Daily email inspirations

I subscribe to several daily email services that enrich my well-being as I begin each day. I receive joy, encouragement, wonder, food for thought, and catalysts for expansion from these emails. I feel grateful for the people who thought these up and deliver day after day. It makes a difference.

For several years, I got a poem a day in my inbox from Panhala. That stopped a few months ago, and I don’t know why. Joe Riley did a great job of sharing some wonderful poems, and I hope he’s well. No one seems to know. I miss the poems. The link above is still a great repository of poems.

I also get quotes from Tricycle Daily Dharma about Buddhist practice. (Click the link, then the Your Daily Dharma Sign Up Now link to subscribe.) Here’s today’s quote:

Fear is not the Enemy
There are many ways to meditate on fear. One is to wait until it appears adventitiously. Another is to invite it in — when we send out invitations we can be a little better prepared for who shows up at the party. Perhaps for both methods of approach the first thing to bear in mind is that fear is not the enemy — it is nature’s protector; it only becomes troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. In order to deal with fear we must take a fundamentally noncontentious attitude toward it, so it’s not held as a problem, but as a visitor. Once we take this attitude, we can begin to work with fear. ~ Amaro Bhikkhu, “Inviting Fear”

Fear is a visitor to the guesthouse. Allow it in — it protects. Ask what it is protecting me from; ask what needs protection. It is only troublesome when it oversteps its bounds. Got it!

I get quotes from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the flawed but wise Tibetan Buddhist teacher, from Ocean of Dharma as well. Here’s the most recent:

THE THINKER. No one can stop or control your thought process or your thinking. You can think anything you want. But that doesn’t seem to be the point. The thinking process has to be directed into a certain approach. That does not mean that it should be in accord with certain dogma, philosophy, or concepts. Instead, one has to know the thinker itself. So we are back to square one, the thinker itself: who or what thinks, and what is the thought process?

Right now playing with how thoughts bubble into awareness, disappear, and new thoughts arise…the flowing mind, the full mind, the empty mind, the nature of mind to think.

The Universe (Mike Dooley) sends me a message of support, encouragement, humor, and expansion every day. I especially enjoy how playful The Universe often is. Playful has become one of my favorite energies.

What if every wrinkle, scar, or gray hair only made you more beautiful? What if every tear you’ve shed, mistake you’ve made, and challenge you’ve faced, only drew you closer to the light? And what if, MaryAnn, for every breath you’ve taken, every sentence you’ve spoken, and every path you’ve chosen, your fans in the unseen multiplied?

Well, I’d say it’s about time you found out.

Be proud, we are –
The Universe

Universe, I must be really beautiful and close to the light, with a multiplicity of unseen fans! Recently had an angel reading with Russell Forsyth, my first, and am feeling more aware of the angels around me than ever before.

Creative catalyst Lynn Scheurell sends me a Daily Catalyst quote each day. Here’s what Lynn sent today:

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Wow. Well, as my About Me page says, I’ve got ’em, scars. I do believe that life’s wounds can become spiritual currency and mistakes are for growth, so no matter what, you can’t lose.

The latest addition to my daily email habit is “EnneaThought for the Day,” a message for people of my Enneagram type, Five. Sometimes the messages are very inspiring, as today’s was:

Remember that at your best, you become an intrepid discoverer and explorer, broadly comprehending the world while penetrating it profoundly.

I’m really liking that description of the directions I move toward — broad comprehension and profound penetration. I enjoy using my mind and awareness in these ways.

Poetry, reciprocity, feeling absolutely useless and enjoying it

I used to post poems I liked to this blog, but I stopped a while back and removed them (well, all except for Shoveling Snow with Buddha by Billy Collins, widely available online).

By the way, Shoveling Snow with Buddha is a wonderful poem to read in August when it’s over 100 degrees. Just saying.

The major reason is that poets are often impoverished and yet the best ones give us the beautiful gifts of lifting spirits and expanding worldviews, maybe shifting our  identities for the better, touching our hearts and souls.

Somehow they manage to use words, which are a left-brain tool, to convey right-brain experiences of intuition, wonder, and new associations.

Every poem available online is also available in a book, and when you buy a book of poems, the poet makes money. They don’t make money from having their poems published online.

Buying a book of poems reciprocates the poet for his or her talent, sweat, and generosity. They need to eat too. (I think Billy Collins is doing pretty well, though, and I have bought a handful of his books. Billy, if you disagree, please let me know.)

I still subscribe to Panhala, which sends me a daily email with a poem in it. Each poem includes the poet’s name and the printed source — so you can buy the book or find it in a library, if you choose.

I have a hunch that Panhala, even though it posts poems for free, probably steers more people to poetry in general, to particular poets, and to buying poetry books than anything else online. Joe Riley does it as a labor of love. No advertising, just poems, photos, and music.

Today’s Panhala poem makes me want to make an exception to my rule. It’s by David Ignatow, is titled For Yaedi, and is from New and Collected Poems, 1970-1985.

It’s a short poem, and I’m going to only quote part of it.

…When I die
I want it to be said that I wasted
hours in feeling absolutely useless
and enjoyed it, sensing my life
more strongly than when I worked at it.

Thank you, David Ignatow. Thank you for that poem. I love that sentiment. I find myself longing for some hours to waste. I’m so used to being productive, to forging ahead, to getting things done.

My shoulders tight, especially my right shoulder, which seems to be where that forging ahead energy resides in my body. 

I got my grades in massage school, and I’m doing so ridiculously well that I realized I could afford to slack off a little. I stayed home half a day, turned in an assignment a day late, and made 80 on a quiz. So there.

Thoughts have been swirling about finishing the work on the trailer, big expenses coming up (tuition, car repairs or replacement, finishing the next four months of massage school), dwindling savings, finding work, and this intensely hot drought that seems to be unending.

I am going to set aside several hours tomorrow to waste while I sense my life strongly. Maybe a little shaking medicine, sitting, breathing, yoga, toning, journaling, walking — no, wait, that’s useful. I’m going for useless.


I think tomorrow is the day to let my feet lead me. They’re already telling me they plan to take me to Barton Springs.

My hunch is that I will probably have more resources to draw on to solve my problems after taking a useless day than I would have if I had a useful day.

I’ll post the outcome on Monday.