Another teleseminar? Really?
Then I had a brainstorm. Or more of a question,
really. Who are we teachers,
anyway, I asked myself. Beyond the images
that we endeavor to project, what is
life really like for us?
What happens when we step off the stage? When
the workshop is over and we
return to our own daily existence?
What I envisioned were teachers being willing to
share, quite frankly, what they’re
working through right now. What’s their
edge? What’s still messy and unclear for
them? What may become a teaching
story down the road, but right now is their own
Here's an opportunity to listen
for free this summer to folk like Ram Dass, Terry
Finley, Tama Kieves, Sally Kempton, Isaac Shapiro, Krista Tippett,
Reggie Ray, Diane Musho Hamilton, and Byron Katie.
SPONSORED by Sounds True
"At any moment, we are either giving humanity
the gift of our clarity or our
confusion. And that clarity or confusion is
affecting the humanity around us, the
world around us. It is manifesting. It
is taking form."
"In the end it’s all very simple. Either we give
ourselves to Silence or we don’t."
....well past midnight....sitting still in the
garden....listening to the wind sweep the
marine layer past the near full
moonlight....nightbirds singing all the while this
eucalyptus gently rustles....and in this silence, one can hear....even
photo by Alan Larus
For a moment I saw a beautiful moving
Then a vast water with no means of crossing it.
For a moment, I saw a bush full of opening
Then no roses, no thorns, nothing.
For a moment I saw a busy cooking fire.
no hearth, no smoke, no flame.
I saw the great mother of kings, Kunti.
the next moment, sitting here, is
the helpless old aunt of the potter's
14th Century North Indian
Wabi-Sabi – the Japanese aesthetic of beauty
We live in a world where new is good –
perfection is strived for – and young is
beauty. We thought however that we
would share with you today a beautiful
aesthetic that the Japanese believe
in – it is the principal of Wabi-Sabi. In a
nutshell, wabi-sabi is the
Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and
accepting the natural
cycle of growth. It is simple, uncluttered and it values
all else. Wabi-Sabi is about flea markets instead of big box
malls; it’s about aging wood not laminate. The principals of wabi-sabi
celebrate crack and crevices and believe that it is a sign that loving has
It is so easy to discard what isn’t new and
forget what has aged – but stop and look
closely next time at a pot that
isn’t perfect – a flower that isn’t fully standing tall
– or the aged face
of the people around you – they all have a story to tell.
I said Oh no! Help me!
And the Oh no! became
a rope let down in my well.
I've climbed out to stand here in the sun.
moment I was at the bottom of a dark, fearful narrowness,
and the next,
am not contained by the universe.
If every tip of every hair on me could
I still couldn't say my gratitude.
In the middle of these streets
I stand and say and say again,
And it's all I say,
everyone could know what I know.
What's In The Temple?
In the quiet
spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring.
It begs me to
open the door so it can walk about.
The poets speak in obscure terms
pointing madly at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead
patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand
poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the
corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here a while.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are
If I say the word God, people run away.
been frightened--sat on 'till the spirit cried "uncle."
Now they play hide
and seek with somebody they can't name.
They know he's out there looking for
them, and they want to be found,
But there is all this stuff in the way.
I can't talk about God and make any sense,
And I can't not
talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are
talking about God.
I miss the old temples where you could hang out
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the
consequences of carelessness,
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life
that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense and
We don't build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned
that the sacred can't be contained.
Or maybe it can't be sustained inside a
It's the spirit that lives on.
If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?
Go there now.
~ Tom Barrett