letter for April 15, 2013 ~ I won’t stop loving…

i won't stop loving...
Escondido, CA ~ ©Copyright 2012, Jaysen Matthew Waller

beautiful friends ~

sometimes there are no quick fixes or bandages to salve wounds that have etched their presence into our lives with such striking suddenness.
sometimes all we can do is sit, remember to breathe, and coax the courage to keep our hearts open.
sometimes it is all we can do to pull forth from the ground below and the sky above, with Life itself as our witness, that most valiant and sacred of mantras ~
I won’t stop loving. I won’t stop loving. I won’t stop loving.

~ j

April 15, 2013

September 11, 2012…

spent the evening watching 9/11 footage as i do every year on this day.

i find it incredible that 11 years later, the emotions that rise up from my chest – that turn my stomach – that tighten in my throat, can still be so present. and although the emotions of sadness and anger manifest their presence once again, i do not watch to give them life anew. i watch to remind myself. to remind myself that suffering not grieved, that anger not transformed, that bitterness unchecked – left in its darkened cave, grows into hate. and that hate when held onto, when taught and modeled, finds life in hopeless – desperate hearts. possibly giving birth for generations, slowly separating us from our humanity, from what is divine.

i also watch to remind myself of what it looks like to see such bravery in the face of horrific disaster and tragedy, to watch courage and compassion manifest as it did that day in the police and fire fighters, in doctors and nurses, in coworkers and friends. i watch to remind myself how a nation who can get lost in division, can all at once be unified in their grief, their desire to hold life, and in their humanity.

i know in my heart we are given all we need to heal, all we need to reconcile and restore. the solution is us. our hearts, our minds, our light, our love – together. in moments we see this and in the long arc of history i believe its thread is clear.

but there are dark moments, periods of time that can shake the heart, and i am left to wonder – have we learned?

wishing all of you, dear friends – relief from your suffering, happiness and peace.

~ j

September 11, 2012

simplicity, humility, grief on the Path…

“Thinking about Joshu: One of the most beloved masters in early China was Joshu, admired for his economy and spirit. Zen Master Joshu was born in 778 CE and became a monk when he was 18 years of age. He stayed with his teacher Nansen for 40 years. When Nansen died, Joshu grieved for some years, and then, at the age of 60, after his grief had worn through, he said “I think I’m going to wander around for a while.” He spent the next 20 years traveling about China, visiting various Zen teachers and letting them check his mind. He was checking their minds too.

At the age of 80 he thought, “It’s time to settle down now,” and he became the head of a small temple, where students would come and go, and he would have quiet, pointed interactions with those who met him. It was said that a kind of light shown around his mouth, he was so direct, purified, simple, non-greedy about his own mind and his own practice. Modest and having submitted for so long, he became who he really was. He died at the age of 120, and thus he had the advantage, once he had settled down at the age of 80, to have another 40 years of discovery, enjoying peculiar and unmediated interactions with those who found their way to his modest temple.”

~ Roshi Joan Halifax

i don’t know that it is important to believe the specifics of this story, as some have questioned.

rather, the power for me is in the message of the story, the simplicity of purpose, the humility of spirit. i really connected with these.

i am always impressed by the amount of grief these stories expose of students when their masters/teachers pass. so beautiful, so human and sacred. the path of awakening is not something that helps us escape these heavy things in life, but the practice gives us the grounding to sit, to walk, and to live with it…and what we find is that we have this heart with an incredible capacity to hold Life.

thank you for sharing, Roshi Joan.

~ j

standing naked in the desert…

i bury myself deep
this bed of grief

wildly wrapping myself
sheets of anger and hurt

twisted and tangled

memory washes over me

uprooting these shallow feet

my breath barely escaping
heavily weighted chest


To clear this crowded mind
reclaim this broken heart!

i stand naked in the desert




for Love to surprise me…

loss and letting go…

good, bad, sad coming
good, bad, sad ever going
all of Life is Now

great suffering and bliss shared
in this, our One Heart


friends ~

without a doubt, these past two weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion. shadowed by worry, tension, grief, at times guilt, and with an even more consistent presence – confusion.
details are not necessary.  but the preceding weeks have brought the loss of people in my life and the seeming estrangement and confusion of what is a very dear to my heart friendship.  the price has been exhaustion, and at times an overwhelming burden of a weight i know i should not attempt to bear…and a feeling of helplessness, feeling alone, and deep, deep sadness.

Life is good.

i’m not making a joke.  Life is good.  we have never been promised an easy road.  the road ahead has guaranteed suffering.  but we also know that all these things pass.  and that the road ahead can be graced with many good, good things and if we open our eyes and hearts to it, we have Love available to us right here – right now.  like the Love that lives in our friendships.  i have no doubt that some of my closest friends have been the pillars that have been holding up my heart during this time.  pillars with names like Amy, Cynthie, Shannon, Mitch.  i am blessed.

in Buddhism we are taught that life is always changing, fleeting and transitioning. nothing is stationary.  how do i not grasp at friendships, at life, and control?  how do i go about this when feeling overwhelmed?

i sit.
i sit and breathe.
i sit with patience.
i sit with an open heart.
i sit and let go.
waiting with compassion for the Ocean’s next wave…

thank you, for keeping me company.

peace & love to you dear friends…

~ j