Thursday, December 31, 2020

Hafiz - Door of the Tavern (narrated)


 Through the intoxication of love, Sufis learn to let go of their ego and open their heart to the truth that binds all creation. In reaching for the essential nature of this divine love, the Sufi poets evade fixed ideas, embrace paradox and turn to intricate metaphor and allegory that ring more truthful that the everyday reality that blinds us to the ineffable experience of love and the divine.



 Thank God the door of the Tavern is open
and I am needy at His door.

The vats are all boiling and crying out of drunkeness.
Only the wine of truth can be found there.
Not that of falsehood.

From Him comes drunkeness, pride and aloofness.
From us comes helplessness, self-effacement and neediness.

The secret, which I’ve never told anyone, and will never share with anyone,
I shall reveal to the friend – my only confidant.

The tale of the twist and wave of my Beloved’s curl cannot be abridged.
It is indeed a long story.

I have stopped looking at the entire world
Since I have gazed upon your beautiful face.

Whoever comes to the district of your Kaba
Will begin praying immediately upon beholding the qiblah of your eyebrows.

Oh, people of the assembly! If you are interested in the burning of Haze’s heart,
Ask the candle as it burns and thaws away.


Tuesday, December 29, 2020


Jack Kerouac - Listen closely…


 The eternal hush of silence goes on and on throughout all this,
and has been going on, and will go on and on.
This is because the world is nothing but a dream
and is just thought of and the everlasting eternity
pays no attention to it.”





Catherine Doherty - Silence


 “Don’t think that those who enter the silence of God are “silent”. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth! 

Silence is a thunder! 

You will be able to hear it everywhere. 

Your nights and days will be filled with it. …

Many confuse silence with solitude. 

Solitude is being alone with God, waiting for God. 

But silence is an immense sea into which you enter and never leave. 

And once you have plunged into this silence, you will always be silent.”

Monday, December 28, 2020

Wei Wu Wei - Prajna and the sage


  All the sage is - is prajna;
All the sage was, before he became a sage, was prajna,
 Split into subject and object.

However, there is no prajna,
And there is no sage.
There is not either the one or the other,
Either both, or neither:
Just a luminous absence.

But light is a concept of divided mind,
And absence is absence of presence.
Whatever they are not, whatever they are,
Cannot be known by whatever they are
Or by whatever they are not,
For there is no knower to know anything,
Nor any thing to be known. 





source text 



Sunday, December 27, 2020

Kabir - Abode Of The Beloved




 Sakhiya Wah Ghar Sabse Nyara,
Jaha Puran Purush Humara
Jaha Nahi Sukh Dukh
Sanch Jhuth Nahi
Pap Na Pun Pasara
Nahin Din Reyn Chand Nahi Suraj,
Bina Jyoti Ujyara

Nahin Tahan Gyan Dhyan
Nahin Jap Tap
Ved Kiteb Na Bani
Karni Dharni Rehni Gehni,
Yeh Sub Jahan Hirani

Ghar Nahin Aghar Na Bahar Bhitar,
Pind Brahmand Kachu Nahin
Panch Tatva Gun Tin Nahin Tahan,
Sakhi Shabd Na Tahin

Mul Na Phul Beli Nahin Bija,
Bina Braksh Phal Sohe,
Oham Soham Ardh Urdh Nahin,
Swasa Lekhan Kou Hai

Jahan Purush Tahwan Kachu Nahin,
Kahe Kabir Hum Jana
Humri Sain Lakhe Jo Koi,
Pawe Pad Nirvana

English Translation

Oh Companion That Abode Is Unmatched,
Where My Complete Beloved Is.

In that Place There Is No Happiness or Unhappiness,
No Truth or Untruth
Neither Sin Nor Virtue.
There Is No Day or Night, No Moon or Sun,
There Is Radiance Without Light.

There Is No Knowledge or Meditation
No Repetition of Mantra or Austerities,
Neither Speech Coming From Vedas or Books.
Doing, Not-Doing, Holding, Leaving
All These Are All Lost Too In This Place.

No Home, No Homeless, Neither Outside or Inside,
Micro and Macrocosm Are Non-Existent.
Five Elemental Constituents and the Trinity Are Both Not There
Witnessing Un-struck Shabad Sound is Also Not There.

No Root or Flower, Neither Branch or Seed,
Without a Tree Fruits are Adorning,
Primordial Om Sound, Breath-Synchronized Soham,
This and That - All Are Absent, The Breath Too Unknown

Where the Beloved Is There is Utterly Nothing
Says Kabir I Have Come To Realize.
Whoever Sees My Indicative Sign
Will Accomplish the Goal of Liberation.




source text 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Wu Hsin - Aphorisms for thirsty fish


Our attachment to beliefs …

    The attachment to beliefs is
    The greatest shackle.
    To be free is
    To know that
    One does not know.

