… I have the sense that we are not two. You are a Divine Friend next to me, behind me, ahead of me, within me. Not separate, not two. Your graceful presence is everywhere and everything to me; we move together, we see this blissful world with the same eyes, love with the same heart, experience this Existence as one.

December 13, 2004

Little Tree

There is a little maple tree outside my back door. This tree had amazing crimson leaves this autumn – all blown off with the last windstorm. The tree is now completely bare, naked of adornment. How beautiful and graceful it is in its emptiness. It reaches up, toward the light, unafraid and unprotected. Within its core, this little tree holds a creative potential that will undoubtedly yield plentiful leaves and new growth this coming spring. This will happen without effort or striving, without longing or desire. The original nature of this little tree is pure and perfect in its emptiness, lovely in its form and formlessness. Something of this essence is in us, within each of us, in our most basic form. Our original nature, unadorned by ego or arrogance, is perfect and complete. When we are empty - quiet and not striving, we, too, may find an amazing creative potential within our core.

December 11, 2004

Growing Tender

In the middle of the night I was awakened by the strong winds in the forest, and the occasional crack, swoosh, and thud of falling limbs. As I quietly listened, I reflected upon the changing of the season, the changes in our lives, and the turmoil that changes sometimes bring. Sometimes changes are smooth, other times tumultuous. It seems our attention is drawn to the dramatic changes with an overt awareness, but our attention maybe much less attuned to subtle changes.

Our humanity, growing all the time, does not let us rest on any change for long - there is always another one around the corner, sometimes upon us before we even know what happened. These changes affect our very core, rubbing up against old parts of ourselves like a polishing cloth reaching into the dark crevices. We wince with the discomfiture change stimulates, and the inevitable uprooting of old wounds. Without this occasional tending, debris builds up, buries and hides our wounds, and we are weighed down.

How good and wholesome it is to periodically return to these dark places, move them and look at them, handle them gently and restore their proper place in us. An honest inventory here softens us, makes us tender, and brings the luminosity and luster back to the places that have grown dim in the shadows.

December 9, 2004

The Lotus Flower

The beautiful lotus grows in shallow water surrounded by mud. Here, the lotus opens each morning, and closes each evening. Exquisite in its purity, the lotus appears to float alone, however underneath the water its roots are connected to many other lotus flowers.

The lotus is a simple but potent metaphor for divine potential, deep wisdom, serenity, interconnectedness and transcendence.

Posted by Hello

December 7, 2004


A friend held a bulging brown paper sack and asked, “These are from my mother’s tree. Would you like some?” I peered into the bag, and let out a little gasp! I could hardly believe my eyes. The interior of the bag was illuminated by dozens of lemons, so beautiful, perfectly shaped, fragrant and flawless. All together they had a vivid, radiant quality, as though they were glowing from the inside. I felt a childish enthusiasm as my friend generously laid three iridescent lemons in my hands – an extraordinary and delightful gift from our beloved earth on a gray winter’s day.

What has us ripen, become radiant, and mature fully into the spiritual life? A friend told me: “We are all ripening in our own way, at our own pace. Ripening is going on all around us, naturally, ineluctably. Eventually we let go and drop -- pure, beautiful, ripe, juicy -- into open space. Existence is fully awake already, just waiting for us to drop into emptiness.”

And in this emptiness, an apparent radiance...

So much gratitude.

December 5, 2004


It happened again. This afternoon I was solitary, immersed in my artwork, when time turned into timeless, function dissolved into form, self forgetting self. Small thinking suspended, I was taken beyond myself into a quiet world of pattern, color, light and creative energy. The hours slipped away.

I don’t think about what happens in my consciousness when I am absorbed in this way. But I do know that when my ego recedes, when I’m not thinking about self, time, or facets of local awareness, there is a creative freedom and energy present. This capacity to enter realms of heightened and inspired creativity is available to me when I become quiet, immersed, and surrendered. Silent and open, creative sacred energy is present.

