Monday, September 30, 2013

The Moon

The Moon

The moon calls me and I listen.

Its voice is deep and bright and full of promise, and I hear it.

The moon shines and I see it, it is soft and gentle and yellow and cratered.

The moon see’s me and knows I am watching and it meets my eyes and understands why I weep.

The moon knows me. We are kin. Awake in the night together in peaceful harmony.

The moon is still and will hear your voice too. It pulls and tugs until you are comfortable with yourself. 

The moon is wise and in its wisdom it knows when to speak and when to be still and when to weep with me.

The Moon is happy and shines its bright light and laughs with me when I find joy.

The moon is quiet and dark in the sky and turns it face away.

The moon knows me.

The moon is shy and hides itself. It needs the darkness to make the lightness.

 It knows me.

The moon is peaceful and sends its soft beams to use as a pillow for my tired head. 

The moon is calm it’s face is sweet it always finds the right place to be.

The moon is big and fills the sky and the moon is small and disappears.  

The moon knows me and I know the moon.

The moon calls me and I respond. I know its voice.

The moon turns in it's monthly cycle.

Pulling the tide to and fro, into the world and back out again.

The moon knows me.

Diana, for the Poplar Grove Muse

Monday, September 23, 2013

Points of View

This morning, alone in the house,

moving up the stairs to my room,

I think…

I am the only one of 7 billion humans who is seeing these particular dust motes

dancing in this specific ray of sunlight

streaming across this bamboo floor at the top of these stairs.

I feel the Universe is charging me with seeing this one particular view.

Across the face of the planet, 7 billion of us are looking from corn fields and rice fields, deserts, mountains, forests, cities, war zones, prison cells, sick beds, from boats and ships, from airplanes, from beaches and the sides of volcanoes, opening our eyes for the first time and closing them for the last; we are looking from billions of singular points of view.

Trillions of members of other species are looking out on this world with strange eyes
that see a completely different world than mine.

Now as I watch my hens moving and pecking in the grass

I think…

It has been decades since my back yard has been seen by chickens.

My three hens move through the space of the yard each day,

Looking out of eyes that see more colors than mine.

They are charged with seeing the same world from their particular view.

This Earth is being fully seen.

Veda for the Poplar Grove Muse


Monday, September 16, 2013

Life Hungering for Itself

In this gift of sheltering I will find
that my hunger is life hungering for itself
and that I can trust that hunger, receive it
as my truth, as myself.---From the poem Hunger By Gunilla Norris  in Becoming Bread

My hunger is life hungering for itself...

It’s a bicycle waiting for a ride,
A sunny day in search of shade
It’s the open road, a cool drink, a caramel candy, a soft place to fall

My hunger is life hungering for itself

A dream of children waving flags
a choir in the Berkshires, a song in an aspen grove
north of Lee Vining, water ferry to an alpine meadow

My hunger is life hungering for itself

Sandalwood soap, smooth skin, a warm hand on my neck
cries in the dark, the scent of you in the morning
an open window and rain

My hunger is life hungering for itself

The touch of moss by a stream
Banyan and redwood, tall stones
Fish and chips, sea spray, otters at play

Life hungering for itself

The finished song, the unwritten poem
The strength of my own two legs and breath for air
Hungry for quiet, laughter, deep waters.

My hunger is life hungering for itself

A new day, cool breeze, horse dust
The color of sunset over a vineyard,
Snow on the beeches
Summer cicada sounds, the distant train

The things that remind me
who I am, and
who I might still be

My hunger is life. Hungering for itself,

A good night sleep
Fried eggs and muskmelon
The distant cadence of the high school marching band

Departures and returns
Prayers before bed
Bowls of blessings
Promise and fulfillment
Hungry still

My whole life is a hunger for life hungering for itself. 

BLR-for the Poplar Grove Muse 9-15-13

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Morning coffee with the Schwartzs.  Our conversation waxes, wanes...Yoga, Taoism, Mormons, Brigham Young, Zen Buddhism.  I'm in Boulder, Colorado it's 7 am and lovely.  Todd’s keen sense of freedom intrigues me, I love his perspective.  I say something about someone or something, and he asks through a wily smile,

Yes, but how free are they?”

Such a beautiful and important question.  It gets me thinking how the same gesture or action can be of different source.  Two people seem as if doing the same thing, but each coming from a different place. 

Not what, but where from? 

Freedom, boundedness, Taoism.

I feel what made Ron Kurtz’s teaching (in Hakomi) so powerful was that his being had fully incorporated teachings of Taoism.  Not as a philosophy, but as a felt sense and true movement. This felt like freedom. He showed how to go with the currents what was already there.  In his work he called it the principle of Organicity.

I think this is what the Egyptians must have also done when working with generating energy and potential through their pyramid structures.  Somehow there was a mass understanding of the way (Tao).   Their culture and activities displayed a practical consciousness of the way of energy.   It’s interesting to feel into a culture of people who collectively understood that humans were not the center of the universe.  It seems, somehow they knew we were beings with an organic lineage…energy conductors.  Agents of some larger transmutation in a living system.

