Monday, January 30, 2006

At the Leading Edge

God is no longer “up there” waiting to save us. Until very recently, that creative principle was something that we were asking for help from. But I believe we've reached a time in history when God, which I would describe as the energy and intelligence that created the universe, is now completely dependent upon us—upon those sentient beings who have reached a level of development where we're actually capable of beginning to appreciate who we are and why we are here in nothing less than a cosmic context.
God, or the creative principle, is who we are. From an absolute perspective, who we are is not only that formless, unmanifest dimension from which the universe emerged, but also, and simultaneously, the creative, manifest dimension—the evolutionary impulse, the spark that initiated the big bang, which is our own Authentic Self. The mysterious compulsion to evolve that we experience at the level of consciousness is nothing less than God becoming aware of himself, herself, or itself, as us. And the creation of the future, at the leading edge of evolution, is dependent upon each one of us waking up to this Authentic Self and making whatever effort is necessary to begin to identify with that thrilling creative passion and to transcend our attachment to the fears and desires of the ego or separate self-sense, which go on forever. In this awakening, we directly know that the future depends upon us. It's no longer just an idea; it's an emotionally felt absolute fact.

Andrew Cohen
September 2005

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sonnet XIV from Sonnets to Orpheus

Look at the flowers, so faithful to what is earthly,
to whom we lend fate from the very border of fate.
And if they are sad about how they must wither and die,
perhaps it is our vocation to be their regret.

All Things want to fly. Only *we* are weighed down by desire,
caught in ourselves and enthralled with our heaviness.
Oh what consuming, negative teachers we are
for them, while eternal childhood fills them with grace.

If someone were to fall into intimate slumber, and slept
deeply with Things - : how easily he would come
to a different day, out of the mutual depth.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

Or perhaps he would stay there; and they would blossom and praise
their newest convert, who is now like one of them,
all those silent companions in the wind of the meadows.

...he not busy being born

Is busy dying.

excerpt from the song
Its Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
~Bob Dylan

Friday, January 27, 2006

*What I See In Your Eyes*

Out of myself,
but wanting to go
beyond that,

wanting what I see
in your eyes,

not power,

but to
kiss the ground
with the dawn
breeze for company,

wearing white
pilgrim cloth.

I have a certain

Now I want sight.

from "The Glance"

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Do with me what You will.

If you were to place before me hellfire,
with all it contains of
torment, I would
think lightly of it in comparison with my
state when
You are hidden from me. Forgive
the people and do not forgive me.

Have mercy upon them and do not have
mercy upon me. I do not intercede

for myself or beseech You for what is due to me.
Do with me what You


Ego: An Anti-Evolutionary Force

What is ego? In an enlightenment context, the word ego refers to a deeply ingrained, unconscious, compulsive, and mechanical need to remain separate and superior at all times, in all places, under all circumstances. Ego is expressed as an irrational refusal to say yes to life, to love, and to God—to an unconditionally positive relationship to the human experience.
The true face of ego is rarely seen for what it is except at those brief moments when you have recognized something as being absolutely positive, wholesome, and good, and are compelled to respond, to say a wholehearted yes to that which you have recognized. It is only in those moments that you come face to face with the force of a powerful inertia within you that blindly resists, defies, and denies that which is radically positive. This is what ego is: that immovable stance, deep in the human heart and mind, that irrationally resists any call from within or without to embrace the greatest goodness. When we aspire to evolve at the level of consciousness, to live a spiritual life, to become an enlightened person, we open our hearts to the thrilling possibility of something so inconceivably glorious that it's just too positive for most of us to bear. And it is only when we dare to even consider saying yes to this highest good that we will experience this kind of profound confrontation with our own self—both with the anti-evolutionary force that exists in all of us, and with our normally untapped potential for extraordinary developmental leaps.

