Tuesday, June 7, 2022

            When I’m driving, I actually look forward to seeing ‘YIELD’ signs on the road, for they afford me a chance to once again surrender, an experience I mostly missed out on in my younger years. I grew up in a culture that equated surrendering with defeat and disgrace, so, like most of the guys I hung out with, I became a ‘tough-guy fighter’, someone who tried to never physically give in or give up. As the years have passed, however, I have slowly seen that ‘surrendering’ sometimes brings triumph instead of defeat, sometimes shows strength instead of weakness. Rivers, in a sense, surrender to boulders and thus easily flow around them, and winds yield to mountains and thereby circle past them with ease. I see now that submitting can sometimes strengthen a person, and giving way can often give the gift of victory. Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi proved this as they and their followers bravely but peacefully flowed around hatred and left it stunned and powerless. I guess I’ve learned, over the years, and from heroes like these and many friends, that treating life like it’s a stony-hearted fist-fight is a woeful way to live. Like Dr. King and Gandhi, I’ve slowly set down my material weapons. I’m now, at least fairly often, peacefully yielding to both the flow of cars on the highway and the flow of daily life. Yes, I’m fighting hatred and greed, which I still see everywhere, but not by beating it back with aversion and animosity, which our culture still seems to teach, but rather by flowing around and through it in strong but peaceful ways. Like millions of others, I’m raising, not our culture’s flag of wrathful rivalry (as I see in today’s political bedlam), but the flag of guileless, persuasive nonviolence, and I’m finding more inner force and joyfulness because of it.

Here are some scenes from our happy life …


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 …