This Time

Funny how we love in the way we want to be loved, how we think of others in the way we want to be thought of, how feeling abandoned I vow never to abandon, how being termed a disappointment I slave not to disapprove, how finally disappointment and disapproval grow indiscernible as burns from ice or heat, how now I’m up in the night certain if I disappoint you I am not worthy of your love, how loving’s become an… Read more

Wanting to Go Back

You may have expected that enlightenment would come like zap! Instantaneous and permanent. This is unlikely. After the first “aha,” it can be thought of as the thinning of a layer of clouds. —Ram Dass Every pilgrim on a journey feels the exhilaration and glow of being liberated. Then, as the work of the new world becomes real and trying, there arises a want to go back to where we lived before awakening. Because in the challenge of growing, we… Read more

Beneath All Trouble, Oneness

When I saw the wheelchair man with spindly limbs twist his neck to the sun, I wanted to take the newborn from the blanket and put her in his hands.   And when the blind woman knelt at the stoplight to hug her dog, I wanted to embrace everyone who ever showed me an inch of truth.   There is less and less between heart and world. In the morning, I am sure this is a deep blessing. By night,… Read more

If Mother Could Rest

If I rise out of being her child, if I rise out of being a child, if I rise out of my identity, and drift as a seed before she and my father called me into the world, I can see how frightened she’s been of this life. Far away and out of her reach, I can wish her peace. At 86, she’s losing her mind. The tragedy is she didn’t lose it sooner.   A Question to Walk With:… Read more

Road Trip

A bird hits a window in a tower in Dallas, startling a man at his desk. A bit of feather and blood is stuck there. He calls maintenance but no one comes. It’s all he can see. He doesn’t want to die while filling out another form. In the same mo- ment, an old rancher in Montana drops his hammer while nailing a fence his father built. As he dies, the extra nails fall from his mouth. In the same… Read more

Will and Surrender

The Chinese poet Po Chü-I (772-846) recounts in a poem how he’d traveled so long on horseback that he’d fallen asleep in the saddle. For a moment, his reins had slackened. It seemed like an instant but he’d gone a hundred lengths while asleep. He’d exhausted himself all day; prodding the horse to push on; to go here, then there. But in his sleep, he loosened his grip, gave up control, and the horse, which seemed to wait for this… Read more

Practicing

As a man in his last breath drops all he is carrying   each breath is a little death that can set us free.   A Question to Walk With: Describe an entanglement you are struggling with and try to drop it all and just breath. Do this several times and note what the moment of drop feels like. This excerpt is from my book, The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting, 2016 Nautilus Award Winner.  … Read more

Without Explanation

I’ve been poked and prodded for years: to explain, to defend, to leave another piece of me at your altar. And while what I’ve torn off has grown back, I looked at my scars which said today, no more. And when I honored them by saying I was done, you flared and tried to shame me into more. But I have outgrown giving myself away. And so, saying nothing, I walked into the rest of my life. You demanded I… Read more

Vow

I wake this morning thirty years to the day that the tumor vanished from my skull.   I am still here. How is it possible, that the ounce of Spirit that wouldn’t go out should guide me to today? Like a spiritual cricket, I only know one song—that everything is holy. I sing this at the close of every day. I try to live it at the break of every dawn. I’ve seen ordinary wonders, day after day, and ordinary… Read more

Sweet Teachers

I met Ernie and Cathy several years ago, two sensitive souls who live on the island of Victoria off the coast of Vancouver. During the last year, their lives have opened into a difficult depth, as an inoperable brain tumor has made Ernie’s light more simple and bare. And Cathy stays near him like a strong blue flame. They’ve chosen to live this part of their lives openly, somehow knowing that just as fire needs oxygen, the heart, no matter… Read more

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