Wednesday, March 23, 2011

for these first spring days
digital collage, march 19, 2011

dear friends, let us welcome spring!! as we gather at the teahouse, let us hold the people and other sentient beings of japan in our hearts... together, let us sip cups of fragrant sencha tea and listen to the words of the poet...

First days of spring -- the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything's turning green.
Carrying my monk's bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging to my arms till I stop.
I put my bowl on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I sing.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
"Why are you acting like such a fool?"
I nod my head and don't answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what's in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!

by ryokan (1758 - 1831)

resources for the journey

a flickr friend in japan told me that it will help if we buy products made in japan. this origami paper is a small thing, but it was bought with love. the most important way to help is to donate to the relief efforts... if you live in the u.s., and would like to help with the relief efforts in japan, you can donate to the red cross in several quick, secure ways:

~directly through the red cross website

~through ~ american red cross: japan earthquake and pacific tsunami

~with your mobile phone by texting "redcross" to 90999 (this maybe for u.s. residents only)

in the u.k., you can donate through the british red cross (thanks caroline for this link).

and remembering tea and friends

a brief history of takatori ware, by andrew maske
mrasowhisk by zentea, on flickr
on this first spring day, on flickr

love to you, dear friends!!
may all beings be safe*

Monday, March 14, 2011


dear friends, let us hold in our hearts the people and other sentient beings in japan, where a 8.9 magnitude earthquake has shaken the country near tokyo, and where a tsunami has caused suffering.

may all beings be happy~
may all beings be healthy~
may all beings be safe~
may all beings be free~

if you would like to donate to the relief efforts in japan, you can donate to the red cross in several quick, secure ways:

~directly through the red cross website

~through japan earthquake and pacific tsunami

~with your mobile phone by texting "redcross" to 90999 (this maybe for u.s. residents only)

* * *

from my friend caroline, in the u.k.:

in the u.k., donations can be made to the red cross through these methods:

Donations via their website:

Phone donations: Tel: 08450-535353

Cheques should be made out to The British Red Cross and sent to -
British Red Cross, Japan Tsunami Appeal, Ref ON2011, Freepost NAT 21787, Paisley. PA1 1BR.

* * *

love to you, dear friends*

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

winter's gifts

gifts of winter
december 19, 2010

dear friends!! my wish ~ may these winter days bring you warmth, love, and peace. as we gather at the teahouse near the river, let us linger over cups of fragrant icewine tea and consider the words of the poet...


Waking today
just before winter
when I try to name the color of grasses,
how I feel of their beauty,
there is no word.
I think of the time before there were words
when you would know morning mist by the feel
of your loved one's skin and hair,
and when someone came from the forest of dry leaves
you would know by their scent
even if they carried no wood.
Or the heat of their body skin in summer.
Or if they came the winding way
down from the mountains
they would be covered in cloud
returning to the fold
or if they had gone farther, to the ocean,
you'd know them by their far-seeing eyes,
and when some travelers return
and are shining with light
you know, without saying, that they have been
in touch with other worlds.
I have no wealth to speak of
other than this,
all this, just to praise the dry grasses
and their colors that can't be spoken in words.

~Linda Hogan
(from the spring 2005 issue of parabola)

may all beings be happy ~*
may all beings be healthy ~*
may all beings be safe ~*
may all beings be free ~*

and remembering tea and friends...

may all travelers find joy!!
and love beyond words at christmastime...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

a reverie for this day...

an august journey 
august 1, 2010

dear friends!! today, i invite you to join me at the summer teahouse to contemplate the gifts of these august days... the rich assam leaves are steeping, and our cups are waiting. as we savor these moments, let us consider the words of the philosopher of poetics, gaston bachelard:
... in being, everything is circuitous, roundabout, recurrent, so much talk; a chaplet of sojournings, a refrain with endless verses.
but what a spiral man's being represents! and what a number of invertible dynamisms there are in this spiral! one no longer knows right away whether one is running toward the center or escaping. poets are well acquainted with the existence of this hesitation of being, as exemplified by jean tardieu:

pour avancer je tourne sur moi-même
cyclone par l'immobile habité.
(in order to advance, i walk the treadmill of myself
cyclone inhabited by immobility.)
mais au-dedans, plus de frontières!
(but within, no more boundaries!)

thus, the spiraled being who, from outside, appears to be a well-invested center, will never reach his center. the being of man is an unsettled being which all expression unsettles. in the reign of the imagination, an expression is hardly proposed before being needs another expression, before it must be the being of another expression.
~gaston bachelard, the poetics of space, p. 214 
resources for the journey:
the poetics of space (on googlebooks)
an august journey (on flickr)

and remembering tea and friends:
zencha tea salon in columbus, ohio

let us savor the mystery, along with our tea...
may all travelers find joy!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

a reverie of transformation...

