pleasure/pain

what would it mean
to take it in turns

to take it all
in stride

not waiting for
the perfect vacation
beach breeze, palm trees
to relax

but to pause
here and now
amidst the chaos

stand still
watch it whirl
watch it all come and go

if you can’t help but want
the pleasant things

if you can’t help but prefer
pleasure to pain

you’re not alone

but i invite you to imagine
just for a moment

what it would mean
to let go of preference

if it made no difference
whether the next moment
brought pleasure or pain

if you believed you stood to gain
and stood to lose
equally from both

can you let go of needing
to feel a certain way?

i know it’s a lot to ask
and i am no master

these are just things
i’ve decided to consider

i’ve decided to ask
what if.

what waits within

where is the grief
inside you living?

what waits within
like song inside a bird

what seizes your heart
in spasms of fear and glory
waiting, waiting
to be heard?

tell me, tell anyone, tell someone
even if only
in the faintest of whispers

until you touch the place inside
where grief melts into music.

rooting

child
no matter how deeply
you have been wounded
remember:

one day a seed
will come along

take root exactly
where it hurts the most

slumber
in darkness until
you open up

and allow enough light
to reach it;

once you do that
nothing will stop
its furious
motion

its transformation
of dark matter
into something altogether
unexpected.

intention

good news
for the hopeless:

to set an intention

means to plan
for hope
even if
especially if
you don’t feel it yet;

to set an intention

means to plan
for faith
not because you feel it
but because you dare;

intention
comes from the Latin
for stretch

& set
is an old word
for sit;

so

to set an intention

is to sit with yourself
no matter how hopeless
burned out
weary
even faithless
you feel.

& as you sit with yourself
& all of your pain
in time you may find
your spirit moves
stretches
reaches
through it

in a way that can only
be described as
miraculous.

so sit with yourself
dear one
& reach.

beyond happiness

maybe it’s a relief to be unhappy
because trying to be happy all the time is exhausting.

maybe there’s a place beyond happiness and unhappiness.

not between.

not in the middle.

BEYOND.

BEYOND = accepting both happiness and unhappiness.

they are part of every day.

expect them.

you don’t have to welcome them.

you don’t have to be glad to see your old friend unhappiness.

but if you’re upset, be upset.

if you need to cry, cry.

maybe if you allow them to be there
your tears will dissolve.

remember, your tears won’t dissolve into happiness.

don’t fall into that trap—
doing your spiritual work and still waiting for perfect happiness.

my hope for you is that you come to a place where you’re unhappy—
and THAT’S OKAY.

you haven’t done anything wrong
unless being human is wrong.

do not mistake peace for happiness.

peace is not a utopian state of ecstasy, pleasure or even comfort.

peace “goes beyond understanding.”

i can tell you this much—you know it when you feel it.

your heart settles
and your body is lighter.

gravity is less of a burden.

and even if things aren’t good, they’re still alright.

no matter what, my hope for you
is that you find a place inside yourself
BEYOND yourself
where you can finally rest.