Our ceaseless life


is one timely woven


of relationships,



surprises and


We continue

to experience

the equalizing pain

and joy

of being our


imperfect selves.


somehow and

some way,

our evolving ego


the deeper


of the

Spirit of

our Depths.


the cross

that has our name on it,


our integrity

to refine

our true meaning

and purpose,

reshaping, redefining

what is is

to grow

and heal

and serve

in Love.

How we take

those sharp jabs

of inner and outer



our prevailing trust

in this

Sacred Process.

They—all of them—

the healing voices


the hurtful voices—

are solid servants of

Divine Presence

working in us.

“My problems

may be a ton,

my problems

may be an ounce;

but it ain’t how

big or little they are;

but how I take’um

that counts.”*


thank You for Your

supportive affirmation;

and thank You for

every sacred scar.

We choose to heed and heal

them all,


painfully and gratefully,

one by one,

through myriad experiences

of humbling self-awareness

and loving


determined to

awaken and evolve,

grow and serve.

Divine Love

is such a

crazy wonderful Force.

At once that pernicious snake

in the garden

and the guiding star of hope

remain close by.

Our resistance

and humiliation—

confirming our human


placed in Transforming Presence—

fall upward

into release,


and insight.

Another learning


Delicious new wine

spills over our glasses!

Our ceaseless lives

embrace another


of Ceaseless Life

here, now.

(* A poem I learned in childhood)

Hal Edwards

April 22, 2016




Okay, family dear,

it is my time….

Time to wake up, time to

name my soulful “repentings.” *

It’s time to shout from my rooftop


Love’s ah-ha moments

have shattered

my outmoded and judgmental


Now is my time;

Here is my place

to emancipate all family prisoners

from my self-made

psychic prison house.

“Why, of course!”

How could you


to me

what you

did not experience

from others?!

“I forgive you,

and, oh please, forgive me;

I did not know

what I was doing

or how my choices

influenced everyone

in our family.”

It is my time

to say Yes!!

It’s a magnificent time

to gather all my

inner idiots

and bless them,

liberating each tired illusion

one by one,

with soulful eyes.

Goodbye, old projections,

calcified resentments,

hardened expectations,

petrified, immobile


my time has come!

With one single second

of awareness

a rust-riddled doorway

creaks open

and I walk through

a once impenetrable wall,

which no longer exists.

Suddenly, mysteriously,

a Light shines out of

my darkness;

calmness permeates

and alters

a mirage of

hurtful memories

mummified by my self-made

inaccurate expectations.

My shadow-work courageously updated;

forgiveness refined,

a full circle

of appreciation

now embraces all things

into gratitude.

This awareness


forgiveness realized

did not come overnight…

Ten thousand fits of hunger

stormed against my spirit;

ten thousand questions

refused to go unattended;

ten thousand revelations

cracked me open.

Forgiveness wins over.

Mother, I do forgive you;

I ask your forgiveness.

I have awakened to

the traumatic consequences of

your fatherless and muffled childhood….

a story you could never tell or remember.

Your muted story, buried forever in

the oblivion of glazed-over forgetfulness,

shaped, influenced and honed

my decisions and

my destiny.

Dad, I do forgive you;

I ask your forgiveness.

Sensitive and dutiful son and father,

handsome youthful hero,

a gifted athlete with unlived potential,

you carried the unbearable pain

of your mother’s great grievings in your

unconsciously compassionate heart.

You died ten miles from

where you were born,

finally released from

the bittersweet naivety

of your unnamed mother complex.

Mother and Daddy,

how perfectly imperfect you

sacrificed and

loved us four boys.

You gave us your best.

No regrets linger for me;

all that heavy lead

has been transformed

into glittering gold.

Nothing lost,

nothing left to forgive;

everything matters;

because everything belongs.

The good, the bad, the ugly,

the hidden and the exposed;

everything belongs to the whole now:

the blunders and the surprises,

the pangs of hunger and yearnings;

the subdued frustrations and the cries of victory;

the tormenting gaps and the delightful ecstasies;

the traumatic losses and delightful surprises;

the melancholy and the bliss;

the intensely charged and the remarkably restful—

My relationships, now

unfettered from inflexible expectations

rooted in the past,

now liberated by Love’s laser beams,

are at rest.

