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Jerry Katz
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#2501 - Sunday, June 18, 2006 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Shifting the Sun

When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When you father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn't.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.

Diana Der-Hovanessian ~   (Selected Poems

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    When you take photographs, just before you click the shutter, your
mind is empty and open, just seeing without words. When you stand in
front of a blank sheet of paper, about to make a painting or a
calligraphy, you have no idea what you will do. Maybe you have some
plan for a painting, or you know what symbol you want to calligraph,
but you don't actually know what will appear when you put brush to
paper. What you do out of trust in open mind will be fresh and
spontaneous. Opening to first thought is the way to begin any action

--Jeremy Hayward, from Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Vol. IV, #3  

photo by Robert O'Hearn  

  The experience of the practice itself teaches us that any conception
or ideal of awakened being can only be a hindrance- neither practice
nor awakening is about our ideas or images. 

And yet, however limited the finger-pointing at the moon, still we
point, we turn to one another for direction. So I have come to think
that if the bodhisattva's task is to continue to practice until every
pebble, every blade of grass, awakens, surely the passions, difficult
or blissful, can also be included in that vow. 

And if awakening is also already present, inescapably and
everywhere present from the beginning, how can the emotions not
be part of that singing life of grasses and fish and oil tankers and
subways and cats in heat who wake us, furious and smiling, in the
middle of the brief summer night?

--Jane Hirshfield

  Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed,
recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both
are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens
I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this
teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby
Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully
than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard
green plant, and teapot are all sacred.

--Thich Nhat Hanh, "Miracle of Mindfulness" 

  Two Bonus Tracks for Father's Day:  

The first is a lovely and touching poem by Li-Young Lee with music
by Bruce BecVar ("New Earth, New Heaven," from his album, The
Nature of Things). If you're interested:  

The second is on the lighter side, from one father to other fathers,
a song by John Hiatt, and it's a guy thing.... If your interested:    

by Joe Riley to Panhala  

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