Monday, December 28, 2009

goddess #18

Marsh frosted over,
fingers numb
The sky brightens
setting aglow the tips of the trees.

"may all beings find peace in the midst of suffering"

The last few weeks has been a time in which many dear friends have been seriously ill, more than I remember being ill at any one time in the past. It has made me acutely aware of suffering and the need to cultivate the peace and stability necessary to be with suffering and to offer healing energy to those who suffer. This goddess too has known suffering. She stands on the frozen marsh - frigid but beautiful - bathed in the warm glow of the morning sun. May all be safe, healthy, and live with ease --  and may we be open to both the suffering and the joy as we enter the new year.


Monday, December 21, 2009

goddess #17

snow blowing in brilliant sunshine
this shortest day of the year
soon the sun will begin it's slow return to the north
and the days will begin to grow again . . .
ah, impermanence!

"may we dwell happily in the changing nature of all things"

It's 3 pm and the sun is beginning to set on this solstice evening. It's the first day of winter and yet it heralds the beginning of longer days . . . albeit lengthening at a snail's pace for the next several weeks. This goddess wanted to go someplace high, perhaps to see the last rays of the sun as it sets, so I took her to the top of Lars Anderson Park. She stands there in the snow, amongst the spreading branches of an ancient maple, looking over the landscape. The goddess, the day, the snow, reminded me of the constant change that underlies all experience . . . how new life arises only as the old passes away, that one breath is followed by another, in-breath by out-breath, life by death, then life again. Even our heart cells are replaced -- with about half of the heart’s muscle cells exchanged in the course of a lifetime!

Monday, December 14, 2009

goddess #16

for Ben and Ted

december thaw

behind the convent
where you used to sing
my heart melts thinking of you
my teachers, my brothers, my friends . . .
may you be well . . .

may all being know how to love and be loved . . .

I recently learned that my friend Ben was seriously ill. He and Ted had moved away some time ago and I had not been in touch for quite some time. They had both been important mentors when I first began going to Boston Old Path Sangha, not only as friends and brothers in the practice, but as luminous examples of how to love well and be loved . . .

I decided to plant a goddess in their honor near where they lived on Fort Hill. The ideal place seemed to be behind St. Margaret's Convent, near their former house and where they loved to sing with the nuns. When I arrived I found that the garden was inaccessible, but I climbed up next to the fence and placed this goddess . . . one who seems to be soaring . . . in a tree that I could reach through the fence. Unfortunately she fell and lost both her arms. I decided to take this as an example of her indominatable spirit and ability to overcome adversity  . . . and replanted her at the foot of the same tree . . . without arms, bloody but unbowed, and  still soaring . . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

goddess #15

"snow in the sugar bowl
sled tracks remain
children's laughter lingers . . .

may we remember to touch the joy of playing
in this life and in this world."

Just the day before the hillside was alive with the happy sounds of children sliding down the snowy slopes enjoying the first real snowfall of the season . . . it was quiet on Monday, but the memory made me smile . . . it seemed an ideal place for a goddess who remembers how to play in this world. I am trying to play more and cultivate light-heartedness and joy in myself, in other people and in the world. May you be happy and remember the joy of playing!