Saturday, April 19, 2014
Keep far away.
You should never be here too much; be so far away that they can’t find you, they can’t get at you to shape, to mould.
Be so far away, like the mountains, like the unpolluted air; be so far away that you have no parents, no relations, no family, no country; be so far away that you don’t know even where you are.
Don’t let them find you; don’t come into contact with them too closely.
Keep far away where even you can’t find yourself; keep a distance which can never be crossed over; keep a passage open always through which no one can come.
Don’t shut the door for there is no door, only an open, endless passage; if you shut any door, they will be very close to you, then you are lost.
Keep far away where their breath can’t reach you and their breath travels very far and very deeply; don’t get contaminated by them, by their word, by their gesture, by their great knowledge; they have great knowledge but be far away from them where even you cannot find yourself.
For they are waiting for you, at every corner, in every house to shape you, to mould you, to tear you to pieces and then put you together in their own image.
Their gods, the little ones and the big ones, are the images of themselves, carved by their own mind or by their own hands.
They are waiting for you, the churchman and the Communist, the believer and the non-believer, for they are both the same; they think they are different but they are not for they both brainwash you, till you are of them, till you repeat their words, till you worship their saints, the ancient and the recent; they have armies for their gods and for their countries and they are experts in killing.
Keep far away but they are waiting for you, the educator and the businessman; one trains you for the others to conform to the demands of their society, which is a deadly thing.
They have a thing called society and family: these two are their real gods, the net in which you will be entangled.
They will make you into a scientist, into an engineer, into an expert of almost anything from cooking to architecture to philosophy.
Keep far, far away; they are waiting for you, the politician and the reformer; the one drags you down into the gutter and then the other reforms you; they juggle with words and you will be lost in their wilderness.
Keep far away; they are waiting for you, the experts in God and the bomb throwers: the one will convince you and the other show you how to kill; there are so many ways to find God and so many, many ways to kill.
But besides all these, there are hoards of others to tell you what to do and what not to do; keep away from all of them, so far away that you cannot find yourself or any other.
You too would like to play with all of them who are waiting for you but then the play becomes so complicated and entertaining that you will be lost.
You should never be here too much, be so far away that even you cannot find yourself.
They were all sitting in a row in the fairly well kept garden; they had on the light and they were eating and the big house was behind them. There was the scent of many flowers in the air and the breeze was coming from the restless sea. On that road there was hardly any car and your brain was utterly still and the movement of a flash was taking place. The meditation was the flash and that flash can only be in emptiness; the flash that opens the door into the unknown. That flash has no time but it’s only a fleeting second. You can never keep that flash any more than you can hold the winds in your fists.
~ J. Krishnamurti
from his notebook
with thanks to Love is a Place
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Be serene in the oneness of things.
The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
To set up what you like against what you dislike
is the disease of the mind.
When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the minds essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess.
Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things.
Live neither in the entanglements of outer things,
nor in inner feelings of emptiness.
Be serene in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves.
When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness.
with thanks to Love is a Place
Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground
and because our children believe
they can fly, an instinct retained
from when the bones in our arms
were shaped like zithers and broke
neatly under their feathers
and because before we had lungs
we knew how far it was to the bottom
as we floated open-eyed
like painted scarves through the scenery
of dreams, and because we awakened
and learned to speak
We sat by the fire in our caves,
and because we were poor, we made up a tale
about a treasure mountain
that would open only for us
and because we were always defeated,
we invented impossible riddles
only we could solve,
monsters only we could kill,
women who could love no one else
and because we had survived
sisters and brothers, daughters and sons,
we discovered bones that rose
from the dark earth and sang
as white birds in the trees
Because the story of our life
becomes our life
Because each of us tells
the same story
but tells it differently
and none of us tells it
the same way twice
Because grandmothers looking like spiders
want to enchant the children
and grandfathers need to convince us
what happened happened because of them
and though we listen only
haphazardly, with one ear,
we will begin our story
with the word and
~ Lisel Mueller
with thanks to wiskey river
Monday, April 14, 2014
Ralph Waldo Emerson, toward the end
of his life, found the names
of familiar objects escaping him.
He wanted to say something about a window,
or a table, or a book on a table.
But the word wasn't there,
although other words could still suggest
the shape of what he meant.
Then someone, his wife perhaps,
would understand: "Yes, window! I'm sorry,
is there a draft?" He'd nod.
She'd rise. Once a friend dropped by
to visit, shook out his umbrella
in the hall, remarked upon the rain.
Later the word umbrella
vanished and became
the thing that strangers take away.
Paper, pen, table, book:
was it possible for a man to think
without them? To know
that he was thinking? We remember
that we forget, he'd written once,
before he started to forget.
Three times he was told
that Longfellow had died.
Without the past, the present
lay around him like the sea.
Or like a ship, becalmed,
upon the sea. He smiled
to think he was the captain then,
gazing off into whiteness,
waiting for the wind to rise.
