Saturday, December 7, 2019

Tara Brach: Gratitude-Entering Sacred Relationship


“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing--that when we look for what's best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we're participating in something sacred.” -Fred Rogers

OMM: Ram Dass


Being Free Together

"Don't prolong the past
Don't invite the future 
Don't alter your innate wakefulness

Don't fear appearances
There's nothing more than that."



Thursday, December 5, 2019

#miyukguk x #aljigae x #nurungjitang



Homestyle mashups like this 
#miyukguk x #aljigae x #nurungjitang 
are the reason why cooking #Koreancomfortfood at home 
can produce the most fulfilling flavor combinations ever. 
This is the kind of soup where leftovers are elevated to greatness. 


Admonitions to a Special Person

Watch out for power, 
for its avalanche can bury you, 
snow, snow, snow, smothering your mountain.

Watch out for hate, 
it can open its mouth and you'll fling yourself out

to eat off your leg, an instant leper.

Watch out for friends,
because when you betray them,
as you will,
they will bury their heads in the toilet
and flush themselves away.

Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.

Watch out for games, the actor's part,
the speech planned, known, given,
for they will give you away
and you will stand like a naked little boy,
pissing on your own child-bed.

Watch out for love
(unless it is true,
and every part of you says yes including the toes) ,
it will wrap you up like a mummy,
and your scream won't be heard
and none of your running will end.

Love? Be it man. Be it woman.
It must be a wave you want to glide in on,
give your body to it, give your laugh to it,
give, when the gravelly sand takes you,
your tears to the land. To love another is something
like prayer and can't be planned, you just fall
into its arms because your belief undoes your disbelief.

Special person,
if I were you I'd pay no attention
to admonitions from me,
made somewhat out of your words
and somewhat out of mine.
A collaboration.
I do not believe a word I have said,
except some, except I think of you like a young tree
with pasted-on leaves and know you'll root
and the real green thing will come.

Let go. Let go.
Oh special person,
possible leaves,
this typewriter likes you on the way to them,
but wants to break crystal glasses
in celebration,
for you,
when the dark crust is thrown off
and you float all around
like a happened balloon.

Anne Sexton

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Transfigurations by Arthur Sze

Though neither you nor I saw flowering pistachio trees
in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, though neither
you nor I saw the Tigris River stained with ink,
though we never heard a pistachio shell dehisce,
we have taken turns holding a panda as it munched
on bamboo leaves, and I know that rustle now.
I have awakened beside you and inhaled August
sunlight in your hair. I’ve listened to the scroll
and unscroll of your breath—dolphins arc along
the surface between white-capped waves; here,
years after we sifted yarrow and read from the Book
of Changes, I mark the dissolving hues in the west
as the sky brightens above overhanging willows.
The panda fidgets as it pushes a stalk farther
into its mouth. We step into a clearing with budding
chanterelles; and, though this space shrinks and
is obscured in the traffic of a day, here is the anchor
I drop into the depths of teal water. I gaze deeply
at the panda’s black patches around its eyes;
how did it evolve from carnivore to eater of bamboo?
So many transfigurations I will never fathom.
The arc of our lives is a brightening then dimming,
brightening then dimming—a woman catches
fireflies in an orchard with the swish of a net.
I pick an openmouthed pistachio from a bowl
and crack it apart: a hint of Assyria spills
into the alluvial fan of sunlight. I read spring in
autumn in the scroll of your breath; though
neither you nor I saw the completion of the Great Wall,
I wake to the unrepeatable contour of this breath.





