freedom

~a short meditation on flight, three~

When you see birds flying in the sky, does your heart not also soar? 

love is

love is deeper
than the deepest ocean
which, in the end
has a bottom
a finite place of rest

and love is brighter even
than the brightest and most brilliant star
which, although still visible
billions and billions of light years away
will twinkle out 
some day

love is more beautiful
than even the most beautiful red rose
which, held too tightly
pierces the heart
thorns sharp and steep 
searing

love    is    love
which, has no end
no void
and no restraint
love is 
infinite
boundless
and like birds flying into the wild blue sky
free
 

we are all angels

~a short meditation on flight, two~

Who does not dream about flying? 
Although our actual physical bodies are essentially tethered to this earth, it seems that flight is somehow intrinsic to our souls. Somehow, I really do know what it is to fly, in this human body… I can feel it in my bones, and on the surface of my skin caressed by wind—my entire being buoyed by its light power. Soaring. 

Do you? Too, like me, know flight?
Does your heart lift, with the first rays of sunrise—taking you out beyond the horizons? When the birds circle overhead, can you meet them up there in the blue sky—seeing eye to eye, and the dancing tree tops below? As the soft pads of your bare feet sink into earth, gently with each step on the path, are you not also drawn upwards and a little closer to those not so distant cloud bottoms? And at night when the stars twinkle so invitingly, do you dance there too among all the glitter? Gloriously?

Maybe we are all angels, after all? 
We’re just walking this earth awhile—for the grand adventure of it all… for dreaming dreams, for the thrill and for the mania, for sleeping and awakening, for creating something beautiful or fantastic and then reveling in it too… But above all, maybe we are here for love—simply, to love and to be loved. Love.

Source

Who can tell me, what is the source of love? 
Not the whos nor whats which we love, not our dreams nor passions. But like rain from the clouds, rivers from the high mountains, song from morning birds, from where does love come?

Like this body made up of trillions of cells, and cells made up of biomolecules, and biomolecules made up of… ah, um, let’s just skip right to the part where matter essentially breaks down into nothingness… where this body is nothing but empty space. 
And what of love? What are its elemental parts and particles? Like the body falling into a microverse of emptiness, into what space does love fall, eventually? Like trying to locate physical origins of consciousness itself, trying to locate the same for love may very well be futile—an endeavor best left to the poets among us. 
(It is apparent, yes, that science is not my forte!) But surely, there are no grand laws of physics, quantum physics, or other physics for that matter, which can tell us how love arises into our hearts and minds, and bursts so brightly, into our souls. 

So let the poet in me humbly suggest a theory. 
Love, like light, comes from the sun. Yes, that’s right. All those millions and gazillions of stars out there? They are actually love-generating furnaces! 
It makes sense does it not? Physical matter breaks down into emptiness, so we are actually bodies of empty space being filled with light. Or is light only a result of a collision of particles and waves between the sun and our vastly empty bodies? I think that light too, like love, cannot truly be contained in the mind. 
These uncontainables, and these apparent immaterials… are like wind which can only be seen in the swirl of desert sand. Or water, in the long and slow curves of canyon walls. Sound, in the reverberation of strings. 
And love, seen in the light of a smile or felt in a remembered birthday, arises in the betweenness of things. In relationship. A mother and child. A butterfly and an irresistible flower. Shimmering rainbows of water and light in the sky. A spider and her web. Love is light. Like how we come to see the sun—in the collision of particles and waves. A reverberation felt in the deep space of the heart. 

In the photo above, do you not see the heart shining out from the sun? I offer you this, my empirical evidence that the source of love is indeed, the sun.
So the next time you gaze up into the starry night sky, perhaps you will feel the overwhelming presence of love shining everywhere there… And your heart, your one precious heart, flooded with light.

wild flower

today i found my heart
in the spirit of a wild flower 
wrapped around
this love
this singular and this sweet love 
delicately
and yet, and yet, and yet
and yet ever so 
inextricably 
 

What love courses through every fiber, cell, and mitochondria of your body?
What is the one precious love you hold on to?

no place to hide

LOVE  is light    which        like the  SUN            has no         place                                        to       hide.

Once upon a very, very long time ago, the world was suddenly thrown into utter darkness and chaos. The notorious Susanoo, god of storms and the younger brother of the sun goddess Amaterasu-Omikami, wrecked havoc in the goddess’s rice fields and committed other acts of flagrant violence which so angered Amaterasu-Omikami that she hid herself inside a cave and barricaded the entrance with a boulder too heavy for anyone to move. She would not respond to any appeals to come out of the cave. 

