Sunday, April 29, 2018

Thursday, April 26, 2018

an empty vessel

an empty vessel
boundless space
a blanket of stars
deep self within 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Time is not real

"Time is not real - only Love is real". 
At first this seems crazy to say, 
but if we look deeply into it
the truth is apparent.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Philosophy in My Life

In my last year at the University of California at Irvine, I switched majors from biology to philosophy. Friends asked me, "What good is philosophy?" What they really meant was, "Can you make any money at it?"

I knew people with lots of money, but little meaning in their lives. They seemed to be lost in games and pastimes. They worked without questioning the purpose or value of their work. I was interested in meaning, not money, but the people around me didn't share my feeling. Most of them believed that only money was real.

In my search for meaning, I first turned to the study of logic, mathematics, and science. In my teenage years I encountered logical positivism. Logical positivism was an early 20th Century school of philosophy that claimed all the grand questions of traditional philosophy were meaningless. Questions like "What is the meaning of life?" or "Is there a God?" were meaningless, logical positivists asserted, because the answers cannot be verified. But questions like "Does the moon have an opposite side?" are meaningful because we can construct tests to prove or disprove any answer. We can build a rocket to the moon. But how can we verify the meaning of life, or the existence of God? The logical positivists saw no true/false test for these matters.

Of course, just because we can't prove or disprove God's existence doesn't mean He doesn't exist! Logical positivism lost its hold on me while I was a graduate student at San Francisco State University in 1970. I was moving toward 'meaningless' questions like: Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the purpose of life? Why is there evil in the world? Then I discovered Buddhism and other ancient spiritual traditions that addressed such questions. I was beginning to find real philosophy.

Philosophy is not a word game. It is, as Plato explained, the "love of wisdom". Few students get to study real philosophy at college. Philosophizing is an extraordinary act. It requires re-thinking issues at the most fundamental level -- right down to questions of being. One winds up asking simple-sounding, childlike questions like "What is real?"

The world is adrift, without meaning. That is why so many become victims of political ideologies and extreme religious viewpoints that offer a sense of meaning at the expense of compassion, truth, and justice.

All the really amazing jobs I've held came from my grounding in philosophy. I became a computer programmer because my boss assumed that philosophy made one logical. I got promotions to higher levels of responsibility because I saw the "big picture" in the organizations I worked for. One day I found myself the acting CEO of several small technology companies in trouble. Why? Because my philosophical perspective gave me a high tolerance for ambiguity, which allowed me to go into unknown and almost unknowable situations again and again. So yes -- philosophy can help you make money. But meaning, understanding, and wisdom are the real payoffs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Rituals allow
life to feel 
safe in an

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Sooner or later
meditation gives way
to presencing*


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

Every day, every hour

Every day, every hour,
the unexpected shows up
regardless of how well
planned our day.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

How long will we live?

How long will we live?
How well will we be?
Telling stories,
that never happen.

Live with uncertainty.
That's reality. 

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Poetry is ...

Poetry is
Mind medicine

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Settling Down

Settling down is the great work of giving life meaning. It's also the great work of getting up in the morning and clearing the mind for the day's work. In my case it is writing these notes and publishing a blog entry. Humble but meaningful to my soul. I live in the way that I must - so as to be real to the self. What else can I do?