Apr 132013

Spring Blooms


Despite not enough snow or rain, our 2013 spring bloomed profusely. And, Gaia surprised me with her tricks as our Pink Dogwood (Cornus florida ‘Rubra’) flowered with both pink and white blooms. A welcome surprise as I look forward to a year of new and always, unexpected, adventures!

Happy Spring to all!

Dec 312012

…the more mindfulness we have, the less compelling sense-objects seem, until at last we lose all desire for them.
- Cynthia Thatcher, “What’s so Great About Now” in Tricycle Magazine

I know that losing my desire to hold on to aversive sense-objects (anything in my world that catches my attention in a negative way) offers me great potential for practicing self-understanding, worldly awareness along with my ability to accept change. But how do I practice that in the real world?

Last night, getting ready for bed, as I turned on the kitchen faucet for a glass of water, the water only trickles in. This means that there is no water in our 2500-gallon water tank, with a fairly significant leak somewhere outside the house. In this midnight hour it is freezing, snow and ice blanket the ground and my aversion to “no-water” (my sense-object) is especially felt. Losing the pull of my “desire” to hold on to “no-water” and its resultant sense of creating worry, concern and yes, fear in my mind, is a difficult challenge and one that could keep me awake for hours, ruminating on the what-if possibilities – unless I can let the aversive thoughts go.

How do I do this? With mindfulness; being mindful of the moment and letting go of my desire to hold on to my aversion. Being mindful of “no-water” gives me pause to find a space where I don’t need to dwell or to put my focus on “no-water” as a problem. Being mindful allows the thought of “no-water” to glide through my mind as clouds glide through the sky. My mind can rest along with my body as my head hits the pillow sending these thoughts out and away from consciousness.

I enjoyed a peaceful slumber to awaken to a beautiful brisk sunny morning. Water is now coming through my house water pipes (which means the pump is still working), so “no-water” can wait for a cup of coffee and a perusal of my email. My mind is focused, not worried, not dwelling on the what-if of being without water on a cold winter morning.

As I leave my warm house to feed my horses in the crisp morning air, I stay mindful of each moment, enjoying my task while observing for any aspect of what might be creating “no-water”. As I make my morning rounds, I notice a large puddle of standing water in the arena, more than what was left over from our latest rain and snow, and it’s not frozen like the other puddles I encounter. I hear a hissing noise coming from under the insulation cap over the spigot feeding the arena hose. Ah ha! I left the water running in the arena! One full turn of the spigot and my water problem is solved.

Now, if I had not been mindful, had been thinking, ruminating and fretting over “no-water” (which is so often what I do), my mind would have led me into mind bending chaos, most likely still solving the problem, but with little sleep, and a great deal of suffering along the way. This practice of being mindful of letting go of my aversions has led me down a clear path to a greater sense of well-being. I hope for you to find mindfulness in your aversions so that you too can lose your desire to hold on to suffering.


Dec 092012

Fall is waning as winter solstice comes to us on December 21st. To honor fall, this bit of poetry and art  remind us of transitions into seasons of life.

Jul 052012

As we open and empty ourselves, we come to experience an interconnectedness,
the realization that all things are joined and conditioned in an interdependent arising.
Each experience and event contains all others. – Jack Kornfeld

As I look outside my window, watching horses grace the pasture with their presence, I come away with a clear picture of the truth to what Jack Kornfeld writes about interdependence and interconnectedness. We are all a part of this celestial body that we call Earth, and through interconnectedness, we all can enjoy its bounty.

We are interconnected through our very DNA, the elements that run through our bodies, whether we are human or horse, butterfly or spider, oak tree or natty weed.This interconnectedness is what keeps our world alive.

This is expressed so clearly from the world around me as I gaze out my window. Without the earth below, we have no rocks, without the rocks we have no sand, without the sand we have no dirt to grow the grasses and the trees. Without the grasses we have no food, without food we do not live. And as the circle of life turns back, if we do not live, the grasses do not grow,  the dirt, sand, rocks, will have no life to support, the earth itself, will not live.

Life is such a beautiful tangle of interdependence, of connectedness. Lets enjoy this feeling today as we join to celebrate the interconnectedness of our Nation’s Independence. Something we might all think differently on if we truly understand the notion of interdependence.

Spring Grazing

 Around the Ranch  Comments Off
Jun 182012
Horse on the Lava Cap

Well, it’s a little past spring now. I let the horses out on the lava cap to graze a few weeks ago – too muddy to let them out there in the winter. Happy Horses!

Mar 132012

Haiku  – Healer

Inner healer
Spiral out
Breathe connection
Let go
Spiral in

Soul is an unnamable essence of my living body that carries it in this world. It is that which gives centering and purchase on this wobbly planet. Soul is nature; it is everything and all connected. Soul moves through the lightness, into the darkness and back again. Soul discerns the nature of my being, offering dreams of the child and the critic that have kept this being from true enjoyment of life. Soul offers an unfolding of sacred wisdom for my body to enjoy the flavors and colors that shape our world. Soul becomes my witness for all of my experiences. And Soul unveils the connections of all of our being with the universe of which we are all made. What a delight is Soul!


Dec 172011

Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth; It’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened. – Pema Chodron

In this time of darkness as winter approaches, the solstice coming with a promise that light will follow, I bring my contemplations into my values and desires for a more compassionate and peaceful world.  As Ven. Chodron suggests in her quote, peace is something of value, and in our world that we create, we find peace not only in what is good and easy but in what we harbor within our fears and frustrations as well.

What does peace mean to me? I came up with this list while typing this reflection, finding this moment in time to list a few thoughts on where I find peace. As I reflect, I come to see that moments of peace can truly be moments of joy and happiness that come to me from my world, while others require me to find peace within myself so that I can, with all of my intention, impact a more positive world outside myself. Here is my list on finding those feelings of peace…

  • I notice a physical discomfort, pain or uncomfortable feeling within my body. Breathing deeply into the feeling, releasing the tension that accompanies the discomfort, I find peace in the release.
  • As I attend to a client’s horse to trim their feet, I find the calm and concentration amongst the sometimes chaotic, incongruent words and actions taking place around me and the horse.
  • Attending a community meeting of disparate people coming together for a common cause, finding like-minded congruency in thought and action despite our differences of opinion.
  • Watching horses grazing in the pasture, friends and foe, making peace within their community while enjoying the time together in complete accord.
  • Finding mutual need for closeness when waking in the middle of the night to find my cat snuggled within my arms in the cold of a winter night.
  • Reading a quote from a spiritual tradition that moves me into introspection and awareness and then taking this awareness into my world.
  • Smelling the cold frosty air as I inhale my first breath upon walking outside to feed my horses as I realize the importance of the preciousness of each moment in my life.
  • Experiencing the authentic excitement and joy of my dogs as they greet me in the morning and as they realize I am still here in their world with them.
  • Finding connection with friends and foe in authentic expressions of joy and love following a moment of conflicting emotions.
  • Being, just Being, in comfort and discomfort is peace.

Can you make a list where you find peace for yourself and then share it with the world?

Much love, and peace


Jun 152008

Dedicated to the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. Most of our banner pictures were taken during our visit to the Pryor Mountains.  I hope you enjoy them.

These pictures were taken by Mike during our photo shoot trip organized by wild horse photographer Lynne Pomeranz in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, Wyoming. The palomino roan stallion in some of the pictures in the full set is White Cloud, a somewhat famous horse.

Visit the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Center for Updates on these amazing horses.

Click on one of the pictures, or the “smugmug” link below for the full set