Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Silent Mind Listens to Grass Speak

Sakyamuni Buddha, once enlightened, with silent mind
hears revelations from the countless things,
as if clamoring to report through themselves
that there is nothing at all worth grasping
and clinging to as “I,” “myself,” or “mine.”

Never dream of owning any of them — what foolishness!
Taking these selfless things to be “I” or “me”
brings only sadness, anger, and sorrow.

Even the rocks, sand, soil, trees, and grass
sound this song through every nook and cranny;
yet, the busy-minded don’t understand or suspect
that everything sings out Dharma’s lesson.

With silent mind one hears even the leaves of grass
counseling each other with this beautiful fact:
All beings may dance at ease in the breeze with minds left silent by laying to rest all things.

~ Thich nu Tinh Quang

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


we weave our way
through a labyrinth of delusion
only to find that our thinking
has led us astray,
it is then
in that very moment
we see the ineffable truth
in the rising sun
or a floating cloud
or even a busy moment
on our way to start the day.
why is this so difficult,
when life and existence
is so simple?
it is because we love
our stories
and our opinions
and our logic
and our accomplishments
and our life
that we delude ourselves
into thinking we are living.
take back your life
and see this moment
outside of thought,
outside of time
and outside of space,
then what is left
is the only reality
we will ever know.

rev yuanzhi

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


I visited my church this afternoon; I call it the Chapel of Heaven Meets Earth.
The ceiling, a great swath of steel blue so heavy, so close,
The weight drapes itself over the tips of the tallest evergreens.
The floors, a cushiony bed of soft pine needles, shuffling
And crackling through the dried leaves, my feet never tire.
The majestic windows are stained with red and gold and russet
And the sun plays with my optic nerves. Pixels of light
Render me blind and then clear; I relish this childlike
Game of hide and seek.
I don’t come here to pray…it is a prayer this place.
But a question did come “what should I be doing?”
I asked the Buddha’s, the Bodhisattvas, Kwan Yin and all
The others before me. The answer comes back “stay
On the path, one foot in front of the other”.
I hate it when they say that, (I’ve asked many times)
And continue on the trail.
The Stations of the Cross in this church are ancient, exposed root systems,
Extending away from massive tree trunks, suggesting I might look down
Every once in a awhile if I don’t want to trip;
Naked, spindly branches closest to the ground and furthest from the sun,
Thundering waterfalls, cascading over 18 inch high boulders (oh, what confidence!),
Invisible fairies shaking and rattling the tangled bush and me…
Peering intently inside, trying to identify the culprits.
My path takes me back to where I began, but now mind and body are one.
So quiet and peaceful, no question no answer, just walking.

Quang Prasad

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Reality as it is.
~ Thich nu Tinh Quang

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Can I sit with this

jumpiness, grumpiness

this thinking,

this meditation?

Can I sit with this

drippy nose,

these heavy eye lids

this imagination?

Can I sit with this


this boredom

and ache?

Renewed and inspired,

determined and steady,

I feel myself

sit without doubt.

No delusion nor regret,

all arises and fades.

The feelings,

the drama and tales.

All part of the flow....

the expanse

and release

Breathing in, breathing out,

Sitting here on this cushion.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Seeking to fill the void
That wasn't there ...

not finding ...

Not recognizing that what I sought
Was there all along.
~ Thich nu Tinh Quang


Impermanence ...

A gleeful game

of Hide and Seek.
~ Thich nu Tinh Quang

Saturday, January 19, 2008


the incense burns out

on the mound of dead ashes

what fragrance remains?

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Snow falls,
muffling sound:
all the world seems quieter -
a mimicry of peace;
muffling my garden,
and the violas look just like
the plantain weeds;
muffling hills and fields
so dull landscapes become
fairylands; and
muffling the frozen lagoon.
(One could walk upon water
and not know it.)
~ Beverly Shepard

Monday, December 24, 2007


root, seed, secret soul
under smooth, white, quiet snow
life nests within death

~ Quang Thành Kính Elise Bédard

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Sitting on a bus,

close to the window

I watch the scenery flash by.

Each frame a different view. Not scenery, no...

rapid snapshots: mystical, fantastical.

