Welcome...

Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sacred Restlessness - Jeff Foster


Keep questioning everything you believe.
Question your concepts.  Question your religions.
Question everything your parents taught you.
Your gurus.  Your leaders.  Everything your learned
in books and on TV.  Everything is sacred and holy and
unquestionable.  Question it all.  Do not be afraid to lose
all your beliefs, all your prior reference points, all your
unshakable certainties.

With enough questioning, you may begin to question
yourself, the one who questions.

[Question] Everything you take yourself to be.

And then you will question the act of questioning itself.

Until there are no more questions. No more answers.

Just silence.  Stillness.  A wide open space...full of potential.

You will be left naked, open, raw, trembling, utterly vulnerable
to the sunset, penetrated by every sensation, shaken by the way
the light moves over the rooftops, the way sound enters you,
the color of a friend's eyes, the space and the contraction of
things,you will be one with it all, it will be your home and your
salvation, it will all break you and make you whole in every
instant.

You will have questioned yourself back into wonder, found your
true home in this fleeting world, followed your sacred restlessness
back into the deepest kind of peace imaginable.


~

Photo - Mandala Art Digitally Altered
This is exactly how I felt today, restless and unfocused...




Friday, June 28, 2019

Santiago - David Whyte


The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall,
and the way forward always in the end
the way that you followed, the way that carried you
into your future, that brought you to this place,
no matter that it sometimes took your promise from you,
no matter that it had to break your heart along the way;
the sense of having walked from far inside yourself
out into the revelation, to have risked yourself
for something that seemed to stand both inside you
and far beyond you, that called you back
to the only road in the end you could follow, walking
as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice
that by night became a prayer for safe arrival,
so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:
as if, all along, you had thought the end point might be a city
with golden towers, and cheering crowds,
and turning the corner at what you thought was the end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:
like a person and a place you had sought forever,
like a broad field of freedom that beckoned you beyond;
like another life, and the road still stretching on.


David Whyte
From Pilgrim


~




Wednesday, June 26, 2019

"HERE" and "THERE" - Chuck Surface


There is a... a Space, Within,
A Place at the Very Heart of my Being,
Where Nothing exists, but Existence.

Not a space, of course, or a place, really,
But although unseen, ungraspable, "There",
It is Palpable, Visceral, Experienced "Here".


The Kingdom of Heaven, our Inner Sanctum,
"There", yet closer than the jugular, "Here",
The Essence we Are, before "we" are...

The "Am" before "I Am".

I will not speak for you, or others,
And become, thus, yet another theologian,
Preaching the "Truth" of all things.


But perhaps you have tasted this Wine,
Even if only as the Softest Ambience,
That Imbues, Surrounds, Enfolds in Love?


I am not in accordance with those,
who pronounce this Essence transcendent,
Beyond all qualities and attributes.

For when "I" Died, yet Remained,
An Attribute like non other was Revealed,
"There", at the End of all things...

Where Beginning and End do not exist.

A Rapture, an Ecstasy, beyond expression,
Beyond all dualities, without opposite,
"There", in the Heaven of Nonexistent Existence...

Where Heaven and Hell do not exist.

And a touch of that Ecstasy followed me "Here",
When "I" and Creation returned from "There",
So that "I" was never quite  "myself" again...

Where self in form and formless Soul coexist.

Existing "Here" as myself, but... not,
Moving in space and time, but... not,
Being both "Here" and "There"...

Where Space, Time do not exist.

Wounded and broken in my Humanity
But accompanied, through that Imperfection
By that Rapturous Perfection, Shining...

Where Perfect and Imperfect do not exist.


Photo - Mandala Art


Monday, June 24, 2019

Ode to Silence - Nazia Mallick


Silence is all about coming home to ourselves...
We look within and drop our opinionated mind
and learn to feel everything around us more deeply.

When the incessant chatter of the mind stops and
we let the quietness around submerge us, something
sacred is born within.
It is only in silence that we are capable of listening.
We learn to listen more when we are silent.
Silence is the basic ingredient allowing us to
enter our intuitive mind, and resist the
cacophony of meaningless noises outside.

It is interesting to note how Silent and Listen
have the same letters but are arranged differently.

We have forgotten the art of waiting and allowing
ourselves to grow silent within.

Nature thrives on silence.
We never hear the footsteps of the moon when it
appears in the sky.  We don't hear a loud bang when
the sun comes out and the stars burst open in the sky.
Their arrival is always wrapped in glorious silence.
Look how the tree knows it!  It remains bare,
beautiful and still; waiting for the new leaves, knowing
that the old has gone and the new will soon be coming.
The tree waits in silence.

