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...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A Winter Morning - Joan Tollifson

 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

with thanks to No Mind's Land


Photo - Mystic Meandering

Monday, December 28, 2020

What Is There Beyond Knowing? - Mary Oliver

What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me?
I can't

turn in any direction
but it's there.  I don't mean

the leaves' grip and shine or even the thrush's
silk song, but the far-off

fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven's slowly turning

theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;

or time that's always rushing forward,
or standing still

in the same  - what shall I say -

What I know
I could put into a pack

as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,

important and honorable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained

and unexplainable.  How wonderful it is
to follow a though quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out.  Life so far doesn't have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.

If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heave of the grass
and the weeds.

Mary Oliver


Photo - Mystic Meandering


Sunday, December 27, 2020

There is a Voice - Jonathan Star

Art by Joe Maccer at Deviant Art 

 There is a voice in us all that is ever-present,
a voice that always sings its melody to the world...
This is the voice of truth..., the voice that
lays bare the hidden mysteries of the Soul.

Jonathan Star 

 translator of Rumi poetry
from his book: In the Arms of The Beloved

The above quote is taken from an article written
by Jonathan star on Stillness Speaks.
See the full article at "In Silence - Rumi"

Friday, December 25, 2020

Wrapped in Silence - Rumi

 Last night,
I begged the Wise One to tell me
the secret of the world.

Gently, gently, he whispered -
"Be quiet,
the secret cannot be spoken
it is wrapped in Silence."

All is known in the Sacred Silence


Original title: "Last Night"
from the collection
Whispers of the Beloved
translated by Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin


Photo - Mystic Meandering

May Peace Prevail Within Our Hearts!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The Cello - Stephen Mitchell

 It rests inside its close-fitting red-velvet-lined case
the way medieval monks slept inside their coffins.
But it doesn't meditate on death; it has already died,
and barely remembers sunlight, water, the wind among
the branches.
It lies there in the dark, feeling all through its graceful curves
the memory of a hundred years of music,
and sometimes dreaming of heaven: the Bach suites.

Taken out to be played, it knows that by itself it is nothing,
that it would be incapable of producing a single note
even it it were a Stradivarius.
So it gladly assents to having its strings tightened,
painful thought it is; it wants to be perfectly in tune,
stretched to its utmost but not straining.
When it feels ready, it leans back and waits
for the bow to be drawn across,
for the resonance to fill it completely.

Stephen Mitchell
from - Parables and Portraits

With thanks to The Beauty We Love


Photo - via The Beauty We Love

Monday, December 21, 2020

For Solstice...

 Art by Joe Maccer - digital artist

The Cosmos is the movement of "The Mystery."
Life is the manifestation of "The Mystery."
Life ItSelf is "The Mystery" in form.

The Formless in Form...

We are held in the embrace of "The Mystery."
IT wants to be known and seen;
to be recognized.
IT wants to play in the seeing of ItSelf...

In looking into "The Mystery" there is a 
sense of intimacy.
And there is only deep, deep Love looking back.

We are held in the intimate gaze of
"The Mystery",
like the intimate gaze of lovers seeing
into each other,
seeing beyond each other,
seeing beyond the persona, the mask,
into the depths of Pure Being.

Mystic Meandering


To my blog readers and friends all over the world,
may the Solstice, and energies of "The Mystery"
that dwell within you, bring you ease and peace
whatever your life circumstances...


Friday, December 18, 2020

All life is being lived - Rainer Maria Rilke

 No one lives life...

Disguised since childhood
haphazardly assembled
from voices and fears,
and little pleasures,
we come of age
as masks...
["The Mystery in disguise :)]


And though we strain against
the deadening grip of daily necessity,
I sense there is this mystery.

All life is being lived.

Who is living it then?
Is it the things themselves.
or something waiting inside them,
like an unplayed melody in a flute?
Is it the winds blowing over the water?
Is is the branches that signal
to each other?

Is it the flowers
interweaving their fragrances
or streets, as they wind through time?

Is it animals, warmly moving
or the birds that suddenly rise up?