November 30, 2004

Clear Mind

This morning our little corner of the world was wrapped in a dark gray cloak. This grayness eventually will lift. Even on cloudy mornings like this, gentle visible signs of spirit are everywhere… I relish becoming mindful and acknowledging these signs. Example: the light filtering through the last of the brilliant golden leaves outside my window, the family of deer prancing along the busy avenue this morning, the sounds of the kids on the playground, and the twinkle in a friend’s eye. A knowing glance, a soft smile, heartfelt conversation, an honest delight in each day; these are small and outward signs of the graceful presence I hold within. Sometimes, however, my own graceful presence is clouded over by dark thinking.

My spiritual friend amusingly notices when I let my thinking cloud my clear mind. We laugh together about this. Inspired by a Buddhist quote, I have learned that my clear mind is like the morning cloudiness that lifts to reveal the beautiful blue beyond that is always there… Or the full moon in the sky. Sometimes clouds come and cover it, but the moon is always behind them. When the clouds lift the moon shines brightly. I am learning not to worry about clear mind: it is always there. When cloudy thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When cloudy thinking goes, there is my clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes. I am becoming less attached to the coming or the going. It happens. I’m glad to have a spiritual friend to remind me.

November 25, 2004

Everyday Sacred

The more I dwell in the Light, I notice everyday to be sacred. My reaction has increasingly been to experience a feeling of gratitude that overflows within me. I recognize that every day, every breeze, flower, raindrop, each part of myself and in each of my relationships – God is present.

Today in my kitchen, this sacred presence is so very evident. It swirls in the air with delightful fragrance of traditional cooking, its warmth radiates with the sunlight through the steamy windows. But most of all, this sacredness fills my heart with an awareness of abundance to which I feel fully awake.

Dear friends and family are gathering in my small kitchen today; we will sit side by side amidst this swirling sacred energy and share this abundance. Sensing this sacred energy, and becoming fully present to it, I again feel a gratitude that springs from a deep well within me. This Thanksgiving gratitude overflows to my every day, for I witness every day to be sacred, just as this one is.

November 20, 2004

Tree of Awe

You must have shadow and light source both
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.


This is not a day for asking questions,
not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
more manifest than saying can say.


November 15, 2004

Spirit is Here

Her shoulder was next to mine. Eleanor is 82, a sturdy, quiet woman. A naturalist, Eleanor loves birds, and birdsongs. She has gone far distances to record the songs of many birds. Her demeanor reminds me of a bird: small, quiet, watchful, not wanting to be in anyone’s way.

Usually Eleanor just sits quietly during Quaker Meeting. Today however, she spoke. Her voice gravely, and quiet, she asked, “What is Spirit, anyway?”

As Quakers, we try to speak simply, and from experience – given that’s all we truly can know. After quiet moments of reflection, I softly offer this response to Eleanor:

"Spirit is in the birdsong, in the breeze, in the illuminated autumn leaves. Spirit is in our breath, in the beat of our heart. Spirit is in our center – that calm place of peaceful understanding. Spirit is the quiet voice we hear.Spirit is in the rain, and the reflection of the moon in the rain. Spirit is the warmth radiating from a friend’s eye. Spirit is in joy, in sorrow, in exuberance and exhaustion."

"Spirit is here with us now."

I feel Eleanor’s shoulder next to mine. I hear her sigh a Knowing sort of sigh. “Oh.... ” I look, and see the warmth in a Friend’s eye. A tender smile, a feeling of Friendship between us.

Spirit is here, now.

November 14, 2004

Not Two

Spiritual Friendship is like these water drops - each friend separate, reflecting light from one another, gracefully traveling along the same path, made from one great source. As we enter the water, the one vast ocean, our differences dissolve. Merging, we interact, creating ripples and movement, but are one with the great sea.

As separate drops we are unique personalities and expression; as merged drops we share spiritually on a deep level where we are not-two - our true nature is as one.

Spiritual Friendship is a rich blessing.
With deep gratitude to my Friend.

