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