Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dance of the Five Elements

"Seeing all things as naked, clear and free from obscurations,
there is nothing to attain or realize. The nature of phenomena appears naturally and is naturally present in time-transcending awareness. Everything is naturally perfect just as it is. All phenomena appear in their uniqueness as part of the continually changing pattern. These patterns are vibrant with meaning and significance at every moment; yet there is no significance to attach to such meanings beyond the moment in which they present themselves.

This is the dance of the five elements in which matter is a
symbol of energy and energy a symbol of emptiness. We are a symbol of our own enlightenment. With no effort or practice whatsoever, liberation or enlightenment is already here. The everyday practice of dzogchen is just everyday life itself. Since the undeveloped state does not exist, there is no need to behave in any special way or attempt to attain anything above and beyond what you actually are. There should be no feeling of striving to reach some 'amazing goal' or "advanced state."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Onwards from AKQA on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Before The Flood

Why did he promise me
that we would build ourselves
an ark all by ourselves
out in back of the house
on New York Avenue
in Union City New Jersey

to the singing of the streetcars
after the story
of Noah whom nobody
believed about the waters
that would rise over everything
when I told my father
I wanted us to build
an ark of our own there
in the back yard under
the kitchen could we do that
he told me that we could
I want to I said and will we
he promised me that we would
why did he promise that
I wanted us to start then
nobody will believe us
I said that we are building
an ark because the rains
are coming and that was true
nobody ever believed
we would build an ark there
nobody would believe
that the waters were coming.

W. S. Mervin

(Painting: Edward Hicks.)

Deep gratitude to Andrew Sullivan

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This Dream

Why is it all so beautiful,
this fake dream,
this craziness?

Oh! green, green willow
wonderfully red flower,
but I know the colors are not there.

- Ikkyu 1394-1481

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

~John Lennon

Monday, April 20, 2009

You are not an individual being, let alone an individual doer.
You're not even an individual entity! You are nothing. You
are merely a pattern of vibrating energy. Truly understanding
that, with conviction, will help tremendously.

The joke is that it is the ego, the "me," that wants enlightenment,
and enlightenment cannot come until the "me" is demolished.

Ramesh S. Balsekar


"Develop the witness attitude and you will find in
your own experience that detachment brings control.
The state of witnessing is full of power; there is
nothing passive about it."

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

It's All So Elegant

There is no attainment and no cultivation
of original nature. You are Consciousness, not a farmer! Why work for that which you already are? Do not mentate, do not stir a thought. Trying to get out of superimposed bondage, which is the notion that you are separate from Existence, you will land in superimposed freedom.
- Papaji

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 1)

"Fear arises through identification with form, whether
it be a material possession, a physical body, a social role,'
a self-image, a thought, or an emotion. It arises through
unawareness of the formless inner dimension of
consciousness or spirit, which is the essence of who you are.
You are trapped in object consciousness, unaware of the
dimension of inner space which alone is true freedom."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 2)

"Internal and external are ultimately one. When you no longer
perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and when
there is no more fear, you think, speak and act differently.
Love and compassion arise, and they affect the world."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 3)

"Most people's lives are run by desire and fear. Desire is the
need to add something to yourself in order to be yourself more
fully. All fear is the fear of losing something and thereby
becoming diminished and being less. These two movements obscure
the fact that Being cannot be given or taken away. Being in its
fullness is already within you, Now."

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 4)

"Choice implies consciousness - a high degree of consciousness.
Without it, you have no choice. Choice begins the moment you
disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment
you become present....Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain.
Nobody chooses insanity. They happen because there is not enough
presence in you to dissolve the past, not enough light to dispel the
darkness. You are not fully here. You have not quite woken up yet.
In the meantime, the conditioned mind is running your life."

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 5)

"The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions,
the work you do, social status and recognition, knowledge and
education, physical appearance, special abilities, relationships,
personal and family history, belief systems, and often political,
nationalistic, racial, religious, and other collective identifications.
None of these is you."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 6)

"There is never a time when your life is not "this moment."
Is this not a

A Week With Eckhart Tolle (day 7)

"Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad
forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being
is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost
invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is
accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature.
But don't seek to grasp it with your mind. Don't try to understand
it. You can know it only when the mind is still."

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Long-Term Marriage

At last she's happy, reigning with her creams,

rubbing his scalp's roof until it gleams.

