An instrument of peace

“Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”

With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.

He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.

“Lord make me an instrument of peace

Where there is hatred let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is doubt, faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Oh divine master grant that I may

not so much seek to be consoled as to console

to be understood as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”

This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.

When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.

My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.

This was my meditation this morning:

That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.

That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.

That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.

That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.

That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.

That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.

I believe I need more practice.

Peace be upon you.

There is a place

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There is a place
Where feelings
are as solid as a tangerine
and just as sweet
Where the warm breeze
on an autumn noon
cools salty skin
with the whispered voice of nymphs
Where the sound of the owl
blends with the melody of trees
and crickets
and laughing children
like a chorus
Where the scent of wild lavender
and citrus
and ancient oaks
that stretch beyond the endless horizon
can be tasted on the air
Where the senses are so keen
that the march of an ant
is heard above the roar of a plane
the breath of a bird
becomes a song
the beating hearts
and working legs
of a caterpillar
tap out staccato beats
as it crunches on a leaf

Where the passing of time
is controlled by will
to keep the sun and moon
close

It is a place
where the touch of my lover
is like the hand of God herself
and her kisses
are each a blessing

I am in that place

 


 

Image: “Lucid” by Ozan Vural

Beaver Moon

There’s a full moon tonight. It is a moon of introspection. A time when impulse gives way to doubt. Doubt gives way to resistance. Resistance gives way to rebellion.

If, however, we are able to separate our feelings of rebellion from a need for change we open ourselves to new ways of communicating because it is also a time of inspiration, security, steadfastness, and loyalty.

If you find yourself ready to bolt today, from whatever it is that feeds that resistance, whether it be work or a relationship or yourself, then stand back. Take a breath. View the situation in its entirety. And be grateful.

I spent a couple hours at the beach earlier. I felt alone. Truly alone. I wanted to run. To hide. I was balled up tight and wondering why I would feel that way in the presence of such shear power and beauty.

I straightened up. Put myself in a meditative position; back straight, palms upwards in my lap, shoulders relaxed, jaw loose. I breathed in that amazing energy. Connected to those feelings of insecurity. Embraced them. Listened to them. Loved them.

In loving myself I released those feelings and found that sense of security that lay just under the surface.

I wish I could share this with you. The feeling that everything will be okay because I feel those same doubts coming from you.

Relax. Breathe deep. Feel yourself connect to the earth through your feet and the base of your spine. Breathe deep and long, filling your lungs from the bottom up. Then release the air, squeeszing it out from the bottom up.

Focus on a point in front of you. Just in front of your eyes whether slightly open or loosely closed. Imagine a white dot of light there. The light moves and when it moves it makes the slightest sound. Listen to it. Feel it. Let it expand. Allow it to envelop you. When your thoughts stray listen to them, release them, then return to that point of light.

That light is surety. Stability. It is the strength of the Universe that lives within you. It is your divine spark. It is you and it is telling you everything is going to be okay.

Tonight the moon is full and so are you. There’s nothing to run from.

a moment in eternity

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you are in the kitchen
while I sit in silence in the other room
releasing my thoughts
and the energy that carried me through the day
soft music plays
a bluesy roughness
with hypnotic beat
that draws me near
I come up behind you
pull you close
kiss your neck
pull you close while touching you gently
with purpose
my hand raises to your heart
the focus of my attention
as I lightly caress the base of your spine
I offer the life that flows
from your heart to mine
expand on it
return it to each chakra
one by one
as I whisper love
reassure you
guide our energy with my hand
as I reach Vissudha
I replace my hand, now moved to your belly, with a kiss
then lower my hand to your pelvis
seeking pleasure and finding it there
I rest my head against yours
seeing Ajna light up
feel our crown, now joined,
freely pass our energy back and forth between us
a perpetual, growing light
as I breathe you in
feeling you fill me
and returning it
to fill you
with a peaceful calm
with life
with love
I hold you close
knowing
this is but a moment in eternity

 

