Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Vicki Doesn't Live Here Anymore (With Apologies to Alice)

I don't live in my mind anymore. I visit there, but only when I fall
asleep. I don't mean on the bed; I mean when I fall into a lower state
of consciousness than awareness. Awareness is my home and it isn't for
sale at any price. I would gladly list my mind but there would be no
takers. Who wants a ramshackle little piece of property that is gray
and divided into lobes. Not much chance of a makeover there.

For Sale by Owner: Dilapidated mind. Needs new roof and synapses. Can
be had for a song (the one that goes through my mind day and night).

I used to think that my mind was smart, even brilliant. Back in the
day it was. But now it can't even remember who's on Larry King Live
after just hearing it promoted thirty seconds ago. And yet it
remembers every injustice it has suffered since birth. And is waiting
to get even. Oh, my mind is a dangerous and stupid place to live. I am
sure there is lead paint on every window sill.

There is one room in my mind that has never been opened. It is called
The Room of Prejudice. Next to it is one with no door at all. It's The
Room of Resentment. It's used so often that one fine day I just took
the door off the hinges and threw it away.

I used to think that the mind was a terrible thing to waste; now I
know better. It's a terrible thing to use if you don't know what you
are doing. The only time you should visit your mind is when you are
accompanied by awareness. Then a very strange thing happens. It
disappears. Just like Judge Crater....just like Amelia Earhart and
Jimmy Hoffa. Just like a warm plate of brownies or clothes at a nude
beach. Gone.

I am not sure why I wrote this essay except out of gratitude for
finally moving upstairs. Of course, the mind still bothers me but I
just knock on the ceiling and tell it to shut the heck up.

Vicki Woodyard

11 October 2007

Barren of events,
Rich in pretensions
My earthly life.

My real name.
Wholly unto myself
I exist.

I wrap no soul
In my embrace.

No mentor worthy

Of my calibre Have I.

I am all alone

Between failure

And frustration.

I am the red thread Between Nothingness And Eternity.

Sri Chinmoy (Between Nothingness and Eternity)

In two, there is only One.

In “you” and “I,” there are not two, but One.
In delusion, only One; in recollection, only One.
What work remains but to know?
Ivan H. Granger

The Good Darkness

There is great joy in darkness.
Deepen it.

Blushing embarrassments
in the half-light

but a scorched, blackened, face
can laugh like an Ethiopian,
or a candled moth,
coming closer to God.

Brighter than any moon, Bilal,
Muhammed's Black Friend,
shadowed him on the night journey.

Keep your deepest secret hidden
in the dark beneath daylight's
uncovering and night's spreading veil.

Whatever's given you by those two
is for your desires. They poison,
eventually. Deeper down, where your face
gets erased, where life-water runs silently,

there's a prison with no food and drink,
and no moral instruction, that opens on a garden
where there's only God. No self,
only the creation-word, BE.

You, listening to me, roll up the carpet
of time and space, Step beyond,
into the one word.

In blindness, receive what I say.
Take "There is no good..."
for your wealth and your strength.

Let "There is nothing..." be
a love-wisdom in your wine.

By Hakim Sanai
(1044? - 1150?)

English version by Coleman Barks

Thanks to Poetry Chaikhana

Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

What is this "Good Dark"? Light is so often considered one of the attributes of the Divine, but we forget that dark too is also a metaphor for God. The Eternal is sometimes called dark because It is beyond the ability of the limited intellect to see. It is the realm where there are no longer separations; nothing is seen as separate from That. When the individual encounters such immensity, perception in a sense collapses; there is merging and awareness, but the faculty of seeing distinct objects and beings, even a distinct self, is overwhelmed. It can feel like a shining darkness.

So the Sacred Dark, the Good Dark, is God vast beyond comprehension, Being that gathers everything, even light, even perception, into Itself. This is the darkness where there is "great joy." This is the immense Mystery.

But what does Sanai mean when he says "blushing embarassments / in the half-light / confuse"? And he follows with, "but a scorched, blackened, face / can laugh like an Ethiopian, / or a candled moth, / coming closer to God." What is he saying here?

First, why does a "blackened face" allow us to laugh and come closer to God? Because, if we understand the Divine to be that living, mysterious darkness, then when we become "blackened," we finally recognize ourselves as the same as that darkness. In the "half-light," where we are still distracted by our own faces, we are confused, more aware of ourselves than the holy mystery we touch. We become like a young lover too nervous and self-conscious to simply lose oneself in the embrace of the Beloved.

Sanai is telling us we must be burned like a "candled moth," "blackened" until we have no face of our own, and then we can melt silently into the darkness and mystery of the Divine One. This is what he means when he later speaks of "Deeper down, where your face / gets erased, where life-water runs silently..."

What do you think Sanai is talking about when he speaks of a place where "there's a prison with no food and drink, / and no moral instruction," but that place surprisingly "opens on a garden / where there's only God"?

The prison is for the false self, the little self, the ego. There is "no food and drink" to satisfy the ego's desires, not merely its sensual desires, but it's intellectual desires go unfed, as well. This is the place where concepts fail, where reality is no longer parcelled out into dichotomies of good and bad, right and wrong, making even "moral instruction" a hollow thing. The ego-mind is no longer able to say 'this is separate from that.' In the ego's starvation, in the mind's deep stillness, reality is perceived as one, whole, unsegmented, pure. That "prison with no food and drink" thus leads you to the garden "where there's only God."

This awareness is what Sanai is asking of us when he tells us to "roll up the carpet / of time and space" (both belonging to the ego's attempts to segment reality), to "step... into the one word" (rather than the ego-mind's many words). This is what it means to say "There is no good..." (or bad, no division of opposites), "There is nothing..." (except the Divine Wholeness that is all things, emptying individual 'things' of their substance). If you can settle deeply into this awareness, with supreme poise and balance, then you will find yourself drinking the ecstasy of true love-wisdom

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Pain of Learning

We start our lives as teachers, and it is very hard
for us to learn to become pupils. There are many
whose only difficulty in life in that they are teachers
already. What we have to learn is pupilship.
There is but one Teacher, God Himself.

Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

In order to know the truth or to know God earthly
qualifications and earthly wisdom or learning are
not necessary. What one has to learn is how to
become a pupil. We often start our lives as teachers,
and then it is hard to become a pupil. From childhood
on we start to teach our parents. There are seldom
souls who have more inclination for pupilship than
for teaching, and there are many whose only difficulty
in life is that they are teachers already. Man thinks that
perhaps his reading or study of different religions
and doctrines has qualified him and made him
capable to understand the truth and to have the
knowledge of God, but he forgets that there is
only one teacher, and that is God Himself. We all
are pupils, and what we can do in life is to qualify
ourselves to become true pupils.
It should be remembered that all the great
teachers of humanity, such as Jesus Christ, Buddha,
Muhammad and Zarathushtra, have been great
pupils; they have learned from the innocent child,
they have learned from everyone, from every
person that came near them. They have learned
from every situation and every condition of the
world. They have understood and they have
learned. It is the desire to learn continually that
makes one a teacher, and not the desire to become
a teacher. As soon as a person thinks, 'I am
something of a teacher,' he has lost ground. For
there is only one teacher: God alone is the
Teacher, and all others are His pupils. We
all learn from life what life teaches us. When
a soul begins to think that he has learned all
he had to learn and that now he is a teacher,
he is very much mistaken. The greatest
teachers of humanity have learned from
humanity more than they have taught.

The Science of the Self

Anyone who enters the arena of conscious evolution must make the effort to acquaint themselves with the territory. What is the territory? The territory is consciousness. The territory is your own self. There are different levels or dimensions to who you are, and you need to understand and be able to distinguish between them very clearly if you are serious in your aspiration to evolve. It's hard to overemphasize how challenging this is. In all but the rarest among us, the experience of consciousness or subjectivity is so close to the self-sense that it is almost impossible to objectify it enough to make these important distinctions. In the unenlightened state, we are so identified with the quality and content of whatever our subjective experience happens to be from moment to moment that it is difficult for us to recognize which dimension of our own self we are abiding in. So if we are interested in enlightenment, we need to cultivate a profoundly objective interest in the science of the self, rather than always being lost in the subjective drama of our ever-changing inner experience.

