Saturday, September 2, 2017

Patty de Llosa - Finding Joy

 “Perhaps Rumi said it best: ‘Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.’ We all need to find that field beyond guilt and responsibility, beyond sin and redemption, where there’s rest for the busy mind, always arguing, elaborating, affirming, condemning, criticizing; rest for the anguished heart, seeking meaning in a confused world full of conflicting demands; and rest from the insidious fear that we’ll be caught out because, in spite of all our good intentions, we’re sure to get it wrong again.

One path to Rumi’s field is to listen to the spaces between the many words we say and hear. Or to attend to the sound of silence itself. This space between doings and achievings is non-invasive. It doesn’t demand action, but provides nourishment. We could call it endless time, where we feel cared for, liberated from the sense that we must perform, get stuff done, realize a potential, serve a cause, help a friend. The fact is, endless time is always there—ready to flood in whenever we have sense enough to lay down our perceived burdens. If I can give up for a moment the problems that seem so important, so immediate, so real, then I will find myself immersed in another order of reality—the world of sound, touch, taste, smell, and unrecognized feelings. That could be where joy begins.“

—Patty de Llosa 
Finding Joy: The Science of Happiness“ in our new Summer Issue


Mark Nepo - Saturated

Heavy drops, carrying more
than they can bear, fall from no-
where, bending leaves already
sagging, and one by one,
the leaves let go.

They drift to the earth,
each quiet as a master
juggler missing everything so
completely that he realizes
he is being juggled.

Surrender is like this.
Not giving up, but
missing and letting go

The Ashtavakra Gita - There is no name

The man who knows the Truth
Is never unhappy in the world,
For He alone fills the Universe.

It is hard to find a man who has
No desire for what he has not tasted
Or who tastes the world
and is untouched.

He does not want the world to
End, he does not mind if it lasts.

Whatever he does, he does nothing.
And for what he has become,
There is no name.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chuck Surface - At the crossroads of heart and mind

 If you have not yet met The Beloved,
And wonder where She might be found...

Look within.

Let your Attention journey to The Tavern,
At the Crossroads of Heart and Mind.

And look for Her there,
With the eyes of your Soul.

If you wander off down the road of Mind,
You'll only reach a "conclusion".

If you wander off down the road of Heart,
You'll lose yourself in the imagined.

Journey to the Tavern of The Beloved,
At the Crossroads of Heart and Mind.

And look for Her there,
With the eyes of both Heart and Mind.

It is Her Great Joy to pour Grace,
Into a Cup held forth Empty.

But you must hold forth your Cup.

If you lose yourself in chatter there,
You will miss Her Silent arrival.

If you seek stature among those gathered,
You will see only yourself.

If you must have fellowship,
Commune with your empty Cup.

If you must yammer,
Speak to Her as if you can see Her.

If you must think, reminisce,
Of that which was known, then forgotten.

If you must daydream, imagine,
The vanishing of all duality.

Wait there, at the Tavern of The Beloved,
The Mind starved, the Heart Drowned in Longing.

For if you have not yet met Her,
It is There that you will surely find Her.

Or rather, I should say,
It is there that She will surely find you...

At the crossroads of Heart and Mind. 



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Jarett Sabirsh - Meditate on this...

Silence of mind precludes the thinking activities of the mind.
Stillness precludes motion.
Formlessness precludes mental concepts of form.
No-Mind dwells prior to active mind.
Voidness precludes perceptions.
The Unmanifest lies beyond the manifest.
The Unseen resides ahead of the seen.
The Ungraspable lies beyond knowledge.
The Non-Definable precludes definitions.
The Undetectable subsists previous to the observable.
The Unmeasurable rests beyond the reach of science.
Changeless Existence precludes evolutionary change.
Shapeless Reality precludes the physical world.
The Uncreated precludes creation.
No-Thing exists before something.
The Unborn is beyond birth and death.
The Uncaused is beyond being affected.
Essence precludes substance.
Emptiness exists prior to space.
Non-locality underlies location.
Non-duality resides beyond duality.
The All precludes individuality.
Infinity is beyond all limitations.
The Absolute lies beyond relatives/relativity.
One underlies the many.
Source is the foundation of life.
The Self precludes notions of self.

Consciousness precludes mentation.
Awakeness precedes erudition.
A subtle intuitiveness lies before notions and ideas.
An innate comprehension resides prior to intellectualizing.
Epiphanies dwell prior to conceptualizing.
Insight lies in advance of perceiving.
All-Knowing Awareness precludes thinking.

No thoughts preclude thoughts of "me", "myself", "mine", and "I".
A selfless state precludes the self.
Selflessness precludes selfish thought and behaviour.
Humility exists previous to ego, vanity, and righteousness.
Full-blown acceptance exists before the formation of judgements.
Truth dwells beyond opinions and beliefs.
Love precludes self-indulgence.
Ecstatic Bliss precludes emotions.
Ineffable Joy precludes negativity.
Profound Peace lies before "you".

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rafael Stoneman - “Tears Loosened”, Tears of Grace

Beyond fragile is shattered—
broken pieces of a puzzle that will never make sense.
A crushed jar is not afraid—the damage is done.
Who picks up the pieces with a shaken hand—
unable to stitch or mend?
Who cries softly without tears?
The puzzle board is perfect,
the glass is shining clearly.
The one that wants a picture wants an
explanation in reason,
but this one dissolves when searched for by itself.
The seeker is that which falls away like petals
from a flower
or tears loosened for release.
Vulnerable is strong and strong is fearless.
Tender is caring and caring is love.
The face of forgiveness looks very much like
no face at all.

