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