Seeking Truth

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We say we need rest,
but refuse to slow down.
We say we want peace,
but refuse to stop blaming.
We say we want happiness,
but refuse to seek its causes.
We say love is the answer,
but refuse to believe in love.
We say we want connection,
but refuse to reach out.
We say we reject violence,
but refuse the way to harmony.
We say we care for the earth,
but refuse to listen to her cry.
We say that all lives matter,
but refuse to respect life.
But something else is true:
We mean what we say.
We want for things to be good,
and to know what good is.
This is our foundation;
This is our imperfect beauty;
This is our sacred humanity.
May we honour the truth
in what we say and believe,
and seek their realization.

– tammy takahashi

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The We of a Tree: A Story

Photo on 2018-03-29 at 6.48 AM #2

Often, when I do yoga here, at home, on the seventh floor of our building, I wish I was closer to the ground, so that I could feel the earth below me, rather than sort of hovering over it – grounding is so important for everyone, especially “airy, in-the-head” people like me! But today, after a particularly intense practice, I was lying on my back at the end, and suddenly a vivid image came to me, of the six “layers” of people below me, and we were sort of forming the trunk of a tree, so that the nourishment of the ground was coming straight up though this “tree of people”, supporting me, my life, my journey, and I was also receiving, from the sky, and this was flowing right back down through everyone back to the ground. We were a tree, the spine of a human body, connected, working together. I was such a beautiful lesson.

Tell Me Your Stories

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Tell me your spring stories
flourishing inside of you
after long ferment,
it has been quiet, hasn’t it,
but here we are, now,
every last piece of us
budding new under bright sun,
and not once did you leave
as everything else
stripped away, slowly,
and there was the agony
of standing by for the laying bare,
not once did your love wander,
did you seek too much,
and how this soothed me
in places sadness once grew.
The growth of things now rising,
framing us from earth to sky,
and maybe the stories
are not ripe just yet,
are still learning their worth.
Take my hand,
and I will hold yours,
and as we stay,
let us bear witness
to the wonders that will unfold.
 
– tammy takahashi

Spring, Our Beautiful Perfection

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On a diffuse grey morning,
late winter surveys the barren landscapes
of hardened essence and wisdom in retreat,
holding on, but loosening its arthritic grip,
allowing soft rain to gather, fall, in snow’s stead.
The buds have not sprouted,
but the plum blossoms, which thrive
in the dance between cold and warm,
herald the wonderland of life to come,
like a promise, like a dream,
like nothing other than the beauty of what it is.
What will the spring bring?
Will we emulate nature and come forth,
with no hesitation at all,
on the side of creation?
Will we be soft on our struggles,
tender with our pain,
and grow into our full and vibrant potential?
Will we reclaim the intuitions
buried golden and deep for millennia,
long submerged by our own wintry confusions,
and play with what nourishes us?
Will we laugh, touch the earth,
look each other deep in the eye?
Will we celebrate the new season
and the new beginnings it offers,
in the way of the quiet lands around us,
that call for silence, which is reverence,
and a stilling of our heart’s great stirrings,
as the perfection of life once again emerges?
Will we heed of the extraordinary peace
and cooperation it takes to rebuild the world?
 
– tt

The Heart in My Body

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My heart in my chest,

Quivering, alone and unsure

Feeling small in a strange land

 

My heart in my head,

Rationalizing away the fear,

Lost among wayward thoughts

 

My heart in my eyes,

Hesitant, always curious,

Imbibing a world of wonders

 

My heart in my throat,

Stumbling over words not true

Groping for songs in the dark

 

My heart in my belly,

Holding space for the girl inside,

Crying with her until smiles come

 

My heart on my skin,

Exposed too soon, it feels,

Hoping wildly for tenderness

 

My heart in my hands,

Longing, feeling the way

To every fragile connection

 

My heart in my knees,

Falling to earth, breathing relief,

Sinking to a necessary pause

 

My heart in my feet,

Soaking up life, gingerly,

Taking all the steps I need …

 

My heart in my chest,

Back home, nothing looks the same

It is a wiser love, love, it is home.

How About Kindness?

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How about, instead of asking
where I come from,
you ask me where I want to go,
and instead of offering your name,
you find self in a warm embrace?
How about a smile instead of a rebuttal,
an ear for listening instead of shouting?
How about looking at a rainbow,
and marveling at how few you’ve seen,
and are likely yet to see in this life,
and mark the day as a miracle?
How about making wondering,
wandering, too, your true vocation,
becoming a master in the art of awe?
How about looking around
and seeing it all for the first time,
inventing new shapes in the clouds
before they, too, disappear,
and how about inviting this change,
and finding beauty in what can’t be held?
How about finding a new perspective
instead of delighting in the already known;
how about finding and honoring
both the teacher and student in you?
How about taking your shoes off
and grounding in the earth,
and feeling this support through life?
How about talking to trees,
Finding songs in a breeze,
How about being still and
catching it all and remembering:
There is so much love where I am,
and I am here, and I am free.

Let Me …

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If I can’t ease your suffering,
Let me listen to you speak,
 
If I can’t remove your pain,
Let me hold it, gently, with you,
 
If I can’t walk your path,
Let me walk alongside you,
 
If I can’t inhabit your body,
Let me cast my love on it,
 
If I can’t efface your self-judgment,
Let me be your gentle touch
 
If I can’t forage for your treasures,
Let me share my own with you,
 
If I can’t get you out of the dark,
Let me be your reservoir of light,
 
And,
 
If I find myself in your shoes,
If I need the same kindness as you,
 
Let me remember to find you,
Let me allow you in, too.
 
– TT