Here  at the batgap

Somerset Maugham - In the presence of a humble sage

G. G. Welling, Sri Ramana Maharshi.

How a celebrated writer found his greatest inspiration in the presence of a humble sage


 After a dull hot drive along a dusty, bumpy road, dusty because the heavy wheels of ox-drawn wagons had left deep ruts in it, we reached the ashram. We were told that the Maharshi would see us in a little while. We had brought a basket of fruit to present to him, as I was informed that it was the graceful custom, and sat down to the picnic luncheon we had been sensible enough to put in the car. Suddenly, I fainted dead away. I was carried into a hut and laid on a pallet bed. I do not know how long I remained unconscious but presently I recovered. I felt, however, too ill to move. The Maharshi was told what had happened, and that I was not well enough to come into the hall in which he ordinarily sat, so, after some time, followed by two or three disciples, he came into the hut into which I had been taken.
—Somerset Maugham, “The Saint”

What follows is what I wrote in my notebook on my return to Madras. The Maharshi was of average height for an Indian, of a dark honey colour with close-cropped white hair and a close-cropped white beard. He was plump rather than stout. Though he wore nothing but an exiguous loincloth he looked neat, very clean and almost dapper. He had a slight limp, and he walked slowly, leant on a stick. His mouth was somewhat large, with thickish lips and the whites of his eyes were bloodshot. He bore himself with naturalness and at the same time with dignity. His mien was cheerful, smiling, polite; he did not give the impression of a scholar, but rather of a sweet-natured old peasant. He uttered a few words of cordial greeting and sat on the ground not far from the pallet on which I lay.
—Somerset Maugham, “The Saint”

After the first few minutes during which his eyes with a gentle benignity rested on my face, he ceased to look at me, but, with a sidelong stare of peculiar fixity, gazed, as it were, over my shoulder. His body was absolutely still, but now and then one of his feet tapped lightly on the earthen floor. He remained thus, motionless, for perhaps a quarter of an hour; and they told me later that he was concentrating in meditation upon me. Then he came to, if I may so put it, and again looked at me. He asked me if I wished to say anything to him, or ask any question. I was feeling weak and ill and said so; whereupon he smiled and said, ‘Silence is also conversation.’ He turned his head away slightly and resumed his concentrated meditation, again looking, as it were, over my shoulder. No one said a word; the other persons in the hut, standing by the door, kept their eyes riveted upon him. After another quarter of an hour, he got up, bowed, smiled farewell, and slowly, leaning on his stick, followed by his disciples, he limped out of the hut.
—Somerset Maugham, “The Saint”

‘From the first time I saw him I never doubted that he was a saint. It was a wonderful experience.’
‘And what did you gain from it?’
‘Peace.’ He said casually with a light smile.
—Somerset Maugham, The Razor’s Edge

I do not know whether it was the consequence of the rest or of the Swami’s mediation, but I certainly felt much better and in a little while I was well enough to go into the hall where he sat by day and slept at night. It was a long, bare room, fifty feet long, it seemed to me, and about half as broad. There were windows all around it, but the overhanging roof dimmed the light. The Swami sat on a low dais, on which was a tiger skin, and in front of him was a small brazier in which incense burnt. Now and again a disciple stepped forward and lit another stick. The scent was agreeable to the nostrils. The faithful, inhabitants of the ashram or habitual visitors, sat cross-legged on the floor. Some read, others meditated. Presently, two strangers, Hindus, came in with a basket of fruit, prostrated themselves and presented their offerings. The Swami accepted it with a slight inclination of the head and motioned to a disciple to take it away. He spoke to the strangers and then, with another inclination of the head, signified to them that they were to withdraw. They prostrated themselves once more and went to sit among the other devotees. The Swami entered that blissful state of meditation on the infinite which is called Samadhi. A little shiver seemed to pass through those present. The silence was intense and impressive. You felt that something strange was taking place that made you inclined to hold your breath. After a while I tiptoed out of the hall.
—Somerset Maugham, “The Saint”

Later I heard that my fainting had given rise to fantastic rumours. The news of it was carried throughout India. It was ascribed to the awe that overcame me at the prospect of going into the presence of the holy man. Some said that his influence, acting upon me before I even saw him, had caused me to be rapt for a while in the infinite. When Hindus asked about it, I was content to smile and shrug my shoulders. In point of fact that was neither the first nor the last time that I have fainted. Doctors tell me that it is owing to an irritability of the solar plexus which pressed my diaphragm against my heart … Since then, however, Indians come to see me now and then as the man who by the special grace of the Maharshi was rapt in the infinite, as his neighbours went to see Herman Melville as the man who had lived among cannibals. I explain to them that this bad habit of mine is merely a physical idiosyncrasy of no consequence, except that it is a nuisance to other people; but they shake their head incredulously. How do I know, they ask me, that I was not rapt in the infinite? To that I do not know the answer, and the only thing I can say, but refrain from saying for fear it will offend them, is that if it was, the infinite is an absolute blank. The idea of theirs is not so bizarre as at first glance it seems when one remembers their belief that in deep, dreamless sleep consciousness remains and the soul is then united with the infinite reality which is Brahman …
—Somerset Maugham, “The Saint”

Read the full post at The Culturium
written by Paula Marvelly