Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Seasonal shifts of intention
Rise like wind-currents over snow:
You feel them before you see the rising swirl of flakes flooding sight with cold determination.
Swaying to a beat from a distant star,
I see a convoy of creatures, ear bent, heart-tuned to rhythms shy of malleus, incus, stapes.
Moving from silent stirrings of heart, they lean toward sounds and sights yet unheard, unseen.
Hooves noiselessly sink into dessert sand.
Exhaustion stills tongues.
Even the night breeze has dropped like a stone.
Only the Child within hears the roar of Spirit-air rising, readying to rush into fresh lungs;
Only the Child within hears the singing of stars, and angels discharging like firecrackers into the atmosphere.
The bones and heart—those ancient bedfellows of knowing—sense the shift long before the mind knows to surrender to it.
Body wisdom, old as Methuselah, rises and runs to Light, where eternal spirit and resurrected body kiss.
There is glory in the aged landscape of a handful of clay held at the beginning of human time. The prophets knew this and so they sang their signs.
Earth seasons know this: rumbling chants of Creation and Christmas in the unfolding of leaves and bursting of berries, the tumble of new lambs, and flutter of wise wings.
The Son rises soft. We feel the rush of Wind before we feel it. Know it in our heart-bones before mind clears and turns in anticipation of it.
Such love—a tidal wave of kindness, peace, joy as ocean-deep as it is star-tall drowning discontent and dredging arteries to new vistas.
Spirit runs radiant, over-turning sense, squabbles, and sanctimony.
Angels and shepherds, forever etched as the quintessential Christmas mob, race rampant over a startled town.
The Child. Oh, the Child is born.
Monday, December 24, 2018
Stars shine brighter on the coldest nights.
As if the harsh wind swollen with ice-shards, sharpens light,
Carving edges and angles until starshine gleams diamond tough.
Hard times rub raw, wearing down fleshy growths.
Daily irritants temper soft living and hone the heart,
Hammering essential character-curves that rise and dip, a roadmap of truth, receiving and reflecting Presence;
Non-essentials chipping away and flowing like sand through the artist’s fingers.
We run from pain, from any semblance of suffering, afraid of the brand it will burn
On our inner selves; we know we will be made different by one deep look at its formidable face.
Perhaps, instead, suffering is a birth of authenticity.
A laser-like burning of dross by a clean, cold scalpel.
Perhaps suffering is a Michelangelo; an eternal eye finding the
Work of art buried within our marble skin, freeing the frank and fearless soul to
Stand and deliver Joy, Love, Presence.
Like three candles bright, the Nativity in my Christmas snow globe houses
Each small statue seems eternally surprised by finding itself straw-deep in a cold stable, eye-fodder for a donkey, a cud-chewing cow, and ruminating sheep.
Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus unified by space and time, each life trajectory merging into utter stillness
(Still, not static; recall that fast-moving spheres appear motionless to our eyes)
The Magnificat yes:
Yes, glory and time joining;
Yes, body and spirit merging;
A still-life surface hiding the workings of proton pathways, elemental orbits, Spirit breath.
Wild joy birthed in a moment: this moment; this eternal movement.
Only in this present moment is joy lived, breathed, gifted.
The past brings only a reflective glow of it; the future only a hope of it;
Joy springs forth in this moment, this breath, this eternal Presence of body, soul, spirit aligned in eternal motion.
To live in each moment—sorrow or not, suffering or not—soul-eyes wide and alert, is riding the eternal current:
Fathomless Presence in a star gleam;
Boundless Love in a Baby;
Monday, April 9, 2018
Moving from Tiger vision to Horse awareness as a Hakalau meditation
Ecotherapy grounding exercise
Hakalau meditation is a wonderful way to become present and grounded-in-the-moment. The practice of Hakalau is straightforward: first you choose a fixed point of focus, and then you slowly bring your awareness to your peripheral vision, while continuing to hold your attention on the fixed spot. Finally, you allow your focus to spread out to fully experience peripheral vision, still connecting to the fixed spot, but now within the broadest of visions. Sounds simple, and it is, but Hakalau medication can be powerful and profound.
