Going through this transition,
everything in my life is changing,
and people (bless their hearts)
want to offer advice:
You’ll need to get a full time job, they say
Your standard of living will go down, they say
Talk to your attorney, they say
It’ll get worse before it gets better, they say
Keep your head down, they say
You’ll be so much happier after this is over, they say.
And I want to say
How do you know what you think is true?
It sounds like what they’re saying comes from fear.
I don’t take advice from frightened people.
I sit and I pray:
Thank you, angels, for making your presence known to me.
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say, and to whom?
We would have you stay right where you are.
We would have you breathe.
We would have you tell yourself
“I love you, I forgive you, all is well.”
Now that is some advice I can take!
You might go to the ends of the earth
and still never find the answer.
You could ask the wisest teacher
and still not know who you are.
Stop all this frantic searching
outside of yourself.
The answers are within.
Get still, close your eyes,
There now, isn’t that better?
There is no need to dwell on the past,
to try to figure out who’s right
and who’s wrong,
not when this moment
is so richly landscaped
by our current thoughts,
our fabricated perceptions…
Surely there is enough here
to catch our fancy
without having to
exhume and examine
of something that happened
so long ago
we can’t remember why
we’re trying so hard to remember!
Close your eyes to the past.
There is nothing for you there.
Open your eyes to this moment
for just a moment,
then close them again.
Now, do you see?
That which is timeless
is inside of you,
the eyes inside your eyes,
the ears inside your ears.
Trust the voice that you can hear
only when you become still
and listen deeply.
I come here not knowing what I want to say,
so I wait and breathe…
I try to cultivate this listening, receptive presence,
but does the trying push away that which I want to hear?
Is letting go of effort the answer?
It’s not so much a statement of what I already know.
I don’t need to parade my wisdom around the room
and wait for accolades…
besides, the room is empty
and all I can hear is the night crickets chirping.
It’s more of an opening to what I don’t know,
it’s a recognition that what is out there
is so much greater than my comprehension,
it’s a bowing down before the majesty of life,
seeing clearly the continuum of being,
and how I am smaller than the tiniest blip
on the story arc of the Universe.
The listening, receptive presence is a doorway.
I step through and begin my journey.
I started to put my fingers in my ears.
I didn’t want to hear him speak;
the sound of his voice sickened me…
but then I remembered
that this is why we are where we are today–
because we don’t listen to one another.
And so I resisted.
I looked at him there on the TV screen,
(what I consider to be)
the same old insubstantial rhetoric,
and I tried to listen.
We need to learn how to listen
especially when we don’t agree.
We need to learn how
to look at one another
and see the similarities
rather than the differences.
To find the humanness in our opponents,
to keep our hearts open,
to look for solutions.
Pretending they don’t exist
won’t make the problems go away.
May I keep my eyes and ears and heart open,
may I learn how to really listen.
It’s harder to listen intently
than it is to speak fervently.
How would this world be different
If we knew how to close our mouths
and open our hearts?
Don’t despair if you have no clue
How to stop, look, and listen.
You will surely have many opportunities
to practice sealing your lips
and letting your presence
shine from your heart.
Just look around you.
This world is crying out to be heard.
Will you listen?
Listening to my body…
Musing at how,
in its infinite wisdom,
it shows me exactly how
I need to take care of myself,
how, in its most gloriously
it reveals to me how
I haven’t been taking
care of myself.
What an exquisite thing,
and how little time
do I actually spend
Instead of dwelling
on every little thing
that bothers me,
that arouses anxiety,
that makes me feel
I think my time
will be better spent
in a conversation with my body,
where I listen,
and at intervals,