Saturday, November 27, 2021


            When I lived for a few years beside a slow-moving river, I sometimes stirred up the water in the shallows just to see it slowly settle back to its usual clearness, and occasionally, when my life seems blurred and unsettled, I still think of how, given time, that river always returned to its accustomed stillness. I guess I need to give my so-called problems, too, time to smooth down and settle. I sometimes need to do nothing but sit on the ‘bank’ of seemingly bad situations and let them loosen and slowly resolve themselves. All too often I stir up the problems more than ever by making anxious attempts to fix things, when sitting in stillness might be a better way. Storms always, in due course, lessen and sail off in front of the sunshine, and my difficulties might do the same if not whipped up more by my fretfulness. Perhaps I should see a problem as simply a short-lived fuss and splash in the nonstop river of life, and look with confidence to see things settle and sparkle once again.  

(November 27, 2021)

One day 
a man said to his desk 
that he would stay still 
as long as light was with him,
and he said to the light 
that he knew it would linger 
around him all day 
because even clouds can't keep light 
from looking for ways 
to work miracles for people
and lakes and squirrels, 
and he said to two squirrels 
searching in the grass 
that he would stay still 
as long as they through themselves 
into life so thoroughly
 and the squirrels smiled 
(he knows their smiles)
because they always live life utterly
and the man said to stillness
that it was absolutely stunning.

Here’s Delycia as we walked three (exhausting for me) miles on very windy and frigid Napatree beach this morning …


Friday, November 26, 2021


            Sometimes it becomes clear to me that I don’t create anything, and never have. For most of my life, I believed the opposite – that I am an excellent creator, a generator of countless thoughts, feelings, plans, and projects. I saw myself as a separate ‘machine’, you might say, an individual ‘force’ capable of producing products to be proud of. Now, though, on my 80th birthday, I realize, as I have for many years, how silly those beliefs were. To think that I create my own thoughts is as foolish as believing the sunlight on the house next door is created by the house. Somehow, in some mysterious, fanciful way, thoughts appear in my life as beautifully as breezes appear among the branches of a tree. Somehow, by a shadowy magic, goals have been accomplished in my life, results have happened, projects have been completed – but thinking that I was the maker of all of them is as silly as thinking waves in an ocean make themselves move. Waves move because the vast ocean moves, and goals in my life have been reached because a power far greater than little ‘I’ made it happen. 

            Today, as I turn 80, I am grateful to know that I am part of this immense power, sometimes called the Universe, or God, but I prefer to call it Love, or Peace, or Gentleness, or Patience. I plan to relax today and let this almighty power push me along in its immense and restful way. 


When he turned 27,
Robbie Doer decided
that he was not a doer
but a receiver,
and therefore he found himself,
one gift-giving day, 
at the Social Security office 
asking for his name to be changed
to Robbie Receiver. 
He told the clerk 
that he now knew 
he didn’t create
thoughts to think and words to speak, 
but simply received them, 
and that he was the beneficiary,
every single moment, 
of amazing miracles,
like his mouth making 
the words he was saying to her,
and the specks of dust on her counter
staying exactly where they should be. 
He said he knew now 
that he was awarded a fresh breath 
every moment, 
and that he won wonderful prizes
called new moments 
all day long,
so, he said, since he was a receiver,
not a doer,
could he please 
have the name Robbie Receiver from now on, 

and the clerk 
called for help 
from her supervisor.

Here’s a candid shot of my very best friend, reading in our sunroom yesterday …

and here’s a very special message I saw in our dining room window early this morning …


Thursday, November 25, 2021


            I would like to be careless today. 

