A recent trip to the Japanese Garden with my family. We walked the paths together and separately. Wandered around looking at flowers, Coy, hummingbirds, trees and spent time being in this calm place. There were a lot of people there, yet it felt spacious enough to sit on a bench and meditate.  It was nourishing.


Dwelling in Peace

We already have sufficient conditions to be happy today. We have to pray in such a way that we can be in touch with the conditions of happiness that are in us and around us. They are all there, available. ~ Thich Nhat Hahn, “The Energy of Prayer”



Glorious Mud

No Mud No Lotus, recognizes that suffering can be transformed to happiness and that if we are able to be present with our suffering, we can be present with our joy. Thich Nhat Hahn speaks of the suffering being the mud and that happiness blooms as a lotus. Without Mud, a Lotus cannot grow.

Recently I heard the Hippopotamus Song by Flanders and Swann. It is sweet and funny. Its about Hippos down by the river in the mud. Starts with 1 hippo who is then joined by a friend and pretty soon a community of hippos join them.


Mud Mud Glorious Mud

Nothing quite like it to

Cool the blood.

Follow me follow

Down to the hollow

And there we shall wallow

In Glorious Mud.

There is more to the song, and I am sharing the link to the version I enjoyed recently and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Flanders & Swann – The Hippopotamus Song (Live) – YouTube

Peace, happiness, joy can all be experienced when we are able to embrace life in the present. It takes courage to stay in the present, especially when fear, anger, and sadness are overwhelmingly strong. It can be liberating to recognize the moments of joy, hope and peace however fleeting, and the more we can be in touch with what brings us true peace and joy we can then share that with others.

In 2017, I hope we can all find ways to share joy and peace with others and when we find ourselves in the mud, may we also see the blooming lotus.




Listening to

Chatter, laughter and music

Leaves moving in the silent breeze

Birds chirping as the sun silently rises

Listening to

What is and could have been

The words and pauses in between

The silent and patient dream

Listening to

My quiet mind and beating heart























Please Call Me By My True Names

This morning I read a poem by Thich Nhat Hahn.

Please Call Me by My True Names

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow—
even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when Spring comes,
arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond,
and I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay his
“debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.

If you like to listen to poems here is one version


I am still mulling over the poem.  To truly embrace ourselves and others with love, compassion and equanimity, its important to recognize the interconnectedness we share.  When we can dissolve the roots of anger, hate and envy with seeds of love, compassion and joy in ourselves and experience peace we won’t help to water the roots of anger, and the like in others. Instead we can help them sow their own seeds of kindness, love and compassion. Coming back to peace starts within.