Monday, February 28, 2005

By Robyn Sarah

It is possible that things will not get better
than they are now, or have been known to be.
It is possible that we are past the middle now.
It is possible that we have crossed the great water
without knowing it, and stand now on the other side.
Yes: I think we have crossed it. Now
we are being given tickets, and they are not
tickets to the show we had been thinking of,
but to a different show, clearly inferior.

Check again: it is our own name on the envelope.
The tickets are to that other show.

It is possible that we will walk out of the darkened hall
without waiting for the last act: people do.
Some people do. But it is probable
that we will stay seated in our narrow seats
all through the tedious dénouement
to the unsurprising end - riveted, as it were;
spellbound by our own imperfect lives
because they are lives,
and because they are ours.
On second thought...

"Someone said, "Repay an injury with a good turn. What do you think of this saying?"The Master said, "What then, do you repay a good turn with?You repay an injury with straightness, but you repay a good turn with a good turn."

Monday Thought: Itching and Scratching

"When you have an itch, you scratch.But not to itch at allis better than any amount of scratching."


Sunday, February 27, 2005

One for the road...

"The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is."

--Oscar Wilde
On second thought...

"That which is most alive in us is indestructible."

Sunday Thought: What We Are

Our minds ….. are……………the mind of understanding Our hearts………are………. the heart of mercy and compassion Our bodies…………are…… the body of life Our souls……………...are… the soul of the universe Our spirits ……………….are the spirit of God. Is the single raindrop only a raindrop?

--Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

Saturday, February 26, 2005

On second thought...

"O Spirit, teach me to pray and pray, with deep concentration.O Spirit, balance my meditation with devotion, and purify my devotion with all-surrendering love unto Thee."

--Swami Yogananda. Whispers from Eternity
Saturday Thought: Before Whom You Stand

"There is an inscription above the Holy Ark in a great many synagogues around the world- I'd seen it myself in places as different as Brooklyn, Moscow, Nairobi, and Casablanca. The Hebrew reads Da lifney mi atah omed: Know before Whom you stand."

--Niles Elliot Goldstein.

Friday, February 25, 2005

On the other hand...

"Harmony is one phase of the law whose spiritual expression is love."

--James Allen
Friday Thought: What's Real

"What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things . . . it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface."

--Constantin Brancusi

Thursday, February 24, 2005

And If I Did Not Make Mistakes
By Katie Paton

And if I did not make mistakes
And give too brief a thought to heavy questions
And too much time to little matter;
Or if I always knew which road to travel
Where every step would lead me into daylight
And if each face that turned to watch me pass
Was broken by a smile;
Or if whenever I should choose to lay my heart
Bare upon the sun-warmed grass,
It always was returned with tender touches
And carried by a song;
And if my heaviest burden were only to be
A breeze upon my back, and blossom in my hair,
And my brow was never crossed with lines of pain;
If all this endless summer were my lot
And winter's fury never beat me back,
Then I never would have seen the stormy nights
Through which I've struggled, fought and won;
I never would have known the joy of needed comfort given,
Or the essence of a friend.
Thursday Thought: Dream On

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born."

--Dale E. Turner

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

are you there
..instead of here
....where you really are
Haiku Moment
By Don

lazy snowflakes
..drift my mind this morning
On second thought...

"Following the course of least resistance makes for crooked rivers and crooked men."

--Lanny Henninger
Wednesday Thought: The Not-Self

"To know the not-Self in one's nature is the pathway to knowledge of the Self."

--N. Sri Ram, Thoughts for Aspirants

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Soul unto itself
By Emily Dickinson

The Soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend --
Or the most agonizing Spy --
An Enemy -- could send --

Secure against its own --
No treason it can fear --
Itself -- its Sovereign -- of itself
The Soul should stand in Awe --
Tuesday Thought: Let Go of Your Clinging

Great poem with this message:

By Christopher Titmuss

Broken promises torment the imagination
through a shattered dream,
splintered like broken glass
into countless reflections of angst.

distorting the sense of wholeness
clinging to burdened thoughts,
clinging to faults,
clinging to blame,
to bitter acrimony from yesterday into today,
unhelpful, unwanted and undeserved.

exposing collapsed centres of inner movement
unexamined defences to this impersonal harassment
until the willingness comes to let things be
and beginner’s mind taken to heart.

in our shattered dream,
we see the way to a new beginning.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Often I Am Permitted to Return to a Meadow
By Robert Duncan

as if it were a scene made-up by the mind,
that is not mine, but is a made place,

that is mine, it is so near to the heart,
an eternal pasture folded in all thought
so that there is a hall therein

that is a made place, created by light
wherefrom the shadows that are forms fall.

