Friday, November 30, 2007

Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head

with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso

is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise

the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs

to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced

beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders

and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,

burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Ultimate Understanding

The central point of the ultimate understanding is that at any and every instant there is nothing but perfection in the totality of functioning that is the universe. Thus, the present moment and whatever it offers is accepted in total and uninhibited pure enjoyment.
~Ramesh S. Balsekar


Nothing sings in our bodies
like breath in a flute.
It dwells in the drum.
I hear it now
that slow beat
like when a voice said to the dark,
let there be light,
let there be ocean
and blue fish
born of nothing
and they were there.
I turn back to bed.
The man there is breathing.
I touch him
with hands already owned by another world
Look, they are desert,
they are rust. They have washed the dead.
They have washed the just born.
They are open.
They offer nothing.
Take it.
Take nothing from me.
There is still a little life
left inside this body,
a little wildness here
and mercy
and it is the emptiness
we love, touch, enter in one another
and try to fill.

~Linda Hogan

Monday, November 26, 2007

In the realm of the passing away

This is the realm of the passing away. All that
exists does not for long.
Whatever comes into this world never stops sliding
toward the edge of eternity.
Form arises from formlessness and passes back,
arising and dissolving in a few dance steps between
creation and destruction.
We are born passing away.
Seedlings and deadfall all face forward.
Earthworms eat what remains.
We sing not for that which dies but for that which
never dies.

By Stephen Levine
(1937 - )

Praise Song

Praise the light of late November,
the thin sunlight that goes deep in the bones.
Praise the crows chattering in the oak trees;
though they are clothed in night, they do not
despair. Praise what little there's left:
the small boats of milkweed pods, husks, hulls,
shells, the architecture of trees. Praise the meadow
of dried weeds: yarrow, goldenrod, chicory,
the remains of summer. Praise the blue sky
that hasn't cracked yet. Praise the sun slipping down
behind the beechnuts, praise the quilt of leaves
that covers the grass: Scarlet Oak, Sweet Gum,
Sugar Maple. Though darkness gathers, praise our crazy
fallen world; it's all we have, and it's never enough.

~ Barbara Crooker

Sunday, November 25, 2007

being no one, going no where, having nothing

"Spiritual maturity is being ready to let go of everything.
Giving up is
a first step, but real giving up is the insight
that there's nothing
to be given up, since nothing is your

As awareness bends back on itself,

a breathtaking, eternal reality shines forth, pristine and untroubled by everything that has happened in the created world.

Remarkably one has been transported to the instant "before the beginning" of all creation while the familiar world is seen as an expression of an implicit void.

The infinite sense of awe and wonder is amplified when the silent question of how can this be?, is followed by the startling, all-encompassing presence of grace.

When awareness turns to the "world" it may be shocking to realize that people are not who they appear to be, but whether they know that is an open question.

All searching for tangible evidence of who they are ends in the same, formless mystery that one discovers when looking at one's "own" awareness and being.
- Michael Regan

Thursday, November 22, 2007

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened

~ e.e. cummings ~
(Complete Poems 1904-1962)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Individual Volition

The notion of individual volition has been referred to as "the bite of the deadly serpent of ego" because it is the very root of the concept of bondage or unhappiness, and the only thing which can free man from its poison is the abandonment of his identification with a particular object as a 'me'.
~Ramesh S. Balsekar

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Four Poems

I think it will be winter when he comes.
From the unbearable whiteness of the road
a dot will emerge, so black that eyes will blur,
and it will be approaching for a long, long time,
making his absence commensurate with his coming,
and for a long, long time it will remain a dot.
A speck of dust? A burning in the eye? And snow,
there will be nothing else but snow,
and for a long, long while there will be nothing,
and he will pull away the snowy curtain,
he will acquire size and three dimensions,
he will keep coming closer, closer . . .
This is the limit, he cannot get closer. But he keeps approaching,
now too vast to measure . . .