Who lives it, then?

God, are you the one
who is living life?

Rainer Maria Rilke


We are the luminosity of Life
...simply living.

Author unknown


Photo - shadow of Bamboo leaves 
creating a "face" on a reflection of a rainbow
crystal on the wall.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

"Out of Our Minds"...

 Oh how we try to maintain our mental constructs and
beliefs about the "truth"; about "The Mystery"...

Clinging to intellectual exegesis,
interpretations from"the Guru";
linear thinking...

Mental gymnastics about "IT",
trying to understand how "IT" "works",
rather than just experiencing how "IT" Is -
the felt sense of "The Mystery" that is Alive
within us...

Avoiding fluctuations of ever-unfolding Realizations.
Wanting static truth in a
nice neat unflappable package,
maintaining our stance of what
we want to believe to be true;
not allowing "The Mystery" to
work in us, to reveal ItSelf
without didactics;
only the direct experience of "The Ineffable."

Leaving us splayed open and raw,
vulnerable to the effulgent Luminosity
of "The Mystery" revealing ItSelf
in us - again and again.

Once you've experienced "IT" - "The Mystery" -
why would you want to maintain any stance?

If we could only allow ourselves to
be "out of our minds" and truly feel "IT"
LIVING us...

Mystic Meandering
Dec. 15, 2020


Photo via No Mind's Land

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"Play" of Perspectives - Joan Ruvinsky

 Every philosophy [spiritual teaching] seeks to describe,
even explain, How It All Is.

...the various systems are simply roles that
Consciousness takes on, the way a person changes outfits
from day to day - same person, different look.

All different and divergent philosophical [spiritual] positions
are the outpourings of Consciousness at play.  
Any philosophical [spiritual] position, no matter what, is only
a partial viewpoint, in which only a fragment of the unitary
whole is described.

We can never approximate the capital-t Truth in words...

From: The Recognition of Our Own Heart

[brackets mine]


Life is simply a Divine "play" of perspectives
that allows every expression/position to be played...



Photo - Mystic Meandering

Life size chess board in atrium of a nearby office building
(notice 2 pieces are missing)
Photo color digitally inverted to show perspective:
Black became White
White became Black
and shades in between

Monday, December 14, 2020

A Delicate Dance - Gina Puorro

 I am feeling stretched, fingertips reaching wide towards the
sharp contrasts of joy and deep grief.  I feel weathered, open,
tired, curious, grateful, regretful, raw.  My body is going from
being an open channel for highly activated sensations to shut
down and hardened, sometimes within seconds of each other.
There have recently been blissful and ecstatic moments, and
moments that tear me apart.  Deep connections and penetrating
aloneness.  I've got a whole bunch of unanswered emails and
texts.  I feel a heightened awareness of the parts of me that feel
deeply wounded..., and all the stories that come along with them.
I'm trying to stay present to what is.  I feel like I am in a state of
unraveling, a grand coming undone that feels both wildly un-
comfortable and buoyant all at once, and I have been fighting
the urge to dig my heels in with defiance and resistance.

It feels as though we are deeply immersed in a season of death,
on the personal and collective levels.  So much dying - systems,
beliefs, ways of being, bodies, all being laid to rest in the cosmic
compost pile.  The phrase 'quality of life' has been coming up
a lot, and I wonder what that truly means - for the living and
the dying...  How does a society that is both grief-illiterate and
death phobic learn to die a good death?  Humans are such
curious creatures, and I fear we too often place ourselves at the
center, forgetting the much wider web we exist in.

I have been finding myself struggling to be open to views
starkly different than my own (sometimes I'm downright
judgmental and angry), which feels at odds with my idea of
who I am and my capacity to be compassionate and
understanding.   I feel like a fraud, like my membership card
 to the 'woke folk' club should be revoked.  I want answers,
 as we all do, and at times my mind spirals into a state of
desperate grasping for them when my body knows they don't
exist, at least not in some static and  definitive way.

I don't know what will happen and where we are all headed...
It feels like a delicate dance...

