Archive for the ‘Quotes and Poems’ Category

Walking in the space

July 24th, 2015 No comments

Student Me walks in the space.
Teacher Me walks in the space.
Teacher Me invites others into a state of pretending.

Teacher Me is blamed for others’ choices to feel.
Student Me is invisible.
Student Me apologizes for suffering created by others.

Teacher Me feels sad walking back into the space.
Student Me seeks compassion in dark places.
Teacher Me allows Student Me to get lost.

Student Me walks in the space.
Teacher Me observes the walk.
Student Me becomes the space.

Knowing What You Want: the Journey

April 3rd, 2011 No comments

My heart has hijacked my life and is holding my rational thinking hostage.  Sound like something familiar?

Since an experience in 2010 that we’ll call here the “intuit experience”, I find that no matter how hard I try, I am unable to apply the usual safe, straight and narrow path of conventional progress.  Specifically and especially with my strategies for career, but also with most things important.  If my ‘heart’ is not 100% in agreement with an opportunity or choice, something goes wrong.  Something unexpected and unpreventable happens, resulting in conflicts of commitments or curiously spontaneous cancellations in an almost magical manner.  Some might describe these occurrences as divine intervention or serendipitous.

The details of the intuit experience are not the window into what I’m exploring here, I just felt the need to give this changed experience of myself a starting point.  For some people, I think such a change often happens following a severe loss of some kind.  A loss of a deep attachment to a person, to an identity, a great loss of health or ability; in my case, a loss of perspective.  It’s been frustrating to think I want one thing and then to discover, by the mischievous and irrational handling of my heart, that I actually want the impractical, the inconvenient, the unexpected and unpredictable.  For a Virgo who takes pleasure making lists and organizing life into neat piles of labeled transparency, this change of leadership between the looping analytic mind and the heart-wheeling impulses has called forth my greatest efforts in building patience, self-compassion and humility.  I fumble daily and slowly do I learn.

And as I have become intimate and familiar with loss, endings, death, I have become further connected to the core of what I value in life and to the rhythm my life.  I have been very frustrated when sitting with ambiguity and indecision, often delaying or avoiding action.  I have struggled with the simple, yet perplexing question, “What Do I Want?” with all things small and significant from what to eat to how to earn a living, to where to live, and who to love and how to love what I do.  To value an experience, a state of being, a career or a connection to other, is to experience the journey of being without that which we value.

A friend recently gifted me with one of my favourite books, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.  My attention to his poem on death inspired me to finish this entry that I had started almost a month ago (thank you, Harpal).

These words from the passage on Death offers perspective in times of feeling bewildered, directionless or alone:

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

I am reminded that I am but a visitor in this big beautiful world, and

I have been here before.

Breakfast Bowl

January 30th, 2011 No comments

Bowl of Earth, born of fire
holding sweet morning’s desires
Warm stone round, yellow and blue
steaming Oats
topped with fruits, sun-dried to chew
My constant bowl of wholesome goodness
Nourishment to my body, back to the Earth
through me shall it ritually return.

Writing is easier when one can use someone else’s words

January 16th, 2011 No comments

This quote speaks of a familiar experience with writing:

” I have a hard time writing. Most writers have a hard time writing. I have a harder time than most because I’m lazier than most. … I would have made a perfect heiress. I enjoy lounging. And reading. The other problem I have is fear of writing. The act of writing puts you in confrontation with yourself, which is why I think writers assiduously avoid writing.” – Fran Lebowitz

Unknown source

May 6th, 2007 1 comment



I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
“Oh excuse me please” was my reply.

He said, “Please excuse me too;
I wasn’t watching for you.”

We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
“Move out of the way,” I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,
God’s still small voice came to me and said,

“While dealing with a stranger,
common courtesy you use,
but the family you love, you seem to abuse.

Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You’ll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.

He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.”

By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
“Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said.

“Are these the flowers you picked for me?”
He smiled, “I found ’em, out by the tree.

I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you.
I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.”

I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”

He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay.

I love you anyway.”

I said, “Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.”

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company

that we are working for could easily replace us in

a matter of days.

But the family we left behind will feel the loss

for the rest of their lives.

And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more
into work than into our own family,
an unwise investment indeed,
don’t you think?

I got this in an email from my friend Juana, in Singapore and I post it here because I think it’s a good reminder.  Often there is a gap between what we believe is the right way of being and the ways in which we actually behave; within that gap is our freedom to transform either of the two, or both.

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Wasting what we don’t know

March 20th, 2007 No comments

“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting.  We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
I found this quote on the facebook page of my friend and former co-worker, Ryan Brack. If our ignorance of what to do with our resources is positively correlated with the amount we waste, then we have a lot to learn.

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Why now? Why here? Why not!

