Sunday, 23 April 2017

It is only I

Do not be afraid of
the rustling in the bushes or
the shadow moving silently
just outside your field of vision.
Do not be afraid
it is only I.

Do not be startled or concerned by
the stranger lurking uneasily
apparently up to no good.
It is only I
waiting to become acquainted
waiting to be recognised.

Do not be alarmed by
that which appears to be different
unknown and unfamiliar.
It is only I
wanting to be known
wanting to be recognised as I.

Heart of your heart
love of your love
eye of your eye
thought of your thought
closer than your heartbeat
it is only I.

© 20 Apr 17

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Walking the labyrinth

Walking the labyrinth
step by measured step
leaving behind
what can be left
moving towards the centre.

Walking with you -
that comes as a surprise
who are ‘you’?
Buddha? Jesus? Thay?
Yes to all and many more
spiritual friends walk beside me
with me
within me.
Swamiji is here
and you, and you.
I feel and know your presence.
I am not alone.

The centre is not the end destination
just a part of the journey.
Take the centre with you and
continue walking.
“Walking but taking no footsteps”
I am with you always
united with you always.
I am not alone.

© 15 Apr 17

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The hum and buzz of every thing

The hum and buzz
of every thing
speaks of its aliveness.
The bird sings itself into existence.
The blossom and flowers are born
to manifest beauty.
The trees announce their beingness
with grace and stature.
People chatter and converse
like twittering birds
unable to find peace and solitude
in silence
unable to find the space it offers.

Be like the breeze
rustling through the dried and browned
autumn leaves
speaking only of the space
it originates from.
Let the mind be quiet enough
to appreciate
the hum and buzz
of every thing
that speaks of its quiet aliveness.

© 1 Apr 17

Monday, 3 April 2017

Here

One solitary bubble
slowly rises from the depths of the ocean and
at the surface
bursts
sending forth a shower of light
beauty and resonance
accompanied by a song as
clear and distinct as the voices of angels.
Light scatters in all directions
drops of pure gold
seeds of Oneness
spreading themselves liberally all over the earth.

Some are seen as they flash by
momentarily awakening from slumber
the ones who see, who then
fall asleep again
content with a beautiful dream.

Some pass by unnoticed
even though they spread light and goodness
into the darkest corners
those they pass by are looking
in the wrong direction.

Some land, taking seed and growing
but are not recognised.
In that lack of recognition they
wither, they cannot thrive.

You and I received a seed of Oneness
when we were fresh enough
to hear its sound and
know its voice.
Then we could not name it
but knew enough
to listen and to follow it
pulled by its insistent tugging
as it led hither and thither
often unclear as to where it was leading.
Sometimes soft and distant
we held onto the sound
the voice calling us home.

As we followed the sound
we knew we were not alone
we walked the path with many others
strange yet familiar faces
friendly and welcoming.

At last
the sound led us here.
Here we rest
here we stay
no more wandering
no more following.
Here.

Here we sit
sometimes alone
often among a sea of faces and bodies.
Here we rest
knowing that all along
we were being led here.
No more uncertainty
no more fear.

A heart full of gladness and peace.
Here is where we are meant to be.
Here is where we always were.
Here is home.
No more wandering.
Here.

© 2 Apr 17


Friday, 24 March 2017

The largest boulders

Even the largest boulder
can be moved with some creative thinking.
Employing levers, cranes, water
can allow the most immovable object
to be shifted.
The rage and tumult that seems to be
the instinctive reaction to such blocks
may not be the most effective response.
The fury and hail accompanying
an impending storm may
rattle the windows and sting the face
yet may not remove
my seemingly stubborn blockages.

Admit allowing, accepting
waiting patiently for the sun to shine again.
Take a watery approach!
Drop by drop inviting kindness
to gently dissolve the obstacles.
Drop by kindly drop
moment by friendly moment
day by patient day
until the realisation dawns
the boulder is no longer there.

