Author: Michael Stevens

Freedom From Care

When Thomas Merton entered the Trappist monastery for the first time, he experienced a profound sense of freedom. He said the monastic life was free from care. He meant, I think, freedom from the...

Where You Are and Are Not

To say I was born in sin (separateness) is to say I came into the world with a false self. I was born in a mask. I came into existence under a sign of...

Lights of Awareness

Flashing lights in my rearview mirror got my attention and I pulled over for what I thought may be an ambulance on its ways to help someone. Then the vehicle pulled in behind me....

What Wants To Be Born

William Gass was once asked why he wrote. He said something like, “I don’t write for myself because that would be self-serving. I don’t write for an audience because that would be pandering. I...

Nothing Required

I met with a woman the other day who was shy about beginning to attend the Dharma Center because she was not sure what would be expected of her. I replied that nothing was...

Digital Distress

My email stopped working this morning. I did all the things they suggest to correct the problem, but the digital gremlins had other ideas. I think I will begin the process of reducing my...

Curiosity and Wonder

It is the middle of October and the vine maples along the banks of the Metolius are on fire. Tendrils of fine branches reach out over the river and sway in the breeze. They...

Inseparable

We are hiking an unfamiliar trail on the banks of the Metolius River. This particular route exhibits lots of texture as it meanders over and through broken remnants of an ancient basalt flow. The...

Words

As of this writing, I have ‘penned’ 112,468 words in this online dharma journal. For a true writer this is not so many words, but I am not a very disciplined scribe. It seems...

Hell Realm

She is yelling angry words into her smart phone, screaming a tirade of expletives toward an unseen acquaintance. Her movements are chaotic like she is uncomfortable in her skin, tugging at her clothes and...