the jewel of practice

this place and time is sacred
i am blessed
awaken my heart
be here now

no striving no contriving
here now as is
nothing is missing

om ah hum om ah hum om ah hum

[add on for longer practice]

extending the breath
into the expanse of suchness
rest in clear light luminosity
of union the great seal

no striving no contriving
here now as is
nothing is missing

in natural freedom without support
experience pure deathless mind
unchanging bliss supreme
the great perfection

no striving no contriving
here now as is
nothing is missing

om ah hum om ah hum om ah hum

commentary / notes (ongoing)

each word and verse has what is called an outer, inner, and secret meaning. these notes are meant to make them apparent. in the course of practice these meanings are further revealed, therefore the comments are ongoing.

this place, not just anywhere; a place where the buddha’s teachings are known and available, and we have the ability to receive and understand them. this country, this abode, this room, this one speck of a spot in the universe where you sit; feel that connection to the ground.

this time, not the past nor the future; after many generations the unbroken lineage teachings arise presently.
blessed with precious human life; with the privileges advantages resources and capabilities for liberation in this lifetime clearly laid out before us by the masters.

awaken is a call, a command, and a request; encouraging the sprout to push up through the dirt, to take the nourishment of the field tended by the most skilled gardener. the heart is the amulet box for the mind; open and release the one, the other, both, they are the same.

as it is said, the past is dead and the future is unborn; this is no other place and time other than here and now. the past is manufactured by hindsight and rationalization, the future by hope and fears; neither are real while the present is the only time of truth.

(to be continued)

mark hannan copyright 2016-2021 all rights reserved

Green Tara Prayer

O great mother Arya Tara

Liberator of all sentient beings

protect me so i may benefit others

whether in this life of the next.

Be here now and stay above my head

bestowing blessings and inspiration

to step forward with compassion and wisdom.

om tara tuttare ture soha

om tara tuttare ture soha

om tara tuttare ture soha

GRAPHIC: See Rubin Museum of Art – Daily Mindfulness Tips and Guided Meditation Sessions

verse copyright mark hannan 2020

Litany by the Sea


In an abundant wood
Of Queen Anne’s lace
dried and brown like bamboo,
the ant scurries its way over fallen
bramble and raspberry thorn,
twisted California poppy blooming orange.
As I lay there, intertwined
I hear an old man
with an ancient smile
in simple language say –
“Every step is a Prayer.” 1

Every feather in a wing
every sail set to sea
thread woven as cloth
horn blast in the fog
every step is a Prayer;
one hand

Every medicine taken
line and lure cast
ribbon tied in a bow
hand in the collection plate
home run or base hit;
each one
a Prayer.

Every blood draw and needle stick
tongue taste of envelope glue,
spatula slipped under bubbling eggs,
tender kiss before going to sleep –
each is a step
a test of faith;
every step is a Prayer.

Know each measure of your breath,
the rise and fall
in and out of each moment; 
of every step you take.

Every step is a Prayer
One hand


1. Wallace Blak quoting his granfather, Black Elk

Copyright Mark Hannan 1998

The Abnormal Is Not Courage…

jack gilbert monolithos poem

I love this poem, for so many reasons, but mainly because it fortifies the heart and strengthens resolve.

The Abnormal Is Not Courage…

poem by Jack Gilbert, Monolithos

The Poles rode out from Warsaw against the German
Tanks on horses. Rode knowing, in sunlight, with sabers,
A magnitude of beauty that allows me no peace.
And yet this poem would lessen that day. Question
The bravery. Say it’s not courage. Call it a passion.
Would say courage isn’t that. Not at its best.
It was impossib1e, and with form. They rode in sunlight,
Were mangled. But I say courage is not the abnormal.
Not the marvelous act. Not Macbeth with fine speeches.
The worthless can manage in public, or for the moment.
It is too near the whore’s heart: the bounty of impulse,
And the failure to sustain even small kindness.
Not the marvelous act, but the evident conclusion of being.
Not strangeness, but a leap forward of the same quality.
Accomplishment. The even loyalty. But fresh.
Not the Prodigal Son, nor Faustus. But Penelope.
The thing steady and clear. Then the crescendo.
The real form. The culmination. And the exceeding.
Not the surprise. The amazed understanding. The marriage,
Not the month’s rapture. Not the exception. The beauty
That is of many days. Steady and clear.
It is the normal excellence, of long accomplishment.

Alethea; a grounding poem

The poem Alethea, by Mark Hannan in 1993, was written as an invocation creating sacred space and is meant to be accompanied by the beat of a doumbek or celtic frame drum.

Alethea; a grounding poem for sacred space
Dionysiac procession. British Museum. about 100 CE. Rome, Roman Empire. Photo by Yair Haklai, 2009.


The need

to go

on the N Judah train

to Ocean Beach

to stand alone

facing out

dig long toes in

sand and water


Take hold, feet

root here

and roll angles round


dig in

With each toe

touch past salt chill


beyond down

through layers

of body

into belly

deep attention –

Now enter

enter the darkest point

with longing

faith will bring light

Take root

reach past

crabs burrowed there


of cormorants, sea otters & whales

push through

crusty skeletons

lost ships

& sallow dead men clutching

their loot push down

through lead tin copper

& iron step

into that ore laden vein rush of it

blood saturate each bone


with heat

churning gut reach


your body in

hot coals

that do not burn

& rest there

at the center of the earth

let go

and rise –

bring back that fire

through layers of rock wet memories


loss & chagrin

Bring up


through rich soil alive


tendrils winding up

ankle shin calf knee & thigh

to the fleshy thick

of your furry sex

sphincter anus

into belly

liver kidney & spleen



further your luminous heart

out all along your arms

from gracefully held shoulders

to elbow sinewy arm wrist fingertip

& back

to touch

supple neck

& throat open song


further fire light up

into jaw ah smile bright brow

blazing broadly

crowned with joy

in release




from After Many Years Absent & Other Poems – M. Hannan © 1993