Monday, December 2, 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019


#orangebasilturkey #crunchyeggs #japanesepotatosalada #vegetablemelange #thebestprimeribiveevermade #balsamicbutteredcriminis #brusselsandbacon #roastedsweetpotatoes #shrimpcocktail

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Darling Coffee by Meena Alexander

The periodic pleasure
of small happenings
is upon us—
behind the stalls
at the farmer’s market
snow glinting in heaps,
a cardinal its chest
puffed out, bloodshod
above the piles of awnings,
passion’s proclivities;
you picking up a sweet potato
turning to me  ‘This too?’—
query of tenderness
under the blown red wing.
Remember the brazen world?
Let’s find a room
with a window onto elms
strung with sunlight,
a cafe with polished cups,
darling coffee they call it,
may our bed be stoked
with fresh cut rosemary
and glinting thyme,
all herbs in due season
tucked under wild sheets:
fit for the conjugation of joy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Bellicon 44” Rebounder


I ❤️ the Bellicon rebounder. 
❤️ I am buying one for everyone I love. ❤️

Theragun OMM


Monday, November 25, 2019

An Old Story by Tracy K. Smith

We were made to understand it would be
Terrible. Every small want, every niggling urge,
Every hate swollen to a kind of epic wind.
Livid, the land, and ravaged, like a rageful
Dream. The worst in us having taken over
And broken the rest utterly down.
                                                               A long age
Passed. When at last we knew how little
Would survive us—how little we had mended
Or built that was not now lost—something
Large and old awoke. And then our singing
Brought on a different manner of weather.
Then animals long believed gone crept down
From trees. We took new stock of one another.
We wept to be reminded of such color.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Selected Recent and New Errors by Dean Young

My books are full of mistakes 
but not the ones Tony’s always pointing out 
as if correct spelling is what could stop the conveyor belt 
the new kid caught his arm in. 
Three weeks on the job and he’s already six hundred 
legal pages, lawyers haggling in an office 
with an ignored view of the river 
pretending to be asleep, pretending 
to have insight into its muddy self. 
You think that’s a fucked-up, drawn-out metaphor, 
try this: if you feel you’re writhing like a worm 
in a bottle of tequila, you don’t know 
it’s the quickness of its death that reveals 
the quality of the product, its proof. 
I don’t know what I’m talking about either. 
Do you think the dictionary ever says to itself 
I’ve got these words that mean completely 
different things inside myself 
and it’s tearing me apart? 
My errors are even bigger than that. 
You start taking down the walls of your house, 
sooner or later it’ll collapse 
but not before you can walk around 
with your eyes closed, rolled backwards 
and staring straight into the amygdala’s meatlocker 
and your own damn self hanging there. 
Do that for awhile and it’s easier to delight  
in snow that lasts about twenty minutes 
longer than a life held together 
by the twisted silver baling wire 
of deception and stealth. 
But I ain’t confessing nothing. 
On mornings when I hope you forget my name, 
I walk through the high wet weeds 
that don’t have names either. 
I do not remember the word dew. 
I do not remember what I told you 
with your ear in my teeth. 
Further and further into the weeds. 
We have absolutely no proof 
god isn’t an insect 
rubbing her hind legs together to sing. 
Or boring into us like a yellow jacket 
into a fallen, overripe pear. 
Or an assassin bug squatting over us, 
shoving a proboscis right through 
our breast plate then sipping. 
How wonderful our poisons don’t kill her.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Journey by David Whyte

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again
Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.
Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens
so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.
Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that
first, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.
Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out
someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.
You are not leaving.
Even as the light fades quickly now,
you are arriving.
“To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.” 
-Thich Nhat Hanh 

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Seeing myself in print motivated me back into the gym.




A remnant of the most challenging photoshoot of my life. (April 2019)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

OMM:

“When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you’ll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and evil may differ from theirs. In which case they’re misguided and deserve your compassion. Is that so hard?” 
— Marcus Aurelius
"We're all good people when someone gives us a chance to be."

