Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thinking of Summer

Induja, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean --
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Poem from New and Selected Poems, by Mary Oliver (1992: Beacon Press).

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Arjuni, oil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

"What is the Great Seal, the Mahamudra? Basically, it means that all of phenomena, all that is experienced by the mind, is the symbol of itself. There is no duality whatsoever between what you experience and who you are. There is no duality whatsoever between mind and its projections. There is no duality whatsoever between phenomena and appreciation. In all of reality there is no particular break. It is totally sealed and complete, altogether. There are no second thoughts. That is the Mahamudra.

"To the mind of a student, this is a terrifying prospect, and at the same time it opens the mind completely. It is terrifying in the sense that, on hearing these words, one begins to feel the quality of the mind itself. In other words, mind is seeing mind. If there is a residue of fear or struggle or egotism, the mind begins to move or shake. From that a quality of paranoia arises. That paranoia is this very mind, which we call nowness, or things as they are. And according to the Mahamudra, this mind has never been corrupted."

--Vajra Regent Osel Tendzin, reprinted in Shambhala Sun, January 2010, page 96.