Just like the tree, when we are silent and waiting,
something beautiful inside us keeps on growing
and it is stillness and silence that gives birth to creativity.

Often it happens that when we wait in silence, life
rushes back to fill those crevices in our souls.  There
are times when silence becomes the most potent way
of communication and is more effective than words.
To say nothing is often more difficult than expressing
anger, love and betrayal with words.

Being silent with a natural and calm stillness within
is like a spiritual reflex.  There is a space between
stimulus and response.  And in that space is our
power to choose our response.
That "space" is silence...

Each time I feel that I just cannot take another step
forward in life, I seek refuge in silence...

Excerpt from an article found in Ode Magazine 2009

~

Shift your attention from words to silence
and you will hear...

Nisargadatta


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Into The Forest Alone...


"The Forest" traditionally is a threshold symbol of entering
the unknown, the deeper nature, or the spiritual world.  In
fairy tales it usually represents a passage though difficulties
and an opportunity for "transformation" of some kind.  I also
see it as a sanctuary, refuge, a place of deepening.  This
entering the "Dark Forest" happens sometimes when I have
lost (intentionally or otherwise) the framework which gives
structure to my life, when I must find my own way, and be
true to the call of Self,  Shamans, poets, holy men and women
sought refuge in the forest, as a healing place.  Going into
The Forest represents a return to the Primordial Self - beyond
societal, cultural, conceptual and spiritual frameworks.  In a
way, it is like returning to the child's heart of innocence -
just following the longing of the Heart once again; trusting
that I will emerge from "The Dark Forest" with clarity.  As a
child I often went into the forest next to our house as a place
just to sit, to listen and commune with nature, and write
poetry.  It was a place of directly experiencing what I knew
then to be "God."  Now known by other names...

And, since I don't have a "Dark Forest" handy, and I am spooked
by the things that go bump in the night, my Forest will have to
be that interior space of Silent Awareness - navigating the inner
Forest of the Unknown - as well as the unknown difficult
practicalities of everyday living.

I am willing, I say inwardly, to enter the Unknown - the Forest.
To trust Intuition to take me through.  I am ready to step over
the threshold and see where the Unknown takes me...

Care to join me :)  Are you willing...

~

"The familiar horizon has been outgrown;
the old concepts, ideals,
and emotional patterns no longer fit.
The time for the passing of a threshold
is at hand.

You enter the forest at the darkest point,
where there is no path.
Where there's a way or a path,
it is someone else's path;  each human being
is a unique phenomenon.

The idea is to find your own way..."

Joseph Campbell

~

Midway upon the journey of life
I found myself within a dark forest,
for the straightforward pathway
had been lost...

Dante Alighieri
The Inferno

~

Also see my post The Pathless Path


Friday, June 21, 2019

Wild Medicine - Summer Solstice - Brigit McNeill


I see your hurts, your fears and your sorrow.
I see them like crumpled black lumps,
and brittle edged bits that feel heavy
and uncomfortable in your flesh.
But I also see your immense bravery,
your wisdom and your courage.
It grows from you like tendrils of
medicine plants; wild and wise.
It's bigger than you realize.

You are so very courageous and you
can do big things, hard things,
beautiful things and
monumental things.

I wish you could see what shines from you.
I wish you could wrap those wild vines
of courage around you.
The ones of wisdom and truth,
of power and bravery.
Wearing them like a cloak, a dress or a
second skin; absorbing and feeling the
wild medicine it brings you, for you have
grown it from within, they are seeds of your
knowing and they can't be taken from you.

You have made it through everything
and now it's time to see yourself as the
warrior and tender lover of your own being.
The one who grows medicine weeds and
sweet flowers from the concrete cracks of
their life.




Wishing everyone a renewed sense of strength and courage
on this Solstice...

I celebrate 10 years of posting on this blog today!
It's been a wonderful experience.
Thank you all for reading!
~

When you take off your clothes remember
to be thankful for your body underneath,
whatever shape it is.  It's your most tender
lover.  It's doing its best to swim upstream
against the current of all this entropy.
One day it will give up, exhausted,
and slip from you like those clothes,
and again you'll be thankful
for what's underneath.




Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Light in the Darkness - Matt Licata


In speaking recently with a friend, I was reminded of the great
bias in our culture toward the light and away from the darkness.
When we meet with someone who is down, feeling hopeless,
empty or otherwise not beaming and joyful, we can become
quickly convinced that something is wrong, that they are
"broken," and that we must act urgently to "fix" them.  We
scramble to put them back together, to remind them of all the
gifts in their life, impart spiritual techniques and philosophies
to them, suggesting that they just "focus on the positive", letting
know that everything will be better soon, and that it will turn out
okay.