Friday, November 15, 2019

This Morning I Pray for My Enemies by Joy Harjo

And whom do I call my enemy?
An enemy must be worthy of engagement.
I turn in the direction of the sun and keep walking.
It’s the heart that asks the question, not my furious mind.
The heart is the smaller cousin of the sun.
It sees and knows everything.
It hears the gnashing even as it hears the blessing.
The door to the mind should only open from the heart.
An enemy who gets in, risks the danger of becoming a friend.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

More from Awareness

LISTEN AND UNLEARN 

Some of us get woken up by the harsh realities of life. We suffer so much that we wake up. But people keep bumping again and again into life. They still go on sleepwalking. They never wake up. Tragically, it never occurs to them that there may be another way. It never occurs to them that there may be a better way. Still, if you haven’t been bumped sufficiently by life, and you haven’t suffered enough, then there is another way: to listen. I don’t mean you have to agree with what I’m saying. That wouldn’t be listening. Believe me, it really doesn’t matter whether you agree with what I’m saying or you don’t. Because agreement and disagreement have to do with words and concepts and theories. They don’t have anything to do with truth. Truth is never expressed in words. Truth is sighted suddenly, as a result of a certain attitude. So you could be disagreeing with me and still sight the truth. But there has to be an attitude of openness, of willingness to discover something new. That’s important, not your agreeing with me or disagreeing with me. After all, most of what I’m giving you is really theories. No theory adequately covers reality. So I can speak to you, not of the truth, but of obstacles to the truth. Those I can describe. I cannot describe the truth. No one can. All I can do is give you a description of your falsehoods, so that you can drop them. All I can do for you is challenge your beliefs and the belief system that makes you unhappy. All I can do for you is help you to unlearn. That’s what learning is all about where spirituality is concerned: unlearning, unlearning almost everything you’ve been taught. A willingness to unlearn, to listen. 


  

Excerpts from Awareness by Anthony de Mello

"Do you think you help people because you are in love with them?  Well, I’ve got news for you.  You are never in love with anyone. You’re only in love with your prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person.  Take a minute to think about that:  You are never in love with anyone, you’re in love with your prejudiced idea of that person. Isn’t that how you fall out of love? Your idea changes, doesn’t it? “How could you let me down when I trusted you so much?” you say to someone. Did you really trust them? You never trusted anyone. Come off it! That’s part of society’s brainwashing. You never trust anyone. You only trust your judgment about that person. So what are you complaining about? The fact that you don’t like to say, “My judgment was lousy.” That’s not very flattering to you, is it? So you prefer to say, “How could you have let me down?”

Our Illusions About Others by Anthony de Mello



"So if you stop to think, you would see that there’s nothing to be very proud of after all. What does this do to your relationship with people? What are you complaining about? A young man came to me to complain that his girlfriend had let him down, that she had played false. What are you complaining about? Did you expect any better?  Expect the worst, you’re dealing with selfish people. You’re the idiot- you glorified her, didn’t you? You thought she was a princess, you thought people were nice.  They’re not! They’re not nice. They’re as bad as you are- bad, you understand?  They’re asleep like you. And what do you think they are going to seek? Their own self-interest, exactly like you. No difference. Can you imagine how liberating it is that you’ll never be disillusioned again, never be disappointed again? You’ll never feel let down again. Never feel rejected. Want to wake up? You want happiness?  You want freedom? Here it is: Drop your false ideas. See through people. If you see through yourself, you will see through everyone. Then you will love them. Otherwise you spend the whole time grappling with your wrong notions of them, with your illusions that are constantly crashing against reality. 

It’s probably too startling for many of you to understand. That everyone except the very rare awakened person can be expected to be selfish and to seek his or her self-interest whether in coarse or in refined ways. This leads you to see that there's nothing to be disappointed about, nothing to be disillusioned about. If you had been in touch with reality all along, you would never have been disappointed.  But you chose to paint people in glowing colors, you chose not to see through human beings because you chose not to see through yourself. So you’re paying the price now.”