If there is something to desire,
there will be something to regret.
If there is something to regret,
there will be something to recall.
If there is something to recall,
there was nothing to regret.
If there was nothing to regret,
there was nothing to desire.


Let us touch each other
while we still have hands,
palms, forearms, elbows . . .
Let us love each other for misery,
torture each other, torment,
disfigure, maim,
to remember better,
to part with less pain.


We are rich: we have nothing to lose.
We are old: we have nowhere to rush.
We shall fluff the pillows of the past,
poke the embers of the days to come,
talk about what means the most,
as the indolent daylight fades.
We shall lay to rest our undying dead:
I shall bury you, you will bury me.

~Vera Pavlova

(Translated, from the Russian, by Steven Seymour.)

Circles 4 (from Life of the Future World)

& the secret



By Rabbi Abraham Abulafia
(1240 - ?)

English version by Jerome Rothenberg and Harris Lenowitz

Hat Tip Poetry Chaikhana

Friday, November 09, 2007

Close the Gap

The words known as: Self-Realization, God-Realization, The Absolute,
Moksha, Liberation, Freedom, Truth, GOD, Enlightenment, Nirvana and
any word that hasn’t been mentioned, are all pointing to the same
thing. The question is what are they pointing to?
We use the word “Unconditioned” to refer to all of the above. The
Unconditioned is none other than you minus the Conditions.
Some of us see the Gap quite easily and for others it’s more subtle.
The Gap is in believing that God, Enlightenment or the Unconditioned
is somewhere other than where I AM.
Most teachings agree on the word Omnipresence. Omnipresence
being true, the question that arises is: Where Can I go where GOD
is not? The obvious answer is nowhere. There is nowhere I can go
where GOD is not! That is a most profound statement to be realized.
If there is nowhere I can go where GOD is not, then God must be right
where I AM.
If we truly embrace Omnipresence then that will Close the Gap quite
Three statements on closing the gap
You are you and you are THAT which is Significant.
There is nothing for you to do in order to be you because you are
already you.
You are already you because you have never been anyone else.
Please ponder the three statements deeply. Doing so will Close the
Cultivate Awareness of the Unconditioned
Most of us have been focused on the Conditioned since birth and we’ve
had quite a bit of help to have that focus. Our parents, siblings,
friends, schools and any thing else that we call society is one big
Birth and Death and every thing in between are a Condition.
The Ego believes that it can create conditions that are favorable to
it and having done that, it will be happy.
The difficulty is that this is only a belief and one that the Self
Improvement people are trying to sell to us. Yes friends you can have
it ALL! You can have the MONEY! You can have the TOTALLY HOT
BODY of all times! You can have a love relationship that exceeds the
love of Romeo and Juliet!
The above is what Ego wants and what society is trying to sell to it.
Please stop buying into this. Even if the Ego could acquire these
things it will then need to maintain them or they will be lost.
No matter how well they are maintained and that of course assumes
that one acquires them to begin with, they are destined to perish.
The reason that they are destined to perish is because they are
conditions. Conditions do not unfold. Conditions always collapse in
on themselves.
The Ego is actually the opposite of the Four Principles. The Ego does
not close the gap it creates gap. Ego does not cultivate awareness of
the Unconditioned. It prefers to cultivate awareness of the
Conditioned. The Ego doesn’t attempt to deepen in wisdom and
compassion because it’s too focused on itself to care about others.
The Ego does not trust or rest. The Ego does not unfold it collapses
in on itself as does all other conditions.
Be Willing to Forever Deepen in Wisdom and Compassion

