Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ar-Razzaq: Holding Sacred Sustenance


Tell me—what does venison
and sushi
and tortilla slathered in refried beans,
have in common?
Answer me—what single note does accounting
And hunting
And bending over to listen to an elder
Share?
Or perhaps try this—
find commonality between
This small candle flame of your heart
And the sun that is making the whole world
A mango sorbet delight.
Sustenance is never the container.
Kind of like dancing with God
Can’t be stored on a cloud photo-album.
KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Monday, November 24, 2014

Al-Halim: States of Grace


The privacy curtain had been printed
with green leaf images,
but backlit with blue lights,
and the sound of monitors,
the wet swish of the room cleaner’s mop.
It had about the same effect of hanging a
Cardboard tree cutout saturated in air-freshener
Inside a teenage boy’s car.
Unnatural blue walls,
Betadine in everything, even the toothpaste
(I swear it tasted that way),
And when finally another IV blew,
I was quite ready to become a Code Gray—
Head for the parking lot and take my chances.
But then,
Simple miracle,
My roommate was discharged and the nurse
Drew back the curtain—and oh--
Just fog on Madrona trees,
Just a slice of gray sky,
and the reminder that most of grace is in the “just”.

 KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Al-Wasi: The Elastic Heart


It actually may begin with doubt-
the big WHY that makes us face
the way the Orca sweeps the baby seal
up in spray and red and teeth,
and then sinks back into the place
of gray ripples.
We so need to love,
we so need to be loved,
and in the end, we find,
the elasticity in our hearts,
is the very fabric of
God.
KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Al-Wadud


 
We cannot recognize
anything
unless it is part of our very bones—
the sorrow, the joy,
pulses with the red blooded marrow
of ourselves.
We empathize because we touch
such things
within ourselves
first
and surrender that mirror-glance back
to the world.

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Al-Ma’jid: The Stunning Moment


I have experienced this-
the profound silence around
some gifted street musician,
the talk with a friend that tilted
my world,
the look across a restaurant
at the complete beauty of someone’s laugh.
I know I want to hit rewind
again and
again
but
like sunsets and windstorms,
such things are meant to roll
over and around us
and help us learn to love again
the simple ground beneath our feet.

KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at


http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Art



My art is the way
a blue car has to be given a name,
or the way I hold my arms around
a circle of friends without moving a muscle
or laugh out-loud when my paintbrush ends up
sketching bright purple on somebody’s nose.
That’s how it goes—
the world alive and breathing it in
and then
make it all come out in words, but
sideways,
so there is room for you and I both to stand in here,
see something different and agree
as we hold hands.


KBN

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ash-Shahid: The Wider View


Lift up your eyes today
and let the particulars blend and bleed
into the depths of a water color painting.
Where Blue Jay wings become sky
and roots and soil and water
roll into each other without boundaries,
and the eyes of your lover
are the eyes of every lover everywhere,
everyone looking back at everyone,
and then 
in a tear-filled and thankful blink,
we all settle into the whirlwind’s center,
calm and still
and drifting after the lovemaking.

KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Al- Haqq: The Truth Is


If I submerged you
in a warm pool,
stuffed up your ears,
turned off all the lights,
and the only thing you could feel
was what runs around and around in your mind,
gerbils on squeaky metal wheels,
what would you be able to tell me
of truth?
It’s the same with God—
when we strip away everything like this,
the every “thing” that
give us some compass or support,
but go further and
wipe out ideas
and
poetry
and
even knowing you are knowing,
you begin to enter
into
the Truth
that abides.

KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Gospel of Thomas Class, Poulsbo Library: Trouble!

Gospel of Thomas Class
Poulsbo Library
Topic:  Trouble!


So we talked about trouble, which is really the internal and external issues that arise when we find ourselves smack in the middle a new religious paradigm.  We haven’t quite stopped seeing things in our usual ways, but at the same time, we’ve become aware that other ways exist.  We cling to our teacher or ideas then, a little scared of what reality looks like.  As the saying goes, all bets are off.

Here is the list of Trouble One Liners I discovered when I worked with this section of the Gospel of Thomas—remember, the number before the statement corresponds to the Logion I was playing with:

Trouble arises within us when...

39. we begin to understand that what we thought were our primary sources for   searching and finding Truth may have their own agendas and immature understandings, and that we must approach the Truth more intuitively and on our own.

