Saturday, February 28, 2015

a spirit of generosity








What is required is a willingness to look 
deeply at one's present moments, 
no matter what they hold, 
in a spirit of generosity,
 kindness towards oneself, 
and openness toward 
what might be possible. 



~ Jon Kabat-Zinn


Friday, February 27, 2015

wander the pure and simple





HeavenRoot was wandering at BrightAbundance Mountain... 
he met Human NoName and said: 
"Might I ask about bringing order to all beneath heaven?" 

"Get lost!" shouted NoName. "What a slob. 
 How could you ask such trashy questions? 
 I wander the Maker-of-Things and just now stumbled into this human form. 
 When I get tired of this, I'll mount the SubtleConfusion Bird and soar out beyond the six horizons. 
 I'll wander in a village where there's nothing at all, 
dwell in a land where emptiness stretches away forever. 
 So why are you cluttering my mind with your talk about governing all beneath heaven?" 

HeavenRoot asked again. 

"Let your mind wander the pure and simple," replied NoName. 
 "Blend your ch'i into the boundless, follow occurrence appearing of itself in things, 
and don't let selfhood get in the way. 
 Then all beneath heaven will be governed as well."





~ Chuang Tzu 
from Chuang Tzu: The Inner Chapters
translation by David Hinton
with thanks to http://fivebranchtree.blogspot.com/




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

between






Between going and staying
the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.

All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can’t be touched.

Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.

Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.

The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.

I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.

The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.



~ Octavio Paz


bridge






Between now and now,
between I am and you are,
the word bridge.

Entering it
you enter yourself:
the world connects
and closes like a ring.

From one bank to another,
there is always
a body stretched:
a rainbow.
I'll sleep beneath its arches.



~ Octavio Paz


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

brotherhood






I am a man: little do I last
and the night is enormous.
But I look up:
the stars write.
Unknowing I understand:
I too am written,
and at this very moment
someone spells me out.




~ Octavio Paz

unlabeled






Like the small hole by the path-side something lives in,
in me are lives I do not know the names of,

nor the fates of,
nor the hungers of or what they eat.

They eat of me.
Of small and blemished apples in low fields of me
whose rocky streams and droughts I do not drink.

And in my streets—the narrow ones,
unlabeled on the self-map—
they follow stairs down music ears can’t follow,

and in my tongue borrowed by darkness,
in hours uncounted by the self-clock,
they speak in restless syllables of other losses, other loves.

There too have been the hard extinctions,
missing birds once feasted on and feasting.

There too must be machines
like loud ideas with tungsten bits that grind the day.

A few escape. A mercy.

They leave behind
small holes that something unweighed by the self-scale lives in.



~ Jane Hirshfield


Jane was born on this day in New York City (1953). She went to Princeton, where she was in the first graduating class to include women in 1973. She published her first poem not long after, then went off to northern California to study Buddhism for the next eight years, during which time she didn't write at all. She said: " I don't think poetry is based just on poetry; it is based on a thoroughly lived life. And so I couldn't just decide I was going to write no matter what; I first had to find out what it means to live.

comments from Writers Almanac



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

a handful of truths






Buddha took some Autumn leaves
In his hand and asked
Ananda if these were all
The red leaves there were.
Ananda answered that it 
Was Autumn and leaves
Were falling all about them,
More than could ever 
Be numbered.  So Buddha said,
"I have given you
A handful of truths.  Besides
These there are many
Thousands of other truths, more
Than can ever be numbered.




~ Kenneth Rexroth
photo by Eliot Porter

Sunday, February 15, 2015

messenger







My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird —
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be 
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.






~ Mary Oliver
from Thirst


willing to be






Nobody told us that what we are is a point of awareness, or pure spirit. 
This isn't something we're taught. Rather,

what we were taught was to identify with our name. 
We were taught to identify with our birth date. 
We were taught to identify with the next thought that we have. 
We were taught to identify with all the memories 
our mind collects about the past.

But all that was just teaching: all that was just more thinking. 

When you stand in your own authority,
based in your own direct experience, 
you meet that ultimate mystery that you are. 

Even though it may be at first unsettling
to look into your own no-thingness, you do it anyway. Why? 

Because you no longer want to suffer. 
Because you're willing to be disturbed. 
You're willing to be amazed. 
You're willing to be surprised. 

You're willing to realize that maybe everything 
you've ever thought about yourself really isn't true.




 ~ Adyashanti
with thanks to whiskey river

Saturday, February 14, 2015

the beauty of music







~ John O'Donohue


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

streaming







When the path ignites a soul,
there's no remaining in place.

The foot touches ground,
but not for long.

The way where love tells its secret
stays always in motion,
and there is no you there, and no reason.

The rider urges his horse to gallop,
and so doing, throws himself
under the flying hooves.

In love-unity there's no old or new.
Everything is nothing.
God alone is.

For lovers the phenomena-veil is very transparent,
and the delicate tracings on it cannot
be explained with language.

Clouds burn off as the sun rises,
and the love-world floods with light.

But cloud-water can be obscuring,
as well as useful.

There is an affection that covers the glory,
rather than dissolving into it.

It's a subtle difference,
like the change in Persian
from the word "friendship"
to the word "work."

That happens with just a dot
above or below the third letter.

There is a seeing of the beauty
of union that doesn't actively work
for the inner conversation.

Your hand and feet must move,
as a stream streams, working
as its Self, to get to the ocean.
Then there's no more mention
of the search.

Being famous, or being a disgrace,
who's ahead or behind, these considerations
are rocks and clogged places
that slow you. Be as naked as a wheat grain
out of its husk and sleek as Adam.

Don't ask for anything other
than the presence.

Don't speak of a "you"
apart from That.

A full container cannot be more full.
Be whole, and nothing.



~ Hakim Sanai
version by Coleman Barks
from  The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia, 
with Lectures by Inayat Khan

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

finding understanding with the other









~ Elizabeth Lesser