why treat life as a battlefield

The “reciprocal sustenance” of intertwining trees
words that animate a page
bringing playfulness and ambiguity
converging roads of destiny and invention.

What will bridge us to the sacred?
Awareness and hunger,
long hours looking at a river,
walking on a vast field of tulips?

I’m thinking of something else:
understanding on how to approach silence,
when the last days come, the attitude of surrender:
life, not as a battlefield,
not “to die bloodied and exhausted”

only want peace.

the differences

Unusually warm spring day

I watch
carelessly thrown paper wrapper
tossing in the wind

on the beach
from a distance, laughter
of children playing

I feel a longing
to hear your voice,
look into your eyes

bring back a memory
of “deep orange persimmons
falling from a basket”

little by little
each day that passes
the color fades

One day
I will learn the differences
between Japanese cherry trees

one flowers and one weeps.

note: Today I finished reading The Samurai’s Garden, a relatively old novel, by Gail Tsukiyama.



you can’t be serious

at a mountain retreat
a chance encounter
a man with a long beard

touches the mat during zazen
a simple razor forgotten
started at the habit of not shaving

he finds comfort
combing his beard
braiding with different patterns

after meeting him
I began beard sighting
for the 10 best braided beards

I want to tell you more
but I’ll be late for class on “mindspeech”
in School of Direct Experiences


note: lately I have been playing a lot of chess by email. I found it very hard to write poetry and play chess. Does the thinking involve the same areas of the brain? I’m curious. I just finished reading Ursula LeGuin’s The Left Hand of Darkness

meditation on suffering

I try every day to meditate on Richard Rohr’s daily meditations.

Holding the Pain
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Don’t get rid of the pain until you’ve learned its lessons. When you hold the pain consciously and trust fully, you are in a very special liminal space. This is a great teaching moment where you have the possibility of breaking through to a deeper level of faith and consciousness. Hold the pain of being human until God transforms you through it. And then you will be an instrument of transformation for others.
As an example of holding the pain, picture Mary standing at the foot of the cross. Standing would not be the normal posture of a Jewish woman who is supposed to wail and lament and show pain externally. She’s holding the pain instead, as also symbolized in Michelangelo’s Pietà. Mary is in complete solidarity with the mystery of life and death. She’s trying to say, “There’s something deeper happening here. How can I absorb it just as Jesus is absorbing it, instead of returning it in kind?” Until you find a way to be a transformer, you will pass the pain onto others.

from: Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
Adapted from The Authority of Those Who Have Suffered (MP3 download)
Richard Rohr, OFM

Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized.