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100 Words to Describe the Tao of a Stalk of Wheat

100 words to describe the Tao of a stalk of wheat

I wrote this poem on October 3rd, 2017 upon given a challenge by my Tai Chi Chuan Master David Chung.   Five days later on Sunday October 8th I had second thoughts about the use of the word “sparks,” but I decided to keep the word as I realized that sparks are in the flow of life.  Later that night I and my city of Santa Rosa felt the transformative abundance of sparks in the Tubbs Wildfire Disaster of 2017.

Watch the feeling world, and your states of feeling.  That is how we receive guidance.  It is best to seek guidance after dwelling in the “stillness” within, free of emotional desperation, revenge, fear and anger, while trusting in being beloved as a vital contributor of the universe now in this space and time.  This kept me and my wife Elaine centered during the crisis with familiar forms of communication and perception cut off, guiding us step by step. We also made sure our soulcrafts’ operating system functions were humming by referring to my mentor’s Ten Words to the Creative Spirit.

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Meeting Grace

Meeting Grace poem

                                                                  Poem and Photo (c) 2016 Kenneth E. Norton

Meeting Grace


To light beyond the light

breathe in the sight.

Know who knows

friends and foes

shines on both.

Be kind.



be kind,

shine on both

friends and foes,

know who knows

breathes out insight

in awe beyond the light.


                                     Kenneth E. Norton

January 26, 2016

– I was inspired by a photo of a butterfly ready to fly to the sun which I took on 8/7/2015, while remembering recent statements of of the Dalai Lama with Pope Francis concurring the essence of spirituality is to be kind, and Gandhi’s Ahimsa and Satyagraha of living truth in patience for ignorance in man to fade upon or after meeting one another.

Photo and Poem © 2016 Kenneth E. Norton

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Ten Words to the Creative Spirit by William Hermanns, my mentor – Start your day making sure your spiritual instruments are turned on by these Ten Words to keep you in tune with the Creative Spirit.

               Ten Words to the Creative Spirit  

Give me Grace so I walk uplifted through this day.

Give me Joy so my heart has enough and to spare for others.

Give me Peace so an angelic spirit accompanies me wherever I go.

Give me Love so darkness changes to sunshine where I am.

Give me Healing so spirit is the light of the flesh.

Give me Mercy so my free will chooses mercy.

Give me Trust so no despair can grip my soul.

Give me Power so I can speak with authority.

Give me Wisdom so I cannot be bribed by intellect.

Give me Feeling so I can vibrate your truth.

                                                                                  William Hermanns


Approaching 90 years in age and having suffered in two world wars, my mentor, the poet and educator William Hermanns, carefully chose  the words for his poem Ten Words to the Creative Spirit, to bring myself, as his spiritual son, into alignment with my True Self, my Soul, as I assisted him preparing essays and manuscripts about his mentors, including Francis of Assisi, Einstein and Yogananda. In the summer of 2015 I rediscovered this poem and remembered that I saw the Ten Words in action in my mentor’s presence.  In my reflection I saw how the presence or lack of any of the Ten Words affected my life since he passed away in 1990 after being in my life for 20 years.

I see the Ten Words now as vital spiritual functions on the instrument panel of my Soulcraft that is travelling through myriads of circumstances, familiar and strange, and these ten functions when ON are able to influence relationships, even the non-human, with clear perception of self and others and affect the manifestation in space and time around the Soulcraft to guide it in the timing of Creative Spirit.  When OFF, my Soul Craft is vulnerable to collisions with Reality flying partially blinded as well as to predation by such spirits as fear, greed and revenge attracted to myself and others.

Reading these Ten Words in the morning to start the day, puts them ON in my consciousness. If I notice a lack in any of the Ten Words, maybe through an upset, all the more the reason to tell Creative Spirit of the need for my Soul increase its function for me to live optimally as the incarnation of the Creative Spirit.  My wife and partner Elaine says it works for her, too.

Here is an example:  Watch when you meditate with just one breath on the verse with the word Peace. Just a moment,  one  breath.  This can be done in any circumstance.  Notice how your perception of people and other creatures is affected. Notice how around you people and non-humans respond.  They feel the peace and then become angels in helping you – for they feel one with peace aligned with Creative Spirit.  it is core to them, too, and they want to serve peace and the person that is responsible for incarnating that peace with the Word.  The other 9 Words work in their way, each uniquely suited for the moment.  Notice also the relationships and synergy between each of the Ten Words,  and they will become especially useful as the Wisdom grows in you.  The Ten Words are not confined to one or no religion but common to all.  Creative Spirit does not have to be a person but can – it is Spirit, capitalized or not.

