Unfold Your Own Myth
Who gets up early to discover the moment light begins?
Who finds us here circling, bewildered, like atoms?
Who comes to a spring thirsty and sees the moon reflected in it?
Who, like Jacob blind with grief and age, smells the shirt of his lost son and can see again?
Who lets a bucket down and brings up a flowing prophet?
Or like Moses goes for fire and finds what burns inside the sunrise?
Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies, and opens a door to the other world.
Soloman cuts open a fish, and there's a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet and leaves with blessings.
Chase a deer and end up everywhere!
An oyster opens his mouth to swallow on drop - now there's a pearl.
A vagrant wanders empty ruins; suddenly he is wealthy.
But don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others.
Unfold your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage, we have opened you.
Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy and tired.
Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you've grown, lifting.
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
Let me Walk in Beauty
Oh, Great Spirit,
whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty
and let my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
And my ears grow sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
You have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than brother or sister,
but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me always ready
to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes,
so when my life fades, as the fading sunset,
My Spirit may come to you without shame.
Great Spirit of love, come to me with the power of the North.
Make me courageous when the cold winds of life fall upon me.
Give me strength and endurance for everything
that is harsh, everything that hurts,
everything that makes me squint.
Make me move through life ready to take what comes from the North.
Spirit who comes out of the East,
come to me with the power of the rising sun.
Let there be light in my word.
Let there be light on the path that I walk.
Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day.
Never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over.
Great Spirit of creation,
send me the warm and soothing winds from the South.
Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold.
Enfold me as your gentle breezes enfold your leaves on the trees.
And as you give to all the Earth your warm, moving wind,
Give to me so that I may grow close to you in warmth.
Great life-giving Spirit,
I face the West,
the direction of the Sundown.
Let me remember every day that the moment will come
when my sun will go down.
Never let me forget that I must fade into you.
Give me beautiful color.
Give me a great sky for setting,
and when it is time to meet you,
May I come with glory.
And Giver of all life, I pray to you from the Earth,
help me to remember as I touch the Earth
that I am little and need your pity.
Help me to be thankful for the gift of the Earth
and never to walk hurtfully on the world.
Bless to love what comes from mother Earth
and teach me how to love your gifts.
Great Spirit of the heavens,
lift me up to you
that my heart may worship you
and come to you in glory.
Hold in my memory that you are my Creator,
greater than I,
eager for my good life.
Let everything that is in the world
lift my mind,
and my heart,
and my life to you
so that we may come always to you
with truth in our heart.
Tao de Ching, 78th Passage
The Tao turns the tides
and changes caterpillars into butterflies.
Do you truly believe that it has less magic,
mystery or meaning in store for you?
Pay attention to what within you
is beginning to awaken.
The caterpillar can feel the essence of the butterfly
even before it begins to emerge.
Remember, butterflies are never born on the ground.
This type of total transformation occurs only after
an arduous climb up the trunk of the tree
and a perilous trip out onto the barest branch.
Risk is the cost of attaining anything of real value.
Create your own chrysalis of consciousness;
a protective cocoon in which
you realize yourself more wholly.
Dawning as a radiant light,
awakening others in the same way.
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.