Tag Archives: love

Dear Mr. Thrush

Dear Mr. Thrush,

Good morning, dear one.  How are you doing today? How are you feeling? I was so concerned about you yesterday. I hope that you are doing well and that you are free from harm.

I am up early again today. Monroe, our little dog, has me up between 5:30 and 6am on most mornings these days. I am grateful to her for getting me out of bed. Every morning I get to watch the sunrise and hear the  world wake up. What a gift. I don’t know if I would do it otherwise. 

That is how I met you. Yesterday. I was sitting in my room, writing a poem, and you came flying into my window! Oh , what a bang! that was. So horribly scary. I peeked out my window and I saw you on the ground. Your olive wing spread out awkwardly and unnaturally. Birds like you weren’t meant to lay down. I rushed into my bedroom- where I knew that we kept a rescue box for moments just like these. Funny, I was just cleaning out the area under the sink in my bedroom a couple of mornings ago and found it. Not sure I would have known it was there. 

So I ran and got the box and woke up A*. We rushed out and there you were. Sweet man. Your yellow beak open. Eyes open. Stunned. I knelt down and scooped you up with both hands and placed you on the towel in the box. You are so handsome! I hope that is not an inappropriate this to say in a time like this, but geez…you are gorgeous. Olive back and wings, black speckled underbelly, beautiful circular deep black eyes. I gently put the top over you and took you to the porch. I wanted to be sure that you could breathe- so I removed the cardboard top and there you were. Oh, dear one, you did not look so good. Your eyes were closing, your beak was open and I feared that this was goodbye. 

Could you hear what I said? I said a prayer for you. I put my hand on my heart, and closed my eyes and I whispered “ I am right here for you, sweet one. I am right here. Everything is ok. I am right here. You are not alone. Sweet little one.” Your eyes blinked slowly shut. I covered you with a towel to keep you warm and we let you rest. 

Minutes later, we decided to check on you. I wanted to be sure that you could breathe under the towel…but it was a very chilly morning and I knew you were in shock. I went out to draw back the towel and you were lying there, resting. That is when I got an even better look at you. Your peach feet. The many shades of your wings. How can a being be so strong and so vulnerable at the same moment? I covered you to give you a bit more time. 

A few more moments passed and I returned. This time, I could see some movement under the towel. I lifted it up to see and you flew away! Right up to a tree branch above my room. Yay! I was so happy that you flew away. You must have been feeling much better. Oh what joy I felt in my heart. After that, you disappeared into the leaves and I could no longer see you. I pray that you were able to find your way home and get a good night’s rest. 

I will listen for your song this morning. I will watch for you as I do my daily chores and I will send you love and good wishes.

Yours always,

LLM

Oh Little Dog

my old girl

your bumps and smells

your tender blank stare

your ears full and deaf





our years together 

fill me with such joy and love

the circling

the kisses

the head rubs

the burrowing into my thigh.



my little shadow

my sweet pup

there are moments i can not find you anywhere

searching each room

afraid of what i will find


i arrive at my sanctuary

to see that you have been sleeping there all along

cuddled on the tiger blanket or

spread out along the gray shaggy draping cover or

maybe the poof has molded into the perfect form

and holds your skinny aging body snug



with relief and solicitude

i watch the rise and fall of your belly

as breath breathes your little body

i curl up beside you

wrap my soul around yours

drifting into restful awareness

together.





LLM

Finding Solace

Finding solace

surrounded by the tapping rain

following each drop

from cloud to leaf to soil



the rivers inside

running dry and desperate

for some relief

I stand mouth open to the universe


“the entire path

and all you will ever need

to walk it

you will find inside”




Fill me

sweet drops of cosmic love

so that I may walk in peace

and be on my way.

-LLM

Wind

Oh Wind

Take me away

Take my voice, my tears, my broken heart

You are so mighty 

With your roar 

And your sound

A raging river

A passing jetliner

An amtrak train

 

You who make the trees swing  and sway

You who pull the leaves from their branches

Exposing their true nature

And their bare  bodies

 

You who push and pull the birds in flight

Holding them still in mid air

As they flap their wings in fury against you

A game, a challenge, a test

 

As I sit safe inside

This warm box of love and life

With candles lit

Sweet smells of morning

And my little dog

You storm and scurry

Rage and Remove

Pick up and pass around

The surroundings of this home

 

And somehow I trust

That you will drop everything

Right in it’s place

 

Do that to me

Do that to my wandering mind

Do that to my worry and my woe

Take it

Throw it

Wind it up and send it on it’s way

 

Carry me like the leaf

Pull me from the branches 

Then place me perfectly there

In that place

On the ground

Sound

Asleep

 

LLM

Bestiary- by Joanna Macy

Short-tailed albatross

Whooping crane

Gray wolf

Woodland caribou

Hawksbill sea turtle

Rhinoceros

The list of endangered species keeps growing longer every year.  With too many names to hold in our mind, how do we honor the passing of life?  What funerals or farewells are appropriate?

Reed warbler

Swallowtail butterfly

Bighorn sheep

Indian python

Howler monkey

Sperm whale

Blue whale

Dive me deep, brother whale, in this time we have left. Deep in our mother ocean where I once swam, gilled and finned. The salt from those early seas still runs in my tears. Tears aren’t enough anymore. Give me a song, a song for a sadness too vast for my heart, for a rage too wild for my throat.

