Friday, May 15, 2015

Wendell Berry - Grace

The Wood is shining this morning.
Red. Gold and green. The leaves
Lie on the ground, or fall,
Or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
The place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
Its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
All that it is, and how flawless
Its grace is. Running or walking, the way
Is the same. Be still. Be still.

Rumi - If...

If HE makes of me a cup,
I am a cup;

I am a dagger
if HE makes me a dagger.

If HE makes me a fountain,
water pours out of me;

Heat dances from me
if HE makes me a fire.

If HE makes me rain,
I give birth to rich fields;

If HE makes me an arrow,
I pierce hearts;

If HE makes me a serpent,
poison flames from me.

If HE makes me a friend,
I serve my friends.

HE is the Writer;
I am the pen in HIS fingers.

Who am I to obey or disobey?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Marguerite Porete - The liberated soul

“The liberated soul no longer seeks God through penitence, nor through any sacrament of Holy Church; not through thoughts, nor through words, nor through works; not through creature here below, nor through creature above; not through justice, nor through mercy, nor through glory of glory; not through divine understanding, nor through divine love, nor through divine praise.
Such Souls … possess as equally dear, shame as honor, and honor as shame; poverty as wealth, and wealth as poverty; torment from God and his creatures, as comfort from God and His creatures; to be loved as hated, and hated as loved; to be in hell as in paradise, and in paradise as in hell; and in small estate as in great, and great estate as small … They neither will nor not-will anything of these prosperities nor of these adversities.
Whoever would ask such free Souls, sure and peaceful, if they would want to be in purgatory, they would say no; or if they would want to be certain of salvation in this life, they would say no; or if they want to be in paradise, they would say no. But then with what would they will it? They no longer possess any will, and if they would desire anything, 
they would separate themselves from Love.
Such a Soul neither desires nor despises poverty nor tribulation, neither mass nor sermon, neither fast nor prayer, and gives to Nature all that is necessary, without remorse of conscience. But such Nature is so well ordered through the transformation by unity of Love, to whom the will is conjoined, that Nature demands nothing which is prohibited.
She has fallen into certainty of knowing nothing and into certainty of willing nothing. And this nothingness … gives her the All, and no one can possess it in any other way.”

read more about Marguerite Porete here

Meister Eckhart - The same eye

“The eye 
through which I see God 
is the same eye 
through which God sees me; 
my eye and God’s eye are one eye, 
one seeing, one knowing, 
one love.” 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bob O’Hearn - To love or fear

To love or fear – that’s the test.

At the core the heart knows best.

Open your eyes and you will see,

fear is the malignancy.

The fearful mind is a conflicted thing, obscuring the songs that love would sing.

Let the healing begin within — don’t prolong a war that no one can win.

Give up the fight with yourself before it begins, why struggle in vain with your own best friend?

Our nature is to be at peace, to know ourselves, to let fear cease.

Only love can liberate entanglements that we create.

If you want to be happy let go of yourself, and offer your best to somebody else.

There’s no heart math more plain than this –

the more selfless the love, the more lasting the bliss.

Relax your fears and enjoy life’s play.

Above all, love, and you won’t go astray.

Bob O’Hearn - Getting Free of the Trap

First of all, stop trying.

The one who wants to get free
is the trap itself, the illusion itself.

Sitting still in the midst of it
without trying to change the experience,
something unexpected happens.

Keep breathing,
it is all OK.

Whatever it is,
it is a gift.

Turn nothing away,
receive it all.

Feel it,
however it comes —
some sorrow, pain, heart hurt —
it is all just for you.

Isn’t it a miracle
that we can feel?

That we can experience?

How amazing to contemplate:
that emptiness can give birth
to all of this, and then can
feel it so fiercely!

What a wonder!

But don’t hold on,
cling to nothing.

Bow in thanks,
then let it go.

Wu Hsin - Perceiving What- is

“The body is here to do
What its nature requires.
It has nothing to do with
Anyone in particular.
When all intention is abandoned
What remains is silent awareness
Out of which emanates
Spontaneous living.
The fixation on objects, of which
Thought is one of many, is
The sole impediment to
Perceiving What- is.
Those who realize this are
No longer the body’s accomplice.
A full bowl can have
No further utility.
Only when it is emptied,
Can it be put to use.
The Great Harmony is
Preceded by the emptying.”

