If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘Zen’

The Dude and the Zen Master

For the last several weeks I’ve been reading The Dude and the Zen Master, a dialogue between Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman. It has taken that long because I’ve needed lots time to stop and reflect.

The Dude is based on Jeff Bridges’ role in The Big LebowskiBernie Glassman is founder of Zen Peacemakers, whose Three Tenets that serve as the foundation of Socially Engaged Spirituality, include:

-Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe

-Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world

-Loving actions towards ourselves and others

Books. They move me. They inspire me. They challenge me. Here are more profound words from some of my favorite writers.

What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.   Anne Lamott

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe. Madeleine L’Engle

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.  Maya Angelou 

Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.  J.K. Rowling



I attended a meeting last night seeking community input as the search for a new school superintendent begins.  Although I retired twelve years ago, I now work with beginning teachers, many of whom are employed in this parish’s system.

There were about 35 people present, some I’ve known from public meetings like this twenty years ago. Why was I there, I kept asking myself in this morning’s journal pages. What did I learn?

I am using Alan Cohen’s words for further reflection…

Every choice before you represents the universe inviting you to remember who you are and what you want.

Life’s gift to you is your unique vantage point. Your gift to life is expressing from it.

Heaven is gained or lost not by dramatic deeds, but by the simple of acts of daily living.

Fantasy is often closer to reality than what most people accept as reality.

Let out a little more string on your kite.

Beauty and Terror

Let everything happen to you

Beauty and terror

Just keep going

No feeling is final.

                      Rainer Maria Rilkevolcano


He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.  Victor Hugo

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.  John Steinbeck

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. Lao Tzu

So the computer comes back…with more glitches, and the battery won’t charge. I call the Repair Center. They send a new battery. Nope, that one doesn’t charge either. What good is a lightweight laptop if I’m tethered to a power cord?

I call the Repair Center again, enumerating the glitches that I have experienced. The empty shipping box has just arrived from FedEx. My computer will spend another week or so of R and R.

I will return to writing longhand, reading books, working in the garden, playing with friends and enjoying the journey.stepsnorton

Peace Is Every Step

When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.

We have to continue to learn. We have to be open. And we have to be ready to release our knowledge in order to come to a higher understanding of reality.   Thich Nhat Hahn

Such profound words for the times when I am afraid, too concerned about others’ approval, or think I’m not good enough.  Stop your spinning thoughts, Laura. Breathe. Then…

Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.




Sun Salutation

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.   Eckhart Tolle

I was set to write a wordier blog…you know, blah, blah, blah. Until I wandered into the backyard. I’m letting the early sunlight on my vegetables do the talking.

Swiss chard

Swiss chard

Early Girl tomatoes

Early Girl tomatoes

Young corn

Young corn



I’ve also begun reading the most amazing book, Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World by Wendy Johnson.

Happy May Day!

Playfully Letting Words Escape

Yesterday I posted a poem “On Zen” by Daio Kokushi.

The haunting lines…

It is Dharma truly beyond form and sound;

It is Tao having nothing to do with words.

In the middle of these thoughts the city library has a book sale…Argh.

On Saturday I bought books for myself.

On Saturday I bought books for myself.

On Sunday I went back and looked through the books in the children's section.

On Sunday I went back and bought books from the children’s section.

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.  Henry David Thoreau

No two persons ever read the same book.  Edmund Wilson

One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.  Beverly Cleary

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.  Madeleine L’Engle

Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


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A journal of life pursued