Tuesday, June 20, 2017







Those who are indignant at and rebel against
the things that befall them are blind with self-love.
I speak to you now in general and in particular, and
I say that they take for evil and regard as misfortunes, ruin,
evidence of hate towards themselves, the things that I
do out of love and for their good, that they may be
saved from eternal loss and receive the life that shall not
pass away. Why then do they murmur against Me? Because
They have put their trust in themselves, and so all becomes
dark for them and they do not know things as they are.




~ Saint Catherine of Siena

Saturday, June 3, 2017

to learn from animal being




Nearer to the earth's heart,
Deeper within its silence:
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

We who are ever
Distanced and distracted
By the parade of bright
Windows thought opens:
Their seamless presence
Is not fractured thus.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are:
Whereas they are always
Looking out from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being,
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds,
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.

May we enter
Into lightness of spirit,
And slip frequently into
The feel of the wild.

Let the clear silence
Of our animal being
Cleanse our hearts
Of corrosive words.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear-eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And light and the rain.




~ John O'Donohue
from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Friday, June 2, 2017

a process of intellection





We name, we give a term to our various feelings, don't we?
 In saying, 'I am angry', we have given a term, a name,
 a label to a particular feeling. Now, please watch your own minds
 very clearly. When you have a feeling, you name that feeling;
 you call it anger, lust, love, pleasure, don't you? And this naming 
of the feeling is a process of intellection which prevents you from looking
 at the fact, that is, at the feeling.

You know, when you see a bird and say to yourself that it is a parrot
 or a pigeon or a crow, you are not looking at the bird. You have already
 ceased to look at the fact because the word parrot or pigeon or crow
 has come between you and the fact.

This is not some difficult intellectual feat but a process of the mind
 that must be understood. If you would go into the problem of fear 
or the problem of authority or the problem of pleasure or the problem of love, 
you must see that naming, giving a label, prevents you from looking at the fact.






~ J. Krishnamurti
from The Collected Works
Vol. XI, 350,Choiceless Awareness
art by Edvard Munch


Thursday, June 1, 2017

glorious









~ MaMuse

Monday, May 29, 2017

as the rain





As the rain on the mountain peak runs off
The slopes on all sides, so those who see
Only the seeming multiplicity in life
Run after things on every side.

As pure water poured into pure water
Becomes the very same, so does the Self
Of the illumined man or woman, Nachiketa,
Verily become one with the Godhead.

...
The adorable one who is seated
In the heart rules the breath of life.
Unto him all the senses pay their homage.
When the dweller in the body breaks out
In freedom from the bonds of flesh,
What remains?  For this Self is supreme!

We live not by the breath that flows in
And flows out, but by him who causes the breath
To flow in and flow out.




~ The Katha Upanishad
(Death as Teacher)
translated by Eknath Easwaran




Sunday, May 28, 2017

looking into a face








Conversation brings us so close! Opening
The surfs of the body,
Bringing fish up near the sun,
And stiffening the backbones of the sea!

I have wandered in a face, for hours,
Passing through dark fires.
I have risen to a body
Not yet born,
Existing like a light around the body,
Through which the body moves like a sliding moon.





~ Robert Bly
from The Light Around the Body


 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

body and soul








 
Without Contraries is no progression.
Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate,
are necessary to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil.
Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.


All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following Errors.


1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body; a Soul.

2. That Energy, call'd Evil, is alone from the Body;

that Reason, call'd Good, is alone from the Soul.

3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies.


But the following Contraries to these are True



1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul 

for that call'd Body is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses, 
the chief inlets of Soul in this age

2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body

 and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.

3 Energy is Eternal Delight





~ William Blake
from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

inside the rose


.

.
That camel there with its calf running
behind it, Sutur and Koshek, we're like

them: mothered and nursed by where 
and who we are from, following our fates

where they lead, until we hear a drum
begin, grace entering our lives, a prayer

of gratitude.  We feel the call of God,
and the journey changes, A dry field

of stones turns soft and moist as cheese.
The mountain feels level under us.  Love

becomes agile and quick, and suddenly
we're there!  This traveling's not done

with the body.  God's secret takes form
in your loving.  But there are those in

bodies who are pure soul.  It can happen.
These messengers invite us to walk with 

them.  They say, "You may feel happy
enough where you are, but we can't do

without you any longer!  Please."  So
we walk along inside the rose, being

pulled like the creeks and rivers are,
out from the town onto the plain.  My

guide, my soul, your only sadness is when
I am not walking with you.  In deep silence,

with some exertion to stay in your company,
I could save you a lot of trouble!


