I Wish You Well

My heart stirs with compassion
as I watch the old woman carrying
her packages down the sidewalk.
Most likely many years past the
ability to drive but I surmise that
she still must use her unsteady
legs to make her way to retrieve
food and the other necessities
of sustenance. Has she no one
who can or will assist her? I think
of my own mother who is now
surrounded by family members
and others who pitch in to aid
her in all of her daily needs.
I marvel at the strength it takes
of an elderly woman (who I
judge should be relaxing and
cared for in her later years) to
trek out into the world and fend
for herself. Of course these are
all assumptions I’m making but
still I send blessings that she
be well, that she feel loved,
may she feel content, and may
all of the universe support her
soul on its singular journey.
For some reason tears appear.

Join us for Poetics hosted by Paul Dear Tuesday 3PM EST at dVerse Poets Pub where he presents Blessing poems.

Concrete Gray

Photo: Google Images Public Domain

Concrete gray becomes their hair
Sidewalk cracks too much to bear

Melding, blending with their position
No glance their way gives recognition

A man downtrodden, sad, consumed
Has no shelter within this tomb

Others care, some don’t have time
To tend a hand covered in grime

Human beings reduced to this
A land of plenty became an abyss

Once okay and doing fine
One tripping slip they crossed the line

Whole families now are on the streets
Life’s shifting changes kicked their teeth

Now invisible, we don’t care
Concrete gray became their hair

I’m linking this to the 100TPC Event at Into the Bardo/Beguine Again with Jamie Dedes.  Come join us!:  https://intothebardo.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/100tpc-reader-event-today-link-in-your-poems-art-stories-film-music-videos-for-peace-sustainability-and-social-justice/

A Life Can Raise Up

You don’t know me,
but we’re connected you see
and not because I live
close by or down the street.
We’re bound together,
because we’re both
human beings.

I share the same needs
and desire to live safely,
have food, and clothing
and my family in shelter.
I want medicine when I’m sick
and the best possible care for my
children and loved ones,
because we’re both
human beings.

I live in Sierra Leone, Niger
and Syria, Zimbabwe,
Ethiopia and Haiti,
Rwanda, Uganda, Mali
Congo and Somalia
and many other
places far and wide.
And even though there are
oceans between us,
makes no difference,
because we’re all
human beings.

Put judgments aside, (look
straight into my eyes), don’t
intellectualize and rationalize
all the differences you surmise
and reasons you construe
that I’ve failed somehow
so you can lay blame for
these conditions in which I live.
But you know better than that,
because you’re a
human being.

If I put out my hand
and gave you my name,
would our acquaintance
seem more real and
personal that way?
Could you then understand
that we’re so much alike?
That my heart feels the agony
of my treacherous life and to
watch my children suffer
gives me unimaginable pain,
I feel just like you,
I’m a fellow
human being.

But if you should think that
I’m just too far away and
you really feel stuck that
I’m down on my luck, then
look around your town for
a needy citizen nearby.
Reach out your hand
and give him respect,
spend time and listen, fill
an empty gap, we all have
these stories of how life has hurt
but with caring attention
a life can raise up,
because we’re
all human beings.

Today Bjorn is hosting Open Link Night at dVerse Poets and inviting us to add a poem of our choice:  http://dversepoets.com/2015/10/01/open-link-night-157/

This was previously linked at  Jamie Dede’s Into the Bardo/Beguine Again site for the event of 100TPC 2015 (100 Thousand Poets for Change) last weekend where the topic was poverty and hunger.


When passing a stranger in the street or watching those parade by you at the mall, with your deepest faith in all things good, project to them with heartfelt kindness and deliberation:  I wish you well.  I wish you peace.  I wish your soul’s most deep quietude and knowing.  May you be blessed.  May you feel love.  May you feel the compassion of the universe serving you in the utmost capacity.  May you feel happiness and joy.  May you remain at peace in the face of life’s challenges.

These blessings will go forth and touch all who receive them, and as an added bonus, these blessings will foster these very things within you.

This is a powerful meditative practice that simply asks that you wish goodwill toward others.  Watch as it brings wellbeing into your own life.

