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Comments from Insight Timer From when I Started Writing them Down (Spring 2019?) until August 1, 2020

August 3, 2020

Good morning. Beautiful day. Will take Tashi to share at The poets’ bench in Balboa Park today. This week we admired the flowers on a small section of the Pacific Crest Trail


Sun between showers
Hummingbird flashes purple
Once more dark prevails

Yesterday there was a rainbow next to my alter. Morning light and the glass doors of a cabinet. Serendipitous morning beauty.Today, a little haze. Garden, a muted watercolor. Prayer flags unmoving . Today I will reward Tashi and me with a trip to Fiesta Island where she can run and I can stretch my legs and feel the sea, reward for writing last night after a dry spell. Then, perhaps, tonight I’ll write again, with gratitude.

The California poppies have sprung up in the paths and will get to stay because they’re delightful. Red mallow, Mountain lilac, Encelia, other natives are blooming and the garden is full of finches, towhees, a couple wrens, and of course, the hummers. Think I will sit a bit longer and enjoy the scent of orange blossoms.

Yesterday was in the 80s. I took Tashi with me to the poetry bench in Balboa park and she was a good sport sitting around as folks read their poetry. Today I will take her to Fiesta island to make up for it.


Unpredicted rain
Prayer flags send drops to the deck
Buddha sits serene

Damp after the rain
Tashi  sticks her head out door
Returns to warm bed

Ahhhhh. Enjoy the beauty. My rebellious poppies are blooming in the paths, not where they were sown. Birds serenaded my sit today

Rebellious poppies
Bloom on my garden path
not where they were sown

Time to meditate
Birds line up at the feeder
Strip prayer flags for nests

Sun’s bright energy
Highlights my garden below
Rain becomes flowers

Good earth dressed in spring
Butterflies dance to birdsong
Towhee tugs at string

4/21/19 (Easter) bombings in Sri Lanka churches and hotels 

Cold and blustery
Across world, death in churches
Our Mother Earth grieves

Yet in this morning
The hummer sips her nectar
Flowers bloom their hope


Baby finch parents
Start children on life of crime
Steal oriole’s jam

Ten word:

Crosses, bombs
Can we love
Our holy places
Respect others?

Embraced by the moon
Fluffy owlets’ golden eyes
Silent mom with mouse

Trying to get home
I stop to look at the sky
I’m already there

Become whole again
Each broken piece a lesson
In finding oneness

Wet, not really rain
Walk outside, scent of white sage
Cool May gray morning


Woke to bright sunlight
Settled in to meditate
Now dark clouds, wet deck

5/12/19. Mother’s Day 

Birds gathering food
Tiny baby wings flutter
Heart full memories 

Ten word poem

Day of memory
Tiny beings
Now parents
Circle of love


Monkey-mind morning
Thoughts ricochet off the walls
Dog dreams by window


We wait for the rain
Sit on the edge of the now
Shoes sit by the door

5/20/19 ( 10 word poem)

Wind whipped clouds
Sun struggles
Breaks out
Lights  luminous hummingbird


The morning is gray and soft, yet monkey mind found a way to bounce. 


Back from road trip to Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California with Tashi. Grand kids and grand dogs in Colorado, Ghost Ranch and memories of Mom in New Mexico. Sacred places. Places of time. Mesas. Wildflowers. The road. 


Cool fog. Tattered prayer flags. Baby hawks try out their screams. 


Hummingbird at the feeder. Warm morning before the heat sets in. Last night, sunflower seed heads silhouetted against fiery sunset.


Just returned from driving to Denver, flying with my daughter to Tuscany and Umbria, driving back through Utah. The last night jolted me back to reality. Never try to save money by staying at a run down casino on the outskirts of Vegas. Now amid the detritus of the trip, I sit. Buddha has acquired dead leaves and dust but still sits serenely on the deck. My mind flicks back to Tuscan fields, stone monoliths. I sigh. Laundry awaits.

