Saturday, February 20, 2016

Thich Nhat Hanh - Non Duality

The bell tolls at four in the morning.
I stand by the window,
barefoot on the cool floor.
The garden is still dark.
I wait for the mountains and rivers to reclaim their shapes.
There is no light in the deepest hours of the night.
Yet, I know you are there
in the depth of the night,
the immeasurable world of the mind.
You, the known, have been there
ever since the knower has been.

The dawn will come soon,
and you will see
that you and the rosy horizon
are within my two eyes.
It is for me that the horizon is rosy
and the sky blue.
Looking at your image in the clear stream,
you answer the question by your very presence.
Life is humming the song of the non-dual marvel.
I suddenly find myself smiling
in the presence of this immaculate night.
I know because I am here that you are there,
and your being has returned to show itself
in the wonder of tonight’s smile.
In the quiet stream,
I swim gently.
The murmur of the water lulls my heart.
A wave serves as a pillow
I look up and see
a white cloud against the blue sky,
the sound of Autumn leaves,
the fragrance of hay-
each one a sign of eternity.
A bright star helps me find my way back to myself.

I know because you are there that I am here.
The stretching arm of cognition
in a lightning flash,
joining together a million eons of distance,
joining together birth and death,
joining together the known and the knower.

In the depth of the night,
as in the immeasurable realm of consciousness,
the garden of life and I
remain each other’s objects.
The flower of being is singing the song of emptiness.

The night is still immaculate,
but sounds and images from you
have returned and fill the pure night.
I feel their presence.
By the window, with my bare feet on the cool floor,
I know I am here
for you to be.

From Call Me By My True Names: The Collected Poems of Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bob O’Hearn - Poetry of Evanescence

Beyond beliefs and notions,
let the lilt and waft of suchness
sift through the spacious sky of mind
without any restriction, filling the hollow
flute of existence with the exquisite notes
of a music no words can possibly explain.

Wordless and wondrous, innocent and free —
such music has never been the problem,
only the effort to name and claim
spawns the futile game
of “me and mine”.

with a seamless smear
of sunset light emblazoned on
a blue and burgundy background,
the dusk sky paints itself with the lyrical
poetry of evanescence — my beginning
and end in one effortless flash,
one elegantly crafted streak:

a tapestry of timelessness,
light out of mind, the subtle wisp
of a still-breathing something,
gently exhaling . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Foyan Qingyuan - Sitting Meditation, Instant Zen

The light of mind is reflected in emptiness;
its substance is void of relative or absolute.
Golden waves all around,
Zen is constant, in action or stillness.
Thoughts arise, thoughts disappear;
don't try to shut them off.
Let them flow spontaneously –
what has ever arisen and vanished?
When arising and vanishing quiet down,
there appears the great Zen master;
sitting, reclining, walking around,
there's never an interruption.
When meditating, why not sit?
When sitting, why not meditate?
Only when you have understood this way
is it called sitting meditation.
Who is it that sits? What is meditation?
To try to seat it
is using Buddha to look for Buddha.
Buddha need not be sought;
seeking takes you further away.
In sitting, you do not look at yourself;
meditation is not an external art.
At first, the mind is noisy and unruly;
there is still no choice but to shift it back.
That is why there are many methods
to teach it quiet observation.
When you sit up and gather your spirit,
at first it scatters helter-skelter;
over a period of time, eventually it calms down,
opening and freeing the six senses.
When the six senses rest a bit,
discrimination occurs therein.
As soon as discrimination occurs,
it seems to produce arising and vanishing.
The transformations of arising and vanishing
come from manifestations of one's own mind.
Put your own mind to use to look back once:
once you've returned, no need to do it again;
you wear a halo of light on your head.
The spiritual flames leap and shine,
unobstructed in any state of mind,
all-inclusive, all-pervasive;
birth and death forever cease.
A single grain of restorative elixir
turns gold into liquid;
acquired pollution of body and mind
have no way to get through.
Confusion and enlightenment are temporarily explained;
stop discussing opposition and accord.
When I think carefully of olden days
when I sat coolly seeking,
though it's nothing different,
it was quite a mess.
You can turn from ordinary mortal to sage
in an instant, but no one believes.
All over the earth is unclarity;
best be very careful.
If it happens you do not know,
then sit up straight and think;
one day you'll bump into it.
This I humbly hope.

Foyan,  twelfth-century Chinese Zen master 1067-1120

source text here

Nisargadatta Maharaj - Affectionate awareness

Q: What is this big talk about elimination of the self? How can the self eliminate itself? What kind of metaphysical acrobatics can lead to the disappearance of the acrobat? In the end he will reappear, mightily proud of his disappearing.