Sleep …

    It is understood that
    Sleep is the desire for
    A period of rest
    For the body.
    It is less understood that
    Sleep is the desire for
    A period of rest
    Away from the body.

True peace cannot be disturbed…

    What is called peace by many is
    Merely the absence of disturbance.
    True peace cannot be disturbed;
    It resides beyond the reach of disturbance.

As if addressing our soundbite culture …

    When one is enthralled with
    The beauty on the surface of the ocean,
    The immensity of its depths can
    Never be discerned.

You can’t think your way to freedom.

    Controlling the mind doesn’t
    Take one to freedom.
    Controlling the mind
    Adds another link To one’s shackles.

Pain is physical, whereas suffering is mental.

    Whereas pain is
    A physical experience
    Suffering is a mental one.
    It is the sense that
    Things should be
    Other than they are.
    Its antidote is Acceptance.

We can be in a crowd and still be alone.

    Solitude is not
    A condition of the body.
    Instead, it is
    A condition of the mind.
    Solitude may be found
    In the busy market or
    May be elusive in the forest.

Feeling lost is the first step

    For many,
    The first step on
    A spiritual journey is to
    Become lost.
    The final step is
    Losing one’s self.

As if to explain why consumption does not make us any happier …

    Chasing after the things
    One yearns for is
    Inferior to
    Chasing after
    The source of the yearning.

The search for happiness …

    To search for happiness
    Implies its absence.
    This implication is a fundamental flaw.
    Happiness is ever present.
    It may become obscured,
    Such obscuration being temporary.

How magicians fool us …

    The preoccupation with
    The foreground, the sights,
    The smells,
    The sounds,
    Takes the attention away from
    The background.
    Yet, it is in this very background that
    The Mystery resides.

The natural doesn’t need laws

    What is natural
    Follows no laws nor
    Requires any.
    Can there be a rule for
    The beating of the heart or
    The blackness of the raven?
    There is a natural rhythm to
    The workings of the world.
    Some are discernable
    While others cannot be discerned.
    It is the dance
    Between the two that
    Creates action.

We cannot hide from ourself.

    There is no forest,
    There is no cave,
    There is no mountaintop
    Where one can hide From oneself.

Live in the moment …

    The greatest enjoyment is experienced
    When there is no concern for its duration.

Speaking of mindfulness, before it had a name, he writes:

    The sum of a past is I was.
    The sum of a future is
    I will be.
    The continuous crossing back and forth
    Between the two
    Obscures the present moment,
    The I am, Being Itself.

On freedom …

    A free man’s life is
    A life that is free of
    Free of dependency.
    With nothing to drag along
    One goes where one will.

Anyone who has ever lived through a corporate reorganization …

    Do not mistake
    A mere rearranging of the furniture
    For true change.

Being content is about dropping attachment and desire.

    The man of contentment
    Seeks nothing that
    He doesn’t have and
    Understands that
    Whatever he has
    Isn’t his to own.

In fact he later writes: “Chasing after more and more is futile. It is only less and less that lastingly satisfies.”

Building on this he incisively looks at our expectations

    Expectation is the grandfather of
    The world can never
    Own a man Who wants nothing.

Hsin writes on our desire to seek confirmation of what we already know.

    You are not satisfied
    With the answers
    Given by others.
    So you come to Wu Hsin.
    But what you really seek
    Are not answers
    But confirmation
    Of what you think
    You already know.
    If you were to admit
    That you know nothing,
    Then I will most gladly answer.

The greatest crime …

    The greatest crime is
    The overlooking of
    Who you really are In favor of
    The story of
    Who you think you are.
    This preoccupation with
    Your personal drama is
    The cloud that masks The sun.

On how to change the world …

    To conquer the large,
    Begin with the small.
    To change your world,
    Begin by changing yourself.
    What needs to be changed?
    Only the point of view.

Hsin, sees failure as an opportunity.

    Nothing succeeds like failure.
    Failure is a natural
    Call for attention,
    Like pain.
    To pay attention is to
    Step out of your trance.

Sometimes you have to crack some eggs

    To free the chick,
    The shell must be broken.
    To free what is inside
    One must shatter
    What is outside.

How we live …

    What is known is familiar
    Yet unsatisfying.
    What is unknown is feared
    Yet desired Life thrives in risks and
    Dies in stasis.

