Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Black holes are where God divided by zero. ―Albert Einstein


Nothing, absolutely nothing, remains just what it is. For Buddhists, the most basic fact or quality of the world is not being, as it is for most Western philosophers and theologians: it’s becoming. To be is to become, one can “be” only if one is in motion. (We can note an immediate difference here from what we heard about the Christian God: for Western, Christian theologians, to call God perfect means he doesn’t change; for Buddhists, if we call God perfect, it means that God is the most changeable reality we could imagine!) 
But just why is everything impermanent and in constant change? The answer has to do with what might be called the flip-side of anicca: pratityasamutpada, or, technically, “interdependent origination.” More simply: everything changes because everything is interrelated. Everything comes into being and continues in being through and with something else.  
Nothing, Buddha came to see, has its own existence. In fact, when he wanted to describe the human self, or the self/identity of anything, the term he used was anatta, which means literally no-self … 
We are not “selves” in the sense of individual, separate, independent “things.” Rather, we are constantly changing because we are constantly interrelating (or being interrelated).
—Paul F. Knitter
Without Buddha I Could Not Be A Christian

the round earth rolls


This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.

—John Muir


the keeper of fragile things

Cease trembling and shaking and gasping
and cursing and find again your core which I am.

Rest from twistedness, distortion, deformations.

For an hour you will be me; that is, the other
half of yourself. The half you lost.

What you burnt, broke, and tore is still in my hands: 
I am the keeper of fragile things
and I have kept of you what is indissoluble.

—Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

dew light



Now in the blessed days of more and less
when the news about time is that each day
there is less of it I know none of that
as I walk out through the early garden
only the day and I are here with no
before or after and the dew looks up
without a number or a present age

—W. S. Merwin
from the moon before morning


hold Truth


I wish I could speak like music.

I wish I could put the swaying splendor
Of the fields into words
So that you could hold Truth
Against your body
And dance.

I am trying the best I can
With this crude brush, the tongue, 
To cover you with light.

I wish I could speak like divine music.

I want to give you the sublime rhythms
Of this earth and the sky's limbs
As they joyously spin and surrender,
Against God's luminous breath.

Hafiz Wants you to hold me
Against your precious

And dance



Monday, September 28, 2020

the final reality


Chronological time is what we measure by clocks and calendars; it is always linear, orderly, quantifiable, and mechanical. Kairotic time is organic, rhythmic, bodily, leisurely, and aperiodic; it is the inner cadence that brings fruit to ripeness, a woman to childbirth, a man to change his direction in life.

—Sam Keen

. . .

To search the final reality of stone beyond the accident of time, I seek the love of matter. The materiality of stone, its essence, to reveal its identity—not what might be imposed but something closer to its being. Beneath the skin is the brilliance of matter.

—Isamu Noguchi
Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi, Hayden Herrera



unwritten signs


A forest is what exists between its trees, between its dense undergrowth and its clearings, between all its life cycles and their different time-scales, ranging from solar energy to insects that live for a day. 

A forest is also a meeting place between those who enter it and something unnameable and attendant, waiting behind a tree or in the undergrowth. Something intangible and within touching distance. Neither silent nor audible. 

It is not only visitors who feel this attendant something; hunters and foresters who can read unwritten signs are even more keenly aware of it. 

—John Berger
Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance 


zeroes on the loose


Eternity isn’t some later time. Eternity isn’t a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don’t get it here, you won’t get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.

—Joseph Campbell

. . .

I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.

—Wislawa Szymborska

. . .

The sun turns like a pinwheel.
It counts
its radiant, radioactive petals, ending always
in ‘love,’ an odd number—

—Oni Buchanan

Sunday, September 27, 2020



If you cannot find a friend who is good, wise, and loving, walk alone, like a king who has renounced his kingdom, or an elephant roaming at will in the forest.


There is something in personal love, caresses, and the magnetic flood of sympathy and friendship, that does, in its way, more good than all the medicine in the world. —Walt Whitman


This is what you shall do:
Love the earth and sun and the animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,

Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labors to others,

Hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
Have patience and indulgence toward the people,

Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
Or to any man or number of men,

Go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
And with the young and with the mothers of families,

Read these leaves in the open air,
Every season of every year of your life,

Reexamine all you have been told,
At school at church or in any book,

Dismiss whatever insults your own soul,
And your very flesh shall be a great poem,

And have the richest fluency not only in its words,
But in the silent lines of its lips and face,

And between the lashes of your eyes,
And in every motion and joint of your body.

—Walt Whitman,
born 1819
Leaves of Grass


Saturday, September 26, 2020



Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world?
It is that we have only known the back of the world.
We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal.
That is not a tree, but the back of a tree.
That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud.
Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face?
If we could only get round in front—

—G. K. Chesterton, 1908
from The Man Who Was Thursday


Flatland: A Romance in Many Dimension —Edwin Abbott Abbott ,1884



In this classic masterwork of perspective, Abbott examines the science of multiple spatial dimensions while satirizing the absurdity of truth by consensus and extending a subtle invitation to consider how what we take as our givens limits our grasp of reality, presenting us with a false view of the world warped by our way of looking at it. 

The story is narrated by a protagonist named A. Square, a native of Flatland — a world whose geometric denizens only live and see in two dimensions. But the square has a transformative experience that renders him “the sole possessor of the truths of Space.” On the eve of a new year, he has a hallucinatory vision of journeying to a faraway place called Lineland, populated by “lustrous points” who see him not as a shape but merely as a scattering of points along a line. Frustrated, he tries to demonstrate his squareness to their king by moving from left to right. The king, ignorant of directions, fails to perceive the motion and clings to his view of the square as points on a line. 

But then the square himself is visited by a creature from another world — a sphere from the three-dimensional Spaceland. The very notion of three dimensions is at first utterly unimaginable to our hero — he sees the visitor merely as a circle. And yet when the sphere floats up and down, thus contracting and expanding the radius of the perceived circle based on its distance from our grounded observer, the square begins to suspect that he, like the inhabitants of Lineland, might be congenitally blind to the existence of another dimension. 

When he returns to Flatland and tries to awaken his compatriots to the revelatory existence of a third dimension, he is met only with obtuse denial and declared mad. Decrees are passed to make illegal any suggestion of a third dimension and all who make such claims are to be imprisoned or executed.

The square himself is eventually thrown in jail, where he spends seven years and composes Flatland as a cautionary memoir he hopes will inspire posterity to see beyond the limit of two dimensions.

—Maria Popova

full article at




First Light Edging Cirrus


1025 molecules
are enough
to call woodthrush or apple. 
A hummingbird, fewer.
A wristwatch: 1024
An alphabet's molecules, 
tasting of honey, iron and salt,
cannot be counted– 
as some strings, untouched,
sound when a near one is speaking. 
As it was when love slipped inside us.
It looked out to face in every direction. 
Then it was inside the tree, the rock, the cloud.

—Jane Hirshfield


Friday, September 25, 2020

all my relations


When we take a step on the green grass of spring, we walk in such a way that allows all our ancestors to take a step with us. Our peace, our joy, our freedom, which are in each step, penetrate each generation of our ancestors and each generation of our descendants. If we can walk like that, that is a step taken in the highest dhyana.

When we take one step we see hundreds and thousands of ancestors and descendants taking a step with us, and when we take a breath we are light, at ease, calm. We breathe in such a way that all the generations of ancestors are breathing with us and all the generations of our descendants are also breathing with us… if we breathe like that, only then are we breathing according to the highest teachings.

We just need a little mindfulness, a little concentration and then we can look deeply and see. At first we use the method of visualization and we see, as we walk, all the ancestors putting their foot down as we put our foot down, and gradually we don’t need to visualize any more – each step we take, we see that that step is the step of all people in the past.

—Thich Naht Hanh


Thursday, September 24, 2020

when i am most fragile


A woman's body, like the earth, has seasons;
when the mountain stream flows,
when the holy thaws,
when I am most fragile and in need,
it was then, it seemed, God came closest.

God, like a medic on a field, is tending our souls. Our horns get locked with desires, but don't hold yourself too accountable; for all desires are really innocent. That is what the compassion in His eyes tell me.

Why this great war between the countries -- the countries -- inside of us?

What are all these insane borders we protect?
What are all these different names for the same church of love we kneel in together? For it is true, together we live; and only at that shrine where all are welcome will God sing loud enough to be heard.

Our horns got locked with the earth and sky in some odd marriage ritual; so what, don't worry. We should be proud of ourselves for everything we helped create in this magic world.

