Author: Michael Stevens

The Call of Wildness

I wonder what they think about us two legged mammals wandering their territory. Their eyes follow us, aware but unfazed by our presence. We give the horses a wide berth so as not to...

Desert Wisdom

Winter in the desert emphasizes the stark reality of arid climes—no water. Today, the grey/brown tinges of desiccated plant life predominates. Since we are hiking in the Dry River bed east of Bend, there...

Something Precious

When traveling in Kenya way back in 1975, I was humbled by a gentle man with a disarming smile. He lived amidst very challenging circumstances—barely supporting a family of five. They lived in a...

Tying Knots

So many lost doors Doors to hidden memories Some happy things Others wished to be forgotten Rising up at night They flavor what I see Apparitions cloaked in symbol Wisdom’s inviting mask  In dreamlike...

Naturally Ripened

When I chose the name for our Dharma center 25 years ago, I reflected on how mind and nature are interconnected. The Buddhist teachings seem to reflect that connection by suggesting the natural flow...

Oh, Deer!

A herd of ten mule deer are bedded down in our front yard as if this is their home, at least for now. They exhibit little fear when I open the door to greet...

Killing ‘Me’ Softly

I have a nighttime dream in which I see a skull floating in the sky. The skull is round and joyful, a cartoonish image with a blindfold covering its eye sockets. All of a...

Neutrality

Dudjom Lingpa, the source of our close lineage, once posed a powerful question to his personal yidam (archetype of his enlightened self). He asked, “…emptiness [our original nature] seems to be without benefit and...

Absolutely Relative

When Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, he was called Buddha, the ‘awakened one.’  He awoke from the slumber in which we separate our relative experience from the absolute nature of things. Buddha saw our relative...

Thankfully, We Can Wake Up

On a recent trip to New Mexico, I was staying in a town about 80 miles (as the crow flies) from Trinity Site, the location of the first nuclear bomb test. As I looked...