Twenty Common Sense Ways to Have a Tao Day in 21st Century America

  1. Drag your body out of bed.  Eat / enjoy breakfast.

  2. Limit internet and social media use. Avoid addictions.

  3. Be aware of the Web of Life, a Connection of Being, the true Web. 

  4. Meditation / Prayer helps. Clean up after yourself: dust heart; sweep mind.

  5. Practice patience and compassion with yourself and others. Be slow to judgement or anger. Walk away when possible. It’s usually possible.  

  6. Avoid vexations.  Do not engage with those who create them. Losing it hurts yourself & sometimes others. Keep an eye on the Big Picture.

  7. Moderation: limit drugs: caffeine, alcohol, weed. Consult your Dr. if needed. 

  8. Do something!  Move your body til you’re tired. How much or long is up to you.

  9. Work if you must, rest if you can, nap if needed.

  10. Get out. Drink sunshine. No sun? Feel the wind, rain, snow, the seasons. 

  11. Reflect. How’s the day going? Not good? Focus on the good so far; how can you improve it?

  12. Eat  / enjoy a mid-day meal.

  13. Do something pleasant: arts, crafts, sports, poetry, pottery, music, painting, gardening, camp out, go fishing.

  14. All social media is harmful & unnatural if it’s all the interaction you get. Touch a person with your voice, a handshake, a hug– Kiss, cuddle, snuggle.  If the Wild-Thang comes up, all the better. “Man is by nature a social animal.” Make contact.

  15. Disconnect: Turn off all gadgets for a set time each day and live without them. You can do that, you know!?

  16. Self-defense is not often necessary, but can be a part of life. Understand when it is & isn’t. Be aware of your surroundings.  Exit stage right or hide, jump out a window, confront or fight? Which will it be? Is it the best or only choice. Think on your feet. Survive in the twenty-first century.

  17. Allow both your head & heart in everything you do, not one or the other. Question the imagination, intuition, reason of others & yourself.  Despite the evil in it, faith in humanity feels and seems good. I remain skeptical. A verdict on that is not in.

  18. Eat / enjoy an evening meal, early hours are better. Don’t go hog wild on ice cream, but do have a sweet.

  19. Disasters, disease, accidents, crimes and wars will continue.  When one happens, see the impact it has on you. If it impacts your daily life, deal with it. If not, why allow it a place in your mind & heart?  Don’t overdose on “The News”. Take in what relates to you. Turn a deaf ear to malicious gossip. Leave the rest alone. If an army is coming, volcanoes erupt, earthquakes topple a city, ask, “How much does this shake me?”  If a real crisis is at hand, you will know. You will hear about it. Do not allow the radio, TV or Internet to control life. Break the Advertising Media’s hold over your mind and emotions.You don’t have to live in a world fabricated for commerce and control by corporations, religions, universities, the market and government. There are side effects to following your own good judgement: the risks are experiencing better health, peace and calm.  Exercise empathy.   You only see me what you focus on. What is your focus today?  

  20. Sleep well. Dream. Wake up. Dream it all again.

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Summary

Realize caring for others

is caring for yourself

when to help & when to

mind your own fucking business.

Cheers!

 

Cover photo by Rayn Roberts

Gun Violence & Other Madness

The cat chases its tail, the dog whimpers in sleep,

The heart skips a beat…

It’s not a nightmare, not a movie, a TV show.

 

Wake when you will, but where will you be, in bed alone,

In the den, your unknowing hand holding a gun,

At your desk starting at nothing?

 

It doesn’t matter—Looking deeply matters:

Unless you turn it inside out, look long at what you find

The mind eludes the eye of reason.


Recall the flowers of betrayal and delusion with merciful disregard,

Struggle all your life to save this dying thing

This beaten, bloody thing called love.

 

For the tail is chasing the dog,

The cat is barking in sleep, the heart is cracking

Hope is a Gypsy song rising over the ash of Auschwitz

 

Mad men rule the world—


And if they wake from a coma of hate, will they give a vision truth?

Will they feed the poor, give up peace?

When will your heart slow to a murmur and hiss into silence?

 

I want to say the cat is calm, the dog is happy, humankind is wise and kind,

But the cat is gnawing the cage, the dog is humming a dirge,
The good flower columbine was never a flock of doves:

 

Littleton, Kosovo, Dachau, Wooded Knee, Kabul, Santa Fe, El Paso:

Large extensions of the fist we use to abuse the children—

Where next the murder of the day, massacre of the week, 

Where next the World War?

The heart is failing, the heart is failing, there are no known donors.

 

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The Tree

Buddha before enlightenment starved bony looking in the moment for a way out
the joy and pain the universal law at the center in the chaos in and around him
 

knowing we all wait under a spreading tree

the return of turtles setting eggs in sand

salmon roiling upriver to spawn

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sea lions   fleeing the orca 

And human life – cirriped on the fin of a whale 

ephemeral song in the ocean of space-time 

 

Glint on a globe severed head on sand bright knife blood on a terrorist’s hand– we know not when but live for one instant, Enlightenment–  

Love pales in comparison under a bodhi tree.     

 

 

The-Tree-of-Life   

The Lifeguard

Donald was just beyond the breakers
when I saw him in trouble
struggling to stay above the water,
I was swimming to the rescue
when not a hundred feet
before I reached him, a huge grey fin
parted the water…
 

he went under, the sea turned red, a seal got tossed

up into the air by a great white
that swam away munching–
Donald came up
“Help, help me!”, he cried, “Help!”
the real horror was, I had to think twice.

 

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