Andrew Cohen

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tilling the Soil

Seeing a man who was tilling the earth, a fool, unable to control himself, cried out, "Why are you ruining this soil?" "Fool," said the man, "leave me alone: try to recognize the difference between tending the soil and wasting it. How will this soil become a rose garden until it is disturbed and overturned?"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

n yeki âmad zamin-râ mi shekâft
ablahi feryâd kard va bar na-tâft "Kin zamin-râ az cheh virân mi koni mi shekafi va parishân mi koni" Goft "Ay ablah be-raw bar man ma-rân to `emârat az kharâbi bâz dân Kay shavad golzâr o gandom-zâr in tâ na-gardad zesht o virân n zamin Kay shavad bostân o kesht o barg o bar tâ na-gardad nazm-e u zir o zabar

-- Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
IV: 2341-2345
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
(Persian transliteration courtesy of Yahyá Monastra)

Hafiz on Brokeback Mountain

It happens all the time in heaven,
And some day

It will begin to happen
Again on earth -

That men and women who are married,
And men and men who are

And women and women
Who give each other

Often will get down on their knees

And while so tenderly
Holding their lover's hand,

With tears in their eyes,
Will sincerely speak, saying,

"My dear,
How can I be more loving to you;

How can I be more

~ Hafiz ~

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Long seeking it through others,

I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.

It is just I myself,

And I am not itself.
Understanding this way,

I can be as I am.

~ Tung-shan ~
(806 - 869)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Out of the Mouths of a Thousand Birds

Listen -
Listen more carefully to what is around you
Right now. In my world
There are the bells from the clanks
Of the morning milk drums, And a wagon wheel outside my window
Just hit a bump Which turned into an ecstatic chorus
Of the Beloved's Name. There is the Prayer Call
Rising up like the sun
Out of the mouths of a thousand birds. There is an astonishing vastness
Of movement and Life Emanating sound and light
From my folded hands And my even quieter simple being and heart. My dear,
Is it true that your mind
Is sometimes like a battering
Ram Running all through the city,
Shouting so madly inside and out About the ten thousand things
That do not matter? Hafiz, too,
For many years beat his head in youth And thought himself at a great distance,
Far from an armistice
With God. But that is why this scarred old pilgrim
Has now become such a sweet rare vintage
Who weeps and sings for you. O listen -
Listen more carefully
To what is inside of you right now. In my world
All that remains is the wondrous call to
Dance and prayer Rising up like a thousand suns
Out of the mouth of a
Single bird.

~ Hafiz ~

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It is not those who lack energy or refrain from action, but those who work without expectation of reward who attain the goal of meditation. Theirs is true renunciation. Therefore, Arjuna, you should understand that renunciation and the performance of selfless service are the same. Those who cannot renounce attachment to the results of their work are far from the path.

-Bhagavad Gita 6:1-2

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stress is basically a disconnection from the earth,

a forgetting of the breath. Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything
is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down.

Natalie Goldberg


I've come again
like a new year
to crash the gate
of this old prison.

I've come again
to break the teeth and claws
of this man-eating
monster we call life.

I've come again
to puncture the
glory of the cosmos
who mercilessly
destroys humans.

I am the falcon
hunting down the birds
of black omen
before their flights.

I gave my word
at the outset to
give my life
with no qualms
I pray to the Lord
to break my back
before I break my word.

How do you dare to
let someone like me
intoxicated with love
enter your house.

You must know better
if I enter
I'll break all this and
destroy all that.

If the sheriff arrives
I'll throw the wine
in his face.
If your gatekeeper
pulls my hand
I'll break his arm

If the heavens don't go round
to my heart's desire
I'll crush its wheels and
pull out its roots.

You have set up
a colorful table
calling it life and
asked me to your feast,
but punish me if
I enjoy myself

What tyranny is this?

-- Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi
Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Cal-Earth Press, 1994

Compared with

The Drunken Boat

Monday, January 02, 2006


I sit in my own radiance,
And I have no fear.

What are they to me?

What is far or near,
Outside or inside,
Gross or subtle?

I sit in my own splendor.

-Ashtavakra Gita 19:5-6