wiser joy.


I just came across this bit of brilliance by Dazu Kodo Justin Park…for those who are committed to showing up, responding to this very moment with all of its “messiness” included, in the very midst of all the pain and bliss…for those who chose to enter in, seeing the perfect imperfection, and dare to venture with not knowing, “setting the sails with wiser joy”…
“Huffety puffety…guarding the lair…This is the job of our limited stare.
Limitations are no blank pass…to reduce or conflate our Way through the Great Morass.
So we surrender and dive in…unrelenting is not our sin.
We find our selves committed…though never in this Maya acquitted.
We are found caught between this great silver orb…and all the light that it does not absorb.
Right here…we choose to sit…from the otherside these karmas seem to fit.
Within this sacred body…is a liberated melancholy.
So I unmoor this divine envoy…and set sail with a wiser joy.”

the way of the householder


From my wise, inspiring, and delightful partner and superman, Dazu Kodo Justin Park:

“The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents”
~Carl Jung ]

“This is why our children cannot be the number one thing in our lives to which everything revolves. Our children and our family partners need us to fundamentally show up to our lives…to see that it can be done. The function of family is to support each other (parents and kids) in showing up to our lives, both individually and as a family system…and to enjoy the ride! This is also the evolutionary function of family…to be a system of adaptation that enables the wider culture to evolve itself. But too often, family becomes our excuse to passively collapse into our own unconscious mediocrity. …when this happens we have lost our way…but the game can change back into something worth living in an instant…if we can but listen.

This is not easy as it requires that everyone is both simultaneously committed to their own and each other’s growth and showing up. There are no promises…the Universe does not owe us that we will all evolve in the same ways or in the same rates. If we are showing up to our lives…we will change and not be the same people we were. So in this way…the family system…partnering…parenting is in a dynamic state of balance/tension/transformation. And because of this, if we are awake…we will have to go through periods of reconstituting what the conditions of the relationships are…what is the purpose…toward what ends…what are they made up of.

The only way forward is to not disconnect-dissociate-check out. And at the same time…to not falsely impose our situation on others. This takes guts, courage, and a deep trust in reality that transcends our trust in ourselves and each other. There are no promises…but the only way forward is to vow to wake up, to grow, and to show up…to transcend our selfishness…and listen to the way of delight inviting us every moment. When we reckon with this deeply…and if we are graced with the people in our lives who do the same…mountains are moved…resurrection happens…and family becomes something worth living. This is the way of the householder…an unrelenting path if we are so fortunate.”

~Dazu Kodo

in a name…


asking the question of what i might invite people to call me, flirting with the idea of being asked to be called kathryn (my given name) and then wrestling again with the question in light of recently having been given a “new” name, koren…has actually proven to be a worthwhile, interesting, (and awkward) inquiry indeed…
you may (or may not) have noticed on this virtual world and wondered for my sanity:)
Is has led me to ask many questions of ego, dharma, of taking my seat, and the way…
my reflection below was initiated by an invitation by my partner in crime,Dazu Justin Park when he asked the question: How do you show up to the grand flex and churn…when it breaths down your neck…with affection…reminding you that all of our days are numbered?

if it is not in this very flesh and blood, the very dirt under my fingernails, that the way resides where then is it that i suspect it will emerge
…is it in fact out there somewhere…the out there place seems to continue to go out before me
this beautiful and messy dance is not one to be escaped
the dance and dancer inseparable…the invitation to keep our eyes open,
dancing and being danced…
it seems liberation resides in the open hearted meeting of it all while sinking roots deeply into compassion and not knowing
in this very moment with all of its texture
this showing up and entering in is not a business we can afford to delay or put off until we have this and that together, when all of our ducks are in a tidy row.
when we do not risk looking like a fool
no turning back…in the midst of the untidy ducks, the very nature of the fabric it all seem to emerge, to reside, and to die.
there is indeed endless suffering…the invitation of this very breathe is to dare to stop spinning our wheels in the stories that perpetuate the pain of the suffering and dare to spin stories that weave gold into the very fabric of being, in this impure moment.
taking courage in the perfection that we already are and are becoming.
even as we are bound in the web of these particular construction of storied ego
no point of arrival…arriving, ever arriving.
and who else but you, but me, to play in the muck (with the ducks:) and bear witness to the perfect imperfection.

…what is a name, but a reminder that we are alive and now is the time to live…fully embodied…no separation between you and me (and katy and kathryn and koren:)
we are all brilliant expressions, even we are called late for dinner.

much love and deep gratitude,

you are ready


“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.

Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.