Andrew Cohen

Monday, October 29, 2007

Once you realize that there is nothing in the
world which you can
call your own, you look
at it from the outside as you look at a play

on the stage, or a picture on the screen,
admiring and enjoying, but
really unmoved.
As long as you imagine yourself to be
tangible and solid, a thing among
things, actually existing in time
and space,
short lived and vulnerable, naturally you
will be anxious
to survive and increase.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Subtle Energies

Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, . . . we shall harness . . . the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. And whenever we cannot express it in our lives and actions, we feel miserable and frustrated

Teilhard de Chardin

Tom Gallant


Friday, October 26, 2007

When Realization Dawns

The seeker needs to stay right in the middle of any disorientation or sense of not knowing what to do because, by staying there, without resistance and without moving away from it, in that moment something new starts to be born. Feel in your own experience what starts to be born when you let yourself experience the disorientation of the spiritual seeker who stops seeking a different experience than the one that is happening right now. You can feel the seeker dissolving and the peace emerging, which is the peace the seeker was always looking for anyway. As the seeker dissolves, then the peace is born, and there is stillness. This is not a quality of stillness that has any dependence on an emotional state. At the moment when the seeker starts to dissolve and there is just peace, then the pendulum might swing into a high spiritual state or into a very ordinary state, or even into an unpleasant state, and the peace itself remains completely independent of those states. This is the dawning of the realization that only from the place where the seeker is dissolving can freedom happen because there is no longer any movement toward or away from experience.

- Adyashanti, from Emptiness Dancing,

"Not Seeking"

If someone were to ask me for advice on this 'search' for completeness, I would say something like the following: All the contrived 'postures' and 'attitudes' of my seeking led me nowhere, except around and around on a circuit of endless mentations. Only with the expansive openness of 'not seeking' did a clear view dawn in me. Many helpful hints and examples (of it) were thrown my way by Teachers and Life itself. This intrinsic knowing shines through the ignorance of seeking. What is not apparent for some is that this intrinsic knowing is already here. Its fullness is seemingly diminished (ignored) by mind stuff in the psychological posture of a 'person' that is 'seeking'. And so I would say, relax back into your own true nature of openness. From this openness, a view dawns that all is well.

- Gilbert Schultz

Thursday, October 25, 2007


moves, undulates, breathes in and out, contracting and expanding. This is its nature, the nature of what is. Whatever is, is on the move. Nothing remains the same for very long. The mind wants everything to stop so that it can get its foothold, find its position, so it can figure out how to control life. Through the pursuit of material things, knowledge, ideas, beliefs, opinions, emotional states, spiritual states, and relationships, the mind seeks to find a secure position from which to operate. The mind seeks to nail life down and get it to stop moving and changing. When this doesn't work, the mind begins to seek the changeless, the eternal, something that doesn't move. But the mind of thought is itself an expression of life's movement and so must always be in movement itself. When there is thought, that thought is always moving and changing. There is really no such thing as thought. There is only thinking, so thought which is always moving (as thinking) cannot apprehend the changeless. When thought enters into the changeless it goes silent. When thought goes silent, the thinker, the psychological "me," the image-produced self, disappears. Suddenly it is gone. You, as an idea, are gone. Awareness remains alone. There is no one who is aware. Awareness itself is itself. You are now no longer the thought, nor the thinker, nor someone who is aware. Only awareness remains, as itself. Then, within awareness, thought moves. Within the changeless, change happens. Now awareness expresses itself. Awareness is always expressing itself: as life, as change, as thought, feelings, bodies, humans, plants, trees, cars, etc. Awareness yields to itself, to its inherent creativity, to its expression in form, to experience itself. The changeless is changing. The eternal is living and dying. The formless is form. The form is formless. This is nothing the mind could have ever imagined.

- Adyashanti
If some Power has turned you into a seeker,
don't you think it is the
responsibility of that
Power to take you where you are supposed
to be
A Net of Jewels
Ramesh S. Balsekar

The "Jewel Above All Jewels" Sutra*

Becoming aware of That Which Is
puts you in a different
relationship to
yourself and life,
one in which you are
free to
respond naturally and spontaneously

according to what the moment
rather than out of your
conditioned ideas
and beliefs. This
is a remarkable and
shift - this simple shift to
aware of yourself as Awareness.

Moving from the ego to essence
is simply
a shift of attention away
from thought onto
That Which Is
Aware of Thought.
- Gina Lake

*(My Title, GB)
Image of Vetiver Grass

O Bhakti,

what can you possibly write?
A loss for words...
The joy and bliss and love
Have shattered my being
And refuse to let me
reassemble myself
into something small!
A loss for words...
Can there be greater bliss than this?.

