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, November 29, 2023

A Philosophy of Suffering - Etty Hillesum

Most of us in the West don't understand the art of suffering
and experience a thousand fears instead.  Man suffers most
through the idea of suffering, through his fear of suffering.
We cease to be alive, being full of fear, bitterness, hatred and
despair.  Don't we live an entire life each one of our days,
and does it really matter if we live  few days more or less?
There is room for everything in a single life.

When I say I have come to terms with life, I don't mean I
have lost hope.  It is a question of living life from minute to
minute and taking suffering into the bargain.  But does it
matter if it is the Inquisition that causes people to suffer in
one century, and war and pogroms in another?

Suffering has always been with us, does it really matter in
what form it comes?  All that matters is how we bear it
and how we fit it into our lives.

I can sit for hours and know everything and bear everything
and grow stronger in the bearing of it.  And at the same time
feel sure that life is [still] beautiful and meaningful.  Despite
everything.  But that does not mean that I am always filled with
joy and exaltation [about life and its circumstances].  I am
often dog-tired after standing in queues, but I know that this too
is part of life, and I know something inside me will never
desert me...

We carry everything within us.  God and Heaven and Hell and
Earth and Life and Death and all of history.  The externals are
simply so many props; everything we need is within us.  And
we have to take everything that comes; the bad with the good,
which does not mean we cannot devote our life to curing the
bad. [or helping those who suffer].  But we must know what
motives inspire our struggle [against] and we must begin
with ourselves.

Living and dying, sorrow and joy, the blisters on my feet and
the jasmine behind the house, the persecution, the unspeakable
horrors - it is all as one to me, and I accept it all as one mighty
whole and begin to grasp it better, if only for myself, without
being able to explain to anyone else how it all hangs together.

If you destroy the ideas behind [suffering] which life lies
imprisoned within, you liberate your true life - and then you
will have strength to bear real suffering... [the reality of suffering].

Etty Hillesum
Jewish Mystic of the Holocaust
from: An Interrupted Life
She died in Auschwitz at age 28 or 29


Photo - Mystic Meandering



Monday, November 27, 2023

A Prayer for a Suffering World

May we be free of physical suffering...
May we be free of mental anguish...
May we be free of all suffering
and the roots/causes 
of suffering...

May we be safe...
May we be at peace...
May we be well in body and mind...
May we live with ease...

From 2 Buddhist sayings...


Photo from the internet digitally altered


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Graced With Gratitude...

Gratitude arises
like a warm flame
in the Heart;
a flame that
comes alive
on its own
from within

Overtaking me by surprise...

It's a gratitude of
unknown origin -
not contrived,
or cultivated,
deeply felt in the
core of my Being;
only awareness is 

A gratitude
not for being alive,
but for Aliveness ItSelf.
for the Aliveness that
is Life;
that dances and sings
the Cosmos
into being;
that imbues existence
with LIFE!

For the color and movement
of life being lived
in every minute detail;
for the opening and
unfoldment of life
that has its own
its own
unfolding Itself in
total freedom of Being

I am truly graced with Gratitude -
beyond words...

Mystic Meandering
October 2015


Photo - Mystic Meandering


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Inner Myth - MacIver & Campbell

We each have an inner myth guiding our lives.  That
myth guides us without us knowing it.  It grows out of
all the things we've learned, the things we've failed at,
out of our insecurities, out of the triumphs we
experienced.  It is also affected by the spiritual current
that underlies our lives - the mythical journey that is seeking
to manifest in our outer life if we'll only pay attention to it.
It is the seed that is wanting to grow into a tree, the call 
waiting to be answered, but risky.  That path is risky.

What is the inner myth guiding your life, unknown to you?
What mysterious figure, what spirit entity of wisdom and
kindness might you invite to accompany you, guide you,
on your journey?