...we might see the subtle aggression in this, this insistence that
they come out of their immediate experience and into the one
we believe they should be having instead.  We can start to see
how much of this "fixing" activity arises out of the disconnection
with that which remains unmetabolized within us.

It is possible the kindest thing we can offer our suffering friend
is to sit in the darkness with them... removing the burden that
they change, transform, feel better, or heal in order for us to stay
near.  As we turn to embrace our own unmet sadness, grief, and
despair, we remove the projection of our unlived lives from them.
We lift the weight that they take care of our unresolved anxiety
for us.

As we learn to trust and to rest in the wisdom-field of our present,
embodied experience, we see that love is a movement of totality.It is whole, and is raging and alive even in the darkness.
In the core of the fire, the sadness, the grief, and the despair
is something very real, breaking through the dream of
 partiality.  
But what this is may never support our cultural
 and spiritual fantasies of a life of invulnerability.  Here, you
are being shown that the wild, untamed, creative movement
 of love will never conform to your hopes and fears, and that
things are unlikely to ever turn out the way you thought they
would.  This is not evidence that something has gone wrong,
but of how alive you are.

From the perspective of this radical sort of wholeness, every
experience is beheld as utterly valid, totally workable, and
an expression of the path itself.  Here there is no obstacle.
From the center of your being, it is seen that life is not only
the joy and the sweetness, but at times will arrive raging as
the darkness, in order to reorder your world and to remind
you of something you have lost contact with. 
In this surging
of your inner family, the true nature of your experience will be
revealed, and the portals to Presence will be shown as they are...
as infinite.

May you stay close to your suffering and the suffering of others,
careful not to cut it too quickly, curious and available to the
wisdom as it unfolds in unexpected ways.  Open your heart to
the golden, full-spectrum nature of love and the jewels hidden
in the dark before you discard them, and finally see what it is
that they have to say.


Matt Licata

Photo from Matt's blog

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Be What You Are - Hermann Hesse



When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer,
then a tree has something to say to us:
Be still!  Be still!  Look at me!  Life is not easy,
life is not difficult.  Home is neither here nor there.
Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees
rustling in the wind at evening.  If one listens to them
silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel,
its meaning.  It is not so much a matter of escaping
from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so.
It is a longing for home, for new metaphors for life.
It leads home.  Every path leads homeward, every step
is birth, every step is death...

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy
before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts,
long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives
than ours.  They are wiser than we are, as long as we do
not listen to them.  But when we have learned how to
listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the
childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve incomparable
joy.  Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer
wants to be a tree.  He wants to be nothing except what
he is.  That is home.  That is happiness...

Hermann Hesse
from: Trees: Reflections and Poems

via - The Beauty We Love


~

To put it simply, let that mysterious grace move in your
spirit as it will and follow wherever it leads you.  Let it
be the active doer and you the passive receiver.  Do not
meddle with it, but let it be...  Your part is to be as wood
to a carpenter or a home to a dweller.  Remain blind
during this time cutting away all desire to know, for
knowledge is a hindrance here.  Be content to feel this
mysterious grace sweetly awaken in the depths of your
spirit.  Forget everything...


The Cloud of Unknowing





Friday, June 14, 2019

There Are No Frames for the Soul - O'Donohue & Rumi


We are no sooner out of the womb than we must begin the
precarious unfolding and shaping of who we are.  If we
have bad or destructive times in childhood, we begin to fix
on a survival identity to cover over and to compensate for
what happens to us.  If we are never encouraged to be
ourselves we begin to construct an identity that will gain us
either attention or approval.  When we set out to construct
our lives according to a fixed image, we damage ourselves.
The image becomes the desperate focus of all our longing.
There are no frames for the soul.
In truth we are called, in so far as we can, to live without
an image of ourselves, or at least to keep images we have
free and open.  When you sense the immensity of the
Unknown within you, any image you have built of yourself
gradually loses its promise.  Your name, your face, your
address only suggest the threshold of your identity.
Somehow you are always secretly aware of this.
Sometimes you find yourself listening to someone
telling you what you should do or describing what is
going on inside you, and you whisper to yourself that
they have not the foggiest idea who you actually are.

John O'Donohue
From Eternal Echoes

via - The Beauty We Love

~

I am not from the East or West
not up from the ground
or out of the ocean.
My place is placeless
a trace of the Traceless.
I am from the Soul of souls.

