Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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What few put into practice

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“Pond”, Lauren Chuslo-Shur

Sometimes, things I stumble across just seem to dance together.
Maybe this is the way Universal Divine Mind waves at me.

This time, the partners are a poem from my friend Ronnie Tomanio,
and long-enduring wisdom from Lao Tzu:

MorrellFalls2

“Morrell Falls 2”, Judy Hughey Wright

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
~
Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.
The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.
~
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The Practical Moon

by Ronnie Tomanio

sunburstlr

“Sunburst”, Lauren Chuslo-Shur

When was that moment?
The cucumber becoming a pickle moment
When I became … dare I say it out loud …
Practical
The moment when dancing clouds became water vapor
When the heart sun within
Became burning hydrogen without
No longer just two friends
Playing peek-a-boo
I see you
In the sky of blue
All day long

makehaymoonshineslr

“Make Hay While the Moon Shines”, Lauren Chuslo-Shur

Until the practical moon
That battered, solemn head
Says bedtime
I obey
But I can still dream
Of endless ascendant mornings.


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A useful kind of going astray

During the weeks I spent in Europe last spring, I got reacquainted with the power of the natural world to quiet my mind in order that my heart will be able to hear at all. For the voices that assist and guide it are soft and subtle, and are drowned out by the din of life and the world.

Because of the wide-open nature of so many European settings, the sky is a constantly-changing panorama I found myself stopping to watch like a movie, and there was always something on the horizon that I would set out on a long walk simply to see up close.

A Well Groomed and Tidy Land 86

Photo: Kathy Gilman

Ironically, more often than not I never made it there because I was waylaid by something magnificent along the way.

It could be the slant of the light on a field; the shape of a lone tree in the midst of hectares of rolling hills; one small, stunning blossom on a branch that brushed me as I walked past, like a woods creature trying to get my attention.

Diedenbergen_signs“To reach something good it is very useful to have gone astray, and thus acquire experience,” wrote Saint Teresa of Avila

Astray from what? I wonder.

My preconceived notions? Insistent, certain ideas or opinions?

When I leave room for wonder or miracles, it leads me back to something Pema Chödrön has summarized beautifully in her book,

Practicing Peace in Times of War:

“If we want there to be peace in the world, we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts, to find the soft spot and stay with it.

We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility.

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Photo: David Campbell. http://gbctours.com

That’s the true practice of peace.”

And Pema has also captured the very fulcrum of living:

“Compassionate action starts with seeing yourself when you start to make yourself right and when you start to make yourself wrong. At that point you could just contemplate the fact that there is a larger alternative to either of those, a more tender, shaky kind of place where you could live.”