I feel far from my best right now. 
I pray for the softness required to take each step forward
with grace and humility, and for the bravery to 
dance this life...


Photo - Mystic Meandering

We awoke to snow this morning and saw this leaf caught
in the snow on the front steps - blowing in the wind...

Saturday, December 12, 2020


 We slumber, but the
anniversary clock keeps turning,
in perpetual movement.
The earth spins on its axis and 
travels around the sun -
a perpetual momentum...

We slumber, but the mind
presents dreams and our
breath becomes automatic,
a perpetual rhythm...

We slumber, but life keeps living
as if no one is watching.

We slumber while our "things"
wait on a shelf for us to wake them
by our noticing;
inanimate objects which somehow
hold meaning for us and comfort us
without whose presence we would feel
as if something were missing...

But what's missing is in ourselves,
the emptiness we try to fill
with those "things" - those inanimate
objects of the mind: thoughts and memories
of previous times and people or "things"
that make us feel solace and comfort in
hard times.

We slumber - and yet everything is alive around us,
in the continuous, unending movement of life,
waiting for us to
awaken and notice.

Mystic Meandering
Dec. 9, 2020
1 am

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Never Not Broken - Gina Puorro

 These are strange times, sitting in this liminal space between
what was and what will be, a crossroads within both the micro -
and macrocosms.  I have been feeling a deep internal shakeup in
a way that I always do when met with something much greater than
me,  bringing lessons of my insignificance and an opportunity to
shapeshift.  There's  been less than glamorous insights into self;
meeting places of deep tension between my compassion and
intolerance, my flexibility and rigid worldview, my humility and
my desire to be right, my longing for and resistance to change,
where I remain open and where I shut down...  so much friction
between what feels like split personalities living in this body.
And, in the way that friction does, it's making many little fires
in me that need tending, so as not to be snuffed out, or burn me
right down to the ground.

I hear the call of many wise teachers and elders singing similar 
instructions; slow down, get quiet, be still, listen.

What if slowing down and finding stillness has nothing to do with
movement or speed and has everything to do with being completely
broken and not trying to pick up the pieces too quickly. 
than striving for a greater capacity to hold more, aiming for total
incapacitation and surrender instead.  Perhaps it's a good time to
venerate Akhilandeshvari, Goddess of Never Not Broken; I hear
her asking us to sit with the wreckage and feel the sharp pangs of
loss and grief.  No expectations of the future, no instructions for
how to move forward.  A time to hospice ourselves through a good
death, and a long slow process of composting our former selves.

What if getting quiet has nothing to do with turning down the volume,
and more to do with a subtle attunement towards finding the sacred
amidst the noise and chaos..

Invite the power of disruption that shakes us up and disorients us,
that opens portals, seducing us towards the in-between spaces and
to dance in the wild unknown.  To see creation and destruction as
necessary to each other's survival, and the inherent violence in
what we have named nature.  Let us be students of alchemy and
mischief, and to think and act in unorthodox ways as the wise fool.

Perhaps it is time for deep remembering and reclamation.  To sit
with the many troubles of being alive, to let go of reaching towards
any sort of arrival, victory, or stability, and meet each other in our
differences.  Let's stay shattered a while, and let ourselves spill up
and out of the many containers we have confined ourselves to; never
certain, never permanent, never alone, never not broken.

posted May 19, 2020


Photo - Mystic Meandering

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Desert of Our Own Silence - Ron Rolheiser

 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 into
the deep well of silence, that desert that lurks so threateningly
inisde 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
with dogged fidelity.  

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.  But if you want
to grow spiritually, you have to stay inside the room of your
spiritual raging and persevere.
  You have to continue to sit silently
 and honestly until the raging quiets down and your heart gradually
 becomes 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 depth in us.

There's a profound truth: Silence confronts us with an unbearable
bottomlessness and we have not choice but to align ourselves with
the 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.  .....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

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

The spiritual journey, the pilgrimage, the Camino we most need to
make doesn't require an airline ticket....  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. ...but there's a certain
deep inner work that can only be done alone, in silence, away from
the noise of the world.

with thanks to No Mind's Land


Photo - via No Mind's Land

Sunday, December 6, 2020

The "Noisemakers"...

