Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sri Aurobindo - the Intermediate Zone

…These things, when they pour down or come in, present themselves with a great force, a vivid sense of inspiration or illumination, much sensation of light and joy, an impression of widening and power. The sadhak feels himself freed from the normal limits, projected into a wonderful new world of experience, filled and enlarged and exalted;what comes associates itself, besides, with his aspirations, ambitions, notions of spiritual fulfillment and yogic siddhi; it is represented even as itself that realisation and fulfillment.
Very easily he is carried away by the splendour and the rush, and thinks that he has realised more than he has truly done, something final or at least something sovereignly true. At this stage the necessary knowledge and experience are usually lacking which would tell him that this is only a very uncertain and mixed beginning; he may not realise at once that he is still in the cosmic Ignorance, not in the cosmic Truth, much less in the Transcendental Truth, and that whatever formative or dynamic idea-truths may have come down into him are partial only and yet further diminished by their presentation to him by a still mixed consciousness. He may fail to realise also that if he rushes to apply what he is realising or receiving as if it were something definitive, he may either fall into confusion and error or else get shut up in some partial formation in which there may be an element of spiritual Truth but it is likely to be outweighted by more dubious mental and vital accretions that deform it altogether.

These words by the Indian sage Sri Aurobindo, refer to what he called the Intermediate Zone, a dangerous and misleading transitional spiritual and pseudo-spiritual region between the ordinary consciousness of the outer being and True Realisation.

Although written in 1932 as cautionary words for his disciples, they are more relevant and important today than they were then.



Saturday, January 25, 2020

Steve Taylor - It’s hard to be a human being

It’s hard to be a human being
when you seem to be trapped inside yourself
with the rest of the world out there, on the other side
and you feel insignificant and fragile, like a tiny island
surrounded by a vast, roaring ocean
that’s threatening to submerge you.

It’s hard to be a human being
when you’re forced to share your inner world
with a crazy, whirling thought-machine
that never stops churning and chattering
and makes you fear things that can’t hurt you
and desire things that can’t make you happy.

It’s hard to be a human being
when there are impulses inside you that you don’t understand
and that don’t seem to have an outlet
as if they were meant for someone else, or for another world
and have attached themselves to you by mistake.

It’s hard to be a human being
when the world is so chaotic that you can’t find your right direction
can’t find a life that aligns with your inner purpose
and you feel inauthentic and unfulfilled
like an actor who hates the role he plays.

But the strangest thing is
how easy it is
to step outside this world of discord.

The strangest thing is
that this suffering that seems so dense and deep-rooted
is only superficial, and insubstantial.

The hardship of being human
is the pain of separation –
the incompleteness of a lonely, fragile fragment
who was once part of the whole
and longs for unity again.

Let go of your autonomy, and let your mind fall silent
until you feel yourself reconnecting to the whole.
And then your suffering will begin to ease
like a passing storm, that gives way to stillness.

And then you will sense
the security of belonging, the joy of participating
the lightness of life living through you
the inner strength that wholeness brings.

Then you will remember
how easy human life was meant to be.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Taylor Rose Godfrey - Shifting from spiritual consumerism

art(altered) Yongsung Kim 

 "I don’t care how spiritual you are. How long you can melt in the sweat lodge. How many peyote journeys that have blown your mind, or how well you can hold crow pose. Honestly. I don’t. I don’t care what planets fall in what houses on your birth chart, how many crystals you have or how vegan your diet is.

I want to know how human you are. Can you sit at the feet of the dying despite the discomfort? Can you be with your grief, or mine, without trying to advise, fix or maintain it? I want to know that you can show up at the table no matter how shiny, chakra- aligned or complete you are- or not. Can you hold loving space for your beloved in the depths of your own healing without trying to be big?

It doesn’t flatter me how many online healing trainings you have, that you live in the desert or in a log cabin, or that you’ve mastered the art of tantra.

What turns me on is busy hands. Planting roots. That despite how tired you are, you make that phone call, you board that plane, you love your children, you feed your family.

I have no interest in how well you can ascend to 5D, astral travel or have out of body sex. I want to see how beautifully you integrate into ordinary reality with your unique magic, how you find beauty and gratitude in what’s surrounding you, and how present you can be in your relationships.

I want to know that you can show up and do the hard and holy things on this gorgeously messy Earth. I want to see that you can be sincere, grounded and compassionate as equally as you are empowered, fiery and magnetic. I want to know that even during your achievements, you can step back and be humble enough to still be a student.

What’s beautiful and sexy and authentic is how well you can continue to celebrate others no matter how advanced you’ve become. What’s truly flattering is how much you can give despite how full you’ve made yourself. What’s honestly valuable is how fucking better of a human you can be, in a world that is high off of spiritual materialism and jumping the next escape goat for “freedom.”

At the end of the day I don’t care how brave you are. How productive, how popular, how enlightened you are. At the end of the day, I want to know that you were kind. That you were real. I want to know that you can step down from the pedestal from time to time to kiss the earth and let your hair get dirty and your feet get muddy, and join the dance with us all."


-A modern day call to shifting from spiritual consumerism to returning to human kind... heart inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s, The Invitation."


Saturday, January 18, 2020

Rumi ♡ Drunk

you are drunk
and i'm intoxicated
no one is around
showing us the way home

again and again
i told you
drink less
a cup or two

i know in this city
no one is sober
one is worse than the other
one is frenzied and
the other gone mad

come on my friend
step into the tavern of ruins
taste the sweetness of life
in the company of another friend

here you'll see
at every corner
someone intoxicated
and the cup-bearer
makes her rounds

i went out of my house
a drunkard came to me
someone whose glance
uncovered a hundred
houses in paradise

rocking and rolling
he was a sail
with no anchor but
he was the envy of all those sober ones
remaining on the shore

where are you from i asked
he smiled in mockery and said
one half from the east
one half from the west
one half made of water and earth
one half made of heart and soul
one half staying at the shores and
one half nesting in a pearl

i begged
take me as your friend
i am your next of kin
he said i recognize no kin
among strangers
i left my belongings and
entered this tavern
i only have a chest
full of words
but can't utter
a single one

Ghazal 2309
Translated by Nader Khalili
Rumi, Fountain of Fire

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Metaphor - the heart of mystic poetry

Don't hand me another glass of wine.
Pour it in my mouth.
I've lost the way to my mouth.

  Much of mystic poetry is meant to be read and interpreted as metaphor, not fact.  Consider Plato's allegory of the cave and the escapee trying to describe the beauty of sunshine to the prisoners who have known only darkness and shadow.  It is necessary for the poet to re-interpret their experience into something relatable. This may seem like stating the obvious, but there are many Professors who insist that Omar Khayyam continued reference to wine in his Rubaiyat is a reference to alcohol:  this may not be true.  The reference to wine in mystic poetry is a metaphor for the pure love of the divine and the feeling of intoxication it brings.  In the poem below, when the poet makes this reference "God is singing within your heart", this suggests an experience, similar to the emotional response of hearing a beautiful voice.
    Perhaps the narrow interpretation of mystic poetry comes from a lack of faith - is it really possible to experience the touch of God, the love of God?  Perhaps there is doubt that God can be so personal and real? Or there is an inability to accept that there may be something that exists outside one's realm of study - all must fit into what is already known, otherwise it doesn't exist.  One can only guess the source of the difficulty.   But the way to read and experience mystic poetry is with the heart; as if listening to a beautiful piece of music.  The notes follow a logic of their own, the beauty comes from letting it flow through your heart unimpeded and feeling the feeling it creates. 

 Here's the new rule:
Break the wineglass, and fall toward the glassblower's breath.

 I know who you are, I know who I am
I know the truth and the meaning of love.
God is singing within your heart
breathing inside your breath
more close than a hand within a glove
or a thought within the head.
If you listen, my friend, with an open heart
you will know this declaration's true
the Truth?  You forgot some time ago
the surprise - the revelation's you
you wrote this poem
yes, you
back then
when your heart was filled with ecstasy
blind drunk on the clear wine of love.   


Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Cupbearer - A Sufi poem by Alireza Nurbakhsh

Cupbearer be generous – make me drunk
Let me be a moth circling around your face.

Make me a stranger to I and we.
Let me share my abode with your love.

Oh beloved! Gaze upon me.
I am your guest
Show your face! Make me crazy!

If you do not give me wine, I will not complain.
If you bestow wine, I will become the goblet.

If you burn my heart and soul in fire,
I become a legend in love and fidelity.

Oh beloved! Be merciful. Revive my heart.
Make me a pearl in the ocean of nothingness.

Every moment you bestow light upon me
To turn me into a beloved out of your generosity.


Friday, January 10, 2020

Kent Nerburn - A world of cages

    Our old people noticed this from the beginning. They said that the white man lived in a world of cages, and that if we didn’t look out, they would make us live in cages too.

    So we started noticing. Everything looked like cages. Your clothes fit like cages. Your houses looked like cages. You put your fences around your yards so they looked like cages. Everything was a cage. You turned the land into cages. Little squares. Then after you had all these cages you made a government to protect these cages. And that government was all cages. All laws about what you couldn’t do. The only freedom you had was inside your own cage. Then you wondered why you weren’t happy and didn’t feel free.

    You made all the cages, then you wondered why you didn’t feel free.

— Kent Nerburn, Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Mirabai Starr - Beloved One

photo NASA

 Beloved One,
Living Light,
Spirit of all that is,
Thank you for welcoming us
To this sacred circle,
Comprised of every hue on the spectrum
Of the human community.
Be with us now
As we lean in to hear your call.
Stay close as we stand up
To speak your message of unconditional love.

Divine Mother,
Embodiment of Mercy and Compassion,
Enfold us in your protective cloak
As we dare to take in the pain of the world.
Give us the courage and strength
To drop our preconceptions
And step onto the field of global strife
Armed with the flaming arrow of unconditional love.

Sacred Friend,
Hidden behind the eyes of the broken,
Reveal yourself.
Let us behold the beauty of your face
In all beings, everywhere, always.
Where once we perceived only the impossible,
Blinded by our desire for circumstances, people,
And our own sweet selves to be different,
Let us rest now in what is
Alert to your power to astonish us
With the global awakening of unconditional love.

Holy One,
We carry legacy of our ancestors
In the marrow of our own souls.
We are all reluctant prophets.
We must be called and called again,
And yet again.
We turn and turn away,
We yield and bow and rise,
Until at last,
Clasped by the ferocious wings of your angels,
We declare, Hineyni.
Here I am.
Make of me a vessel of your divine will,
The will of unconditional love.

Great Spirit,
True Self and No-Self,
Fill the hearts of our leaders
With humility and holy awe.
Embolden them not to turn away from the Other
But to lay down their weapons
And take the adversary in their arms.
Infuse them with the fire
That melts swords into ploughshares
And spears into pruning hooks.
Show them the secret passageway from hopeless conflict
Home to unconditional love.

Father-Mother God,
May the Children of Abraham and Sarah
At last fall silent in the face of your radiance.
May our hearts soar in remembrance.
May our knees bend and our bodies bow down,
And our spirits rejoice,
Overflowing with unceasing prayer,
Resounding and cleansing and blessing all the land:
There is nothing but you,
Nothing but God,


from her facebook  page