Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Small things

So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?
                                            Alexander McCall Smith, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

It is the small things
That are the big thing

Random acts of kindness
Call them what you will

It is not so much the big gestures
But the little things

Sometimes unnoticed
That reflect true love

It is not masses of flowers
Or boxes of candy
Or romantic dinners out that prove love

It is acts of coffee (or tea)
Acts of laughter
It is the picking up of dirty clothes
Putting down the toilet seat

It is listening at the end of the day
Or taking the dog for his walk

These are what make life better
More loving
These are the things

Saturday, February 10, 2018


How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
We all remain
Too frightened.

Anyone out there afraid?
Afraid of failing
Afraid of bad things happening
Afraid of Muslims, or Christians
Afraid that the country will fall apart
Afraid that we are as power hunger as we seem
And as racist?

Anyone out there afraid?
To open their hearts
To open their minds
To God’s new thing

Anyone out there afraid
To take a risk?
Love the unlovable?
Ache for justice?
Mourn for the oppressed?
To say “I love you” first?

Afraid to be humble?
Afraid to turn the other cheek?

These are difficult things
These are “sacred” things
But they make us vulnerable
We might get hurt

Only radical trust in,
Radical connection to,
The Sacred
Will allow us to open ourselves to the wonder

Of love

Only the light of Sacred Presence
Will free us
to open our hearts
our minds
our hands

and give

Friday, February 9, 2018

It is time

“If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
                                           Leo Tolstoy, Essays, Letters and Miscellanies

We are constantly assailed
With voices from outside ourselves
Telling us what is true
What to believe
What is right
What is wrong

We are constantly responding
Our hearts beat
Our heads roar
We are in turmoil

There is something ugly in all of this
All of this fear and anger
All of this exultation and ecstasy

For our emotions become weapons
Used against other
And sometimes, even, against ourselves

It is time
It is past time

To Stop
To Breathe
And then to listen

To the voices within
Not to the bully that lives in our brains
But to the voice of the Sacred that comes from that deep place
That place that persists
That is the truth

It is time
It is past time
To look at the sunrise, to feel the breeze
To wonder at the mountain
To watch the deer leap gracefully
And the fox glide through the field

Time to look around at that which comes
From the voice of the Sacred

It is time

Thursday, February 8, 2018


“Do every act of your life as though it were the very last act of your life.”
                              Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

How we people remember me?
When gathered around my grave,
What kinds of memories will arise, what kind of words will be spoken

If they hold a funeral, will anyone even come?

If one looks at one’s life one can find many moments
One would like to have back
Many statements one wishes one had never spoke

We make good choices
We make horrible choices
We are driven by angels at times
And at other times drive by our demons

By fear and need, and anger and greed

Sometimes we do acts of kindness and nobility
Sometimes we do things that hurt others, or destroy ourselves

I have seen much
Said much
Done much

On a scale from  1 to 10?
What percentage was good, what percentage was bad?

It is foolish to even go there
Because we cannot undo what has been done
We only have this moment
And what we create from this moment forward

If we have been arrogant, we can now from this moment, live with humility
If we have been self centered, we can relax, in this moment
And begin to focus on others
If we have been greedy, we can from this moment on, live generosity

We can live each moment as if that moment
(which is the only moment we have)
Is the moment which defines us
Because for the moment, it does.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Every once in while I pause
And take a breathe
And life my head up and look around

Released for the moment from all the busyness
I have woven around my like protective armor

And in that brief moment I know
We are all alone, born alone, die alone

Perhaps not we, just me

I can look back on my life and realize
That in spite of co workers, and more, and
In spite of being surrounded
By fellow therapists,
And by the saints in my little church
And at times by family

That in spite of the company, I have been alone the whole way
I do not say lonely—at least, not all the time—
but essentially, and finally, alone.

Oh there is human contact
And moments of grudging respect
For what I can do….

But there is something that keeps people from “sticking”

I am the Teflon man…
Perhaps I am too arrogant?
Too greedy?
Not kind?
Too insecure, and thus too self-promoting
Too opinionated?
Definitely too opinionated!

It matters not the flaw

It is just that
In the dark
When my self-esteem falters
And I realize I am too tired, too old, too whatever
To really do and be what I want to do and be

That I am marking time
I am alone

And not respecting myself I must look in the hearts and minds of others for my happiness

But there is no one really there
Or perhaps I can’t see him, or her

There is no one really there
Except happy dog

Which is something
Which is something indeed

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Be good

Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
                              Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Finn is a “good dog”
he learned early on not to get on the furniture
Or chase the deer too far

He learned to sit when a car comes by
And to bring “dad” the ball

I’ve notice that not all dogs are
Quite so well behaved
Nor quite so “happy”

Are they “bad dogs”?

I suspect that with dogs, like horses
The problem is not the dog (or the horse)
But the one who owns them
And works with them….

