It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
This is from my book of poems in progress, The Tone in the Center of the Bell.
Good morning, Michigan! I’m really excited to be here today in the Big House to celebrate YOU, the class of 2022!
Now, let me be honest: I initially said no to the invitation to be your speaker. I said I had a scheduling conflict, and that I was already planning to be here next weekend for my son Christopher’s graduation. He was part of the class of 2020, the only class in Michigan history to not have a graduation ceremony. Thank you, Covid! But now, finally, his class will have their own moment to shine right here next Saturday!
This is from my book of poems in progress, The Fire Dialogues.
The story of Moses carries an archetype that we all must face and live with. Of all his brethren, Moses was closest to God. Indeed, he climbed Mount Sinai to receive the ten commandments and heard God directly. But due to an accident as a child in which his tongue was burned by a hot coal, he stammered greatly. All his life, he suffered an inability to easily speak what he knew to be true. Though he listened to God directly, he couldn’t convey what he heard to others.
Inevitably, this is everyone’s fate when crossing from the inner world to the outer world. We all have trouble speaking what matters and yet we must try. Often, we are misled to think that falling short in how we convey the truth is a failure, when it is not trying at all that damages us. For even light through a crack is illuminating.
A Question to Walk With: Describe a race you need to stop running. How can you begin to stop?
This is from my book of poems In progress, The Tone in the Center of the Bell.
I spent the weekend with a tribe of 80+ like-minded, conscious souls that I hadn’t seen in two years.
Upon arrival we were all tested for Covid before receiving our color-coded name badges in an effort to keep all of us feeling safe.
After almost two years at home, I was overwhelmed just ordering the Uber to the airport. I needed to reclaim that in-between space while traveling as home. Once Christopher dropped me off, I was back in the stream. But as soon as I got to the counter, I was delayed and would miss my connection. My mind began to spin with logistics. Could I still get to Denver tonight? Would I have to go tomorrow? Should I just rebook now? The delay threw me off.
I was rebooked through Minneapolis. It all worked out, though I didn’t arrive in Denver till after midnight. In texting my wife, Susan, I almost wrote, “Something went wrong.” But I stopped myself, caught by an earlier flight deplaning. Dozens of passengers scurried out of the arrival gate, like bees scattering from a hive, buzzing about, intently focused on the countless choices suddenly before them.
There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he thought really captured peace, and so he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy, white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But, they were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But upon closer inspection, you could see behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. And nestled in the bush sat a mother bird on a nest. There, in the midst of a storm and the rush of angry water, a mother bird had built her nest and sat upon it.. in perfect peace.
This was the picture that won the prize because the King realized that . . .Peace is not the absence of conflict, not the absence of storms, not the absence of rough waters, but calm and serenity right in the midst of it.
I don’t support the notion that some people are awake and others are not. Everyone is capable of great love, kindness, and insight. Everyone has eyelids. Some of us open our eyes and some of us, for various reasons, live with our eyes shut. Likewise, some of us live with an open mind and an open heart and some of us, for various reasons, live with our mind and heart shut.
Given that I almost died from cancer, I have had several attribute my survival to some deep wherewithal within me that crisis awakened. But humbly, I must clarify the resilience that helped save my life was not just some reservoir within me. It did not come from me alone. But through facing what was mine to face, I was given access to much more than me. I think this is the paradox about resilience.
We discover metaphors by surrendering our attention, by staying in honest conversation, and by listening to the quiet movements of life as they appear before us. Let me share a recent example.
I was visiting Pine Manor in Lake Elsinore, CA, where I teach every year. My good friend Gail Warner founded and directs Pine Manor. She is an old, wise soul. I like to come a day early so that Gail and I can re-enter our lifelong conversation about the mystery of being here.
A Question to Walk With: Describe a door that difficulty has opened for you.
This excerpt is from my book of poems in progress, The Gods Visit.
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other:
“Do you believe in life after delivery?
”The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM. Access early to hear Panache's monologue - around 8:30 AM.
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