Posted by Hello

November 12, 2004

Ephemeral Musings

Trees glowing in autumn splendor, the delicate umbers radiant in the foggy dawn are exquisitely beautiful. Occasional trees or group of leaves seem to be absolutely illuminated with a Graceful Presence. This beauty stirred a memory: I remember lying on my back underneath a tree, looking at the sky and dazzling sunlight through the leaves. A delightful, ephemeral, perhaps mundane, historical moment. But then, gradually, something in the focus of my vision would change, and the leaves and sky and light lost dimension, and all became one, leaves moving up and sky moving in. The leaves were illuminated and a part of the sunlight and sky, and I, absorbed, would forget myself…no longer the viewer. Timeless. Then I would feel the moist grass under my back, and my focus shifted and time again existed and the fleeting moment would be gone. Illuminated leaves coming into existence and passing out again. This was a moment existing in time, in the historical dimension, however it seems that there are so many ephemeral moments in our lives, such as this one, in which we touch or glimpse the vertical axis. It is evocative to conjure them up again.

Another moment that just flashed before me was a memory of looking at my newborn’s face, doing that mimicking sort of dance that parents and their newborn babies do… and then looking deeper, I forgot who I was looking at and began to sense that I was looking at myself because something in my baby’s face, her eyes, seems so familiar it was as though it was me, or someone I have always known… Ephemeral, fleeting, magical moment, yet one that seems to not be of time but rather be of the ultimate dimension. These moments do not happen because of any desire, they are not born of intention. These seem to be flashes on the vertical axis; of a timeless Presence.

November 6, 2004

Empty Beach

Walking on the empty beach, barefoot, I stride the juncture of the sand and the water - sometimes I am walking in the water, sometimes on the sand. Ever moving back and forth - in the water and then not. But my feet remain wet. And while on the sand, the memory of the ocean water and the feel of the waves lingers. In the water, I feel my toes grip the sand. Walking, I forget. Am I on the sand or in the water? Actually, I have never left the sand. I have never left the water. They are both right here. Right under and over and through me. I am immersed in both.

Walking on the empty beach, I am aware of a vastness I cannot fully comprehend. Vast sky, vast ocean, and vast grains of sand. I am small, barely significant, nothing. My heart overflows. I am so in love with this earth and sky, ocean and stars, and the astonishing Presence that permeates all. It is as if my love for these surroundings is the impulse that makes it so...makes the water so cold, makes the sky and ocean so blue, makes the breeze so fresh. Right here is the moving juncture of the historical and ultimate axis. Right here. Where ever I am. Where ever you are.

The seagulls take flight.

November 3, 2004

Like an Embryo

Little by little, wean yourself.

This is the gist of what I have to say.

From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,
move to an infant drinking milk,
to a child on solid food,
to a searcher after wisdom,
to a hunter of more invisible game.

Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.
You might say, “The world outside is vast and intricate.
There are wheat fields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom.

At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding.”

You ask the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up
in the dark with eyes closed.

Listen to the answer.

There is no “other world.”
I only know what I’ve experienced.
You must be hallucinating.

Jelaluddin Rumi

October 26, 2004


Words split apart, Silence unites. Words scatter, Silence gathers together. Words stir up, Silence brings peace. Words engender denial, Silence invites even the denier to find fresh hope in the confident expectation of a mystery which can be accomplished within. In my active silence, I shall prepare myself to hear the Silence of God.

Pierre Lacout, God is Silence

October 25, 2004

Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know. These few words hold so much. Becoming peaceful, concentrated, and still, we touch the source of true wisdom, the living God in ourselves and in each person we meet. The key is listening. With attention, we learn to listen deeply to the quiet by turning down the volume of our thoughts. Listen at deeper and deeper levels, and become attentive to the subtlest of voices. When you finally hear the quietest voice, or some other awareness of message, you have the sensation of knowing. It is always a surprise to hear God’s voice, at once more fragile than a whisper and inescapable as a windstorm. To know is to touch something primordial within us.

This knowing feels like a tremendous gift – yet we cannot keep it. We cannot hold such wealth in one pair of hands. Therefore we share it, plainly without flourish, trusting that the truth is most visible when offered simply. These gifts of God are like seeds to be planted, and love to be shared. Preserving God’s grace for oneself becomes less urgent, and defending the boundaries of your self becomes unnecessary. Actually, we are freed of the need to be a separate self at all when we find God deep within ourselves; indeed, we may now dissolve ourselves in God.