We did some good work!

I thank you all.

  • Repent actually means to wake up, to change one’s mind, to outgrow an old worldview, like a snake outgrowing its old skins, like new wineskins for new wine.

Hal Edwards

February 8, 2016





For almost ten years

I stood on that unsafe edge

of my psychic abyss.

This downward spiral

had no reigns to tug,

no brakes to halt

my incessant


into delusion

and despair.

My cells caught

these psychic plights

and enhanced my

fear and anxiety

into agony and

the “normality” of


Great charismatic


Herculean creativity

and compulsive humor

served to armor

me from the

Spirit of my Depths.

Eventually, after ten years

of dark nights of depression

and ignored signs,

I caved in;

I wore out;

I stopped bargaining…

too weak to try

one more time.

(Thankfully, without

knowing it,

my sickness

was already in the process

of making me well.)

I did not know the Way;

I merely realized that I

craved and yearned for

Something so illusive

and so realistic,

so impossible

and quite probable.

I vividly recall

waking up one morning

after a big dream

saying aloud,

“Oh God!! 

The pain of my existence

is too heavy to bear.  Heal

me or 


let me die.”

Would you know, in that stark

millisecond of spontaneous

heart-cry from my

unconscious inner knowing,

I somehow “knew,”

beyond any rational knowledge,

that this unbearable psychic

wrenching was

an angel of truth

dressed up like

a demon from hell.

I cried out to Someone

within, Something beyond.

I saw myself standing on the

sharp edge of a gigantic abyss.

My toes overhanging the rim

of a bottomless darkness, I

had this stark fearful urge…

to jump!!

I stood there, it seemed like

a timeless endless moment;

I stood there on the brink of

that precipice.

Suddenly, I let go of my fear

and fell forward

into the




I swirled and twirled downward,

into a endless darkness.

In desperation and weakness,

I let myself free fall.

Slowly the darkness changed.

Dark purple, then blood red.

Finally a tiny light seemed to

form at once both

a sense of dawn and twilight.

Gradually more light expanded

into what now seemed like

a birth canal.

Like a stunned Jonah vomited

upon the shoreline

of Nivinah,

I awakened from the


sweating and vibrant and exhausted

from intensity.

I turned onto my back,

glanced upward

into the clear blue skies

and felt the welcomed brush of

a summer breeze

cooling the nervous

sweat from my drained body.

I knew something was different,

but words or thoughts failed to

capture that moment.

Only years later

have I come to

see the miracle

and mystery

of that moment.

All I know is,

fear fell into that

dark abyss

and love was

born from

that birth canal.

Despair caved into hope,

I fell upward

out of emptiness

into fullness,

out of not understanding

into the inexplicable experience

of knowing.

Reflecting now,

on that

epiphany some decades ago,

I drew desolate depression

to transform

and guide my

beloved shadow,


to discover that

the graces of the gods,

(not my own trying harder)

was my true Essence.

In time this shifted

my worldview, my reality.

Shame, blame and trying harder

were no longer my warders.

Like clear skies after

the flashes of lightening

and rumbling of thunder,

the landscape of my soul

felt refined and cleansed.

Now, after many a free-fall

and many surprises,

I now see

how transforming

that darkness has become.

It was my dark depression

that lit up the night

of my depression.

Only in the experience of

leaning into my own darkness,

surprised by the Unknown Knower,

trusting beyond reason,

letting go into the abyss

of incredible gentleness,

did I come to myself.

It was Refining Love hidden away

in my suffering

all along!

Thank you, Depression.

Thank you, bottomless Abyss.

Thank you, camouflaged Shadowlands.

Thank you, Emptiness.

Thank you for edging me out of my nest.

Thank you for showing me

that I can fly

with the wings

of the wind.

February 6, 2016

Hal Edwards


THE DAY I DIE or A Sweet Time to Go



A Sweet Time to Go

Like sitting by the

open window

on a warm Spring day;

Like sipping my

most delicious


early morning


Like hearing the


of distant crow calls

and the pungent

aroma of lilacs;

I offer my final



I bid goodbye to

this lifetime;

I thank all

the memories

and melodies,

messes and




my short visit.

I inhale it all,

I exhale it all.

