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Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

Friday’s Poem: Casting No Shadow

October 19, 2018 4 comments

[Warning: this poem contains a four-letter word that may offend some people. It is a word for material found in the bottom of a bird cage and rhymes with grit. If this word offends you please read no farther!]

I am fresh from the Christine Kloser event, known simply as “Breakthrough,” for Transformational Authors. I have known Christine and her event for several years; this one was her sixth; it was the first one I attended. And I can honestly say this was the best of all personal growth conferences, retreats and other such meetings I have ever attended! I did come away transformed in several ways. I will write more about this in a later post.

For now I want to offer this poem, dedicating it to Christine and all of the friends and fellow poets I spent three quality days with this week:

Casting No Shadow

Standing in the Center under high Sun,
Casting no shadow
I wonder:
Where has all that shit, my shit gone?

Earth, Mother, accepts it all
Composting it, the shit, into food:
Rooting soil
For the wonder and beauty of the lotus.

Facing East, bowing to the rising Sun,
Shadow stretching West
I wonder:
How far does that trail of shit extend?

Great Bear of the West doesn’t care;
His shadow absorbs all darkness
Sending life
Deep into the root and stem of the lotus.

Facing West, bowing to the setting Sun,
Shadow disappearing into the night
I wonder:
While the Mother sleeps, who stirs the shit?

The Great White Way of the night sky
Carves a graceful turn to churn
Rotting waste
Feeding the growth and awakening the lotus.

Facing North, bowing to the Great White Way,
Soft Moon shadows glowing in the night
I wonder:
How can shit survive this peace and beauty?

Cosmic Energy, creative power
Pumps the life-blood, pure potential
Filling mud
With juice to enliven the lotus bud.

Facing South, bowing to the warming Sun,
Shrunken shadow withering to the North
I wonder:
How can so much shit generate all this beauty?

Earth and Fire, Mother and Sun
Join in Holy Union, merging love and light;
Ascending we
Witness the opening, Jewel in the Lotus!

(Om mani padme hum!)

 

 

 

©2018 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

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Can We Afford Peace? (A Musing on 9/11)

September 11, 2018 Leave a comment

Today I’m going to let this poem speak for itself.

Can We Afford Peace?
(A Musing on 9/11)

Remember the day the towers came down,
A glancing blow on the Potomac,
A plowed field in Pennsylvania.
Remember – Another “day of infamy.”

We memorialize this day each year
To burn the images, the losses, the audacity
A little deeper in the Soul of America.
We stir and restir the anger, the hate,

The fear of the other, brown people, Islam.
But do we remember to forgive?
Our sovereignty was attacked on 9/11;
Innocent trust in invincibility lost.

There is no sovereignty without forgiveness.
It is a hollow fate carved out by hate.
But we remember and stir to keep
The embers of revenge alive.

There is too much profit in war, revenge;
Too much profit for the powers:
We can’t afford peace. Forgiveness?
It may lead to peace – and loss!

 

 

 

©2018 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.

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…!

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.

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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ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Choose to Live Your Richest Life

October 26, 2015 Leave a comment

Choose to Live Your Richest Life

Have you ever gotten so tired of the way things are going that you say to yourself, ‘Enough!’? Maybe it is your finances or your exercise regimen or your weight or what you eat or a job that doesn’t satisfy you or a relationship that doesn’t serve your highest good. Have you reached a point where you have had enough and you’re ready to choose a different path?

Sometimes things have to get really terrible before we make that choice. You have to ‘hit bottom’ before you start to pull yourself up. Or maybe the Universe has to hit you on the head with a 2 by 4 to get your attention.

I am trying to learn my lessons before it reaches that point. I confess that I don’t always shift in time to avoid the 2 by 4, though. My goal is to help you learn to make the shift BEFORE that 2 by 4 hits you.

Many of my clients come to me because they feel ready to shift but don’t know what their next step is. This is the perfect time to start working on yourself and your personal growth. Others, though, come only after they’ve been knocked down and can’t figure out how to get themselves picked up. That’s okay, too, as we do figure out what to do next.

But don’t you want to avoid the drama? Avoid the ‘I must do something’ scenario and be proactive about making choices in your life?

The first step is to realize that you are always at choice. Even when it feels as if you can’t do anything to make a change, you are deciding (choosing) to stay the way things are.

There is a big difference between feeling that things are horrible, that they must change and knowing what to do to make that change. This is where it is important to ask for help.

Even if you don’t get help from a professional, for whatever reason, at least talk to a trusted advisor or friend. You don’t have to navigate big shifts alone!

Sometimes it is important to find someone to see what you cannot see, to help you find possibilities that, when you are stuck in the quicksand of a messy situation, are difficult to sort out. This is where seeking help is so important. Someone outside of the quicksand can see what is hidden from you and steer you in the direction of what you want instead of what you feel is holding you stuck.

A client of mine recently told me that she was driving along and suddenly realized that that day was the ‘ideal day’ that she had written as her homework from one of our early appointments. She was living that day and loving it! And was thrilled at the difference between when she started the process and where she is today.

You can have the same experience. Stop doing what you’ve been doing that keeps you stuck where you are uncomfortable, in any area of your life. Ask for help. Seek your ideal day. Choose a different path. One step at a time, one behavior at a time, one action at a time.

Your Richest Life awaits you!