How they behave is a reflection of how they have been treated
Of love, and kindness,

Perhaps the true is of people too
I remember the line in “Hook”
When the little daughter of Peter Pan
says of the mean, gross, old Captain
“He’s just a mean old man without a mommy”

People are, to a great degree, what others make them

Perhaps the way we influence people become good people
Or at least better people

Is to be good people, better people, ourselves
to be love, an kindness, an compassion and generosity
to be humble, and willing to serve

there is no better evidence that the opposite is also true
that mean, cruel, arrogant, greedy souls
bring forth the same in those around them
that those who not sit in power in our country

so perhaps our energy
dear ones
needs not go, not into changing “them”
but into changing ourselves
into being the kind of people who bring “good” into the world

as always our vulnerability and goodness maybe seen
as weakness

but there is no one so weak as one who must diminish others to feel strong

so let us transform ourselves, by the renewing of our minds
the awakening of our souls
that we may know good
be filled with good (the Sacred)
and be good

(good human, good human)

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fight evil with good

“The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.”
                              Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

How do we resist evil?
How do deal with all the anger and hate?
How do we cope with the oppression and minimization of others?
How do we combat greed and the lust for power?

How do we fight the horrible people of this world?

We fight evil with good
We respond to others with calmness and acceptance
We work for justice and equity
We live generosity
And we let go of our egos and seek to be servants of all

We simply refuse to fight horrible people
By being horrible people

Be kind dear ones
Be humble
Look for the good
Love like you mean it!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

that deep place

“And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”
                             Gerard Manley Hopkins

It seems as though there are too many ends
Too many moments when it all winds down
When things slowly fade
In to nothing


Our moral compass
Spins hopelessly

Our mind slows
Our body erodes

We are spent

And yet
There at that deep place
Where we are who we are

Ending is beginning

For every death there is a birth
For every end there is a beginning
For every things that goes, something comes

Accepting the changes
Letting go of the past
Opens our heart, our mind our body
To the “new thing”

And we are every warmed and enlivened
By the warm breath

of Love

Saturday, February 3, 2018


“You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”           
                              William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

what does it mean to
have enough?
do enough?
be enough?

Sometimes we go through life
never know where enough ends

we can never have enough
capitalists love this
we can never do enough
businesses, churches, and organizations love this
we can never be enough

perhaps it is fair to say that counselors love this

but the reality is
we can all reach that place
where we have enough
do enough

and where we are enough

and I suspect we don’t need as much as we think we do
and that the balance between doing and being, is heavily weighted toward doing
and that we have no clue of our inherent worth

perhaps we need to STOP
and breath
and sit
and reflect

Perhaps we need to STOP
and play more
dance more
sing more

perhaps we will find e have enough

maybe even more than enough

Friday, February 2, 2018

be strong

“On a planet that has given in... you must prepare to be very strong.”
                             Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Sometimes it seems as if we have just “given in”
Sometimes if feels as if we should

Why bother?
Why care?
Why try to work for justice, and equity?
Why try to walk the path of love?

All the forces that strive to
Crush and destroy love and compassion,
Generosity and forgiveness
Are just too strong

We say that “love wins”
But so often we don’t really believe it.

We see hate win
And greed
We see people, in their lust for power
Trample the poor and the vulnerable
With a smirk on their face

I used to think the writers of the Psalms were whiners 
“How long O Lord, how long?”
“Will you hide your face forever!”

But so often my soul screams the same questions
And it seems most logical just to give up, give in
To hide
To stay silent


But we cannot
We cannot

The Psalmists for all their grumbling
End with Hallelujahs and songs of redemption

The horror of the cross ended in resurrection

The Sacred insists that at the core of creation
At our core
There is love

And so we must prepare to be very strong
Not in the sense that we become angry and brutal
Not in the sense that we build walls and fund a bloated military
Not in the sense that we encase ourselves with hate and anger

But that we become strong in the way of love
It takes more strength to love
Than to hate

Small childish dictators, whether they rule a country
Or a household

can hate, oppress and diminish
Love is beyond them

So let us be strong
Very strong
Let us

Live love

Thursday, February 1, 2018

God's Classroom

We have all come to the right place.
We all sit in God’s classroom.

The only thing left for us to do, my dear,
Is to stop
Throwing spitballs for a while.  

we are all people needing to learn
men who are in important places, merely boys, or at worst adolescents
women who are still little girls

childishly we taunt and tease
we gather in cliques,
and sometimes we bully

we are scrambling, scrambling
to figure out who were are,
what we are doing
and why we are doing it

we are incurably self-centered
and so our world is in chaos
as we blunder through life

perhaps it is time again for me
time again for you
time again for all of us
to stop
and pay attention to the Teacher

the Sacred lessons are found everywhere
in the laughter of the true children
in the rising of the sun,
the beauty of deer
the affection of cats and dogs

they are found in those people
who listen, and care
who accept others
who give gifts of love and compassion

we are in the right place
we all sit in God’s classroom

may the lessons