Wednesday, January 24, 2007

50 Ways to Tend the Inner Garden

1) Take a nap (optional: with a friend)

2) Walk somewhere with a beautiful view, sit and gaze

until you become as peaceful as the vista.

3) Lay down and watch the clouds play out impermanence in the sky.

4) Spend a day in solitude, fasting, without speaking, staying outside and aware of the natural world.


5) Write a love letter to your loved ones as if this was your last day alive.

6) Take an unplanned weeklong trip and go wherever your inclination takes you.

7) Give away something you value highly

8) Find an elder who will sit with you and tell you some of their favorite life stories.

9) Dance by yourself, outside, in a place worthy of your ashes.

10) Sing a song that has moved you to tears

11) Stand outside a hospital for the better part of a day and ask people earnestly, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

12) Hand out flowers to anyone who looks like they could use one.

13) Sit somewhere where a good number of people pass by, with a board that reads, “Questions Answered”

14) Make a delicious meal and take it to someone who is hungrier than you.

15) Apologize to someone you’ve wronged or forgive someone, in person, who has wronged you.

16) Lie on the Earth and completely surrender every cell in your body

17) Substitute an urge to consume by doing something that directly benefits another being. (ps: feeding squirrels qualifies)

18) Float in water naked

19) Wander through areas of your home town/city you’ve never been.

20) Visit your favorite wild animal in their wild homeplace.

21) Walk around and thank as many service people you can find.

22) Ask some stranger you find attractive, if you may be honest with them and then tell them how/why you found them beautiful.

23) Go to a place that scares you and stand there for a couple of hours with a sign, “I am scared”

24) Look up a teacher you admired and tell them how they made a difference in your life.

25) Ask a child or group of children how to create peace in the world

(extra credit: do what they suggest)

26) Befriend an inner city teenager and take them somewhere lovely

27) Catch yourself being false with someone, stop and explain what you were really thinking and/or feeling.

28) Call up someone that has greatly offended you, take them out to lunch and ask them kind questions.

29) Write a letter as if you were dead acknowledging the gifts that life unwrapped for you.

30) Look up your most cherished childhood friend and tell them what they meant to you and how it’s been since.

31) Find the place you grew up and walk around there. Leave some object that represents
where you live now.

32) Spend a day being silent. Wear a card explaining your commitment to those who need an explanation.

33) Visit someone you don’t know who is dying from a terminal disease and give them your best attention.

34) Read your favorite poetry out loud in a place with people you wish were happier.

35) Make a will stating what you’ve taken with you.

36) Tell a person you deeply trust what you have learned in this life.

37) Live on a street for 48 – 72 hours.

38) Spend a day completely providing for yourself from whats available in your neighborhood (berries, bugs, flowers, etc.)

39) Spend an evening with your home electricity turned off, light candles, open all the doors, go in and out of your house until you can’t tell the difference.

40) Dig a coffin-sized hole in the ground, lie in it and imagine your body fully returning where it came from

41) Spend a few days alone in the wilderness, dwell upon what it is like for every creature

who makes its living there.

42) Ask someone out for a date and spend it in total silence. Use touch as your only means of communication.

43) Take a walk in the middle of the night to the darkest place you can find and stand absolutely still.

44) Go somewhere in nature that will remain a protected park or wilderness. Make an object of reverence and place it there for beings of future ages to puzzle over.

45) Make a pilgrimage carrying a pouch full of pieces of paper marked with everything you have accumulated in this life and every so often toss one of the papers away until the pouch is empty.

46) Get in bed or someplace intimate/private with your life partner/lover that has 2 exit places. Spend several hours naked, noticing each other thoroughly using your senses but do not ignite each other’s sexual fires or speak, just notice each other as completely as you can. When you are both completely satisfied that you have “seen” one another bow to each other and leave simultaneously through separate exits. Stay apart for at least one full day to reflect on this ritual alone.

47) Craft your own live funeral. Lie on a beautiful bed of flowers or similar and have all your friends and family adorn you with tokens of their love and speak of what having you in their life meant to them. Have them leave you alone for a time to let that in.

48) Make the largest donation of money you can to an organization whose service exemplifies for you what service is. Ask that someone else be recognized for this offering and attend that recognition ceremony.

49) Write out instructions for how you would like to die with dignity. Where would you like to be, who would you like to be there, what would you like said/done, ask someone to take responsibility for making this happen

50) Practice a single daily sacred act of your own invention.

Monday, January 01, 2007

if at first

love is what keeps a 757


in 200 mph headwinds

a new year is a strange and wonderful


so many little births and deaths


for something fresh and


the winter world slumbers


as 2006’ whispers its stories


the Empire is crumbling

the irony of nuclear rich America

spending itself poor to prevent nuclear

proliferation …

the ruckus of a big tree


to the forest floor

wear light sandals and robes

feel the anguish of technology’s


today we try to find one another


we are each


wandering homeward