Gems For Your Pocket

“Loaves and Fishes” by David Whyte

This is not
the age of information.
This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry,
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.  –-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

From Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

A university professor came to see a Zen Master to ask him what Zen was really all about.  He had done a lot of reading, and was now following up to get the real story.

The Zen Master invited the professor to sit down across the table from him and proceeded to serve him tea.  He poured the tea into his guest’s cup, and when the cup was full, he just kept pouring and pouring, and the tea ran out of the cup and over the saucer and all over the table and floor.

The astonished professor yelled, “What are you doing?  Can’t you see the cup is already full?”

“Yes, I see,” said the Zen Master.  “Similarly with your mind.  How can you expect me to put anything in it when it is already so full of ideas and opinions?”

And if you’re lost?  Here’s the poem “Lost” by David Wagoner.

Stand still.  The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost.  Stand still.  The forest knows
Where you are.  You must let it find you.

Last but not least.  Have you heard of The Civil Wars?  Such a haunting, mesmerizing duo.  I can’t get enough of them!

May your day be beautiful and fruitful.  May you observe these things with your heart and eyes and ears and hands.

[Post image: Fish by kirsche222 on stock.xchng]


  1. Sylvia
    Apr 21, 2011

    Thank you for sharing Elissa. I look forward to seeing your post each day. You are a true inspiration. Love to you. Sylvia

    • Elissa
      Apr 23, 2011

      Thank you, dear Sylvia. You’re in my heart.

  2. Lindsey
    Apr 21, 2011

    As always, I am soothed and provoked into thought at the same time here. I remember that passage from Mindful Parenting – loved it then, love it now.

  3. Elissa
    Apr 23, 2011

    Why am I not surprised you’ve read Mindful Parenting? Hee, hee, hee…

    For the rest of you, you’re missing out if you’re not reading Lindsey’s wonderful, contemplative blog, A Design So Vast here:

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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