You Used To Sing

You used to sing
When your heart was light
Your voice so harmonious
When life was easier

I remember that time
When your heart sang too
Joy came visiting
More often than now

Your voice went silent
Many years ago
Tunes of resentment
Are your music instead

Now fear has crept in
Pain has joined too
They’ve settled in deep
Happiness pushed out

No longer able
No longer can
Simple tasks
Bring you grief

Face contorted
With anguished woe
You’ve clutched so tight
To your suffering,
It’s made its home
Within your bones

And with your acceptance
It’s come right in
Can’t let it go
It’s become a friend,
A crutch, a tool
To have its way

We try our best
To give you help
To serve and attend
And offer assist
But your bitterness flies
And attacks our worth

Our spirit crushes
Underneath the assault

Poor, poor mother
We fill up with compassion
Such a dilemma…
We wish you well

I submit a revised version of a poem I posted previously; Victoria C. Slotto invites us to try our hand at writing in second person over at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2012/12/13/dverse-meeting-the-bar-2/


My life with you wasn’t enough;
you want me in your death too.
I thought I was free from your wrath
by your untimely death–but no.
Your spirit had barely time to
transition through the bardos
and here you are again.
You appear in death as you did
in life–cold, wicked, treacherous
in your countenance.  Colorless,
with a lack of warmth and human
sensibility.  You drift through
my life as an untouchable, unfeeling
of my need for peace, wellbeing
and sanctuary.  You revel in creating
a horror and terror of my life, making
me pay the price of your own
recklessness.  But no–I won’t claim
this as my burden–as my sentence.
Your hunger to hurt and cause
destruction will be finished by me.
No fear, no negative energy will
be granted.  I will love you again.
Soon you will be vanishing
into the ethers–my compassion
creating your peaceful resting place.

Painting by Andrew Wyeth, “The Revenant”

My entry for Magpie Tales; Mag 82:  http://magpietales.blogspot.com/

You Used to Sing



You used to sing

When your heart was light

Your voice so harmonious

When life was easier


I remember that time

When your heart sang too

Joy came visiting

More often than now


Your voice went silent

Many years ago

Tunes of resentment

Are your music instead


Now fear has crept in

Pain has joined too

They’ve settled in deep

Happiness pushed out


No longer able

No longer can

Simple tasks

Bring you grief


Face contorted

With anguished woe

You’ve clutched so tight

To your suffering


It’s made its home

Within your bones

And with your acceptance

It’s come right in


Can’t let it go

It’s become a friend

A crutch, a tool

To have its way


We try our best

To give you help

To serve and attend

And offer assist


But your bitterness flies

And attacks the innocent

Our spirit crushes

Underneath the assault


Poor, poor mother

We fill up with compassion

Such a dilemma

We wish you well…


Mom, circa 1980s

Buddhists Today

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama brings togeth...

Image via Wikipedia

          Having been chosen to interview His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama by “Buddhists Today” magazine, I am overjoyed.  I’ve been requesting an assignment to be able to meet with him for years now.  The opportunity has finally been proffered.

            Packing my bags, I’m preparing to come face to face with someone I have deeply admired for his humility, grace, wisdom and perseverance through the myriad challenges of being spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists of the world while being the most well known of Tibet’s exiles.

            I am flying to Washington, DC where my visit will coincide with a sacred ritual that he will be performing over several days during “Kalachakra for World Peace” from July 6 through the 16th.  He will be guiding student monks through Kalachakra Initiation and will be transmitting authority to them to practice certain spiritual teachings in tantra and other practices.  This process includes bestowal of the Bodhisattva vow.  The actual transference of power begins July 14th.  After the ceremony, I will be granted some time to speak to him before he heads off to his next speaking engagement.

            I arrive at the Georgetown Double Tree located on a quiet, nondescript street not far from the infamous Watergate Hotel and am subsequently shown to a very comfortably appointed room.  I am centrally located and convenient to my appointment with His Holiness that I will be having the following day.

            After a fitful, erratic night’s sleep, I prepare the next morning for my meeting–a car soon arrives to take me on the last leg of my journey that has been a dream of mine for years.  Shortly, we arrive at another hotel not far from where I am staying and enter an underground parking garage and then through an entrance to where I will soon be led and find myself opposite the Dalai Lama.

