breathing lessons

meditationTo focus the mind on the rhythm of breath
Seems, at first, a distraction –
Working to set the ‘right’ rhythm
Fighting off the random thoughts that assail my peace.

Struggling to be still – it seems a contradiction.

Or a koan, perhaps.

Wearing myself out with struggle
So that I must put down the battle
Out of sheer fatigue.
And find … what?
You, perhaps, … and me.

[image by Peter earwig per cc 2.0]

Merry Christmas

Image of Christmas

When you open sleepy eyes this morning
And remember that it is Christmas,
May your heart lift with joy.
May the first gift of your morning
Be the deep contentment of being held in love.

May you see all the gifts that grace this day,
Knowing that the tinsel gifts of your childhood
Were just the shadow –
A pattern of the kind of gifting
That flows from one to another, to another,
One gift begetting the next,
Until all are giddy with the exchange.

May you see the world with Christmas eyes,
Where the true economy – the economy of love – takes root.
Where it really is more blessed to give than to receive,
Where we can rest our hearts, our lives,
In the sure confidence that love will triumph,
That, at the end of the day, empty wrapping paper on the floor
It not a sign that it is over
But the promise that it has just begun.

May you greet the Christ, newborn into your heart this day.
May that Christ, the very essence of God made manifest,
Shine forth in every leaf and blade,
In every smile and hug,
In every gift that brings the giver’s heart close to your own.

May you see the exchanges of love made manifest.
May you give and receive in joy this day.
Merry Christmas.

[photo by open-arms per cc 2.0]

Thank you

morning coffee

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Thank you for the morning quiet.
Thank you for a fuzzy robe, pulled round my frame.
Thank you for a cup of coffee, warm inside me.

Thank you for a long deep breath.
Thank you for the words that rise in my heart when I am quiet.
Thank you for the words of others that stir my thoughts and tilt my soul.

Thank you for plants that grow, for life that sings.
Thank you for beauty, and for beauty’s call to my heart.
Thank you for your abundant grace, for your quiet peace.

Thank you, O Holy One,
For pulling the world into your embrace each morning,
For calling the future to a new awakening in you.

Quicken my soul.
Energize my work.
Let me be a conduit of grace into this day.

Thank you, Holy One.
Thank you.
Thank you.

[photo by Kristina Alexanderson per cc 2.0]


what is religion for?

dew dropThe single and true purpose of mature religion is to allow you to experience your True Self–who you are in God and who God is in you–and to live a generous life from that Infinite Source. If religion does not do this, it is junk religion.                              – Richard Rohr


The seed of my very being
Is your infinite heart.
I want to watch the seedling break the soil
And unfurl its tiny leaves to the sun.
I want to feel the itch of growth within me.


I want to hold the dew drop of grace
That gathers, slowly, in the fold of green
And then, with growing fullness,
Quivers at the edge of hope
And falls into your waiting joy.


my true self

imprint of a leaf on water

My true self –
The self I long to meet

The one where I fit nicely in my own skin
And equally well in my community,
As if we are suited to one another

The one where goodness is not fake
But a natural expression of a maturing soul,
And where continuing growth is the sure future

The one where I can embrace the flawed reality
That is both where I live and who I am,
And still find peace and beauty … and firm hope

The one where I dare to join the dance
That is the world’s becoming,
The very echo and response to the Holy Three.

This is the self you call me to be.
This is the self I will become.
This is the dance of life.

[photo by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann per cc 2.0]

[thanks to Richard Rohr’s daily meditations]


blue heronBeauty is to the spirit what food is to the flesh. – Frederick Buechner

All the beauties of this scene sing to my heart:
The imagined rush of wings,
The crisp, cold kiss of snow,
The delicate colors of feather on feather,
The bright eye, focused on flight.
The wonderful balance of it all.
Hurrah for beauty, as it feeds my soul.

[photo by Mike Bizeau from his wonderful blog, Nature has no Boss, used with permission]

counting on hope

budding hopeLet me count the hints of hope that ring my days:

a new marriage for my daughter – forged from hard lessons and determined love

a new grandchild, looking in wonder at the world and babbling joyfully

a steady hug from my husband, ever ready to comfort, support and tease

friends – so many kind and committed friends – who grace my days with centered wisdom

and, somewhere in the hidden corners of my heart, the whisper of the Holy One.


[photo by Cam Miller per cc 2.0]