American Poetry, Poetry

Thinking of Wallace Stevens by Robert Bly

Picking up from last week's poem by James Wright that was written in honor of his friend Robert Bly, this week I'm posting a work by Bly himself that pays homage to another poet, Wallace Stevens. The simple imagery of Bly's poems conjure the verses of old Chinese masters, and echo the words of Wallace… Continue reading Thinking of Wallace Stevens by Robert Bly

Book Excerpts, Chinese Texts

Those Who Seek the Way Must Enter it With the Suddenness of a Knife-Thrust

"If you would only rid yourselves of the concepts of ordinary and Enlightened, you would find that there is no other Buddha than the Buddha in your own Mind," wrote master Huang Po in 9th century China. As the master of Linji Yixuan, founder of the Rinzai school, Huang Po is in many ways considered… Continue reading Those Who Seek the Way Must Enter it With the Suddenness of a Knife-Thrust

Sutra Excerpts, Sutras

Know for Yourselves – The Kalama Sutta

This well-known extract from the Kalama Sutta quotes a teaching from the Buddha in which he advises his audience - a group called the Kalamas of Kesaputta - about how to know their own spiritual paths, given the noise of the competing  philosophies and teachers that would frequently present themselves in their communities. Bombarded by… Continue reading Know for Yourselves – The Kalama Sutta

Book Excerpts

Awakening is Not the End – it’s Just the First Step into the Stream

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry is Jack Kornfield's classic journey into modern spirituality and what is means to be a student of spirituality in the contemporary world. In the book, he uses first-hand accounts of various people's experiences of awakening, satori or kensho and goes into some detail about what these states actually feel like,… Continue reading Awakening is Not the End – it’s Just the First Step into the Stream

Author Q&A

Author Q&A – Danielle Pieratti

Can writing with your wrong hand beat writer's block? Are maternity leave and creativity at all compatible? Danielle Pieratti, The Dewdrop's featured poet this week, knows. The author of 'Fugitives', a collection that won the 2016 Idaho Prize and the 2017 Connecticut Book Award for Poetry, she has also published two chapbooks: 'By the Dog… Continue reading Author Q&A – Danielle Pieratti

American Poetry, Poetry

Triptych by Danielle Pieratti

'Triptych' by Danielle Pieratti is a dream-like scene that at once expounds a loaded world contained in a moment, a sail 'unhooked' and unfurling through a countryside picture. The poem holds an entire scale of refracted imagery, from the everyday image of two people, one observing the other while knee-high in mud, to the wider… Continue reading Triptych by Danielle Pieratti

Book Excerpts, Christian Texts

Blinded by the Sun – St Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila was a 16th century Spanish mystic who experienced visions and raptures throughout her life and who emphasized the importance of continuing contemplative, intimate prayer. In this excerpt from her autobiography, she contrasts  material wealth with spiritual riches and uses the metaphor of the shining sun as the source that illuminates that… Continue reading Blinded by the Sun – St Teresa of Avila

American Poetry, Poetry

Something There is That Doesn’t Love a Wall

Robert Frost's 'Mending Wall' is at once a humorous take on rural living as well as a more pointed meditation on isolation and the barriers we choose to build, or are obliged to put up. The walls, he seems to say, have a tendency to come down by themselves, but we will come and repair… Continue reading Something There is That Doesn’t Love a Wall

Book Excerpts

We Only Have One Story – John Steinbeck on Virtue and Vice

East of Eden was John Steinbeck's epic novel written later on in his life that was based on the history of his family in the Salinas Valley in California. With frequent references to the Book of Genesis, the story addresses questions about the fundamentals of human nature, most notably the perpetual struggle within ourselves between… Continue reading We Only Have One Story – John Steinbeck on Virtue and Vice