On the delta between our expectations and reality …

    The world changes profoundly
    When demands on it cease.
    The real world and one’s imagined world
    Share little.

What’s better than the acquisition of knowledge? Invert. Getting rid of ignorance. This passage also reminds me of the Arab Scholar Ali Bin Abi-Taleb, who said: “keeping one’s distance from an ignorant person is equivalent to keeping company with a wise man.”

    Ridding oneself of ignorance is
    Worth more than the acquisition of knowledge.
    With memory gone
    The past is gone
    Relinquishing hopes and fears
    The future is gone.
    The present is upon you.
    In every moment.
    You are free.

Not only is Hsin full of knowledge, he’s often beautiful in his writing. Consider this …

    The Infinite has no preferences.
    It kisses both the darkness and
    The light equally.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Rebekah Maroon - Dream-time-bound reality

art Gun Legler



Quote of the Imaginary Moment by Rebekah Maroon

When the person hears about the future and past being an illusion or being the cause of your problems, the idea of being here and now, being present, seems logical. From that perspective, it makes sense; the future isn't here, the past has already gone, don't waste time on it, be here now.
But the past, the future, the now, and the one trying to be here now, all belong in that dream-time-bound reality. There is no actual past, future and now; they are all objects or ideas, which appear and disappear in this no-thing.  

The one trying to be here and now, or trying to create a better reality isn't always appearing. The idea of being present appears to the dream person, it is claimed, and then there's just eating, speaking, thinking, doing the dishes...and then “Oh, I wasn't being present!” appears, and is claimed in frustration; when in reality there’s no-one here! That statement is just another appearance. This energy is a claimer, it has no actual reality, but it claims the appearances to be me. To it, it feels like it exists and it always exists, like it was just distracted, and it will do better next time. It feels like it's a permanent, consistent, real thing. It can't possibly know of its own non-existence, of its own appearances.

How could it? To itself, when it’s appearing, it feels real. The one trying to be here and now, and the idea of here and now are dreams appearing in this, and would only appear or be of any interest to that dream sense of a someone that felt real and independent. The whole idea belongs in the dream. The person can’t be here now; the person’s a dream. There isn’t a solid someone who can choose what thoughts and ideas appear; this is totally empty. Out of Nothing, as Nothing, back into Nothing; as if Nothing ever happened.

---Rebekah Maroon, from her book “This is God: An Expression of Non-Separation” 


Thanks to Miranda Warren


Monday, December 21, 2020

Joan Tollifson - Nothing works



 We each have many apparent problems. In my own life, it might be flare-ups of anger and resentment, or all the things that trigger these flare-ups, or it might be a lifelong fingerbiting compulsion that I still have at age 72, or that feeling sometimes that I can’t stand being inside my skin—that it is utterly unbearable and I have to escape, or it might be various self-righteous and controlling tendencies. Maybe each of you has your own list of apparent problems, neurotic tendencies and character faults, as well as things about the world that you find irritating or seemingly unbearable and enraging.

Like many of you, I’ve tried many solutions to all of this: alcohol and drugs, recovery work, organized religion, psychotherapy, meditation, Zen, Advaita, retreats, satsangs, somatic work, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, social justice work—you name it, I’ve done it.

And yet, these apparent problems, neurotic tendencies, and character faults still show up. Maybe they happen less frequently and with less severity and for shorter duration, maybe the storylines that trigger and sustain them are never entirely believable anymore, but still, these things happen. And the world and other people continue to behave at times in ways I don’t like and can’t control.

For a long time, I was hopeful that eventually I’d find the right solution, and these upsets and blemishes would disappear once and for all and never come back. To be honest, sometimes I’m still hopeful! (I’m truly a fool).

I remember pouring all this out in a private meeting with a Zen teacher once, and he said, “It sounds like you think there’s a problem.”

Wow! That was a wake-up moment!

Another one of my Zen teachers, Joko Beck, famously said, “What makes it unbearable is your mistaken belief that it can be cured.” And Wayne Liquorman: “The sense that things should be other than they are, is suffering.” And then just the other day, a friend of mine, who also happens to be a Zen teacher, said to me, “Nothing works!”

This is it, just as it is. And what if the life we actually have, with all of its warts and imperfections, is actually the perfect life?

And what if ALL of this is utterly impersonal? Whatever this whole apparent happening is (this whole universe, consciousness, dark enigma, life, intelligence-energy, unicity, the Self, whatever you want to call it), it can’t seem to help itself from falling into apparent holes again and again—and by holes, I mean identifying as a separate somebody, taking delivery of what is apparently happening, taking it personally, getting upset, reacting badly, and then searching for a cure! And if all THAT is taken personally, an even deeper hole and more upset! Layers upon layers of delusion, holes upon holes. And we keep imagining that someday, this will end! We’ll be fixed at last, and the world will be fixed.

