Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shabistari - The Marriage of the Soul

Descending to the earth, that strange
intoxicating beauty of the unseen world
lurks in the elements of nature.

And the soul of man,
who has attained the rightful balance,
becoming aware of this hidden joy,
straightaway is enamored and bewitched.

And from this mystic marriage are born
the poets’ songs, inner knowledge,
the language of the heart, virtuous living,
and the fair child Beauty.

And the Great Soul gives to man as dowry
the hidden glory of the world.
  from The Secret Rose Garden: Mahmud Shabistari, Translated by Florence Lederer / Edited by David Fideler

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Jay Ramsay - In the End: The Beginning

There is something in the end there is no avoiding
That is more present than breath, than self, than distraction
More present than this moment? Yes, even that —

Even than all those birds perched high in the Tree of Heaven
That broke into all your wondering — even than
That huge exotic shrine at the centre of your heart,
Your voice, your whole face turned inward…
Or mine now — as I cut it back, back
From my thoughts: to my being; then my breath
And then, not even that

And across the gulf of silence from before
Names, images — before whiteness was even born —
And now, at the heart of emptiness
Where there is no I, nor breathing even
Or only this suspended pause

‘There is only Love that made us, only Love’
And you in the vast silence like an ocean without water,
Like rain before rain —
like an unbroken mirror

You in the Womb of Love.


Singing strings, vibrant wood, throbbing drums
Whence comes the voice of the Beloved?

Not from strings, not from wood, nor from drum
Of Himself comes the voice of the Beloved. 



Monday, September 26, 2016

Stephen Levine - Meditation

 When human beings meditate
they sometimes close their eyes
and feel this body -
a flickering field of sensation
a tingling, hot and cold,
gravity here and there.

And attend to the breath
as the belly or nostrils
choose one
and stay there five years -

not the thought of the breath
but the sensations accompanying
each inhalation, each
exhalation.  The beginning
the middle and the end
of each in-breath
and the space between
where thinking wriggles free.

The beginning
and end
of each out-breath

and the space between
and thought
and the space between thoughts -

returning to the breath -
just the sensation breathing itself,
sensations sensing themselves
floating in space.  Even some idea of who
is doing all this
floats by.
Just another bubble.

Another thought thinking itself all by itself
the fragile moment
vanishing in space

returning to the breath
like a devotee to a vow.

Watching thoughts
think themselves,
unfolding one into the next -
existing only a moment
before dissolving, watched
frame by frame in the passing show,
even such notions as impermanence
passing in the flow.

Observing feelings arise uninvited -
pleasure and pain, desire and
disappointment, liking and disliking
all day long from thought
to thought, a surprisingly mechanical
process unfolds.
Watching consciousness dream world
after world, self after self, constantly pretending
someone to be, arising and dissolving
quicker than advertised, unconvinced
we really exist.

Sinking into the light of awareness
that floods consciousness and sees
what we are looking for is
what is looking.

The breath breathing itself,
thoughts thinking themselves
feelings feeling themselves,
moment to moment unfolding.

When human beings meditate
they sometimes close their eyes
and enter their body with mercy
and awareness - follow their thought
to its source, noting the pressure
at the base of the spine
and the fountain in the skull.

Sometimes when we meditate
nothing special occurs
for the very first time.