Faced with this dire situation, all eight million deities of Japan convened in front of the cave and devised a plan to convince Amaterasu-Omikami to come out of hiding. A large mirror was placed in a tree just outside the cave’s entrance and another goddess, Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto, proceeded to dance atop an overturned bucket. Dancing with abandon and stamping upon the bucket,  Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto danced and danced and danced and then tore off her clothes all at once, causing the other deities to laugh uproariously. 

Hearing all the commotion from inside the cave, Amaterasu-Omikami could not contain her curiosity. What on earth could all the deities be laughing about in her absence? And so she opened the cave a tiny bit to peek out and saw her own brilliant reflection shining back at her in the mirror! Bedazzled just long enough, the strong god who had been patiently waiting there at the cave’s entrance then pushed the great boulder aside and pulled Amaterasu-Omikami out from the cave. A shimenawa, sacred rope, was placed in front of the cave, preventing the goddess from going back inside. 

And at last, light was restored to the world.

no place to hide

Do not hide your love, little one. 
Like the sun, be bedazzled by the brilliance 
of your own light, 
of your beauty,
and your love. 
Go ahead now, step out, 
boldly and brightly 
into every sky, Shining.
Dancing,
all naked, raw, and real.
For not a single day goes by, 
that does not need your light and
your love,
that does not need
you. 

Love & Light

Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.

Kahlil gibran

We have sat for millennia, it seems, staring at walls into candle flames into the darkness and into the depths of our souls, in silence and solitude—seeking answers to resolve all of humanity’s imperfections, suffering, and ignorance… and for a way out of the dark. 
Perhaps moths are wiser, irresistibly drawn to the light, without second thought.

We have repented, confessed our sins, flagellated bare backs of ourselves and others, prostrated in front of superiors, and walked millions of miles on broken feet and bleeding knees. We have beaten, stoned, shot, mutilated and murdered—in the name of some greater light. 
Perhaps the flowers know better, naturally unfurling to the sun, without thought.

Perhaps life need not be so burdened, after all. 

Maybe we are in essence, simply beings of light and of love. We will realize our true nature, like the flowers, when we turn to the light; when like moths, our hearts burn with love, without thought. Maybe freedom is a bird in flight—on the wings of love and light. And divinity itself shines everywhere and in everything, omniscient and omnipresent. 

Perhaps, after all, we are simply divine beings of love and light. 

Go ahead—smell the roses and dance in the rain. Do it now—without thought, and for no reason. Shine.

may peace prevail

After atrocity, the only thing that makes any sense is peace. Survivors of the August 6, 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima have spent their lives dedicated to the abolishment of nuclear weapons, to educating succeeding generations about the horrors of war, to peace movements around the world. We do not hear of survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945) advocating a retaliation against the U.S. “Never Again” is the widespread mantra among survivors of atrocities worldwide: the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the Nanjing massacre, to name a few. 

Likewise, on a more individual level, the expression, “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy” is used by those who have endured some form of extreme pain or hardship. It could be surviving an excruciating illness or a traumatic act of violence. Having experienced something so painful, the natural human response is compassion. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. We don’t go about scheming how to inflict similar suffering upon others simply because we’ve suffered ourselves. On the contrary, we seek to prevent similar experiences of suffering. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, March For Our Lives, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, to name a few. 

The only thing that makes any sense, is peace. 

Many women, and #MeToo, have survived some form of domestic violence. Over my dead body, would I wish anyone the same experience—including the very man who committed the violence, including any perpetrator of violence, including, everyone. It never occurred to me to try to make the one who assaulted me suffer in some way. To respect my boundaries, my choices, my freedom—yes, to be held accountable—yes; but to inflict harm upon him—never. It simply is not worth it. What we do to others, we do to ourselves. 

The only thing that makes sense is peace. 

So what propels some of us to commit acts of violence? The answer ultimately is fear—its irrationality and ignorance. No wise sage ever, said, “Let’s bomb the @#¥%&! out of those weird people!” 

For comfort, fear seeks control; for control, fear hordes power. The power and brilliance of the sun, hijacked and desecrated, by the hands of men gone mad. In a single blinding flash at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a fifteen meter per second firestorm in the thousands of degrees celsius ripped through Hiroshima incinerating some one hundred and forty thousand lives. Three days later on August 9, at 11:02 a.m., repeat.
Why? Why, why… why… how…..   

After atrocity, the only thing that makes any sense is peace.

Americans were scared of the “Japs”, and the Japanese were scared of the “foriegn devils”. In wartime, humans cease to be humane, seeing in one another only danger, forces of evil, and one’s own demise. Fear raises its monstrous head and slaughters everyone—indiscriminately. Everyone, every single one of us. 