 I have entered a desert place...
The desert of "noisemakers",
both internal and external;
creating stress and tension
in the mind and body;
from the dramas others have created
denying that they are the Elephant in the room;
going from crisis to crisis - drowning out
the Great Silence within.

The "noise" robs you of the felt sense of "The Mystery."
The veils of stress cloud the clarity of energy and perspective.
They rob you of what feeds the soul and nurtures the very
Essence of your Being.

Impossible you say?
But have you experienced it...  this drowning in "noise"...

One can get lost in the stress of too much "noise" if one is
not aware - not vigilant of the "noisemakers";
the thoughts and people that create distress in your life...

We cannot let the "noise" of others' dysfunction and disease
disrupt and distract, nor invade the deep Silence and Stillness
of our Being, and Indigenous Wisdom;
distorting our life energy with their "noise'!

We must tend to the Essential Nature of our very Being -
finding tender nurturance there from the
weariness of the world and its "noise"...

We need to feel the lightness of "The Mystery" again,
and reclaim the Sanity and Clarity
of the Stillness of the Quiet place...

And leave the "noisemakers" drowning in their own "noise."

Mystic Meandering
Dec. 4, 2020


Photo - Mystic Meandering

Friday, December 4, 2020

Here is There - Fred LaMotte

 Spend thousands for enlightenment at the Ashram of Tantric Wine
Tasting?  Advanced flow-yoga at a seaside resort in Bali?  Or that
Advaita in a Tuscan Villa.  At this Saturday's workshop, the spiritual
teacher will teach us that there is no teaching and no one here to teach.
The $1200 course fee includes a complimentary green smoothie.

No thanks.

I must be getting lazy.  I've lost my longing for exotic spiritual 
destinations.  I just want to wander in the woods now, beyond my
dilapidated fence, listening to raindrops on ferns, no dakinis sculpted
on the entrance of my mind cave, no Tibetan runes on the limestone
walls of my emptiness, no echoes of vanilla dharma talks.....

Guess I'm getting old.  I just want to sing about the vastness of what
I don't know.  I want to open my eye - not the eye in my forehead but
the eye in the callous of my sole, pressing dark loam with a barefoot
kiss.  From where I stand on the slow turning earth, I can see that this
wheel rolls nowhere.  "Here" is already "there"...

I want to walk more gently over the planet, sighing without words,
and call it prayer.  And I won't turn gratitude into a technique,
because gratitude is simply me, breathing.  Me, honoring the moss-
bearded cedars.  They are very great gurus who give their priceless
teaching for free; a mist-green stillness.

The roots of their lineage truffle dirtward down to the first moment
of creation, entangled in the fungi of the void, close to the fountain
of wonder that gushes up from the center of every Now.

At midnight, soundless owl wings slice through the glory of night,
bright knives of Unknowing. Starlight seeps out of the wound, and
I am awakened.  I am thrice-awakened - here, there, and in each
particle of dust.  Parasam Gateh, beyond the beyond, right where
I am.  Coyote howl will be my song.

Fred LaMotte


Photo - Fred LaMotte
Forest on Mt. Rainier

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Divine "Puddle"...

 Melt into the "puddle" of your Inner Being,
the Great Silence and Stillness of "The Mystery."
Free of "imposed tensions" from
the chaotic social disorder
and the muttering mentations of the mind.
Enter the quiet realm of the Nameless within.

Rest - there...

Beyond "traditions" of belief and thinking...
Beyond "disciplines"
that only scratch the surface.
Just feel the awareness of the
deep core of your Being,
where the Great Silence abides.
That is your refuge...

Just be - there...

Untouched - Unscathed...

Aware only of the Great Stillness that you are...

Just be the "puddle" -
fluid, calm, undisturbed -
just Resting - there...

And if you dare,
play quietly - there...
In the Divine "Puddle" :)

Mystic Meandering
Nov. 26, 2020


Photo - Mystic Meandering