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Monday poem: The Jesus Factor

June 18, 2018 Leave a comment

On Saturday Rosemary and I attended a workshop with Anümani SantosUnmasking the Alchemist within You. This was the fourth workshop we’ve done with her; it was great!

One of the opening elements of all Anümani workshops is drawing one of her cards that she has painted. They are all amazing. And I have drawn “A Portrait of Jesus” now twice, including yesterday. Why me? My first reaction a couple of months ago was resistance. I struggle with my “religion of origin.” Years ago I saw a bumper sticker on a colleague’s car: “The Christian Right is Neither”! This has stuck with me and sums up my attitude toward organized religions of most kinds, especially what Christianity has become.

So, why am I drawing this Portrait of Jesus? I believe it is a reminder that while the message of Jesus as been distorted and usurped by an ideological faction that has an anti-Christ, anti-love agenda, the basic original message is still worthy. I am reminded to refrain from throwing the baby Jesus out with the dirty bath water. I’m working on this; it will take some deep work. It won’t be easy or fast. But I am committing to review my attitude toward Jesus. After all it is  not His fault his name as been taken and used in vain!

Here is my first attempt at doing the inner work:

The Jesus Factor

In His name we pray!
How often do we hear this;
Do we now fear this?
What is it they pray?

“Obey the law” writes Paul –
To the Romans! Political Paul.
And the first law is Love says Jesus.
Who do they really follow?

His name is now taken in vain
By those who proclaim him Lord.
Misquotes, misinterpretations, outright wrongs
Are stated as Christian by the righteous.

They are not right; nor are they just.
They mislead and betray divine trust.
They twist the Jesus Factor to evil ends.
It is time to recall, return his name

To serve the higher purpose he showed
To love without condition or goal.
Resist the Jesus factor they claim –
Not him, not in his name – only love.

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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A May Day Poem: Commitment & Surrender

May 1, 2018 2 comments

I am privileged to part of an amazing group of people who meet a couple of Mondays a month to discuss deep thoughts and experiences. I am the guy among four incredible Goddesses. Over the last few months we have used the “The Keys of Enoch” by J.J. Hurtak as our springboard for our discussion. It has been an ever awakening journey beyond the “normal” 3-D elements of life. Our next springboard is “The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation” by Jude Currivan. We are interested in penetrating the depths, and heights, of reality in our multi-dimensional Universe so we can be better co-creators of our reality.

This week our discussion concluded with two words that seem almost opposites; their juxtaposition struck me as an excellent jump-point for thought and maybe even a poem. Here’s the result:

Commitment & Surrender

Is this a dance, a rhythm, an ebb
And flow through the music of time?
Do they push and pull one another
Leading, following to the pulse and notes?

Commitment leads, pushes across the floor,
Pulls away from a cluster, creating
Space and steps, new twists and turns
As the ballet evolves in the flow.

Surrender yields to the wishes of the maestro.
The choreographer dictates the journey,
Narrates the story in perfect harmony
As the notes unfold from  the conductor’s baton.

Commitment is the drive, the force
Compelling action, progress, evolution.
Surrender is the acceptance of the propulsion
Ever reaching higher, farther, beyond.

Surrender is the prayer that holds the course.
Commitment is to pray to support the cause.
Commitment is the knowing the cause is just.
Surrender is the trust that the course is God.

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

PS: If you wish please substitute “Dao” for “God” in the last
line. I debated between the two and decided the poem has a
more western feel.

“Grow up America” – a new poem to celebrate the March for our Lives

April 2, 2018 Leave a comment

I did not march on March 24. But I watched the entire event, the moving speeches, the incredible crowds, the world-wide demonstrations for common sense. The leaders of this movement, the “kids” from Parkland, were amazing not just for what they said, not just for their poise and maturity, but for their leadership, their ability to motivate and move a crowd of 800,000 people in Washington, DC alone, to a peaceful gathering to bring attention and awareness that change is desperately needed to combat the violence this country grew up with and has accepted as a “right”! I was moved to tears many times as I watched and listened to the eloquent pleas for this change. I wrote this poem the following day to remember their lessons for the “adults” in the leadership of this country.

Grow Up America
(written on March 25, to remember the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, DC,
March 24, 2018.)

Follow the children;
They are leading the way;
They are marching for their lives.
Do we dare impede their call?

Grow up America!

The kids seek common sense;
Their asks are reasoned and sound;
They are marching for their lives.
Do we dare follow them all?

Grow up America!

What century are we in?
The Wild West was won, by some.
Do we need the violence of guns
To protect, prove, move, impede others?

Grow up America!

From infancy we protected and grew.
In adolescence we proved our power.
Can we now move beyond our childhood?
The children will not be impeded!

Grow up America!

A new age is dawning;
“The children will lead them.”
It is time to follow their lead, and
Grow up America!

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

A Mid-Week Poem: “Light”

October 25, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the many things I love about autumn is the light. We are experiencing absolutely perfect Fall weather here in Maryland and the light streaming down epitomizes that love I have. It must be the angle of the sun well past equinox at this point, the way it casts that golden hue to everything it touches. The view of the light toward the south from my writing chair is the inspiration of today’s poem. Happy mid-week!

Light

Reflections dance, glinting shards of Light winking on and off
Over the nearly still surface of the mirror-like lake.
The flashes could be the under-bellies of leaping fish
Or simply the lightest of breezes playing over reflections of sky.

It’s difficult to block out the Light seeping through cracks in the wall;
Even the shadows cannot hide, cannot exist in the absence of Light.
Squinting through nearly closed eyes at the stream from the crack
Reveals the coat of many colors worn so beautifully by the Light.

There is no escape, no corner to hide, no distance to run from the Light;
It is the first and last of the holy creation that reveals consciousness.
Reflection within reflections, echoes of time, the record of the beginning
Stream down, all around, signs of eternity from the Ancient of Days.

 

 

 

©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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.

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.

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…!