To water your inner garden:
—Mary Davis, ©EveryDaySpirit.net
repetition can give beautiful structure
and an orderedness
can bring comfort
the repetition of a positive phrase, mantra,
can have the effect of stilling the mind
of de-cluttering the mind
of polishing the soul
of reflecting the world the way it is
of seeing the truth
of feeling God’s presence
of practicing concentration
repetition of a good habit or practice
can be like steady nailing of your boat,
so when the storms come,
you will have a solid boat
you won’t sink
winter longing for the Light
it became so poor, empty of self
that the winter roots sprouted wings
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
focus word: wait
listen, wait for the Word, keep vigil, pray in your closet
One year, when I was learning to use a photo editing program, Adobe Photoshop, my teacher wanted us to jump right in and use the digital paintbrush. Very intimidated by the thought of painting, my teacher suggested something to ease the process, to turn on some music, and paint what the music suggested. I listened to “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.
As I listened, the image evolved (above) and these words popped into my head:
Breathing in, I know that Spirit fills me…
I remember a Divine Spark is dwelling within
Always there, always available
A deep well which refreshes
Focusing on the breath of Life
I start to relax in peace
Dissolving fears anxiety
Joy dances upwards
“It is God’s power that carries us through every moment. If we are aware of this, we will spontaneously be humble, our attitude towards the Almighty will be transformed into an attitude of worship, our focus on Him will blossom with our every step and we will be successful in our efforts.”
—Amma, “Awaken Children”
“Don’t go away, come near.
Don’t be faithless, be faithful.
Find the antidote in the venom.
Come to the root of the root of yourself.”
—Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, from “Love is a Stranger”, translated by Kabir Helminsky
I had been walking up this mountain for two consecutive days seeing a collection of white pieces of cement or stone on the path. It looked as if the pieces belonged to each other, but they were all broken apart. On the third day, I saw that some unknown person had re-arranged the stones into a shrine of a sort. It reminds me of what Thich Nhat Hanh says that we must be like organic gardeners, not throwing any of our unpleasant emotions or thoughts away, but work on transforming them. I put a red stone in the middle of this shrine of wholeness. It was one that my LivingTreeHeart sangha held at our last gathering after our meditation. I wanted to leave something of our sangha at Deer Park Monastery. I placed the red stone in the middle here for a moment.
“…With the powerful energy of concentration, you can make a breakthrough and develop insight. It’s like a magnifying glass concentrating the light of the sun. If you put the point of concentrated light on a piece of paper, it will burn. Similarly, when your mindfulness and concentration are powerful, your insight will liberate you from fear, anger, and despair, and bring you true joy, true peace, and true happiness.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh, from Shambhala Sun
Seeing this frog being rained upon made me think of the Psalm 139. I could certainly relate to the experience of stormy weather. Sometimes I get frightened that God knows me too well, but when the storms come, I get comfort knowing God is with me and knows what is going on.