Stillness and peace

cloak me

in Divine Love.

One final

breath away.

HLE- 5/23/15




“Save more money at Menards”

Capitalism’s adrenalin rush

has easily become

America’s greatest epidemic.

When I was a little boy

in the after-years of the

Great Depression

my grandma gave me

a piggy bank

and started me off

with a few pennies.

“When you get enough saved

you can maintain

your very own

bank account

and earn interest

on your savings account,”

she said.

I proudly and regularly


that pint jar

in the top dresser drawer

next to my socks and underwear,

depositing my pennies

and nickels.

I made my own bank deposits.

As my pennies grew

I experienced a certain


and a subtle sense of security.


as a youth

 I capitulated, I

looked for good sales

and spent my savings

on Stuff.

Exciting Stuff—

Stuff for my girlfriend,

Athletic stuff,

Fun Stuff,

Stuff that made me

look good,

smell good,

eat good.

In my late 20’s

Lorraine taught me


save 10%,

give away 10%


live on 80%.

A challenge well-taken

with four children to educate,

we paid our bills,

we gave to others—

and neglected to save

on a regular basis.

I can only imagine,

in my retirement years,

how different it would be now,

had I invested more

and spent less

on all that

“Good Stuff.”


means spending more


“Save more money at……”

To hell with delayed gratification.

Like buried mummies

of a forgotten past,

saving money

 has become

 an ancient fossil

in our value system.

There is little incentive

to save today.

While meeting

(or not meeting)

basic needs,

the everlasting “big sale”


and enshrines

our illusion

that instant “good buys”

are more important

than saving

for some unknown

and unpredictable


We are “Stuffed” people;

our garages, closets and basements

are buldging showcases

of all the Stuff

we bought

during wonderful


We did have fun

with all that Stuff;

and we also flouted

delayed gratification.

Oh well.

I need and desire

less and less

as I celebrate

my wonder-filled

old age.

Its simplifying time now;

Goodwill Stores

do prosper

from folk like me.

-Hal Edwards

January 21, 2016




Its almost Christmas


“O come, let us adore Him…”

Our house now all set

for children and grandchildren

and beautiful friends.


“Joy to the world…”

Presents almost wrapped;

spices and condiments

and sugar cookies and

gravy and turkey

are about to parade

through our kitchen.
“God rest you, merry gentlemen and gentle women…”

Another Christmas

and I am yet a kid again;

my heart and body

ringing with the familiar

carols of new birth and hope.


“We three kinds of orient are…”

Scrambling, family, children,

siblings, schedules and all

the stuff that we stuff into

our reunions;

fantasies, hurts, hopes

and loyalties—

its all about being together,

practicing the evolution of

healing love,

the ever fierce practice

of love.


“Away in a manger….”

This Christmas

will be my eighty-first.

A caravan of Christmases

line up for my attention,

four score and one,

each uniquely perfect and


each exactly choreographed

by the landscape of my

own meanings.


“and God send you a happy new year…”

Will Jill’s gravy out-taste

her last perfectly delicious batch?

Will our families bless one another

and look back and say,

“Ah, how good to be together!”?


“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining…”

Will our giving and receiving

of spirit and Stuff and Things

reflect our loving kindness

and gratitude for life itself?

Will our table talk

offer the delicious taste

of hilarious gratitude, stories, and

a life of timely graces?


“Fall on your knees and hear the angel voices…”

Again, this year,

shall we unwrap each other

and look into the open mangers

of  our smiles with happy tears

and wonder at such miracles?


“With the dawn of redeeming grace…”

For, dear ones,

we are the manger

where Christ is reborn

in each of us.

We are the wondering shepherds

in awe of such incredible

light and glory.

We are Mary and Joseph,

not capable of understanding

why such marvelous and

precious Life

has come through us

into the world.

We are the wise men and women

who have traveled

far and long,

following the stars of

heart and soul and imagination—

to this moment,

to this table,

to this circle of love.


“Christ the savior is born, Christ the savior is born…”

Its almost another Christmas,

and we are the

nativity scene,

we are the angels

and the shepherds

and wise ones bearing gifts;

yes, we are—

and the camels and

sheep and lowing cattle;

we are indeed…

and each of us,

a blessed son and daughter of God,

a living Christ

in the original and eternal core of

our existence.


