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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Tree of Life

Tree of Life (Photo credit: sanctumsolitude)

They say we have been here for 60,000 years, but it is much longer.

We have been here since the time before time began.

We have come directly out of the Dreamtime

of the great creative Ancestors.

We have lived and kept the earth

as it was on the First Day.

All other peoples

of the world

come from

us.

~Aborgine Elder, Australia

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Calling Council

Moon and Saturn / Maan en Saturnus

“YOU HAVE SEEN HOW IT IS

that we are a Strong People —

one who has walked out

from a thundering Earth

and an Ocean that became sky.

YOU HAVE SEEN HOW IT IS

that we are a Wise People —

one who learns survival quickly

against a changing circumstance.

YOU HAVE SEEN HOW IT IS

that we are an Enduring People —

one who continues in the Chosen Purpose

against great difficulties.

YET YOU HAVE SEEN HOW IT IS —

–and she traced in the air

the closing of the circle of her thought —

that we are a Young People —

like small ones

whose teachers go away

before they have learned enough

who quarrel over the resolution of this and that

SO

LET US NOW LEARN HOW TO BE A PEOPLE

WHO SEEK THE WISDOM OF ORDERED COUNCIL.

LET US REMEMBER

HOW QUICKLY ONE WHO LEADS

MAY BE TAKEN FROM US.

LET US UNDERSTAND

THAT WHAT MAY BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR ONE

MAY BE POSSIBLE FOR MANY.

AND IF ALL THIS ESCAPES YOUR MEMORY

REMEMBER ONLY THIS:

SEEK THE WISDOM OF ORDERED COUNCIL —

HOWEVER MANY

HOWEVER FEW

HOWEVER OLD

HOWEVER YOUNG

SEEK THE WISDOM OF ORDERED COUNCIL.

Paula Underwood

The Walking People

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Pain as a messenger

These pain’s you feel are messengers.

Listen to them.

Turn them to sweetness.

~ Jellal ed-Din Rumi (1207-1273), Persian poet and Sufi master

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Thunder clap sounds loudly

my heart broken wide open

Witness to unyielding pain

and great triumphs

of the human spirit!

4/13/12

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Written after humbly watching Beyond Right and Wrong:  Stories of Justice & Forgiveness, a yet to be released documentary.

I so honor the courageous people who work toward justice, toward peace talks, toward reconciliation of the most difficult situations in the world.

When the documentary comes out, please go see it, it is heart breaking and filled with great wisdom, love, and hope.

Peace,

~~Jennifer

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Heat arises from the Earth.

Winds slow and stop

dead.

The blue is bluer than even possible.

And less cloud cover

seems to be in the sky and

over my being,

mind

heart

body.

I sit at the feet of

two buddhas and a hundred

bodhisattvas and beautifully they

know it and don’t know it.

They know that there is

no other except here and now

and they take all the time in the world

to freely explore in wisdom, in compassion,

in the most honest way possible.

Come in.

Be.

Listen gladly,

spontaneously,

fearlessly,

But Listen

closely with every cell,

connecting to every

atom that exists,

lifetime upon lifetime

that all emerges into one pointedness.

The birds stop

singing and the whole

Earth exhales and pauses.

Cling

Clang

the clacker.

Dong

Gong

the bell of mindfulness wipes

away the presence of

everything else.

The edge comes. . .

Beyond the triple gems

and beyond these two buddhas

and hundred bodhisattvas

to a place of great merger

where on the dirt road

I come face to face

with the buddha within.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

4/13/12 After teachings at Upaya Zen Center today

As I sit today and drink in everything like a sponge, I am so present and aware of the shoulders I stand upon, the countless beings who have come before me as healers, wise wo(men), shamans, priest(esses), artists, philosophers, physicians, etc who have walked this very earth knowing that being a community is vital to being present to the depth of suffering, joy, and healing in this world.

I am grateful to everyone at Upaya from those cooking and volunteering in the kitchen and nourishing us, to those residents, to my endless circle of teachers that I am privileged to sit amidst.

I feel like my spirit, essence, whatever you may want to call it is going through a detoxification, questioning delusional beliefs I have held lately and very open to a lack of compassion I have had for myself as a being-in-this-world and for those I share this world with.

