The Way of Dragon Veins:

A Prayer From Where the Heart Begins


There is a breathing that is more than our own, a palpable stream of cosmic vitality that moves, enlivens, connects and transforms along numinous pathways between heaven and earth. Ancient Taoists knew these currents as dragon veins, along which the breath of life—qi—ushers emptiness and form back and forth to one another; moving between realms like an unborn, undying prayer from the heart of existence ceaselessly offering its spirit to the full potential of embodied life.

As spring winds steadily fan the flaming spirit of summer’s becoming, warmth and light is offered to the hidden or not-yet-formed things so that they may continue their full emergence and live in the world of form and time. There is no such thing as holding back to plants, creature beings, planets, stars. Life is made to bear fruit, and in so doing, dies wholly to itself over and again in a participatory dance of inter-being.

In the midst of the bursting exuberance of spring, it is easy to forget that growth is also contingent on inward acts like letting go. Growth is mostly not smooth and happens in stages, each one requiring courage, faith, trust and death. Birth requires much dying. Immense suffering is often the result of not knowing how and when to die, and that it is simply okay to let go. Continue reading “The Way of Dragon Veins: A Prayer From Where the Heart Begins”

Ancient Chinese painting.



Drumming On Bamboo To Call A Phoenix


In meditation this morning it feels as though I’m riding a wild dragon. As my mind whirls in chaos, I return to breath and open my gaze through the inner eye. A moment of silence fades as thoughts reassert themselves. I return to breath and gaze with my inner eye. Back and forth it goes until my attention is called to the steady pitter patter of rain upon the rooftop. Its sound trickles gently through my being. A bird’s song sparks an inner lightness and perceptions clear and brighten. Thunder rumbles in the distance becoming louder and closer, attuning me to center.

Inner and outer continue to intermingle in deep conversation until they become one and the same. Timelessness infuses the time-bound, flowering into a pregnant pause. There is a softening, and then Emptiness.

A kaleidoscope of light, color and moving shapes envelope me. It is fluid in the way that water is, melting the remaining tightness in my body. A face emerges from this watery substrate and I recognize the small, young seal who traveled with me when I walked the beach yesterday. In moments of stopping and gazing at one another we entered a space of inter-being. A profound love arose and overflowed from my heart. Continue reading “Drumming On Bamboo To Call A Phoenix”

The path of longing.



Holy Longing:

Becoming A Compassionate Ancestor


There is a longing that echos from the infinite depths of our innermost being, from Gaia, from existence itself. Although we may not know what we long for, we are continuously moved by its presence. It inspires us to question, seek, explore, create. Although longing feels personal, it is also transpersonal. It is like an endless koan deconstructing the false to reveal the essence of the true. It is like a spirit guiding us from beyond.

Longing often brings with it a sense of aloneness or separation where there exists a seemingly endless sea between what is and what wants to be. Rilke observes in his poem below that in our humility, the presence of the sacred reveals itself to us. In the presence of the ‘wise ones’ and in our aloneness we become available to receive the blessing of something larger than ourselves. In the empty chamber of the heart within the heart, the longing within the longing guides us in the way that a clear stream flows home to the wide open sea.

Longing lives and moves in emptiness.

Emptiness flows though form and formlessness alike, pulsing with life in the space between molecules, atoms, breaths, heartbeats, planets, galaxies, self, and other revealing that nothing is solid or what it appears to be, and all forms are in a dance of relationship and inter-being. Empty space is a living tissue, an invisible potency that enlivens and connects all things. When we come to inhabit and abide in this emptiness of which we are made, we touch the wholeness that unites all things. The ten thousand things return to source. Continue reading “Holy Longing: Becoming A Compassionate Ancestor”

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