Rod MacIver
Heron Dance


Joseph Campbell says myth opens the heart and the imagination
to the wonders of the universe and the mystery of existence.
He says myths are clues to the spiritual potentialities of the
human life.  He says that myths can teach us how to live a 
human lifetime, not grounded in ancient religions, that support
our personal quests for wisdom and happiness.

From the 4 Ways that Myth Can Change Your Life,
According to Joseph Campbell.


Photo - Mystic Meandering
Mysterious Man with the flat hat
and long robe in the curtain... :)


What stories do we tell ourselves,
and what beliefs do we live by
that may be outdated now?


Sunday, November 19, 2023

Idleness - Csikszentmihalvi

Robertson Davies, the Canadian author, said one of the most
important things in his life was being able to take a nap every
day after lunch for twenty minutes.  That's for two reasons. One
is that by developing a schedule that's under your control, you are
not being flogged around by life, as he puts it; you are not always
jumping to someone else's tune.  You develop your own rhythm...
The other thing is that it's during idle time that ideas have a chance
to recombine in new ways, because of we think consciously about
solving a problem or writing a book, then we are sitting there
forcing our ideas to move in a lockstep, in a straight line, and
probably what comes out is not very new or original.

For original ideas to come about, you have to to let them percolate
under the level of consciousness in a place where we have no
way to make them obey our own desires or our own direction.  So
they find their way, their random combinations that are driven by
forces we don't know about.  It's through this recombination that
something new may come up, not when we try to push them

Mihaly Csikszentmihalvi interviewed by Michael Toms in the
New Dimensions Newsletter.

with thanks to Heron Dance


We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many
 diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve
ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground
that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world
within...  By middle life most of us are accomplished fugitives
from ourselves.

John Gardner

with thanks to Whiskey River


Personal Note - this is also why what I call "silent time" is
so important to me.  It doesn't have to be "meditation" but just
getting still, getting quiet, without interruption.  It seems then that
 words for a poem will rise to the surface, or an idea for something
that my mind could not "solve"...  Usually that "silent time" isn't
until the Quiet Hour, between 12 midnight and 1am  :)



Photo - Mystic Meandering


Friday, November 17, 2023

Your "Soul's Task" - Gary Zukov

What does it feel like to remember your soul's task?

When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you
are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying
and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and
others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet
satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what
you were meant to be doing.  The personality that is
engaged in the work of its soul is buoyant.  It is not burdened
with negativity.  It does not fear.  It experiences purposefulness
and meaning.  It delights in its work and in others.
It is fulfilled and fulfilling.

from: The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukov.

with thanks to Heron Dance


Photo - Mystic Meandering


The past offers itself up
to feed the soul that seeks fullness [fulfillment]
by continuously reclaiming itself.

Ivan Granger
Poetry Chaikhana


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

A Great Light - Jay Ramsay

I saw a great light come down over London,
And buildings and cars and people were still
They were held wherever they were under the sky's
Clear humming radiance as it descended --
Everywhere, in shops, behind desks and on trains
Everything stopped as the stillness came down
And touched the crown of our heads
As our eyes closed, and the sky filled us
And our minds became the sky --
And everyone, regardless of crime, class or creed
Was touched; as slowly we began to stir
Out of this penetrated light-filled sleep
Dizzily as the hand completed its dialing,
And the train lurched forward
And I saw faces looking at one another questioning,
I saw people meeting eye to eye and standing
Half amazed by each other's presence
I saw their mouths silently shaping the word why
Why didn't we know this? and yet knowing
They already knew, and without words
We all stood searching for the gesture
That would say it --

As the lights went green, we drove on...

Jay Ramsay

from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around
the World
(A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) Edited by
Ivan Granger at Poetry Chaikhana


Excerpts from Ivan Granger's Commentary:

.....one of the things I really like about this poem - it can be read
as a collective moment of awe, or of spiritual awakening- or a
city-wide encounter with a UFO... 
  It's not really clear what is happening, just that there is a
 shared moment of stillness and wonderment.  Everyone stops and
 is confronted with a dazzling, otherworldly reality.  What's actually
happening seems less important than the shared experience. 
Not only is this a witnessing of something that transcends the
 day-to-day existence, but there is also a recognition of fundamental
 connection with everyone else.

