Dharma Reflections



A woman friend and I had a lengthy exploration together of the issue involving ‘self and other.’

Her voice had echoes of very similar voices that I hear frequently.

In a nutshell, here is what she said to me: “I have spent years listening to others. I have made so many sacrifices for my relationship and family.  …

‘I NEED TO LISTEN TO MYSELF.’ Are you sure? Read More »

THE GUEST HOUSE – the Buddha probably inspired Rumi’s great poem



Rumi, the 13th century Muslim poet from a Persian family, has deservedly won a place in our hearts for his sublime capacity to nourish the depth of our being with his perceptive insights into love, sensuality, spirituality and intimacy with the immediate world.

His poems strike a chord in the depths of our meditative being. Not surprisingly, insight meditation teachers delight to read Rumi’s poems to spiritual practitioners. One of his best loved poems is The Guest House. The Buddha used the same analogy around 1700 years earlier in two talks entitled The Guest House.

The words of the Buddha probably inspired Rumi to write The Guest House.

by Rumi

This being human is a guest house. …

THE GUEST HOUSE – the Buddha probably inspired Rumi’s great poem Read More »



I wrote on the blog a few days ago about Naikan Therapy that asks three core questions to resolve inner issues about somebody else. Remember there is no 4th question in the Naikan approach!


I reflected on the value of this approach and came up with six questions for people in an intimate relationship. The questions can serve as a simple checklist. They are down to earth, practical and not idealistic.


  1. Is there trust when we are together and when we are apart?
  2. Is there a deep friendship between us?
  3. Do I enjoy the different levels of intimacy we share?
  4. Am I willing to acknowledge and explore the different expressions of my partner’s love?
  5. Am I willing to acknowledge and explore the different expressions of my partner’s hindrances to love?
  6. Am I willing to acknowledge and explore in myself further expressions of love and examine my hindrances to love?


If you say YES to all six, then you are blessed with a loving, deepening and expanding relationship.
What if one or more of these questions remain unresolved, rather than just temporary blips?
If you say NO to one or two, then your relationship certainly needs some reflection, and a change of attitude.
If you to say NO to three, four or five questions, then there is a lot of inner work ahead.
If you say NO over a period of time to all six questions? Forget it. Start a new life.





There is no point to life, nor of itself,

for it knows not its direction,

where it is going,

nor where it has come from.


It cannot move from where it is,

yet it never stands still;

It is a strange thing,

this unfolding process

that neither stand still

nor goes anywhere

nor abides in random togetherness.


Yet, we who call ourselves humans remain

deluded in giving a point to the pointless,

who sing a song of purpose

while playing second fiddle in an orchestra without a conductor.


There is no point to existence,

no purpose in abstracting something

to what cannot lead anywhere

nor abide where it is.


There is a relief to all of this,

for it dissolves the pressure to be here and now

or to use the here and now

to get somewhere else that is not here and now.


There is no point to being here

and there is no point to being anywhere else,

no wonder there is only time to dance!

POINT- LESS Read More »


As a creative force, the poem has a radical function in the deepest intimacies of our being.


A poem serves as a vehicle for inner transformation through the medium of a precise language employing subtle forms that serve to impact upon our sensibilities, and enable us to break away from habitual perceptions. Our receptivity to the immediate presence of a poem, and the revelations that emerges, sanctions the power of the poem.


The reader and the read enter into a deep relationship with each other where the act of total attention to the lines invites a significant shift of awareness to open out our sense of life and our humanity. The austerity of language and the single pointed precision whisper, if not shout, to the reader of a greater truth. The poem is the finger pointing to the moon. What it points to is neither on the lines, nor between the lines.


An authentic poem sacrifices itself, dissolves into its own mystery, to make way for what might be called a ‘spiritual’ waking up. With its hidden power and intimate significance, the authentic poem takes us into a deep realm of penetration into the conventional and unconventional.


One line of a poem can sink deep into our being on one day, and then another line or theme emerge on another occasion. In this meeting of the two, namely the reader and read, we become available for fresh ways of seeing.


The poem serves to speak to us of deeper truths within the disciplined structure of a handful of words. Our lives are enriched through the poem’s precocious capacity to shift us from a settled zone of view into a depth of consciousness that often remains inaccessible. The discerning care of the application of the lines of the poem has the potential to contribute significantly to ennobling and empowering our lives. 


Your life will be nourished immensely through the reading of poetry. Do you have a book of poems at hand?

WHAT IS A POEM? Read More »

Scroll to Top