Archive

Archive for the ‘Lessons for the Modern Man’ Category

Friday’s Poem: Basho’s Frog

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

I read an article recently describing the difference between Buddhist and Taoist meditation. The premise is that Buddhist meditation seeks to quiet the mind while Taoist meditation seeks to merge with the Tao, to find peace and tranquility, for example, in nature. Maybe I’m not a purist, or maybe I’m just missing the fine points the article attempts to make, but I find my meditations can go both ways, from quiet thoughts of nature into utter stillness, silence, empty mind; and then back again. Perhaps I am mixing two forms of meditation, but if so they both serve me.

As I thought about this, wrote about it in my pages, the world famous Japanese haiku by Matsuo Basho popped into my mind. So I took the liberty of riffing off his amazing vision:

Basho’s Frog

The pond clears as a cool mist
Settles on the surface
Undisturbed by breeze or current.

The mind holds a vision of quiet peace
Settling into stillness
Undisturbed by random thought.

The frog croaks, singing his love
Settlilng over his mates
Undisturbed by his call for response.

He leaps, “kerplunk”, rippling the surface,
Raising the mist
Disturbing the stillness, if not the peace.

Gratitude rises as a cool mist
And settles over the surface
As ripples fade into the undisturbed peace.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

I’m Back; new poem: From the Silence

October 12, 2017 1 comment

I have been silent on this blog. My last post explains a bit; heart attack, etc. And while everyone marvels at the speed of my recovery (and I do too) it still seems glacial. And some of the pace is about rhythm; I haven’t fully regained my rhythm. And this certainly includes my writing, especially poetry. But here is an attempt to gain something back; or should I say step ahead with whatever new is out there to come?

From the Silence

It’s quiet here but for the inner hum,
The music that comes from a million
Invisible violins, the vibration of
Hidden worlds so deeply beneath our ken.

The silence is anything but silent when
We listen with our whole beings,
Every cell attuned to the billion strings
Synchronized in perfect pitch, all to keep us alive.

And from this deepest place, this almost silent
Whorl of stars and galaxies we pause, bend
Our ears to better hear the underlying rhythm
Carrying the melody, ever changing, ever lifting,

Of light, the brilliant music pouring
Down from dawn to dusk to shake us
From our sleep, our silence, our deafness
To the message of Love.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

And then this happened…

October 4, 2017 Leave a comment

Once again there’s been a delay between posts here. And I haven’t written any poems lately. Many of you already know why:

Sometime, just after the “Lion’s Gate” event on 8/8/2017, I had a heart attack. I am a bit vague about exact time here because my symptoms were pretty mild – no great drama, no race by ambulance to the hospital, no life-saving actions by first responders. No, just a few days of chest pressure and a restless, mostly sleepless night on 8/10.

On 8/11 I taught my Friday morning Qigong class. This felt good, but the pressure in my chest continued and began migrating to my back. Hmmm! Between Rosemary and me we decided to give our local “urgent care” a try. Good experience. They sent me to the emergency room with EKG, chest X-Ray and instructions to Rosemary to get me through triage fast.

Long story short my troponin level, a protein marker for heart attack, was through the roof. By early morning on 8/12 I was on my way via ambulance to Washington Hospital Center for catheterization to determine the cause of this heart event. In at 8:30; by 9:00 they knew I had blockage that needed CABG (the cardiology short-hand for Cardiac Artery Bypass Graft) – three of them in fact.

My CABGx3 got scheduled for Tuesday, August 15 (Mary’s Assumption Day, so I knew I was in good hands!). I spent the rest of Saturday through Monday in the hospital under acute observation; I had this time to prepare.

I continued my Qigong practice. There was this lovely atrium window on the fourth floor where I could go through my morning routine in nice light. I knew at this point that Qigong had saved my life, kept me healthy and strong enough  to endure/survive the heart attack. I certainly wasn’t going to stop practice now, especially prior to surgery!

Surgery was routine, as these things go. I suspect splitting open a person’s chest to access the heart’s arteries is never quite routine. My care at Washington Hospital was stellar! I can’t imagine my experience going any better. (OK, the food was not gourmet but it was edible!). By Saturday, 8/19, one week after admission, was released with new drugs and a few restrictions. No Qigong for a few days! But I walked out with the “heart of a 20-year old” (according to the cardiologist who read my echocardiogram) and new plumbing.

And I have been on a fast-track to full recovery ever since. I started my Qigong classes up again on 9/22 – added two make-up classes to cover the missed August classes.

And now I am launching my next series of classes for the Fall 2017; they run from October 6 through December 29, 10:30 am in West Annapolis. And these classes are available LIVE via internet. You can find the details on my website (linked below).

Qigong saved my life. It continues to speed my recovery process. And I am committed to bring this ancient, life-saving technology to as many people as I can reach.

