Tuesday, February 28, 2017

non-dual sufism






animated by a flow of aliveness
 that resists crystallizing into a system of thought or belief -
 although it does not hesitate to enjoy
 thought and belief for the delight or communion they may reveal.

open, free-wheeling, inclusive
 in view and practice, non-definitive, experimental, non-sectarian,
 warm-hearted, and non-attached. 

 embraces the full range of human experience 
while settling nowhere, 
capable of a subtle openness and 
... equally open to spontaneous delight and sensual extravagance. ...
grateful for beauty in all its forms of disclosure, 
recognizing happiness and grief and all 
emotions in between as free offerings of the Unnameable into Itself.

it negates conclusion-making while affirming the indefinable.  
A kind of love-mysticism, it loves
 the edginess and poignancy of human life 
while seeing through its apparency to the stillness within.  

Present without agenda, kind without being moralistic, 
it reaches across the seeming divisions between
 people and societies with the confidence of the light 
that is common to us all.


 ~ Pir Elias Amidon
excerpts from Free Medicine


 

Friday, February 24, 2017

sweater






What is asked of one is not what is asked of another.
A sweater takes on the shape of its wearer,
a coffee cup sits to the left or the right of the workspace,
making its pale Saturn rings of now and before.
Lucky the one who rises to sit at a table,
day after day spilling coffee sweet with sugar, whitened with milk.
Lucky the one who writes in a book of spiral-bound mornings
a future in ink, who writes hand unshaking, warmed by thick wool.
Lucky still, the one who writes later, shaking.  Acrobatic at last, the 
sweater,
elastic as breath that enters what shape it is asked to. 
Patient the table;  unjudging, the ample, refillable cup.
Irrefusable, the shape the sweater is given,
stretched in the shoulders, sleeves lengthened by unmetaphysical
pullings on.





~ Jane Hirshfield
from Come, Thief 


Friday, February 10, 2017

the "I" experience









~ Alan Watts



the night house







Every day the body works in the fields of the world
Mending a stone wall
Or swinging a sickle through the tall grass -
The grass of civics, the grass of money -
And every night the body curls around itself
And listens for the soft bells of sleep.

But the heart is restless and rises
From the body in the middle of the night,
Leaves the trapezoidal bedroom
With its thick, pictureless walls
To sit by herself at the kitchen table
And heat some milk in a pan.

And the mind gets up too, puts on a robe
And goes downstairs, lights a cigarette,
And opens a book on engineering.
Even the conscience awakens
And roams from room to room in the dark,
Darting away from every mirror like a strange fish.

And the soul is up on the roof
In her nightdress, straddling the ridge,
Singing a song about the wildness of the sea
Until the first rip of pink appears in the sky.
Then, they all will return to the sleeping body
The way a flock of birds settles back into a tree,

Resuming their daily colloquy,
Talking to each other or themselves
Even through the heat of the long afternoons.
Which is why the body - the house of voices -
Sometimes puts down its metal tongs, its needle, or its pen
To stare into the distance,

To listen to all its names being called
Before bending again to its labor.

  ~ Billy Collins
 art by Van Gogh
with thanks to whiskey river


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

for citizenship






In these times when anger
Is turned into anxiety
And someone has stolen
The horizons and mountains,

Our small emperors on parade
Never expect our indifference
To disturb their nakedness.

They keep their heads down
And their eyes gleam with reflection
From aluminum economic ground,

The media wraps everything
In a cellophane of sound,
And the ghost surface of the virtual
Overlays the breathing earth.

The industry of distraction 
Makes us forget
That we live in a universe.

We have become converts 
To the religion of stress
And its deity of progress;

That we may have courage 
To turn aside from it all
And come to kneel down before the poor,
To discover what we must do,
How to turn anxiety
Back into anger,
How to find our way home.





~ John O'Donohue
from To Bless the Space Between Us
photo by Robert Frank



Friday, February 3, 2017

Andaluza









~ Anne Gastinel & Pablo Marques

no need to come to conclusions









At least a flash of sanity: the momentary realization that this is no need to come to certain conclusions about persons, events, conflicts, trends, even trends toward evil and disaster, as if from day to day and even from moment to moment I had to know and declare (at least to myself): This is so and so, this is good, this is bad; we are heading for a “new era” or we are heading for destruction. What do such judgments mean? Little or nothing. Things are as they are, in an immense whole of which I am a part, and which I cannot pretend to grasp. To say I grasp it is immediately to put myself in a false position, as if I were “outside” it. Whereas to be in it is to seek truth in my own life and action, by moving where movement is possible and keeping still when movement is unnecessary, realizing that things will continue to define themselves ... - and will be more clear to me if I am silent and attentive,... rather than constantly formulating statements in this age which is smothered in language, in meaningless and inconclusive debate, and in which, in the last analysis, nobody listens to anything except what agrees with his own prejudices.


~ Thomas Merton
from Learning to Love
sketch by the author
with thanks to louie,louie