- Gurumayi
~Web Site

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

what is

It is futile to seek human reason, purpose or meaning in the events of
life, which are in fact impersonal and not human at all.

The intuitive apprehension that is real faith is based on a certain
inescapable inevitability, a relaxed acceptance of WHAT IS that is totally free of any doubt or opinion.

A Net of Jewels
Ramesh S. Balsekar

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

21st Century Awakening

"Strawberries are too delicate to be picked by machine. The perfectly ripe ones bruise even at too heavy a human touch. Every strawberry you have ever eaten has been picked by callused human hands. Every piece of toast with jelly represents someone's knees, someone's aching backs and hips, someone with a bandanna on her wrist to wipe away the sweat."
—Alison Luterman, quoted in After the Ecstasy, the Laundry,
by Jack Kornfield

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Hermitage Within

For God, you bring nothing worth having except
your entire availability. He alone knows the moment
and the way. Have no plan for your life, just keep
yourself free of anything that could prevent God
from moving you as he wishes.
- from The Hermitage Within by an anonymous
Cistercian monk


The mind seeks to nail life down and get it to stop moving and
changing. When this doesn't work, the mind begins to seek the changeless, the eternal, something that doesn't move. But the mind of thought is itself an expression of life's movement and so must always be in movement itself. When there is thought, that thought is always moving and changing.

When thought enters into the changeless it goes silent. When thought goes silent, the thinker, the psychological "me," the image-produced self, disappears. Suddenly it is gone. You, as an idea, are gone. Awareness remains alone.

Now awareness expresses itself. Awareness is always expressing itself:
as life, as change, as thought, feelings, bodies, humans, plants, trees, cars... [as you]
- Adyashanti

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Beyond mind, there is an awareness that is intrinsic, that is not given to you by the outside, and is not an idea.... The whole work of meditation is to make you aware of all that is "mind" and dis-identify yourself from it. That very separation is the greatest revolution that can happen to man. Now you can do and act on only that which makes you more joyous, fulfills you, gives you contentment, makes your life a work of art, a beauty. But this is possible only if the master in you is awake. Right now the master is fast asleep. And the mind, the servant, is playing the role of master. And the servant is created by the outside world, it follows the outside world and its laws. Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created. There is no blissfulness more precious than freedom.

- From the False to the Truth, Rajneesh

The Sheer Delight in the Great Joy of Liberation

Let this that has always been running your life have you. This
complete cliff dive in every moment into "I don't know." I don't know where I am, I don't know who I am, I don't know what I am, I don't know what I'm here for. Let yourself be nothing. Just here. Offered. Ahhhh, what a relief. This is what is asked of us, over and over and over, to offer our empty hands. To let the things we are holding so tightly just drop. To give it all up, everything, that does not exist in this moment here. All that has happened, that we think we somehow need to do something about, all that we think might happen, or we hope will happen, every sweet dream that we cling to. This is like God's loving strip search, give it all over! Something else wants to live you. And you can feel it.

- Jeannie Zandi

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Nietzsche's Cosmos

In some remote corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever animals invented Recognition. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of “world history,” but in any event it was never more than a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and thus the clever animals had to die. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how pathetic, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary is this human intellect from the perspective of nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when the story of humankind and its intellect has gone to its end, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no additional mission which would lead it beyond human life. Rather, it is human, and only its possessor and begetter takes it seriously–as though the world’s axis turned in its midst. But if we could communicate with the gnat, we would learn that he likewise flies through the air with the same solemnity, that he feels the flying center of the universe within himself. There is nothing so reprehensible and unimportant in nature that it would not immediately swell up like a balloon at the slightest puff of this power of knowing. And just as every porter wants to have an admirer, so even the proudest of men, the philosopher, supposes that he sees on all sides the eyes of the universe telescopically focused upon his action and thought.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Über Wahrheit und Lüge im außermoralischen Sinn sec. 1 (1873) in: Werke in drei Bänden, vol. 3, p. 309 (K. Schlechta ed. 1969)(S.H. transl.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

