Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Let the ripples created by your life today be a calming presence to others, maybe for just one. But you know what? When the dance of one person's life changes, it changes the dance for many others just by it changing. Ease some pain. It might just be a moment in someone's life that is like the swinging open of a door that has been locked down shut for a long time keeping them from really feeling loved, and feeling noticed, and feeling cared for. It might just be the thing that brings a long enduring storm to its end.

Monday, May 20, 2013


When one steps outside the ready made explanations used to define what life is all about, the narratives that were waiting for us when we arrived in this place, life...being here...takes on a strange newness. Even within all the different narratives that exist from culture to culture, tribe to tribe, if one allows themselves the freedom to listen with an open mind and heart to the narratives different than the one they are acquainted, life really does begin to seem mysteriously wonderful and maybe even frightful. 

But what if you went even a bit farther? What if you were to consider stepping outside all the explanations, instead of what is most often practiced....jumping from/abandoning one, only to swap it for another one that is already wrapped up, defined, unriddled?

What if you really were to give yourself the gift, as best you can, of stepping out into the unknown....and setting out on your own journey of discovery?

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Like the ripples on the water's surface formed by a falling pebble or droplet of water, so too do our action create ripples that spread out across the landscape.

Mindfulness hold us in awareness so we can see and know the quality of the ripples.

The awareness is a reminder that helps us adjust.

Friday, May 17, 2013


"Man is his own most vexing problem." ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

 I think about this often, in a variety of contexts.

 I've landed here at this time in my life.....

 Most of the vexing problems I do believe are the result of us falling out of touch with the most appropriate way we humans should dwell on this earth. And what might that be?

 With reverence.

 But we don't because we get caught up in the competitive game of acquisition and achievement and comparison. We were duped into thinking that is how we progress as humans. I think it malforms us and that causes an amnesia to settle in on us in regards to what it really means to be human...and what being here could really be like.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


There is nothing more important than finding our way back to something meaningful and that makes a real substantive difference in our own lives and the lives of others.

Monday, May 13, 2013


At the most intimate level, God really is that wilderness where we all are alone. No one sees the way you see. No one feels what you feel. No one hears the whisper of the Divine in the way you do. No one else hears what the Divine is speaking specifically to you, so why is it that we allow others to interpret it for us?

Others can help, but it is important that we know the difference. No one can look after your inner life for you. Only you can do that.

Today was one of those day where I felt very alone. Not in a bad way. Just in a way. I suspect that no one would have understood and many would have had all kinds of corrective advice for me and my thoughts and my feelings. Maybe that is exactly why the space today was the way it was. The closest anyone came to that space with me today was Julie. But even she didn't understand....even though I really think there was some familiarity in what we were feeling, even if impossible for either of us to put mere words to it that could explain it sufficiently.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


You only have a short window of time, sometimes just a brief moment, when intentionally trying to catch these plants at that one moment when the sun wiggles through plants in the distance as they move with the wind and lands on the subject, and it needs to be perfectly motionless.


The inward and outward calm that is a fruit of mindfulness, is a presence, a way of being, won by way of acceptance. It's not a thing you can imagine. How can it be that it is in the letting go of the human activity of grabbing for all we desire, that it is then the very things we are in need of begin to arrive at our feet? And in actuality, nothing new has arrived. It was here all along. We were just distracted by things beyond the moment so much so that we couldn't see it or feel it.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013


 Things are always in motion...in flux. But even still, there is a calm that can be found. Most people hate the impermanence of things and in turn work hard trying to keep things predictable and from changing. It's a tyranny. The outcome of such effort is never good and without a doubt produces copious amounts of stress and anxiety and most often leaves those caught up in the storm unable to see clearly. And even when the present troubles and chaos pass, humans are usually just left more the same as they were before....doubling their efforts in hopes of getting better at controlling others, themselves, and the circumstances of their life, all as an attempt to avoid the pain caused by it all. It is a futile exercise.

 Yet there is another way of being in this world that will work away at the tangled knot created by our dysfunction. It will begin to untangle what needs untangled without creating more damage to us and to others. And if we will enter into this long surrender we will begin to experience something completely new....and will be a lot more calm and able to remain present regardless of what is happening all around us.

Sunday, May 05, 2013


It was this song that stood out among all the songs on John's 1989 release The Lover And The Beloved. The lyrics were all taken from poems written by St. John of the Cross, Thomas Merton and other mystics. Musically it stood out and I do believe, but then had no clue, that it was also due to the mystic in me longing to come out. That would take another 16 years. It was then by chance, I had an encounter with Richard Rohr which opened the door to a treasure trove of Catholic mystics coming into my life. The song now has deep tangible meaning clothed in experience.

You can hear it here:

  I Found My Beloved 

"Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality. In a sense this is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. No longer on the run from your aloneness, your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to covertly scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself. This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home."
~ John O'Donohue

Saturday, May 04, 2013


 When you are a parent, it is impossible to live free of concern for your children. This journey of a human life finding its way in this world can leave a heart black and blue. And the false belonging and false belonging systems and the disfunction that has become the accepted norm of this culture we live, is just brutal in how it drags one so far away from the inner life, while relentlessly promoting a surface existence of achievement and progress and getting from that surface stuff what we think will make us happy. It really does leave people caught up in all kinds of self sabotaging behaviors. We then become our own worst enemy...willingly choosing to participate in a way that is so out of sync and full of misery and angst and pain and trouble yet ignoring what the misery and angst and pain and trouble is trying to tell us.

 When the wrong voices have our attention....it becomes inevitable that we will be found living continually following all the wrong gods home.

 The healthier voices are always out there.

 They just aren't obnoxious and they avoid the aggressive approach used by all the false voices who have no problem manipulating others for their own self pleasure and personal gain at someone else's expense.

  It is the healthier voices we are in need of.

  Will we listen?

 "The shape of each soul is different. There is a secret destiny for each person. When you endeavor to repeat what others have done or force yourself into a preset mold, you betray your individuality. We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. When we rediscover our childlike nature, we enter into a world of gentle possibility. The false burdens fall away. We come into rhythm with ourselves. Our clay shape gradually learns to walk beautifully on this magnificent earth.

 “Familiarity can be a quiet death, an arrangement that permits the routine to continue without offering any new challenge or nourishment.” Mystery is the antidote to familiarity.

 "If we become addict to the external, our interiority will haunt us. "No one else can look out for your inner life but yourself. If you don't look out for your inner life, no one else can." ~~~John O'Donohue

Friday, May 03, 2013


Henry David Thoreau said: "This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than it is useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used."

Maybe the reasons humans are so nerve shaken, exhausted, frustrated, unhappy, grumpy, aggressive, competitive, and self absorbed aren't all that complicated or difficult to identify? And even though identifying these things is the beginning point, the identifying isn't the most difficult.

The real difficulty is encountered in how enamored with the enmeshments people have become, and even though it all has left them nerve shaken, exhausted, frustrated, unhappy, grumpy, aggressive, competitive, and self absorbed, people remain extremely ambivalent about disengaging and relinquishing.

But even with that being the situation, there still remains a more nurturing way.