            I know the word ‘careless’ carries mostly negative meanings, suggesting recklessness and negligence, but I’m thinking of it as simply meaning less care – fewer worries and fears and regrets.  The kind of carelessness I’m speaking of is the kind I imagine winds having as they blithely blow among trees in a forest, or rivers as they casually sweep over stones and around boulders and among downed trees. This is the kind of carelessness that could carry me along as easily as clouds are carried across the sky, or as hours unceremoniously pass by from dawn to dark. Maybe today I could say “I don’t care” more often, as in “I don’t care if I’m always happy today”, or “I don’t care if I get what I want”.  Maybe my kind of carelessness simply means stepping aside and caring less about what happens and more about simply observing, understanding, and appreciating what happens. Maybe the carelessness I’m speaking of is about simply accepting life rather than scuffling with it.  

            I want to work hard today and be watchful and sympathetic, but I would also like to be with life in a care-less and lighthearted way, just letting it flow – and learning all I can from the flow.  

And here’s a poem from a few years back on a similar theme …


One day, everything seemed large,
like large-scale love,
like a sizable breakout from ordinariness -- 
a substantial present
presented, it seemed, just to him. 
There were considerable blessings everywhere, 
and ample profits full of pleasure, 
and expansive ideas spreading everywhere, 
and fluidly and gracefully flowing 
for him.

Some lovely dried leaves seen on our walk this morning …

And our newly reorganized sunroom …


Wednesday, November 24, 2021


            The word ‘obvious’ derives from the Latin word ‘obviam’, which means, literally, ‘in the way’, and it reminds me, at 5:42 this morning, that so many good things are ‘obvious’ – right in the way, or on the path, as I travel in the directions that life sends me. It’s obvious, for instance, that the only moment that ever exists is this moment right here and now, the eternal Present. I often get distracted by thoughts about the future or past, but it’s always plain to see, if I look, that all those thoughts take place only in the Present. It’s also crystal clear, moment by moment, that all of reality takes place in thoughts. I can never escape from the vast universe of thought, of Mind. Material ‘things’ may seem to be present and powerful, but it’s fascinating to me how self-evident it is that all of these supposedly separate ‘things’ actually reside only in my thoughts, or consciousness. It’s scientifically observable – obvious – that now is the only reality, and that it’s entirely mental – or spiritual – which means it’s beyond measurement, having no boundaries and therefore no separations. 

            Which means, to me, that it’s obvious that I live in paradise. Sure, my sometimes reckless thoughts can paint a picture of disarray and disaster, but I can usually find my ‘way’ back to the eternal Present, where troubles and worries are present, for sure, but easily turn into opportunities and wisdom, and indisputable limitless peace is plain to see all around me. 


Just do a little jump, 
and you’ll see things to rejoice over. 
Just realize how steady starlight has been
for billions of years, 
how clever and able your whole body is, 
and then the thorough loveliness 
of even fallen flower petals 
will be obvious.
Just voluntarily let rain 
roll down your affable face, 
and you’ll find the affluence 
of full satisfaction.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021


            To me, there is nothing more enjoyable in life than consenting. The vast, miraculous river of Life is constantly carrying me along in its majestic route, and I have the great pleasure, each moment, of acceding to its wishes, whatever they might be. This morning, I awoke from a night of tossing and turning, and it would be easy to be angry about that – to tell the river of Life that it should have flowed more smoothly – but it’s much more gratifying to actually be grateful that I am part of an infinite river that knows precisely where it should go, and can carry me along in a smooth, powerful, and always charming way – if I’m wise enough to yield to the charm. Indeed, an up-and-down night could actually be a pleasant and refreshing way to rest, if I could open my heart and simply go along with its special kind of flow. It might bring me unusual rewards I’d never noticed before, the way a kayaker can spend hours flowing around rocky, tumultuous bends and come suddenly upon a vast sunrise scene of utter peacefulness.  I guess I need to give happy permission to my occasional nights of wobbly sleep, for there are surely gifts hidden inside those trembly, unbalanced, river-like hours.  


This might be a day 
to let life live through you, 
thanking it and caring for it 
as it flows in its fulfilling way 
from distant stars 
through you 
to other distant stars.
Each moment today, 
you could, with pleasure, 
 permit the power of life 
to unfold through you, 
simply by saying a silent Yes.
You could quietly consent to
whatever life wants to do, 
since life knows no limits 
and will do it anyway, 
so why not cheerfully wonder 
what will happen 
and then happily let it?