40. communities, thinking they have the “only” view of reality, become cut off from their shared and abundant Source.

41. we are faced with the kenosis that spiritual “finding” demands of us.

42. we realize that to “be” we have to move into the holy present moment, releasing all the burdens of egoic clinging.

43. we do not recognize the “fleshy divinity” of each living thing, including our spiritual masters and furthest stranger.

44. Trouble arises when we name something to come into relationship with it, only to find we find we have tried to concretize infinity.

45. we realize that every thought and action adds to the granary of relationship or isolation, each creating its own fruit in time.

46. we understand we are called to live beyond our spiritual teachers by simply being ourselves and fully conscious.

47. we try to hold two competing spiritual paradigms at once—faith as a culturally conditioned institution or faith as inner experience—and we must choose which path to follow.

48 even as we hold relative and ultimate reality within ourselves, we doubt the inner strength it gives to us.

49. we begin to recognize that the Kingdom is not a realm at all, and that any sense of being “chosen” begs the question: “who is the chooser?”

50. we realize we will only be able to comprehend or verbally express to others what we have “found” in the language of process and paradox.

51. we realize that the new paradigm we are asked to adopt is not what most people expect to find when they begin the spiritual search.

52. we enter into the dualistic mind of comparison in order to create a safe and familiar sense of ground beneath our feet.

53. we think that by engaging in socially mandated rituals, we will deepen our understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven.

54. we face the tension between the very real grace of our “spiritual poverty” and the false nature of “spiritual materialism”.

55. we realize that our allegiance to family, tribe, church or nation must be secondary to our inner experience of Truth.

56.  we think our relationship with the cosmos is rational, empirical and fully knowable.

Transition Logion 57:  We are filled with wonder when we realize we can put a great deal of space and waiting around times of trouble, and that act will show us both the wheat and weeds of our own minds and hearts.

Going Deeper:
1.      How have you been experiencing moments of trouble as you work through this Gospel?  How do such things feel in your body?  In your thoughts?  How are you working your way through this trouble?  be concrete!
2.      If you are so inclined, take time to compare this Gospel to the spiritual developmental theories of Fowler and Wilber.  Are there any resonances?  Distinct differences in the journey so far?  If you find them, share them with our group!
3.      What is the gift of going through the stage of being troubled by your spiritual unfolding?
4.      Does the trouble section help you better understand some of your friends and associates who seem stuck in the religion of their childhoods?  Why or why not?

5.      If institutions are part of this trouble, what can be done by the individual or the larger institution to ease this necessary journey?

Al-Wakil: Bringing the Circles Full


Are you in a wrestling match with 
some angel?
Why not
give up, 
instead of going for the big gun this 
time?
God already knows all your names—
trust that.
The giving up is the giving in,
like laying your head on God’s lap,
a letting go
into
a much bigger consciousness.
And in that state,
even the bird feeder with its floating red leaf
will unfold prophesy,
even the fine sprinkles of dog hair 
clinging to your dress pants
will read like scripture,
and when you look up into a cold and clear night sky?
Oh, my friend,
you’ll understand the term
Everlasting.

KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Al-Qawi Cleansing Winds


“As Rumi comments, spiritual guidance often arrives in forms that we can’t fathom.  We think we have life figured out, and then something happens that squeezes the brains from our heads.”

We know the cleansing dance of the autumn winds here-
they sweep down the channels of ancient rock
and over restless waters,
asking each Douglas Fir,
“Are you ready to let go?
Do you trust the open-armed tumble,
and the tender and gentle way both fern and fungus
will grant you a new perspective on life?”
Some trees, hundreds of years old,
will answer “yes”
and fall into the wilderness they only knew
dimly in their whale-backed and exposed roots.
The no’s, even those,
will leave bits of themselves on the road,
a kind of northern Palm Sunday before winter,
and the air will smell of incense and
bowing.


KBN

Find the entire poetry collection This Nurturing Awe:  Poems Inspired by the 99 Beautiful Names of God at

http://www.amazon.com/This-Nurturing-Awe-Inspired-Beautiful/dp/1507733429/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429536332&sr=8-1&keywords=this+nurturing+awe+poems+inspired+by+the+99+beautiful+names+of+god