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#1898 - Sunday, August 22, 2004 - Editor: Gloria Lee    

Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.

Come, even if you have broken your vow
a hundred times.
Come, yet again, come, come.

~ Rumi


  Entrance (After Rilke)

Whoever you are: step out of doors tonight,
Out of the room that lets you feel secure.
Infinity is open to your sight.
Whoever you are.
With eyes that have forgotten how to see
From viewing things already too well-known,
Lift up into the dark a huge, black tree
And put it in the heavens: tall, alone.
And you have made the world and all you see.
It ripens like the words still in your mouth.
And when at last you comprehend its truth,
Then close your eyes and gently set it free.

~ Dana Gioia ~
  (Interrogations at Noon)    

Web version:

music link (left button to play, right button to save)    

  "If you dare to give your heart, your soul, your mind, your body, and
your life, unconditionally, to what you discover to be true, you will
know an infinitely deep and abiding peace that has never been even a
breath away. This bliss, this tranquility depends on nothing, and It is
not capable of ending. Furthermore, it doesn't make a bit of difference
what you've ever done... or not done. You can put an end to the battle.
Yes, that's correct, just walk right out of the war, right now. All you
have to do is surrender, absolutely and completely, not to me, not to
some authority figure, or some organization or institution, but
surrender only to your own deepest Purity."

~Scott Morrison

From a very fine teaching, "Let Go, Let Love."

posted on Daily Dharma by Dharma Grandmother  


Al Larus photo:  

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin built there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

W.B. Yeats

The Road Less Gracefully Travelled, by Jennifer Farquhar

When Hannah had first decided to do the pilgrimage, she became single-mindedly focused on successfully completing it, despite the barrage of well-meaning opposition she encountered from those all around her. The only close friend who hadn't tried to dissuade her from attempting the pilgrimage had been her sensei. He had become Hannah's close friend during the two years she taught in his rural village. One day she had admired this stranger's flower garden while passing by his house, and the next morning he and his wife had shown up on her doorstep with an offering of a freshly cut bouquet. That had been the beginning of a very simple and special friendship. Over the two years, she had spent increasingly more time visiting her sensei and his wife in their simple wooden home. Her sensei seemed a Japanese Merlin. A mentor of martial arts and traditional Asian medicine, he patiently guided Hannah through his mystical world. Some nights she would go over to his house in the evening, and they would simply sit around the low living room table, their legs tucked under their behinds, sipping tea. After long silent pauses, one of them would break the personal reverie with a comment such as, "The weather is getting warm, isn't it?" Silence.

"Hmmm. Yes. It makes me happy." More silence. Sip. Sip. At first this reticence was very foreign to Hannah, who had always felt the need to fill any wide-open conversational spaces with a steady stream of pertinent words. Freed from this obligation, it seemed that one could more readily greet the wisdom that enters only through silent gates.

Her sensei had employed this same sparseness in his response to Hannah when she announced that she had made up her mind to walk the pilgrimage. Although he felt more concern than anyone for the safety of she who had become like a daughter, "I see," was all he had eventually responded. "I guess we had better find you a good, strong stick."

And now here she was, 61 days into sweaty retreat with her sturdy stick, her will to forge ahead wearing as thin as the cartilage in her knees. Her body had become overexerted from the daily walking from sun-up to sundown, from toting a heavy backpack, and from miserable nights outside on her flimsy foam roll-up. Lately, every morning she woke up shivering, so stiff that it took a good half-hour of yoga just to convince her joints they weren't made of rust. She had started this journey as a nimble 26-year-old, yet had metamorphosed into a creature with the gait of an arthritic in monsoon season. Despite the breathtaking beauty of the mountain streams and bamboo forests through which the trail wove, Hannah felt so uninspired. Sore from morning to night, new foot blisters sprouting upon old ones, she was finding it increasingly difficult to muster the will to continue. -more-

posted on NDSN by Jerry Katz

Echoes of Incense

A Pilgrimage in Japan


Don Weiss

(Excerpts from the website:  

The most pleasant times to do the pilgrimage are spring and
fall. June is the rainy season in Japan, it often rains on
more than twenty days in June. July and August are very hot
and humid. September is often nice, but it is also the month
when typhoons are most common. Winter, as you know from this
book, can be cold and some inns and temple shukubo are
closed. On the other hand, the inns are almost never full in
the winter.  

Foreigners who want to walk should speak some Japanese,
should be able to read signs and maps, and should be prepared
to occasionally meet people who do not want to welcome you to
their inn because they are afraid you will be unhappy, rude,
or both.  


It was January 7th. I was in Ryozenji, Spirit Mountain
Temple. It is also known as Temple One of the Pilgrimage to
the Eighty-Eight Sacred Places of Shikoku. In the following
six-and-a-half weeks I walked 1,100 kilometers on the
backroads of the island of Shikoku, visiting the temples,
reciting the Heart Sutra, photographing the mountains,
buildings and people, and searching, searching my mind.  


Eyes to see the temples and statues, pilgrims and priests,
rivers and mountains. Ears to hear the prayers and sutras in
the temples, and the birds singing sweetly in the trees. Nose
to smell the incense and the spiciness of the cedars, the
great forests of the mountains of Shikoku. Tongue to taste
the food at the pilgrimage inns and the fruit and chocolate
that I ate as I walked along the roads. Body to feel the heat
and cold, the hard roads and muddy trails, the pilgrimage
clothes I wore, the walking stick in my hand. Mind. My mind.
Always at the center, to absorb all this, and be absorbed in


In front of the Hon-do is a wonderful garden. Trees, bushes
and rocks are shaped into low, rounded forms like spreading
sand dunes. The artists who created the garden used these
things to make a living poem. The eye and mind go from rock
to bush to path, becoming a part of the poem. Sometimes the
rocks, not the bushes, seem to be growing. Sometimes, in
different light, the rocks, bushes and walkways are all just


   more:  entire book available online:  


Just Stay At Home.

If you are religious, I salute you, my souls
delight. Yet know that the bottle you would drink
from can never hold the content of this life.
Please cultivate a deep irreverence for everything
but love.

Remember that dead saints and dead poets can have
no life in you, until you remember the words they
could not say. Then all the lovers of the world
that have ever been, will jump from the grave you
have made of belief, and hug you to their own

You have a child in your arms, that you will not
give back to the Mother, who birthed you from this
same love. Be the one who stays at home, when the
world goes seeking itself. Everyone knows how to go
somewhere, but only the seasoned traveler can be a
crossroads. Every real pilgrimage begins in rest.
The divine wind will only play in this moment. When
you move on to this path, the path will move within
you, a spiral unwinding, to open your Way.

Just be the one who stays at home no matter where
you go. You do not read this book of your love, you
write it. This poem is carried by invisible saints
that live in the same pocket of the heart that God
preaches from. Be generous with these words.

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