Author: <span class="vcard">Gudrun</span>

Recently, I have been ruminating on the value of different kinds of community. The first six years of my life were spent in the midst of my maternal East Prussian grandparents’ large Seventh Day Adventist family—one of the lesser known religions targeted by Gestapo. There were 8 children, my mother the oldest, and I was the only grandchild at that time. In spite of grace and the gift of co-operation that helped most of the family to survive both the Hitler and Stalin regimes, family connections were torn apart in many different ways as each member, more or less, found his or her own healing path.

As displaced Europeans, my parents and I left the community of our extended families on both sides and moved to the USA. In my early immigrant years—as an only child separated from the protective sense of a larger group— I felt isolated in my efforts to learn a new language and culture. Much later, after meeting Sri Swami Satchidananda Yogiraj, the community atmosphere and enthusiastic co-operation of a spiritual family that he encouraged was extremely rejuvenating and strengthening for me.

I eventually learned, however, that a community, if it is to be fully viable, also needs to acknowledge disparate elements. Humans are seldom in complete agreement with each other, and that is not even desirable. Open minded, honest discourse increases a community’s capacity for growth.

Today, at the border of a 1960s California housing development and a Wild West nature habitat, we have been observing a group of visiting quail. They remind me of a well functioning community. This morning, I had thrown out some sunflower seeds; yet, the quail remain peaceful, without getting in each others’ way. They exhibited a natural restraint as well as co-operation. I enjoy watching them, especially during these current times when there seems to be a pervasive atmosphere of national anxiety.

And so the quail inspire me to practice a loving kindness meditation: “May I forgive all who have harmed me. May I be forgiven for any harm I may have caused to others. May I be peaceful. May I be happy. May I have ease of body and mind. May all sentient beings be peaceful. May all be happy. May all have physical and mental ease.”

—Om Tat Sat.

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Gudrun Mouw is the author of From Ashes Into Light which won the 2017 Living Now Award for Inspirational Fiction as well as 6 other awards. Find out more here.

From Ashes Into Light The Spiritual Journey

A Poem Can Haunt

I resist this poem so it won’t haunt,
but there is no stopping the taste of water.

How many stupidities act
as if a thought doesn’t fly through the universe,
since secret greed is not secret.

I resist this poem so it won’t hurt,
but there is no stopping that song of the unsung.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
January 13, 2019

A Poem

Speak?

I answer: let me write, how the worst
humans have no compassion. Winds
rise; the ocean rises. We swing back
and forth between drought, fire and deluge.

Memory—of a family displaced,
threatened, in hiding, abused
and starved—does not forget
the sounds of death.

Each of us must find a way
to expose that
which should not
exist.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
December, 2018

Uncategorized

Cycles

Looking at sunlight, east of the ash tree
and west of an oak forest that writes
the history of this valley/canyon. Will deer hop
out of today’s bright page? Where is coyote?

I remember how the bobcat killed
a gopher as it destroyed
my last butterfly bush; he came
when he heard my wail, rushed like wind past me,
and demolished the culprit. I did not ask for that.

If I had been quiet, one more creature
would have lived. Now, an imprint
of light and shadow holds the landscape
between past and future.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
November, 2018

A Poem

After Labor Day

A newsperson previews summer’s end;
this proclamation brings relief
and fear—the intense heat that was,
and a chill about to fall
upon an expanding national concern,

which reminds her of the violent years
that unleashed World War II.
And now, once again, she remembers:
how hard it is, not to hate hatred.

Her prayer escapes: “May I breathe
that divine and universal love,
away from those who whip their rage.
Let me not retreat
to a prison of discouragement.”

Gudrun Mouw (c)
September 6, 2018

A Poem

Friend/Enemy

Dear friend, before you died,
you complained, “I’m doing things so
I can keep doing them.” I did not think
those would be the final words
I heard you speak….

Dear enemy, will my aversion
for the harm you keep committing
bring the world, once more,
towards a common good?

May truth blossom
like rosemary
in the midst of drought.

Gudrun Mouw (c)

A Poem