The thief left it behind: the moon at my window - Ryokan

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

waking at 4am


birds sing
the mornings 1st song

love's smiling eyes;
my horizon

we the weavers dance
suns golden hue

our heart is music
the birds sing to


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Right Thinking

Awen just loves cleaning,' my daughter, Gra-anna, told me with a big smile.

I watched three year old Awen with his cloth. Busy, busy wiping the floor, then shining it. When he was done he looked around purposefully to see where he could go next with his cleaning cloth.

My grandson was playing. He was playing, 'cleaning, cleaning'. If there was a spill so much the better, Awen was at it in a flash. When we finished our meal, Awen toddled off to the sink with his plate and on tippy toes, rinsed off his plate, after each meal. Happy as can be. That was 4 years ago, but the memory glows brightly in my heart.

When I partook in my yoga teacher training course, I learned about Karma Yoga. We were on a karma yoga roster for things like cleaning the dishes. I used these moments to learn to see the 'mundane' as sacred.

I was walking down the path a moment ago, going to fetch my son, Neville from school, when I suddenly remembered Awen cleaning and it all came together.

What is the attitude of play? When Awen was cleaning, he was very busy doing the work of a child which is to play. Do you remember the head space of playing? This is the way all things need to be approached, isn't it?


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Something precious

(dedicated to those who are loving and all those who grant others the honor of loving them)

There was something precious
about the way you left your window open
that day it rained and the wind was howling
Your gauzy curtain, a dancing muse, flying
wispy poetry for all eyes to see

There’s something precious shared
When you leave your heart achingly wide
to share without withholding
loving without a single thought
For that utterly unprotected warm place

There’s something precious that happens
When you drop those boundaries
between self and others and objects
And gift all earth with the abundance
Of boundlessness

(1st published on Metta's new site:


Thursday, October 16, 2008


For those interested in meditation, I’ve posted a series of youtube talks by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, titled Nature of Mind, which I recommend strongly. Although she is a Buddhist nun, her teachings target a wider audience and are useful for anyone wishing to understand the mind and how to improve one’s meditation practice. She uses a lovely simple approach and her manner is always ‘down to earth’. She spent 12 years in a cave in meditation; if anyone has insight into the mind, it is someone with this sort of experience.

As I watch this series, I have the sense of one who knows and understands the mind in the same way a doctor does anatomy. I get the sense of one who was watched the workings of the mind extensively and not only deeply understands, but has mastered this science/experience. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo explains things so you know ‘why’ you need to do it, which makes the meditation experience practical and sensible, instead following what you’re ‘told to do’ without explanation, as many teachers seem to expect, perhaps unwittingly, When we simply act out instructions which we do not intrinsically understand, we will seldom pursue them with in a committed way or for any prolonged period of time.

This series feels like a lovely ‘handbook’ on meditation and is excellent for beginners and also for those who have had uneven experiences and access to information on meditation and may need to ‘fill in the missing gaps’. Click here and scroll down until you see the youtube postings


Monday, October 13, 2008


Sunday, October 12, 2008

voicing tantalizing wandering

I just posted this, my 1st blog in Metta's lovely new site!
You are invited to visit and join if you find it interesting:
The United Buddhist Networks

While I was thinking about what to write,
how to say what I want to say
... finding what I want to say...
I was found this quotation which speaks to me so well:

"Of the many earnest, and how earnest, people we may observe reading, attending lectures, studying and practicing disciplines, devoting their energies to the attainment of a liberation which is by definition unattainable, how many are not striving via the ego-concept which is itself the only barrier between what they think they are and that which they wish to become but always have been and always will be?' - Why Lazurus Laughed by Wei Wu

Yesterday in this site, I started, what I hoped would become a conversation, on Emptiness.

I love this subject so much!
People always respond from a knowing place,
as do I when others raise a subject...

...and these responses are always helpful.
...but only to a degree.
As is the question itself.

I sense that as long as we are not enlightened
we will inevitably fluctuate between the relative realm and mindfulness

As a person on the path my 'goal' is enlightenment.
...I know having a goal
is the very thing/concept between me and enlightenment...

The thing is

... until we have 'arrived' (become enlightened/awakened)
there will be a goal
...for at least part of the time

and you know what?
I find this a sad thing...

Which does not mean I do not also endlessly celebrate.
I do.
In each moment that I bring my awareness to the moment.

But ...there is always the underlying yearning...
this is the very thing I guess which propels me on
keeps me taking the next step,
and the next, on the path.

Moments of awareness

stillness in the mind


yet... my awareness is so limited...

and so I am propelled ...
to take the next step...

and the next...

I teach art and yoga. Sometimes people take up these as a hobby
and squeeze into the hour they can manage between the important things in their lives.
After one or two classes they reach the moment when they feel daunted,
realizing they are actually on the foothills of a mountain they need to climb.

I attended a talk by Tenzin Palmo a while back.
She spoke eloquently about how life brings us challenges and by taking these challenges on
we become fit and strengthened spiritually
- in the same way our body becomes fit and strong from physical exercise.

There is a path to walk

the journey feels arduous at times


it is here
... this thing we search for
is here


Monday, October 6, 2008



Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in the world
All comes from desiring my own happiness

(The picture above is an attempt at a sketch of precious Ven Geshe Damcho Yonten whose teachings I recently attended on Shantideva's 'A Guide to the Bodhisatva Way of Life')