Monday, November 11, 2019

A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth 
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms 
When we come to it
When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate
And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean
When battlefields and coliseum
No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters
Up with the bruised and bloody grass
To lie in identical plots in foreign soil 
When the rapacious storming of the churches
The screaming racket in the temples have ceased
When the pennants are waving gaily
When the banners of the world tremble
Stoutly in the good, clean breeze 
When we come to it
When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders
And children dress their dolls in flags of truce
When land mines of death have been removed
And the aged can walk into evenings of peace
When religious ritual is not perfumed
By the incense of burning flesh
And childhood dreams are not kicked awake
By nightmares of abuse 
When we come to it
Then we will confess that not the Pyramids
With their stones set in mysterious perfection
Nor the Gardens of Babylon
Hanging as eternal beauty
In our collective memory
Not the Grand Canyon
Kindled into delicious color
By Western sunsets 
Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe
Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji
Stretching to the Rising Sun
Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,
Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores
These are not the only wonders of the world 
When we come to it
We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe
Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade and the dagger
Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace
We, this people on this mote of matter
In whose mouths abide cankerous words
Which challenge our very existence
Yet out of those same mouths
Come songs of such exquisite sweetness
That the heart falters in its labor
And the body is quieted into awe 
We, this people, on this small and drifting planet
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines 
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear 
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

Tim Ferriss & Edward Norton Interview on Creative Process, Creative Struggle, and Motherless Brooklyn


“Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life, in understanding and in creating. There is no measuring in time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without fear that after them may come no summer.”

― Rainer M. Rilke

Monday, November 4, 2019

In Blackwater Woods by Mary Oliver

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars
of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,
the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders
of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is
nameless now.
Every year
everything
I have ever learned
in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side
is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
  

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Fleabag

"Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. It makes you selfish. It makes you creepy, makes you obsessed with your hair, makes you cruel, makes you say and do things you never thought you would do. It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. 

I was taught if we’re born with love then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot, feeling right, when it feels right it’s easy. But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is, when you find somebody that you love, it feels like hope."


Saturday, October 19, 2019

"Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos." 

Paul Goodman


 

Friday, October 4, 2019

You know what it feels like to hold
a burning piece of paper, maybe even
trying to read it as the flames get close
to your fingers until all you’re holding
is a curl of ash by its white ear tip
yet the words still hover in the air?

That’s how I feel now.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Heavy by Mary Oliver

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying
I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry
but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Boomerang Valentine by Andrea Gibson

 


I’m sitting on my friends’ couch several months into being intentionally single and celibate for the first time since I was 20 years old
20 years old: when I believed sex had to involve a dude and the word “screw”
I’m telling my friend about the psychic who said I’m going to meet the love of my life by the end of January
It’s January 10th and I’m so far from ready for Cupid, that naked little sh*t, to fire anything sharp my way

So far from ready to be that kind of insane only love makes me
My friend musters every bit of new age jargon she can fit unto her tongue
and says, “What if you are the love of your life?”
I think, “Oh my god, I hope that’s not true, because I am absolutely not my type”

But, let’s say for a moment, I am
Let’s say I am my dream girlish boy.
And I am standing on my front step
Ringing my own doorbell
Waiting for me to answer, so I can hand myself a mason jar full of water lilies I have rescued from a millionaire’s Monet
Let’s say, I am so charmed by the radiance of my own anarchy I invite myself in for tea


And when I’m not looking, I sneak the steam from the kettle into my pocket, so that the next time I am missing the coast of Maine, I can gift myself the fog

Let’s say I’m not just running my mouth around an old cliché that says we gotta love ourselves; we don’t
I know that I can keep getting down on myself ‘til I’m tucked into the grave


Looking up at my name, carved in stone, wondering why I never knew I’d been cast the lead in my own life

When it comes to love, the only thing I’m certain of is you are the best thing that has ever happened to you.
Whoever you are-
You’re a quitter? Great, there is plenty worth quitting
A sore loser? Who isn’t?
You got no discipline? Maybe discipline is for body builders and closeted gay monks
Picture a magician so attached to being perfect that he cuts off his own legs just to pull off the trick

