poem: the hermit of bird heaven thinks of Siddhartha Gautama

 

poem: the hermit of bird heaven
thinks of Siddhartha Gautamawhen the hermit
of bird heaven
leaves his modest abode
on the high hill

he thinks of
Siddhartha Gautama
leaving his father’s palace
for the first time

witnessing the human
suffering and injustice
just outside the king’s
huge estate gate

Prince Siddhartha upon seeing
an old person, an ill person,
a corpse, and an ascetic,
is shocked by the suffering

as is the hermit upon seeing
the homeless couple
seated in folding lawn chairs
at the interstate off ramp

it is obviously their home
in the bare dirt on the road side
littered with plastic for protection
and their few belongings

Siddhartha never returns home,
continuing on the archetypal
journey we must all take someday,
he becomes a spiritual devote, then teacher

we, propelled by our own human curiosity,
wanting to know the full story and full truth,
for ourSelf, must also leave the privilege
and comfort of our protective ego and home

thus journeying into the shadows
in a pathless land finding our own way,
solitary pilgrims doing the hard work
finding our story and truth for ourSelves

awakening

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 24, 2021

image ‘Buddha Under the Bodhi Tree’
from Self Help Robot

Author’s note: Siddhartha Gautmama
is the name of the human who became the
Buddha. In Sanskrit, the name means
“one who has found the meaning of existence.”

poem: prepare to be interrupted by God today

poem: prepare to be interrupted
by God today

take a break
from the 10,000,000 things
that distract us

see the Universal Cosmic Christ
by whatever name
in the stranger, other, oppressed

especially those
making us the most uncomfortable
in our privilege

allow the truth, beauty, and goodness
that surround us to act in
mercy, radical grace, and radical love

turn so that hearts are opened
minds transformed
and spirits lifted up

and so this shall be the new way
that God is always with us all
in the mutuality of giving and receiving

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
April 20, 2021

art image unattirbuted

Reflection: The foundation of my Spiritual being

Reflection: The foundation of my Spiritual being

The two quotes below are foundational to my understanding of God and Christ consciousness, by whatever names, and to the spiritual practice of my daily life. While the quotes are from the Judeo-Christian tradition perspective, my study of other traditions supports that these perspectives are represented in them as well thus they are universal in their applicability.

The first quote is from Marcus Borg, a New Testament theologian and author. And the second quote is from Walter Brueggemann, an Old Testament theologian and author. Both are highly respected scholars and teachers in their fields and have written prodigiously.

Both quotes below address the non-partisan aspect of the political nature of Jesus’ Way and ancient Israel’s resistance to the dominant imperial Empires. They are political because they affect the way in which we live together in community. Their practice in our personal and collective lives includes resistance to the imperial accounts of reality grounded in power, control, and violence and the advocacy of alternative realities grounded in radical grace and radical love of authentic communities of belonging.

“The way of Jesus was both personal and political. It was about personal transformation. And it was political, a path of [nonviolent] resistance to the domination system and advocacy of an alternative vision of life together under God.”

—Marcus Borg

“….the tradition of emancipatory covenant making….affirms human agents who have the capacity and responsibility to act transformatively for the well-being of the human community and the ecology of creation. All of that pertains to the ancient context wherein the subversive narrative of Israel lived in ongoing tension with imperial accounts of reality, and amid that tension resisted imperial accounts while proposing alternatives.”

-Walter Brueggemann- “God, Neighbor, Empire”

And so we see that our struggles today against the imperialistic Empire’s accounts of reality (i.e., our resistance to insurrectionists attacking our democracy) in their dominant power, control, and violence are age old in their tensions between violent domination vis-a-vis liberation and freedom to live together in alternative communities of the Truth of Self and the authenticity of belonging. Until all are free none are free. The suffering of the other is also my suffering. So we resist and dream our dreams and see our visions of a better way together for which we must never stop working.

Tat tvam asi. That I am.

Shanti, shalom, peace dear Beloveds.

poem: ode to our nation on inauguration day 2021

 

poem: ode to our nation on inauguration day 2021

today our nation
inaugurates our 46th.
president and vice president
Joe and Kamala
who feel like family
Papa and Auntie

after the past four years
of a president and his administration
bullying its’ citizens
undermining our rights
eroding our democracy
empowering domestic terrorist
cutting off world allies
causing death and confusion in a pandemic
and leading an insurrection
we citizens of good conscience
find some relief and optimism again

fellow Americans
let us come together
in confession, repentance, and reconciliation
healing one another and our nation
that we will finally do the hard work
of forming a more perfect union together

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
January 20, 2021
Inauguration Day

Photo credits: Vox, AP, AFP

poem: blue Christmas tears

💓 For you Beloveds this Christmas Eve with All Our Love 💓

poem: blue Christmas tears

Christmas is not a one size fits all
it is multicultural and reflects many traditions
it is not all Merry Christmas
and ‘hail fellow well met’
we are not mid-nineteenth century Victorians

or all fans of secular Santa

nor do we all cherish the ‘true meaning’
of tenderness for the baby Jesus
and sentimentality for the manger scene
in the children’s play,
charities for the poor,
and candle light and caroling services

on these longest nights of winter
there are those for who ‘Merry Christmas’ is frivolity
and who no matter how gay or true the festivities,
they will experience grief, suffering, brokenness, loneliness,
these blue feelings and pains only finding some relief

in a return to ordinary time

Beloveds, let us see and hear one another
keeping one another in our hearts and prayers
bearing one another up always through grace and love
sharing our deepest truth together, wiping tears,
walking each other home with hope and peace,
certainly the most true meaning of all

Herb Stone
here&now working poetry
Christmas Eve 2020

photo by Herb Stone
Blue Winter Night in Snow

(reader’s note: I searched for a poem, a quote, a song
about blue Christmas and found nothing satisfactory,
so I wrote this poem in an effort to express some
conversations I have had with Beloveds
over the last few days concerning their struggles
at this time of the year. And especially this year
which has left us scarred and seperated from political
division, injustice, and the pandemic. Many can not be
with family due to estrangement, or covid restrictions,
or separation, religious services are canceled, many
without jobs and income. Yet we always have each other
in our shared suffering and deepest needs. Let us always
see one another, hear one another, reach out to one another
in mutual grace and love which is after all the highest
meaning of all in the sharing of Universal Cosmic Christ
Consciousness by whatever name we know it.)