White Owl Flies Into and Out of the Field

Coming down out of the freezing sky
with its depths of light,
like an angel, or a Buddha with wings,
it was beautiful, and accurate,
striking the snow and whatever was there
with a force that left the imprint
of the tips of its wings — five feet apart —
and the grabbing thrust of its feet,
and the indentation of what had been running
through the white valleys of the snow —
and then it rose, gracefully,
and flew back to the frozen marshes
to lurk there, like a little lighthouse,
in the blue shadows —
so I thought:
maybe death isn't darkness, after all,
but so much light wrapping itself around us —
as soft as feathers —
that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
and let ourselves be carried,
as through the translucence of mica,
to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
in which we are washed and washed
out of our bones.
~ Mary Oliver


This is the beginning.
Almost anything can happen.
This is where you find
the creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land,
the first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page.
Think of an egg, the letter A,
a woman ironing on a bare stage
as the heavy curtain rises.
This is the very beginning.
The first-person narrator introduces himself,
tells us about his lineage.
The mezzo-soprano stands in the wings.
Here the climbers are studying a map
or pulling on their long woolen socks.
This is early on, years before the Ark, dawn.
The profile of an animal is being smeared
on the wall of a cave,
and you have not yet learned to crawl.
This is the opening, the gambit,
a pawn moving forward an inch.
This is your first night with her,
your first night without her.
This is the first part
where the wheels begin to turn,
where the elevator begins its ascent,
before the doors lurch apart.

This is the middle.
Things have had time to get complicated,
messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore.
Cities have sprouted up along the rivers
teeming with people at cross-purposes—
a million schemes, a million wild looks.
Disappointment unshoulders his knapsack
here and pitches his ragged tent.
This is the sticky part where the plot congeals,
where the action suddenly reverses
or swerves off in an outrageous direction.
Here the narrator devotes a long paragraph
to why Miriam does not want Edward's child.
Someone hides a letter under a pillow.
Here the aria rises to a pitch,
a song of betrayal, salted with revenge.
And the climbing party is stuck on a ledge
halfway up the mountain.
This is the bridge, the painful modulation.
This is the thick of things.
So much is crowded into the middle—
the guitars of Spain, piles of ripe avocados,
Russian uniforms, noisy parties,
lakeside kisses, arguments heard through a wall—
too much to name, too much to think about.

And this is the end,
the car running out of road,
the river losing its name in an ocean,
the long nose of the photographed horse
touching the white electronic line.
This is the colophon, the last elephant in the parade,
the empty wheelchair,
and pigeons floating down in the evening.
Here the stage is littered with bodies,
the narrator leads the characters to their cells,
and the climbers are in their graves.
It is me hitting the period
and you closing the book.
It is Sylvia Plath in the kitchen
and St. Clement with an anchor around his neck.
This is the final bit
thinning away to nothing.
This is the end, according to Aristotle,
what we have all been waiting for,
what everything comes down to,
the destination we cannot help imagining,
a streak of light in the sky,
a hat on a peg, and outside the cabin, falling leaves.
by Billy Collins

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sri Chinmoy: August 27, 1931, October 11, 2007

No mind, no form, I only exist;
Now ceased all will and thought;
The final end of Nature's dance,
I am it whom I have sought.

A realm of Bliss bare, ultimate;
Beyond both knower and known;
A rest immense I enjoy at last;
I face the One alone.

I have crossed the secret ways of life,
I have become the Goal.
The Truth immutable is revealed;
I am the way, the God Soul.

My spirit aware of all the heights,
I am mute in the core of the Sun.
I barter nothing with time and deeds;
My cosmic play is done.

By Sri Chinmoy
(1931 - 2007)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

For Kent

On Angels

All was taken away from you: white dresses,
wings, even existence.
Yet I believe in you,

There, where the world is turned inside out,
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts,
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seems.

Short is your stay here:
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear,
in a melody repeated by a bird,
or in the smell of apples at close of day
when the light makes the orchards magic.

They say somebody has invented you
but to me this does not sound convincing
for the humans invented themselves as well.

The voice -- no doubt it is a valid proof,
as it can belong only to radiant creatures,
weightless and winged (after all, why not?),
girdled with the lightening.