Wherefrom fall all architectures I am
I say are likenesses of the First Beloved
whose flowers are flames lit to the Lady.

She it is Queen Under The Hill
whose hosts are a disturbance of words within words
that is a field folded.

It is only a dream of the grass blowing
east against the source of the sun
in an hour before the sun's going down

whose secret we see in a children's game
of ring a round of roses told.

Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
as if it were a given property of the mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,

that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.
Blues Poetry

Here's an example...

An excerpt from "Slim in Hell" by Sterling A. Brown:

St Peter said, "Well,
You got back quick.
How's the devil?
And what's his latest trick?

And Slim say, Peter,
I really can't tell.
The place was Dixie
that I took for hell.

Then Peter say,
"You must be crazy, I vow
Where in hell
did you think hell was anyhow?"
Monday Thought: Procrastination

"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week. "


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

animals touch us ways humans cannot
....let your cat or dog touch you
On second thought...

"Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think."

--Ambrose Bierce
Sunday Thought: What Should We Fear?

"Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life."

--Bertolt Brecht

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Saturday Thought: Approve of Yourself

"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

--Mark Twain
i like my body when it is with your
By e.e. cummings

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric furr, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh....And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new
Call My Name
By Janan Garner

Secrets rise, shadowing love.
In your eyes, I see your pain
telling me something just ain't right.

In the field, where all our dreams grow,
I've got mine hidden away,
in a corner of heaven, watching you.

All alone is where we all go
when our heart has had its fill.
In the blue distance, I see you.

Two of a kind, touching love, we're
both familiar with its flame.
Will you call my name?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

our bodies fail us
..our minds fail us
....our spirits live on
Haiku Moment
By Don

..let yourself loved, and just be
Sound familiar?

"On reflection, one of the things I needed to learn was to allow myself to be loved."

--Isha McKenzie-Mavinga
On second thought...

"Whoever is happy will make others happy too."

--Anne Frank
Friday Thought: Kindness

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity. Kindness in giving creates love."


Thursday, February 17, 2005

By Basho

Waterjar cracks:
I lie awake
This icy night.

Heron's cry
Stabs the darkness

Sick on a journey:
Over parched fields
Dreams wander on.
By Dennis Lee

Often at night, sometimes
out in the snow or going into the music, the hunch says,
I don't know what it means.
Just, "Push it. Go further. Go deeper."
And when they come talking at me I get
antsy at times, but mostly I stay put and it keeps saying,
"Deeper. This is not it. You must go deeper."
There is danger in this, also
beautiful fingers and I believe it can issue in
gestures of concord; but 1
cannot control it, all I know is one thing—
"Deeper. You must go further. You must go deeper."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wednesday Thought: Sow Your Seeds

"No true effort is in vain. Look at the fields over there. The grain sown therein has to remain in the earth for a certain time, then it sprouts, and in due time yields hundreds of its kind. The same is the case with every effort in a good cause."

— Badshah Khan
What is Life?

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

On for the road...

"Longing is a compass that guides us through life. We may never get what we really want, that's true, but every step along the way will be determined by it."

— Joan D. Chittister in The Psalms: Meditations for Every Day of the Year
On second thought...

"Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.Be the living expression of God's kindness. "

--Mother Teresa

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

May your day be touched by an extra dash of love.

Valentines Day poems are here and here.
This Is Your Life
By Don

Don't forsake
what you have--
for something else,
or something different.
This house,
this family,
these friends,
this cat,
this work,
this day,
this moment.
This is--
your life.
Embrace it!
By Don

I'm here--
because of others.
So are you.
Don't forget those--
who brought you here.

We get so busy--
with our lives
that we forget--
we are who we are
--because others before us
--were who they were.

You are here
--because their lives bore fruit.
Honor your ancestors.
Monday Thought: Being Buddha

"There is an extremely easy way to become Buddha. Refraining from all evil, not clinging to birth and death, working in deep compassion for all sentient beings, respecting those over you and having pity for those below you, without any detesting or desiring, worrying or lamentation - this is what is called Buddha. Do not search beyond it."