© 22 Mar 17

Thursday, 23 March 2017

How many times?

How many times have I judged you?
Met you from my perception
instead of your presentation?

How many times do I see you as a
reflection of my own ideas
instead of as you are?

How many times do I imprint
my ideas of you onto you
and not appreciate you as an
individual and unique being?

How many times do I reduce you
to the limits of my understanding
instead of acknowledging your own greatness?

How many times do I meet you as you
as you are right now?

How many times do I see you as you
and not an appendage of my thoughts?

How many times do I meet you as you?

© 22 Mar 17


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Enigmatic, elusive butterflies

Words are enigmatic, elusive butterflies
dancing, flitting on the air
waiting to be heard
tasted, touched, seen, smelt.
When mind is still and quiet
they congregate together
wanting to be recognised
to be admitted.
Waiting for the spark of recognition
a sign of being most interested.
Willing to receive
a beautiful collection
of words and phrases
arranging themselves into
a fine necklace or bracelet
becoming a poem.
Here is magic working
being still enough to hear and receive
allowing them to dance and settle
onto the paper
in their own formation.
Be open, be alive
to this creation
forming itself right now.
I am a conduit, a channel
allowing themselves to appear and
be true to themselves.

© 18 Mar 17

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Here I sit

Here I sit
stopping
ready to listen
synchronicity
putting aside
all I think I know.
Merging with Oneness
familiar as my own hand.

Here I sit
here and now
nowhere else to be
fall in step with being
fall in step with Oneness.
Embracing life
as a free being
not tied down by human convention
a free being
flowing with the breath of the ether.

Here I sit
embracing Oneness
seeing through the many disguises
listening.

I heed the call.

© 15 Mar 17

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Be as free

Be as free as a leaf
tumbling in the wind
be as free as raindrops
showering from the sky
be as free as the stars
sparkling for their own sake
be as free as the wind
blowing where it will
be as free as a feather
floating on the breath of love
be as free as space
enjoying its own freedom.

© 7 Mar 17



Wednesday, 8 March 2017

We held a petal in our hands

We held a petal in our hands
and it held us.
Today, a momentous event took place
and nothing happened.
We received the news with
tenderness and great love.
We received the message
loud and clear
'never grieve!'

We held a petal in our hands
and it held us.
A symbol of pure beauty
pure love
transcending mind and body
birth and death
dwelling in pure space.

We held a petal in our hands
and it held us to truth and reality
infinitely stronger than
grief and thoughts of loss.

I have never moved.
I am with you always.
The petal held us.

© 5 Mar 17

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

You tore down the walls of my heart

You tore down the walls
of my heart
broke down all my defences
let all my vulnerabilities show.
Though I am melting
in a veil of tears
I welcome your intrusion.
I know it as pure love.

You tore down the walls
of my heart
with gentleness and persistence
showed me the defences exist
only in my imagination.
I am washed clean
by a shower of tears
happy to reveal my fragility
and strength.
I embrace your teaching.
I know it as pure love.

© 16 Feb 17

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Loving kindness for Donald Trump


The Loving kindness meditation (also called metta) is 
'a practice of cultivating understanding, love, and compassion by looking deeply, first for ourselves and then for others' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.
I have resolved to practice this beautiful meditation every day throughout March, choosing Donald Trump as the 'difficult person'. 

This is my motivation - 

'To love is, first of all, to accept ourselves as we actually are ... in this Love meditation, "know thyself" is the first practice of love' Thich Nhat Hanh - No Mud, No Lotus: 104.

The practice begins with offering words of loving kindness to ourselves, then to others.
The steps I will follow will be
myself
someone I love
someone I have difficulties with (Donald Trump)
the whole world.

These are the words I will use - 

May I be peaceful, happy and light and body and spirit.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be free from attachment and aversion but not be indifferent.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
(adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh - Chanting from the Heart: 42).

Having first said these words towards myself, I then offer them to someone I love
(may you be ... etc.), then DT, then the whole world (may we all be ... etc.)