Picture the 738 selfies I deleted before I took one that I was willing to show to the world
Picture me wishing I could have all of those back
My so called “flaws” in stacks, like baseball cards I know will be worth something someday
Like, compassion
Like, tenderness
Like, my capacity to think myself a catch just because I have never seen a chandelier I didn’t want to swing from
because I would maybe go to space just to know if railroad tracks look like zippers from the moon



On days I have hard time keeping warm in my own weather- I imagine what the first flower said to the first human, trying to name half its flower petals “love me not’s”

No
that is not how anything grows
Of all the violence I have known in my life, I have not known violence like the way I have spoken to myself

And I have seen almost everyone around me hold that same belt to their own backs
An ambush of every way we have decided we are not enough
Then, looking for someone outside of themselves to come clean that treason up
If I were to ask myself out of that cycle, I might say, Listen,
I am still going through my growth spurt.
I am still yet to get my worst tattoo
I am still clearing the smoke from burning the toast I wrote for my own wedding day
I am still trying to get rid of my mirror face
Look myself dead in the eye

I know Facebook is a lousy mortician,
desperately trying to make us all look more alive
I know there are things I haven’t survived
I know there are people in this world who have had to work really hard to survive
Me, I don’t ever want to take that lightly.
But, I want the heavy to anchor me brave
to anchor me loving
to anchor me in something that will absolutely hold me to my word
When I tell Cupid I intend to keep walking out to the tip of his arrow
To bend it back towards myself
To aim for my goodness; 'til the muscle in my chest tears from the stretch of becoming
When I came here to be a lover of whatever got covered up by the airbrush
The truth of me: that beauty of a beast

Chewing through the leash
'Til I get a mason jar full of water lilies
I got a kettle full of sea
And my whole life, y'all, my whole life is just a boomerang valentine; coming right back at me

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

You Were You Are Elegy by Mary Jo Bang

Fragile like a child is fragile. 
Destined not to be forever. 
Destined to become other 
To mother. Here I am 
Sitting on a chair, thinking 
About you. Thinking 
About how it was 
To talk to you. 
How sometimes it was wonderful 
And sometimes it was awful. 
How drugs when drugs were 
Undid the good almost entirely 
But not entirely 
Because good could always be seen 
Glimmering like lame glimmers 
In the window of a shop 
Called Beautiful 
Things Never Last Forever. 
I loved you. I love you. You were. 
And you are. Life is experience. 
It's all so simple. Experience is 
The chair we sit on. 
The sitting. The thinking 
Of you where you are a blank 
To be filled 
In by missing. I loved you. 
I love you like I love 
All beautiful things. 
True beauty is truly seldom. 
You were. You are 
In May. May now is looking onto 
The June that is coming up. 
This is how I measure 
The year. Everything Was My Fault 
Has been the theme of the song 
I've been singing, 
Even when you've told me to quiet. 
I haven't been quiet. 
I've been crying. I think you 
Have forgiven me. You keep 
Putting your hand on my shoulder 
When I'm crying. 
Thank you for that. And 
For the ineffable sense 
Of continuance. You were. You are 
The brightest thing in the shop window 
And the most beautiful seldom I ever saw.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

I Give In To An Old Desire

I lost so much
of the world’s beauty, as if I were watching

every shining gift
on its branch with one eye. Because

I was hungry. Because I was waiting

to eat, a self

crawling about the
world in search

of small things. I remember a small thing, my mother’s hat,

a tea
hat or cocktail

hat that sat on top of her
perfect face—petals, perhaps

peonies, flaming out, like
the pink feathers of some exotic

bird. Her mother
had been a cook in the South. She grew up

in the home of
wealthy white people. Hesitant

toward her own
beauty, unable

to protect mine, there were things
she never talked about. She said silence

was a balm. It sat
on top of her head, something of exaltation

and wonder exploding
from the inside like

a woman in orgasm. One artificial flower

I have desired
to write about for years.

Toi Derricotte