Jeff Foster - Don’t bore yourself into a spiritual coma

Bow to your awkwardness. 
Smile at your clumsiness. 
Befriend your incompetence. 
Laugh when you stumble and fall. 
These are all precious waves in the undefinable vastness of you.
Perfection is unattainable in time, but found only in presence; 
the presence of imperfection makes you real, and relatable, and that’s perfect. 
You’ll be consistent when you’re dead. 
Until then, celebrate your silly old self, your marvellous inability to conform, 
or to live up to any image at all.
Don’t bore yourself into a spiritual coma. 
Say the wrong thing, just for once. 
There is such freedom in allowing yourself to fuck up, 
to be kind to your mistakes, to kiss the ground as you rise again, to adore the falling too.
Don’t let your spirituality numb your humanity, your humility, 
and most importantly, your humour.


Al Hallaj says about God

 "Before" does not outstrip Him,
    "after" does not interrupt Him
    "of" does not vie with Him for precedence
    "from" does not accord with Him
    "to" does not join with Him
    "in" does not inhabit Him
    "when" does not stop Him
    "if" does not consult with Him
    "over" does not overshadow Him
    "under" does not support Him
    "opposite" does not face Him
    "with" does not press Him
    "behind" does not limit Him
    "previous" does not display Him
    "after" does not cause Him to pass away
    "all" does not unite Him
    "is" does not bring Him into being
    "is not" does not deprive Him from Being.
    Concealment does not veil Him
    His pre-existence preceded time,
    His being preceded non-being,
    His eternity preceded limit.
    If thou sayest 'when',
    His existing has outstripped time;
    If thou sayest 'before', before is after Him;
    If thou sayest 'he', 'h' and 'e' are His creation;
    If thou sayest 'how', His essence is veiled from description;
    If thou sayest 'where', His being preceded space;
    If thou sayest 'ipseity' (ma huwa),
    His ipseity (huwiwah) is apart from things.
    Other than He cannot
    be qualified by two (opposite) qualities at
    one time; yet With Him they do not create opposition.
    He is hidden in His manifestation,
    manifest in His concealing.
    He is outward and inward,
    near and far; and in this respect He is
    removed beyond the resemblance of creation.
    He acts without contact,
    instructs without meeting,
    guides without pointing.
    Desires do not conflict with Him,
    thoughts do not mingle with Him:
    His essence is without qualification (takyeef),
    His action without effort (takleef).

Arberry, A.J., The Doctrine of the Sufis
download PDF HERE

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

miriam louisa - The free-fall

When the Day came –
the Day I had lived and died for –
the Day that is not in any calendar –
clouds heavy with love
showered me with wild abundance.
Inside me, my soul was drenched.
Around me, even the desert grew green.
~ Kabir

The day “the Day came” for she-who-scribbles was a far cry from Kabir’s bliss-drenched day; no soul-drenching, no showers of love or abundance, no sense of glorious renewal for her brain. That would all come later, years later. But the catastrophic Day is etched in her memory. There would be no going back. It marked the end of a way of being in the world. Searching for an analogy … she felt like a penny free-falling through a slot machine.  (Or a quantum particle sucked into a wormhole!)
Although the free-fall happened instantaneously and spontaneously, there had been ‘stages’ where the penny would, seemingly, land on a level and spin or wobble for some time. The initial tumble occurred some time before the fluid free-fall which these notes attempt to express.
First the penny fell hard onto an existential plateau when she failed to find any argument to refute the fact that nothing whatsoever can be proved to have any existence apart from the sensorial technologies in the body/brain of a sentient creature. (This experiential exploration had been fueled by her studies of Wei Wu Wei’s writings, but they in turn had been preceded by years of inquiry with other teachers – predominantly J Krishnamurti.)
It spun around there awhile, then toppled further when she failed to find evidence of anything other than the functions of consciousness, anywhere.
Eventually it fell clear through the works with the logical conclusion that her own seemingly independent existence, and likewise the existence of all ‘others’ – indeed, the entire field of her experience – could, therefore, be nothing but an arising in consciousness.
These three metaphysical notions had been orbiting her brain for many years, and were understood at some intellectual level. She was quite comfortable with them, but the penny had remained safely in the purse.
Without going into details, the Rubicon had been reached via some pretty difficult times, and ripeness must have been ready. A huge ‘letting-go’ of the old ‘me-mine-myself’ story was called for, and it happened. It happened spontaneously and without volition on her part.
When the penny fell clear through, it took the bottom of her gut with it. She felt like throwing up. She got up from her zafu and said to herself: Well then, old girl, that’s it! No one here. No one to suffer. No one to be depressed. No one to beat up. No one to go anywhere, do anything, be anyone … Haaaaa!
First there was a kind of numbness, shock. A feeling of disorientation. A feeling of falling into an inner vortex. Then, an opening out into unbelievably serene spaciousness. Oceanic.
No sense of a center, and no opacity.
What had happened? It seemed that there had been a brain-leap … yet time and space weren’t involved in any way. It was like an instantaneous interior reorganizing of information. Yet it bears repeating that it had nothing to do with any effort on her part.
The how and the why of it remain a mystery. But many brain files were trashed – she is only aware of this when habit reaches for them and finds them gone; a giddy moment flashes, vanishes.
An entity is defined as a thing that has real existence. She thought she was an entity. Doesn’t everyone?
But to be a thing, an object needs a subject to recognize it as a ‘thing’. If one’s an object with real existence, what’s the subject that’s recognizing one?
If one turns around to examine this subject one immediately finds that it has turned into another object being observed, recognized, by the same subject!
If this lunacy stops, what remains?
If one stays still, not moving a millimeter into rationalization or conceptualization, if one tracks that which is believed to be ‘myself’ in its every movement, if one watches that notion of a self with all its ideas, it reveals itself to be – merely another conceptual object.
It is realized that there is only beingness/awareness – unchanging, ubiquitous, knowing no duality, holding no opinions or beliefs, experiencing no emotion – and no independent entity whatsoever to be found.
There’s just sense-ing, observe-ing, perceive-ing,  recognize-ing: just a changeless and ceaseless functioning. That’s all.
The woman’s life has never been the same since that Day. And yet, it is exactly the same. The ups and downs float by, equanimity visits on occasion; it all depends on how Beingness unfolds itself.
Without a past to identify with or a future to attain, the Awareness that lives her body-mind watches the play of existence, as it arises in Itself.
This is a story without beginning or end, belonging to no one, common to all.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ala al-Dawla Simnani - It could only be you

