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     We are like complex, completed origami. 

     Our task is to unfold ourselves and return 

     to the simple, blank sheets of paper that        

     we once were before we were us.




     As the bare heart arcs

     From light to bones to light,

     We yield gracefully to what is,

     And dance.




     We are consciousness dreaming.

     When we awaken within the dream,      

     Love comes to know itself.




     Glimpses of the Real dissolve us.

     Love dissolves us.

     Truth dissolve us.

     Beauty dissolves us.

     Who is still here?




     The incandescent marrow of our heart

     Dreams love

     And illuminates the world.




      When you can open your heart to pain

      And open it to your enemy

      And open it to a rock

      And open it to an idea

      And open it to the sky

      And open it to itself

      And open it

      And open it

      And open it…                                                                        

      Everything shifts.                                                                                                                                                  


     The Clearing


     There is a clearing at the center of the woods 

     And each path – 

     The one along the creek,

     The one up the hill,

     The well-marked one, 

     The new one, 

     The raggedy one,

     The familiar one, 

     And the dangerous one --

     All meet there

     Where it’s still and luminous.

     And in the clearing,

     How hard or easy,

     Slow or fast,

     Long or short, 

     Odd or usual

     The path taken

     Is a matter of some amusement



      ---Since you made it through all the poems, here's a bonus essay.---


                         BEING MINDFUL TO MINDFULNESS



When we're not in the moment, we meet our mind instead of the world. Our mind might be providing interesting commentary on what we encounter. Or perhaps it's busy generating a reductionist analog of our actual experience. But ultimately, it's hard to nurture ourselves from within this limited realm, especially in comparison to the wonders that await us in each unmediated moment out in the world.


When we stay up in our heads, engage in escapist activities, or crave for life to be other than it is, we devalue the reality of whatever moment we're missing. Perhaps a given situation or context feels boring, or painful, or repetitive. These are just the judgments – the excuses – that our minds concoct to protect us from the supposed horror of embedding ourselves any given moment – letting it tell us what it is. So we end up assigning meaning instead of receiving it.


If we try to look at something – say, a houseplant – how long is it before our attention shifts to judgment/evaluation/interpretation and all that other mind stuff? Perhaps we actually see the plant with our full attention for all of ten seconds, then it's off to the races. What a healthy looking plant, you might think. I wonder how much a plant like that costs? Where can I get one like that? What kind is it? Gee, it reminds me of that one my aunt had. Etc. So we've got 10% plant and 90% mind in the mix.


Whether we find a given slice of reality to be palatable or not, resistance to our own experience is futile. In the long run, we can't fight reality and win. It's a hell of a lot bigger than we are. Sooner or later, we pay a hefty price for adopting this strategy -- increased suffering.


Suppose we could learn to master our attention – directing our metaphorical gaze when and where we chose. Would we really decide to filter so much of our experience through our drunk monkey minds? (No offense to those of you with other troublesome critters up there. That's a fair description of mine, at least.) If the answer's no, then why not start practicing? Focus on becoming more mindful. There are all sorts of resources out there these days; mindfulness has hit the big-time.


The way to thoroughly learn our particular life curriculum is by simply paying attention. I mean this literally. The organic flow of events and circumstances we each encounter in our daily life contains all we need. And remember: mindfulness isn't about inventing what we want to be mindful to. It's about being with whatever's here. And now. And then the next here and now. And then the next. 

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