Then, of course, the lights turn green, and the business of living
continues.  But perhaps those people carry with them just a bit 
more sacred wonder into their daily activities...  and who knows
the many subtle, far-reaching ways it will continue to radiate out
through our lives?  This is how private experiences of transformation -
otherworldly or of the inner world - quietly transform the world.

.....we are visitors here, not permanent residents.  Our time on earth is
limited.  We may not know our departure date... best to stop
 and do what we came here to do. 
Offer a helping hand.  Share a smile. 
Do what the soul always wanted to do.
And discover the secret heart of things.

Ivan Granger


Many live challenged lives now...
The greatest gift we can give
each other is our compassion...



Photo with thanks to The Beauty We Love


Monday, November 13, 2023

Perspective - Vaclav Havel

There are no exact guidelines.  There are probably no guidelines
at all.  The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense
of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and
absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense
of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this
world.  In other words, I can only recommend perspective and
distance.  Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity,
both in others and in ourselves.  A good mind.  Gratitude for 
the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it.
Vigilance of spirit."

Vaclav Havel

with thanks to Whiskey River


Photo - Mystic Meandering
Light abstract on wall...


Saturday, November 11, 2023

At the Edge of a Dreamscape - Rod MacIver

In the middle of the night
On the edges of my dreamscape
Caribou race along the rim of distant hills
And disappear.

They offer no words
But somehow they say
In vague, shifting images of blue
Moonlight and pounding hooves
Stand still.  Wait for once.
Don't race over there
And stand in the middle.

Let chaos go its own way
Confused, discordant.
Keep your internal center of balance
A compass on the bridge of a storm-tossed ship.
What is the destination?
Where do we want to go?
I wish I knew.

In the darkness
just past the light of the campfire
In the wild, nocturnal mystery
Sounds coming at you from the night
the sound of some big animal breathing

You won't create your new tomorrow
Hanging around the fire, waiting
Waiting for tomorrow
Staring at flames that become embers
That become darkness
Embrace the darkness now.

So a road opened up
And I took it.
Down some dark stairways into myself
In search of the sun.
What was supposed to happen didn't,
And wasn't supposed to, did.

I don't know what is going on.
I don't know how things are supposed to be.

Rod MacIver
from the book arts collection,
The Journey Itself is Home
Heron Dance


Photo - Mystic Meandering


Thursday, November 9, 2023

Cosmic Breathing...

photo - Johannes-Plenio at Unsplash

Sitting in the Silence of the Inner Landscape,
I suddenly realize the Cosmic Breath of Infinity
is slowly breathing this body -
breathing in... breathing out...

Held in the pause between breaths -
I recognize that "I" am being breathed
by an unheard Rhythm...

From the Inner Window,
at the edge of Infinity
I see beyond this world,
into the formless void,
beyond moon and stars,
into the Infinite Cosmic Ocean
that holds it all...

Aware of what is aware within:
Life - breathing ITself...

Every Breath is the Primordial Breath
rippling through space...

Be Silent 

and I hear:

Entrain with the Rhythm
that is breathing you...

Slow down and breathe
the Infinite Breath of the Cosmos -
that whispers -
All will be infinitely well...

Mystic Meandering
April 12, 2020


Photo - Johannes Plenio at Unsplash


Tuesday, November 7, 2023


There is a seamless "edge" when twilight comes...
And a twinge of melancholy when the
light wanes into twilight,
the edge of the veil;
the threshold between
light and dark...

A knowing that this life
is waning into twilight too,
from one state into another,
forever re-forming Itself...

Tree branches wave in the wind
in homage to the light
dimming in the West...