But what if ALL of this is simply life dancing in the infinite ways it dances, playing hide and seek with itself, fooling itself, losing itself and finding itself? What if there is no one doing any of it? What if none of it actually matters? What if it’s not even real in the ways we imagine, meaning that it vanishes as soon as it appears, and it’s got no more substance than a passing dream? What if no cure is needed? What if the apparent imperfection is perfect just as it is?

There are indeed many things to do, such as meditation or yoga or inquiry, and we do seem to have a natural urge to repair what is broken, but there is no one who can choose to do or not do these things, and any notion of cause and effect is a conceptual overlay predicated on imaging time and the dividing up of a seamless reality so that one part can seemingly cause or be the result of another. But maybe it’s possible to meditate or explore in a totally different way, without seeking a result, without knowing why we’re doing it or what might reveal itself or emerge from it—approaching it as we might a dance or an art form, or as a baby exploring the world, or a lover exploring the beloved.

We may consider some behaviors and states of mind more enlightened (i.e., less caught up in the delusions of separation, substantiality and duality) than others. But ALL of it is this undivided wholeness doing what it does, and we can’t have the light without the dark. The mistakes are part of the whole fabric. Nothing needs to be other than how it is, and in an instant, it will be fresh and new. Our problems and their solutions are ever-changing appearances in an immovable presence/absence that never comes, never goes, and never stays the same.

All the words we use to describe our problems create the illusion that they are solid, fixed, persisting things, and that we know what they are.  But the living actuality itself can never really be pinned down or formulated. We ARE this living actuality. It is not other than us or outside of us. It is our direct experience in every moment. It is most intimate, right here, utterly immediate. In that sense, it is obvious and unavoidable. And it never goes away, even when it shows up as what we label anger, fingerbiting, or an especially horrible president.

In thinking about this living actuality (or present experiencing) and trying to formulate and pin it down, we seemingly miss it entirely. And yet, even that grasping, conceptualizing and mental mapping is nothing other than just this. We never actually lose it, nor can THIS ever be lost or found.

Maybe being awake is nothing more or less than simply being okay with the whole thing, just as it is—including our attempts to change it. And not just being okay, but actually enjoying the whole marvelous show, even the moments that don’t seem very enjoyable—being grateful for the whole wondrous catastrophe.

So, Happy Solstice, everyone. Happy beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Happy Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Happy HolyDaze. And may we all enjoy the final days of 2020. It’s been quite a year!

I’ll be taking my usual at-home retreat from the end of this month through the beginning of the New Year. So I’ll say now, Happy New Year!



both pics by Gun Legler 



Chuck Surface - This tender affection


These days I find myself speaking,
In a most Tender, Loving voice,
To plants and trees, rocks and soil,
To clouds and mist, to moon and stars,
As if those things could hear my words,
And know of my Loving Affection.

I confess to concern regarding my sanity,
And the Foolish old man I’ve become,
Tears streaming, unprompted by thought,
Spontaneous, a flood Uncontainable,
At the drift of a cloud, at branches swaying,
Or the feel of the earth beneath my feet.

I noticed the onset of Love’s Insanity,
When a beloved friend passed recently,
And the Affection in which I held them,
Being no longer watered by their presence,
Did not wither and die from that lack,
But sent roots outward, to All That Is.

Within, this Love sent roots, as well,
Beneath the shallow soil of “who” I am,
To the deepest Interiority of “what” I am,
And Blossomed there, at the Heart of Being,
As an Affection, near Unbearable,
For the simple fact of existing.

Thankfully, no one has witnessed me,
Whispering Thankfulness to a fallen leaf,
Or I would surely be locked away,
And, gazing out an asylum window,
Would tear up at the incredible Beauty,
Of paint peeling on the window sill,
And the Quality of evening Light…

Upon All that Is. 


