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Posts Tagged ‘Men and Spirituality’

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.

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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…!

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.

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.

A Full Moon Poem: The Motion in Emotion

July 8, 2017 Leave a comment

How do you feel during full moon events? Do you notice? There are times when I don’t quite understand why I am feeling something different; sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes doubting. I am feeling a little that way today; there needs to be no explanation, especially when I remember the nearly full moon I saw last night. That is explanation enough!

If you are feeling this full moon (it is exactly full Sunday, July 9 at 12:07 EDT) then be easy with yourself; give yourself some time to just BE. Feel the feelings; they make us human!

And sometimes I write a poem to express my feelings, to process them, to appreciate them:

The Motion in Emotion

The amygdule is never silent, still;
It processes ten to the tenth bits
Of input in every moment
Quantizing information to guide being.

The pile of quanta builds, refines, renews
In every moment, modifying the guidance
Ever so slightly, fine adjustments
Corresponding to that flood of input.

Movement can be infinitely small, sub-light speed,
Seen only in shadows, dark contrast.
Great swings of motion can startle
Even the calmest of moments, light-calm.

Staring at the moon, swelling in the east
Reveals little motion, seen best as shortening shadows.
And yet, the motion in emotion
Is sharp and clear in full moon light.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

Sun-Day; a Poem for In-spiration

June 25, 2017 Leave a comment

It is a beautiful day here in Maryland in this high-summer time. I wrote on our deck in the sun, celebrating life, the breeze, the ease of a lazy day. The title of today’s poem comes from a book by Ilchi Lee, “Human Technology, a Toolkit for Authentic Living.” A short section, titled Transience, is all about impermanence. I think you get the drift!

Transience

We exhale, letting go, merging with the afternoon breeze,
Sensing a oneness with all moving air.
We inhale, accepting, in-spiring the breath of Jesus, Mohammed,
Being a part of the wonder of it all.

Each breath we release and accept holds its own little life;
Moment to moment we live in the awesome splendor of all time.
Each breath is all there is, all we have, the beat of a butterfly’s wing;
And we fly, gliding on the breath of the gods.

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©2017 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.