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A poem for a rainy day: Inner Practice

January 17, 2017 Leave a comment

It is a dreary day here in Maryland. It is dark and gloomy with rain coming down steadily. It is a good day to practice!

Inner Practice

The breath begins with emptiness.
The inner curve of the belly
Is a waiting, a pause,
An anticipation of the new.

The breath proceeds with a rise.
The curve of the belly fills with
An action, expansion;
Excitement lifts on an inner note.

The breath rises on its inner path.
The spine straightens and lengthens,
Action peaking, seeking the crown,
Expanding outward and upward, reaching.

The breath follows the inner curve.
The skull bone directs its passage,
Downward through the hollows of the face,
Ending in the empty space guarded by teeth.

The breath remains in this inner space.
This is a waiting, a pause.
Inaction holding, resting in peace,
A suspension of the doing – just being.

The breath descends from its quiet rest.
The inner curve of the chest opens
With soft action, a contraction,
A sinking downward and inward.

The breath expels what no longer serves.
The inner curve of the belly forms,
Compressing, flattening, sending out
The last of the used, the spent, the old.

The breath ends in emptiness,
The inner curve of the belly restored.
Resting, contemplating, anticipating
The inner practice of breathing.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

New Year’s Eve: Out with the Old!

December 31, 2016 Leave a comment

One of the teachers I am working with has asked us, as part of our year-end review, to release all the old habits, feelings, beliefs, thoughts that are not serving us. I’ve spent this week reviewing the year, in fact the past nine years, to dredge up and lever out the old “stuff” that’s “down there!” As another of my teachers would say, “it is time to metabolize that “stuff” and turn it into compost for new growth!”

2016 is a 9-year, a year for completion. 2017 is a 1-year, a year for new beginnings! Today is a great day to release the old to make room for the new.

Here is my poem to reflect on this process; a riff on the five elements of Classical Chinese Medicine and Philosophy:

Release—

Anger through forgiveness:
Grow through the lessons,
Rise with the lengthening days,
Draw on all the resources,
Create your own destiny!

Anxiety through surrender:
Expand through the lessons,
Allow engaging relationships,
Mature in thoughts and actions,
Manifest inalienable joy!

Worry through service:
Serve from the lessons,
Share from the heart,
Engage in all life offers,
Adapt to the Way of life!

Grief through acceptance:
Transmute through the lessons,
Balance loss with gifts,
Release emptiness for fullness,
Purify life through praise!

Fear through trust:
Contemplate life’s lessons,
Believe in your own power,
Feel free and confident in life,
Flow through the currents to Wisdom!

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Happy Christmas Eve, and all the other Eves we celebrate as the year winds to a close!

December 24, 2016 Leave a comment

Enjoy! Celebrate! Live, love and laugh the old year out and the new beginning in!

Eve

The day, the evening before:
Christmas
New Years
All Hallows
Changes and more.

The women, Mothers of All:
Adam’s wife
Jesus’ Mother
Holy Mother of God
Peace before the fall.

The birth, renewing Light:
Solstice
Deepest dark
Returning Sun
The dawn following First Night.

Eve, new hope at last:
Forgiveness
Light
Love
Release of all that’s past.

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A post-election day poem

November 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Often when I am upset by circumstances, events, things beyond my control or even understanding, I turn to my pages to write and I turn to my poetry journal to see what might help, if not penetrate to an understanding, at least bring me into a state of grace and gratitude. In this post-election denouement this is what came to me:

Change (with gratitude for a Pawnee proverb)

Fortune cookie:
Mistakes are portals to discoveries.
Me:
Then there are no mistakes.

Optimist:
Every problem is an opportunity.
Me:
Life is all about lessons.

Electoral College:
Trump is the President Elect.
Me:
Half the country has voted change.

Rosemary:
Hold in the Community of Love and Light.
Me:
Embrace me, Community.

The Divine Feminine:
Your purpose is to live in Joy.
Me:
Facing the Sun I see no shadow, only Joy.

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

 

Happy Halloween! A poem for Samhain

October 31, 2016 Leave a comment

The veil between worlds thins at this time of the year. Samhain is the holiday in Celtic tradition that celebrates this special cross-quarter day, half-way between Equinox and Solstice. It is the new year! A time of letting go and resting as we approach the long nights of winter.

Feeling the Other Side most clearly at this time I offer this as my treat:

Thin Little Veil (with apologies to Bob Sima)

The season drifts toward the dark;
Slanting rays glance lower, shorter.
The bright light of high summer fades
To the sadder shade of yellow tinged with gold.

The cold creeps slowly along the road;
Longer nights hold it to linger there.
The warmth of high sun is but remembered
As the chill settles deeper in the bones.

The veil ‘tween here and gone shreds;
Thinner now, revealing more it drifts.
Gossamer, hiding nothing, not even shadows
As it wisps away as fine mist.

This Halloween the thin little veil
Opening the way to the Other Side
Stands as a welcoming sign
And beckons us to listen well.

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©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A New Poem: Nothing is Real

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment

I actually wrote this as a prose poem while doing my “Morning Pages” the other day. Then with a few edits I turned into today’s poem. It is kind of an answer, almost an antithesis, but not really, to the notion that “We are Light”!