            My legs begin to tremble as nervousness vibrates through my body.  But as soon as I am escorted into his private quarters and look into that beaming face welcoming me, my fear evaporates and I am at once calmed and at ease.  He is wearing his familiar saffron and maroon-colored robes.  He nods at me, still smiling broadly, and gently takes my hand and motions for me to sit in a chair positioned next to him.   I place my hands together and touch my forehead with them as I give a polite and respectful bow of my head.

            He listens with attentive consideration as I ask my first question of him:  What can we, as individuals, do to help bring about peace between the different peoples of the world who seemingly have such vast disparities and ideals?  His response:  Peace can only be brought about through individuals.  It is through our individual compassion and understanding for one another that we can realize that all people have the same basic requirements of life–to be acknowledged, respected and loved.  It is up to each individual to make that commitment to look upon his fellow men of the world as himself.  When you start to look at differences and focus on external, mundane distinctions, this is where you will lose your humanity.  It is your choice–within each of your hearts. 

            Sir, I am familiar with a quote of yours that really personally resonates with me, “My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness”.  Would you please expand on that?  In his quiet, sincere voice he offers–I mean that you don’t need to follow strict rituals or dogma as spiritual practice; simply treating others that may cross your path with kindness and respect is all the practice one needs perform.  I am a simple monk and follow this guidance in my everyday life.  Also, let me just add that you Americans are a very worried society.  You are unwittingly creating much more suffering in your lives by your needless worry.  If there is something happening in your lives that you cannot make better or change then there is no need to worry about it.  Worrying is a waste of energy and will not accomplish anything good in your lives.  This is very logical thinking and can alleviate so much suffering if you will let go of worry.  You should read my book, “The Art of Happiness:  A Handbook for Living.”  He followed this statement with the high-pitched giggle for which he is known.

         Our meeting ended with a bow of the head and a hearty laugh by His Holiness.  I leave changed–transformed just by being in his kind presence.



Wordsmith Wednesday:  Cultivating Imagination






No Blame

Lady Gaga holding a speech at National Equalit...

Image via Wikipedia

Brown or white we won’t demean

Orientation will all be seen

Your beliefs different than mine

That’s okay we’ll be just fine

Call to prayer five times a day

Or none at all, we still can play

The dress you wear is not my same

Makes no difference, there is no blame

Language, culture, a variety

Makes for interesting diversity

Sexual preference, I don’t care

Love of all is my sacred prayer

Discrimination against our own

Is a hateful trait to be de-throned

Release all intolerable distinctions

Of racial, gender, religious institutions

Open mind, open heart

May compassion be our mark

My entry for Monday Poetry Potluck:  Inspired by a song.   I’m inspired by Lady Gaga’s song “Born This Way”.

My Solitude

Lamentation of the solitude

Image by ` TheDreamSky 꿈꾸는 하늘 via Flickr



Meditation’s calm

Gentle silence reigns within

Solitude brings peace







Day Fifteen of Haiku Challenge:http://pendownmythought.blogspot.com/

Quan Yin

Supreme goddess

hears the cries of the world

and eases the suffering

of all sentient beings.

She’s the Goddess of Mercy,

a bodhisattva who’s

vowed to free us all from life’s

cycle of birth and death

and maya’s gripping hold.

She embraces our sorrows

and soothes our spirits

while pouring

cool, calming waters

of compassion

over our anguished souls.

She’s promised to remain

in these earthly realms

even though her

own enlightenment

has already been attained.

She’s compassion incarnate;

she’s gentle and tender,

her countenance

is acceptance and

loving-kindness toward all.

You need but utter her name and

she will at once be beside you,

bringing protection and gain–

ever tireless in her caring.

A regal goddess riding the waves

upon a dragon she arrives to save.

Even to those who create harm in others,

her benevolence holds them all with

the encompassing love of a mother.


O mother, Quan Yin, I take refuge

in your bountiful kindness

that shines forth with infinite purity.

I feel your grace that showers me with peace

and I know that I am protected.

I am blessed by your eternal

compassion that flows

with abundance and I feel

your warm embrace that holds

me safe until I no longer need holding.


The following are some photos of some Quan Yin statues that I own.  The brass one with Quan Yin being held aloft by a hand was brought back from Nepal from my world-traveling friend, Sandrine.  I have felt an affinity with Quan Yin since I first learned about her story.



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