I will practice this meditation every morning (UK time about 7am). 
Feel free to join me at any time for one day or many days.
We can manifest drops of love that can join together to create an ocean of love.
I am also motivated by Robert F Kennedy's speech in 1966, sending forth tiny ripples of hope to build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Few will have the greatness to bend history; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation ... It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a <person> stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he/she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
June 1966 from South Africa against apartheid.

I hope you are inspired!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Sit quietly and wait

Sit quietly and wait.
Listen to the heart.
Wait patiently for its whisperings.
Forms arise in mind
as shadows flickering and dancing.
Scenarios are played out
movements take place
words and actions.
Shadows settle
as if nothing happened.
The earth still revolves.
The sun and moon give heat and light
appearing to move and change
it is we who are moving.
And finally, a rest
a great rest.
Sit quietly and wait.

© 16 Feb 17

Sunday, 26 February 2017

To be free

What is right and
what is wrong?
What to do or not do?
There is no right and wrong.
There is nothing to do, or not do
except to be free.
Live
move
breathe
speak
in and from freedom.

© 15 Feb 17

Saturday, 25 February 2017

More space than solid

Vibrations release
the sense of solidity.
Energy dancing
to create this form and that.
Swirling patterns of light
cells and atoms flowing together.
More space than solidity.
A dance of divine imagination.
A dance of divine energy.
We are more space than solid.

© 15 Feb 17

Friday, 24 February 2017

Meditation

Simple
uncluttered
free
undisturbed by anything
untouched by movement
limitless
endless
ungraspable
present
knowable
closer than my heartbeat
vast as infinite galaxies
how to describe this
unending beauty, goodness and grace?
knowable
present
ungraspable
endless
limitless
untouched by movement
undisturbed by anything
free
uncluttered
simple.

© 14 Feb 17

No other reason

All we have heard
all that has been said
gives us true knowledge of Oneness.
There is no other reason
to be here.

All we have done
every movement made
every step taken
gives us true knowledge of Oneness.
There is no other reason
to be here.

All the moments of meditation
all the times of stepping into silence
is to meet Oneness.
There is no other reason to be here.

All the songs we have sung
all the words shared
invite us to know Oneness.
There is no other reason to be here.

© 15 Feb 17

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I spotted a tendency

I spotted a tendency
a habit I have formed
that keeps me believing in me
as reality.
And that is only one!
What else is carried in the bag of me-ness?
What else supports belief in me?
A whole collection of
tendencies and habits
that having been seen
can be unpicked
can be set free
to disappear into the ether.
They are not real
no more is me.

A dance of divine imagination
of coming and going
rising and falling.
And what remains?
Not an emptiness
devoid of feeling or emotion.
What remains is
vibrating energy
causes and conditions
rising and falling.
A dance of divine energy.

 © 13 Feb 17

Thursday, 9 February 2017

We talk about stress

We talk about stress
slowly acknowledge the feelings
and its impact
slowly start to unwind
to disentangle from being stressed.
In the sharing
I am free
I am not only stress.

We inject humour and
shared humanity.

Facing our fears
addressing our failings
they lose their vice-like grip.
I learn from you
you learn from me.
We are one
in our stumblings
our falterings.
We are gracious in acceptance
in our laughter.

We are one in our
shared humanity.

© 6 Feb 17

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A lovely review!

A wonderful review of my book In the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh on the new and beautiful Community of Interbeing website


"With the publication of her book, based on her research thesis, Dr Lauri Bower positions herself as a leading scholar of the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh".


Monday, 30 January 2017

What does the universe say?

What does the universe say?
What messages are being flagged
before my eyes that
in dullness and sadness
I do not notice?
I have to go outside to listen
to breathe the fresh calming air.

