“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches”

beautiful girl lying down of grass

“Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches of other lives-
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
hanging from the branches of the young locust trees,
in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left –
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one’s foot into the door of the grass,
which is the mystery, which is death as well as life,
and not be afraid!
To set one’s foot in the door of death,
and be overcome with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-fingered, sailing out of his house of straw,
nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle, that have opened in the night,
To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!

Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.

Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses: deny me not, but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them.
Maybe I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.

For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in!

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves,
and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace.

Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daises,
and I would bow down to think about it.

That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I backtrack. I float.
I ramble my way home.”

~ Mary Oliver,
”West Wind: Poems and Prose Poems”

Don’t Go Back To Sleep

hara chakra

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

~Rumi

When You Can Endure

When
The words stop
And you can endure the silence
That reveals your heart’s pain
Of emptiness
Or that great wrenching-sweet longing,
That is the time to try and listen
To what the Beloved’s eyes
Most want
To
Say.

~Hafiz

What if…

“What if our religion was each other,
if our practice was our life, if prayer our words?
What if the temple was the Earth, if forests were our
church, if holy waters ~ the rivers, lakes and oceans.
What if meditation was our relationships,
if the teacher was life, if wisdom was self-knowledge,
if love was the center of our being?
Ganga White

Why Meditate? A five minute audio.

Why Meditate? by Pema Chodron

Loving-Kindness and Meditation by Pema Chodron

“When we start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, we often think that somehow we’re going to improve, which is a subtle aggression against who we really are.  It’s a bit like saying, “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I had a nicer house, I’d be a better person.” “If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person.”  Or the scenario may be that we find fault with others. We migh say, “If it weren’t for my partner, I’d have the perfect marriage.”  “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.” And, if it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.”

But loving-kindness – maitri – toward ourselves doesnt mean getting rid of anything.  Maitri means that we can still be crazy, we can still be angry.  We can still be timid and full of feelings of unworthiness.  Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better.  It’s about befriending who we are already.  The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.  That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.

Curiosity involves being gentle, precise, open – actually being able to let go and open.  Gentleness is a sense of goodheartedness toward ourselves.  Precision is being able to see clearly, seeing what’s really there.  Openness is being able to let go, and open.  When you come to have this kind of honesty, gentleness, and good-heartedness, combined with clarity about yourself, there’s no obstacle to feeling loving kindness for yourself, and others as well.”

Pema Chodron

Loving-Kindness

“When we start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, we often think that somehow we’re going to improve, which is a subtle aggression against who we really are.  It’s a bit like saying, “if I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I had a nicer house I’d be a better person.” “If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person.”  Or the scenario may be that we find fault with others.  We might say, “If it weren’t for my husband, I’d have the perfect marriage.” “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.”  And, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.”

But loving-kindness toward ourselves doesn’t mean getting rid of anything.  Loving-kindness means that we can still be crazy, we can still be angry.  We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness.  Practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better.  It’s about befriending who we are already.  The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are.  That’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest.  Curiosity involves being gentle, precise, and open.  Gentleness is a sense of goodheartedness toward ourselves.  Precision is  being able to see clearly, even when we’re afraid to see what’s really there.  Openness is letting go, and opening.  When you come to have this kind of honesty, gentleness, and good-heartedness, combined with clarity about yourself, there’s no obstacle to feeling loving-kindness for yourself, and for others as well.” ~ Pema Chodron from Comfortable With Uncertainity

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