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Nisargadatta Maharaj - "being lived"

 Quote of the Imaginary Moment by Nisargadatta Maharaj

“If you have really perceived this, is it possible for you to go on thinking any longer that there is any villain in life with an independent, autonomous entity, possessing enormous power for 'evil'? Or, that there is any Avatar possessing enormous power for 'good'? Surely you must realize that 'good' or ‘bad' are mere inter-dependent opposites, essential manifestations in duality, appearances acting their respective roles. Indeed, there can be no entity separate from the overall.”
 “Is there any question of having to decide the propriety or otherwise of any action? Who will make the decision? Does one have the independence of volition to make the decision? Is there really any choice? Once it is perceived that there is no entity with any independence of action, would 'living' thereafter not be totally non-volitional living? Would not, in other words, the perceiving itself lead to an abandonment – or more accurately-- a spontaneous cessation of the very concept of volitional activity? One may think that one lives; actually, one is only 'being lived.'”


post and following comment by Miranda Warren


When it is somehow known without question that one’s apparent life is not one’s own, that there is no stage with separate actors but simply a single play in which all appear, the ability to attribute labels to what happens seems to fall away. In the movie you may see the demon chasing the little girl, but there is no separate demon, no little girl, just “appearances acting their respective roles.” It is the very same in the movie we call “life.” When the concept of volitional activity, of freedom of choice held by autonomous beings, is seen as illusory, the division of what happens into separate parts that are sometime good or other times bad is discontinued. The character is seen as reacting without any more choice than the movie character, and your own apparent reactions to life are seen as lacking any independence. Nothing is apart from all that is, and the life of an endless series of discrete events, judged constantly as good or bad or harmful or hurtful, dissolves into the seamless awe of what simply is. ❤ 


Friday, December 11, 2020

Sam Harris - Free will


Free will is an illusion.
Our wills are simply not of our own making.
Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which
we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control.
We do not have the freedom we think we have.
Free will is actually more than an illusion (or less), in that it cannot be made conceptually coherent.
Either our wills are determined by prior causes and we are not responsible for them,
or they are the product of chance and we are not responsible for them.
If a man’s choice to shoot the president is determined by a certain pattern of neural activity,
which is in turn the product of prior causes
—perhaps an unfortunate coincidence of bad genes, an unhappy childhood, lost sleep, and cosmic-ray bombardment
—what can it possibly mean to say that his will is “free”?
No one has ever described a way in which mental and physical processes could arise that would attest to the existence of such freedom.
Most illusions are made of sterner stuff than this.
The popular conception of free will seems to rest on two assumptions:
(1) that each of us could have behaved differently than we did in the past, and
(2) that we are the conscious source of most of our thoughts and actions in the present.
Both of these assumptions are false.
But the deeper truth is that free will doesn’t even correspond to any subjective fact about us
—and introspection soon proves as hostile to the idea as the laws of physics are.
Seeming acts of volition merely arise spontaneously (whether caused, uncaused, or probabilistically inclined, it makes no difference)
and cannot be traced to a point of origin in our conscious minds.
A moment or two of serious self-scrutiny, and you might observe that you no more decide the next thought you think than the next thought I write.




Thursday, December 10, 2020

Joan Tollifson - Winter Morning


The pond is frozen over
the world is upside down.
In my old age,
I discover the magic
of childhood.

Without my glasses,
a softer world
blurs together.
Houses hide in the fog,
mountains drop out of the sky.

On naked branches
the last dry leaves
twirl in the cold wind,
leaves and sky indistinguishable.

It is the winter of my life
the great stripping away
the last leaves letting go,
falling into
the dazzling darkness





Sunday, December 6, 2020

Wu Hsin - Beyond the mind



 Master Wu Hsin began:

The piling on of more concepts, this acquisition of additional knowledge,
is not the solution. Adding to the known can never take one beyond the

At every moment of your life you know what you need to know. Take it to
be sufficient.

True knowledge comes via direct apperception and this cannot be forced.
It arrives in its own time

Now, be still.

Master continued:

Careful study teaches us that conscious existence continues even in the
absence of mind.

It also reveals that peace is present in any moment when there is no

Let there be no confusion.

The purpose of the investigation Wu Hsin proposes is not to establish
some special state of mind. Rather, it is to be freed from all states of mind.

Now, be further still.

Master continued:

Once you have recognized the pure taste of tea, you can always enjoy it
with sugar and lemon if you so choose.

Discern that the self consciousness or ego is the operative system of this
organism. When attention attaches to it, there is enmeshment,
entanglement, identification. Unattached, the attention is free.

It is the epitome of peace and you are That.

Now, be still.

Master continued:

The mind reverts to silence spontaneously after every thought. However,
another thought comes so quickly, in a seemingly endless stream, that we
miss this subtlety.

The mind is purified when it reverts to this silence.

The purification progresses from multiple thoughts to a single thought to
no thought.

Now contemplate.

Master continued:

The problem is that the pull of the world is still quite strong for you.

When you realize that everything is in your mind, and that you are beyond
the mind, there is a shift in the locus of attention.

The particular no longer holds sway over you; you are now Self-ward
facing, and you rest in Being Awareness.