Once I was here,
but now "I" am not:

If there's really a "me,"
it could only be you.

If any robe warms
and encompasses me now,
that very robe
it could only be you.

In the way of your love,
nothing was left
neither body nor soul.

If I have any body
If I have any soul
then, without question,
it could only be you.

Sarmad - It was you...

Sarmad Kashani and Prince Dara Shikoh.

Along the road, you were my companion
Seeking the path, you were my guide

No matter to whom I spoke, it was you who answered
When Sun called Moon to Sky, it was you who shined

In the Night of aloneness, you
were my comforter

When I laughed, you were the smile on my lips
When I cried, you were the tears on my face

When I wrote, you were the verse
When I sang, you were the song

Rarely did my heart desire another lover
Then when it did, you came to me in the other.

Umar Ibn al-Farid - I sought her from myself

I sought her from myself,
she was there all along;
how strange that I
had concealed her from me.

I kept going back and forth
with her, within myself --
my senses drunk,
her beauties, my wine --

Setting out
from certain knowledge
to its source and truth,
reality my quest,

Calling to myself from me
to guide me by my voice
to that part of me
lost in my search.

Me begging me
to raise the screen
by lifting up the veil,
for I was my only means to me.

I was gazing
into the mirror of my beauty
to see the perfection of my being
in my contemplation of my face,

And mouthing my name, I listened
and leaned toward me,
looking to one who could make me hear
mention of me in my voice,

Placing my hands
upon my heart,
hoping to hold me
there in my embrace,

Rising toward my breaths
pleading they would pass by me
that I might find
me there.

Until a flash appeared
from me to my eye;
the break of my dawn shone clear,
my dark sky disappeared.

There, where reason recoils,
I arrived,
and my bond and union
reached to me from myself.

Then I glowed in joy,
as I attained to me
with a certainty that spared me
from my journey's hard ride.

 I led myself to me
after I called me back;
my soul my means,
my guide to me.

When I pulled away
the curtains of sensuous disguise
brought down
by the mysteries of wisdom,

I raised the screen from my soul
by lifting up the veil,
and so it answered
my question.

I had rubbed the rust of my attributes
from the mirror of my being,
and it was encircled
with my beaming rays,

And I summoned me to witness me
since no other existed
in my witness
to rival me.

My mentioning my name
made me hear it in my recollection
as my soul, negating sense,
said my name and listened.

I hugged myself --
but not by wrapping arms around my ribs --
that I might embrace
my identity.

I inhaled my spirit,
while the air of my breath
perfumed scattered ambergris
with fragrance,

All of me free
from the dual quality of sensation,
my freedom within,
I, one with my essence.

from The Poem of the Sufi Way