“Sleep…in heavenly peace…”

The magic of Christmas

goes with us

wherever we go,

whatever we do.


is Christmas

and Valentines

and Easter

and Good Friday

and Pentecost,

Halloween and Thanksgiving


every day resides

in all days.


       “Oh come ye, come ye to Bethlehem,”

And we have come,

yes, we will come

again and again and again

to this place,

to this circle of peace

and forgiveness and joy.


“Glory to God in the highest…”

let us adore

the Christ in all humanity.

Let us kneel before one another

and taste the deep Spirit of Life

Who gave us birth,

Who sustains our true Passion,

Who celebrates the Eternal

ever living Essence—

Who and Whose we are.


“Here we come a’wandering…”

Its almost Christmas

every day of our lives.

Its meaning is destined

by our choices…

… always,

whatever the circumstances,

the choice is ours.


December 16, 2015


Hal Edwards



 Without my Shadow,

blinded and unaware

of sheer dynamic forces

that balance opposites,

I would neglect to know

the Other Side of myself.

Without my Shadow,

I would remain

dangerously anxious,

nervously innocent

and unconscious.

Without my Shadow,

I ignore or deny

life’s beneficial interruptions

capable of transforming

fear into love.

Without my Shadow,

I do not realize

or enjoy

truly who and Whose

I already am.

Without my Shadow

I cannot convert my

projections into insight,

my blame into compassion,

my judgments into wisdom.

Without my shadow,

I will mistake the

continuity and magic

of the present moment.

Without my Shadow

I remain


lost and unaware,

meandering through my past,

trifling naively into the future.

Thanks to my Shadow,

new choices and consequences

release impartial

and judicious outcomes

with precision.

Her dark Refining Furnace

melts away

the dross,

purifies all loss—

until each obscure shady secret

kneels in humility

into the wonder

and decontamination

of Love’s Fire.

Thanks to my Shadow,

each transformation,

birthed through

perseverance and suffering

into unknowing,

liberates me

time and time again

into gratefulness—

leaving me

superbly consumed

in muted wonder.

Without my Shadow

I remain armored

with my perfected illusions,

projecting upon others


I dare not acknowledge

in myself.

Without my Shadow

my truth becomes the whole truth,

my partial view the entire landscape,

sanctifying evil itself.

Without my Shadow

I swing at others

and reduce myself.

My Shadow is everything

concealed within my depths

that I demean, envy, worship,

blame, hate, love, resist and deny.

My Shadow is my own

clandestined and rejected

“good and bad”

“right and wrong”

concealed within myself.

My Shadow awaits

my willingness to

love me the way I am,

to grace myself

into humility


grateful awe.

My own Shadow

will be my final judge

or be my saving factor;

its up to me.

My personal Shadow

is the Nazareth

where my Inner Christ lives.

Oh beloved Christ,* my faithful relentless Shadow,

please liberate me from my own perceived goodness


please liberate me from my own perceived badness.

Re-read this poem,

inserting Christ* for Shadow.

Nathanael asked,

“Can any good thing

come out of Nazareth?”

Philip responded,

“Come and see.”

John 1:46

“He was despised and rejected—

a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.

We turned our backs on him

and looked the other way.

He was despised,

and we did not care.”

Isaiah 53:3

To forgive

is to confess and release

all shadows

and expectations

we have placed upon

ourselves and others.

This is our time together

to welcome

and emancipate

every stranger

we have imprisoned within.

Welcome Home,

child of Grace.

Let go of your palsied goodness

and your debilitating darkness

and meet

with us

in the Field of


(*or Buddha, or Chi, Krishna, or Tao, or Great Spirit, or Life Force, etc.)

-Hal Edwards

Wauconda, IL

October 1, 2015





Hello, Kris Kringle,

Miracle on 34th St,

Jingle jingle jingle

New mangers on sale at Macy’s;

jingle jingle jingle

It’s A Wonderful Life

at Disneyland…..

jingle jingle jingle

The best deals await you,

online and

in every


Bla…bla…bla…Jingle Bells, here we come,



Myth and capitalism,

miracle and mirage,

with dreamlike hints of despair;

surprising packages,

promises of joy and depression,

one cannot compare.


