Reflecting by the lake

Winter has come for many of us. A time for endurance, truth, creativity and most of all, reflection. Have we lived well in 2016? No doubt we have been doing our best in difficult circumstances. Being here is tough!

I love to watch the seasons pass, each has its own characteristics and gifts. Nature offers a beautiful reminder of my own lifes journey, from spring to winter, and guidance in how best to live well in the seasons of this life. In winter I appreciate stillness, learning to forgive and heal, myself and others.

The world is a rocky place, filled with distractions and conflict, but a healthy connection with nature and the earth is central part of contentment, happiness and fulfilment. I have a great relationship and responsibility when I realise that I am an essential part of nature and life cannot be sustained without the vitality of the earth. My life, in so many ways, is a fragile harmony.

I was reading this this morning and found it focused my mind on a simpler path of appreciation (many traditions refer to the earth as ‘her’ or ‘Mother’ and I like it):

‘Every particle of us comes from her
Through the food we take from her daily.

We all start out as tiny seeds.
We have grown to our present state and status
Through what she provides.

She is truly our Mother
And must be acknowledged and respected.’

– Ogala Peace Pipe Ceremony

We once, as a human family on each continent of the earth, lived in balance with nature. With this approach and sentiment maybe our collective love of money and power will be transformed and we can reclaim our own balance with love and respect for ourselves and each other; Mother Earth, wise nature and every living thing.

We are all highly sensitive beings, it is no wonder there is so much fear, anxiety and feelings of isolation and resentment. The way that our societies approach life and treat nature is rotten at the roots. We are treated like cold machines, when in reality, we are warm breezes.

Each morning brings fresh opportunities. So many chances to change, build deeper and more sustaining relationships, making ourselves stronger with unity and love, giving ourselves the strength to ride out even the roughest of times with dignity and respect. An example to follow. Each one of us a great leader contributing to a brighter future.

A crisis sometimes just needs a shift in perspective and appreciation of what we are and have.
This is my wish this mornning reflecting by the lake.

Peace and Happiness from Pokhara, NepalX

Leave a comment »

Out through the night

I

You took us out through the night
And the sweep of indifference,
Toured the bright lights in pretty puddles
And sleeping city streets.

There was always a storm to tell.

Reaching out of ourselves we
Unlocked moments,
That ecstatic ride far from controls
And erratic neon shrouds,
Where no thing rises and falls far
From the pen.

How the rose brings many thorns
Like a careless invitation.

 

II
Leaning aimless, a blur of focus,
In dive bars and bazars we drunk some
Time to kill reason.
The relics and ashes of civilization
Belittle this poor excuse for debauchery.

That man is no Jesus.
Our procession has lost it’s sparkle
And in rebellion,
Too clumsy for magic or sage.
With one loving hand on despair,
Carrying cracked faces and books
Like an ambling prayer,

Filling each desolate steppe with romance
And foreign gestures.
Some are haunted by the word,
Most are cowards at the coal face of freedom.

 

III
Knelt on pews and crystal ashtrays
And slunk in dripping, nowhere alleys,
We rode on song and scraps,
Eating lunch off origami,
Taking shelter in the wind.

Poisoning fear was whiskey and piano,
Waking in a sweat of dew close to dawn;
So sick and shivering
In the scales of mediocrity.

When love and hate stare back
From the drained bottles,
When you analyse too close the tears in the labels,
Then heart descends, in fever and lazy to care
For the love plague and tiring colours.

Weak without umbilical urges the
Greatest tales of all-time
Fill the doubting waste paper basket.

The aching significance of our hidden language.
How discreetly we suffer the subtleties.

 

IV
The battered guitar and cheap candles
Guard the dusk,
Words falling between the gaps,
The mannequin troubadour escaping
The Grecian palate
For a splash of Ganges with familiar friends.

In those worn and polished gutters
I saw what this could mean.
I broke myself because there was no
Poetry in completion.