And here are a few scenes from our walk this morning in the Coogan nature preserve …


Monday, November 22, 2021


            I love the fact that I am susceptible – that, even if I sometimes am not aware of it, I can’t help but be wide-open to a million different creative influences. I’m like a sponge that soaks up anything and everything – a friendly lake that welcomes whatever falls into it. I am happily defenseless against a zillion affirmative influences from the vast universe – am easily led by forces like love and kindness and patience. Of course, I also seem to be susceptible to negative forces, but that only ‘seems’ to be. When I open my eyes and my heart, I clearly see, again, that nothing but goodness is waiting, like a smoothly rolling river, to endlessly flow into me from every direction. I am easily ‘taken in’ by confidence and freedom and wisdom, and am so susceptible to peacefulness that I’ve long since given up the struggle against it. Against such powers I am defenseless, and gratefully so!


Something was suddenly coming, 
and she knew something is always 
suddenly coming, something special 
and pristine, something that wants 
to soothe. She was sitting outside 
with the floating leaves of fall, 
and slowly but suddenly something came 
into sight, but it wasn’t a thing she could 
carry and keep, just an awareness 
that stretched out like sunshine, and 
suddenly, peacefully, another something 
became visible to her, just simple 
wakefulness, and she herself, this separate, 
susceptible person, had disappeared, 
and only the gift of this sudden, 
stress-free, continuous light was left. 


Sunday, November 21, 2021


            Today, there will be treasure everywhere – in every single moment, in every single place, in every single event. I won’t need to hope for some misty, far-off, future treasure, because infinite riches will be constantly available to me right here, right now, today. The most wonderful fact about this is the treasures won’t be limited, because they won’t be made of material ‘stuff’ that has limited forms and specific boundaries. The treasures of this Sunday, November 21, 2021, will be entirely mental, or spiritual, and therefore without material shapes and frameworks that can be damaged and destroyed. Each moment will be an infinite gift full of infinite wealth. This moment-by-moment wealth might come in the form of a peace that has no boundaries, and therefore can never be enclosed or limited in any way, or a boundless gentleness that nothing can restrict or place a limit on, or a bottomless patience that can easily accept and hold whatever happens to fall into it, even be it turmoil or tragedy. I won’t have to be a treasure-seeker today, because true treasure will be with me in every present moment. Every breath, every thought, every feeling will flow like limitless wealth. I just hope I can see and recognize and cherish the riches that will always encircle me on this endlessly prosperous day. 

about Andy H., 70, Blessings, CT, USA

He takes treasures with him
wherever he goes.
He gives big gifts of kindness 
to the clerks at the grocery store,
and endless patience to the gas pumps 
as he waits with prosperous wisdom 
for his car to be filled.  
He brings abundance 
to the roads he drives on, 
spreading affluence out the window
to drivers and valleys and homes. 
He's always ready
with reserves of acceptance,
so so-called problems are easily softened
and disappointments soon disappear 
inside the opulence of submission. 
He always feels well-off, 
as if he owns all the peace in the universe, 
which, in fact, he does. 

And here are scenes from our fabulous sunrise walk this morning along the Mystic River …


Friday, November 19, 2021


            I have always seen limits everywhere. Life, for most of my years, has been chock full of borders and boundaries. There was a start to everything, and a finish, a beginning and an ending. Life, and everything in it, seemed to be easily measurable. 

