Thursday, December 29, 2011

A meditation for the season

a poem by Jay Emerson Johnson
Few have been this preoccupied with tents
since you recklessly pitched one among us.
I would have chosen something more stable,
not quite so porous and vulnerable,
safe, secure, readily significant,
and missed the whisper of evening breezes,
the restless susurration of canvas,
and that one appearing in the shadows,
light flinting off flesh in a fading sun,
fireflies dancing in the night,
rousing my longing
to step into your own
luminous darkness.

See Jay's blog: .

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Meditation on Connectedness

"In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true."
--attributed to Buddha

Monday, December 26, 2011

On the Idea of "Incarnation"

A meditation by Fahkruddin Iraqi:

Although you may not know it,
If you love anyone, it is Him you love;
If you turn your head in any direction,
it is toward Him you turn.

Let go of everything,
Completely lose yourself on this path,
Then your every doubt will be dispelled.
With absolute conviction you'll cry out--
I am God!
I am the one I have found!

In the light I praised you
And never knew it.
In the dark I slept with you
And never knew it.
I always thought that I was me,
But no, I was you
and never knew it.
(from The Essential Gay Mystics, ed. by Andrew Harvey)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

About Wolves

"Wolves may feature in our myths, our history, and our dreams, but they have their own future, their own loves, their own dreams to fulfill."
--Anthony Miles

"Throughout the centuries we have projected on to the wolf the qualities we most despise and fear in ourselves."
--Barry Lopez
"We have doomed the Wolf not for what it is, but for what we have deliberately and mistakenly perceived it to be..the mythologized epitome of a savage, ruthless killer..which is, in reality no more than a reflexed images of ourself."
--Farley Mowat

Wolf at Beaver Creek
by Mike Burwell
(from The Cartography of Water)

This gray shape before me
not any known thing.

From twenty feet, my eyes slide
into other eyes, full
of wild streaks of darkening sky.
The creek rushes in its small calling.
He moves first, turns from the trail,
trots off, turns, stares,

trots, stops, stares
three more times before the willows
swallow him. I am rooted under clouds
ripping in winds too high to hear,
that other eye heaving in the heart.
"Wolf is the Grand Teacher. Wolf is the sage, who after many winters upon the sacred path and seeking the ways of wisdom, returns to share new knowledge with the tribe. Wolf is both the radical and the traditional in the same breath. When the Wolf walks by you-you will remember."
--Robert Ghost Wolf

Saturday, December 3, 2011

From "My Glance Is Clear Like a Sunflower"

From "My Glance Is Clear Like a Sunflower"

by Fernando Pessoa

I believe in the World as in a daisy
Because I see it. But I don't think about it
Because thinking is not understanding...

The World was not made for us to think about
(To think is to be eye-sick)
But for us to look at and be in tune with...

I have no philosophy: I have senses...
If I speak of Nature, it's not because I know what Nature is,
But because I love it, and that's why I love it,
For a lover never knows what he loves,
Why he loves or what love is...

Loving is eternal innocence,
And the only innocence is not to think...

(translated by Alberto Caeiro)

Some quotes from Wayne Dyer

"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you."


Desert Wisdom

Stories found in Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers, by Yushi Nomura:

"A philosopher asked Saint Anthony: Father, how can you be enthusiastic when the comfort of books has been taken away from you? He replied: My book, O Philosopher, is the nature of created things, and whenever I want to read the word of God, it is usually right in front of me."

"Abba Evagrius said that there was a brother, called Serapion, who didn't own anything except the Gospel, and this he sold to feed the poor. And he said these words, which are worth remembering: I have even sold the very word which commanded me: Sell everything, and give to the poor."

"There were two old men who had lived together for many years, and they never quarreled. Now one of them said: Let us try to quarrel once just like other people do. And the other replied: I don't know how a quarrel happens. Then the first said: Look, I put a brick between us, and I say, This is mine, and you say, No, it's mine, and after that a quarrel begins. So they placed a brick between them, and one of them said: This is mine, and the other said: No, it's mine. And he replied: Indeed, it's all yours, so take it away with you! And they went away unable to fight with each other."

"Abba James said: We do not want words alone, for there are too many words among people today. What we need is action, for that is what we are looking for, not words, which do not bear fruit."

"An old man said: If you have words, but no work, you are like a tree with leaves but no fruit. But just as a tree bearing fruit is also leafy, a person who has good work comes up with good words."

"A brother came to Abba Poemen and said: Abba, a variety of thoughts are coming into my mind and I am in danger. The old man took him out in the air and said: Open your robe and take hold of the wind. And he answered: No, I cannot do it. The old man said: If you cannot do it, neither can you prevent those thoughts from coming in. But what you should do is to stand firm against them."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Be Yourself

"If you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty."

--Matthew 23:12 (as translated in The Message, Eugene Peterson)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"My book ... is nature..."

"A philosopher asked Saint Anthony: Father, how can you be enthusiastic when the comfort of books has been taken away from you? He replied: My book, O Philosopher, is the nature of created things, and whenever I want to read the word of God, it is usually right in front of me."

--Yushi Nomura, Desert Wisdom: Sayings from the Desert Fathers

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Fording a Stream"

"For All"

a poem by Gary Snyder

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream
barefoot, pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

Rustle and shimmer of icy creek waters
stones turn underfoot, small and hard as toes
cold nose dripping
singing inside
creek music, heart music,
smell of sun on gravel.

I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell

one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Discovering the World"

"After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color and bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?"
--Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow

Friday, October 14, 2011


"We can create small pockets of flourishing, and we can make ourselves into overhanging rock ledges to protect their life, so that the full measure of possibility can spread and reseed the world. Doesn't matter what it is; if it's generous to life, imagine it into existence. Create a bicycle cooperative, a seed-sharing community, a wildlife sanctuary. Write poems for children. Sing duets to the dying. Tear out the irrigation system and plant native grass. Imagine water pumps. Dig a community garden in the Kmart parking lot. Learn to cook with the full power of the sun at noon.

"We don't have to start from scratch. We can restore pockets of flourishing lifeways that have been damaged over time. Breach a dam. Plant a riverbank. Vote for schools. Introduce the neighbors to each others' children. Celebrate the solstice. Write a story in an old language. Slow a rivercourse with a fallen log.

"Maybe most effective of all, we can protect refugia that already exist: they are all around us. Protect the marshy ditch behind the mall. Ban poisons from the edges of the road. Save the hedges in your neighborhood. Boycott what you don't believe in. Refuse to participate in what is wrong. There is power in this--an attention that notices and celebrates thriving where it occurs, a conscience that refuses to destroy it. These acts will be the wellspring of the new world. From sheltered pockets of moral imagining, and from protected pockets of flourishing, new ways of living will spread across the land.

"Here is how we will start anew: not from the edges over centuries of invasion, but from small pockets of good work, shaped by an understanding that all life is interdependent and driven by the uniquely human gift--practical imagination, the ability to imagine that things can be different from what they are now. 'Your calling,' philosopher Frederick Buechner said, 'is at the intersection of your great joy and the world's great need.' Go to that place. Do that work."

--Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

Thursday, October 13, 2011


"...those lifeways that are most destructive of the world often turn out to be exactly those lifeways that are most destructive of the spirit."

--Kathleen Dean Moore and Michael P. Nelson, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril

The full expression of Absolute Spirit

"Our goal is unreachable because we have always been where we long to be. As the philosopher Hegel once told his classes, in essence, the only thing that keeps us from seeing the world as the full expression of Absolute Spirit is our belief that this has yet to be accomplished."

--Michael Steinberg, A New Biology of Religion