one tiny bird

September 29th, 2020

We are doing the best we can in the middle of this fire. Whether or not you are a quarter-mile away from a wildfire, you too are in the middle of a fire.

We all feel the heat of samsara, this ignorant, angry, greedy world that we live in, and it is too much to bear. It is too much to bear.

What do we do when everything is out of control? When the world is crumbling into ash and rubble? When we feel the urgent need to flee, even from what was once secure: our homes and, perhaps, our country? To answer that, let’s remember the story of one tiny bird trying to save his forest home from flames. He, too, is doing the best he can.

“The Hummingbird and the Forest Fire” dharma talk
Photo by Victor Sauca on Unsplash


  1. I told you once before that I always bring up your blog and look for a new photo, a sign you have again written something. The hummingbird, as all your photos do, caught my eye. We have enjoyed them often when we are able to stay at Mt.Elbert Lodge in Twin Lakes, CO. We hope to return there again when it is safer to travel, since we are in that vulnerable group, the elderly. The hummingbirds there buzz around the feeders like mosquitos. The CA fires and elsewhere have done great damage to life and property, and to wildlife. Saw a saddening picture of an injured cheetah, who had walked on coals to rescue cubs, a victim of South American blazes, with bandaged paws. Samsara. An honor and surprise to be mentioned in your talk. Larry and Helen

    Comment by Larry and Helen — October 3, 2020 @ 2:15 pm

  2. I hold both of you in my heart. Given your appreciation for life, I recommend you try to see the documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” It is available on Netflix, if you have it. These days, so many beautiful, vulnerable things bring me deep joy and sudden tears. Here is the trailer:

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — October 3, 2020 @ 4:49 pm

  3. Good talk. Hadn’t heard any of your talks in a while. Early on in the pandemic you were giving weekly talks. I listened to them on my 1am commute to work and they were very helpful and meaningful.

    Comment by Ralph Martin — October 13, 2020 @ 7:57 am

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