How can this be happening I think

to myself. It can't be true – these things don't

happen in real time, I must be dreaming.

I hear my voice say, yes, it can.

I am the creator, the author,

of all of this.

The projection and the observer are inseparable.

Arriving at my destination, I

open my eyes, refreshed and awakened

to this world, the dream lingering....

~ Quang Prasad

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The first time I passed, I saw only
a form lying under a pale yellow blanket
in a red tiled door-well.
Few possessions, cans of food
a single pair of mens black shoes.

The second pass, I witnessed
if only for a brief moment,
more than a form.
Brown skin, black hair, a woman
not looking at anyone in particular,
focused on her spot, our eyes did not meet.

I quickly averted my glance,
not allowing (wanting?) them to connect.
Who was she? Someone's daughter, yes.
A wife, mother, sister, lover,
maybe all of these.

Lying in the open,
on a cement sidewalk, with out walls to
hide her vulnerability.
Her privacy seemingly intact
on this busy city street, with its
smells, garbage, vomit, and passers-by.

A day and several hours, a world away,
walking lightly on a wooded path,
the air smells of earth, dry leaves and warm wind.
Brilliant sunshine, illuminates the crimson and gold.
Maple leaf, exquisitely cut out in sharp detail
appear superimposed in the forest canopy.

Tree trunks squeak as they gently embrace.
Families, couples, strangers pass me by, smiling, friendly
others quietly focusing on their steps, mindful of the
trail edge.

I look intently at the red and yellow carpet
of the forest floor and try to capture, the light,
the dappled softness in my mind, imagining
how someday I might paint this picture.

All is dharmakaya.
This is my dharmakaya.

~ Quang Prasad

Thursday, October 11, 2007


stumbling on the path

thrown in hell,

flung to heaven

stillness at the core

~ Quang Thành Kính

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Wage peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music, memorize the words for “thank you” in three languages.

Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries.

Imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.

~ Judyth Hill

Friday, September 14, 2007


on the pond, the moon
a leaf, a floating petal
now, ten thousand moons

~ Elise Bedard

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I CALL TO YOU: A Blessing for the Journey

Let us vow
to remember
the causes of suffering and
to practice an end to suffering.
I shall accept all
that I cannot change, and
let my heart be broken.
May we be gentle
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow
to bear witness
to the wholeness of life,
realizing the completeness
of each and everything.
Embracing our differences,
I shall know myself as you,
and you as myself.
May we serve each other
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow
to open ourselves
to the abundance of life.
Freely giving and receiving,
I shall care for you,
for the trees and stars,
as treasures of my very own.

May we be grateful
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow
to forgive all hurt,
caused by ourselves and others,
and to never condone hurtful ways.
Being responsible for my actions,
I shall free myself and you.
Will you free me, too?
May we be kind for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.

Let us vow
to remember that
all that appears will disappear.
In the midst of our uncertainty,
I shall sow love.
Here! Now! I call to you:
Let us together live
The Great Peace that we are.
May we give no fear
for all our days,
here, there, and everywhere.

~ Wendy Egyoku Nakao

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


a bird calling like a bell
a dart of stillness
scent of flowers in the rain

Elise Bedard

Sunday, April 08, 2007


The moon shines over the stream
Footsteps in the snow
Lead up to the other shore

~ Elise Bedard

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Do I see the footprints of Buddha?
Are they the words of the teacher?
Are they the support of friends?
Are they the movements of my breath?

They are everyday actions
Done with compassion
They are ordinary words
Said with mindfulness

~ Elise Bedard

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I planted a Linden sapling
and cared for it,
another living being.
Drinking in the sun and rain,
it responded
by expanding with vigour.
She offered the gift of flowers,
the fragrance heady.
this great Bodhisattva provided shade
for the Buddha,
the pond and it's
community of goldfish,
the Cardinal family,
and me,
providing a cool,
welcoming shelter for all,
regardless of whom or what.
As I sit by the pond,
enjoying yet another generation of goldfish,
drinking linden flower tea,
I ponder the life we've shared.

~ Thich nu Tinh Quang

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shoveling Snow with Buddha

In the usual iconography of the temple or the local Wat
you would never see him doing such a thing,
tossing the dry snow over the mountain
of his bare, round shoulder,
his hair tied in a knot,
a model of concentration.