Giant sable antelope

Wyoming toad

Grizzly bear

Brown bear

Bactrian camel

Nile crocodile

Chinese alligator

Ooze me, alligator, in the mud whence I came. Belly me slow in the rich primordial soup, cradle of our molecules. Let me wallow again, before we drain your swamp and pave it over.

Gray bat

Ocelot

Pocket mouse

Sockeye salmon

Tasmanian kangaroo

Hawaiian goose

Audouin’s seagull

Quick, lift off. Sweep me high over the coast and out, farther out.  Don’t land here. Oilspills coat the beach, rocks, sea. I cannot spread my wings glued with tar.  Fly me from what we have done, fly me far.

Golden parakeet

West African ostrich

Florida panther

Galapagos penguin

Imperial pheasant

Snow leopard

Mexican prairie dog

Hide me in a hedgerow, badger. Can’t you find one? Dig me a tunnel through leaf-mold and roots, under the trees that once defined our fields. My heart is bulldozed and plowed over.  Burrow me a labyrinth deeper than longing.

Thick-billed parrot

San Francisco garter snake

Desert bandicoot

Molokai thrush

California condor

Lotus blue butterfly

Crawl me out of here, caterpillar. Spin me a cocoon. Wind me to sleep in a shroud of silk, where in patience my bones will dissolve. I’ll wait as long as all creation if only it will come again — and I take wing.

Atlantic ridley turtle

Coho salmon

Helmeted hornbill

Marine otter

Humpback whale

Steller sea-lion

Monk seal

Swim me out beyond the ice floes, mama. Where are you? Boots squeeze my ribs, clubs drum my fur, the white world goes black with the taste of my blood.

Gibbon

Sand gazelle

Swamp deer

Musk deer

Cheetah

Chinchilla

Asian elephant

African elephant

Sway me slowly through the jungle. There still must be jungle somewhere, my heart drips with green secrets. Hose me down by the waterhole; there is buckshot in my hide. Tell me old stories while you can remember.

Desert tortoise

Crested ibis

Hook-billed kite

Mountain zebra

Mexican bobcat

Andrew’s frigatebird

In the time when his world, like ours, was ending, Noah had a list of the animals, too. We picture him standing by the gangplank, calling their names, checking them off on his scroll. Now we also are checking them off.

Ivory-billed woodpecker

Indus river dolphin

West Indian manatee

Wood stork

We reenact Noah’s ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting.

Ferret

Gorilla

Jaguar

Wolf

Your tracks are growing fainter. Wait. Wait. This is a hard time.  Don’t leave us alone in a world we have wrecked.

-Joanna Macy

Where is Your Voice?

Nakalele Blowhole, Maui

Photo: Kent Buckingham.

Are you brave enough to speak your truth in this world? Are you able to ask for what you need? Defend the rights of others? Be the voice for the voiceless?

At 43, I am still learning how to use this instrument. At times, I can feel the fear gathering in my throat- getting stuck in the muck of self doubt, the fear of being perceived as selfish, or worse- the fear of being judged. This fear silences me and it takes away my freedom, my happiness, and my power.

Thich Nhat Hahn tells us that every answer can be found in nature. By going out into the fresh air, breathing deeply, stepping mindfully, and listening carefully we can receive the wisdom from all of the living beings that surround us- the trees as they sway and creak, the waves as they gather and crash, and the wind as it rages and roars. These voices have spoken for millions of years and exemplify the confidence and courage- steadfastness and simplicity- that I long to manifest.

It is through my practice of observing nature, that I have been able to connect with my deepest truth and my unique voice. Whether I am on the trails of Mt Rainier, at the cliffs of Nakalele in Maui, or in the starlit desert of Chaco Canyon, if I sit still- and listen- I am able experience the interconnectedness of all things and tap into the current of the world. In these moments of quietude, I sense that my body is made from dirt and wood, water and salt, space and air. Sinking into this knowing, I can realize that:

Their voice is My voice. 

And although it may last for just one moment, in that moment, I am a bird set free. With that awareness, I am given permission to be brazen, to open my compassionate heart, and to glide into the universe unapologetically. With that awareness, I am released from fear and able to express myself and flourish.

On this day:

May all beings hear the wisdom of the trees, the ocean, and the wind.

May all beings have the ability to be their true selves.

May all beings be free.

LLM

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Juice Recipe

Sunshine Juice

Juicing is a simple way to get tons of vitamins and minerals and to rejuvenate, heal, and detoxify your body.

A bunch of folks have been asking about my juice recipes. So here is one of my new favs! Perfect for a sunny winter morning.

Sunshine Juice

6 Gala or Green Apples

3 Golden Beets

1 Cucumber

3 Thumbs Ginger

1 Lemon

Dash Tumeric

 

 

Kindness Begins With Being Kind to Yourself

my-religion-is-kindness

Kindness begins with being kind to yourself.

For those of us that my struggle with an unkind mind, here is a daily metta (loving kindness practice) to start your day.

Find a comfortable and quiet place to sit. Take a minute to settle in and begin to notice your breath. Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in.  Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out.

Repeat the following phrases to yourself.

May I be filled with lovingkindness.

May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May I be well in body and mind.

May I be at ease and happy.

Metta by Jack Kornfield

The Five Mindfulness Trainings by Thich Nhat Hahn

buddha:stonesThe Five Mindfulness Trainings

The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

Reverence For Life

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

True Happiness

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and stop contributing to climate change.

True Love

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

Nourishment and Healing

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

-Thich Nhat Hanh, Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices (2009)