--Dogen, Zen Master

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

a single thought
..if angry or afraid
....drives away love
Haiku Moment
By Don

..more than we have
...discovering we have more
One for the road...

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description...If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism."

--Albert Einstein
Sunday Thought: Buddhism in a Nutshell

1. Life is suffering;
2. Suffering is due to attachment;
3. Attachment can be overcome; and
4. There is a path for accomplishing this--the dharma.
From a year ago on Conscious Living...

"The truth is more important than the facts."

--Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, February 12, 2005

An Old-Fashioned Valentine for Mary
By Don

On this special day
I do thee give--
a bright red valentine.
This day I honor you--
with my unabiding love.

Thanks I give
for all you do,
especially the love
you give to me.
May we always remember this day,
this red heart--
an enduring sign of our love.

Be my special valentine.
Your Valentine Box
By Don

Remember Valentines Day--
when you were young?
Remember that special box, you made
with red and white art paper,
and that big fat red heart?

Remember how hard
your heart beat,
as you opened your box to see
the Valentines you were given?

Remember feeling blue, just a little,
because the girl you liked,
gave a bigger valentine to another boy?

Remember wondering who--
anonymously gave you
the really big valentine--
that made your heart jump?

It's Valentine's Day, and
many years have passed
since you made a valentine box.
Make a new one.
It's not too late to catch
some of the love going around.
By Franz Wright

Let it start to rain,
the streets are empty now.
Over the roof hear the leaves
coldly conversing in whispers;
a page turns in the book
left open by the window.
The streets are empty, now
it can begin. I am not there.

Like you
I wasn't present
at the burial. This morning

I have walked out
for the first time
and wander here
among the blind
flock of names
standing still
in the rain —

(the one on your stone
will remain
listed in the telephone books
for a long time, I guess, light
from a disappeared star . . .)

— just to locate the place,
to come closer, without knowing where you are
or if you know I am there.
On second thought...

"The tree, which moves some to tears of joy, is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing that stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees."

– William Blake
Saturday Thought: Changing Worlds

"There is no death. Only a change of worlds."

— Chief Seattle

Friday, February 11, 2005

Friday Thought: The Dogs Within

"An American Indian elder described his own inner struggles this way: "Inside of me there two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time." When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, "The one I feed the most."

— Source unknown
By Don

..what heals
....from the heart
By Don

forest sounds
..heartful listening of the wild
By Don

each day
..a poem life's book of wonders

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Thursday Thought: Our Forests

"We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees."

--Qwatsinas (Hereditary Chief Edward Moody), Nuxalk Nation
Haiku Moment
By Don

..our mother
....speaking in a winter voice
Haiku Moment
By Don

gray winter skies
..lonely trees
....without their leaves
Haiku Moment
By Don

..feeding by my window soul smiles

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Don Iannone
The Eagle
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Loveliest of Trees
By A. E. Housman

Loveliest of trees the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now of my three score years and ten,
twenty will not come again.
And take from seventy years a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom,
Fifty Springs is little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

Wednesday Thought: Lust

"Hypocritical, proud, and arrogant, living in delusion and clinging to deluded ideas, insatiable in their desires, they pursue their unclean ends. Although burdened with fears that end only with death, they still maintain with complete assurance, "Gratification of lust is the highest that life can offer."

--Bhagavad Gita 16:10-11

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Will there be a book of Haiku poems by Don? is entirely possible. Stay tuned.
Haiku Moment
By Don

..immaterial driftwood
....floating through us

Haiku Moment
By Don

my heart beats rain
....with cleansing love
Haiku Moment
By Don

..sun and rain meet
....hope dressed in color
Haiku Moment
By Don

slumbering cat my side
....keeps my heart company
Haiku Moment
By Don

beyond words
..a powerful place--within
....truth abides
Haiku Moment
By Don

..trusting, myself
....much stronger than I think
Tuesday Thought: Pleasure Clinging

"Life is both pleasure and pain, is it not? ... But why should we cling to pleasure and avoid pain? Why not merely live with both? ...If you cling to pleasure what happens? You get attached, do you not?"

