RYÖKAN writes:

Along the hedge a few branches of golden mums;
Winter crows soar above the thick woods
A thousand peaks glow brilliantly in the sunset.
And this monk returns home with a full bowl.

MARY LOU responds:

In the garden a few bold sunflowers remain.
Geese honk above the traffic din.
In the center of the street a divine apparition —
One yellow oak tree ablaze.
On days like this I leave my begging bowl by my altar,
Embarrassed to ask for anything more.
Between Two Souls is a poetic conversation between two monastic souls —
Ryökan, a 19th century Buddhist, and Mary Lou Kownacki, a 21st century Benedictine nun.
"When we touch this domain, we are filled with the cosmic force of life itself, we sink our roots deep into the black soil and draw power and being up into ourselves. We know the energy of the numen and are saturated with power and being. We feel grounded, centered, in touch with the ancient and eternal rhythms of life. Power and passion well up like an artesian spring and creativity dances in celebration of life."
— David N. Elkins, The Sacred as Source of Personal Passion and Power
When I need an answer, or I need someone to be helped, it's always the same:
my hands in prayer position and my thumbs pressed against my third eye, my forehead...
Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn't more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it. — Sylvia Boorstein
Enlightenment is just another word for feeling comfortable with being a completely ordinary person.
— Veronique Vienne
A monk with his mind at peace,
going into an empty dwelling,
clearly seeing the Dhamma aright:
his delight is more
than human.
— Dhammapada
"Well up like an artesian spring" in the courtyard at the Wildflower Center
You're the water. We're the millstone.
You're the wind. We're dust blown up into shapes.
You're the spirit. We're the opening and closing
of our hands. You're the clarity.
We're this language that tries to say it.
You're joy. We're all the different kinds of laughing.
— Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
The mystical life is the center of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write.
— William Butler Yeats
Negligence produces a lot of dirt. As in a house, so in the mind, only a very little dirt collects in a day or two, but if it goes on for many years, it will grow into a vast heap of refuse.
— Commentary to Sutta Nipata
Soul Point
Dharma, not drama
Pocketful of Poems
Making Plans
Convent News
Spring Madness
Garden Metaphors
Crossings Retreat
Garden Ideas
Garden Tour
Passion on the Porch
Luncheon Date
Liz Carpenter
Walk in the Park
Garden Hour
Wildflower Evening
Divine Portals
Totems & Vessels
Flower Stars
Longing for Lilacs
Earth Healing
64 Things at 64
Umlauf Garden
Spirit of the Garden
Taniguchi Garden
Healing Garden
Spirit of Place
Garden Refuge
Living Strong
Son on the Move
Spirituality & Nature
Family Rosary
Soul Point
Month of Sorrows
Forever Friends
Small World
The most beautiful thing we can experience is
the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science.
— Albert Einstein
My Holy Tree
Not Afraid of the Dark