Mary Oliver Monday: “My Delicious Dark Happiness”

For hours I wandered
over the fields

and the only thing that kept me company
was a song,
it glided along
with my delicious dark happiness,

my heavy,
bristling and aching delight
at the world
which has been like this

forever and ever–
the leaves,
the birds, the ponds,
the loneliness,

and, sometimes,
from a lifetime ago
and another country
such a willing and lilting companion—

a song
made so obviously for me.
At what unknowable cost.
And by a stranger.

—Mary Oliver, from “Ich Bin Der Welt Abhanden Gekommen,” House of Light

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Eckhart Tolle Tuesday: “If not now, when?”

The whole essence of Zen consists in walking along the razor’s edge of Now—to be so utterly, so completely present that no problem, no suffering, nothing that is not who you are in your essence, can survive in you. In the Now, in the absence of time, all your problems dissolve. Suffering needs time; it cannot survive in the Now.

The great Zen Master Rinzai, in order to take his students’ attention away from time, would often raise his finger and slowly ask: “What, at this moment, is lacking?” A powerful question that does not require an answer on the level of the mind. It is designed to take your attention deeply into the Now. A similar question in the Zen tradition is this: “If not now, when?”

—Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Spirituality Sunday: “Reality Lies in the Eternal”

The impermanent has no reality; reality lies in the eternal. Those who have seen the boundary between these two have attained the end of all knowledge. Realize that* which pervades the universe and is indestructible; no power can affect this unchanging, imperishable reality. The body is mortal, but that* which dwells in the body is immortal and immeasurable.

The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, translation and notes by Eknath Easwaran

*Tat, “that,” is an ancient name for Brahman, the supreme reality. Brahman is neither masculine nor feminine; in fact, it has no attributes at all. It is impossible to describe Brahman in words, so it simply pointed to: tat.

Pablo Neruda Thursday: “In the Night We Shall Go In”

In the night we shall go in
to steal
a flowering branch.

We shall climb over the wall
in the darkness of the alien garden,
two shadows in the shadow.

Winter is not yet gone,
and the apple tree appears
suddenly changed
into a cascade of fragrant stars.

In the night we shall go in
up to its trembling firmament,
and your little hands and mine
will steal the stars.

And silently,
to our house,
in the night and the shadow,
with your steps will enter
perfume’s silent step
and with starry feet
the clear body of spring.

—Pablo Neruda, “The Stolen Branch,” The Captain’s Verses