Sitting is more his speed, if that is the word
for what he does, or does not do.

Even the season is wrong for him.
In all his manifestations, is it not warm and slightly humid?
Is this not implied by his serene expression,
that smile so wide it wraps itself around the waist of the

But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovelful at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our making,
these fountain bursts of snow.

This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shovelling.
This is true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.

He has thrown himself into shovelling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence,
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.

All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside the generous pocket of his silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
Then, I hear him speak.

After this, he asks,
Can we go inside and play cards?

Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck,
and our boots stand dripping by the door.

Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering snow.

from Sailing Alone Around the Room, New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins, 2001

Friday, February 09, 2007


I see my vision through a kaleidoscope and acknowledge that it is a gift. A kaleidoscope celebrates a vast array of colors and forms inviting change through vulnerability. Aided by mirrors and patterns, my view offers limitless possibilities to create beauty and awe.

K is for Kindness. May all beings be filled with loving kindness.
A is for Acceptance of the world and of myself exactly as we are in this moment.
L is for Light and Love. I am here to radiate light and love.
E is for Energy. I am filled with energy, able to do whatever I choose.
I is for Individual. Honoring my own uniqueness allows me to compliment others, rather than blend in.
D is for Devotion. Prayer and meditation are my lifelines to Spirit and to healing.
O is for Observant, mindful seeing and serving.
S is for Soul, reminding me to nourish my own so I may effectively serve others.
C is for Courage, standing up for myself and taking action to make my dreams reality.
O is for Odyssey. I learn as I journey, unveiling the myth I thought was my life.
P is for Purpose. My purpose is to be grateful, loving and generous, inviting the divine spirit to guide my way.
E is for Eagle, who inspires me to fly.
~ France Robinson

Monday, January 15, 2007


Snowflakes floating on air.

Sparkling against the wintry day.

Alighting gently on trees, ..... everywhere.

How magical.

Sparkling trees and children laughing.

Snowballs on the air, snowmen and

Angels on the ground.

What brought you here snowflakes ?

Birds flying, squirrels scurrying,

Deer leaving footprints .

I see you all ,

Just like pictures on my wall.

Hush, I feel the depth of silence.

Snowflakes, I know why you are here .

I know why you're everywhere.

Jeselina Ruska

Sunday, January 14, 2007


sitting still as a mountain
pointing at the moon
the Buddha is teaching me

Elise Bedard

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Sitting on cushion,

I am Buddha

I am Kuan Yin.


Kuan Yin are me.

I am everyone who has gone before.

I am everyone yet to be.



Am not.

Prasad Michele Purdy

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Imagine how long you have been
Riding the ever-revolving
Cycle of existence
To be revealed as a flower,
Or a wolf,
The Dharmakaya reflected in her eyes.

Each particle of wolf, cloud, rock, flower,
Was spewn out of our
Ancient, spinning sun
As conditions arose and ripened
With the momentum
Of the great,

Being born and dying,
Flower and you,
Empty phenomena rolling on
Inseparable from the whole,
Moving and becoming

Thich nu Tinh Quang


तात त्वं असी

Throughout the ether I have been.
Before time;
Since the Beginning;
Before the Beginning.
I am the Void.

I am sunbeams
Glancing off the rain drops,
And melodiously intertwined notes in music.
Twin stars;
A dividing cell;
Molecules dancing in gaseous material,
The lonely call of the loon in A Thunder storm.

the potter,
the pot,
the emptiness
And the fullness of the pot,
I am.

Provider of food
And the food,
I am the cook and the
Act of eating.

You will find me as the largest Galaxy of space,
Or as the smallest molecule of Space between the Galaxies.

I am the reflection in your Mirror.
See me.

See yourself.

Thich nu Tinh Quang

Friday, November 10, 2006


Letting go,

Of flowers and a gardenful of leaves.

Hummingbird feeders on the shelf.


The change of season.

An everchanging collage of

Colours and shapes.

I see through forests.

I am those changes.

Be still and be present.

Watch the sun set and the sun rise.

Silent, as the birds watch

The day gone by.

Jeselina Ruska