Rumi



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Subtle Truth - Lao Tzu


Why scurry about looking for the truth?
It vibrates in every thing and every not-thing,
right off the tip of your nose.  Can you be still and see it
in the mountain? the pine tree? yourself? 
Don't imagine that you'll discover it by accumulating
more knowledge.  Knowledge creates doubt, and doubt
makes you ravenous for more knowledge.
You can't get full eating this way.
The wise person dines on something more subtle:
He eats the understanding that the named was born from the unnamed,
that all being flows from non-being, that the describable world
emanates from an indescribable source.
  He finds this subtle truth
inside his own self...

So who can be still and watch the chess game of the world?
The foolish are always making impulsive moves,
but the wise know that victory and defeat are decided by something
more subtle.  They see that something perfect exists before any
move is made.  This subtle perfection deteriorates when
artificial actions are taken,
so be content not to disturb the peace.
Remain quiet.
Discover the harmony in your own being.
Embrace it.
If you can do this, you will gain everything,
and the world will become healthy again.

Lao Tzu





Sunday, June 9, 2019

When Dark Clouds - Jamie K. Reaser


When the dark clouds lay thick
before you and the wind has
lifted your hair and taken it
someplace wild, do nothing.
Be no one known.
What has happened is moving
on to new horizons.  What remains
are the desires withstood and
all the unfinishedness that will
see you through to the next day.

copyright/ Jamie K. Reaser
From "Truth and Beauty"

~

The hurt you embrace becomes joy...

Rumi


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Equanimity - Jack Kornfield



Even though we may cultivate a boundless compassion
for others, and strive to alleviate suffering in the world,
there will be many situations we are unable to affect.
The well known serenity prayer says, "May I have the
serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the
courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom
to know the difference."  Wisdom recognizes that all
beings act and receive the fruits of their actions.  We can
deeply love others and offer them assistance, but
in the end they must learn for themselves,
they must be the source of their own liberation.

Equanimity is the willingness to be in life, but to be
spacious and open, to have a vast perspective and be able
to say - "Yes, here I am, showing up, caring and loving,
but I'm not in control of this [situation].

Jack Kornfield
Buddhist Teacher


I learned several years ago that you cannot rescue
someone from their life...  I keep having to learn it...
Although it is hard to see someone go through what
they must go through until they learn to take responsibility
for their own lives and choices...

_/\_



Monday, June 3, 2019

Beyond "Spirituality" - MM & A.H. Almaas


Beyond the "cloak of spirituality" that we wear,
in its many guises, is the unconditioned Nature
of our own Being - the "Genuine Self",
the "Authentic Self", the "Precious Pearl"
at the depths of Beingness;
not the super-imposed conditioning of belief systems,
but the pure state of Being from deep within the
Quietness of Consciousness
that has no "belief", no conditioned *idea* of
"spirituality" - just pure Being,
living as we are...

Mystic Meandering
May 27, 2019


~


The non-dual realization is only a step toward
greater mysteries and forms of freedom
leading to the deepening realization
of the fullness of being human,
expressing the totality of the
cosmos in all its physical and
spiritual dimensions -
living the simplicity
of
ordinary life.



~

Photo - Pikes Peak
taken from Greenland, CO





Saturday, June 1, 2019

Waiting - Leza Lowitz


You keep waiting for something to happen,
the thing that lifts you out of yourself,

catapults you into doing all the things you've put off,
the great things you're meant to do in your life,


but somehow you never quite get to.
You keep waiting for the planets to shift

the new moon to bring news,
the universe to align, something to give.

Meanwhile, the pile of papers, the laundry the dishes, the job -
it all stacks up while you keep hoping

for some miracle to blast down upon you,
scattering the piles to the winds.

Sometimes you lie in bed, terrified of your life.
Sometimes you laugh at the privilege of waking.

But all the while, life goes on in its messy way.
And then you turn forty.  Or fifty.  Or sixty... [or 70] :)


and some part of you realizes you are not alone
and you find signs of this in the animal kingdom -


when a snake sheds its skin its eyes glaze over,
it slinks under a rock, not wanting to be touched,

and when caterpillar turns to butterfly
if the pupa is brushed, it will die -

and when the bird taps its beak hungrily against the egg
it's because the things is too small, too small,

and it needs to break out.
And midlife walks you into that wisdom


that this is what transformation looks like -
the mess of it, the tapping at the walls of your life,

the yearning and writhing and pushing,
until one day, one day

you emerge from the wreck
embracing both the immense dawn

and the dusk of the body,
glistening, beautiful


just as you are.


Leza Lowitz


Thank you to Ivan Granger at Poetry Chaikhana

~