Monday, June 26, 2017

if you knew

what if you knew you'd be the last
to touch someone?
if you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theatre, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line's crease.

when a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn't signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy 
won't say thank you, i don't remember
they're going to die.

a friend told me she'd been with her aunt.
they'd just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt's powdered cheek when they left.
then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.

how close does the dragon's spume
have to come?  how wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
what would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?
                ~ ellen bass

do we remember - as sogyal rinpoche asks us -
that we are dying, and everyone and everything else is,
and so treat all beings at all times with compassion?
it is a most generous way to be ..
to be in the present..and presence..

as it is said:
our lives are not precious because they are so valuable..
our lives are precious because they are so fleeting ~

Monday, June 19, 2017


ever since returning from alaska!
i have been feeling very small..
small is too big a word to speak of
my place in the scheme of things..

the sky - the heavenly night planets
& the stars - farther  and farther
yet very near and holy huge..
trees are toweringly taller..
shrubs, too! for that matter ..

my legs.. are they really shorter than they were
before the trek into the wilderness..?

air itself, the pranic winds ..
pressing in on the top of my head ~
you are no taller than this!

proportions, perspectives, relationships..
a most intimate unknowing of the big picture..

how vast it all is..
how wee, we all are..

making up the mosiac of the great divine..

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


my first visit to alaska..

out of all the darkness 
and glacier crushing and grinding
comes this warm abounding beauty and life
to teach us 
what we in our ignorance and fear 
call destruction 
is creation - 
finer and finer..
               ~ john muir

this is so ..
the wilderness of glacier bay..
the sounds and dialects of raven..
the coo and woo of the eagles..
whales tales and fish scales
crumdudgeon elders -
first nation carvers..
wild flowers and whiskey -
bush-whacking and trail blazing..
yoga tucked into small corners..
boats and ferry boats
ginormas cruise boats in the distance..
salmon ..
halibut cheeks ..
my own rosies!

now, as a junior ranger for the national parks..
taking my vow in sitka
with a badge to prove my intention..
to appreciate, respect and protect all
national parks and wildlife.
to continue to learn about landscape,
plants, animals & history of these special places
while sharing what i learn with my family and friends.

the last frontier

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

how to stay awake:

never sleep.
never sleep while awake.
wake up in the midst of sleep.
sleep and wake at the same time.

the yogis & yoginis called the 4th state of consciousness ~

beyond and behind, underneath and overhead -
dreamless sleep..

absolute waking..
every moment..
evolving in the timeless..
our actual natural state
permeating the totality of all that is..
fully alive!

infinite gratitude to all things past.
infinite service to all things present.
infinite responsibility to all things future.

Saturday, May 6, 2017


His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama
often tells us..
though we are eager to be happy,
our actions lead us headlong into suffering ~

he also says:
pain is a given ~
suffering is optional..

interesting conundrum ..

we have this amazing opportunity to freely construct
our very self, the temperament & ethos of our being..
quite stunningly by our actions, thoughts and deeds..
we are free and responsible to engage
in a great awakening within our daily lives..
moment by moment..
every one of us -
to self-sculpt and create a life
of happiness and value.. choose one's attitude 
in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one's own way..
           ~ viktor frankl

i am awake just enough to hear myself snoring..
which is awake enough to catch myself
behaving badly..holding back..
niggling on name it..
those wibbly ungenerous thoughts..
the notorious judgements..
digging a trench between self and other..

awake just enough to straddle the abyss
- if i'm lucky - adjusting the practices,
utilizing skillful means to shake me loose..
out from under the covers to the wide open ~
the sky-like pristine awareness of..
could we say bliss?

choosing the circumstances..
- one's own way -
when to speak..when to hush..
when to spin around and
gaze at the mind and change it..
or it..change...

wow! what great good fortune..

then..why o why do i still dangle my feet
in the dreck and dirge of torment..?
headlong... familiar path.. rut in the road..

HHDL explains that when we are able
to cultivate patience and wisdom
from/for these threads of adversity..
(groggy, furrowed mind)
cultivating patience and compassion
for our very own self ..
this will wake us up
so we may fashion attitudes & circumstances..
well - meaning, loving and wise.. for others..
& therefore open up dimensions in our lives
previously unbeknownst ..


fortune cookie fortune:
you will be enlightened today..
today ?
every day ?

wake up and stay awake..
okay already ~

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

did you know...? in your neighborhood! imagine!

the unexpected power of mindfulness and meditation
with ed and deb  shapiro

APRIL 28, 29 & 30 
 @ crescent moon yoga
    521 morris street
      in la conner ...

the 3-day week-end includes a vegetarian lunchbox
by our very own nell thorn & ed and deb's newest book ~
    you guessed it!
the unexpected power of mindfulness and meditation

$175 for the 3 days..  
or for the public talk only - friday night..
feel free to drop-in for $15

reserve your spot :
or call :
360 466 4261

email -

~ presented by nell thorn ~

some small flower of honesty
 i vow to lower myself
to the level of pure thought:
not to speak as though i know what i say,
not to speak to others as if they know less than i.
i vow to listen to the words of the elder:
not to seek recognition or honor,
not to claim friendship,
but to be quiet
to be invisible until some small flower of honesty
blooms in my heart.
                 ~ ellen porter

Saturday, April 15, 2017

the brink! the interval! the eternal!

what a mystery..this time of birth and death and rebirth..
which of course is every moment of inhale and exhale ~

'tis very puzzling on the brink!
of what is called eternity
to stare and know
no more of what is here than there.
             ~ lord byron

we are always on a deeper and deeper pilgrimage
into the interior castle of the unknown..
hoping to find answers - yet do we really want to..?
to explain away the miraculous..the mystery..
not interested ~

i always like those questions that have no answers..

love this quote by h. l. mencken ..
penetrating so many secrets, 
we cease to believe in the unknowable.
yet there it sits,
calmly licking its chops!

and john fowles ~
because a star explodes 
and a thousand worlds like ours die,
we know this world is.
that is the smile!
that what might not be, is....

we are always on the brink!
the bardo of the moment..
now and always at the interval
betwixt birth and death and rebirth
bringing us to immortality
the deathlessness which is always ours
at the beginninglessness of time..

a conundrum..
to live our lives as if they mattered
yet know the speck for what it is..
space particles of love..
to be scattered and stretched away
from a self-center into an other-center..
fleeting and holy and mystifying..

for what is inside of you
is what is outside of you
and the one who fashions you
on the outside
is the one who shaped
the inside of you.
and what you see outside of you,
you see inside of you,
it is visible
and it is your garment.
 ~ the gnostics

wear it well ~