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In The Ring

We wrestle with life,

Push it away,

Yank on it

Complain about it

And want more of it as it gets closer to the end.

 

We struggle against it:

Its complicated details

Its complex paths

Convoluted and difficult

Like a maze

We must find our way through

Like a riddle that answers us with another question.

 

I struggled with it.

Wept because of it.

Got sick from it.

Forgot I controlled most of it with positive thought and feeling.

Forgot, too, that I would love it

And sometimes hate it.

That it would baffle me,

but I’d always come back for more.

 

We often run and hide from this life

Scream and chase it on slippery embankments

Too steep to climb.

Finally we surrender to it,

realizing we influence it

by our tempo, our speed

our reluctance or embracing.

We accept it now.

Allowing life to no longer be the enemy it once was.

Now it is a quiet friend,

A loud obnoxious friend, a soothing friend

A high pitched opera

A low baritone crescendoing into something

we now crave, we now pine for,

we now give thanks for.

Its mysterious twists and turns

Its hot, cold, dry, swampy, warm,

complicated disposition that at once baffles us.

But we come back for more.

We beg for it.

Life becomes this gift

we never have to fight with again.

Having accepted its volatile changes,

Its high and low tones.

We now embrace life

Like an old friend

Like a lover we can never get enough of.

I no longer struggle you to the ground

and swim against your current.

I accept life and life accepts me.

I think I understand

that it doesn’t want to be understood.

It just wants to be loved.

 

 

Steep Journey

Turning ‘round to face Mecca –

not the one in the Middle East,

the one east of me, in the Coachella Valley of California.

Sort of screwed up by my lack of spontaneous travel nowadays,

making stories of others’ adventures enough for me

as I sit in my arm chair…

…You were my Adventure –

my mountain climb during an avalanche

my skydive without functional parachute.

I hit ground

and lost my face.

Lost also my sense of reasoning

of what makes sense and what makes me crazy,

switched the two in my mind,

made normal become sick and sick become normal.

I tossed, and turned, like a bean in a salad

like a pillow fight all night long.

My head not finding rest

my mind a sponge to anything screaming peace.

But the act of screaming silenced any chance for serenity

and created You and Me

in between known and unknown,

yearning and turning back

going forward to fast,

while never yet beginning.

You had me like this.

I was at once the Stop Sign and the Go.

As confused as a two-headed snake

succumbing to temptation

and becoming a bad Buddhist

with no ability to detach.

You made me this.

And I allowed it.

Became the crazy lady people might have thought I was.

like a mad scientist,

but neither scientific nor mad.

I was, instead, madly-in-love

with a phantom that only existed in my mind.

I made you this.

And you made me this.

And we existed in time somewhere,

but we were always late to arrive

never got to our intended destination

which was supposed to be Love.

Now “Forgiveness” becomes the word I hear

in between my breaths, chants and prayers…

“Forgiveness,” when it used to be the words “I Love You”

reverberating in my head.

Now “Love” becomes Let Go, Detach and Forgive.

Sounds like a romance to me….

– GAME OVER –

Why do we Chant?

Why?

Why do we?

Why do we chant?

Why do we chant to the Gohonzon twice a day?

Sitting on a chair, on the floor, cross legged, on a pillow,

With or without candles lit?

Facing the Mandala of Light

Nirchiren Daishonin’s gift

Of Blessed Chinese characters

Looking, gazing, mesmerized

As we chant

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Until,

Until we

Until we awaken something in our brain,

In our psyche, in our soul,

Our being, our core

That calls out for expansion

Quick, get me to Buddhahood,

Cleanse my Karma, lift me up,

Steady my gaze

To see past the horizon

Change my vision to see clearly

Transmute to visionary,

An instrument of the Universe

To serve humanity, to serve all sentient beings,

Plants, animals, too.

Awaken us as we chant the Daimoku

To remember our origins of purity,

Our Buddhahood within,

Our visions of a world Happy and Harmonious.

Nichiren,

Nichiren Daishonin urged us, pushed us, persuaded us in every way

From past life to this life,

We receive Help to Be Who We Really Are –

-An instrument of Peace

– A light of Happiness to Guide the Way.

