Articles by Bo Mackison

About Bo Mackison

I’m a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place – a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I’d love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It’s my gift to you.

Poetry and Mandala – On Emerging


In the middle of the night
when your companion is the tick
of the second-hand
– and your heart beat

In the early morning hours
awaiting first light
so still in the house
– too quiet

In wait for the coming of storm,
be it thunder, hail, snow squall
– or a brewing wild within

Midst scheduled days or days unfettered,
in calm or angst
with joy or grief,
– take up your pen and paper

And in keen or chant, praise or lament,
in raised voice or sultry whisper,
(remember this)
– all is sacred and profane

Cast spell and benediction,
turn your words into phrases
and phrases into lines
– invite unruliness and ecstasy too

Take up your pen,
invoke madness or muse
Take up your pen and write
– then, poetry emerges.

There will be poetry and mandalas, contemplative photography and more. The Contemplative Creatives Journey begins again on December 15th. Join me?

Walking the Earth – A Miksang (Contemplative) Photography Collaboration

walk the earth – a collaborative practice © 2017 Bo Mackison

A Miksang Photography collaborative practice. We create together in the Contemplative Creatives Journey workshops. We begin again December 15th, 2017. Here’s the offer.

Thanksgiving Blessing and Mandala

Bless the Absence @ Bo Mackison

A Thanksgiving Blessing

Bless the beginning and the end
and all moments in between.

Bless those in-between moments, long pauses,
interminable wait or – paradoxically –
too much action. A blur, a flash, a crash.

Bless this very moment.
Bless me, sitting at my desk
as filtered November light slips
through my window
and casts its blessing
upon these written words.

Bless this moment of routine and ritual
In the midst of the ordinary and mundane
In between the common and the trivial.

In the midst of unspeakable despair
there lingers persistent hope,
a relentless awareness of what is.
Bless that.

Bless the quiet night
the firelight,
the dark shiver and the cold.

Bless the dream unfolding in sleep
and the dreamer;
Bless the seeds resting in frozen earth
foretellers of life.

Bless a pale sun that casts blue shadows on crested snow;
Bless the lakes and rivers in their icy embrace.

Bless us, in our silence and our singing,
in our laughter and our weeping.

Bless the common ordinary moments
which would be missed – with longing –
if they were to disappear.

Bless the absence in the presence
and the presence in the absence.

Bless this moment.
Bless us all.

Contemplative Creative Practices – A Mandala

Contemplative Creative Practices – A Mandala ©2017 Bo Mackison

 

This is a mandala of contemplative and creative practices. Almost all of these practices show up in one way or another in Contemplative Creatives Journey.

If these are practices that call out to you, please check out Contemplative Creatives Journey Winter 2017-18. We begin December 15th and registration is now open.

DIARY WRITTEN ON AUTUMN LEAVES (a poem in six parts)

Gingko Leaves © 2017 Bo Mackison

 

DIARY WRITTEN ON AUTUMN LEAVES

(in six parts)

I. there are the dreams

Hold my thoughts
and dreams
as you scatter
take flight
for those of us grounded

II. there is the holding on

Holding on, hanging on.
No stranger to holding on
before letting go of the known.

Change electrifies the sky.
Freedom awaits.

III. there is the ride

It’s your turn to travel
On the winds of time
Gently, freely floating
Sublime.

Letting go
Trusting
Riding the winds of life.

Scatter
leaf dreams,
whirl and chatter,
small red and gold cyclones
grasp wind,
flutter,
let go.

Brilliant leaf
please take my regrets
on the wind.
Let them fall away.

Fall away, let go, ride the air,
So a new year may begin.

IV. there is the dust

Last vestige of Summer
crumples into dust
To augment the new growth
of a new Summer,
As I will augment the growth
of a new generation.

V. there is rest

Signaling change
Ever changing skies
Preparing for rest.

tenderly landing

The leafless branches
like stitches pulling together
land and sky

A thin page of the season
Leaf of gossamer
Holds my gaze, my thoughts, my love

resting, earth to earth
connecting, heaven to earth

VI. there is the quiet

Floating, flying, propelled
into unknown adventure,
Finally to find rest,
lying softly on the earth’s litter,

Cushioned among the other
discarded gowns of summer.
I envy your deep sleep,
the safety of your blanket,
As I trudge on through winter.

there is the quiet

now be
be still in the wind
be still.

Scattering of Gingko Leaves © 2017 Bo Mackison

This poem was written with my Contemplative Creatives Journey (CCJ) online workshop/community. It is a collaborative effort. Together we imagined what diary entry we might write on an autumn leaf. Then I wove together the words of 15 members of the group – this poem is the result. These collaborations are one of my favorite parts of our group and give me such deep joy when I can weave words into one offering. It’s truly a lovely creative practice.

If this sort of thing appeals to you, I hope you’ll check out my coming offering. CCJ Winter begins December 15 and is now open for registration.