No Soul should be without these Ten Words, and no Soul Craft without these ten functions.  It would be good if the Ten Words would somehow blink in the morning and cause your attention to turn ON each of the Ten Words for the day’s journey in Creative Spirit!   I am handing out cards with this printed on it.  I love the genuine smiles of joy and even relief , as well as the conversations that ensue.  I have memorized the lines so I can repeat them on my walk, or in the car, alone or with people.   Let me know how they work for you by emailing me and/or by Liking the facebook page William Hermanns – Life and Works.

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What is Constant?

        What is Constant?

What is constant when I see?

What is constant when I hear?

What is constant when I touch?

What is constant when I talk?

What is constant when I taste?

What is constant when I smell?

What is constant when I feel?

What is constant when I heal?

What is constant when I walk?

What is constant when I sit?

What is constant when I lie?

What is constant when I fly?

What is constant when I drive?

What is constant when I run?

What is constant when I brush?

What is constant when I rub?

What is constant when I sleep?

What is constant when I think?

What is constant when I count?

What is constant when I save?

What is constant when I lose?

What is constant when I fall?

What is constant when I rise?

What is constant when I know?

What is constant when I do not know?

What is constant when I arrive?

What is constant when I err?

What is constant when I rage?

What is constant when I love?

What is constant when I hate?

What is constant when I forgive?

What is constant when I trust?

What is constant when I despair?

What is constant when I worry?

What is constant when I am late?

What is constant when I am early?

What is constant when I fail?

What is constant when I succeed?

What is constant when I miss?

What is constant when I smile?

What is constant when I frown?

What is constant when I breathe?

What is constant when I swallow?

What is constant when I do nothing?

What is constant when I meditate?

What is constant when I am still?

What is constant when I am?

What is constant when I am not?

                           Kenneth E. Norton

Santa Rosa, CA  July 26, 2015  Birthday musing

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Bee Still




still bee

not still



                                                                                                                         Kenneth E. Norton

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Still here
Still now
I know Still
I still know Still
I breathe in
I rest
I breathe out
I rest
I know Still

Kenneth E. Norton
To Sharon Maser, January 24, 2015, 3 weeks before Sharon’s death due to cancer.

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It’s Mother’s Day and Mom told me this morning by phone that she went to 7:30 Mass and after eating her soft boiled egg will go to the hospital to visit my Dad, who was admitted yesterday for probably what is pneumonia.  He’s in his 90th year and Mom just celebrated her 88th birthday.  They have been great partners on their spiritual journey with all its twists and turns and valleys and mountains.  That is a great gift of mentoring for me and my 7 younger siblings.  I am posting a poem I wrote in the early 1970s in my twenties:

Mary Francis Norton

My mother Mary Francis Norton



Sparked together

a thousand sparks,

expand, divide

and touch one body

to part one body

alive and crying

for cord and milk.

Inch to foot

run to crawl,

happy wonder:

what is.

Yes, emerged

now grown

and merged

I watch you

alive with umbilical love.

I ask “What is?”

You answer “Who.”

Hand to hand.

I am you and we,

directed spontaneity.


          Kenneth Edward Norton

I just did a search of my ancestor’s up the umbilical line of mother, and got back to my great, great, great grandmother Johanna Relihan, married to Richard James of Drumalought WOLFE (born in 1764 in Cratloe, Co Limerick, Ireland).  I haven’t been able to find out more about Johanna and her parents.  Wolfe was also spelled Woulfe.

Kenneth Edward Norton <– Mary Frances Norton  (b. 1924 Chicago) <– Kathleen Rose Kurtz (b. 1898 Illinois, d. 1987 Arcadia, CA) <– Joanne Rose Connell  (b.1867 Oil City, PA – d.1950 Chicago) <– Catherine Walsh (b. 1818, Listowel, Kerry, Ireland, emigrated to USA probably due to potato famine of 1845-52, died 1896 Sheboygan, WI <– Johanna (Relihan) Wolfe (Ireland)

Of course there are lots of lines of ancestors I could follow, but the most influential were most likely these umbilical relationships for the amount of time in the womb, at the breasts, and at the table with mom, and she with her mom, and ….  I wish there were some stories along with the names and dates.