We sit quietly, sometimes not so quietly, sometimes slowly

Sometimes quickly like the Big Horn Sheep running up hills,

Swiftly – we chant.. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

We transform, we transmute

We transcend

We change our inside to one that is softer,

One that can hear Divine Guidance

Even in a cluttered world

That speaks loudly in Shoulds and Should nots,

We move onward, we strive,

Our stride swift,

As we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

As we receive the Lotus Sutra

Our brain soaks up the good vibration

So we can soar above the common world

So we can see

So we can know

So we can understand

We can right our wrongs,

We can gain access to the vast sky

Seeing with a bird’s-eye perspective

The Way to transformation

It is inside,

It takes us inside

Where we change ourselves.

Where we polish and mold

Where we let go of blame

Of all externals

And rest inside to a New View of Transcendence.

This and more…

Because we chanted this morning

And will again this evening

This and more….

Because we lifted our own selves high enough

To be able to help

Another to see…..

I Belong to this Moment

I belong to this moment.

All of it, every second

And every part of me.

I am totally in this now

As if my life depended on it

Because it does…

I belong to this moment.

Not any part of me is somewhere else

My thoughts are not on breakfast for tomorrow

I am not worrying about the stock market

Or how my hair will look after I take my hat off.

No part of me is fretting about something else

No part of me is thinking about someone else,

Or if I should be different than how I already am in this present moment,

No.

I am here.

I am Only here.

I belong to this moment.

And my life does depend on it

All of me is in All of this moment.

I feel my heart beating

I feel the blood moving through my veins

I feel the energy floating around me

And none of it is somewhere else.

In this crisp moment

There is only Here,

There is only Now

And I am in it

Totally!

Consumed!

In Awe!

I am not fragmented into shattered pieces, going a mile a minute

To every shore and every nation

Every cell a different place

Without focus on any one thing in particular.

No.

I am not scattered and shattered.

I find myself utterly here.

And I can breathe.

I can open my eyes further because they are both looking in the same direction

With me behind them.

I am in this moment so utterly complete

That I belong to it

And it belongs to me.

Lottery Loss Becomes Win/Win

Opulence, diamonds, golden dreams

of  Lottery Heaven….

– A quick way out

– A simple easy fix

– A Deus-ex-Machina

the kind in antiquated Greek dramas

where a God descends to save the day…

We weeped for the success

of the right numbers

that would instantly render life

completely fixed and perfect

in one Gigantic Instant,

like a shot of heroin

with only positive side effects.

I pulled for this.

I pulled so hard

my mind became a mush

of positive affirmations and Shangri La-like visualizations

Giving way to a Fantasy Reality

that would make any fairy tale pale in comparison.

I desired this.

I desired this so acutely

that my insides became

as intense as Victoria Falls.

 

The Quick Fix that

is like finding Happiness in a Box

in the middle of a barren desert

that instantly brings the oasis of Bliss.

But, the water to quench

the parched land

quickly became a Mirage.

An Illusion

like everything else

that gets me from day to day.

And yet this time….

I do get the Transformation.

I do get to see the

Addiction of the Quick Fix

And I get to lament instead

…on Reality

How it stares one in the face

even when we bow our heads

to avoid being blinded by it.

 

Yet, I know I’ll do this Again…

…and Again….

I know I’ll pull the Illusion

out from my heart

and put it into some Crazy Action

that I can Laugh at

when I am older and wiser.

 

In the meantime, I ride the illusion

like a surfer rides a wave,

Eager to catch the next one

for it to be perfect

and make life complete and neat,

in a well wrapped package

that makes sense and is orderly.

 

Instead, I go back to mine,

my life that is not orderly

and is at times incomprehensible.

But, here in the middle,

there is a heart

that still smiles when it has something to give.

 

And so Receiving from a Lottery Win

Becomes a warm, pleasant realization

that being able to Give

is the key to being Rich.

 

 

 

 

Estimated Arrival Time that Never Made it Past Departure

You came and went

Actually, you never really got here

But we were both waiting for that

The only way you could have stayed

– was to Change

With a capital “C”

This would have been like a plastic surgery

that you could never undo

It would have been the incredible change you were waiting for

All of your life

This would have been your stay card

The secret code that got you into the Red Carpet Room

The VIP lounge

The member’s only entrance

But, you left before you got here.

I wanted you to revamp your whole way of speaking

I had it planned

Had the books you needed to read,

Was going to be your coach, your leader

Your guide to change.

I was going to teach you a new language

One of kindness, one of compassion

One of sincerity,

One of listening,

Of caring

Of really hearing another

The art of communication

From crisis to intervention

From chaos to calm

From separation

To interconnectedness through language.

