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

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


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

finding understanding with the other









~ Elizabeth Lesser

Friday, January 16, 2015

freeing expression











~ Cristina Domenech

Saturday, January 10, 2015

we are many









Of the many men who I am, who we are,
I can't find a single one;
they disappear among my clothes,
they've left for another city.

When everything seems to be set
to show me off as intelligent,
the fool I always keep hidden
takes over all that I say.

At other times, I'm asleep
among distinguished people,
and when I look for my brave self,
a coward unknown to me
rushes to cover my skeleton
with a thousand fine excuses.

When a decent house catches fire,
instead of the fireman I summon,
an arsonist bursts on the scene,
and that's me. What can I do?
What can I do to distinguish myself?
How can I pull myself together?

All the books I read
are full of dazzling heroes,
always sure of themselves.
I die with envy of them;
and in films full of wind and bullets,
I goggle at the cowboys,
I even admire the horses.

But when I call for a hero,
out comes my lazy old self;
so I never know who I am,
nor how many I am or will be.
I'd love to be able to touch a bell
and summon the real me,
because if I really need myself,
I mustn't disappear.

While I am writing, I'm far away;
and when I come back, I've gone.
I would like to know if others
go through the same things that I do,
have as many selves as I have,
and see themselves similarly;
and when I've exhausted this problem,
I'm going to study so hard
that when I explain myself,
I'll be talking geography.



~  Pablo Neruda 
translated by Alastair Reid
art by picasso



Monday, December 29, 2014

to Mary






A child unborn, the coming year
Grows big within us, dangerous,
And yet we hunger as we fear
For its increase: the blunted bud

To free the leaf to have its day,
The unborn to be born.  The ones
Who are to come are on their way,
And though we stand in mortal good

Among our dead, we turn in doom
In joy to welcome them, stirred by 
That Ghost who stirs in seed and tomb,
Who brings the stones to parenthood.



~ Wendell Berry
from This Day - Collected and New Sabbath Poems



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

for those with eyes to see






The Angel Standing in the Sun
~ J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851)
from The Tate Gallery, London




their prefabricated picture




English and German troops together, Christmas 1914



It was on this day in 1914 that the last known Christmas truce occurred along the Western Front during World War I. In the week leading up to Christmas, soldiers all over the battlefields had been decorating their trenches with candles and makeshift trimmings when groups of German and British soldiers began shouting seasonal greetings and singing songs to each other. On occasion, a soldier or two would even cross the battlefield to take gifts to the enemy. Then, on Christmas Eve, the men of the Western Front put the war on hold and many soldiers from both sides left their trenches to meet in No Man's Land, where they mingled and exchanged tobacco, chocolate, and sometimes even the buttons from their own uniforms as souvenirs. They played games of football, sang carols, and buried fallen comrades together as the unofficial truce lasted through the night.


The most remarkable group is the group of soldiers who, after having met the enemy between the trenches, started thinking about all they had read and heard about them.

For many, the former hatred was vanished. They now recognized the soldiers from the other side of the trenches as human as themselves. They were not mercenaries, no inhuman monsters eager for war, just humans. The stereotypes they knew from the time before the war and before they met their enemies did not fit after meeting their enemies. Not all Germans acted like it was described in the newspaper and were not as arrogant as the German Kaiser. On the other hand not all the English soldiers were mercenaries fighting for material well-being.

These soldiers started to reflect their own experiences and started to compare their experiences with what they knew before about their enemies. The conclusion they made was that their prefabricated picture and the experiences they gained did not fit together. It was hard for the soldiers, faced with the reality of the war, to keep the black and white picture. The reality they saw was a grey picture with blurry boundaries.










Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hallelujah








Saturday, December 20, 2014

there is a brokenness






There is a brokenness out of which comes the unbroken, 
a shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable. 
There is a sorrow beyond grief which leads to joy 
and a fragility out of whose depths emerges strength. 
There is a hollow space too vast for words 
through which we pass with each loss, 
out of whose darkness we are sanctioned into being. 
There is a cry deeper than all sound 
whose serrated edges cut the heart as we break open 
to the place inside which is unbreakable and whole, 
while learning to sing. 




~ Rashani