October 23, 2004


I am welcoming my dear friend Akilesh to this blog.

From Akilesh:

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote:

When we look at the vast ocean, we see many waves. We may describe them as high or low, big or small, vigorous or less vigorous, but these terms cannot be applied to water. In the Lotus Sutra the wave is described as being in the historical dimension, while water is in the ultimate dimension. From the standpoint of the wave, of history, there is birth and there is death, but these are just signs. The wave is, at the same time, water. If the wave only sees itself as a wave, it will be frightened to death. The wave must look deeply into herself in order to realize that she is, at the same time, water. If we take away the water, the wave cannot be; and if we remove the waves, there will be no water. Wave is water, and water is wave. They belong to different levels of being. We cannot compare the two. The words and concepts that are ascribed to the wave cannot be ascribed to water.

Perfection is for the wave to exist in both realms simultaneously. When you touch deeply the historical dimension, you touch the ultimate dimension, and when you have touched the ultimate dimension, you have not left the historical dimension. When you step into... the ultimate dimension -- you realize that touching the water is wonderful, but it does not mean the wave has vanished. The wave is always the water. If you try to touch only the wave and not the water, you will suffer from fear of birth and death and many other afflictions. But if you look deeply into yourself and realize that you are the water, all fear and afflictions will vanish. Touching the water, you also touch the wave.

One autumn day, I was practicing walking meditation. The leaves were falling just like rain. I stepped on one leaf, picked it up, looked at it, and smiled, realizing that the leaf has always been there. Every autumn the leaves fall, and every spring they re-manifest themselves. They stay throughout the summer, and then in autumn, they fall to the ground again. They're playing hide and seek, pretending to die and to be reborn, but it is not true. When I looked deeply into the leaf, I saw that it was not just one leaf, just as the Buddha is not just one person. The Buddha is, at the same time, everywhere. We are simultaneously everywhere, in all times. You can touch the leaf in the historical dimension or in the ultimate dimension; it's up to you. The practice of the Lotus Sutra is to touch yourself, the leaf, and the tree in the ultimate dimension.

When you touch the wave, you touch the water at the same time. That is our practice. If you are with a group of friends practicing mindfulness while sitting, walking, or drinking tea, you will be able to touch the ultimate dimension while living in the historical dimension. Your fear, anxiety, and anger will be transformed easily when you are not confined by the waves, when you are able to touch the water at the same time.

When I picked up the leaf that day, I saw that the leaf with pretending to be born in the springtime and pretending to die at the end of autumn. We do appear, manifest to help living beings, including ourselves, and then disappear. We have within us a miraculous power, and if we live our daily lives in mindfulness, with love and care, we can produce the miracle and transform our world into a miraculous place to live. Taking steps slowly, in mindfulness, is an act of liberation. You walk and you free yourself of all worries, anxieties, projects, and attachments. One step like this has the power to liberate you from all afflictions. Just being there, you transform yourself, and your compassion will bear witness. The energy of compassion in you will transform life and make it more beautiful. This is a deep practice...

* * *

What are we looking at? Where are we placing our precious attention? This human life is short. Are we using it wisely? Are we are growing in silence, in innocence, in clarity, warmth and bliss? Or are we living an anxious, stressed life? Is the fragrance around us one of gratitude, contentment and celebration? Can others feel this, our innocence, our authentic presence? This body, this opportunity will not be around forever. When will we begin living, loving, laughing? When will we finally relax, and live life joyously, playfully? It is easy to look outside and see degradation in the world all around us. Is this seeing -- which is a creative act, a sacred act -- degrading or uplifting your world? This fellow Thich Nhat Hanh says we have a miraculous power within. He says we can find this miracle through meditation, mindfulness. What if we began seeing freshly, meditatively, and deeply trusted this seeing? Mr. Hanh suggests that we appear in the world to love and encourage, both ourselves and others, and then we disappear. Sounds like a life worth living. What is the possibility of living such a life?