If you don’t realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
disinterested, amused,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.”

~Lao Tsu


slowing down.

DSC_6829one of the fundamental reasons my children are among my most esteemed gurus is that they ask me to slow down, to pay attention…all.of.the.time.  and lately i have noticed that push and pull in me that just wants to keep on moving, resisting getting bogged down by their endless stream of needs…keeping an eye on the prized outcome (of the dishes being done, keeping on top of the laundry, the time i will or won’t have to sit down un-interupted and write…ect ect…the list goes on and on…)

yes those things need to get done, and maybe what the situation requires is a different system (ie having the kids sort and fold and put away their own laundry ect) the system can shift a bit to accommodate certain parts of the on-going lists when clarity is reached about the current dynamic…when i dare to assert that unfortunately the current system is no longer working…and rally the troops to see how we can pull together to come up with a better one…as a team?

and maybe what the situation requires is that i assert boundaries that are uncomfortable for them and me, because the boundary takes my attention from them which they don’t always like, and there was quite some time that i felt bad about that as a working mom…and i now also see my clear assertion of this boundary as a humble offering to them, that when they are parents, moms, dads…they can keep cultivating and deepening their lives.

much of my life work certainly and hugely includes and is inspired by them…but also mom and dad are people, people who are committed to continuing to grow up, to be challenged, and keep venturing into unknown territory…showing up as best we can in the world, listening and cultivating our gifts to offer back.

and maybe when they stand before us, they are creating space for us to show up exactly now, with them…offering us a window into the very now of this moment in all of its perfect imperfection.  they remind of the mystery we seemed to have lost hold of, the bright feathers against the snow outside the window…it seems that our curiosity is injured by trying to get somewhere else, fast…

children ask that we pay attention, be curious, keep arriving…they invite us to press the pause button on the many stories that we spin about this moment…the good, the bad, and the innocent…and with their invitation we might be lucky enough to stumble into a space of no blaming, just being.

these very ones, right in front of me, remind me to show up…from their watchful eyes, there is no hiding, no escaping.

no, the goal is not perfection…i gave up on that a long time ago and that letting go has served me very well indeed…though its greedy head peeks up now and then i do my best to welcome it as a long lost friend, to offer it a cup of tea and ask it what it might have to contribute to the the conversation…perhaps a reminder of this dance of the being and becoming, already and not yet, perfectly imperfect in every moment and ever deepening and expanding into new territory of living, of losing, of grieving, of loving, of doing our best to offer kindness and refusing to participate in the perpetuation of more and more suffering in the world.

rocks exploding


hearted in impermanence

step outside the endless game of act and react

rooted in love

extend compassion

for this human dance

joy, pain, light, dark

side by side…holding hands

refuse to be bound and obligated by a culture that insists on enslavement

and its cult of consumption

creating the insatiable hunger for more

might we choose a different expression of love?

nothing to gain and nothing to lose



No boundaries


“That all opposites—such as mass and energy, subject and object, life and death—are so much each other that they are perfectly inseparable, still strikes most of us as hard to believe. But this is only because we accept as real the boundary line between the opposites. It is, recall, the boundaries themselves which create the seeming existence of separate opposites. To put it plainly, to say that “ultimate reality is a unity of opposites” is actually to say that in ultimate reality there are no boundaries. Anywhere.”  ~Ken Wilber

What is it that I am hiding from
When I disappear, check out, resent
Hesitation in being seen, in all the true color?
Inability to put a finger on it,
As so much is riding on it’s shoulders
Protective armor
I am unsure at times,
That’s for sure
But I keep daring to lean in to clarity, faith, truth, love, service, surrender, laughter, while knowing deep sadness, fear, anxiety, loneliness, hopelessness.
All an intricate part of the dance
That this being alive appears to be


Hatching eggs


it appears that a book may be asking to be born out from my finger tips, it has in fact been being asking to be born for quite some time now. so…i am taking the show on the road for awhile. though i am still a bit unclear what the “final product” will look like, i am clear that if i show up, the way and the words will reveal themselves…as I deeply listen…taking this seat in this moment and every one that arises. it seems that this story might want to tumble out in pieces and that I might have some work ahead of me weaving the tapestry that has no explicit pattern to follow. though i have some hints, it seems this process may be one of devoted courtship and deep listening and the application of some good weaving skills. I will try to post here and there on this and that now and then, but i am planning on being mostly offline to give some time to the hatching of this potential egg.
Much courage and strength to us all as we seek to show up even in the uncertainty, to offer our offerings and extend love and healing to each other, to ourselves, and for the healing of the world.