Walking in Mystery

Epcot in Bloom

In Bloom © 2013 Bo Mackison

We all walk in mysteries. We do not know what is stirring in the atmosphere that surrounds us. ~ Goethe

There is a great deal of change stirring in the atmosphere that surrounds me today. Somedays it is easier to live in the present moment, and fully experience the present day than at other times. A close relative, one who has been a mother figure in my life for over three decades, is experiencing a rapid decline in her health. Her husband died earlier this year, and she is grieving and frail.

There is always the possibility that she will regain her strength, but this is a difficult time for her and for those of us who love her.

Today, though I am physically far away, I am practicing tonglen. It is not a practice she would be familiar with, but I know she will experience its benefits. Tonglen, in this specific case, is the practice of breathing in and accepting another person’s suffering, then breathing out while sending peace and calm.

That is what I hope for her – peace in the present moment, surrounded by the knowledge that she is loved.


Bo Mackison wears many hats including those of photographer, writer, and daughter-in-law.

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.


  1. Yes, tonglen. A beautiful heart opening (and heart changing) practice for everyone on both ends. May you and yours find peace and calm.

  2. Bo, I’ll join in on this, and will also do Phowa for her husband, who I’m sure is watching over her. Beautiful thoughts & pic, too. xo

  3. I’m sorry about your relative, Bo. Your thoughts and image are beautiful. I hope your practice brought her the peace and love you hoped for her.

  4. So sorry to hear this, Bo. The word you mention, tonglen, is new to me yet I’ve done this very thing unknowingly. I shall also do this for two friends who are facing cancer this very week, who need strength and peace and calm and everything in between. As other stated I, too, hope your practice brought her peace and love and calm. XO

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