It becomes clear that I-am and the world-is are experienced
simultaneously and the body is the instrument that connects the center,
the seeing, with the periphery, the seen.

Wu Hsin will return again tomorrow.




Gina Puorro - What will you feed them?


Nothing matters, everything matters.
I was born on the outer edges of Autumn
and I feel at home in the liminal space
between what is living and thriving and blooming
and what is dying and sinking back down into fertile ground.
Everything comes undone.
Nothing is left intact.

I'm interested in the gravity that comes
with feeling the impermanence of things.
Of moments
and you and me
and the stories that weave themselves
into the most beautiful tapestries
until one loose thread unravels the whole thing.
Maybe we can weave in a little more honesty to tuck ourselves into.
I have loved and lost and have been left more whole
with the deep caverns that grief has carved into my heart.

There's been so much talk about unprecedented times
but I think they are illuminating
and I suspect we've been here before.
We've inherited the mess and the gifts left behind for us
and we will be leaving some of our own.
I see your righteousness and I’ll raise you
some curiosity and bewilderment.
Any claims to power lose their footing
in the presence of awe.
Maybe the next time
and the next
we can bring a little more courage and kindness to our listening
turn down the concepts and theories
and dial up the context and nuance.

I pray that beauty and art
music and dance
poetry and bare feet on the Earth
will bring us all down to our knees
in reverence to the holiness of wonderment
and help us remember who we are.
Maybe we can all learn to co-regulate with each other
across time and space
with our human and non-human kin
in this vast mycelial network that tethers us to one another.
I want to be a student of the subtle.
Of the soft whispers and sweet hymns
that ride the ocean breeze and the hawk's wing.
A slight pivot towards quietude and the small things.
There are tender spaces
between emptiness and longing
where we just might hear the songs that pass
from ancestral throats to receptive ears.

You contain multitudes - contradictions and stardust and sacred instruction.
Leave your unanswered questions
on the kitchen counter
let them ripen a bit
until their quiet mysteries penetrate you
like bite marks in peach flesh
like a soft kiss at that one spot on your neck.

There's a whole love language
in keeping your palms open while you pray
for when the honey pours down over you.
Sticky, but consistent in it's sustenance.

The spirits eat beauty and sweetness.
What will you feed them? 



Saturday, December 5, 2020

Rumi ♡ I AM the Soul in All!




A mote I in the Sunshine, yet am the Sun's vast Ball;
I bid the Sun spread Sunlight, and make the Mote be small.
I am the Morning Splendour; I am the Evening Breeze;
I am the Leaf's soft Rustle; the Billow's Rise and Fall.
I am the Mast and Rudder, the Steersman and the Ship;
I am the Cliff out-jutting, the Reef of Coral Wall.
I am the Bird Ensnarer, the Bird and Net as well;
I am both Glass and Image; the Echo and the Call.
I am the Tree and Branches, and all the Birds thereon;
I am both Thought and Silence, Tongues' Speech, and Ocean Squall.
I am the Flute when piping, and Man's Soul breathing breath;
I am the sparkling Diamond, and Metals that enthrall.
I am the Grape enclustered, the Wine-press and the Must;
I am the Wine, Cup-bearer, and crystal Goblet tall.
I am the Flame and Butterfly, which round it circling flits;
I am the Rose and Nightingale, the Rose's Passioned Thrall.
I am the Cure and Doctor, Disease and Antidote;
I am the Sweet and Bitter, the Honey and the Gall.
I am the War and Warrior, the Victor and the Field;
I am the City peaceful, the Battle and the Brawl.
I am the Brick and Mortar, the Builder and the Plan,
I am the Base and Gable, new House and ruined Hall.
I am the Stag and Lion, the Lamb and black-maw'd Wolf;
I am the Keeper of them, who shuts them in one Stall.
I am the Chain of Beings, the Ring of circling Worlds;
The Stages of Creation, where'er it rise or fall.
I am what is and is not; I am—O Thou who know'st,
Jeláleddín, O tell it—I AM the Soul in All! 



Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Chelan Harkin - Inspired by Hafez

I asked Hafez
for inspiration
and he poured gasoline
all over my poetry
and set it on fire!
Then he spent the whole night
fanning its flame with his dancing!

To be honest, it's all starting to get
a little much.

He turned the stars into cymbals
and has spent night after night
making quite the golden racket
clanging them together.

When I groaned,
"Hafez, quiet down--I'm trying to sleep!"
He replied, "This cosmic applause for God
knows no cease!"

