Sunday, April 2, 2017

on worthiness or not

It's interesting how much we deny our organic inheritance, thinking we are not worthy.  As a dear friend would say, "You (me, all of us) are the best. You're just not better than anybody else." It's all so close, this worthiness. Right in front of our eyes and hovering just within the confines of our hearts, but we are blind to it, even refuse to see it. Kicked out of the Garden of Eden by our knowledge of good and evil, we stumble back home, losing and regaining our way, each of us along our own all to often convoluted paths (but not really convoluted, not really, they all get us there and we pick up important token and totems along the way) . That there is something within us that keeps searching is amazing and beautiful in and of itself, a self fulfilling prophecy that is quietly and lovingly relentless, though it's terms of realization can indeed bring out a lot of sweat before the sweetness. 

strip tease buddhism or pepto-bismol buddhism, whichever you prefer...

Last Wednesday was "Pink Shirt Day," 24 hours set aside in the actually very cool effort to raise awareness about the harmfulness of bullying.  At work, there was a concerted involvement in promoting this event, including the opportunity to donate and also order a pink t-shirt that could be worn on Pink Shirt Day.

Frankly, I've never seen myself in pink.  It's not my favorite colour, except for on roses, and believe me, I'm no rose. Thorny maybe.  Thankfully they didn't have any t-shirts my size, so I conveniently ordered one for my wife, who also doesn't wear pink much either, but she wasn't there so I kindly used her as a way to be involved (an easy way out at her expense, actually) and save my own sense of masculinity.  Oh the tangled webs we weave. But please, not in pink!

Well, to my surprise, last Tuesday the Human Resources person turned up with a pink t-shirt my size.  There is no escape sometimes from the things that stretch us into new worlds.  It fit great, and it has the shape of a heart all across the chest that is made up of words in a sort of sky blue scattered throughout the form of the heart.  The list of words include care, understanding, value, smile, respect, generosity, patience, compassion, thoughtfulness, etc. There's a bunch of them, an entire bouquet as it were, all very good.

So…  I realized that I had to wear the shirt on Wednesday.  But I was only going to wear it as an undershirt, covering it with a green checked affair that is pretty funky but which I really like and which gets a lot of compliments.  The green and pink actually looked good together, and besides, I was going to offer meditation instruction at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.  (thought the colours might get me a little street cred with the students.)

As I started my little dharma talk, I got up and warned the students that I was going to do a strip tease.  Just a little, "GP rated" attempt.  So I started to unbutton the crosshatched shirt to reveal the dreaded pinkness of my undershirt with all those wonderful words in blue in the shape of a heart.

I realized, isn't this the spiritiual path?  To remove, however timidly or begrudgingly or hopefully or enthusiastically (sometimes seemingly all at the same time) the criss-crosses of our thoughts, however green and funky and cool, but perhaps more often not so green, not so funky, not so cool?  To acknowledge our hearts, the colours of our vulnerability, the care, compassion, respect, smile, compassion, thoughtfulness, etc that can lie so often buried?

Don't tell anybody, but I'm wearing that pink t-shirt right now!  Under a sweater, but still...

Friday, February 26, 2016

uneven stepping stone buddhism

We just moved to a new home.  A really lovely little place, on a quiet street where we can actually park in front of our house.  We are renting from a young family upstairs, they are really nice folks, which makes such a difference.  Pretty lucky.

The entrance to our apartment is from the back yard and there is a path of stepping stones that leads to a  narrow, gravel walk along the side of the house.  All the stepping stones are very even, except for this one which leans earnestly to right.  It is right at a bend where we start to gently turn left toward the gravel walkway.  It's rainy where we live, and to be honest, I'm getting older.  (Such a surprise.)  So I'm always a bit tentative as I approach this particular step.  I sometimes chafe and rattle in a mild form of discontent.  That damn stepping stone.  Why isn't it nice and flat like all the others?!  Why of all things does it have to lean away from the curve?!  

Slowly, RELUNCTANTLY, I've come to notice that as I approach this dark-starred stone, it actually quite quietly asks me to be mindful.  To pay attention in the present moment to my body.  Pretty cool.

I'm not hoping for more uneven stepping stones, or maybe I am.  I do know that there are already so many out there, those little quietly wavy stepping stones that beckon me to return.

Friday, January 29, 2016


let me love this perfect circle
let me love this imperfect circle

where love is becoming
like a slow sung soulful song
where love becomes being

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

thanks and more

Hello to anyone to has been or will be reading this blog.

It is so cool to see that people have accessed this blog from all around the world.  I can't tell you how much it touches me or how much it means to me.  I just write the blog because I like to write.  I like to think I do so without expectation that someone would read it but that isn't entirely true.  I really get a thrill when I see that someone has, that you have.  So thanks again and again.

I also want to wish you all a very good 2016.  I hope you find greater health, peace, contentment, and joy. I hope you find your way to whatever moves you and touches you.

With much metta and gratitude,

Saturday, December 26, 2015


what is that sadness deep within
the near to tears like raindrops
not running over into the abyss
but rising from it to spead along the plain

it's like lying on your back in the half lit autumn day
immersed cozy and warm beneath a quilt of fallen leaves
so weighted and protective

is it a preparation for a funeral pyre
the quiet burning
or some other returning to the earth
a fertility to an open ground
a source of something
a source to something

so not quite sure 

and whose are those voices singing from behind the trees
olly olly in free
olly olly in free