Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fakhruddin 'Iraqi - Divine flashes (Lama'at)

The Morning of Manifestation sighed,
the breeze of Grace breathed gently,
ripples stirred
upon the sea of Generosity.
The clouds of Abundance poured down the rain
upon the soil of preparedness;
so much rain that the earth shone with Light.
The lover, then, nourished with the water of life, awoke from the slumber
of non-existence, put on the cloak of being and tied around his brow the
turban of contemplation; he clinched the belt of desire about his waist
and set forth with the foot of sincerity upon the path of the Search.

The lover desires to see the Beloved with Certainty's Eye, and wanders a bewildered lifetime in this aspiration. Then suddenly with his heart's ear he hears a voice;
"The magic spring
that gives eternal Life,
is in your own heart
but you have blocked the flow."

Then the Eye of Certainty opens, and staring inwardly at himself, the lover finds himself lost, vanished. But ... he finds the Beloved; and when he looks still deeper, realises the Beloved is himself. He exclaims,

"Beloved, I sought you
here and there,
asked for news of you
from all I met;
then saw you through myself
and found we were identical.
Now I blush to think I ever
searched for signs of you."

Everyone with eyes sees just such a vision ... but remains ignorant of what he perceives. Every ant which leaves its nest and goes to the desert will see the sun, but not know what it sees. What irony! Everyone perceives Divine Beauty with Certainty's Eye, for in reality nothing exists but Transcendent Unity;

They look, they see, but do not comprehend.
They take no pleasure in the View,
For to enjoy it one must know
through the Truth of Certainty
What he is seeing,
through Whom, and why.

And so, the lover seeks the Vision in order that he might pass away from existence; he knocks on the door of non-existence, for there he was once at peace. There he was both seer and seen, Both viewer and viewed ... Because nothing in himself. When awakening from that peace and coming to be, he became the veil of his own sight and was deprived of Vision.

Know yourself: a cloud
drifting before your sun.
Cut yourself off from your senses
and behold your sun of intimacy.

If this screen ... which is you ... is struck from before your eyes, the Beloved will find the Beloved, and you will be entirely lost. Then you will say:

"By day I praised You
but never knew it;
by night slept with You
without realising;
fancying myself
to be myself;
but no, I was You
and never knew it."

With the Eye of the Heart the lover now sees ---
The Beloved's Loveliness owns
a hundred thousand faces;
gaze upon a different fair one
in every atom;
for She needs must show
to every separate thing
a different aspect
of Her beauty.
Gazing from every angle
on that precious countenance
in Thy face we see our own ---
hence the infinitude of descriptions.

Thus it is that every lover gives a different sign of the Beloved and every Gnostic a different explanation; every realised one seems to point to something different, yet each of them declares,

"Expressions are many
but Thy loveliness is one;
Each of us refers
to that single Beauty."

All quotations not otherwise attributed and the collage (Divine Flashes 2,25,27,5) are drawn from Chittick and Wilson's wonderful translation and commentaries, in which they have transliterated 'Araqi's name as 'Iraqi (in other works the spelling 'Eraqi has been noted). Should anyone wish to pursue further the topic of this article, the authors, Phil & Ian Brown, can be contacted through Rigpa Canberra. We wish to thank Lisse Stutchbury for her valuable comments during the finalisation of this article.

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Dzogchen - In the natural state

Essential dissolution of subject and object, and indeed all polarities, into a state of union or non-duality is the experience which is evoked by such poetry, and furthermore, is the goal and essence of Dzogchen practice, as beautifully revealed in The Six Vajra Verses, said to be a perfect résumé of Dzogchen Teachings: 

'Although apparent phenomena manifest as diversity ---
yet this diversity is non-dual.
And of all the multiplicity
of individual things that exist,
none can be confined in a limited concept.
Staying free from the trap of any attempt
to say 'it's like this', or 'like that',
it becomes clear that all manifested forms are
aspects of the infinite formless,
and, indivisible from it,
are self-perfected.
Seeing that everything is self-perfected
from the very beginning,
the disease of striving for any achievement
is surrendered,
and just remaining in the natural state
as it is,
the presence of non-dual contemplation
continuously spontaneously arises."

The Six Vajra Verses (Quoted in Namkhai Norbu's The Crystal and the Way of Light) 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hafiz - Home to the Beloved

Preachers who display their piety in prayer and pulpit
behave differently when they’re alone.

It puzzles me. Ask the learned ones of the assembly:
“Who do those who demand repentance do so little of it?”

It’s as if they don’t believe in the Day of Judgment
with all this fraud and counterfeit they do in His name.