Nothing is Real

Too many thoughts and concerns;
They are all just puffs of smoke in the great field,
Specks of dust in the moonbeam,
Tiny ripples on the still clear mirror of the pond
Reflecting the dust and smoke.

These are all reflections, images of mist
Floating over a sea of nothing.
It is not real, this picture.
And this picture is a poor reproduction of some unreality
That is a guess at a grasp of
What truly is – or is not.

If nothing is real, nothing matters.
And, yet I stroke this pen on the page,
Sip my tea and ponder.
Something there is that ponders me, echoing my own.
If everything is a reflection
Then reflect on this:
The image within the mirror
Holds a mirror reflecting me.
We are that and that is we.

So, what is the consternation about anyway?
Let it go. Remain in flow. Just be.
Be with this. Everything is okay.
You are okay. You will survive. Or not.
What is survival anyway,
But remaining in a current incarnation of illusion,
The image in the mirror.

Is there any point in hanging here?
Of course!
Take the meaning, the learning;
Pass it through the mirror into Consciousness.
And, perhaps the lessons will carry well
Into a new incarnation of a new reflection.

And the mirror may be that much more perfect
Reflecting more clearly, brightly, purely
Than the current reflection can manage.
And it, no matter how bright and light,
Will remain a reflector!

©2016 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

What happens next?

September 21, 2016 Leave a comment

A couple of days ago, Rosemary posted on her Facebook page an article by an archeologist and historian about cycles of human history and how we may be entering one now. It is a provocative article! As I wrote my pages today (one of my practices is to follow the Julia Cameron “Artist’s Way” and write out three pages every day) This article was foremost in mind. Here is the link to the article: https://medium.com/@theonlytoby/history-tells-us-what-will-happen-next-with-brexit-trump-a3fefd154714#.e4rkcn9ib

And here are my three-pages I wrote today; my call to action was to “shed more light”! Here are my thoughts:

“The day before Equinox and the days are getting shorter. And finally the days may be cooling as well. We will see low 60s by Sunday. We are moving into my time of the year when things begin to slow and rest. It is a lovely time of respite. A good time to breathe.

Will we breathe after the election in November? What will happen between now and then? There is an ugly mood in the country, even the world, and it seems to grow uglier every day. Police killings, riots, violence, bomb plots by the crazies on all sides. The election seems to be attracting all the crazies – drawing them out from their holes, somehow giving them permission to raise their crazed cries of fringe creeds and beliefs to the point of drowning out saner voices of reason, logic, thoughtful discourse. Has it always been like this? Or has Trump set a new standard of low? It is a throw-back time, back to Jim Crow, racism, violence, hate, separation, distrust and deep-seated fear. What is to be gained by this?

Is it a cycle of history we are doomed to repeat, another mass kill-off of humanity, like the plague, world wars, famine? Do we need a purge, a cleansing of the human population to somehow restart evolution? Could it get this bad?

Or is there enough lifting of human consciousness now in the world to somehow counteract this pending cycle? Have we brought enough light into the world to defend against the darkness, to shed light into the shadowy corners and prevail? I don’t know. The world as it is currently configured hangs in the balance of my not-knowing. There is a pause now, of sorts, across the next seven weeks while we all consider. News will continue to flow and more of Trump’s antics and tactics will be revealed. The debates may come off to reveal the clown vs. the Stateswoman. But no one will laugh. And we will learn little. Then there will be a flurry, a fury of last-minute campaigning, and we will go to the polls.

It is hard to believe that the buffoon is close to a possible win. It reveals much about the country we live in. And maybe it doesn’t really matter who wins, because this is the country and will continue to be the country after the election. The population won’t change. The hearts and minds of our neighbors will remain the same. The hate and fear that created Trump, the candidate, will remain. There will be violence against the black community and there will be the attacks on the Muslim community. Clinton won’t stop this. And our government will continue to be hamstrung by the same forces that currently prevent real progress. Perhaps a tenuous balance will be found and we will continue to teeter on the edge. But the forces have been unleashed. Trumpism is here now, with a mean voice and no forgiveness. It may not even matter who “wins” in November as we may lose any sense of stability in the world

As I write these words I can too easily see a world war on the horizon. That is a scary thought but too real to deny. It would be irresponsible to deny this possibility!

So, then, what is the responsible thing to do? What is my role in all of this? What am I to do?

Be the light. Shed light on this real possibility. Talk about it, not in terms of fear but in terms of responsibility and action. Do I blog about this? Do I write a poem? Do I publish this “essay” in some form for people to consider? What is there, really, to be done to “prevent” the cycling of history we seem about to repeat? If we hold the light up to it and examine it most carefully perhaps there is a way to dull its edge. Perhaps it won’t bite quite as deeply. Maybe this is the best we can hope for, like the 2008 recession that, thanks to Obama, didn’t descend into a full- blown depression.

We all know a shift is coming. There can be no forward progress without change. We can “pray” the progress will not be in reverse. We can take action to shed light on the possibilities and rally all the forces to support our prayer!”

And we can build bridges, rainbow bridges of light, as the author of History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump, Tobias Stone, concludes!

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