June 2nd, 2015

Alan - sunrise - Palm Springs area

Morning Inspiration!

One kind word can turn over heaven and earth.

- Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

What a way to greet the day.  I am watching the fog move in and out on the ridge.  It's a wave of awareness.  Yes, kindness each day, beginning with ourselves.  What kind word will you offer yourself today?  My kind word is patience!  Oh, maybe I'll give myself two. Understanding.
Book Cover

Self-compassion -

This is a beautiful short talk by Tara Brach on Self-Compassion.

Each of us suffers; each of us has pain.  Touching our own hurt, tenderness arises.


She quotes from this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, one we know, and need to refresh on often.

Please Call Me by My True Names
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow —
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

tennessee valley

Fun -

I used to walk down to the beach at Tennessee Valley every day, well, run actually, before the "kids" went to school.  Years pass, and now, it's a special treat when I give myself the time.  Today I did. The wildflowers are out, and the hills still green.  I saw a family of Quail, the babies tiny as they scooted along.

I paused to talk to a young couple, who warned me I should be aware of animals.  I said I'm used to walking here, and have seen bobcats and mountain lions and never had a problem.  "No", they said, "you don't understand. There are two of them.  We'll show you," and they did, on their phone.  They show me several photos of two dinosaurs at Tennessee Valley.  Yes, dinosaurs! Amazing how the brain knows immediately the shape of a dinosaur even looking at a tiny phone in the sun.  It seems someone had set up two dinosaurs on the trail, six inches tall, but they were placed in such a way against the plants and landscape that it looked like Jurassic Park.  It was a good reminder on perception, and really fun.  I told them I had seen giant "Apes" when they were filming Planet of the Apes 2014 near where we were.  It was intriguing to see people-sized Apes driving and traveling in Jeeps.  It's an amazing world we share.  

I was the only one on the beach today, and not one dinosaur nibbled my toes, and not one Ape escaped from a film.  Just me, waves, kelp, rocks, and birds.