Start with trust, trusting the bare naked innocence within, the still, small voice within. Meditation can help. It's a good place to start. Eventually you realize the futility of striving and become one with trust, one with love, one with naked innocence. It's up to you. Will you allow yourself to dissolve, let things be, allow things to happen, and trust the emptiness you find within? Trust your innocence, your silence. Move from trust.

October 19, 2004

Spirit Collage

by Meg Krugel Posted by Hello

Sitting Firmly in Presence

Silence. Emptiness. Feeling the pure embodiment of spirit in the center. When we speak from this place, we notice that there is a glow, a radiance of spirit emanates. Fearlessness is peace. This peace manifests in our presence with others. Sitting firmly in this Presence, we create a place for others to be, with all their fluttering of mind, their pain, or their angst. We notice that we do not lose this peace when we become an open place to be with another in their suffering. Their suffering dissipates with this presence we share, yet we do not become smaller. When we sit with others in this way, we bring the stillness of seated meditation into the world of action. What greater action than to be this Presence for another? With gratitude, we recognize the ones who were this Presence for us.

October 17, 2004

Holy Lamp

In the morning, when I began to wake,
it happened again
that feeling that You, Beloved,
had stood over me all night
keeping watch.
That feeling, that as soon as I began to stir
you put your lips on my forehead
and lit a Holy Lamp
inside my heart.


Being meeting Itself

We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside
the blue sky opens out farther and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in this world.
I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken
inside “love” there is more joy
than we know of, rain pours down although
the sky is clear of clouds,
there are whole rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all its parts
by a single sort of love.
How hard it is to feel that joyin all our bodies!
Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word “reason” you already feel miles away.
How lucky we are that surrounded
by all this joy we sing inside our own little boat.
These poems amount to Being meeting itself.
These songs are about forgetting, dying, and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.


October 16, 2004

Our Light

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves. Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Nelson Mandela
Inaugural Speech, 1994

October 13, 2004

The Path

A new expression of love has unfolded for me. Though words feel inadequate at expressing what this is, I have come to call this expression 'divine love'. When I am experiencing this love, I notice the magical qualities that exist in the very breezes that blow and the sky and the river; I seem to take this energy of light and reflect it when I speak, when I love, and when I listen. When I open myself to this love, I hear the still, small, inner voice that guides me deeper into the mystery. The path before me becomes illuminated. This path has been here for me all along, but I now travel it with my eyes and heart more and more awakened.

October 7, 2004

In you is the Presence

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed and growing sweet –
all the universe, to the furthest stars
and beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

Rainer Maria Rilke

October 6, 2004

Opening my heart

Spirit is a presence, like the full moon, with a diffuse and warm light. This light saturates me, even in darkness. And when I feel it in my center, I immediately feel different than I did before.

I have a spiritual friend, Akilesh. Akilesh's voice often goes with me, urging me to open my heart and drop that which blocks my light. Akilesh encourages me to risk more, to share the graceful presence within me without restraint. Following this guidance leads me to a wonderful feeling of a divine connection.

Today, with my friend's words in my heart, I felt very calm, and centered. My interactions seem to bloom from a spiritual center today – full of warm and radiant light. I opened my heart with each person I came into contact with. I listened more intently, and spoke openly with less restraint. When I am able to listen and speak from this space, there is a mystical quality in the interaction. Today, I risked more, opening my heart more intentionally, and noticed subtle rewarding differences. The energy with others was gentler today. Eyes sparkled. Faces relaxed. Conversations became more real, honest, and hopeful.

There is such a graceful presence when souls are open and conscious. I am full of gratitude.

October 4, 2004

Written on the Wall at Chang's Hermitage

It is Spring in the mountains.
I come alone seeking you.
The sound of chopping wood echoes
between the silent peaks.
The streams are still icy.
There is snow on the trail.
At sunset I reach your grove
in the stony mountain pass.
You want nothing, although at night
you can see the aura of gold
and silver ore all around you.
You have learned to be gentle
as the mountain deer you have tamed.
The way back forgotten, hidden
away, I become like you,
an empty boat, floating, adrift.