The universe says,
be strong like the trees
ready to withstand this
“world’s storm-troubled sphere”.
Be gentle as the evening breeze
smiling with generosity and kindness
on all, not a favoured few.
Be truthful as the songbird
singing “where is the love?”
it has to begin here.
Be playful as the redbreast
hopping from branch to branch
and don’t take life too seriously.
Be fearless as the still heart
unmoved by shadowy figures
playing across its surface.
Be courageous as the roaring ocean
don’t let words lie unsaid
festering in the heart.

The universe says
we are all bound together
in oneness
a connection so fine it
can easily be overlooked
yet we are “more united than divided”.
We all live together
in oneness
an unbreakable truth
that words of hate or condemnation
cannot dissolve.
My name is True mountain of non-fear
and sometimes I forget.
Happily, the universe does not!

© 30 Jan 17

Friday, 27 January 2017

Planting seeds of peace

We walk across an empty playground
planting seeds of peace
liberally scattering our understanding
our practice on the concrete.
When you return on Monday
will you notice
will you feel a slight shift
in the atmosphere
a different energy?
I know one of you
maybe some of you
will notice
will thrill at the feel of the mystery
and connection
that maybe you can’t explain
but feel and know.
You don’t need words to feel
what the heart knows.
One of you
maybe some of you
will notice our seeds of peace
and gain in understanding.
That’s why we walk
planting seeds of peace.

© 21 Jan 17

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The mystery

The mystery that does not need to be solved
but longs to be explored
investigated
tried and tested.
The mystery that calls you out of bed
in a morning and
sometimes at midnight
when the moonlit stars shine brightest.
The mystery that knows
everything is not dead
in the depths of winter
but resting secretly
waiting for its time to shine.
The mystery that delights afresh
at each rainbow and
is never dulled or complacent.
The mystery that keeps calling
keeps tugging at the heart-strings
wanting you to see
to notice
to recognise.
One huge game of hide and seek.
The mystery once found
once solved
needs finding again and again as if
there is more than one answer.
The mystery once found
often forgotten in sleep
needs rediscovering anew
each day.
The mystery without end
without boundaries and limits.
The mystery once discovered is
as recognisable as my own face or hand
close as my own heartbeat and
equally distant as other galaxies
unreachable as the earth’s core
unfathomable
or so it seems.
Familiar as my beloved’s footsteps or
sound of their voice.
The mystery as vital as life itself.

At the end of this life
will I feel the mystery is finally answered
the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle
slotting into place?
Or will I smile at
the next great adventure?

© 22 Jan 17

Thursday, 19 January 2017

A gratitude list

An unending list of things
to be grateful for.
How can I reach the end and
say, no more?
Big and small
so many things to write.
Qualities within me.
External experiences
people, situations, circumstances.
Is it possible to be grateful
for them all, as teachings?
The mean or harsh word
the refusal, the no
the failure
the unexpected
the uncertain.
I am grateful to you all.

This great cosmos and
every tiny atom within.
This magnificent rolling earth
each fleck of stardust and
everything in between.
All known and unknown
I welcome you all
I thank you all
for creating me as I am
for bringing me to this moment
for teaching me to be grateful.

The lit becomes a circle
of infinity
an unending list, unceasing
lover’s knot of entanglement
meetings and recognition
with edges blurred and shapes indistinct.
where do I begin and you end?
I’m grateful for your beauty
sadness, anger, compassion.
Grateful that your presence
brings me to presence.
Grateful.

© 19 Jan 17

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

A question becomes a thank you!

Focussing inward
feeling sorry for myself
I question sorrowfully
‘why me?’
Focussing outward
noticing many favourable conditions
seeing I have a choice
my question becomes a thank you.
Focussing outward
I become grateful
recognising I have enough
and often more than enough.
My pitiful question
becomes an appreciative thank you.

The question ‘why me?’
no longer relevant as
me becomes we.
On this dank January day
that the sun
seems to have forsaken
green shoots are emerging
with the promise of vitality and spring.
My selfish question
becomes a contented thank you.

