Thursday, October 20, 2005


just sitting
I notice my body

bottom firm on cushion
knees ankles feet firm on mat
a stable base

back straight and fearless
upright yet relaxed
strong and composed

shoulders back and broad
leave chest torso open soft and vulnerable
heart of a warrior

head up chin slightly tucked
stretch on back of neck
no room for stress or tension

shoulders ribs and arms
hang from upright spine
like clothes from a hanger

hands rest on thighs
dropped from elbows
open and loose

eyes gently open
cast down in easy focus
not too hard not too soft

sitting just sitting
in my body
I notice my breath

breath flows through body
in then out
ever unceasing

breathing just breathing
attention on the outbreath
diffusing into nothing

thought comes along
or emotion memory desire
label it "thinking" and let it go

like a small child
mind gently brought back to outbreath
again and again

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Loose Ends

I haven't posted in a while, and I see some loose ends to tie up.

First, in my post Silliness, I related a story about making up a fake technical paper and sending it to a former graduate school professor. Here's an edited sample of our e-mail exchange about it:

Me: Just thought you might like to see what [your former students] have been up to.

Him: Nice work and nice hearing from you! How goes it back there? How much more time do you have left there?

Me: Thanks for the response. Did you get a chance to read the paper carefully? I think you'd find it very interesting.

Him: Thanks Greg, and yes I did get to read it -- and it was
interesting! I forwarded it to [the department chairman] in case he wanted to forward to folks here.

(My reaction: D'OH!! He took it seriously!!)

Me: Glad you liked the paper...before you forward it to the whole
department, I have to admit that it's a practical joke. ... Hopefully your sense of humor is still intact - it was funny to us here, and I'm sorry if it caused you any embarrassment.

Him: Greg, No worries on the sense of humor and Jim never forwarded it, so no harm no foul! Can you send me the original again? I guess I need to read it a little more closely :-) It certainly seemed realistic, and yes, a bit over my head, but I was impressed!! Retiring on 18 Nov - not much is getting me riled up these days!! Later dude!!

(My reaction: WHEW!!)


Second, in One Thing at a Time, I talked about a tree that I found and lay on during a bike ride one day. Well I now call that tree my "forest friend," and I visit him (her?) every time I ride. S/he is really quite striking, with so much life persisting even though the entire root disk is upended. I make a little ritual out of leaving my bike by the trail, walking to the tree, and even which two little trees I walk between to reach the trunk (there are spiderwebs between the other two). I don't always stay long but I notice something new every time. Yesterday I noticed how the fungi growing on the sides (now sides and top) of the trunk were stacked and finned.

Finally, I was blessed once again by a wonderful friend in California who sent me a song whose words are the ENTIRE Rumi prayer I mentioned in The Field Beyond. There's more to it than I's the rest:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.

Look at the inviting grass in that field - I think I'll lie down in it.