Animals move between fixed gaze and wide vision throughout their day. Basic survival demands an ability to do this – a predator needs to
Chickens and bird flocks function in much the same way. Chickens have focused gaze to see that tiny seed or the movement of a small bug in the soil in front of them, but respond in milliseconds to a shadow casting over their area—it might just be a predator hawk after a meal. The waft from the wing of one flock mate results in the entire flock scattering. Animals and birds are truly present in their environment.
Being able to move from a narrow focused ‘predator’ gaze to a soft, broad focus of a herd animal is both a necessary skill for life … and a great way to become centered in our environment.
Tiger vision to Horse Awareness
Tiger vision: Pick a fixed spot to look at, preferably above eye level, so that your field of vision seems to bump up against your eyebrows, but the eyes are not so high so as to cut off the field of vision. If you are outside, a spot on a tree trunk is ideal. A bird nest or a knot in a fence post … whatever is in front of you … pick it and focus your tiger eyes …
- Tiger eyes … As you stare at this spot, gently drop all non-essentials from your mind, giving your prefrontal cortex the job to focus all of your attention on the spot
- Melting tiger eyes … Begin to melt your tiger eyes. Envision your vision-focus softening, liquifying, melting out and spreading to your left and to your right. Keep looking at the spot, but become aware of the peripheral vision pooling to your right and to your left
- Melting tiger eyes … Continue melting and allowing your vision to spread out right to left … but now allow it to pool down and rise up, so that your peripheral vision has four directions: left and right, and up and down … keep a looking at your spot, but more and more fully expand outward and enjoy the power of the soft vision of your peripheral gaze, broadening … widening … expanding your connection with your environment
- Softly disengage your eyes from the spot and enjoy your horse eyes!
This is a great practice to do throughout your day … especially when you are not able to focus, or are feeling very ‘in the box’ focused. Let the horses out …
But, be ready when tiger vision is needed in your day … we need both horse and tiger vision!
Want a pdf of this exercise? go to www.kindlehealth.org or contact me through the website if you are unable to find it.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
The summer sky is languid and light,
Meteors and fireworks tour the night like paramecium in a warm pond,
Or flash in sudden sparks as from a stoked campfire,
December nights are different; the sun cold and cloaked by five.
Winter stars reach long fingers like narrow spears from there to here,
December stars hold hard history and an arctic earth mirrors back their lore--
Written in frost and ice and shimmering rain dropping like icicles,
December days are flagrant with earth-bound stars, too.
Bare branches crossed and twisted reveal organic carvings of the five-pointed stars we drew as children.
Flocks sweep overhead, murmurs of evolving shapes: round and robust, sudden star shapes flickering and sliding between the tops of trees.
Rocks, rain-clean, gleam stellar fissures, while mica and quartz wink back the winter sun.
Stars are all around and we follow them, drawn to their shape and shine.
We reach for stars as children, tracing their shape with our finger—hands high in the air or eyes bent, following a cracked line in a stone, a row of tracks crossing the good earth, a bedewed spider web, a frost-edged stand of dying thistle.
This is our child-voice rising from that deeper place where wise men watched for signs and recognized heavenly messages.
Those wise men following the Bethlehem star, held tight the wonder within like a touch stone, saw the nature-sign sketched on high and journeyed …
Reaching for the earth-edge of those silver-gold light threads tumbling from the night sky, weaving a carpet of light before them,
The language of earth and heaven understood by each clay-heart breathed into Image dei,
Moving in synchronic rhythm with star fire, earth-sign, well-deep joy, and Spirit-wind …
Crossing the earth keel-deep on camel-ships,
Sailing under desert wind through silent night, child heart calling to Child Heart.
Is it any wonder that the animals knew first? Why they are so deeply woven into the Nativity?
There is for them no self-conscious social persona, no conflict with earth-heart and soul-core, no theological wrestling with words at least a stone’s throw away from this Present Moment.
Blessed are those who live in the Present Moment, for there the Eternal is.
