Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:


Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nondual Highlights each day

#1761 - Thursday, April 8, 2004 - Editor: joyce (know_mystery) 




Photo: Alan Larus ~ TrueVision

music: hope.mid from 


Bill Kelley ~ DailyDharma archives

The great sea stirs me.
The great sea sets me adrift,
It sways me like the weed on a river-stone.

The sky's height stirs me.
The strong wind blows through my mind.
It carries me with it,
And moves my soul with joy.

~  an Inuit Shaman  ~

From the journal, "Heron Dance," published by Heron Dance

Kristi Shelloner ~ NondualitySalon archives

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free
~ Wendell Berry ~

Lisbeth ~ Monks_Mystics 


Heron stands in the blue estuary,
Solitary, white, unmoving for hours.
A fish! Quick avian darting;
The prey is captured.

People People always ask how to follow Tao. It is as easy and
natural as the heron standing in the water. The bird moves
when it must; it does not move when stillness is

The secret of its serenity is a type of vigilance, a
contemplative state.

The heron is not in mere dumbness or sleep. It knows a
lucid stillness.

It stands unmoving in the flow of the water. It gazes
unperturbed and is aware. When Tao brings it something that
it needs, it seizes the opportunity without hesitation or
deliberation. Then it goes back to its quiescence without
disturbing itself or its surroundings. Unless it found the
right position in the water's flow and remained patient, it
would not have succeeded.

Actions in life can be reduced to two factors: positioning
and timing.

If we are not in the right place at the right time, we
cannot possibly take advantage of what life has to offer
us. Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in
accord with the time and the place. But we must be vigilant
and prepared. Even if the time and the place are right, we
can still miss our chance if we do not notice the moment, if
we act inadequately, or if we hamper ourselves with doubts
and second thoughts. When life presents an opportunity, we
must be ready to seize it without hesitation or inhibition.
Position is useless without awareness. If we have both, we
make no mistakes.

365 Tao
Deng Ming-Dao
Daily Meditations



looking together            
across the frozen lake            
the heron and I            

~  Jan van den Pol  ~              


Photo: Alan Larus



  Skye Chambers/Andrew McNabb ~ NondualitySalon archives

Shojiro has just told me that when Fukuoka was a young man
he was a scientist (microbiologist) working for the Tokyo
quarantine when he discovered he had a illness something
like pneumonia which nearly killed him. During the illness
he thought he experienced something like *all that is*

"I was finally released from the hospital, but I could not pull myself out of my
depression. In what had I placed my confidence until then? I had been
unconcerned and content, but what was the nature of that complasensy?
I was in an agony of doubt about the nature of life and death. I could not sleep,
could not apply myself to my work. In nightly wanderings above the bluff
and beside the harbor, I could find no relief.

One night as I wandered, I collapsed in exhaustion on a hill overlooking the
harbor, finally dozing against the trunk of a large tree I lay there, neither
asleep or awake, until dawn. I can still remember that it was the morning of the 15th of May. In a daze I watched the harbor grow light, seeing the sunrise and yet somehow not seeing it. As the breeze blew up from below the bluff, the morning mist suddenly disappeared. Just at that moment a night heron appeared, gave a sharp cry, and flew away into the distance. I could hear the flapping of its wings. In an instant all my doubts and the gloomy mist of my confusion vanished. Everything I had held in firm conviction, everything upon which I had ordinarily relied was swept away with the wind. I felt that I understood just one thing. Without my thinking about them, words came from my mouth: "In this world there is nothing at all..." I felt that I understood nothing. I could see that all the concepts to which I had been clinging, the very notion of existence itself, were empty fabrications. My spirit became light and clear. I was dancing wildly for joy. I could hear the small birds chirping in the trees, and see the distant waves glistening in the rising sun. The leaves danced green and sparkling. I felt that this was truly heaven on earth. Everything that had possessed me, all my agonies, disappeared like dreams and illusions, and something one might call "true nature" stood revealed.

I think it could safely be said that from the experience of that morning my
life changed completely."