            In the last 30+ years, however, I’ve sometimes seen a new kind of reality, one with no limits whatsoever. I’ve occasionally been able to see that all of our measurements, though definitely useful for daily living, are actually artificial limitations that pretend to measure a universe that is entirely immeasurable. I supposedly ‘began’ in 1941, but physicists say that all the atoms in my body actually began billions of years ago when the universe began, and will never come to an end, but will simply continue sweeping through the endless universe. So I have no measurable beginning or end – no boundaries. I seem to be separate from other things and people, but actually, when I think about it, it’s obvious that whatever I am seeing or hearing is actually a part of me – inside me in my sight or hearing – and I, then, am a part of it.  And time itself is measureless. Where does ‘now’ actually start, and end? Isn’t every moment actually the present moment? How can we can accurately measure the distances between the past, present, and future, if the only moment that actually exists is the one that is here, right now? 

            Fortunately, I’m realizing, again this morning, that I am part of a single, boundless, indivisible entity called the universe. It – including me – all flows together as one limitless miracle. Doesn’t that suggest that I should live, yes, by working and organizing and solving, but also by relaxing and letting go and loving the miracle?

(about Braelynn J., 51, Blessings, CT, USA)

She shoots for the sky every day, 
daring to send thoughts 
soaring as high as happiness. 
Her whole life 
seems like a boundless sky to her, 
and so she sails rather than works, 
ascends rather than toils.  
People tell her she always 
seems to be smiling, 
 and she knows that's because 
she's a sky herself, 
and can a sky 
be down and discouraged? 

And here are some scenes from our morning walk in Elm Grove Cemetery on the Mystic River …


Thursday, November 18, 2021


            Over the course of my 79 years, I have experienced many personal ‘storms’, some of them just yesterday, and early this morning, as I was lying in bed, I realized, again, that all of these storms in my personal life are caused solely by thoughts.  Every fear, every worry, every dread and trepidation, every personal uproar of any kind, exists only in thoughts. All of the furors in my life are not ‘out there’ in some tragic, factual, measurable situation, but always live and have power only in thoughts. And the amazing truth is that they are not my thoughts, any more than the winds that blow around houses are the houses’ own private winds. The thoughts that throw commotion through my life sweep easily through me from nowhere and everywhere, and the truth is that they would as easily disappear if I simply saw them for what they are – hollow and harmless thoughts. If I could spread open the curtains of my awareness, I would suddenly see, again, the endless ‘sunshine’ and serenity of all of life. There would still, certainly, be problems to solve and situations to cope with, but I would be able to manage them with the calmness that comes from peaceful awareness. The so-called storms would be seen as simply passing mental winds that come, for sure, but then quietly go. I might even be able to smile as these thought-filled storms shake and flourish and then pass by. 

(about Bill M., 87, Blessings, CT, USA)

He trusts it, 
the present moment,
a force he feels 
will always stand beside him. 
The whole sky 
could sit inside 
the present moment,
and mighty storms 
of softness are stirring
inside each one. 
He walks in confidence,
for a friend
is always with him. 

And here are some scenes from our wonderful sunrise walk this morning along the Mystic River …


Wednesday, November 10, 2021


            As I begin writing, at 4:38 a.m., it is wonderful to know that each and every moment today will be utterly clean. I like to help Delycia keep our small home as clean as possible, but the good news is that I don’t have to do any work to keep the moments of this day clean. Each new moment will arrive absolutely scrubbed and spotless. If I imagine our living room as perfectly pristine, freshly painted and dusted and vacuumed, that’s what today will be like – a brand-new, beautiful, and boundless ‘living room’  presented in all its perfection, again and again and again. The hours will all be fresh and polished, as unblemished as a sunrise, even though I may sometimes (often?) be utterly unaware of their loveliness. It will be like living in an immaculate kingdom, moment after moment – a vast empire of  refreshing newness. I won’t have to be constantly dusting and polishing life today, for it will always be pure and untainted, a spotless present given by the universe to the universe, including me. 


That’s easy. 
Trees sweep their own air 
with leaves,
winds can wipe yesterday away, 
and one song of a bird
will brighten a whole hour. 
And thoughts –
good ones –
can turn the town 
upside down 
with optimism,
can polish an afternoon
before your eyes.  

Our chalkboard poem for yesterday …