Owls hoo - calling the night
into existence;
prophets of twilight
standing at the edge
where ending meets beginning
and beginning, ending...

the in-between
as Life cycles through time,
through light and dark,
through living
and dying.

At twilight we stand at the edge of time,
and timelessness beyond time...
peering through
for a glimpse
of the Infinite Light
that knows no dimming
and no night;
only Its own Eternal Radiance

This Light we are...

Mystic Meandering
Dec. 21, 2012


Photo - Mystic Meandering
January 6, 2012


Sunday, November 5, 2023

Blessing for the Interim Time - John O'Donohue

When near the end of day, life has drained
Out of light, and it is too soon
For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline
Makes everything look strangely in-between,
Unsure of what has been, or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.
In a while it will be night, but nothing
Here seems to believe the relief of darkness.

You are in this time of the interim
Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.

The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.

You cannot lay claim to anything;
In this place of dusk,
Your eyes are blurred;
And there is no mirror.

Everyone else has lost sight of your heart
And you can see nowhere to put your trust;
You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.
Do not allow confusion to squander
This call which is loosening
Your roots in the false ground,
That you might come free
From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here [is] your mind,
And it is difficult and slow to become new.
The more faithfully you can endure here,
The more refined your heart will become
For your arrival in the new dawn.

John O'Donohue

from - To Bless the Space Between Us

with thanks to The Beauty We Love


Photo - Mystic Meandering


Saturday, November 4, 2023

The "Caregiver"...

I have to find a way through this...

I am missing quiet times in the Silence;
- writing; poems, if they arise;
and emails to friends; or chapters 
for future books - never to be published -
ghost stories
about a life unlived...

I am missing the life I had -
or rather - the rhythm with the Life I lived:
quiet, slow, restful - a contemplative's elder years;
that allowed me to spontaneously express from the deeper,
quieter space of Being - now frozen in an emotionally
draining time-bound reality,
that at times feels unreal, unfamiliar.
I got caught in a time warp somewhere
by someone else's dreamscape...

I am paralyzed, unexpressive in many ways,
flatlined by my life experience;
choked on life's challenges big enough to kill one's spirit;
trying to be kind, compassionate and caring,
and somehow magically pulling it off,
with a little humor at times,
while my own life slowly wanes into non-existence.

I need my Life back - although it will never be the same
again...  The Life energy drains from the body - physically
flattened and barely functioning, becoming mechanical,
trying to hold onto my Heart,
through barrages of blame,
and arrows of long held hatred
from a troubled soul...

I have to find myself again -
before it's too late...

Mystic Meandering
Nov. 4, 2023
1 am
(the quiet hour)

This just happens to be the anniversary of my
father's death 38 years ago - at age 61...
It seems like a lifetime ago in another reality -
and of course it was...  He has missed so much,
but maybe that's a good thing...


Photo - Mystic Meandering


Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Love Yourself - Fred LaMotte

Who led us to believe we must dissolve our "separateness".
destroy our little "i", and merge with a flatline of "non-duality?"
That's a lot of work!  It's the work of the mind, chewing on
itself, creating concepts.  "Separateness" is a concept.
"Non-duality" is a concept.

The Divine Mother's ocean of love is not like the intellect
of man.  We can drop this mind into the starry night of the
heart.  When the little droplet of "i" falls into the ocean of
Her love, it won't dissolve into impersonal nothingness.
Rather, the ocean will become the drop.

As the drop merges with the ocean, the ocean merges with
the drop....

Surrendered to the love that enwombs the stars, You are no
longer just a little "i." You irradiate the cosmos.  You don't
need to rise above your Being, but sink into it.  Love yourself.

Countless galaxies whirl out of your unbreathed unborn stillness.
And every star in the cosmos is imbued with the sweetness
of your own peculiar light...

With this very breath, love yourself!

Fred LaMotte


Photo - Mystic Meandering