Second Thoughts

Here it is! Dan's second dharma.

As you all know, I offer and encourage the people in my class to write  dharma, and read it in front of the class. They all been great. And from those I spoke to they really enjoy it and feel so amazing afterwards. Opening your heart, letting your creative mind get to work and finding the perfect music to go along with it.

This is Dan's second dharma. He claims he is not a poet, but I disagree. Great job Dan! And as always, thank you!

I strongly suggest reading this in its entirity.

Here it is....

Second Thoughts May 7,2017

I’ll start by saying that I actually had no real intention to even give a dharma, I just wanted to finish something I started, a poem I abandoned …Second Thoughts.

I’ve long held a personal belief that people will almost always settle for doing what they are second best at. Its because it’s safer to do what your second best at then it is to try, and potentially fail, in doing what they believe they’re truly best at expose themselves to themselves.   It seems that the bittersweet lament of what “could have been” is better salve for the soul then the harsh emollient of seeing ourselves for who we truly are.

I always thought I could be a writer; a songwriter actually, and last year I finally got around to taking a semester in songwriting at the Lake House in Asbury.  I learned a lot including, unfortunately, that I suck at songwriting.  

A couple of weeks ago, after one of her dharmas I resolved to finish one of those lyrics called “Second thoughts” and give it to Maribeth to see if she could use it.  I told her I really didn’t think I should give it and she asked why.  There were two reasons which didn’t share with her, but will share with you this morning.

The first reason was that I was already working on a dharma.  A dharma for all men in this class; the truly great guys that get here day in and day out.  Guys who, well guys who are not named “Bob Haley” and are fed up with the fact that that dude just doesn’t age.  The working title of the dharma was “Bob Haley is a freaking Warlock and I can prove it”.  It all comes together now, doesn’t it?  We’ve seen “Bewitched”, we get it.  There can be no other reason that he can claim to be sixty yet still looks like he’s 35.  He’s actually 358 years old.  You don’t believe me, cut off his legs and count the rings.  You can’t make this shit up.  And he’s admitted it to me , he said

“Ok, ok,  Dan, I’m a warlock, now can you put down the chainsaw?”

 Once that was settled I had to ask him if Chris was a witch and he said “Yes…just not literally.”  

I don’t know what he meant by that.

My second reason for not wanting to give the dharma is that Maribeth’s got ‘The Gift’.   I call it the “ringing the bell factor” [RING BELL]   

We all have our stories, but there are countless examples of her saying something that [RING BELL] strikes that chord with you.  I was talking to Martha recently and she confided there times on her mat in a predawn stupor when Maribeth read something that [RING BELL] struck  a chord of honest self-awareness.  Or as Martha put it, she “points out an undeniable truth forcing you to admit to something which you can l no longer have hide from yourself.  

I have never had that bell ringing moment, but I got close a couple weeks back when she gave a dharma about being creative.  In it she pointed out how our daily grind somehow represses our creativity, and that we need to be aware of that.  And when I heard that I was like, “…umm, there's a problem that I do not have.”  The junk draw of my imagination is always open to be rummaged. through.  No my problem, I think some of you share it, is with creativity’s Evil Step Mother whose name is “Doubt”   

I have no problem with original thought, it’s my second thoughts that kill me.

So Maribeth's dharma inspired me to finish “Second Thoughts”  which I did I.   And I told her “Hey, I got a great idea for a dharma.”  And she said “You give it”.:” and I expressed my doubt.  People don’t want to hear from me, said “Dan, people like to listen to you…except for Kathy!”


Just one more example of her pointing to …..

So here it is, and it still sucks.  Its completely original, so if you hear anything that sounds like something you’ve heard in the past, let me know; it’s still a work  in progress.

Second Thoughts

Roses are red

Violets are blue

You think this will rhyme

But it won't

You see my problem lies

Not in what I do

But in the countless

Things that I don't


My ‘magination sparks

And in a blink

From a garden hose

Pours a skating rink

From some sour fruit

Comes refreshing drink

It happens all the time


The problem starts

When I'm left alone

With the idiot, sitting here

Reading this poem

In whose fertile brain

Seeds of doubt get sown

And I damn near lose my mind


It's my “second thoughts”

In which I conjure doubt

It’s my second thoughts

That I could do without

It's those “ifs” and “buts” and “what's” and “oughts”

Just keep me  out of my second thoughts


Say who here cannot relate

To when doubt creeps in

And obliterates

Your ability to cogitate

And leaves you shooting blanks


Its devastates, oscillates

Obfuscates your postulates

Gets in your head and fornicates

And riddles you with angst


It’s those second thoughts

So fraught with dread

Gotsa get those thoughts out of my head

It’s these “what ifs”, and “but ifs”, and “all for naught’s”

Just steer me clear of my second thoughts.


Why can’t I simply shoot the breeze?

Ignore the downside, or need to please

If it goes to shit, blame the damn Chinese

It’s what the President would do.


Oh no, not me, I am always left

With baseless doubts, and scared to death

Of little things, like Maribeth

Who’s barely five foot two.


Its my second thoughts in which I forebode

Not little doubts, the Freaking mother-lode

Those “Whoa’s” and “no’s” and “what if we get caughts?”  

Keep me out of my second thoughts


So trust your gut

Take a leap of faith

And go with what

The good Lord gave you

We got your back, 

We're here to save ya'

It's your life so start livin'


So what if you make mistakes?

Screw the pooch, or

Break some eggs, 

So long as "Heart’s" a part

Of your "Heartache" 

If you screw up, you're forgiven


Rose are read

Violets are blue

You think this'll finally rhyme

You're still wrong.


While it may still be shit

At least I'm through with it

I finally finished

Writing this song

The playlist is a little bit of everything that relates to doubt, self-discovery, over-thinking, overcoming a funk, or the ghosts that haunt you, being bob, being me, and there’s even a song or two about songs, so enjoy, and “See in Downward Dog…"