When I was torn at the loom you offered
A single golden stitch,
That kept me together, that made me itch.
You whistled like the weaver making patterns
With knots and coarse thread and all around a
Heavenly strain taut with purpose.

The ageing stains of wonder have circled us in,
Some call it life, some call it sin.
The inevitable ring of ignorance,
For what we have lost will never end.

No amount of tears will make it pure again,
No more wishing for easy forgiveness
Or homeward whispers,

Our human poem has the eyes of a child
Running away from resurrection.

 

V
You held my hand in the dead of night and
Knew those salty travellers tears,
The roots of my disbelief were not lost
In casual abstraction.

And now. Can you guess?
I don’t buy this depressive holiness.
Won’t carve out bile on a smoking crutch,
Won’t break down in flaming surrender.
I choose a raging isolation,

Irrelevant in this dystopia
I seek a reckoning with emptiness
To fill me heart with clarity,
The rider on those waves is lifted
Closer to reality,

You picked our wars
Without flaming crosses,
Your triumphs were the
Greatest mystery.

How will we find a way?
Without the harp and compass
To keep us from the rocks.

 

VI
So bring again the apple blossom to the
Shivering chills of Manhattan,
Bring the pilgrims papers and warm bread
Wrapped in memories,
Bring the mornings haze of forgiveness and
The scent of parks and hotel lobbies.
For I am sleepy and dawn is when I like.

Throw the curtains back and let me see the
Lines by your eyes that grow each time we laugh,
Your scratched compositions by candle light,
The subtitles of your foreign dreams
And silhouettes of perfect bodies.

No failures in longing for loves
Secret souvenirs.
Your gift was a sympathetic repose,
The way you made each tired glance unique.

 

VII
Now you’re raised
In some effortless simplicity,
What is, just is.
Was that you lingering in a sigh?

Out through the night,
Never weakened.
I hope the stars are kinder now
And your dancing away from all those
Yesterdays,

Wearing your heart in a knowing grin
Freed from the sadness in others beauty
And its faithful chains.

You took what you could,
You kept it close,
Maybe that is enough.

In a low voice, speak of glory.

 

For Leonard

Comments (4) »

“The more knowledge we acquire, the more mystery we find…”

“The more knowledge we acquire, the more mystery we find…A human being is part of the whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical illusion o his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace alll living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
Albert Einstein

Leave a comment »

“The best way to take care of the future…” Thich Nhat Hanh

“If we cling to the idea of hope in the future, we might not notice the peace and joy that are available in the present moment. The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”

“The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.”

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.  But I think the real miracle is not  to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.  Every day we are engaged  in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes.  All is a miracle.”

“You are like fireworks. You go out into your children, your friends, your society, and the whole world.”

“You are what you want to become. Why search anymore? You are a wonderful manifestation. The whole universe has come together to make your existence possible. There is nothing that is not you. The kingdom of God, the Pure Land, nirvana, happiness, and liberation are all you.”

“I hold my face in my two hands.
No, I am not crying.
I hold my face in my two hands
to keep the loneliness warm –
two hands protecting,
two hands nourishing,
two hands preventing
my soul from leaving me
in anger.”

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.”

Mindful Consuming

“Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in the body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and for the transformation of society.”

“You are like a candle. Imagine you are sending light out all around you. All your words, thoughts and actions are going in many directions. If you say something kind, your kind words go in many directions, and you yourself go with them. We are …transforming and continuing in a different form at every moment.”

“The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other.  We “go inside” their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering.  Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering.  We must become one with the subject of our observation.  When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with.””

“The Buddha’s teachings on love are clear. It is possible to live twenty-four hours a day in a state of love. Every movement, every glance, every thought, and every word can be infused with love.”

“Use your time wisely. Every moment produce beautiful thoughts, loving, kindness, forgiveness. Say beautiful things, inspire, forgive, act physically to protect and help.”