a sacred object meets the beloved river
still frame from flash motion graphic
march 12, 2010

dear friends!! this winter, i have begun exploring the inner worlds of art and soul in the graduate program of art therapy and counseling at ursuline college. it is my hope to deepen my connection to the creative spirit, for the benefit of all beings. where will this new journey lead, i wonder? thank you for traveling with me.***

and remembering tea and friends...

the root cafe, a tea house along the road to joy...
yunnan black (yunnan hong cha) from silk road teas

love to you, dear travelers!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

a reverie of blue (dreams)

a reverie for this day
january 8, 2010

dear friends!! let us meet at the teahouse near the river today, where we may explore the glistening world of our dreams... where colors open paths to us that we may travel on a wintry day. where does the color blue take you, at this moment?

a resource for the journey

some music on

and remembering tea and friends

paris from harney and sons

may all travelers find joy!!
and beloved dreams...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

september's journeys

a reverie for september...
september 5, 2009

long moments gazing into quiet waters...
soft nights lost in unfathomable dreams...

dear friends, let us meet at the teahouse in the forest, where we may sit together and savor cups of malty yunnan tea. let's listen, as the poet opens to us the heart of the world:

Aunt Leaf

Needing one, I invented her - - -
the great-great-aunt dark as hickory
called Shining-Leaf, or Drifting-Cloud
or The-Beauty-of-the-Night.

Dear aunt, I'd call into the leaves,
and she'd rise up, like an old log in a pool,
and whisper in a language only the two of us knew
the word that meant follow,

and we'd travel
cheerful as birds
out of the dusty town and into the trees
where she would change us both into something quicker - - -
two foxes with black feet,
two snakes green as ribbons,
two shimmering fish - - - and all day we'd travel.

At day's end she'd leave me back at my own door
with the rest of my family,
who were kind, but solid as wood
and rarely wandered. While she,
old twist of feathers and birch bark,
would walk in circles wide as rain and then
float back

scattering the rags of twilight
on fluttering moth wings;

or she'd slouch from the barn like a gray opossum;

or she'd hang in the milky moonlight
burning like a medallion,

this bone dream, this friend I had to have,
this old woman made out of leaves.

- Mary Oliver

resources for the september journey

mary oliver poems on poetseers
natalie goldberg, writing down the bones
james hillman, re-visioning psychology

and remembering tea and friends

tea tao by giovdim...
sanctuary for the senses and the soul.

may all travelers find joy!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

the place where we may dance...

* (for kabir)
july 24, 2009

dear friends!! on these soft summer nights, let us meet at the teahouse, where we may drink darjeeling tea from clear glasses, and listen to the words of the poet...

I am not a Hindu,
Nor a Muslim am I!

I am this body, a play
Of five elements; a drama
Of the spirit dancing
With joy and sorrow.


resources for the journey:

kabir, on poetry-chaikhana (the online poetry teahouse)
and the poetry chaikhana

and remembering tea and friends...

darjeeling estate golden tipped, from stash tea... bliss.

may all travelers find joy!!
and the place where we may dance...

Monday, July 20, 2009

a reverie of water...

the fountain
july 13, 2009

dear friends, i have been away from this place for too long...

today, i began reading re-visioning psychology, by james hillman. he writes so passionately about soul, anima, psyche. in response, i offer this image of the fountain, and these words from gaston bachelard:

"the first dynamic lesson of water is, in fact, elementary: a man asks the fountain, as a first proof of his cure, to revitalize him. our feeling refreshed provides the common everyday reason for this reawakening. ...

"purity and freshness join together... to give a special happiness which all water lovers know. the union of the sensory and the sensual upholds a moral value. the contemplation and experience of water leads us, by many routes, to an ideal. we should not underestimate the lessons taught by original matters. they have left their mark on our mind's youth. they are essentially a reserve of youth. we discover them in connection with our most personal memories. and when we dream, when we truly lose ourselves in our dreams, we submit to the vegetative and restorative life of an element."

~gaston bachelard~
from water and dreams: an essay on the imagination of matter

on these soft summer nights, let us dream...

resources for the journey

james hillman, re-visioning psychology - thank you, joe
gaston bachelard, water and dreams: an essay on the imagination of matter

and remembering tea and friends...

507 yunnan imperial, from specialteas
thank you, theresa, for the tea and conversation.

may all travelers find joy!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

new lands...

in this garden...
august 2, 2008

dear friends!! in the garden near the teahouse, on an august night, we may sit and watch as the fireflies dance beneath the stars. in this garden, on an august night, we may talk quietly about matters of the heart, and contemplate the words of beloved poets...

~that lives in us~

if you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

if you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is
your body.

if you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.

exuberant is existence, time a husk.

when the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.

why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?

the mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

be kind to yourself, dear- to our innocent follies.

forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.

you will come to see that all evolves us.

if you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
so happy.

~jelaluddin rumi~

resources for the journey:

jelaluddin rumi, on poetseers
new lands, a photoset on flickr
the awakening heart...

and remembering tea and friends...

tea meditation, from plum village

may all travelers find joy!!