My beloved mother Bella
July 27, 1924—January 26, 2018
This photograph was made one week before my mother passed away, her third day without food or water. I share it here as a tribute to her luminous, loving presence. It was on this day she told a visitor she was "satisfied with everything." There are no words at this time to encompass the fullness of grace, grief, and gratitude. May her shining light be a blessing.
My beloved mother Bella
an image and a story this winter morning...
Once a samurai came to a Zen teacher because he wanted to know about heaven and hell. “Get out of here!” the teacher shouted. “You are far too stupid to understand anything I could teach you!” Overcome with rage, the samurai reached for his sword. “That’s hell,” said the teacher quietly. “Come have tea with me and we’ll begin.” The samurai instantly relaxes. “And that’s heaven,” the teacher said.
Greetings of the new year. It is my sincere wish that 2018 will be a year of peace, joy, health, and well-being for you and for our whole world. During these difficult times when the earth seems to be shaking itself apart, here are three ways drawn from the Buddhist tradition for connecting with natural wakefulness while walking a road wide enough to include all that is happening in our midst. First and most fundamentally, an intention of non-harming of self or others in thoughts, words, or actions. Second, an intention to keep our hearts and minds open and nurture compassion, with the aspiration to relieve suffering and support awakening. Finally, an intention to embrace this dreaming world with deep equanimity just as it is, recognizing whatever we encounter as a manifestation of the sacred. Resting our gaze in the vastness we are.
a downpour of light
travels at the speed of love—
* * *
I begin this year as a visiting artist at WSG Gallery on 306 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor (http://wsg-art.com/gallery/). I will be exhibiting there through June 9, and currently have three pieces hanging in the gallery. There is an opportunity to change my work with each new exhibit—a total of four times. The reception for the current show Sixteen plus Sixteen is this Friday January 5th, 7–9 pm. You are welcome to come to the reception, or stop by the gallery any time and breathe in the inspiring, wide-ranging collection of original fine art.
This is the last week for my Radiance exhibit at the Kerrytown Concert House. The hours are Monday–Friday, 10–4. If you go see the exhibit, remember to ask in the office for them to turn the lights on in the main room. (The office is on the right after you enter the building.)
I sent this message on Winter Solstice one year ago. An invitation to abide in unconditional Presence. To engage the topsy turvy world from this Loving Knowing. To Be the Light we are. This Solstice morning I am moved to share it again.
* * * * *
Opening ourselves to the suchness of this moment, to the vibrant alive stillness beyond thoughts and concepts, we realize in the depth of our being, we are already whole—we are already one with the timeless essence of all life.
Opening ourselves to our world, we find we are living in churning, whirling, unravelling times. In such times it becomes ever more important to rest in, and draw upon, fathomless, timeless, dark radiant source for strength, courage, and renewal.
To remember vastness—and beauty. To know all things, including the painful and difficult, are lit from within by undivided light.
The world that is dreaming itself into existence beckons us to let our collective hearts be broken open, so we may find our way to co-create a culture of love. The future is calling upon each of us to be a wise and compassionate ancestor. Let us answer the sacred call with a resounding "Hineini!"—I am here! Come what may I am here! Present. Unconditionally. In my wholeness and brokenness, I stand in Love.
Blessings of Solstice,
Holy Darkness, Holy Light—
let yourself become
a messenger of wonder—
in the name of love
let yourself become
a blessing tree for the world—
steadfast in the light
let goodness arise
like an ancient guardian
in these churning times
angels of sunlight
dancing themselves into form—
here you are, glowing!
release and relax,
rest your gaze on boundless sky—
just be, as you are