Freyja ~ NondualitySalon archives  


Photo - Alan Larus ~ TrueVusion


Dinner for Heron
Spotting a great blue meandering gracefully
along the bank of the little pond
Reaching one end
Crossing the width to the other side
Catching a glimpse of movement
moving towards, inch by inch
Ah!  A fish!  Don't care what kind
no- mind knows not "what kind"
Staying perfectly still
Poised for the one fell swoop
Unsuspecting fish plucked out
just like that!  just like that!
Fish dangling from magnificently curved beak
for a spell
Placing it on ground
Fish flapping about a bit, heron quickly snatching it up
(repeating as many times
as needed)
Bringing fish over to the picnic spot....
and....Voila!   giant fish
disappearing down long, slim
elastic neck
of heron
HA!  Now you see it, now you don't
What a slight of hand...or
simply just energy changing forms
....doing its thing.....
in the circle of life
~  freyja  ~

Alan Larus ~ TrueVision archives

  Blue Heron's Relaxing Front Porch     And I just wondered
Is the Blue Heron the bird
I saw this summer,
when I was swimming in the lake.
I did not move at all, it came to look for fish
spotting me just above my head,
and my search engine gives me
  Blue Heron Softshell Inn
Blue Heron Pines
Blue Heron Rafting
Blue Heron Environmental Network
Blue Heron Catering
Blue Heron Realty
Blue Heron boating adventure
Blue Heron Guide Service
Blue Heron Kayak Tours
Great Blue Heron Records
and need a Blue Heron Softshell Case
while someone on the radio sings
'what do you do in the bath?'
Finally, number 62, it was
the same bird
and a photo too
~ Alan  ~

 Mace Mealer ~ Illuminata archives


Standing breathless
words evaporate
as two white herons
cross an azure sky.

~ Mace Mealer ~ 



Panhala ~ Joe Riley

Heron Rises from the Dark, Summer Pond
So heavy
is the long-necked, long-bodied heron,
always it is a surprise
when her smoke-colored wings
and she turns
from the thick water,
from the black sticks
of the summer pond,
and slowly
rises into the air
and is gone.
Then, not for the first or the last time,
I take the deep breath
of happiness, and I think
how unlikely it is
that death is a hole in the ground,
how improbable
that ascension is not possible,
though everything seems so inert, so nailed
back into itself --
the muskrat and his lumpy lodge,
the turtle,
the fallen gate.
And especially it is wonderful
that the summers are long
and the ponds so dark and so many,
and therefore it isn't a miracle
but the common thing,
this decision,
this trailing of the long legs in the water,
this opening up of the heavy body
into a new life: see how the sudden
gray-blue sheets of her wings
strive toward the wind; see how the clasp of nothing
takes her in.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(What Do We Know:Poems and Prose Poems)



When the Green Shoots Come

We went out to watch
the comet that night

across the road,
where the break in the trees
opened to heaven.

The nights were warmer by then,
that April night,

and climbing the short fence
between roadway and nature,

you stumbled into grasses
left flattened by snow.

I broke your fall.

And do you remember
how i spun you to the East?

At my feet, the heron's neck
bent at the wrong angle,

and the nylon filament
wrapped feathers and bone, flightless.

I never told you.

For five seasons now,
I've watched the marshes...
the geese, the swans, the coots...

One blue heron...

Wondering if they mate for life
like coyote? quail...loons...

for five seasons since...

Today i am enthralled
when the green shoots come

to the surface of the field
like an ocean of spring.

There wading through grasses,
the birds lean skyward

and, gathering momentum, rise up
to soar.

Both of them.


The herons.


~  joyce  ~

14 April, 2003

      Photo: Alan Larus ~ TrueVisionHeron


 Panhala ~ Joe Riley

This dream the world is having about itself
includes a trace on the plains of the Oregon trail,
a groove in the grass my father showed us all
one day while meadowlarks were trying to tell
something better about to happen.
I dreamed the trace to the mountains, over the hills,
and there a girl who belonged wherever she was.
But then my mother called us back to the car:
she was afraid; she always blamed the place,
the time, anything my father planned.
Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world's whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
"Your job is to find what the world is trying to be."
~ William Stafford ~


Web version:

Web archive of Panhala postings:

To subscribe to Panhala, send a blank email to
[email protected]
music link
(left button to play, right button to save)


150. Fingers pointing at the moon,
The heron's cry in the snow;
Standing in the moonlight,
How alike we are.

151. Breeze through the reeds,
Birds on the rippling waters,
effortless their coming and going,
Willow shadow on the bank.

152. Incense smell of pines,
Subtle in its inspiration,
Sitting in the smoke shadow,
Dreaming of stillness.

~  By Rev. Tasogare Shinju  ~

From "Rememberance of Buddha"

top of page

Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality: