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Showing posts from April, 2007

RISE

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RISE I wake to rising, to the elevate sun and flight of birds. I wake to the lift and life of daylight, the streaming of shine clouds illuminate in. I wake to a rising child whose small arms reach up for holding. I wake to her uplifting face, a helium kiss. And I salute this day for the upward shift of heart it gives. I wake to the uplift of bloom and branch and catch as much of the sun as I can. I insist on joy and the living out of it like the infinite box of good things it holds for me. I live for the lifting hands, and haul each beaten dreamer out of the dark, one by one, the basement empties of starving child, wounded student, yet another undreamed of horror. I stand at the circle door of heaven sleeves rolled up for the work. My muscles flex in delight and purpose. I lift so they may rise. I do life like love and revisit the morning light of everything I do. I imagine the arisen. I enact the rising. This life invites the illuminating action. I reach out to you, child, all who hav

DHARMA AND THE CHRIST

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As we walk the paths of our lives, we are to exercise our love for all things spiritual. In a close relationship with the world, we develop a close relationship to God. By loving life, we love God. For the poets of the Bible, this love was deep to the point of being all consuming. Amazement and wonder accompanied their every step. They walked aware that every grain of sand that shifted beneath a sandal was luminous with the light of creation. And just as much as it is a commitment to live life for every minute drop of wonder it can contain, it is a choice to engage life on this level of ultimate intensity. Such is the choice to know God not only through creation but through the experiences that arise in our lives. For just as the flower blooming through the snow is a presentment, and a metaphor, of the divine every conversation and kiss is as well. Once we choose to visit the sacred level of life, we find that it extends through all things and events. In the reclaiming of Christianity

WHY THE HOLY BOOK IS HOLY

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In Conversations with God , Neale Donald Walsch "quotes" God as saying that the Bible was written by men and they got a lot of things wrong. I know that the Holy Bible has been the source of much horrendous action. Yet, our lack of understanding does not make the poets unskillful. The cipher of alchemy runs through these texts like water through soil, nourishing every word, image, and symbol with cool life. It has been hidden, and in its discovery and application the Holy Bible shifts into its own deliberate meaning. It flourishes under our eyes like a living forest rich with all life from root to loam to wolf to leaf to eagle and cloud. What is unfolding in me unfolds further each time I read, and I am awed always by the depths it finds in me to sound. These are words we fall through into the mystical. Beautifully enough, the text with the cipher running through it does not in the least bit vary in meaning from the contemporary view of the Divine held by many, including Wa

THE WHISPERING GALLERY

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At the top of the dome at St. Pauls Cathedral in London, in an area called the Whispering Gallery, aged benches curve the dome’s circumference. Lean forward and you can see the brilliance of the marble floor below, look up and see Sir Peter Thornhill’s glass mosaic scenes of Creation. Sit still, raise your eyes slightly and you can see, between the arches of the inner dome, mosaics of prophets and saints as they sit at their desks either engaging or trying to escape from the task of writing down the word of God. Each man takes a varying degree of dislike to the process. John is most disciplined, there with his lion, as angels hold open his book. Not so willing, Isaiah looks about to haul off, punch the angel holding the pen, and ditch the job altogether. Jeremiah must be held down while one angel forces the pen into his closed fist and implores him to take the divine dictation, which he does. It’s a scene of violence and trepidation, furor and resistance. The whispers of the Whispering

THE ONION METAPHOR

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The mystical journey is often compared to the peeling of an onion. Here's my take. Go get an onion. Put it on the table in front of you. Take off one layer of the peel. Then another, and another. You get the point. You have tears coming from your eyes now. Keep peeling. Peel all the way to, well, peel all the way. The onion’s gone and you’re completely weeping and maybe the tears have now turned into real tears, drawing on feelings you did not know you had. But you can’t really tell. Wipe away your tears. Now, get another onion. Put it on the table in front of you. Take of one layer of the peel. Now, using a very fine knife or burning apparatus, remove one layer of your own skin from your entire body. Then another from the onion, then another from yourself. Then another, and another. You get the point. You are a screaming weeping ruin by this time. And you have to keep going in order to find the truth. When the onion is gone, you are also gone. If you really exist, this is the mome

CARRY TIGER UP THE MOUNTAIN

I am posting this poem in honor of Good Friday and the closing of a very difficult Holy Week. I have found that the more focused I have become on spirit the more deeply I am affected by the liturgical calendar. At present, I feel as though my heart is being gripped by enormous hands that want to tear it out of me. At such times, I remember the Qi Gong move called "Carry Tiger Up the Mountain." Years ago when I was doing Qi Gong I would weep every time this motion came into my practice. By the tenth movement I'd be a wreck. Finally I asked my teacher why I wept every time I did this. He told me the movement follows the story of a Tao master who carried the dead body of his pet tiger up a mountain because he knew that was the only way to fully embrace his death. CARRY TIGER UP THE MOUNTAIN If you really want it out of you, then we’re talking the Himalayas, Sherpa-less, no gear because who can carry gear when they’re carrying a tiger. You really have to take it all

PEACE AND PATIENCE

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In Mandarin, Patience means "to wait with certainty; to allow life to carry you." The Ten Commandments are lessons in dealing "with our own stuff" and not putting it out into the world. I've been thinking about how in Hebrews Paul writes that Christ becomes "an author of life" and how this reflects the Buddhist and Taoist notions of "ministering." The Taoists and Buddhists maintain that how we walk and talk and think creates the world. The Judeo-Christian Commandments are our version of this. Along with the command not to commit blasphemy, harsh speech, we, too, are instructed to only put peace in the world. I struggle with this when I want an answer NOW for a question. Our tendency is to "talk" about it when we are angry, to put our emotions out there for all to see, and endure. This is counter to peace. Inaction and silence prompt us to work through our attitudes toward things that confound us, rather than to turn them into a circ

THE DEAD SEA

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We who lived there didn’t call it that. We worked the ink as God works the tide, sealing it with sand and salt. We ate in grace, moved in peace. What kept us never yelled or scolded. No one got hurt. We were allowed to leave but who would want to? Gazing out, the water in us sang life that only ended when forgotten. Back then we all moved upon the water in our minds. I left my cup on a rock.It filled with rain. But you won’t find rain here. This rain cleanses memory but leaves no earthly mark. And when you remember us, picture me standing on this cliff as you stand now, kind visitor, gazing out at what I saw but not seeing.