I find joy in remembering that there was a time and people that did not build structures or themselves to keep energy out.  Nor was their function to try and control or commodify energy.  Instead, they knew how to be in harmony with the natural elements…in accordance.  I can’t help but feel as if in my own study and traveling that harmony and accordance with natural energy is part of what I’ve come here to understand, to embody.  It is no wonder, Rolfing (Structural Integration) has recently come up. 

I’ve heard some people describe the Rolfing work as placing the body more in accordance with natural laws of the world…first being gravity.  And some think, that when this is integrated into a structure, more natural harmony emerges.  Seems right on, or at least makes some sense, enough for me to enter into the quest of it. 

As I deepen into my path (Dharma), I am more clear in the belief that we can live as a true instruments of the earth in a modern/ancient way.  I am interested in reclaiming these organic rights.   I’m also curious about what true function feels like, and I want to know if I can approach the mechanics of the universe through embodiment.  The more I carry on, the more I am interested in others who are living this, or interested in approaching that balance. 

As I reflect on how this has arisen in me, I realize that this has been inspired by my mind waking up; my mind not willing to be owned by anyone or anything else.  But now, I see this quest has moved into a place of accessing Mind beyond mind.   “My mind” has become an instrument of perception and sense, rather than mechanical projection.  I wonder about mind beyond projection…perhaps conscious materialization?   I realize I’m in gooey territory here.  Magical thinking makes me sea-sick…and yet I sense there is some validity in this potential.  I seek to maintain a clear distinction between talking and thinking of stories about this, and true embodiment.  For guidance, I turn to people and cultures wiser than me. 

For today, I come back to the wisdom of the moment….these friends, our coffee, our talk.  I come back to the wisdom I perceive in the mountains of Boulder, the morning Flat Irons glowing rust hue.  These mountains speak without words.   I write and accept my vessel as a channel, and desire that in this life my body might serve as a resonate harmonic chamber for universal song. 
Allison Distler

Monday, September 2, 2013

Tiny Day of Service and Renewal

Last month, 15 women gathered at the Poplar Grove Schoolhouse for a time of communal cleaning and renewal of the space. Our efforts were offered as a giving-back to an organization that has bestowed  so much upon each of us, and an intentional focusing-in on a treasured and transformative home for our writing community. The additional blessings came in how renewed and enriched we all felt by our efforts, as we once again experienced the mystery of how, in giving, we so often receive more than we give. 

Built in 1923, the schoolhouse has seen many transformations/inhabitants/uses over its years of humble service, before its recent rescue and rededication as the home of Women Writing for (a) Change (as well as several practitioners of other healing arts). This summer, our beloved space was violated by trespassers who, perhaps drawn to its welcoming presence, loitered in the off-hours, helping themselves to the wi-fi, congregating on the porches and picnic tables, disturbing the peace of the place, both literally and metaphorically.  Our community, whose basic tenet is “Presume Goodwill,” felt under siege.

The gathering was an inspiration and a celebration. I arrived to a bustle of energy and action already in progress—women lovingly wiping sudsy mugs and scouring appliances in the kitchen, dusting every surface of the place with ingeniously-bristled wands and rarely-seen balletic moves; the fresh scent of cleaners wafting through the brightly-lit rooms; the antisocial roar of two ancient vacuums roaming floors up and down to the accompaniment of doors closing at their approach; the quiet concentration of several brave souls who sorted, organized, and culled nearly 10 years of papers (from a prolific writing community).

As one of the intruding vacuum wielders, I rediscovered in each outside corner of the building two sparkling crystals, a clear pendant and a rounded violet stone, placed there as a blessing upon the building at its opening; polishing them lightly, I returned them to their vigil poses. Vacuuming is a noisy, cumbersome chore, yet I felt awash in an aura of caretaking, and found myself making the effort to move furniture away from walls, take the extra stroke with the massive machine, dig into the corners in pursuit of every cobweb (as I do not always do in my own home).

The festive mood put me in mind of communal cleaning in my distant past—primarily in church settings, where women who shared years of common weddings, baptisms, funerals, and offerings of service to community have gathered for millennia to work together for a common good (so much larger than the feeding, or cleaning, or assisting a family in need that was the immediate origin of the collective action). There was much talk of how we should get together to help one another in our homes (a long-held, rarely-voiced wish of mine), yet the shadow of a shaming fear at revealing one’s less-than-perfect homekeeping certainly crept into my mind.

Afterward, we gathered to do what we do most joyfully—write in community. The talk was of the joy to be found in having every surface touched and made conscious. I offer a few lines inspired by “readback lines” from our circle: invisible specks and clouds and motes; make invisible work visible; summon the companionable spirits; cleaning like worship and ritual; where I can be in any state and be all right; order and calm; this, our home for words and spirit.

Blessings bestowed and received, once again, in community.

Mary for the Poplar Grove Muse