where miracles descend

October 24, 2016

Pay more attention
to the Ordinary.
It is the alter
where miracles descend
like Spirit into bread –
this breath,
or a deer trail
leading back to itself
in the little woods,
three unharvested tomatoes
glowing hollow
as lanterns,
or a spider flinging its
silken path homeward
from your old garden buddha
to a withered rose,
the last evening light
fondling small things
like the hand of the dying,
not with regret
but inextinguishable

~ Fred LaMotte

the time is now

October 21, 2016

Time is a measure of energy, a measure of motion. And we have agreed internationally on the speed of the clock. And I want you to think about clocks and watches for a moment. We are of course slaves to them. And you will notice that your watch is a circle, and that it is calibrated, and that each minute, or second, is marked by a hairline which is made as narrow as possible, as yet to be consistent with being visible.

And when we think of a moment of time, when we think what we mean by the word “now”; we think of the shortest possible instant that is here and gone, because that corresponds with the hairline on the watch. And as a result of this fabulous idea, we are a people who feel that we don’t have any present, because the present is instantly vanishing – it goes so quickly. It is always becoming past.

And we have the sensation, therefore, of our lives as something that is constantly flowing away from us. We are constantly losing time. And so we have a sense of urgency. Time is not to be wasted. Time is money. And so, because of the tyranny of this thing, we feel that we have a past, and we know who we are in terms of our past. Nobody can ever tell you who they are, they can only tell you who they were.

And we think we also have a future. And that is terribly important, because we have a naive hope that the future is somehow going to supply what we are looking for. You see, if you live in a present that is so short that it is not really here at all, you will always feel vaguely frustrated.

~ Alan Watts

the death of anxiety

October 16, 2016

A priest once quoted to me the Roman saying that a religion is dead when the priests laugh at each other across the altar.

I always laugh at the altar, be it Christian, Hindu, or Buddhist, because real religion is the transformation of anxiety into laughter.

~ Alan W. Watts

we are one

October 5, 2016

In describing my talking at the moment, I can’t describe this just as a thing in itself because I’m talking to you. So what I’m doing at the moment is not completely described unless your being here is described also.

So if that is necessary… if in other words in order to describe my behavior I have to describe your behavior and the behavior of the environment; it means that we’ve really got one system of behavior. That what I am involves what you are. I don’t know who I am unless I know who you are and you don’t know who you are unless you know who I am.

In other words, we are not separate.

We define each other, we’re all backs and fronts to each other. We and our environment, and all of us and each other are interdependent systems. We know who we are in terms of other people.

We all love together… and we are, I think, quite urgently in need of coming to feel that we are the eternal universe, each one of us.

~ Alan Watts

The miracle is our delusion.
How the clear sky forgets herself
in a raindrop.
How the ocean gets lost
in a ripple.
How space imagines distances.
How ‘here’ longs for ‘there.’
How the seamless nectar
of our one golden soul
dreams this ‘I’
and feels alone.
O my dear, when wondrous night
with all its stars
enters your body
in a breath of prayer,
do not forget, do not forget
why the great descends
into the small:
so that flesh might sparkle
with thanksgiving.

~ Fred LaMotte

pure awareness

August 27, 2016

After the previous thought dissolves,
before the next one arises,
who are you?
The one who watches thoughts
cannot be a thought.
Now you are the ocean
of pure awareness
from whom worlds, stars, galaxies
bubble up like foam.
You are the silence that was here
before God said, Let there be light.
Repose in the dignity
of your boundlessness.
Those who dwell in the stillness
between thoughts
make peace.

~ Fred LaMotte


June 25, 2016

A guy I know was told by his doctor he had cancer and would die in a year. There he was, working at a job that was OK but not great, living in a place that was nice but not paradise, dating a woman he liked a lot but didn’t love. He was warming up, you know? The way most of us do.

So what did he do? He quit his job, sold everything, packed up, and moved to Key West, where he bought a boat, because he always wanted to sail around the Keys in a little boat in the sunshine, and he did.

After awhile, he went to see a doctor in Key West to see how much time time he had left. The doctor got the guy’s old records and ran new tests and then said the first doctor made a mistake: he’d never had cancer at all.

I think about that guy sometimes, sailing around the world on his little boat in the ocean, living his dream, all because he found out he was mortal.

~ Alison Clement