Tuesday, January 31, 2017

note to self


You create what you resist.

—Luis Alvarez
Nobel Prize/Physics


if you want


If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn, let yourself die.

If you want to be given everything, give everything up.
The Master, by residing in the Tao, sets an example for all beings.

–Lao Tzu


Sunday, January 29, 2017



The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed,
will set off a revolution.

—Paul Cezanne


Friday, January 27, 2017

so below


That which is above is like that which is below

and that which is below is like that which is above,

to achieve the wonders of the one thing.

–Hermes Trismegistus


Thursday, January 26, 2017



When the wind blows
that is my medicine
When it rains
that is my medicine

When it hails
that is my medicine

When it becomes clear after a storm
that is my medicine

–Holy Woman Poem




The horse's mind

So swiftly

Into the hay's mind.

–Fazil Husnu Daglarca
Talat Sait Halman translation




... down deep, at the molecular heart of life,
we’re essentially identical to trees.

–Carl Sagan


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

beyond mind


Don’t rely on your mind for liberation. 
It is the mind that brought you into bondage.

Go beyond it altogether.

Nisargadatta Maharaj


Sunday, January 22, 2017

just sit


We just sit.

It is like something happening in the great sky.

Whatever kind of bird flies through it, the sky doesn’t care.
That is the mind transmitted from Buddha to us.

–Shunryu Suzuki


Friday, January 20, 2017

Meditation Celestial and Terrestial


The wild warblers are warbling in the jungle
Of life and spring of the lustrious inundations,
Flood on flood, of our returning sun.
Day after day, throughout the winter,
We hardened ourselves to live by bluest reason
In a world of wind and frost,

And by will, unshaken and florid
In mornings of angular ice,
That passed beyond us through the narrow sky.

But what are radiant reason and radiant will
To warblings early in the hilarious trees
Of summer, the drunken mother?

–Wallace Stevens


Wednesday, January 18, 2017



When day comes, all things emerge from the depths of unmanifest nature;
when night comes, all things dissolve into the unmanifest again.

—Bhagavad Gita


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

take off from here



Cultivate a work-lust that imagines its haven like your hands at night, dreaming the sun in the sunspot of a breast. 

You are fasted now, light-headed, dangerous.
Take off from here. 

And don't be so earnest.

–Seamus Heaney


Monday, January 16, 2017



A man may go into the field and say his prayer and be aware of God, or, he may be in Church and be aware of God; but, if he is more aware of Him because he is in a quiet place, that is his own deficiency and not due to God, Who is alike present in all things and places, and is willing to give Himself everywhere so far as lies in Him.

He knows God rightly who knows Him everywhere.

–Meister Eckhart


radishes and roses


Ursula, in a garden, found
A bed of radishes.
She kneeled upon the ground
And gathered them,
With flowers around,
Blue, gold, pink, and green.

She dressed in red and gold brocade
And in the grass an offering made
Of radishes and flowers.

She said, “My dear,
upon your alters
I have placed the marguerites and coquelicot,
And roses
Frail as April snow;
 But here," she said,
"Where none can see,
I make an offering in the grass
Of radishes and flowers.”
And then she wept
For fear the Lord would not accept.

The good Lord in his garden sought
New leaf and shadowy tinct,
And they were all his thought.
He heard her low accord,
Half prayer and half ditty,
And He felt a subtle quiver,
That was not heavenly love,
Or pity.

This is not writ
In any book.

–Wallace Stevens


Sunday, January 15, 2017

i am


Outwardly, I am one apple among many.

Inwardly, I am the Tree.

–Alan Watts


Saturday, January 14, 2017

the question


The question ‘Who am I?’ is not really meant to get an answer. 
The question ‘Who am I?’ is meant to dissolve the questioner.

Ramana Maharshi


note to self


Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.

—Alan Wilson Watts


the proof



Ultimately, you are the proof that God exists, not the other way around. For before any question about God can be put, you must be there to put it.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj


you are that


One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked.
A voice asked, 'Who is there?'

He answered, 'It is I.'

The voice said, 'There is no room for Me and Thee.'
The door was shut.

After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked. A voice from within asked, 'Who is there?'
The man said, 'It is Thee.'
The door was opened for him.

–Jelaluddin Rumi


Friday, January 13, 2017



If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

–Tom Barrett
what's in the temple? excerpt


Thursday, January 12, 2017

slow growth



The most living moment comes when
those who love each other meet each
other's eyes and in what flows
between them then. To see your face

in a crowd of others, or alone on a 
frightening street, I weep for that.

Our tears improve the earth. The
time you scolded me, your gratitude,

your laughing, always your qualities
increase the soul. Seeing you is a 

wine that does not muddle or numb.
We sit inside the cypress shadow

where amazement and clear thought
twine their slow growth into us.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

hope is the thing


"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

–Emily Dickinson


the greatest of these


Though I speak with the tongues of angels,
If I have not love...
My words would resound with but a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophesy...
And understand all mysteries...
and all knowledge...

And though I have all faith
So that I could remove mountains,
If I have not love...
I am nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind;
Love tolerates all things,
Aspires to all things.
Love never dies.
While the prophecies shall be done away,
tongues shall be silenced,
knowledge shall fade...
thus then shall linger only
faith, hope, and love...
but the greatest of these...
is love.

1 Corinthians 13


Saturday, January 7, 2017

the potency of emptiness


Subhuti was Buddha’s disciple.
He was able to understand the potency of emptiness,
the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of
subjectivity and objectivity.

One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness,
was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him.

“We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,”
the gods whispered to him.

“But I have not spoken of emptiness,” said Subhuti.

“You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness,”
responded the gods.

“This is true emptiness.” 

And blossoms showered upon Subhuto as rain.

from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones:
Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
collected by Paul Reps, Nyogen Senzaki


from an untitled poem


To sing is to begin a sentence
like “I want to get well."
I am not born for nothing
and neither are you:
Heaven never wept
over nothing.

–Thomas Merton


Friday, January 6, 2017

from a letter, Oct. 13, 1819, to his fiancée Fanny Brawne


I have been astonished that men could die
martyrs for their religion –
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.

I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.

–John Keats


Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Nothing is lost,

nothing is created,

everything is transformed.

—Antoine Lavoisier


Monday, January 2, 2017

simplicity is simple


In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.

–Dag Hammarskjöld