Wisdom and Compassion are both necessary. There cannot be one
without the other. Wisdom relies upon Compassion for a true
understanding and Compassion relies upon Wisdom for a true
Wisdom without Compassion leads to arrogance and Compassion
without Wisdom has no direction.
Most people seem to favor one over the other. Some find Wisdom
comes more readily than Compassion and others will find the
opposite to be true. Therefore, we focus on that one which does
not come so easily.
If Wisdom comes easily, then focusing on Compassion is most wise. If
Compassion comes easily, then focusing on Wisdom is most
compassionate. This is true simply because we need both together as
A very good example of Wisdom and Compassion being together is
found in the Heart Sutra. In the Heart Sutra there is Avalokiteshvara
Bodhisattva which is the highest emblem of compassion within
Buddhism and the Bodhisattva is speaking about Wisdom.
We would have a tendency to expect an expert on Compassion to
speak about compassion, but it so happens that the Bodhisattva of
Compassion speaks about Wisdom.
It is actually quite natural that the epitome of Compassion would
speak about Wisdom because that is a very compassionate thing to do.
Wisdom and Compassion are not something that we create. They are
qualities of the Unconditioned. Engaging the Unconditioned is to
engage wisdom and compassion. As we Cultivate Awareness of the
Unconditioned, then we are also deepening in Wisdom and Compassion.
Trust and Rest in the Unfolding
Trusting and Resting in the Unfolding is the culmination of the other
three principles. To the degree that we Trust, it is to that degree
that we Rest. The more we Trust, the more we Rest. The more we
Rest, the more we Trust.
Trusting is not based on blind faith. What has caused you to be
interested in Truth itself? That is what you Trust. It is important
to point out how rare it is to attend Satsang. Approximately one
percent of the human population attends Satsang. That means there is
a 99% chance that a person will not attend Satsang and yet you are
attending. How do you explain that? Learn to trust that which brought
you to Satsang.
Do not believe anything. Believing is something we do when we don’t
know. When we know directly then believing is non existent. Believing
is something we use to fill the Gap because the gap is uncomfortable.
It is much better to be honest by saying “I don’t know” then to
insert a belief in order to be more comfortable.
Honesty is a characteristic of the Unconditioned. When we honestly
don’t know then we are much closer than we would be if we inserted a
belief. Believing is an illusion of knowing. Do not settle for
anything less than knowing directly for yourself. Being honest about
not knowing opens the door to knowing. Inserting a belief closes the
door to knowing.
Trusting and Resting are based only on KNOWING. Before you say
that you know nothing, you MUST know something or otherwise you
would not be at Satsang.

~John Taylor

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The play of concepts is endless. Concepts about the body, the mind, spirit, universe, cosmos, big bang, small bang, how the world came into being, shiva, shakti, etc. And then there are concepts about concepts, and thoughts about the nature of thoughts! What to do? The questions are thoughts and the answers are thoughts. And thinking about questions and answers requires thoughts. What to do? Nothing to do. The quicksand of concepts entangles one more and more, the more seriously one takes them. It is the stuff of religion, philosophy, spirituality, great writers, great thinkers, great teachers, great leaders, etc. The presumption to understand, teach, and help others to improve themselves reveals the unrelenting grip of the ego. But the ego is not bad. It is something natural. It arises as a natural condition. The wise say, that, "I am the doer" notion is bondage. The real method to self knowledge is simple. To go to the root of the ego or the mind, one needs to become aware of one's complete helplessness. That takes time. That takes spiritual maturity. To feel truly that 'not my will Lord, but thy will be done'. In doing so, the surrender can take place and one can naturally do what one is destined to do. If by Grace, one can bring the awareness upon its own essence, to see and feel its own essential being, that is all that needs to be done. That is all that can be done! In this awareness, one can stare at the originating point of thoughts and feelings and symbols and visions which rise in it, and see itself as the source, not as a thought but as a well of being that perpetually springs forth in itself and dissolves in itself never losing its inherent quality of naturalness, sat-chit-ananda. It is the essence of simplicity. Pure Being. That is what Sri Ramana taught. To be aware of the "I AM" as feeling/awareness. That is the direct practice. To be simply aware of yourself. Spiritual practitioners seek complex and glamorous practices leading to rich experiences and knowledge. This is good as well. All according to one's inclinations. But there are some who have consumed enough knowledge and enough experiences and lose the desire for any of it. Spontaneously, the directness of one's own awareness manifests as one's own self. One's Own Self is the Self of all. One Heart. Same Heart. All Heart.