Grow the Garden

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Until we can fully grow,
the garden inside us,
which is to say, to see,
to seek, and to love
the blossoms and thickets
surrounding the heart,
Until we can venture there,
May we seek the gardens,
fields, mountains and trails
we still have left to us,
May we cherish them,
be in constant wonder of them,
and seek refuge in them.
May be first become aware
of the magnanimity of
everything they are,
and vow to protect them,
knowing that as we do this,
we are doing nothing less
than guarding the seeds
of our own evolution,
of the heart revolution.
 
– Tammy Takahashi
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Awe

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There are times, before the awe
washes everything else away,
when I am confronted by beauty
in all of its varied manifestations,
and all I desire is to stare, without end,
while asking: tell me what you know.
Tell me what you know; I am starving
for the secrets you must harbor within;
you made it look so effortless: this beauty.
At times like this I do not yet trust
what it is that I know, that brought me
along the footpath leading to wonder,
the trails that have led me to awe.
To penetrate the wisdom of another,
one has just to look, to want to see,
not from the mind, always hungry,
not even from the eyes, so receptive,
but from the heart, where no words live,
where we are all, so sacred, already joined,
and from the hands, our heart’s extensions,
that reach out to touch this love, embodied,
that cries with us in our painful searching,
rips away the spaces between me and you,
where doubt grows, where only awe should be.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Open eyes, Open heart

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There is always more
we can strip away,
we have accumulated
so much. For so long.
We’ve buried ourselves
in the things that remove
from us the way of
right seeing, the seen.
We have inherited
and then we’ve created
stories that adorn,
tantalize, haunt us,
give us the false impression
that this is who we are,
that bare their claws
like tentacles around
our well-meaning hearts
just as they catch a
glimpse of a free world,
and an unencumbered way
of being at one with it.
We know that the way
back to this, our world
is the way into ourselves,
but we don’t know
where to rest our gaze
among a dizzying array
of options, and directions.
Hearts beating fast, we rest.
Close our eyes. Breathe.
Allow what haunts to haunt.
Enter the fear like warriors.
Quiet the stories ricocheting
in our bodies’ chambers,
as if to honor their passing.
Open our eyes. Begin.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

The Song of Us

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And the song of the wind

That happy but serious whistle

That permeates all borders,

Mingling with the chant

Of the rumbling mountains,

The tinkling whisper

Of the buttercup

Coming into first bloom,

The low and steady hum

Of moss carpeting the ground

In the forests of the world.

There is not one song

That sings louder,

Or tries to override

Or outlive the other.

They are our blood,

The veins that carry it,

An extraordinary number of parts

Working in the name of

Our continuance.

Do we hear any of them at all?

But then, a moment so crushing

That we fall to our knees,

Come to what is maybe

The first silence

In the legend of our lives.

A note appears, a harmony,

Difficult to locate at first,

But it’s not long before

The songs of all the elements

Reach our ears,

And it can only be so,

In the precise way

Our hearts need them to,

So that we are all hearing

Different music, the song of us,

Made of the exact same sounds.

And this is how we are all one.

And this is how we are all love.

As You Are

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To see before

Before seeing again,

A look back

Through the storied

Remains, sifting through

Everything that has brought

Us here, to this moment,

Holding ourselves captive

With the walls of everything

We have always believed.

And what if we choose

To believe nothing but this:

The fact of our breath

Climbing and descending

The temple, our body,

Feeding the places that hurt,

Without needing to know

Why we are hurting so,

Loving all of us, anyway.

The work of our hands,

As they reach for the heart,

To hear the sound

Of it beating, to know

That this is also the sound

Of the world’s oceans

Ebbing and flowing,

And that nothing is more

Powerful than her roars,

Her swells, her motions.

To stand under the moon

And on a bed of earth,

And find that they meet,

From above, from below,

Right where you are,

And find their source

In the very center of you,

Not as you’ve been,

Not as you will be,

But as you are now.

I am the River

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There is no river

I’ve never seen

As the water moving,

Sometimes still

And sometimes restless,

Through the vessel

Of my own body,

Crashing against

The turbulent,

Mountainous mass

Of my heart

That is never still,

Even as it plants

In the center of my being,

Roots ancient and wise,

Ready to bear

The tides of cries

Of thousands of years

As they come, now,

To sublimate

In this very moment,

But I am ready;

This is what I’ve been

Preparing for.

I am the river;

I am the rock.

I am the emotions

Of all these centuries;

I am the one

Witnessing them,

Loving, letting go.

The river becomes

The ocean that meets

The fabled horizon.

We see in ourselves

Not what we were,

Not what we will be,

But our perfect selves,

Already here,

And we could never be

Anything, anywhere else.