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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Trees are our sanctuaries...

Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.  They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life ... When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is difficult.  Those are childish thoughts.  Let God speak to you, and your thoughts will grow silent.

-Hermann Hesse

8:46 am pdt

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The pale flowers of the dogwood outside this window are saints. The little yellow flowers that nobody notices on the edge of that road are saints looking up into the face of God.

This leaf has its own texture and its own patterns of veins and its own holy shape, and the bass and trout hiding in the deep pools of the river are canonized by their beauty and strength.

The lakes hidden among the hills are saints, and the sea too is a saint who praises God without interruption in her majestic dance.

-Thomas Merton

12:25 pm pst

Monday, November 10, 2014

It Felt Love
Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give to this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain




10:25 am pst

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Truelove


There is a faith in loving fiercely

the one who is rightfully yours
especially if you have
waited years and especially
if part of you never believed
you could deserve this
loved and beckoning hand
held out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now
and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are
worthy of in this world.

Years ago in the Hebrides
I remember an old man
who walked every morning
on the grey stones
to the shore of baying seals

who would press his hat
to his chest in the blustering
salt wind and say his prayer
to the turbulent Jesus
hidden in the water

and I think of the story
of the storm and everyone
waking and seeing
the distant
yet familiar figure
far across the water
calling to them

and how we are all
preparing for that
abrupt waking,
and that calling,
and that moment
we have to say yes,
except it will
not come so grandly
so Biblically
but more subtly
and intimately in the face
of the one you know
you have to love

so that when
we finally step out of the boat
toward them, we find
everything holds
us, and everything confirms
our courage, and if you wanted
to drown you could,
but you don't
because finally
after all this struggle
and all these years
you don't want to any more
you've simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.

  -- David Whyte
      from The House of Belonging
      ©1996 Many Rivers Press

9:24 am pst

Saturday, May 3, 2014

All the True Vows

All the true vows

are secret vows

the ones we speak out loud

are the ones we break.


There is only one life

you can call your own

and a thousand others

you can call by any name you want.


Hold to the truth you make

every day with your own body,

don’t turn your face away.


Hold to your own truth

at the center of the image

you were born with.


Those who do not understand

their destiny will never understand

the friends they have made

nor the work they have chosen


nor the one life that waits

beyond all the others.


By the lake in the wood

in the shadows

you can

whisper that truth

to the quiet reflection

you see in the water.


Whatever you hear from

the water, remember,


it wants to carry

the sound of its truth on your lips.



in this place

no one can hear you


and out of the silence

you can make a promise

it will kill you to break,


that way you’ll find

what is real and what is not.


I know what I am saying.

Time almost forsook me

and I looked again.


Seeing my reflection

I broke a promise

and spoke

for the first time

after all these years


in my own voice,


before it was too late

to turn my face again.

-David Whyte, House of Belonging



8:01 am pdt

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

-Pablo Neruda, from Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid, pp. 27-29, 1974)

7:51 am pdt

Saturday, March 29, 2014

All My Relations

"All my relations” is the English equivalent of a phrase familiar to

most Native peoples in North America. It may begin or end a prayer

or a speech or a story, and, while each tribe has its own way of

expressing this sentiment in its own language, the meaning is the



"All my relations” is at first a reminder of who we are and of our

relationship with both our family and our relatives. It also reminds

us of the extended relationship we share with all human beings. But

the relationships that Native people see go further, the web of

kinship extending to the animals, to the birds, to the fish, to the

plants, to all the animate and inanimate forms that can be seen or

imagined. More than that, “all my relations” is an encouragement

for us to accept the responsibilities we have within this universal

family by living our lives in a harmonious and moral manner …

(p. ix)


-Thomas King (1990), professor at Guelph University and author /

actor of the popular CBC radio show Dead Dog Café




9:46 pm pdt

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sister Water

Be praised for Sister Water: humble,

helpful, precious, pure; she cleanses

us in rivers and renews us in rain.


6:53 am pst

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The only true joy on earth . . .
The only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls.-Thomas Merton
8:21 am pst

Saturday, January 11, 2014

You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we'll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I'll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I'll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

e.e. cummings
8:41 pm pst

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!

St. John of the Cross

from Ascent of Mount Carmel

3:00 pm pst

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Healing Words
"Love is all we have, the only way that each can help the other." Euripides

"Psychoanalysis is a cure through love." Freud


"I didn't know what her problem was. She didn't know what her problem was.

I didn't know what kind of psychotherapy I was doing. All I was was as a source

of weather or a garden in which her thoughts could grow and mature and do so

without her knowledge." -Milton H. Erickson


"More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars." F.D. Roosevelt

"Every act of love is a work of peace, no matter how small." Mother Teresa

12:18 pm pst

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Anger and tenderness: my selves.
And now I can believe they breathe in me
as angels, not polarities.
Anger and tenderness: the spider’s genius
to spin and weave in the same action
from her own body, anywhere –
even from a broken web.


from "Integrity"

by Adrienne Rich



12:37 pm pst

Friday, November 8, 2013

Love the Delta 12:02 pm pst

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Cherokee Legend

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."



12:02 pm pdt

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fall in Love

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)

from Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009

11:15 am pdt

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Interfaith Exhibit: Finding Common Ground through Sacred Words

Opening reception: May 11, from 5 - 8PM

ICCNC: 1433 Madison St., Oakland, CA

9:04 pm pdt

Ode to the Church

How much I must criticize you, my church, and yet how much I love you!

You have made me suffer more than anyone and yet I owe more to you than to anyone.  I should like to see you destroyed and yet I need your presence.

You have given me much scandal and yet you alone have made me understand holiness.  Never in this world have I seen anything more compromised, more false, and yet I have never touched anything more pure, more generous, or more beautiful.

Countless times I have felt like slamming the door of my soul in your face and yet, every night, I have prayed that I might die in your sure arms!   No, I cannot be free of you, for I am one with you, even if not completely you.

Then to where would I go?  To build another church?

But I could not build one without the same defects, for they are my defects.  And again, if I were to build another church, it would be my church, not Christ's church.  No, I am old enough.  I know better!


-Carlo Carretto


8:45 pm pdt

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sacred Snapshots


We invite you to join us for Sacred Snapshots, on April 20, 2013, at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Sacred Snapshots is a day-long event celebrating spiritual practices from a range of religions and traditions.


8:31 pm pdt

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