© 16 Jan 17

Monday, 16 January 2017

Another opportunity

Here is another opportunity
to believe and look positively
at how reality and expectations
appear to differ.
Put down expectations and
meet what reality is presenting.
Consider carefully!
If a space unexpectedly opens up
how to fill it
how to engage with it
how to meet it as a wonderful opportunity.
Can we only be happy
with the gifts we asked for
looked for, or expected?
Are these even gifts or
just fulfillments of our desires?
The true gift is the unexpected
the uncertainty
the not knowing how things will turn out.
Meeting these moments
with a faithful heart and
trust that things are
exactly as they should be.
© 7 Jan 17

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Oneness knows itself

Meditation is not a battle of wills
to be lost or won
not a war of wills
between thoughts and ‘me’.
Who is ‘me’ anyway?

I am the thoughts
embrace, embrace,
don’t push them away.
Yet I am not only thoughts.

I am 51 mental formations
seed-like, waiting to grow
waiting for nourishment.
Yet I am not only mental formations.

I am a body of six senses
6 gates receiving sense objects.
Yet I am not only senses.

I am consciousness
aware of thoughts, feelings,
mental formations, bodily sensations.
Yet I am not only this physical shape.

I am oneness
taking the shape of many bodies
many forms
many ideas, feelings, thoughts.
Mind cannot grasp the extent of oneness
its reach or its depth.
Oneness knows itself.

© 3 Jan 17

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

The wind and I

The wind and I
have been playing games.
It is gusting wildly and
rattling the door knockers
calling me outside.
We played a game
to see who would win my hat.
And as I walked
as a secondary game
it searched for bins to knock over
or hide from their owners.

Through the woods it
shook the branches menacingly
threatening to tip them
onto my head.
In the open field
it did its best to bowl me over
hurl me into the mud.
It called my bluff by
getting behind me as I
stepped up the hill and aided me.
On the lane it blew
full force in my face.
Eventually I had to hold
onto my hat to save
rescuing it from wherever
the playful wind would take it.
I arrived home with
rosy cheeks, a runny nose
ears singing with the cold and
heart alive with playfulness.

© 11 Jan 17

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

True colours

A frosty coating on everything.
This morning
the stars have reached down
from the heavens
to decorate earth
in awe and beauty.
We see and appreciate it
by virtue of our own beauty
from a vision of interbeing.
The rising sun’s rays
light each frosted dewdrop
to gleam as the evening stars.
Heaven has come to earth and
we see it decorated in true colours
not subdued or muted by
thoughts of other.

I am the shining stars
I am the frosted leaves and grass
I am the sun of mindfulness
melting away any doubt or fears.
I am constantly changing beauty
awe and wonder.
I am born afresh each morning.

© 3 Jan 17

Sunday, 8 January 2017

A conversation between two different parts of the brain

1. Let’s adventure to nourish contentment!
2. Surely we can stay at home to find that?
1. Let’s not be lazy, there’s a whole world out there.
2. There’s a whole world here too, let’s stay at home.
1. We have to journey into the unknown to meet our awakening.
2. I’d rather stay at home and meet the known.
1. Don’t be so small! There’s so much to see!
2. Plenty to see here as well!
1. What are you afraid of? Danger? Uncertainty? Failure? Death?
2. All that and more! Here is familiar, cosy and warm, let’s stay here!
1. You have to trust, my friend. There is more to life than this.
2. And despite my reservations I am won over. And so we journey through cold and heat, hunger and feast, mistrust and friendliness, disagreement and benevolence.
1. After many days and many adventures we arrive at our resting place.
2. Wait a minute! I recognise this! We have come full circle and are back home.
1. Yes, but not as we left it because we see it with new eyes and a new heart.
2. You were right, my friend! We did need this adventure.
1. But you were also right, my friend. Everything we need is right here. We needed to venture out and ‘hold as t’were a mirror up to nature’ to see and appreciate what was already here.
1 & 2. To see it with new eyes and a new heart.

© 31 Dec 16