Author: <span>Gudrun</span>

The tree that sheltered us
during the long ago storm
that blew off the cottage roof,
that hundred some year old tree fell uphill
creating a weave of dry, tangled limbs.

This drought goes beyond the beyond.
I carry water until it hurts;
dishwater is not wasted,
but my tears are not enough.

Gudrun Mouw (c)
August 22, 2021

A Poem

Walking meditation practice has been an important helpmate for a while now. It teaches me to be present with every step, to experience the movement of body, mind and breath. I learn about being attentive in the midst of sight and sound and uneven surfaces underfoot. Resting afterwards, I appreciate the wonderful gift of respite.

The Spiritual Journey

I have recently finished reading, The Way of Silence: The Prose and Poetry of Basho by Richard Lewis, a book given to me by one of my yoga students. Basho was a seventeen century Japanese haiku master.

What seems timely for me, at this time, is that he embarked on a solitary journey, gradually withdrawing from the world as personified in the final observation of this book: ….”it has been customary to leave behind a death poem….But every moment of life is the last….”

This reminds me of the yogic teachings that every breath is both a birth and a death—a beginning and an end. That is something to contemplate during this dangerous Covid pandemic era. I ask myself: Is it not crucial to value the present moment, however it appears and however difficult that might be?

March 14, 2021
Gudrun Mouw (c)

A Book Review

I recently had a discussion with someone who felt very drawn to the yoga Warrior Pose. My thought was, yes, I can understand how during this difficult era one could feel a strong pull—feet grounded, arms up.

This conversation reminded me of a story my teacher shared: A long time ago in India, there were two warriors near a dangerous cliff. One warrior, determined to best the other one at all cost, backed the second warrior towards the cliff’s edge. Then, warrior number one began a furious attack. The second warrior (I call him the wise warrior) dropped to his knees. The angry warrior’s plan collapsed as he toppled over his opponent and fell off the cliff instead.

The take away for me was: Always strive to act in a way that is appropriate to the situation by remaining as clear minded as possible and not be driven by crazy aggression or other unhelpful attitudes.

The Spiritual Journey

Reading President Obama’s 701 page book, I found it helpful to have speed reading skills through the (often quite necessary) details of policy information. In spite of that, the heartfelt, excellent writing, honesty, willingness to consider opposing views and intelligence steeped with compassion all bring me back to that memorable day after the 2008 election.

I was filled with joy. On my 2 mile hike in a nearby CA State Park down a fire road, I saw a young man walking towards me. I yearned to share my happiness, but as we passed each other, his eyes were closed. His face was blissful. I wondered; maybe he doesn’t want to interrupt his bliss. Maybe he fears I had voted for the opposition. Maybe there is a racial element, because I am white, and he is black. Whatever the reason, we were shy and/or too afraid to break through our imaginary separation.

Reading this book makes me better informed and also more appreciative of President Barack Obama’s behind-the-scenes process. This is an invaluable, historical masterpiece sprinkled with endearing personal insights. I am most moved by what I perceive to be President Obama’s continuing quest for self awareness.

Gudrun Mouw
January 5, 2021

A Book Review

I am grateful for the vote!

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