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.”

“Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search or struggle. Just Be.”

“May our heart’s garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.”

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

“We have to learn to die in every moment in order to be fully alive.”

Leave a comment »

Dancing Moment

This moment dances
In time,
The only one;
Unique
And dazzling.

A nobody consumed
And vast,
Alone and all in
Nothingness.

One chance hanging,
To realise
Truth,
Before death
Takes our lies.

One nobody
In nothingness,
Afraid to dance,
To speak,
To cry.

This moment dances
In time,
The only one;
Unique
And dazzling.

Comments (5) »

Loving through the winter

Birds playing with the cherry tree
Loving through the winter
In the cold slate northern skies.

Never felt the magic of the sea
Wash over me
From our nest up on tiger hill,
Where sweet storms settle and rage
Churning the pure airs still.

Wandering through the grace of life
With the crooked eyes of a child,
Born to grow distant
From the fireside glow of love
And the joy of blood warm wines.

Will love grow out of painful truth?
Will love come from where?

Turning in and back to face the
Glorious nought,
The chord from which we leapt
As wavering, tentative cloud
Craving something like desire.

The soft flute of seasons bring the gift
Of a symphonic terrain
And pulsing veins stand proud;
A breathless dance lingers in the heart
Of the routine and still grey.

Yet as night time crawls inward,
From the orange moon we are drawn out as
Innocent poison.

Slipping, as our pale shadows are eclipsed
By a greater darkness,
Returning what was to a deep blue reflection
And distant murmurs in stillness
We sense but never gather.

Leave a comment »

Tao Te Ching – Chapters 56 – 60

Chapter 56

Those who know do not talk
Those who talk do not know

Close the mouth
Shut the doors
Blunt the sharpness
Unravel the knots
Dim the glare
Mix the dust
This is called Mystic Oneness

They cannot obtain this and be closer
They cannot obtain this and be distant
They cannot obtain this and be benefited
They cannot obtain this and be harmed
They cannot obtain this and be valued
They cannot obtain this and be degraded
Therefore, they become honored by the world

Chapter 57

Govern a country with upright integrity
Deploy the military with surprise tactics
Take the world with non-interference
How do I know this is so?
With the following:

When there are many restrictions in the world
The people become more impoverished
When people have many sharp weapons
The country becomes more chaotic
When people have many clever tricks
More strange things occur
The more laws are posted
The more robbers and thieves there are

Therefore the sage says:
I take unattached action, and the people transform themselves
I prefer quiet, and the people right themselves
I do not interfere, and the people enrich themselves
I have no desires, and the people simplify themselves

Chapter 58

When governing is lackluster
The people are simple and honest
When governing is scrutinizing
The people are shrewd and crafty

Misfortune is what fortune depends upon
Fortune is where misfortune hides beneath
Who knows their ultimate end?
They have no determined outcome
Rightness reverts to become strange
Goodness reverts to become wicked
The confusion of people
has lasted many long days

Therefore the sages are:
Righteous without being scathing
Incorruptible without being piercing
Straightforward without being ruthless
Illuminated without being flashy

Chapter 59

In governing people and serving Heaven
There is nothing like conservation
Only with conservation is it called submitting early
Submitting early is called emphasis on accumulating virtues
Accumulating virtues means there is nothing one cannot overcome
When there is nothing that one cannot overcome
One’s limits are unknown
The limitations being unknown, one can possess sovereignty
With this mother principle of power, one can be everlasting
This is called deep roots and firm foundation
The Tao of longevity and lasting vision

Chapter 60

Ruling a large country is like cooking a small fish
Using the Tao to manage the world
Its demons have no power
Not only do its demons have no power
Its gods do not harm people

Not only do its gods not harm people
The sages also do not harm people
They both do no harm to one another
So virtue merges and returns

 

Translation by Derek Lin

http://www.Taoism.net

Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths in 2006.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: