Another Saturday Autumn poem

The leaves are falling, falling as from far, 
from wilting in the heavens’ distant gardens: 
They’re falling to deny the summer’s mirth. 

And in the nights the heavy Earth 
falls into solitude from star to star. 

We all are falling. See my hand: it is falling. 
And look at others: It’s in all their calling. 

And yet there’s One, who’s holding all this falling,  
with endless tenderness, in His upturned hands.

Rilke,  Autumn



If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving
and for once could do nothing
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Pablo Nerudo, Keeping Quiet


Seeds planted

This season calls us to the harvest. Seeds planted long ago create a bounty and fullness in our lives. Autumn invites me to remember the places in my life where I had a dream that once felt tiny and has now grown and ripened into fullness. I savor these places where my life feels abundant. I relish the experience of being nourished by dreams into my own growing wholeness.

The poet Rilke writes of autumn: “Command the last fruits to be full; / give them just two more southern days, / urge them on to completion and chase / the last sweetness into the heavy wine.” We move toward our own ripening and in that journey we let go of what no longer serves us. 

We live in times when it often feels like everything is coming undone. This season reminds us that the journey of relinquishing all we hold dear is also the journey of harvesting. Somehow these two come together year after year. We are invited to rest into its mystery.

What are you releasing that no longer energizes you?

What dreams do you want to harvest this season?

Christing Valter Paintner, Autumn Equinox: Honoring Harvest and Release

Writing a new story

From a different tradition, but saying the same thing as the last two days. “Erasing”, letting go of preconceived constructions,  frees us up to write a new story with each moment. 

Only the hand that erases

can write the true thing.

 Meister Eckhart

Our limiting thoughts are just a creation


Whatever assumptions you have about yourself, no matter how reasonable they might be, they are still a creation in the present. By believing in them, by thinking and holding to them, you’re continually creating yourself as a personality.

Awakeness is not a creation.

It’s the immanent act of attention in the present.

Ajahn Sumedho, The Problem with Personality

Not holding on

Things are continually changing and change in ways that we do not expect. The human tendency is to fix ourselves and each moment into something expected and define it by how it has to be, rather than how it is evolving. The great adventure is to live each moment fully, as a gift which has arrived without us expecting it.

A person who has clarified their real state sees only

each thing,

each thing,

each thing,

and lets go of understanding an underlying nature for each thing.

Dogen, Uji