Blog

“Spirit”

brown concrete statue of man

Raw

Unfiltered

Connection….

The kind you feel

On a long walk

Through a heavy fog

Rising above blue mountains….

A still presence

Uplifting hearts

Beating in tandem

To Mother Nature’s song

THIS ETERNAL MOMENT,

Marking a beginning’s end

And an end’s beginning….

A precious breath

Inhaling and exhaling

The exquisite wonders

Of God’s forms

And all which lies beyond the void

In that formless space

Where the seeds of our desires merge

With the infinite potential

Of an ancient wisdom graciously bestowing

Gifts of plenty

As polarities dissolve into a harmonic mist

Of one mind

Giving birth

To one soul….

Speak of this connection

And watch it fade

Like memories from a distant time and place

Corrupting what is pure

Whenever two may gather

In the name of love.

“Dying into Life”

gold bell hanging on brown wooden wall

Birth dies into life

Death gives birth again

In an endless cycle

For you to find

Your Buddha nature….

Impermanent

Like the winds of change

Yet, there is something

That still remains

Underlying our true essence….

Luminous

Like a full moon rising

And all knowing

Like eagles soaring

It is the spring lotus

Of awareness blooming…

Try to grasp it

And it slips away

Try to name it

And it defies you

This inner witness cannot be tamed

By your mind’s deceptive tricks

Of narrow conceptions….

When the fear of dying falls away

What is there left to say?

Birth and death are the same.

“Mountain Heaven”

silhouette of mountain under white and yellow sky

It was a beautiful day outside. The birds were singing, the sun was shining brightly and a cool autumn breeze swept across the countryside. I was hiking with my dear friend Jamie back down forest service road 316, a gorgeous trail in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. We had walked about six miles and were 20 minutes from my car when the Divine fully presented itself. We had stopped to smoke a bit of herb and to reflect on our inspiring journey. To commemorate the moment, I expressed to Jamie that I wished to recite a few prayers that I had compiled over the past week. The collection included sacred Buddhist, Sioux Indian, Hindu, Sufi and Christian invocations to the Absolute. I opened my journal and began to read the first lines from the Buddhist-Loving Kindness selection:

 “May all beings be free from danger

  May all beings be free from mental suffering…”

At the exact moment that I recited these lines, a pack of wolves began howling in unison with the prayer. The tone of their soulful expressions was both haunting and awesome. The hairs on our necks stood at full attention. It felt as though the wolves were inside our souls playing their heart-stringed instruments. Because It was nearing sunset, I immediately placed my beloved companion, Abbie, on leash and finished reciting the Buddhist prayer. I then listened… mesmerized.  After a minute or two, the primal sounds of howling stopped. Jamie and I then glanced at one another in silent recognition of this divine moment. Chills went down our spines, as it became evident to us that the Infinite was speaking through the wolves. What were these loyal beings trying to convey? Oneness. Unity. Stillness. Sacred Earth Connection.  As we continued our walk back down to the car, the energy of the forest felt particularly heightened and pure. Soon, the glorious sun began to set over majestic blue mountains and I knew deep within that my home was heaven on earth.

“The Humble Pilgrim”

woman in red jacket and brown shorts standing on pathway near green trees and mountain during

Three pilgrims set off by foot on a 90-mile (about 145 km) pilgrimage down a well-traveled path in the mountains. In a bid to impress the other two pilgrims, the first trekker attempted to hike thirty 30 miles (about 48 km) his first day…. far past any reasonable mileage. Consequently, he blew out one of his knees on the 28th (45th km) mile. Badly injured, the first pilgrim was forced to abandon his journey. The second pilgrim, in a vain attempt to impress his friends back home, tried to record his entire pilgrimage on his phone. However, on the first day, he covered only two miles (3 km) before falling off a small cliff trying to capture a dramatic “selfie”. He, too, was forced to abandon his journey due to breaking his arm in the fall. Meanwhile, the third pilgrim went humbly upon her way at a moderate pace.  She stopped along the trail for brief intervals to give thanks to the spirit of the mountains that guided her feet and soul in tandem. After 7 days and 90 miles (about 145 km) of walking, the third pilgrim at last arrived at the destination: a glorious mountain top where soaring eagles greeted her with blessings of acknowledgment for a pilgrimage traveled without hubris or vanity.

“A Miracle in the Town Square”

man in orange robe standing on gray concrete floor during daytime

One day an arrogant and wealthy politician encountered a monk at the center of the town square. The monk, clad in a flowing orange robe with a begging cup in hand, did not pay the politician any notice. He just strolled slowly by the prominent man with eyes staring straight ahead absorbed in a walking meditation.  Enraged at having not been acknowledged, the politician ran up behind the monk and aggressively grabbed him by the arm and said:

“Don’t you know who I am? Everyone bows down before me!”

The monk locked eyes with the politician for a few seconds and then suddenly began laughing hysterically out loud. Growing even more enraged, the powerful and famous man raised his fists in the air and threatened the monk with violence. He then demanded to know what was so funny. Still laughing, the monk pointed down at the politician’s feet. The politician looked embarrassingly down at his feet and saw that he was standing in a pile of fresh cow dung! As the politician bent down to clean the dung off his shoes, the monk stood over him and said:

“I think I remember who you are now. You are that former politician turned humble servant of his people. Now allow me to help you clean the cow dung off your shoes.”

 At that moment it has been said that a great miracle took place. An arrogant and wealthy politician was transformed into a kind and humble servant for the poorest and most oppressed among his people.