October 20

And today it will be October fire season hot. There is a tension and holding of breath. I stare out my window at tattered prayer flags and the Banyan tree that arrived mail order as a three inch seedling and is now over two feet beside meditating Buddha. Humming bird sips and chases the others. Fall is here. My bare feet are cold on the floor and the warm wool shawl comforts until the day warms. 

November 15, 2019

A little foggy after early morning sun. A slight chill. Southern California is attempting to say autumn

November 16, 2016

Dog’s bark summons me to the window. Two morning Monarchs dance upwards from the manzanita. Two teenage girls walk ahead of old woman with cane around our cul-de-sac. Oh I hope they saw the Monarchs, too. 

November 30, 2019

More rain than I’m used to, but we need it. Yard is green with fresh rain and a smaller species of hummingbird sits in the Baja Fairy Duster in the front yard. Dog sighs. Her walk today was too short. 

December 7

Today the only thing that would entice Tashi to go into the backyard (more than 9 hours since she was outside) was for me to put on full rain regalia and go downstairs with her during a break in the rain. I puttered, pulling a few weeds and planting a few succulents and soon realized she was back in the house. Sighhh. At least we walked Fiesta Island yesterday. Now, after meditation, the Buddha on my porch is meditating in the rain and I must rise and do the laundry. 


First glimpse after meditating:  Buddha sits on the wet deck by the living pine tree decorated by sunlit drops from last night’s rain. The house finches dominate the feeders, then startle and fly.  Bright yellow goldfinches swoop in to take their place. Napoleon hummingbird scolds and chases rivals from two feeders. The prayers flags hang heavy and tattered. I rise, ready to meet the day. 


Happy season of holidays, my meditation friend!


Sometimes I ease gratefully into meditation. Sometimes I get caught in monkey mind until I tell myself to untighten my shoulders, smile, go back to my breath. Sometime, as I did today, I find myself repeating: smile, shoulders, breath. Sometimes I ease gracefully, gratefully into meditation sometimes I do not.  That, too, is my practice. 


Today I must rise from the heaviness of lethargy and write to make a hole in the dark. Thanks for meditating with me.


Yesterday a Monarch bright with the newness of her emergence. A green chrysalis with a crown of gold perhaps nurturing her mate. Winter in San Diego. Will I, too, find courage to escape Into the sun?


Have missed a day here and there, but mostly still sit daily. Thank you for noticing. Today I am running to a weaving class in the desert. Thank you for the energy. I need it. Have a day of sunshine and beautiful clouds.

Be safe. Be well. Be snug and emerge with an incredible lightness, stronger for your ordeal.

That said, do not take it lightly. Do you have chicken soup friends? ( this coming from a vegetarian). If you have shortness of breath, get thee to a physician. Ok. I will stop being grandma.


I am hunkering down, plenty of stuff in the cupboard, a pen and an empty page that seems to remain empty. The orioles have returned and many more hummingbirds. A tiny cottontail in the front yard. My wise facade is evaporating as I obsess on Facebook, but I see the evil corporations becoming the overlords and can only hope  the small band of youth has divine slingshots. 

3/27 /2020.

Day 19:  Tashi (dog) and I are riding it out. I am fortunate to have a garden with fruit trees and have planted vegetables if it becomes a long haul. Showers last night, golden sun today. Be safe; be well. I watched a monarch caterpillar create its chrysalis in a beautiful succulent so am checking its progress daily. Sending safe virtual hugs, Barb

April 3, 2020

Today I will do Zumba on zoom with daughter-in-law and hope my grandkids photobomb. Tonight a Wonderful Jewish friend has invited me to a virtual shabbos. In between will be in between. May bitter fuel turn to oranges and honey. May you take a moment to see spring arriving all around you.


I think a lizard got the chrysalis—nature in action. This morning is cool and damp, but I filled the bird feeders yesterday and the morning is full of birdsong. Thanks for meditating with me. 


Circle of life. I think a lizard got my emerging Monarch. Today a bunny stood on a rock in my front yard and peered in at Tashi who was barking crazily. I feel lighter today. Turned in taxes at Postoffice. First time out in public. Back to my hermitage.


