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Poet 

Retired Interfaith Chaplain

Remembering Tao this morning

 

Tao is

not name

no thing

no beginning

no word

not silence

is everything

is Tao

fish know this

birds know this

we think we know

we  think about questions

who have no solutions 

we are jealous of wind

who knows nothing

we are selfish with earth

because she knows not

and still we     think     we know

 

all is Tao

but is nothing

no mind can read this map

no heart can imitate this truth

I can only be Tao

without understanding

in absence of sense

outside body

not having breath

Where there is no longer word or silence

Tao is apprehended, Chuang Tzu taught

my humanness strives to not

my heart desires no word

my body surrenders

my solace is water

my savior wind

my name is gone

my hands empty

my voice speaks no sound

the way opens

i approach

Tao

Copyright © Sharon Lopez Mooney, "Remembering Tao", originally published in The Ricochet Review, Vol. 8, ed. Samuel Reynolds, Chicago, IL 2021.

Writing as a Spiritual Practice

I have been a writer/poet for over 40 years in different genres and different jobs - clear person to person communication has always been my practice ground. Now, retired, I sit here at the foot of the sacred Mt Tetakawi, happily living in Sonora Mexico, on the shore of the bahia/bay to the great Sea of Cortez. Poetry is my primary interface into the world.

 

I was born a midwesterner, and then at 30, moved with my young family to rural Northern California where I lived for 40 years, and my grown children and grandchildren still thrive there.

 

In 1978, I received a California Arts Council Grant to establish a local poetry reading series; I was a co-publisher of a small regional arts journal, 'Fallow Deer' while being a partner in 'Straight Talk Distributing', an independent, alternative literature service. It was after that my sites set on "being a poet" professionally, and by then some of my poems had been published in journals and anthologies. Then a profound quiet settled on my creativity when my love, my husband, died at forty-four, after we had spent twenty-eight intimate years together loving, laughing and gorwing with our amazing family.

 

After almost three decades of organizational writing and occasional silent personal writing, my poetic voice wanted to speak out loud about women, hate and fear, the Beloved, and the profound daily life of the natural world and the ordinary and extraordinary people around me. My intention in writing is to share the perspective and wisdom I’ve gained, and to put my shoulder to the wheel of breaking open the world into new possibilities. My main life focus is aging with grace, breathing, writing and loving.

My 'Call' to Ministry

My ordination as an Interfaith Minister came after a thirty-five year spiritual quest. My work has always had at its heart, human communication, and so it was a natural evolution into work that provides spiritual companionship to others in their conversation with their spiritual selves.

 

I am inspired by the people who have been open to sharing their spiritual journey with me. I am, myself, nourished by the gift of their trust in my companionship through whatever transition they are facing. It has also been a profound privilege to stand at the threshold of death with people and their families, helping to recognize and honor the sacredness of the life that is passing.

 

The practice of my ministry is open to people of any and all spiritual traditions, those with a church, those without a church, those of no specific spiritual tradition, and those of no spiritual beliefs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reverend Sharon Mooney completed Seminary and Ordination at 'The Chaplaincy Institute, an Interfaith Seminary' in 2011. She is a Chaplain, trained in Clinical Pastoral Education by 'ACPE' & 'CPSP'. She was Certified as a 'Professional Behavioral & Attitude Analyst' in 2002, and was certified as a 'Re-Evaluation Counselor' in 1981.

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