And I have a more profound love and devotion to my parents, to my original teachers who have loved me in the very best ways they know how.  I honor them and pray that I have been able to and continue into the future to love others as deeply.

With deep gratitude to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha… the three gems, Jennifer

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There is a lightness about the desert that is appealing.

As if all the dankness is evaporated and

Blown to the Four_Winds.

There are trees blooming everywhere

Despite the stark landscape.

The cold desert is

Seeping in slowly,

Past the armoring,

To the warm aching heart below.

This is the heart touched so deeply by the motherless child,

by the twinless twin,

the person letting go and expanding into the

Ultimate here and now.

Breathing in, I melt and evaporate.

Breathing out, I fall into simplicity

for it is in the depths of simplicity that we

find nothing more profound than

Loving.

4/12/12 After our zazen @ Upaya Zen Center

May the merit of all that we are and all that we do be of solace and comfort to those who are in need.

With great love,

~~Jennifer

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Interbeing

Call Me by My True Names by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river, and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to
Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate, and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands, and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to, my people, dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life. My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.

~~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Unlikely Teachers

“I have learned silence from the talkative,

tolerance from the intolerant,

and kindness from the unkind.

I should not be ungrateful to these teachers.”

~Kahlil Gibran

What great woes have you learned from?

What has fortified your heart after breaking it open?

What has opened your eyes and your heart?

Won’t you share your story?

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Right Understanding

English: Winter sunshine.

Image via Wikipedia

Whoever rightly understands

and celebrates death,

at the same time

magnifies life.

~~Rainer Maria Rilke

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Requiem

Today, it’s been 17 years since my brother died.  I honor his life and his journey and I am filled with gratitude for him allowing me to companion him through his journey with dying.

I wrote this less than two weeks after he died and thought I would share it today.

May we be blessed by those who have touched our lives and who have died.

May we be blessed with people who love us, right here and now.

May we know that we have made a difference in every life we have touched.

Namaste.

Requiem

Whatever happend to the

fair-haried boy,

sitting and watching the campfire?

With a shy, sly grin,

You must have been a real charmer!

 

The boy whom I used to admire so.

How I lament his disappearance from our lives.

I see him in front of the fire,

Amazed and awed by the gods

That warm him.

A boy well-learned in the arts

And knew all the finer things.

This youth, thinking so hard,

So far inside of himself.

What could be that grave to

Captivate this imp’s consciousness?

 

The precious blonde boy

With eyes wide and blue,

Could not stay forever in front of that blaze.

Had he,

He would have had less of

A chance of being burnt by the flames,

Then by his life.

He met the world,

Turning his back and taking the hardest path.

 

Along the journey,

This toddler grew into an “angry young man”.

His eyes turned toward money and power

And reflected the cold that he

Tried to warm in his heart.

 

Whatever happened to that bright

Young man whose future

Was just beginning?

Any journey could have been taken. . . .

Why this one?

 

Whatever happened to the beautiful man

Whom I admired so much?

Brilliant, classic, and pristine

Like a piece of Waterford crystal,

Or a Grecian urn.

Why did I not understand the anger and the pain in your eyes?

 

Here I am,

Left with broken pieces,

Lamenting your death,

Unsure above your life.

I can barely remember now

That man whom you

Were for just a moment.

 

I know this journey

Led us on paths we wish

We had never time to explore,

But I think that I found

That fair-haired boy,

With the shy, sly grin

You tried so hard to bury.

 

I held you close

And wept by your side.

I saw the pain in your eyes,

As you rain into every mountain

And hung onto each cliff.

I close my eyes

And see you let go . . .

Drifting. . .

Taking flight. . .

Soaring high above

With the other lavender balloons.

 

I look toward the heavens

And find you there.

Glowing brilliantly and pristinely against the darkness

Of the night sky.

I know that fair-haired boy

Has returned to his place before the campfire,

Returned to his home.

 

It’s a comforting sort of feeling

That washes over me

After the tears fall away.

With every breeze and every note

Of the chime, I hear your voice and

The sound of an “I love you”.

If I close my eyes tight enough,

That luminous star helps me

To know the beginning

And remember the end.

 

 

In Memory of M.H. Stevens

Jan 6, 1963-February 15, 1995

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