Heart Garden

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And sometimes, in the fleeting breath
between thoughts, in the moon
that peeks through restless clouds,
in that perfect moment between
lost, shivering memories and lifeless
future projections, we truly arrive,
to where we are, and maybe the gates
don’t swing open and invite you
into your life, but maybe you approach,
cautiously, with feet more assured
the farther you go, and maybe
you stop to gather the beautiful seeds
you can plant and nourish as long
as it takes to grow them into
the wild, stunning garden of your heart.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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Fire Through Me

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There is fire embedded in the rock,
subtle, less mad, buried as potential,
but fire still, capable of burning,
and we may not know how
to draw the fire from the rock,
because the conditions are not ripe
for the fire’s powerful emergence,
or we are not ready, yet, to see it.
I would like to be in perfect stillness,
by the tree or in the mountainside,
where very few would notice me,
and invite my own awareness
of the fire burning through me
as I breathe clear as the wind,
flow deep and strong as the waters,
readying myself to burst into flame,
destroy the unwanted with great love,
and ignite the world with my passion.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Life and Death

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We die and are born
a thousand times a day
without our noticing.
Every conscious breath
brings us back to our self
the only way it can,
quietly, patiently, persistently,
knowing the time will come
when life’s games have ceased
to have their hold on us,
and, not knowing what else to,
we will turn to the heaven inside us,
to assure ourselves
of our own survival in the face
of everything we’ve come to believe,
to bring Life into closer view
as the world crumbles around us.
We will be soothed, rocked gently
in our own bodies on wailing seas
of our times, now in great despair.
Our breath will remind us
that the great drama of living
is both short and endless,
that there can be no limit
to the good we can invite within,
to the unwanted we can expel.
The two moments of the day
when the sun arrives and departs
are startling, awe-filled reminders
of the possibility of starting in endings,
of what departs in each beginning,
of our need to allow each moment
to be the rebirth of us all.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

To Breathe is to Create is to Live

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As long as we create,
We have the capacity
To be free
(I know how far
we need to come
before we can create
a world in which
everyone can choose
their freedoms,
before the songs we create
are not only our chains,
our suffering, released).
It cannot stop here,
In calamity.
We must examine
The tools we have.
We live. We breathe.
As long as we have breath,
We have the capacity
To create.
How many breaths
Have we missed
With our inattention?
Take a deep inhale.
Is your breath not like
a growing tree
rooted in the very depths
of you, grounding you
to this plane,
as it arcs upwards and out,
filling every part of you,
from spine to limbs
to fingertips, and the top
of your head, and beyond?
Are you not making yourself
anew each time you fill
Your body with the force of life,
With whatever you’ll allow in?
And the outbreath,
A psalm of celebration
Of what you have made,
Of allowing it to set,
Of releasing what no longer serves,
In the name of beginning
Again, and again, and again,
And each time, don’t you know,
Can change everything.
 
– Tammy Takahahshi

Breath of Life

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Every breath can carry us

Around the world and back,

If that’s where we want to go.

The slow, languid inhale,

What possibilities! Filling space –

Moving light and hope

Through angular joints

And the softer folds

Of this universe our body.

Inviting friends to join us –

Anticipation, awe, curiosity.

Move with the breath,

Explore what you are made of.

At the very top of the breath,

A summit, a hovering cloud,

The full moon at midnight,

Floating, still nestled among us.

Allow for circulation;

Every part of you tethered

To the heart of your intention.

Breathe out, slow, sure,

Controlled by not controlling,

The breath does what it does,

It finds its way out.

It is a different world now,

That you are surrendering to,

That you are left with

Inside your sacred being.

You have let it all go.

You have given everything.

You’ve loved in. You’ve love out.

You’ve seen how love carries you.

 

Why Do We Dream of Home?

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Why do we dream of home?

Why do we long to return,

Somewhere both near and far,

Somewhere on the path ahead,

Leading us from behind,

Where the images have

Faded to wisps, to dark?

Why do we dream of home

Like we are in need of saving,

Like there is a nest, a shelter,

Loving arms to harbor us

When we’ve become strangers

To the deepest parts of self?

Where can home possibly be,

After we have searched

The corners of the world

Looking for a place to rest,

Having combed every part

Of the recesses of mind,

To discover what is true,

And what can be good?

When we will know, finally,

That home is the deep breath

Of all the oceans heaving,

A breathing in and breathing out

That allays the fear

Of having lost ourselves,

Because there is no way,

Any longer, to deny

The four walls, floor and roof

Of the home we have lived in

From the moment of our birth,

And that will carry us,

And let us live and pray,

Lose and find, come and go

As many times as we need to,

And will welcome us back

To ourselves without hesitation:

This body, our aspirations,

The joy of our embodied now.

– Tammy Takahashi