Meditated on the deck. Bird song. Hummingbirds. Orioles rattle. Wrapped in my Tibetan soft wool, I am grateful for the day. 


Today is day 77 of my self isolation and my granddaughter’s birthday. I bought her what she wanted, a Polaroid camera in line green. Her brother got a Bugatti model unbirthday present. My son’s family came over yesterday and we sat in the backyard in our masks and watched the Monarch butterflies. Today I must plant more milkweed as I counted over 30 caterpillars in the yard last night. The days are beautiful and my dog, Tashi, lets me hug her. 

May ( 2018 came up)  
Wet, not really rain
Walk outside, scent of white sage
Cool May gray morning

May 31, 2020

Today is cool. Birdsong comes in through the one open window. The tattered prayer flags lift slightly. Now a hummingbird arrives, checks around him for rivals, perches and drinks from the feeder. I am loathe to rise from my seat, but I will amble to the front window and peer out with Tashi at the white sage and globe mallow, Queen Jacaranda in her purple cloak over a purple carpet, the Monarchs and lizards, tiny bush tits and warblers. 


Birdsongs in cool fog of morning and mourning for our world. May love overcome hate.


It will be hot today. Windows open in early morning to be shaded over as heat creeps in. Tashi sits on an outdoor chair. Goldfinches cover the thistle feeder. Orioles made short work of the grape jelly. Today I found half an eggshell below the swallow nest. Nestlings must be growing. 

Thank you. Glad to have meditation friends during these times. Hunkered down for 95 days. 

June 14, 2020

Cool with lots of birdsong and Monarchs today. Tashi insisted we walk the backyard together. This morning she jumped on the bed to comfort me. Thanks for meditating with me.

My favorite birds change daily. I love the little goldfinches, especially the young ones who flutter their wings and insist on being fed as they sit on the feeder. The hooded orioles come for the grape jelly and they are deep yellow and black and very shy. In the undergrowth I have fluffy brown towhees. The hummingbirds are a bit too belligerent but they sparkle. Even their poop is gold. Then there are the little brown bush tots who come for the sage seed. And the wren I’ve seen once or twice in the front yard. We have bluebirds in the neighborhood but I rarely see them. When I am at retreats, the blue jays sit on my head and eat out of my hands and, unlike my neighbors, I see the crows as wise friend


Today,  74 years on this earth. More and more I hurt when it hurts and sing when it sings.

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6/21/2020. Yesterday my wonderful son put on a hazmat- type suit so I could get my first hug in over 100 days. ? We also had ice cream on opposite ends of an 8 foot table. 


Today Tashi’s  incessant barks caused me to pause my meditation with five minutes left. Through our front window Tashi and I watched a mother and two children begin their silly walks in front of our house where the sign said “ Commence Silly Walking.”  What makes a grin feel so good? Or what makes someone feel so good they can’t stop grinning through the rest of meditation? ( Google: Ministry of silly walks)


Today my WeCroak app had a quote that said something like “ every day I wake up not dead is a good day”. Before I started meditating, I filled the jelly feeder for the orioles and made sure the thistlefood was full for the finches and the nectar for the hummers. So far, the wind is blowing the right way so the smoke from the burning ship is not filling the house. The morning is cool.  My little Bodhi tree has fresh new leaves. 


Today an awkward oriole in full male color, missed a too little branch by the vegetable garden, looked around to see who noticed and flew into the Palo Verde tree where he became invisible. I think my baby orioles have become adolescents. 

August 1, 2020

Today I meditated on the deck amid calls of hummingbirds, goldfinches, and orioles. No early zoom meetings, I had awakened gradually this morning, aware of cool sheets and pillows. Tashi jumped on the bed and I lazily stroked her ears. Now I sit, my Tibetan blanket snug against a cool breeze, not yet willing to go back in the house to start my day



One Comment
  1. Deborah permalink

    How beautiful you write. thank you.

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