Modesty

Reducing excesses,
encouraging what is subdued,
within myself I hold a mountain.
Disguising my powers,
I cultivate modesty,
harvesting genuine strength
to cross the great water.
No blame.
Great success.

Marcus Antoninus
(freely interpreted and rewritten from I Ching, hexagram 15)

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I choose

I now choose:
this steadfast commitment
to a life of wisdom,
this relentless search
for proper engagement and detachment,
this healthy custom
of cultivating my inner garden.
In whatever circumstance,
in every place and moment.
In this one my only life,
I already made my choice.

Marcus Antoninus

In this life

a timid winter Sun sets
over a thousand years ruins
once mighty monument
now rubble and dust
as I walk back to my path
I shiver at the thought
of the hubris and wrath
these old stones did command
now conquered by the bush
while the suffering and pain
went lost in the haze of time
I cannot help but reflect
how much of today’s sweat and stress
are already condemned
to become future rubble and ruins

Marcus Antoninus

Morning prayer (VI)

Joyful Sun,
already high in the sky
let your light and warmth
inspire me today
to care and bear fruit
to let pass and forgive
to only act and manifest
out of a deliberate attitude
rooted in deep reflection
and a heart of love
that remains calm,
positive and wise.

Marcus Antoninus

Unadorned simplicity

I once placed myself
at just the right distance
from people and things
and only then could I see
the vast web of dependence
of which all of us form part
and without delay I realized
that I need nothing more
than the acceptance and joy
of my bare existence.

Marcus Antoninus