Nisargadatta Maharaj: You need not chase the ‘I am’ to kill it. You cannot. All you need is a sincere longing for reality. We call it atma-bhakti, the love of the Supreme: or moksha-sankalpa, the determination to be free from the false. Without love, and will inspired by love, nothing can be done. Merely talking about Reality without doing anything about it is self-defeating. There must be love in the relation between the person who says ‘I am’ and the observer of that ‘I am’. As long as the observer, the inner self, the ‘higher’ self, considers himself apart from the observed, the ‘lower’ self, despises it and condemns it, the situation is hopeless. It is only when the observer (vyakta) accepts the person (vyakti) as a projection or manifestation of himself, and, so to say, takes the self into the Self, the duality of ‘I’ and ‘this’ goes and in the identity of the outer and the inner the Supreme Reality manifests itself.
This union of the seer and the seen happens when the seer becomes conscious of himself as the seer, he is not merely interested in the seen, which he is anyhow, but also interested in being interested, giving attention to attention, aware of being aware. Affectionate awareness is the crucial factor that brings Reality into focus.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Rumi - The Breaking Wave of Love

Ah, once more he put a fire in me,  
And once more this crazy heart 
 is craving the open plains.  
This ocean of love breaks into another wave  
And blood pours from my heart 
 in all directions. 

Ah, one spark flew
and burned the house of my heart.
Smoke filled the sky.
The flames grew fierce in the wind.

The fire of the heart is not easily lit.
So don't cry out: "O Lord, rescue me
from the burning flames!
Spare me from the army of thoughts
that is marching through my mind!"

O Heart of Pure Consciousness,
You are the ruler of all hearts.
After countless ages
you brought my soul
all it ever wished for.

The eyes of all people happy and sad,
are closed to the truth.
May their eyes be opened!
May they look upon God
and get drunk on His beauty.

May their hands reach toward the Truth.
May their ears hear the voice of the Beloved.
May the shadow of a Master
fall upon everyone who has devotion.

All the world praises you,
But where did this "you" come from?
All the universe is born of Love -
But where did this Love come from?

O Shams,
you are the owner of the land of life -
the light of every heart;
Even the King of Love
knows no love
that is not yours.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Guendune Rinpoché - Everything happens by itself.

Happiness cannot be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present, in open relaxation
and letting go.

Don't strain yourself:
there is nothing to do nor undo.
Whatever momentarily arises in the body mind
has no real importance at all,
has little reality whatsoever.
Why identify with, and become attached to it,
passing judgement upon it and ourselves?

Far better to simply
let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves –
without changing or manipulating anything –
and notice how everything vanishes and
reappears, magically, again and again,
time without end.

Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It's like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.
Although peace and happiness do not exist
as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.

Don't believe in the reality
of good and bad experiences;
they are like today's ephemeral weather,
like rainbows in the sky.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax
this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there –
open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of this spaciousness, this freedom
and natural ease.
Don't search any further.
Don't go into the entangled jungle
looking for the great awakened elephant
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own heart.

Nothing to do or undo.
Nothing to force,
nothing to want
and nothing missing.

Emaho! Marvellous!
Everything happens by itself.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thomas Merton - Emptiness

On "Desert and Void"
"The uncreated is waste and emptiness to the creature - not even sand, not even stone, not even darkness and night. A burning wilderness would at least be something. It burns and is wild. But the uncreated is no something. Waste, emptiness, total poverty of the creator. Yet from this poverty springs everything. The waste is inexhaustible, infinite zero. Everything comes from this desert nothing. Everything wants to return to it and cannot. For who can return nowhere?"
"But for each of us there is a point of nowhereness in the middle of movement, a point of nothingness in the midst of being - the incomparable point not to be discovered by insight. If you seek it you do not find it, if you stop seeking it is there. But you must not turn to it. Once you become aware of yourself as seeker, you are lost. But if you are content to be lost you will be found without knowing it, precisely because you are lost. For you are, at last, nowhere."

 On 'Form and Nothingness'
"The perfect act is empty. Who can see it? He who forgets form. Out of the formed, the unformed. The empty act proceeds with its own form. Perfect form is momentary, its perfection vanishes at once. Perfection and emptiness work together, for they are the same - the coincidence of momentary form and eternal nothingness. Form, the flash of nothingness. Forget form and it suddenly appears, ringed and reverberating with its own light, which is nothing."
"Well then, stop seeking, let it all happen, let it come and go. What? Everything - i.e., nothing."