He’s unleashed muse after muse
they’re buzzing around my consciousness
like mosquitoes
there are so many
sometimes I have to swat one away
before it bites my heart.

Truly, in some moments
it all feels like quite the holy nuisance
but the real truth is
I never, never want this madness
to stop.










Monday, November 30, 2020

Patrul Rinpoche - The genuine view



 Practitioners, male and female, who wish to realize the genuine view without mistake
should allow the mind to rest with vivid clarity in an unaltered, empty state of mind.
When the mind is still, then settle into that stillness, without trying to alter it in any way.
When it is not thinking, settle directly into that non-thinking, without trying to alter it.
In short, do not alter the mind, but settle directly within whatever occurs.
Don’t try to adjust or improve or to block or cultivate anything.
Allow whatever occurs to unfold and settle into it directly.
Don’t draw the mind inwards.
And don’t search for any external focus for meditation.
Simply settle, without altering, in the very mind that seeks or thinks.
Don’t draw the mind inwards.
And don’t search for any external focus for meditation.
Simply settle, without altering, in the very mind that meditates.
You won’t find the mind by searching for it.
Mind has always been empty.
There is no need to search.
It is the very one who searches.
Simply settle, without distraction, directly into the searcher.



 About Patrul Rinpoche





Eric Baret - Tranquility for no reason

art Gun Legler



 You have observed more and more consciously
the mechanism which always makes you move towards something.
You can't do anything against it: just see it.
This vision - "I am always leaving the essence, the presence" -
creates a kind of crack.
In this crack, in spite of you, will creep moments of joy free of cause.
They will allow you to verify that the joy is not linked to the situation,
that it does not depend on anything.
You are going to integrate more the fact that you don't need anything in life, because it ends in the moment.
You don't have time to build a conscious life.
You can't become anything.
All the energy used to catch, become, find and be someone
will gradually come back to you.
More and more often you will experience
moments of tranquility for no reason.

Eric Baret
Of abandonment
De l'abandon (French Edition)

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Ron Rolheiser - Only in Silence

The Belgian spiritual writer, Bieke Vandekerckhove, comes by her wisdom honestly. She didn’t learn what she shares from a book or even primarily from the good example of others. She learned what she shares through the crucible of a unique suffering, being hit at the tender age of nineteen with a terminal disease that promised not just an early death but also a complete breakdown and humiliation of her body enroute to that death.

Her attempt to cope with her situation drove her in many directions, initially to anger and hopelessness but eventually to monasteries, to the wisdom of monasticism, and, under its direction, into the deep well of silence, that desert that lurks so threateningly inside each of us. Away from all the noises of the world, in the silence of her own soul, inside the chaos of her raging, restless insides she found the wisdom and strength not just to cope with her illness but to also find a deeper meaning and joy in her life.

There are, as John Updike poetically puts it, secrets that are hidden from health, though, as Vandekerckhove makes evident, they can be uncovered in silence.  However uncovering the secrets that silence has to teach us is not easy. Silence, until properly befriended, is scary and the process of befriending it is the soul’s equivalent of crossing a hot desert. Our insides don’t easily become calm, restlessness doesn’t easily turn into solitude, and the temptation to turn to the outside world for consolation doesn’t easily give way to the idea of quiet. But there’s a peace and a meaning that can only be found inside the desert of our own chaotic and raging insides. The deep wells of consolation lie at the end of an inner journey through heat, thirst, and dead-ends that must be pushed through with dogged fidelity. And, as for any epic journey, the task is not for the faint of heart.

Here’s how Vandekerckhove describes one aspect of the journey: “Inner noise can be quite exhausting. That’s probably why so many flee to the seduction of exterior background noises. They prefer to have the noise just wash over them. But if you want to grow spiritually, you have to stay inside of the room of your spiritual raging and persevere. You have to continue to sit silently and honestly in God’s presence until the raging quiets down and your heart gradually becomes cleansed and quieted. Silence forces us to take stock of our actual manner of being human. And then we hit a wall, a dead point. No matter what we do, no matter what we try, something in us continues to feel lost and estranged, despite the myriad ways of society to meet our human needs. Silence confronts us with an unbearable bottomlessness, and there appears no way out. We have no choice but to align ourselves with the religious depth in us.”

There’s a profound truth: Silence confronts us with an unbearable bottomlessness and we have no choice but to align ourselves with the religious depth inside us. Sadly, for most of us, we will learn this only by bitter conscription when we have to actually face our own death. In the abandonment of dying, stripped of all options and outlets we will, despite struggle and bitterness, have to, in the words of Karl Rahner, allow ourselves to sink into the incomprehensibility of God. Moreover, before this surrender is made, our lives will always remain somewhat unstable and confusing and there will always be dark, inner corners of the soul that scare us.