~ Lawrence Raab
from The History of Forgetting
found here: http://deathdeconstructed.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Happy as something unimportant
and free as a thing unimportant.
As something no one prizes
and which does not prize itself.
As something mocked by all
and which mocks at their mockery.
As laughter without serious reason.
As a yell able to outyell itself.
Happy as no matter what,
as any no matter what.
as a dog's tail.
~ Anna Swir
from Talking to my body
translated by Czeslaw Milosz
with thanks to Poetry Chaikhana
with thanks to Poetry Chaikhana
Friday, March 21, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
You wear coarse wool, but you're a king,
as the soul's energy hides, as love
remembers. You enter this room in a human
shape and as the atmosphere we breathe.
You are the central pole through the nine
levels connecting them and us to absolute
absence. So that we can have what we want,
you give failure and frustration. You want
only the company of the lion and the lion
cub, no wobbly legs. That man there, you
suggest, might remove his head before
entering the temple. Then he could listen
without ears to a voice that says, My
creature. A month of walking the road, you
make that distance in one day. Never mind
gold and silver payments. When you feel
generous, give your head. My beauty,
you have no need for a guide. The one
who follows and the one who leads are
inseparable, as the moon and the circle
around it. An Arab drags his camel town
to town. You go through your troubles
and changing beliefs, both no different from
the moon moving across or basil growing
and getting cut for a bouquet. It doesn't
matter you've been lost. The hoopoe is
still looking for you. It's another
beginning, my friend, this waking in a
morning with no haze, and help coming
without your asking! A glass submerged
is turning inside the wine. With grief
waved away, sweet gratefulness arrives.
Coleman Barks, Nevit Ergin version
with thanks to alixe at love is a place
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
How something is made flesh
no one can say. The buffalo soup
becomes a woman
who sings every day to her horses
or summons another to her private body
saying, come, touch, this is how
it begins, the path of a newly born
who, salvaged from other lives and worlds,
will grow to become a woman, a man,
with a heart that never rests,
and the gathered berries,
the wild grapes
enter the body,
which can love,
where nothing created is wasted;
the swallowed grain takes you through the dreams
of another night,
the deer meat becomes hands
strong enough to work.
But I love most
the white-haired creature
eating green leaves;
the sun shines there
swallowed, showing in her face
taking in all the light,
and in the end
when the shadow from the ground
enters the body and remains,
in the end, you might say,
This is myself,
still unknown, still a mystery.
from Rounding the Human Corners
with thanks to Love is a Place
Sunday, March 2, 2014
~ Matthieu Ricard
Saturday, March 1, 2014
One day some people came to a solitary monk .
They asked him:
"What is the meaning of silence and meditation? "
The monk was just the scooping of water
from a deep well.
He said to his visitors:
"Look into the well. What do you see?"
The people looked into the deep well and responded:
"We see nothing!"
The monk put down his bucket.
After a short while, he urged the people once more:
"Look into the well!
What do you see now? "
The people looked down again:
"Now we see ourselves!"
"You could not see anything," replied the monk,
"Because the water was restless as your life.
But now it's quiet.
This is what the silence gives us : one sees himself "
Then the monk told the people to wait a while.
Finally, he asked them:
"And now look again into the well.
What do you see? "
The man looked down.
"Now we see the stones on the bottom of the well."
The monk said:
"This is the experience of silence and meditation.
If you wait long enough, you can see the reason of all things. "
~ author unknown
Once there was a shock
that left behind a long, shimmering comet tail.
It keeps us inside. It makes the TV pictures snowy.
It settles in cold drops on the telephone wires.
One can still go slowly on skis in the winter sun
through brush where a few leaves hang on.
They resemble pages torn from old telephone directories.
Names swallowed by the cold.
It is still beautiful to hear the heart beat
but often the shadow seems more real than the body.
The samurai looks insignificant
beside his armor of black dragon scales.
~ Tomas Transtromer
from The Half-Finished Heaven
translated by Robert Bly
Thursday, February 27, 2014
There's a skin or hide between ourselves and our inner being. And in the West that skin is very thick. Inside us there's a sea and that sea is your inner life, your spiritual life, and your sexual impulses - everything you've gotten from the memory stores of evolution. Then there's the outside world made of buildings and automobiles. And these two worlds can't rub against each other. It's too painful. Therefore you develop a hide exactly like a cow develops a hide. You don't want her guts to rub against the barn.
~ Robert Bly
spoken to Lewis Hyde in an interview
taken here from Robert Bly - In This World
Thursday, January 30, 2014
~ Pete Seeger and Joan Baez
All the rivers run into the sea;
yet the sea is not full;
unto the place from whence the rivers come,
thither they return again.
It is raining today
in the mountains.
It is a warm green rain
in its pockets
for spring is here,
and does not dream
Birds happen music
like clocks ticking heaves
in a land
where children love spiders,
and let them sleep
in their hair.
A slow rain sizzles
on the river
like a pan
full of frying flowers,
and with each drop
~ Richard Brautigan