January 14th, 2007 No comments

The most common question asked of me (and most foreigners to Taiwan) is “Why did you come here?”  Indeed, this is the question many people ask whenever one decides to leave a familiar place to explore something foreign.  My answers have varied from ” I followed a boy here,” to “I wanted a change,” to “I wanted to make some money to pay off loans” to “I don’t know.”  The 3rd is the most authentic, and the most accurate while the others have all just been rationalizations, excuses, qualifiers.  Rationals are so very important aren’t they?  We need them more than sex, more than food.  We can live a day without food or sex, but we probably couldn’t do a day without a rationale.  I’m pretty sure I read that in a book, the title of which I have forgotten.

And so I just love the arts for allowing and requiring me to shut down the left brain buzz of analysis and rationalizations.

These words of G.B. Shaw are validating for me when I feel the unnecessary pressures of finding a good enough reason to begin or to end an exploration.

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a
purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the
being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the
scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a
feverish selfish little clod of ailments and
grievances complaining that the world will not devote
itself to making you happy.
George Bernard Shaw

When I decided to go to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, it was something similar.  I simply felt joyful to embark on a unique and challenging adventure.  The purpose to live playfully, curious about the world and its people, helps me to learn about myself and grow.  The accomplishments I most highly regard of my experiences so far, have not been those that promised prestige, stability or wealth (on the contrary, they’ve been at the expense of these somtimes); they have been experiences that I opened myself to because I felt drawn to them. 

I’ve always felt that my privilege of being a Filipino-Canadian immigrant meant that I must live my life to the fullest joy possible, or my parents’ sacrifice and dedication to my upbringing and the lives of people who died in the name of “freedom” would have been in vein.  They fought for the the options I now have, and although sometimes the scope of them can be paralyzing when making decisions, they are leading me down some incredibly fascinating pathways.

We are living on borrowed time and borrowed soil, with boundless opportunities to create and experience Joy and Love.  I can’t think of a reason why I shouldn’t have come.

As my friend Yuta put it, “The world rotates at more than 14,000 miles per hour.  We should do our best to keep up.”

It is the search that brought me into this world, it is what keeps me here, and it is what will lead me home to Creator.

Categories: Quotes and Poems, Taiwan Tags:

“Ask and It Is Given”

December 20th, 2006 No comments

The title of the book I just started reading.  It was knocked off the shelf by the kitten that I’m minding while I housesit.  It’s quite powerful!  If you ever see the title or would like to access spiritual guidance in clear language, I recommend looking it up.  Authorship on it is uniquely defined (you’ll see what I mean if you read the introduction) but the title of it should come up in a search.  Also try Jerry and Esther Hicks.  It has a foreward note by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer who wrote The Power of Intention.

What shall you ask for this Christmas?  What shall you give?  Questions I ask each year and although each year begins with satisfying the expectations of buying ‘things’ as gifts for family and friends, I have the distinct challenge and blessing of not having the resources to give in that way this year.  So how shall I gift this year?

Well, to start, I’ve taken care of myself in way so that others need not worry about my well-being.  The gift of “peace of mind” that your friend, your sister, your daughter, your colleague, Janice, is not out on the street on Christmas.  Moreover, she is in fact happy, even though she isn’t sharing the holidays in Canada.

The other gift is this quote from this book that, honest to goodness, I “coincidentally” or “randomly” opened up to :

    Your Greatest Gift to Give Is Your Happiness

The greatest gift that you could ever give to another is your own happiness, for when you are in a state of joy, happiness, or appreciation, you are fully connected to the Stream of pure, positive Source Energy that is truly who you-are.  And when you are in that state of connection, anything or anyone that you are holding as your object of attention benefits from your attention.

I shall hold you in my happiness this Christmas Eve.  And if you don’t observe Christmas, let it be that on Dec. 24th, I’ll send you love and happiness for no apparent labelled reason.

The other gift I give to to tell all my family and friends that I have already received your gifts.  Send nothing but your expressions of happiness that you are ALIVE.  It’s a big thing to ask for so if you can’t make it happen, I’ll understand.
And this is my favourite so far from this book:

If your goal is to, finally, once and for all, achieve all that you desire, you will find yourself unable to ever fulfill that goal, for the expanding nature of this Universe defies that idea….out of your awareness will always be born another asking, and each asking always summons another answering.  Your eternal nature is one of expansion – and in that expansion is the potential for unspeakable joy.

A big sigh of relief for the perfectionist and overachiever who does in order to check the “to do’s” off the list.  It is an encouraging reminder to me that I will never get where I am going, so I’d better enjoy the journey; because where I’m going is where I AM.

A thought for the New Year

December 10th, 2006 No comments

And then all that has divided us will merge
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind
And then both men and women will be gentle
And then both men and women will be strong
And then no person will be subject to another’s will
And then all will be rich and free and varied
And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many
And then all will share equally in the Earth’s abundance
And then all will care for the weak and the sick and the old
And then all will nourish the young
And then all will cherish life’s creatures
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the Earth
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.

( A poem by Judy Chicago )
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