I have heard that voice many a time when asleep
and, what is strange, I understood more or less
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue:

day draw near
another one

do what you can

~Czeslaw Milosz

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Until there is the conviction in the seeker that all phenomena, including himself, are merely appearances without any substance, there can be no true understanding. You are the primordial state of total freedom, that fullness of pure joy, that concentration of light which is subtler than the subtlest and the witness of everything

- Ramesh Balsekar


A human being is a part of a whole, called by us a universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest ... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

— Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Howling of Separation

Every time that we go out to our personality, our quirks, our apparent failings to evaluate, or out to a particular job or a particular love, looking for something, we're going to uncover the one that's going out there, which is the one that's howling. The howling of separation at the core of us. We are going to fail if we look outside and it's going to hurt. That is the blessed mechanism that drives us back to ourselves. Failed relationship after failed relationship, failed strategy after failed strategy, it's all saying, "Wrong way, go home!"
- Jeannie Zandi

Monday, October 08, 2007

Spiritual Maturity

There is a great momentum of suffering and confusion that every spiritual seeker encounters. It is the momentum of ignorance which manifests as the experience of conflict and confusion and which causes suffering. In order to discover the perspective of liberation, which alone transcends this entire movement of ignorance and suffering, one needs to let everything end. "Letting everything end" means to stand in the moment completely naked of attachment to any and all ideas, concepts, hopes, preferences, and experiences. Simply put, it means to stop strategizing, controlling, manipulating, and running away from yourself--and to simply be. Finally you must let everything end and be still. In letting everything end, all seeking and striving stops. All effort to be someone or to find some extraordinary state of being ceases. This ceasing is essential. It is true spiritual maturity. By ceasing to follow the mind's tendency to always want more, different, or better, one encounters the opportunity to be still. In being still, a perspective is revealed which is free from all ignorance and bondage to suffering. From that perspective, eternal Self is realized. The eternal Self, the Seer, is recognized to be one's true nature, one's very own Self. This is an invitation to let all seeking end, all striving end, all efforting end, all past identity end, all hopes end, and to discover That which has no beginning or end. This is an invitation to discover the eternal, unborn, undying Truth of being. The Truth of your being, your own Self. Let the entire movement of becoming end, and discover That which has always been present at the core of your being.

- Adyashant

Let Us See

Let us see, is this real,
Let us see, is this real,
Let us see, is this real,
This life I am living?
Ye gods, who dwell everywhere,
Let us see, is this real,
This life I am living?

Pawnee (Anonymous)18th century

English version by Daniel G. Brinton,

Friday, October 05, 2007

My heart is so small
it's almost invisible.
How can You place
such big sorrows in it?
"Look," He answered,
"your eyes are even smaller,
yet they behold the world."
~ Rumi ~

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ike: April 4, 1995 - October 4, 2004

Will I miss you
uncanny other
in the next life?

And you & I, my other, leave
the body, not leave the earth?

And you, a child in a field,
and I, a child on a train, go by, go by,

And what we had
give way like coffee grains
brushed across paper . . .
-Jean Valentine

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Moon

Totally conscious, and apropos of nothing, he comes to see me.
Is someone here? I ask.
The moon. The full moon is inside your house.

My friends and I go running out into the street.
I'm in here, comes a voice from the house, but we aren't
We're looking up at the sky.
My pet nightingale sobs like a drunk in the garden.
Ringdoves scatter with small cries. Where, Where.
It's midnight. The whole neighborhood is up and out in
the street
thinking, The cat-burglar has come back.
The actual thief is there too, saying out loud,
Yes, the cat-burglar is somewhere in this crowd.
No one pays attention.

Lo, I am with you always, means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you.
There's no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.

A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower.

Version by Coleman Barks
"The Essential Rumi"

Monday, October 01, 2007

Refocusing our Lenses

Because of the developmental nature of the process we are involved in, we all have to continually refocus our lenses of perception and discrimination. It's not like you get the picture once and that's it. In a developmental context, you have to keep focusing and refocusing all the time, because as the Buddha said, everything is changing all the time. Everything is in flux; there's constant change. In the manifest domain, everything is changing all the time. And not only is everything changing, but everything is developing. So if we want to be pioneers of evolution, we need to be constantly leaning forward, refocusing, and looking—again and again and again. Not only do we need to keep up with the constant changing and shifting that is the nature of the manifest realm, but if we are going to be agents of the evolutionary impulse ourselves, that adds a whole other level of complexity and urgency to the picture. We need to be one step ahead. Your capacity to interpret your experience clearly becomes absolutely essential in order for you to be able to respond to life creatively, in such a way that not only keeps pace with but begins to define the very direction of the changing universe itself.

Andrew Cohen