Friday, September 14, 2018

Bob O'Hearn - A little joke

We are usually much too busy to recognize it, but prior to our engaging adventures in consciousness – that ever-changing theater of desire, knowledge, and experience — there is only awareness, the same state in which we now exist.

Somehow, in the scheme of things, a kaleidoscopic realm of time and space miraculously appears. It’s a wild, whirling world of endlessly modifying phenomena, in the midst of which I find myself just sitting, or just standing — localized in any case as the immediate matrix of attention.

Just as in deep sleep, there is no actual “myself”, no awareness of a person, until a thought manages to dredge itself up from the back lot of oblivion and create the sense or facsimile of a subject. That subject wasn’t there previously, and yet here it is now — here “I” am.

Upon inspection, we can recognize that subjective sense for what it is — a mental construct, a fabrication created out of thin air, like a rabbit pulled from a magician’s hat. Nevertheless, our habitual assumption is to take it as our personal identity, because that is how habits work — they are simply the mind’s default position in the midst of this infinite mystery. However, when we turn our attention back to the mind itself, there is nothing there that we can grasp – no mind, no thing at all. There is definitely something humorous about that – a kind of little joke — though few are those who get the punch line.

Well and good, but beyond our contrived individual self-sense, what about the “Absolute”, one might ask. Upon some investigation, what we can notice is that humans play feed-back loops of their own mental accumulations and somehow sort out from that vast collection of sense impression files and filtered memory programs one particular fantasy of interpretation on perception which they subjectively determine constitutes the “Absolute”, “God”, the “Self”, etc..

Subsequently, they are prone to indulge their imagination with that mentally fabricated construct until another more appealing fantasy of interpretation is formulated, based on a new set of sense impressions and filtered programs arising as perception and designated as “Transcendental”.

Because the mind cannot grasp itself, it is claimed that this so-called “Absolute” cannot be known, and that is true to the extent that it has never been other than the mind itself, in the same way that the eye cannot see itself except as a reflection. For an auditory reference, the “Absolute” is the sound of one hand clapping.

Just so, when we awaken from sleep in the morning, for a moment there is only pure awareness. Then we get busy again, weaving and superimposing an increasingly complex story line on the bare bones of existence. It’s an extended narrative centered around this fictional character with whom we are habitually identified, merely by the nature of our seeming appearance in space time, which is actually a compounded mental event too, and a humorous one at that.

Now, when there is just sitting, or just standing still, there is no history of a person, no anticipation of some future for a person, no sense of a person present here, nor regrets for past indiscretions perpetrated by any such person. There are no time calculations or projections, no creation or destruction, no wanting or avoiding, nor any Absolute to be known, felt, worshiped, or denied. None of that arises to confirm a personal identity which is subject to any of it. It is not happy or sad, nor can any quality or emotional flavor be pinned on it, since it is all transparent, like empty sky.

I love the sky, I truly do, and because it is so empty I can disappear in it, as if I never was, as if none of this ever happened, as if nothing ever happens at all. Maybe suffering means to linger on, and not disappear. How dreadful! In any case, what is there to even disappear? Nothing can actually come or go, except as a kind of cloud, a cloud of moisture’s imagination. Really, there is just the vastness of sky, stretching infinitely in all directions, and yet, we all love the first signs of rain. Just so, when we hear the phrase, “Once upon a time . . .” we anticipate a good story will follow.

Beyond all stories of rain or shine, there is awareness, but it is not self-conscious. There is no “I am the sky” or “Here comes the sun.” It is all just standing still, as the sky, as aware space, as clear light that does not even think of itself as light. It does not reflect back on itself, and so there is no “itself”, any more than there is “myself”. It is not bliss, it is not anything with a name. Some say emptiness, but it is empty of emptiness too.

Why? Because, paradoxically, it is filled with everything, everything is here. It never goes away. Things seem to come and go to the mind entangled in a duality of subject and objects, but that is only the play of consciousness, which is a kind of miracle too: that there is anything at all, rather than nothing whatsoever.

Yes, it is like a little joke, a quiet and relaxed bit of lighthearted humor that is barely noticed at all, and only mentioned because it is a good reason not to take anything seriously, especially the character called “myself”, the one sitting or standing still and just staring out into itself.