I am the slave of the tavern-master, whose dervishes,
in needing nothing, make treasure seem like dust.

O lord, put these nouveaux-riches back on their asses
because they flaunt their mules and Turkish slaves.

O angel, say praises at the door of love’s tavern,
for inside they ferment the essence of Adam.

Whenever his limitless beauty kills a lover
others spring up, with love, from the invisible world.

O beggar at the cloister door, come to the monastery of the Magi,
for the water they give makes hearts rich.

Empty your house, O heart, so that it may become home to the beloved,
for the heart of the shallow ones is an army camp.

At dawn a clamor came from the throne of heaven. Reason said:
“It seems the angels are memorizing Hafiz’s verse.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Farid ud-Din Attar - What Madness is This?


 What madness has seized me because of You?
What is this tumult in my soul that You have instilled?
Because of You I am in a state of disarray.
It’s not my norm to behave this way.
I came pure and chaste from the two worlds,
Purified by the fire of Your Love divine.
That fire You have lit in my soul
Shall be my guide, eternal and sublime.
Where is the eye that can see You?
The Beloved is there, but the eyes are blind.
We are lost in our own veil,
While everywhere Your vision prevails.


Muso Soseki - In the real world

Green Mountains have turned yellow so many times The troubles and worries of the world of things no longer bother me. One grain of dust in the eye will render the three worlds too small to see. When the mind is still the floor where I sit is endless space. A virtuous man when alone loves the quiet of the mountains. A wise man in nature enjoys the purity of water. One must not be suspicious of the folks who take pleasure in mountains and streams, But rather measure how well he sharpens his spirits by them. The mountain range the stones in the water all are strange and rare The beautiful landscape as we know belongs to those who are like it The upper worlds the lower worlds originally are one thing There is not a bit of dust there is only this still and full perfect enlightenment A runaway son will never come into his own My treasure is the cloud on the peak the moon over the valley Traveling east or west light and free on the one road I don't know whether I'm on the way or at home In the real world the pure world no separation exists why wait for another time and another meeting the teaching on Vulture Peak* is here today who else are you looking for to preserve the Way? 

*Vulture Peak was the place where Shakyamuni Buddha gave his dharma talks 2500 years ago.


Muso Soseki (1275-1351) was an abbot of a Zen monastery, an advisor to shoguns and emperors and a garden designer. He and the first Ashikaga shogun, Takauji, established Zen as the dominate Buddhist sect in Japan and had Zen temples built in all sixty-six provinces. Soseki taught a large number of students, wrote an enormous amount of poetry, and became the most renowned Zen master of his time. He was given the title "National Teacher."


text source


Monday, February 22, 2016

Theodore Roethke - In a Dark Time

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood--
A lord of nature weeping to a tree,
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks--is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!
A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,
And in broad day the midnight come again!
A man goes far to find out what he is--
Death of the self in a long, tearless night,
All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

Seng-ts’an - Cease to cherish opinions

When you try to stop activity to achieve quietude,
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain attached to one extreme or another
you will never know Oneness.
Those who do not live in the Single Way
cannot be free in either activity or quietude,
in assertion or denial.
Deny the reality of things
and you miss their reality;
Assert the emptiness of things
and you miss their reality.
The more you talk and think about it,
the further you wander from the truth.
So cease attachment to talking and thinking,
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
To return to the root is to find the essence,
but to pursue appearances or "enlightenment" is to miss
the Source.
To awaken even for a moment
is to go beyond appearance and emptiness.
Changes that seem to occur in the empty world
we make real only because of our ignorance.
Do not seek for the truth;
only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in a dualistic state;
avoid such easy habits carefully.
If you attach even to a trace
of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities arise from the One,
do not be attached even to ideas of this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way,
there is no objection to anything in the world;
and when there is no objection to anything,
things cease to be—in the old way.
When no discriminating attachment arises,
the old mind ceases to exist.
Let go of things as separate existences
and mind too vanishes.
Likewise when the thinking subject vanishes
so too do the objects created by mind.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Alice Gardner - A New Earth

artist unknown
Stand up, wake up!
New possibilities have arrived
For these lives we had thought were our own.

The possible human stands free now
Of its past constraints,
The cage it grew up in, that served it well,
Trembling now with wonder at what it sees.

Old habits of mind fall away like old skin
No longer needed, no longer helpful
Outgrown and abandoned.

A different world, a new earth
Comes into view, fresh and alive
By a change of perception,
A new way of seeing.
We are joined together now
In a new maturity
A new awareness of how it is,
How we are carried on a new wind,
And a new response stirs.