Tag Archive | life


Deep in the embers of my heart

I am still a sister

A sister to all sisters

A sister to all brothers

A sister to those who love me

A sister to those who, like me,

Find themselves too often

Outside the walled city gates


Deep in the embers of my heart

I am still a sister

To all creatures

Living this life, in life,

with no sacrifice of lambs


Deep in the embers of my heart

There is a glow

Not extinguished

I am still a sister

weaving through old wisdoms and

still awake to the light and the dark in our human souls


Deep in the glow of my heart

I still belong here

with the trees and with the snails

and the flowers that spring up

in depleted places


My habit is as light as air, and soft and warm to touch

and welcoming

in black white blue green saffron ochre

cascading earth colours

and celestial designs

and I still wear my heart on my sleeve

just on the inside now


I still see the blue sky and I still wonder

how it all works

The 10 000 things, the 10 000 to the power of 10 000 things

arising from the womb of the world,

from the mysterious fountain of our existence


In the deep glow of my heart

there is no exile

there is only kin

on the long road

and sustenance

from the mystery of life


In my heart

I am still a sister and

tomorrow is still

a wonderful family of all creatures, even us,

on this small green-blue planet

if wisdom

and honesty



a-toulouse-02 from the gentle barn

Photo credit http://www.all-creatures.org


Quotes from the Inner Chapters #2

“Clubfoot-Hunchback-No-Lips talked to Duke Ling of Wei.  Duke Ling was so delighted with him that when he saw normal people, their necks appeared thin and scraggy.  Jug-Jar-Big-goiter talked to Duke Huan of Chi.  Duke Huan was so delighted with him that when he saw normal people, he too thought their necks were thin and scraggy.  So when goodness shines forth, the outward appearances are forgotten. We do not forget what ought to be forgotten, but forget what ought not be forgotten.  This is forgetfulneess indeed!”

From Chuang Tsu Inner Chapters translated by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English

Happy Fire Monkey Year

From one new year to the next…

May all of us everywhere be blessed, and not least of all our close cousins the monkeys.

New world monkeys, old world monkeys.

May their luck change for the good, and their habitats remain.

May our luck change for the good, and our shared planet be well, and may we have a hand in that.

Or better, our hands off what we don’t need.  Leaving be more to be well.

juvenile-female-Capuchin-monkey from mirror uk

This little sister is a juvenile capuchin, and her picture credit UK Mirror.

The big dry country


Gravity is the root of grace,
The mainstay of all speed.
A traveler of true means, whatever the day’s pace,
Remembers the provision-van . . . (The Way of Life – Witter Bynner translation)

Our provisions are water, soil, air and seed.

Blessings are rain, and earth worms, and live seeds and air we can breathe freely, wildly.

And the sunlight, waiting to be harvested freely and peacefully.

How to preach the obvious, without preaching.   I don’t know.


Depending on dandelions

I was once told, by someone for whom it was a reality, that there are seven plants which,  together,  keep the universe from unraveling.  I do not know the other six, so over time I take it almost for reality that it is the dandelion that keeps the universe from unraveling.

Dandelions on the pavement lawn

Be that as it may, the dandelions are a dance of transformation in themselves – open bright yellow flowers to the sun, happy harvest for bees, corkscrew no-flowers to the dusk sky, round puff-ball seeds, whisps of seeds on the wind . . . . and a root for a roasted beverage (if you know how to do that).

The dandelion-dao, maybe (maybe not) keeping the universe, or at least my bit of the beautiful planet,  woven together in rough times.

Cartoonist Michael Leunig once had a cartoon called “A man meets twelve great spiritual leaders” leunig25

I am doing a list called “A woman meets twelve great spiritual teachers”  or perhaps “Somebody meets twelve great immortals”.

Number one on the list, herewith the dandelion.




Nothing is too small

Discover that nothing is too small for clear vision, too insignificant for tender strength . . . .

This is from Chapter 52 of the Tao Te Ching.   Below, a stone and plant photo . . . but really I think about people, and about ourselves.   I think about all the troubles we carry in ourselves, bravely hidden away.   That these too are not too small for clear vision, not too insignificant for tender strength.

I was going to elide …. the bit about tongue and senses.   Because we need to sense our earth, and speak up about what is right and fair.   But true also – not so much curb, but take care where we bring our tongue and senses to bear, to bear fruit.

The source of life
Is as a mother.
Be fond of both mother and children but know the mother dearer
And you outlive death.
Curb your tongue and senses
And you are beyond trouble,
Let them loose
And you are beyond help.
Discover that nothing is too small for clear vision,
Too insignificant for tender strength~
Use outlook
And insight,
Use them both
And you are immune:
For you have witnessed eternity.

(Tao te Ching Chapter 52 – Witter Bynner translation – link here)


Stone and plant Elgin


Stone small significant


Stone wall

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