So be now … body-hearing, soul-listening; feel this through your bones, this star-stirring Wind-swept night, holy laughter bubbling and rushing like joyful angels;
Reach for light threads curling all around you, luminous in the night;
These ladders between heaven and earth begin at the gateway of your own heart;
Now, journey, heart-eyes wide and strong, tread deeply to the Manger,
Dove-wings like Stars all around.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Friday, December 16, 2016
An earnest journey of hard-knock-life, the kind of life that is perceived as true mediocre—
Under-published, under-celebrated, unappreciated by the Big People—
Is a set of small connecting steps, shared sorrows and joys and the patting of dogs along the way.
This time-journey of earning a living and ageing is at least as grueling a journey as trekking the Himalayas, and just as precarious in its purpose and passion-wrenching sand storms.
Yet these earnest day by day lives seem so easily obliterated by shifting sands.
Each small footprint, converging with other small steps, filled in and covered over, as society prepares a pristine passageway fit for Protocol and Profit.
Perspectives can be chilling, odious things.
I see the displaced people held hostage to priced-out political persuasion, no matter the nation for which they stand;
I read the slanted memes and shoddy ‘post-truth’ news stories shattering reputations and carefully built lives;
I hear the silent majority praying for peace, a quiet road where deep passion and purpose can flourish in the humble connections of family and community.
And there they are: the quintessential travelers-three we walk beside in our world, our time.
Yet it is Advent, and we are called to Bethlehem, where incongruence and harmony live side by side:
Shepherds hunkered by the herd hearing angels; a virgin birthing; Christ choosing the hay and harmony of animals over a golden courtyard.
What about another three—those intrepid we-three-kings who take up a journey to reach for a star?
How do you see them?
As wise ones? Fools on a fool’s errand? Mediocre scholars with limited insight and biased peer review? Or simply an allegory of an impossible reach for Messiah?
Me? I close my eyes against the grit of sand, feel the chill night wind cut my face, my stiffening joints surrounding the warm girth of my steed. I smell the pungent odor of animal and earth crushed by hooves and resilient as love. I see thin light cutting through the inky night, forming a path discernible only to connected heart-mind-spirit.
The mediocre; the magnificent.
I see Gloria.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Lab and Diagnostics
Sitting on those thick stretched-vinyl chairs--
The ones that countless wipes of antiseptic can’t fade--
Holding numbered paper slips, we waited;
and felt a small echo of winning when our number projected overhead.
We won a new place of waiting:
A tiny cubicle with a thin curtain;
A place to shed clothes, don a gown and for some of us a pair of socks designed by Dr. Suess.
A place to flip that one magazine … and wait.
But, now no longer just a number,
In this inner sanctum of waiting we heard our name called.
And we met the machine;
The Wizard behind the curtain in this weird land of OZ.
There is no fooling that wizard;
No revisionist medical history, no stretching blood sugar scores and loose conversational supposes, ‘My doctor thought it looked fine …’
Merciless, penetrating vision.
But single vision none-the-less. For even the giants among the machine folk—the CT and MRI –see only the yes-no of physical stuff; a hard shadow frozen in time.
The winds of energy, hope, grief and joy stirring these molecules of matter are invisible to machine-eyes,
Yet we are aware of how they blow, settling in the soul of our center-heart.
Sometimes these winds whip with chaotic frenzy and scatter our bones into a rattling, painful frenzy.
Sometimes zephyrs of summer or a fragrant fall blow bones to dance in gratitude, appreciation for the gentle sunshine.
But this wizard, unlike the gentle soul in Oz with a bag of clock-hearts and honorary degrees,
Peers past meaning, past purpose, past soul into the grit of molecules;
A sand sculpture oblivious to the tide of energy surrounding it.
But we are more than the etching of our bones;
More than the lace of hydrogen formed in an ice-tide preserved in a digital file.
The scan of a larynx never shows the singing voice darting like a hummingbird to the nectar of the joyful soul.
The real wizard behind the curtain is the person dressed in scrubs who sees past the cornea of the patient in the gown;
Who connects, soul-to-soul, stirring winds of humanity, laughter, compassion;
Who sees in the dark shadows of an ultrasound, not a menopausal uterus, but the sacred space of Creation.
This is the deeper magic in the room of the machine.
Our heart recognizes and rejoices,
And our minds, dressed in thanksgiving, embrace the kindness of strangers.