My American grandfather, in WWII frenzy, derided those Japs, his future family and his own descendants—his cute granddaughters who giggled in delight when sitting in his chair anticipating being lifted out by their doting grandfather who never tired of playing the same game.

Children, in their innocence, are wiser.

ONE

Look into my eyes,
and you will see a shadow of Hiroshima.
You will see a dark room, illuminated by its single stream of
WHITE light
flowing from the humming projector as it reels GREY, WHITE, BLACK 
images onto a screen.
You will see ten silent rows of seated people,
formless figures in the darkness.
And you will hear the rusty recording,
as it comments on BLACK, WHITE, GREY
images thrown onto the cold square screen:

Atomic bomb “Little Boy” explodes at 8:15 a.m. August 6, 1945… Epicenter reaches several million degrees centigrade… ground temperature reaches 3,000 – 4,000 degrees centigrade… thirteen square kilometers completely destroyed… three hour firestorm with velocity of 15 meters per second… over one hundred and forty thousand deaths caused by “Little Boy”… 
(etcetera, etcetera, etcetera) 

b u t
the ears of a small girl have forgotten sound
listening only to naked terror run over the screen
h e l l 
Her eyes stare wide open in innocence tainted with blood, 
as the screen throws daggers into her eyes. 
Daggers of broken, burnt and twisted bodies lay strewn across an old wooden floor.

LOOK! 

s i l e n c e

Pale white light reflects from the screen
softly illuminates her tired eyes, her confusion, her small clenched fists. 
She tries with one fist, to grasp that “Little Boy” that Daddy’s country dropped, and she tries with the other fist, to grasp that firestorm that burned in Mommy’s country.
But a life of six short years knew only how to reach 
One hand to hold her mother’s
One hand to hold her father’s.

After atrocity, the only thing that makes any sense is peace.
The only thing that ever makes any sense, is peace.

Reclaim your innocence, like my grandfather did. 
Chose love. 
Be peace. 
Peace, is a verb.
Peace.

May peace prevail on earth.
May peace prevail.

on song

Everything is alive and has its own song.
Do you not see, hear, and feel, the song of the sea? Of the seagulls, the sun, and of the cirrus clouds as they fly through the sky? All singing together in a symphony of light, wind, waves… and love. Yes, love—especially love. If not for love, for what do we actually live? For what do we sing? Love is our raison d’être, ikigai, entire purpose. We are love itself and we sing to know ourselves.

Following is an excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

On Love
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. 
To know the pain of too much tenderness. 
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; 
To return home at eventide with gratitude; 
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

If this understanding of love remains elusive, seek it out. I promise, it is worth everything that you have ever had, that you have now, and that you will ever have. And if you wonder where to start or to seek, remember this always: You are love💛

Who are you?

Though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.  
—Rumi

Who are you? Not what is your name, job title, or societal roles… which are but outer expressions of the self. But who are you, actually? Surely there is an inner self with which you came into this world before family and culture could mold you; and with which you will eventually depart this world, shed of all its trappings. Who is this self?

Another way to contemplate the same question might be to ask, “What brings you joy?” Naturally, we will generally reply with references to people in our lives, our partners or children, for example. Or our favorite activities and things or accomplishments. It is true that dancing and chocolate cake bring me joy, as well as roses, poetry, and my loved ones. But why? How is it that for me joy arises while dancing but not while running, while eating chocolate but not licorice? The self that derives joy from dancing but not from running, is indeed the very same self. So underneath the particularities of the whats is something more fundamental—joy itself. 

Or perhaps we might be startled back to the truth of who we are by considering our raison d’être. Why are you here? For what reason do you exist? Surely joy is intimately intertwined with one’s own raison d’être. But like joy, it is not exactly the particular whats that is of most significance, not necessarily the raison but the d’être that is more fundamental. 

Être. Just being. What arises when you sit quietly, listening to your heartbeat? What do you feel? In the characteristic excitement and chaos of life, we may feel an entire spectrum of emotions… sadness, delight, fear, worry, happiness, melancholy, anger, and so on. But if we keep listening, keep paying attention and being present, we will eventually discern something fundamental underneath it all.
When all the clouds in the sky have passed by, what remains? Light.
When the monsters of fear step out of the shadows and into the light, what is revealed? Love. 

Can it be that the dance of our likes and dislikes, our preferences and particularities, our biases themselves, are the garden in which love grows to discover itself? The garden in which the fundamental joy of being is the light which startles us back to nothing other than the truth of who we are? To nothing other than Love its self.