I was going to have you speak in a tongue

That was neither your mother’s

Nor your father’s,

But would have changed you to be the President of anywhere

Would have had you master communication

Like a song bird singing to its mate.

I had you this way…in my mind.

I had it all figured out.

I bought the book and underlined the important parts

Highlighted everything

And bent the top of the pages for future reference

I mapped it all out,

Was going to show you the world

Through effective communication

But you never returned with an RSVP

And the VIP of Master of Ceremonies over Communication

Never even got off the ground

It never even had an engine

Never even bought the book

Never read the email that I sent

Never agreed to meet, to talk, to share

Never made it past “hello”

Before we created the “goodbye”

Where are You?

Where are you?

I pretend that you will knock on my door later this evening.

I pretend that you exist

I pretend that I know what you look like

That the sound of your voice is close to my skin

That you are perfect for me in your uniqueness

I pretend that you exist.

Do you?

Are you real?

Are you just what I created

or are you someone also looking for me?

Do you wonder where I am?

When I will show up in your life?

If our eyes will reveal our Soul Connection on first glance?

Do you wonder all of this as you lay awake at night?

Alone and pretending the pillow is another warm body

That holds you in the arms of a manifested miracle.

I do.

I wonder.

I hope.

I “see” you in my mind’s eye and hope that my imagination is real.

I hope that you are on this planet while I am,

that you are in a human body, but more than just human

Can you also be a Divine Being whose heart is made of pure Love?

That receives what I am and how I am, in this package that changes.

I am making you so evolved that we just glide through existence with ease.

I am making being with you so Fun that our laughter is the fountain of youth.

I am creating you to be a dream come true

-that thinks of me as his dream come true.

Can you be this?

Can you be this for me?

Can you knock on my door this evening,

and change the rest of my life

from wondering when you will show up

to being Thankful that you are finally here.

Can you be real also?

So that my imagination can now be used to create art pieces

And no longer be consumed with your arrival.

Can you finally get here

and stay long enough to be with me on my last breath?

This time I want to be the one that leaves first.

 

Spirit Heart

I gave you hands and feet
If you cannot use them or you do not have them,
Trace your veins to their origin.
They express your heart.
And if you cannot wave Hello and Goodbye
Walk around, run, catch a bus or trim your own toe nails,
Then trace those appendages up through their arteries,
I gave you a heart that wants to be expressed.
If you have not arms and legs to dance and sing your love to me
Then go straight to what is behind them:
I gave you a heart that beats.
What does it beat to?
What tempo makes it beat?
When does it sing softly to you, waking you up to a new reality?
What does it sing?
What makes it jump inside its casing, moving you to call its name?
What is its name and how does it call you?
I gave you a heart to express yourself.
If you have not arms nor legs, then go straight to the heart itself.
If you are tired and restless, anxious and hurried,
Complicated and complaining, tarnished and dried out,
Go straight to what I gave to you.
I gave you a Heart.
It has shape, it has purpose, it has reason, it has a need to express
It has all of you wrapped into it as it sends your blood out to your other parts
Sharing its essence with the rest of you.
Use it.
I gave it to you to express.
I created it inside of you to unlock its treasure
Only you hold its key.
Find it.
Find the rhythm of your heart and live it.
Let it beat into all of your parts.
Alive and sharing,
Shining and Magnetic,
Electric and Magical.
I gave you this heart
That is like a wish to uncover.
Follow any vein to it
Follow any path,
Only get there and use it,
Express it.
It is me. I hide inside of it.
I am Love wanting expression.

Complete Self-Love

I hear You call my name –

in my sleep,

beckoning me to awaken –

but not the awaken that morning brings –

rather to awaken to Complete Self-Love

which comes with understanding.

Understanding the nature of the Universe

and how it speaks to us and guides us –

even when we think we are lost.

Understanding ourselves

and the influence we have on our present moment

which colors the future.

Understanding the need to Focus on Good

and not focus on negative.

Understanding just how much we create –

with every thought/feeling/belief/knowing.

It is here, where we Surrender….

Surrender to Understanding

how things are the way they are

And how to bring ourselves back to center-

-easily-

slowly sipping jasmine green tea,

calming every sense,

bringing us out of the stress of uncertainty

into the Awareness of Understanding.

Letting go of controlling a river, a stream, a brook, the ocean

that flow on their own

without the influence of a troubled mind.

Peaceful, like a pot of still tea

content to just be

content in complete self-love

to finally know oneself

Centered in Acceptance.