But a journey into silence can take us beyond our dark fears and shine healing light into our darkest corners. But, as Vandekerckhove and other spiritual writers point out, that peace is usually found only after we have reached an impasse, a “dead point” where the only thing we can do is “to pierce the negative.”

In her book, The Taste of Silence, Vandekerckhove recounts how an idealistic friend of hers shared his dream of going off by himself into some desert to explore spirituality. Her prompt reaction was not much to his liking: “A person is ready to go to any kind of desert. He’s willing to sit anywhere, as long as it’s not his own desert.” How true. We forever hanker after idealized deserts and avoid our own.

The spiritual journey, the pilgrimage, the Camino, we most need to make doesn’t require an airline ticket, though an experienced guide is recommended. The most spiritually rewarding trip we can make is an inner pilgrimage, into the desert of our own silence.

As human beings we are constitutively social. This means, as the bible so bluntly puts it, that it is not good for the human person to be alone. We are meant to be in community with others. Heaven will be a communal experience; but, on the road there, there’s a certain deep inner work that can only be done alone, in silence, away from the noise of the world. 


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Brother David Steindl-Rast - Gratefulness


 "Everything is a gift.
The degree to which we are awake to this truth is a measure of our gratefullness.
Day and night, gifts keep pelting down on us.
If we were aware of this, gratefulness would overwhelm us.
But we go through life in a daze.

A power failure makes us aware of what a gift electricity is;
a sprained ankle lets us appreciate walking as a gift, a sleepless night, sleep.
How much we are missing in life by noticing gifts only when we are suddenly deprived of them.

Eyes see only light, ears hear only sound,
but a listening heart perceives meaning. Everything is a gift. Grateful living
is a celebration of the universal give-and-take of life, a limitless yes to belonging.
A lifetime may not be long enough to attune ourselves fully to the harmony
of the universe. But just to become aware that we can resonate with it --
that alone can be like waking up from a dream.

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life, because if we are not grateful,
then no matter how much we have we will not be happy --
because we will always want to have something else or something more."


Sant Dnyaneshwar - Union of Shiva & Shakti


Download PDF: HERE




Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Wu Hsin - The illuminant of everything




Master Wu Hsin began:

We miss the actual by lack of attention and create distortions by excessive imagination.

Understand that without Being there is nothing.

All knowledge is about Being.

Wrong ideas about Being lead to dissatisfaction and unhappiness,
whereas right ones lead to freedom and happiness

Likewise, understand that Consciousness illuminates.

Everything perceived is first illuminated by Consciousness.

Even when there is nothing to be perceived, 

Consciousness is present.

Now, let there be silence.

Master Wu Hsin continued:

The habitual reference to a false center must end.

You have dedicated decades to building a prison for yourself. 

Can you not find a few moments to begin to tear it down?

The experiences you have in one state do not follow you into another state. Therefore, they cannot be part of your essential self.

You take yourself to be that which events happen to. Cease to be the object and become the subject of all that happens.

Merely see yourself as the illuminant of everything.

Now, let there be silence.

Master Wu Hsin continued:

Wholeness is not a state; states come and go.

Wholeness is holiness, absolute presence and relative absence.

"I will be" is prior to differentiation.

It is the Dynamic Potentiality, preceding all states, including the "I am"

Nothing more need be said today.

Ponder this; more tomorrow. 




Sunday, November 22, 2020

Wu Hsin - Unitive Consciousness




 Today, the Master began:


When you perceive yourselves as a part of the universe, you must
invariably feel apart from the universe. This calls for a correction in viewpoint.

Every operating assumption that you have is calling out for reexamination.
In that process, you will discern where the flaws in your
point of view lie.

You begin by creating a "me" which is followed by the world, a series of appearances which we label as "other than me".

Then, you appoint this me to godhead status, making it the arbiter of what is deemed right and wrong, what is good and evil, and how things are "supposed to be".

Through "I", you are the acting. Through "my", you are the owning.

You explain, translate, describe, label, define, and separate whatever you perceive every moment of your lives. In so doing, you create a tunnel reality.

This is grand narrative fiction.

Step aside and see how effortlessly and efficiently life functions. That is all that is required is to see things clearly.

However, this cannot occur as long as the seeing is performed through the crystal of the personal. This crystal is what brings distortion to What-Is.

When "me" goes, every "other than me" goes with it.

This is unitive consciousness, the end of distortion.

You continue to be alive and conscious. However, you are no longer self conscious

Ponder this; more tomorrow.