Category Archives: Dharma Bum

Jan 4 – The Art of Awakening

Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault and Fr. Thomas Keating @

In my quest to learn more about mindfulness from an inter-spiritual perspective, I’m now reading Cynthia Bourgeault’s book Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening (c) 2004 via Cowley Publications with a foreword by Thomas Keating. In this book, Bourgeault describes in chapter 2: “Virtually every spiritual tradition that holds a vision of human transformation at its heart also claims that a practice of intentional silence is a non-negotiable. Period. You just have to do it. Whether it be the meditation of the yogic and Buddhist traditions, the zikr of the Sufis, the devkut of mystical Judaism, or the contemplative prayer of Christians, there is a universal affirmation that this form of spiritual practice is essential to spiritual awakening.” p.9

Also, as an appreciator of simple visuals, I enjoy the three-circle display of the levels of Awareness:

“Silence is God’s First Language @

There is so much to mine in this treasure trove of a book that it will take multiple posts to share.

So, to begin, here is today’s senryu: The Art of Awakening

release the ego

getting out of our own way

silence is golden

Jan 2 – Meditation Is Free(ing)

If you’re looking for something new to help you focus and feel more peaceful this year, then consider mindfulness meditation. You don’t have to adopt a new religion to do this. Contemplation is something found across religions and secular psychological traditions and there are many simple ways to learn about this calming practice.

For example, check out the free daily teaching from Tricycle Magazine this month; find more information below.

Today’s senryu: Meditation Is Free(ing)

no navel-gazing,

simply calming down to live

this present moment

Check out this free teaching from Tricycle Magazine

High Coo – Sept 27 – What’s in a Name?,_Michigan,_Norway

My mother wanted to name me Christopher but my father preferred Patrick.

Today’s haiku: What’s in a Name?

In life there is pain,

suffering consequences,

maybe finding truth

@ Pinterest – See,_New_Mexico

High Coo – Sept 12 – Happy Birthday H.L. Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken (b. 9/12/1880)

“Famed for his rapier wit as much as his ill-temperament, Henry Louis (H.L.) Mencken rose to national prominence as a journalist and correspondent for the Baltimore Sun.” See

Two of my favorite Mencken quotes are: “After all is said and done … a lot more is said than done.” and “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.”

Today’s haiku: Happy Birthday H.L. Mencken

Cynical somedays

fortunately, do not last.

Persevere, my friend.

Note: today is also National Day of Encouragement. I wonder what Mencken would have said about this. See

this and photo above by George Karger / Getty Images

High Coo – August 27 – August New Moon

A new moon is the least visible to us but still has significant impact on our planet and therefore our lives. See

I will be celebrating this new moon at a meditation retreat center that includes monastic and lay people sharing observations on the state of our four-fold sangha practice. Previous retreats with this group have generated surprises and new insights. We shall see what this day brings.

Today’s haiku: August New Moon

My name, peaceful moon

of the heart (and of the sky),

let’s pause, breathe and smile

Life Matters – August 6 – Happiness

Photo by Lina Trochez |

Some of you may have noticed the subtitle for this blog, “We can find the joy – together.”

Coincidentally, I came across a great article from Tricycle magazine which then led to my latest version of The Dhammapada – A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic (c) 2005 by Egil Fronsdal (

First, the Tricycle article, Where to Find Joy and How to Cultivate It, (August 27, 2021) is co-authored by Christina Feldman and Jaya Rudgard, both mindfulness teachers in the Insight Meditation community. One of their main points is: the best way to find joy is to create it. Their 1,500 wordcount article can be found in its entirety here:

Second, the authors make a reference to The Dhammapada; specifically, verses 197 – 198 on Happiness. My copy of this book, see translation mentioned above, says:

“Ah, so happily we live, without hate among those with hate. Among people who hate we live without hate.

Ah, so happily we live, without misery among those in misery. Among people in misery we live without misery.” p.53

The point of the article, the quote and this post is that we are very unlikely to find ourselves in a perfect place, with perfect people all enjoying perfect joy. More likely we will need to work with ourselves and with a small group of kindred spirits to cultivate joy for one another.

I welcome your thoughts and your translations on how you find joy …. individually and together with others.

With gratitude for you, dear reader.

High Coo May 24 – National Brother’s Day

With three brothers and three brothers-in-law, I am fortunate to have both allies and smart alecks close at hand. Here’s to men who remind us who we are, keep us grounded when we need it and kick us in the ass when we need that too.

National Brother’s Day

Nemesis and friend

reliable and honest

brothers have our back

Below is a picture, taken many years ago, of my brother Mike (on the right) and me. Mike passed (aka continued) nearly thirteen years ago. I think of him often and especially today.