As the squamous-cell carcinomas sprout,

the local dermatologist cuts them out

or frosts the lunar surface with liquid nitrogen.

The creams come from West Fourteenth Street, Manhattan,

FedExed from their adopted son's boyfriend's home,

a relationship that remains, to them, unknown.

Their Oriental rugs are steeped in piss

from the bulldog barking like an activist.

Bickering over misplaced books, the tchotchkes

lost, and how she re-remembers her stories,

they wait with an unfinished, finished look,

and note how honeysuckle crowns Old Saybrook

and thistles overrun their last garden.

The dash between their dates is nearly done.
by Spencer Reece

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday Sermon

I have often quoted here the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, mostly from the Duino Elegies or The Sonnets of Orpheus. We now have a new translation of Rilke's earlier The Book of Hours, by Susan Ranson, which I have been reading, and on this eve of Easter I offer a short poem from the First Book: The Book of Monkish Life.
I find your trace in all these things, in all
that like a brother I am careful for;
you sun yourself, a seed, within the small
and in the great give yourself the more.

This the mysterious play of forces, then,
that serve in things, over and under ground:
that rise in roots, narrow into the stem,
and in the crown like resurrection stand.
The poems of The Book of Hours, written when Rilke was in his mid-twenties, are as the title suggests addressed to God, but his is a strange and unfamiliar sort of deity. Not quite the transcendent God of the theist, who lives outside of the creation. Nor is he quite the immanent God of the pantheist who is manifest in all things. Rather, Rilke's God is concealed within the creation, within the poems even. The point of the poems, says Ben Hutchinson in an Introduction to Ranson's translations, is to create a "lattice-work" of rhymes and rythms through which the poet encourages God to grow. Rilke's God resides in the interstices of things. The poet -- the poem -- is "your pitcher," writes Rilke, addressing God. If the pitcher shatters that which might quench the thirst is dispersed. A curious God, this God of Rilke. I'm not sure if there is a name for his sort of religion. In a sense, it is an egotistical theology, making God's existence dependent upon the poet's apprehension. But it is also an enobling sort of theology, emphasizing our responsibility to nurture divinity -- to divinize the world. Anyway, the little poem above strkes me as an appropriate Easter meditation for a religious naturalist. On this equinoctial occasion, we praise the things -- call them divine if you wish -- "that rise in roots, narrow into the stem, and in the crown like resurrection stand."

Thanks to Science Musings Blog

When God is Gone, Everything is Holy, by Chet Raymo

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Journeying god,
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
toward a wealth not dependent on possessions,
toward a wisdom not based on books,
toward a strength not bolstered by might,
toward a god not confined to heaven.
Help me to find myself as I walk in other's shoes.
(Prayer song from Ghana, traditional, translator unknown)
Thanks to Joe Riley
(Prayer song from Ghana, traditional, translator unknown)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Two Diamonds

There are many reports of what are popularly considered "death-experiences", which are mistaken as evidence of what happens after death. These are in fact only hallucinations experienced by the ego arising from stimulation of certain centers of the brain before, not after, the completion of the death process. Most of the mystical phenomena recorded as yogic experience are of the same order, movements in consciousness experienced by the ego. But when man finally surrenders his miserable egoic individuality, there is no experience of anything. He is the Totality itself.

It is wanting that is the cause of bondage, irrespective of whether that wanting is for some material benefit or for realization. Man's viewpoint has become so inverted that he thinks of effortless, unfathomable contentment as an abnormal condition that must be attained through want by some special positive "spiritual" efforts!
Ramesh S. Balsekar

Monday, April 06, 2009

Ah, The Beauty . . . . . . .

"Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that - nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you. A mere verbal statement will not do - you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever. You must watch yourself continuously - particularly your mind - moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not-self."
~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, April 02, 2009

1st and Amistad

the frey

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." ~Henry Beston, The Outermost House

"When I'm sitting in a room making a record, I'm pretty much the master of my own universe. Then I step out the door: Forget it. If you sat like the Unabomber and just wrote a manifesto, it would be this completely self-contained psychotic document. But if you go to the store or a bar or to a friend's house, things are going to happen that are going to shift your life and take it off the line you thought you were on. That's the beauty of the ride. That's what we're here for -- to learn to roll with that ride," - Bob Mould.