A Promised View

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She sits at the edge of the world
Unconcerned with my silent inquiry
In peaceful examen
Contemplating All
Serene in her surrender
To the known and unknown
Welcoming a future
She creates with intention
Every thought with purpose
Every movement decided
Every word chosen
Mindful and accepting
She gazes out upon her world
Created with the meaning she gives it
Surveying beyond the smoky skies
To a place where a promised view
Of the Milky Way
Conforming to her vision
Overlays the grey-blue background
With colors of her choosing
Where eagles glide
On winds that whisper the Sopurkh
While harmonizing
With the mystic forest below
Home to true magick
Where compassion is spoken
Not only when needed
Because compassion is always needed
But with consistent care and kindness
Where passion is more than a line in book
Or a poem
But resides in every touch
Every look
Every kiss
Because passion belongs everywhere
In everything
To everyone
Where Love is tangible
Something she can see
Touch
Smell
Taste
Drink
Something to be shared
.
I see her world merge with my own
It is a world
Where the promise of a view of the Milky Way
Is kept
If only in her heart
and in a picture I take of her unaware
.
.
.
.
.
.
If you’re not familiar with the So Purkh a good explanation and recording can be found here: http://www.spiritvoyage.com/blog/index.php/so-purkh/

I am like the river

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I wake, alone, always alone, and wonder; why does it have to be like this?

I move slow, zombie like, to the kitchen dragging a handful of clothes which will be my armor this day. Too thin to keep life’s pains from intruding. Just enough to hide them.

It is too late in the morning to stretch my body and mind. Too late even for coffee.

Half dressed, I look down to Brown Dog, my traveling partner for these last twelve years, though he is going on fifteen or sixteen or I-don’t-really-know-what-teen since I picked him up as a feral stray, and I smile. I admire him. He is always ready to love and be loved.

I celebrate his birth along with my own in November which looms ever closer. I will be 54. How the fuck did that happen?

I make the time to love him then let him out the back door and shuffle to the front while pulling a dirty shirt over my head (too late now to find a clean one) and let myself out.

As the day progresses, the loads of water going from my truck to the road we are building keeps time like a slow moving metronome, those morning thoughts continue to intrude.

Surely I’ve learned the lessons that earn me the right to love and be loved? Surely the person I am now, regardless of my past, is worthy? Surely I deserve that most basic of all rights? Why am I such a failure?

I get ahead of the work crew and park my truck by the river that supplies the water I get paid to make the roads muddy with and walk to an overlooking edge.

I sit and breathe. Deep and slow.

I allow those thoughts to flow like the water that passes in near silence in front of me. I listen to and acknowledge each of them; “You are not worthy”… yes, I understand that’s how you feel. “You do not deserve”… it’s ok to feel like that. “You will never be happy”… it’s ok.

Each thought repeated with the impact and clarity gained through years of practice. Each identified, acknowledged, validated then treated with the same care and compassion I would offer another and released.

They are just words. Labels. They mean nothing.

Slowly, with practiced patience, the thoughts are reduced to a whisper and are replaced by the sound of the wind, a trickle of water, the birds, the rotation of the earth through the cosmos.

I slowly open my eyes and watch the gentle flow of the river and, without thought, begin to understand; The path I am on is like this little river that cuts its way through miles of prairie. It’s sweeps and bends the altered courses of my life. Its flow from past, through present, and towards the future.

I see my reflection in the surface. Static. Unmoving. It is in this static image that those thoughts live but it is an illusion. Beneath the surface the water is constantly flowing as it slides past stones and cuts its ever changing course through the prairie.

If I were to submerge myself in those slow moving waters, become one with it, there would be no past, no future, no false reflections, only a sense of Now. Eternal. Dynamic. It has no beginning. No end. It flows to the sea. Evaporates. Returns as rain. Flows.

It is that sense of Now, that never ending cycle, that I strive for in my meditation. Yes, the thoughts remain. My mind, like everyone else’s, never ceases its rumination and contemplation and formulation. It mutters incessantly.

But today, right now, I am like the river.

 

 

 

 

Image by JMGreff

Tick Tock

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My mind rattles
With thoughts
Like a thousand chattering clocks
That grasp and claw
With their metal hands
No two
With the same time
Each clack a memory
Ticks and tocks
Past and future
The silent groans
Of grinding gears
Now
The disharmonious chimes
Alarms and alerts
Each vying for my attention
With their own message
“Stop!”
“Go!”
“Here! Here! Here!”
“There!”
“Wake up!”
None in agreement
While I
Still and quiet
As observer to that chaos
Draw in peace
Compassion
Love
With slow
Deep
Breath
To lovingly welcome
And caringly acknowledge
Each thought
“You’re not good enough ”
Yes, I see you
“You don’t deserve…”
I understand
“What are you…”
It’s okay
Until
After each
Mindful
Breath
The clocks
One by one
Fall silent
A barely noticeable hum
Of discontent
Like wind turning a window fan
Soon
All that is left
Is the sound of my breath

The beat of my heart

Acceptance

Gratitude

And love