Maybe there is a slight hint of a smile, because that is all there is, this nameless mystery filled with everyone and everything — all just fervently going about the humorous business of characters juggling props in a dream theater of itself, the totality of the universal existence, both manifest and unmanifest, absolute and relative, and so forth and so on, right up to the end of this run-on sentence.

Just so, we may be both asleep and awake simultaneously, though we tend to imagine that we are this or that exclusively, based on ideas that have no real source anywhere but in our own mind. Perhaps it might seem as if others appeared who implanted programs and filters that conditioned our perception along the way. However, even that illusion has been part of the play, the convincing drama of self and others and all the stuff they get up to — tears and laughter, and sometimes just sitting or standing, like imagined characters in a dream.

We love our dream characters, because creators love their productions, and thus time enters the picture, just so that all these various interdependent stories can unfold at their perfect pace, allowing for ingenious subplots to modify consciousness and reveal the endless nature of experience as it expands, smoke-like, to infinity.

Then, once upon a time, a temple bell in primordial space reverberates at the break of dawn, and we immediately forget everything all over again. This too is part of the little joke, barely noticed in the scheme of things, the source of that smile on the Buddha’s face, 
the unfathomable gift of an amazing grace.



Bob O'Hearn - The Joy of Failure

At the spiritual game I’m frankly a failure
(to sum this adventure up succinctly).

Here’s the trick: fail completely!

Be a fool, a ridiculous lout –
don’t hold back, honk your snout!

With this gorgeous moon sashaying about,
why burden your face with a heavy pout?

Feel the relief when hope falls apart,
let that arrow pierce your heart.

Give up the struggle, relax, get lazy.

If you still depend on the favor of gods,
notice the gods themselves are often crazy.

The more that’s learned the more forgotten,
till we can’t tell the ripe from rotten.

Trying to see the one who’s seeing?

First become a human being.

If you fix your gaze on the sun you’ll go blind –
blink your eyes, show me your mind.

Wherever you roam, whatever you find,
to all you meet, at least be kind.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Matisha - Into The Embrace

If you ever hear this song from my soul
and the sound lands upon your shore.
If the sight of this love in all its colors
dances its way into your heart and more.
When the touch of the Beloved awakens your deepest self
and your sweetest dream makes its way into your living.
When the waves of all experience have converged
upon the shores of all potentiality...

Every cry, every sound, every sigh,
all notes in the song of One.
Every touch, every feeling, every look,
all color...the work of art, soul is to that One.

If you ever hear the silent song
my eyes sing in your presence.
If you ever feel a need for love beyond all of this,
give every breath to feeling,
every breath, into The Embrace! 


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Kabir - I weave your name on the loom of my mind

   I weave your name on the loom of my mind,
    To make my garment when you come to me.
    My loom has ten thousand threads
    To make my garment when you come to me.
    The sun and moon watch while I weave your name;
    The sun and moon hear while I count your name.
    These are the wages I get by day and night
    To deposit in the lotus bank of my heart.

    I weave your name on the loom of my mind
    To clean and soften ten thousand threads
    And to comb the twists and knots of my thoughts.
    No more shall I weave a garment of pain.
    For you have come to me, drawn by my weaving,
    Ceaselessly weaving your name on the loom of my mind.


Seren Swannesha Bertrand - Weaving a new way

We are weaving a new way, Stitching revolutions together, 
Spinning new worlds from our Wombs, 
Dreaming back the wild edges of our Souls, 
Calling forth that what has been lost. 
We are women of the Womb, Maddened by love into action, 
We are men of the heart, Softened into surrender, 
Afraid only of not feeling. 
We are thinking in a web, Your thread holds mine together. 
We are taleweavers and troubadours, 
Telling the words that were broken, 
Singing the songs of longing. 
We are weaving a new way, Using the thread of pain, 
Spinning it back into gold.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hafiz - "Nothing is possible in love without death,” says the Sufi.

"Nothing is possible in love without death,” says the Sufi.
The soul’s love for God frees us from our self, and yet this freedom can seem like death,
as we die to the person we think we are.
Again and again we die to our limited sense of self 
in order to step into the vaster dimension of our being.
This dying is what separates those who want security and stability 
from those who are reckless,
crazy, or driven enough to venture into the depths.

What security is there for us here in her caravanserai
when every moment camel bells cry, “Pack up the loads!”?
The dark night, the fear of waves the terrifying whirlpool,
how can they know of our state, those who go lightly along the shore?