Stories and stockings,

lights and delights,

family gatherings


turkey and gravy,

with tears and hugs,

healing old hurts

….and more.


Two worlds collide

in this

massive eclipse,

wealth and poverty

side by side,

one seems steadfast,

almost secure,

the other will ride the tide.


How to retain

our childhood magic

and not fall prey

to delusion;


there’s our hope

and prayer and calling—

an alternative

to greed and exclusion.



refugees wait,

Chicago kills,

Russia and America

waft and wane;

Politicians hold forth,

Popes live and die,

Love beyond hate,

pleasure or pain.


What about this coming Christmas?

You know, the choice is ours.

We can plant that same old garden,

or we

can add new flowers.


Take Love for real

and embrace one another,

look around, find each other

….and share

with our sister and brother.


Let’s donate to Habitat;

give less stuff to each other,

purchase a Heifer,

and feed that hungry mother.


And we shall sing in a circle

as big as our earth


each immigrant

with souls bathed in mirth.


You and I are choosing now how to celebrate our Merry Christmas!


-Hal Edwards

Wauconda, Illinois

September 29, 2015



“Keep your hypothesis open,”

my mentor Morton told me.

He taught me that evil

feeds on ego’s popular illusion:

“My truth is the whole truth.”

Reasonable thinking,

scientific thinking at its best,

does not allow ultimatums

to trash further exploration and

evolution of new truth.

Bonheoffer discovered that truth

is relative;

and Einstein’s

cosmic theory

hinges on relativity.

Gandhi said truth

was the highest good,

and to be a truth-seeker

was the ultimate pathway

of genuine love,

through nonviolent resistance

against all injustice.

Our sacred scriptures

proclaim, “…and the truth

will set you free.”

Explore the truth

without hesitation

wherever you find it

with reasonable thinking

and an open heartedness,

maintaining a humility

that empowers you to

avoid hubris

and laziness.

To maintain your

Soul Freedom

is of the essence in

pursuing meaning and purpose

in all circumstances.

Our inner spirit

is faithful;

your Inner Voice

shall never fail you.

The trickster does come

and life is tested,

while doubt and disbelief

have their tenuous


You shall be refined

by fire without being consumed,

swept into deep waters

without drowning;

you shall rise beyond belief

into knowing,

and you shall stroll


in the Great Furnace

of blissful unknowing.

If you must,

change your friends;

now you must choose

between your wise soul

and bondage to any

external mandate.

If you must,

change your lifestyle,

because you must choose

between synchronicity

and compulsivity.

If you must,

change your attitudes,

because you become

what you desire

you become

what you think.

There is a Force,

Unseen and always seeing;

Unknown and always knowing;

Absent from the mind;

present within the soul.

“Fear not, little flock;

Abba is giving you

the Kingdom of God.

It is already

within you.


Whatever your circumstance,

wake up



surrender to

the truth of Love

and the love of Truth.”

-Hal Edwards

September 27, 2015




Why, I just observed

a stark feeling of shame

sneaking in through my front door,

snaking down the hallway,

slithering momentarily

before disappearing

in the blink of an eye.

Today I know

I am not that shame;

nowadays I observe

those deceptive gaps

when I feel smothered

by this familiar illusion—

an illusion I once thought

to be reality.

How deep are the

origins of my old dictums.

Their reverberations revisited

take me back into my

innocent and naïve years

of childhood.

Always trying harder

to be whatever

I should be, or ought

to be

(god knows

whatever that meant),

I did my best

to look good


do “the right thing,”

lest I loose my


image (mirage?) of success

and well-being.

Sometimes I forget

that I am an Octogenarian.

And I place unnecessary

expectations on myself.

My physical energy

no longer parallels

those foregone younger years;

there is a definite sense

of loss and grief,

(or false guilt?)

which, misunderstood

and unattended consciously,

feigns to become shame.

Embracing my natural

and quite magnanimous

passage into impermanence,

I again embrace

my metamorphosis,

my transformation,

my passage

from youth to old age.

Turning the illusion of shame

into the reality of gratitude

is the meaning of this moment

and the heart of

this little exercise.

It’s a good thing

to wake up


-Hal Edwards


September 24, 2015