Lightning - Matsuo Bashō

Lightning – Matsuo Bashō

How admirable – a man who sees lightening and not satori by Matsuo Bashō   In this very short poem, we are given a piece of pith wisdom for our practice. As I understand it, it is saying – watch out for when you lose the freshness because you’ve married yourself to limiting concepts! (Satori…

Read more

Oceans – Juan Ramon Jimenez

I have a feeling that my boat has struck, down there in the depths, against a great thing. And nothing happens! Nothing… Silence… Waves… —Nothing happens? Or has everything happened, and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life? by Juan Ramon Jimenez   Here’s a poem which, for me, exemplifies what I see…

Read more
Tanka - Saigyō

Tanka – Saigyō

When I consider how in this world all is falling blossom – what then must become of this self?     This world – strung jewels of dew on the frail thread a spider spins   by Saigyō, translated by Meredith McKinney   I find these poems so incredibly potent. In a few words the…

Read more

Lough Inagh – David Whyte

Come with me now, along the beckoning path, silvered in mist toward the glimmering lake, bring every grief you have not said and every tear you have not shed and every sorrow you’ve carried alone. ‘There is a door beneath everything we’ll walk right by if we don’t stop to look with our troubled hearts…

Read more
Among deep mountains - Saigyō

Among deep mountains – Saigyō

Among deep mountains the heart’s moon shines pure and I see within that mirror the whole world enlightened Saigyō, translated form Japanese by Meredith McKinney   This is a Tanka poem by Japanese hermit Saigyō Hōshi who lived in the 12th Century. Saigyō is very widely known and much loved for his poetry of renunciation…

Read more
Vijaya - Victor - Matty Weingast

Vijaya – Matty Weingast

Vijaya – Victor When everyone else was meditating, I’d be outside circling the hall. Finally I went to confess. I’m hopeless, I said. The elder nun smiled. Just keep going, she said. Nothing stays in orbit forever. If this circling is all you have, why not make this circling your home? I did as she…

Read more
Say ‘Wow’ - Chelan Harkin

Say ‘Wow’ – Chelan Harkin

Each day before our surroundings become flat with familiarity and the shapes of our lives click into place, dimensionless and average as Tetris cubes, before hunger knocks from our bellies like a cantankerous old man and the duties of the day stack up like dishes and the architecture of our basic needs commissions all thought…

Read more
zen poem by ryokan

Zen Poem – Ryokan

Like the little stream Making its way Through the mossy crevices I, too, quietly Turn clear and transparent. by Ryokan, translated by John Stevens   Sitting by this little babbling stream in my mind’s eye takes me back to times when I used to cycle out of Glasgow and into the countryside, stopping and sitting…

Read more

A Winter Bluejay

Crisply the bright snow whispered, Crunching beneath our feet; Behind us as we walked along the parkway, Our shadows danced, Fantastic shapes in vivid blue. Across the lake the skaters Flew to and fro, With sharp turns weaving A frail invisible net. In ecstasy the earth Drank the silver sunlight; In ecstasy the skaters Drank…

Read more
fall leaves fall

Fall, Leaves, Fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree. I shall smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night’s decay Ushers in a drearier day. Emily Brontë As I look out of my window,…

Read more


Willing to experience aloneness, I discover connection everywhere; Turning to face my fear, I meet the warrior who lives within; Opening to my loss, I gain the embrace of the universe; Surrendering into emptiness, I find fullness without end. Each condition I flee from pursues me, Each condition I welcome transforms me And becomes itself…

Read more
One Morning - Rosemerry Tromner

One Morning – Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

One morningwe will wake upand forget to buildthat wall we’ve been building,the one between usthe one we’ve been buildingfor years, perhapsout of some senseof right and boundary,perhaps out of habit. One morningwe will wake upand let our empty handshang empty at our sides.Perhaps they will rise,as empty thingssometimes dowhen blownby the wind.Perhaps they simplywill not rememberhow…

Read more
Mistletoe – Walter De La Mare

Mistletoe – Walter de La Mare

Sitting under the mistletoe (Pale-green, fairy mistletoe), One last candle burning low, All the sleepy dancers gone, Just one candle burning on, Shadows lurking everywhere: Some one came, and kissed me there. Tired I was; my head would go Nodding under the mistletoe (Pale-green, fairy mistletoe), No footsteps came, no voice, but only, Just as…

Read more
Kingfisher - Robert Macfarlane

Kingfisher – Robert Macfarlane

Kingfisher: the colour-giver, fire-bringer, flame-flicker, river’s quiver. Ink-black bill, orange throat, and a quick blue back-gleaming feather-stream. Neat and still it sits on the snag of a stick, until with… Gold-flare, wing-fan, whipcrack the kingfisher – zingfisher, singfisher- Flashes down too fast to follow, quick and quicker carves its hollow In the water, slings its…

Read more
The guest house - Rumi

The Guest House – Rumi

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes As an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honourably. He may be…

Read more

Boundaries – Lynn Ungar

The universe does notrevolve around you.The stars and planets spinningthrough the ballroom of spacedance with one anotherquite outside of your small life.You cannot hold gravityor seasons; even air and waterinevitably evade your grasp.Why not, then, let go? You could move through timelike a shark through water,neither restless or ceasing,absorbed in and absorbingthe native element.Why pretend…

Read more
Mindful - Mary Oliver

Mindful – Mary Oliver

Every day ….I see or hear ……..something …………that more or less kills me ….with delight, ……..that leaves me …………like a needle in the haystack ….of light. ……..It was what I was born for – …………to look, to listen, to lose myself ….inside this soft world – …… instruct myself …………over and over in joy,  ….and…

Read more