Wednesday, April 28, 2010

shining like the sun

"It was like waking
from a dream
of separateness...
There is no way
of telling people
that they are all
walking around
shining like the sun."
-Thomas Merton

Monday, April 26, 2010

sacred space

in this crowded life
remember to
allow for the margins ~
that sacred space
where your heart has room
to spread its wings

source image: cracks in the sidewalk

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a hidden wholeness

sometimes it feels as though
i have lost a part of myself
and just as surely as i think
i've found it,
something else goes missing
but i am learning
there is a greater reality at work
a hidden (unseen) wholeness
of which i am part
that holds me...and all things...

source image: planters

Monday, April 19, 2010

grandmother cedar

grandmother cedar, i have seen
how patient you are
with the creatures
who nest in your branches
and seek shelter in your trunk.
you never seem to mind
the blue jays' noisy spats
or brother squirrel's loud preaching.
the aloofness of hawk, who claims
your highest bough for himself,
doesn't bother you one bit,
and the droning buzz of the honeybees
who make their home in you,
is simply heard as a sweet lullaby.
i can't help but wonder...
how aware they are of you.
do they recognize your constancy?
does your beauty melt their hearts,
the way it does mine?
do they see that even your crumbling bits of bark
contain whole new worlds!

source image: a crumbling bit of cedar

Monday, April 12, 2010


every year spring sends out
the most marvelous invitation
no return address - no RSVP
just the words:
come dance with me!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

eyes of the heart: photography as contemplative practice

i recently completed another wonderful course offered through the abbey of the arts , entitled eyes of the heart: photography as contemplative practice. now, i am not a photographer, (i didn't even have my own camera prior to this class!) but my decision to enroll was made as a result of the transforming experience i had during a previous abbey of the arts course: way of the monk, path of the artist. eyes of the heart, was similarly revolutionary. one of the best gifts i received through this class was a way to reconnect with a favorite childhood pastime - climbing trees! this body of mine may not be able to climb trees in the traditional sense, but through my camera's zoom function - i can now "climb" to the top of any tree with ease. the eyes of my heart were beginning to possibilities.
during the 6 week class, we were encouraged to go on contemplative walks with camera in hand to see what images we might receive. it was on one of those first few walks that i made the acquaintance of a particular cedar that has become my muse and teacher. i was initially drawn to her because of the interesting lumps and bumps of her trunk, but as i came closer i realized those unusual formations were the result of barbed wire that had been wrapped around her years ago - eventually becoming embedded in her flesh. this was another example of how the eyes of my heart were being opened, which i wrote about here. as i said earlier, i am not a photographer, but i found that i really enjoyed the adventure of contemplative photo-walking and wanted to find a way to integrate some of the photographs i was receiving with my work as a mandala artist. i began experimenting with various computer programs that would allow me to do just that - to create mandalas from source images. as a result of this class, whole new worlds of creative expression have opened before me and i would like to thank christine valters paintner, the founder of the abbey of the arts, and the creator of this course (and others) for another life changing experience! and to my incredibly gifted classmates: thank you for allowing me to see the beauty of life anew through the eyes of your hearts. i dedicate this mandala (cedar bloom) to you all.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


has a voice -
its own
unique way
to shout
even silence
has an echo

source image: cedar tree