Join me for this life-saving practice! QigongistheWay.com

The poem for today: Edge

July 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Our first call this morning was from Mindy. First reaction: oh-oh, what’s wrong? She usually doesn’t call early unless she is in distress. First thing she said was “Charlie is OK.” Our son-in-law was driving to work this morning, going in early about 2:00 AM. As he crossed the Severn River bridge going west he had to rapidly respond to an oncoming, fast moving vehicle going the wrong way, toward him; he managed to swerve away to avoid a head-on! And he had the presence of mind to call 911 and alert authorities.

Just down the way, near Mindy and Charlie’s home the wrong-way car hit another head-on; both drivers were killed. A third car was also hit causing injuries. The police still do not know exactly what happened, how the east-bound car in the west-bound lanes caused this!

We are all so grateful we still have Charlie in our lives! And it is a reminder of just how precious our lives are! This inspired today’s poem:

Edge

Humans are fragile things,
Little more than the gossamer
Of a moth’s wings.

When we dance at the edge of flame
We flirt with oblivion, feeling real,
Believing it’s not a game!

The heat heightens awareness, we feel alive
Remembering each moment is precious.
Flitting too close we die.

An errant draft can set us adrift.
Away from the light we forget,
Wondering why, wandering from the gift.

Then the flame flares, calling like Buddha’s bell,
Reminding who we are and why;
We fly true and well,

And dance again on the ledge,
Conscious of our delicate beauty,
Floating in ecstasy, balanced on the edge.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

PS: Mindy called as I was writing this. Thankfully it was a request for a quick ride to medical appointments. While driving to and from I did remember…!

Relationship Questions, A Tuesday poem for your thoughts

July 25, 2017 Leave a comment

We had dinner last evening with our amazing friends Bob Sima (yes, that Bob Sima of enlightened music fame) and his talented partner Shannon Plummer. Rosemary and Shannon went off to their “Goddess Group” (yes, this blog is most definitely about the Goddess in my life!). Bob and I had a nice long time to catch up and discuss many things, including our relationships with these incredible women/goddesses in our lives.

One of the things I brought up is what we can know in our relationships, especially intimate ones. I had written about this in my Morning Pages a day or so ago. Bob seemed to resonate with my thoughts so I am motivated to offer them here. The poem came out of my thoughts derived from my Pages.

Relationship Questions

Am I committed?
Do I believe she is committed?
Is she committed?
Does she believe I am committed?

Four little relationship questions.
They apply to any intimate partnership.
The answers rest on a shaky platform:
The less than stable human heart-mind.

An individual can answer only
Two of these relationship questions.
There are always two halves to a pair.
Assumptions lead to trouble.

Four yeses lead to bliss,
A committed relationship.
Communications and trust
Are the means that lead to yes.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A poem to celebrate this day: Anniversary

July 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rosemary and I have been married for 34 years now. It was a lovely evening in Maryland that July 22, 1983. It was not a “triple H” day. We chose well.

There are many things over the years that we have chosen well. Certainly sustaining an active partnership through many adventures has been our most significant choice. And all we can really do in this life is keep these good choices flowing, one into the next.

Love sustains the flow, always. And communications sustains the love. Partnership can be a beautiful thing when it is cared for.

My poem today is a bit random; thoughts strung together to celebrate us, our “mature marriage.” Enjoy!

Anniversary

A year, a celebration,
Solar return for a marriage,
Mary M Day, triple H day,
This year, Saturn’s Day.

This year marks 34
In time that is not real,
Only there to maintain schedules,
Hold people together in this dimension.

What is a mature marriage?
What does one look like?
Boring, rote, habitual, well trod paths,
Patterns flowing into patterns of sameness?

No! Refuse this trend, this pattern!
Every day is a new day.
Every year is a new year.
35 is the best year yet!

Invention, creation, adventures,
Plans to move forward,
Visions to propel the movement,
And conversations to keep it all fresh!

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Friday poem: New Day

July 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Happy weekend! I  hope you have some fun plans scheduled. Rosemary and I are celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary this Saturday. Yeah, it’s hard for us to believe too!

Yesterday I promised a follow-on poem to “Trends & Patterns” published here. Here it is; make it a new day!

New Day

My teacher of soul says every day is a new day.
We are always at choice to make our way
Into the next moment,
Into any state we can imagine.

The power of mind is the same power that created the Universe.
We have that power in our grasp;
It is enough to move the ego behind, beyond, tucked in safety,
To let soul enter the field.

There is a richness there, fertile ground for happiness.
Plow if, plant it, watch it grow, add water,
Bring warmth of the high sky day,
Breathe with the life all around.

Every day is like this – new.
My teacher of soul says, make it what you will.
It is alright to ignore trends and patterns.
We are always at choice to make our way.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.