Tu Fu, c 712-770

Spoken to a Dahlia

Standing quietly by the fence,
you smile your wondrous smile.
I am speechless, and my senses are filled
by the sounds of your beautiful song,
Beginningless and endless.
I bow deeply to you.

Anon., spoken to a dahlia and quoted by Thich Nhat Hanh

September 30, 2004

Graceful Presence

Graceful Presence is that of God within us, that sweet experience of our soul and our spirit commingling. Do you recognize this quality of uncontained, calm, clear energy, bliss and warmth? When you experience it, you will have the feeling of rejoicing, of celebration, of happiness for who you are. This quality will take you beyond your fear. Graceful Presence is not about who your ego is – but who you are beneath ego, beneath your culture, your religion, or even your name. It is your truest nature, who you are unconditionally. When you recognize this, you are living the path of Awakening. You are an expression of waking up energy, and you feel it, and experience the Source within in an undeniable way. Graceful Presence. Let us nurture this wondrous energy in ourselves and the awakening potential of others. It is the richest blessing…

September 29, 2004

In the center

Before pleasure, anger, sorrow, and joy have arisen, we are in the center. When these passions have arisen and when all attain their proper degree, we are in harmony. That center is the root of the universe; that harmony is the Tao, reaching out to all things. Once we find the center and achieve harmony, heaven and earth take their proper places, and all things are fully nourished.
Tzu-Ssu (483-402 B.C.E.)

The days come and go...

The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections on soul

My soul speaks today. My soul seems to live in the realm of my imagination, expressing itself like a poem or collage, with words, images and feeling not restrained by cogent thought or sequence. It is as though there is a well spring of richness below the surface of awareness, and this is expressed in unanticipated ways. One thing I have noticed about my soul recently – but I am sure this has always been true – is that my soul is not dedicated to perfection, as my more egocentric and rational mind are. Today I muse about this imperfection, though sometimes I don’t think it is so funny. Just as the Navajo weave imperfections into their rugs so the spirit can enter and exit, my soul makes way for little imperfections to freely pop up to remind me of my soul’s penchant for spirit-filled playfulness, nudging me to let go of my ego's need for perfection.

September 28, 2004

After darkness

After despair,
many hopes flourish
just as after darkness,
Thousands of Suns
open and
start to shine.

~ Rumi

September 27, 2004

The Way

The effect, then the cause. Allow divine love to be ascendant, allow ego to recede, and thus dissolve into divine love. Allow the effect, the love, to be, and all else falls into place. Be this love. This is the magic. This is the way. This I know is true.

What was said to the rose

What was said to the rose that made it open
was said to me here in my chest.

What was told the Cypress that made it strong
and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made
sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in
Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush
like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in
language, that's happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,
chewing a piece of sugarcane,

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!


September 26, 2004

Infant Massage with Colby Posted by Hello

Blessed with Your Light

I pray I am blessed with your light
for a thousand moons, and then,
just until forever.

September 25, 2004

The Path

Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace el camino al andar.
Antonio Machado

September 24, 2004

Joyful Soul

True happiness is in the love-stream that springs from one’s soul; and he who will allow this stream to run continually in all conditions of life, in all situations, however difficult, will have a happiness which truly belongs to him, whose source is not without, but within.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

September 23, 2004


I Unpetalled You

I unpetalled you, like a rose,
To see your soul,
And I didn’t see it.
But everything around
– horizons of land and seas – ,
everything, out to the infinite,
was filled with a fragrance,
enormous and alive.

Juan Ramon Jimenez

September 22, 2004


A little wisdom from the Bible for your reflection today:

You have hidden the truth in darkness; through this mystery you teach me wisdom.

God has made everything beautiful in its time, and has put eternity in our heart.

September 21, 2004


The flute of interior time is played whether we hear it or not.
What we mean by "love" is its sound coming in.
When love hits the farthest edge of excess, it reaches wisdom.
And the fragrance of the knowledge!
It penetrates our thick bodies,
it goes through walls.
Its network of notes has a structure as if a million suns were arranged inside.
The tune has truth in it.
Where else have you heard a sound like this?