Thirty three thousand Feet
People sleep, watch videos,
play games on screens and sip at wine.
We hurtle West over snow covered mountains.
A chasm opened, or perhaps just revealed itself
with a taxi goodbye kiss
That moment of looking away
one plane change ago
it's always the same.
Here, and then not here!
It's that simple.
Those moments that we actually have,
When we can touch, hear, see,
and smell one another other
are all we really have.
The stakes are high aren't they?
Either we connect and love one another now
or not at all.
KPTV interview with Robert about broadcasting from the tent during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Camas Lillies by Lyn Ungar
Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas
opening into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the natives ground their bulbs
for flour, how the settlers' hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?
And you - what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down -
papers, plans, appointments, everything -
leaving only a note: "Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I'm through with blooming."
Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course
your work will always matter.
Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.
In the forest, by the example of dead leaves,
Come to realize that the body, youth and senses
Change gradually and do not possess any true essence.
By the example of empty lotus ponds,
Come to realize that various objects of desire, wealth and prosperity
Are finally going to change, that there is no true essence in them;
And that what is accumulated will be exhausted.
By the example of the change of days, months and the four seasons,
Come to realize that the blossoming spring flower-like body
Is subject to change as time passes;
Its youth fades away; and the arrival of the lord of death is certain.
By the example of the fall of ripened fruit,
Come to realize that all young, adult or old
Are subject to die; that the time of death is uncertain; and that what is born will die.
By the example of the arising of reflections in ponds,
Come to realize that the various phenomena appear but have no true existence.
They are like illusions, a mirage, and a water moon,
And are certain to be empty of true existence.
(Teachings given by the great Dzogchen Master Longchen-pa, published in The Practice of Dzogchen.)