And God is always there, if you feel wounded. He kneels over this earth like a divine medic, and His love thaws the holy in us.

—St. Teresa of Avila
Daniel Ladinsky version


Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything. —Ray Bradbury


A wayfinder’s Imagination doesn’t dominate reality.  
It feels into Oneness, falls in love with “what wants to happen,” 
and gives itself to the vision created by that love.

—Martha Beck

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

soft hard


We’re only finding out recently that a lot of animals have colors and patterns that we cannot see because they’re outside of our visual range. It calls to attention how much of the world we can’t experience because our senses are limited.

When we shine UV lights on them, they glow pink or blue, but these are the colors that we CAN see…. they could be a bunch of different colors, which we SEE as all pink.

It’s also interesting to consider that most of these animals are not aware of having glowing patches on their bodies…. isn’t it also possible that we have skin or hair patterns that were not aware of?

(There is actually some research out there to support the idea that our own skin fluoresces as well and that there are gender differences in the pattern and glow.)

Wassily Kandinsky 


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

you know


We are not stuff that abides,
but patterns that perpetuate themselves. 

—Norbert Weiner

. . .

You are like a dewdrop, on a multidimensional spider's web in the morning. And if you look at that thing carefully, you will see that in every dewdrop the reflections of all the other dewdrops. So the way that dewdrop looks goes with the way all the other ones look, you see.

—Alan Watts


i am


I am the bird that knocks at your window in the morning
and your companion, whom you cannot know,
the blossoms that light up for the blind.
I am the glacier’s crest above the forests, the dazzling one
and the brass voices from cathedral towers.
The thought that suddenly comes over you at midday
and fills you with a singular happiness.

I am one you have loved long ago.
I walk alongside you by day and look intently at you
and put my mouth on your heart
but you don’t know it.

I am your third arm and your second
shadow, the white one,
whom you don’t have the heart for
and who cannot ever forget you.

—Rolf Jacobse 
translated from the Norwegian
by Roger Greenwald


Monday, September 21, 2020

portions and percipients


In Tibetan, the word for body is lu, which means ‘something you leave behind’, like baggage. We are only travellers, taking temporary refuge in this life and this body.
—Sogyal Rinpoche

. . .

All things exist as they are perceived: at least in relation to the percipient. “The mind is its own place, and in it self / Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.” But poetry defeats the curse which binds us to be subjected to the accident of surrounding impressions. And whether it spreads its own figured curtain, or withdraws life’s dark veil from before the scene of things, it equally creates for us a being within our being. It makes us the inhabitants of a world to which the familiar world is a chaos. It reproduces the common universe of which we are portions and percipients, and it purges from our inward sight the film of familiarity which obscures from us the wonder of our being. It compels us to feel that which we perceive, and to imagine that which we know. It creates anew the universe, after it has been annihilated in our minds by the recurrence of impressions blunted by reiteration.

—Percy Bysshe Shelley
A Defence of Poetry
Paradise Lost

nothing's a gift


Nothing's a gift, it's all on loan.
I'm drowning in debts up to my ears.
I'll have to pay for myself
with my self,
give up my life for my life.

Here's how it's arranged:
The heart can be repossessed,
the liver, too,
and each single finger and toe.

Too late to tear up the terms,
my debts will be repaid,
and I'll be fleeced,
or, more precisely, flayed.

I move about the planet
in a crush of other debtors.
some are saddled with the burden
of paying off their wings.
Others must, willy-nilly,
account for every leaf.

Every tissue in us lies
on the debit side.
Not a tentacle or tendril
is for keeps.

The inventory, infinitely detailed,
implies we'll be left
not just empty-handed
but handless too.

I can't remember
where, when, and why
I let someone open
this account in my name.

We call the protest against this
the soul.
And it's the only item
not included on the list.

—Wislawa Szymborska


Sunday, September 20, 2020

To love is to undress our names. —Octavio Paz


look at love...
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love 

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life 

why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how unknown merges into the known 

why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last 

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs 

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once 

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together 

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox 

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me 

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words 

my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be?

Nader Khalili translation




By itself nothing has existence. 
Everything needs its own absence. 

To be is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there,
to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise. 

Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything 
determined by conditions (gunas).

—Nisargadatta Maharaj