--Jiddu Krishnamurti

Monday, February 07, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

wheel of life
..encircling my heart
....balancing my footsteps
Haiku Moment
By Don

sitting alone--with myself
..catching glimpses
....of who I am
Haiku Moment
By Don

..inner sunshine
....overflowing with love
Monday Thought: Truth We Find

"Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."

--Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Landscape and Mindscape
Paul Dolinsky

Trains to and from the future
Pass years like numbered stations
unnumbered times.
But the doors fly open at will.
Tyrannies, victories, infirmaries
all pass by,
Our seconds, baring none,
Leapfrog other seconds
onto that landscape,
And they push us toward
where we’ve been,
The looking glass
where we see ourselves,
With our shackles on.
The broken bones of defeat pile up,
like precious booty
In plenitude’s penitentiary,
that sad storehouse of plenty.

But if we place our mindscape
on that landscape,
With a focused will,
There will be no devastation,
or wars of liberation,
But mutual admiration,
Forest and forager
will be as one,
We will be at peace
with our past,
Our parts will find each other,
We will find repose from the past,
And repast in the present.

By Paul Dolinsky
Growing Up is a Cosmic Thing: 1999 Poems on Buddhist Themes
On this long storm the rainbow rose,
On this late morn the sun;
The clouds, like listless elephants,
Horizons straggled down.

The birds rose smiling in their nests,
The gales indeed were done;
Alas! how heedless were the eyes
On whom the summer shone!

The quiet nonchalance of death
No daybreak can bestir;
The slow archangel’s syllables
Must awaken her.

By Emily Dickinson
The Complete Poems
Sunday Thought: Daydreams (And Also Maybe Poems)

"A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish."

--W. H. Auden

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Saturday Thought: Success

"Success is not measured by the position one has reached in life, rather by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed."

--Booker T. Washington
Without warning
By Sappho

Without warning
as a whirlwind
swoops on an oak
Love shakes my heart

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Friday, February 04, 2005

One Star Less
By Miguel Gonzalez

I set a gaze upon an evening sky
The quiet splendor of a starry night
How infinite stars make the darkness shy
How my eyes are awed by the heavens’ light
In silence, a question now comes to mind
If a single star were to fade and die
Would we on the earth be able to find
One star less amidst an infinite sky
A twinkle has gone yet many remained
In the heavens, stars and in darkness, light
My vision still awed by what seemed unchanged
At splendor still kept by a starry night
Yet I realize what the truth contest
The sky is kept greater, not one star less

Haiku Moment
By Don

....born again--in the next moment
Haiku Moment
By Don

what we don't know
..always outweighs
....what we know

Friday thought: Those Early Days of L-o-v-e

"No time of life is so beautiful as the early days of love, when with every meeting, every glance, one fetches something new home to rejoice over."

-- Soren Kierkegaard

I will add that love is a renewable resource, so don't be afraid to renew your love for the world!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

face north
..medicine wheel mountains
....ascend to serve and honor
Haiku Moment
By Don

face west
..medicine wheel waters rage
....go with their flow
Haiku Moment
By Don

face south
..medicine wheel fires burn
....cleansing warmth
Haiku Moment
By Don

face east
..medicine wheel winds blow
....breathe in and out
Thursday Thought: When to Let it Rain

"For after all, the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Reflections on an Old Map of Martins Ferry
By Don

That was a little before our time
--but we saw the fruits of seeds
planted long ago by someone--
somebody we didn't know.
But that doesn't matter, really.
We were there when it mattered--
for us to be there.

Wednesday Thought: Our Journey

"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."

--Stephen Covey
Haiku Moment
By Don

..whatever we are
....beyond what we are
Haiku Moment
By Don

..spiritual homes
....vessels for love
Haiku Moment
By Don

..beautiful flowers
....filling us with love
Haiku Moment
By Don

..sturdy timbers
....sheltering love

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Haiku Moment
By Don

reach out
..touch the future
....lightly with your heart
Haiku Moment
By Don

cat's play
..concentrated lightness
....pouncing on the moment
Haiku Moment
By Don

gentle summer breeze
..harsh winter wind
....impermanence either way
Tuesday Thought: Adopt a Saturday Frame of Mind

Sometimes we get too caught up in what we think different days of the week should be like. So, associate the properties of Saturday with today (Tuesday) and see how your day changes. It shows the power our imaginations and ideas really have in our lives.
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