.
~ Rumi
from The Glance, Songs of Soul-Meeting
translated by Coleman Barks
art by ramel jasir




Saturday, May 6, 2017

sweep aside the dust







A small fish swallowing a big one,
Like a Buddhist priest studying the Confucian classics;
It can penetrate the entanglements of buddhas and demons,
And sweep aside the dust collecting on the Law.




~ Dogen
from the Zen Poetry of Dogen by Steven Heine

 

the entry







Not from saying names, 
or praying to statuary.

Not from holding your breath
till you are blue in the face.

Not from twisting your torso this way, now that,
till you are like a string
striving to become a knot.

Not from reading saints' lives
or fingering a billion beads.

Only this:

The moment between the breaths.
The stillness between the notes.

A firefly extinguishes itself,
bleeds darkness
before its final flare.



 ~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame 
(homage to Kabir)

 
 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

child of heaven and earth







As a child of heaven and earth, 
you are a mix of infinite openness and finite limitation.  
This means that you are both wonderful and difficult
 at the same time.  
You are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns, 
you become carried away with yourself.  
Indeed, you are quite impossible in many ways.  

And still, you are beautiful beyond measure. 
 For the core of what you are is fashioned out of love,
 that potent blend of openness, warmth, 
and clear transparent presence. 
 Boundless love always seems to sparkle 
through your limited form.



~ John Welwood
from Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart




Monday, May 1, 2017

the broken thread









Once upon a time, there was a Sufi mystic. Like many mystics, he did not hold any formal position or title. He lived completely in the world, and the only way you knew anything was special about him was the sense of sweetness that seemed to cling to everything he touched.
During the day, he functioned as a shopkeeper, carefully sweeping and stacking and dusting the majestic tapestries, which he sold to support his family. There was a gentle buzz about the shop, a calm flow of traffic that never seemed to cease, from early in the morning when the shopkeeper’s wife unlocked the door and switched the sign to read open, until the evening hours, when the last rays of the sun settled across the dusty streets.

Gradually, the people who came to visit the shop began to linger, to breathe in the fragrance of the mystic, and upon their request, he began to teach. One of his students asked one day if he could begin to spend the afternoons as his assistant. He had no need of pay; he wanted to learn, and the mystic simply smiled, and so it began.

The boy was very polite, and so when he saw his master doing a very peculiar thing one afternoon after a new shipment arrived, he stared only for a moment and did not ask a question. Two days later, when he saw his master doing the same very odd thing, again he politely turned his eyes aside. And so again the third and the fourth and the fifth time. But finally, his curiosity could be contained no more.“Master,” he said, addressing his teacher.
The mystic turned and gazed with soft, deep eyes.
“Master. Why is it that every time you get a shipment of new tapestries, you grab a pin and loosen a thread in the center of each? I’ve seen you do this five times. I know how you love the tapestries, how you teach to always care for what we have here on earth.” He turned his palms up. “Why?”
The Mystic’s soft eyes did not change their expression. “That is the secret,” he said.
The boy’s face grew red and flushed. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”
His teacher continued. “The secret of the love. In the broken thread, the place of the flaw, is where you find your way to God.” 


 ~ Sufi story
art from  the Dome of a Sufi Saint by majhul


Friday, April 28, 2017

we phantom figures





46

For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

47

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in - Yes -
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be - Nothing - Thou shalt not be less.

49

'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and Thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

51

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

52

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help - for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

2

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

7

Come , fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
 The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly - and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

20

Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of past Regrets and future Fears -
To-morrow? - Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

32

There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seemed - and then no more of Thee and Me.

55

The Vine had struck a Fibre; which about
If clings my Being - let the Sufi flout;
Of my Base Metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without

56

And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrathconsume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.




~ Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
First Edition, 1859
translation into English quatrains by Edward FitzGerald 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

people like us







There are more like us. All over the world
There are confused people, who can't remember
The name of their dog when they wake up, and people
Who love God but can't remember where

He was when they went to sleep. It's
All right. The world cleanses itself this way.
A wrong number occurs to you in the middle
Of the night, you dial it, it rings just in time

To save the house. And the second-story man
Gets the wrong address, where the insomniac lives,
And he's lonely, and they talk, and the thief
Goes back to college. Even in graduate school,

You can wander into the wrong classroom,
And hear great poems lovingly spoken 
By the wrong professor. And you find your soul,
And greatness has a defender, and even in death you're safe.




~ Robert Bly
from Morning Poems



.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our hearts irrigate this earth





.


How is it they live for eons in such harmony -
the billions of stars -

when most men can barely go a minute
without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.

There are wars where no one marches with a flag,
though that does not keep casualties
from mounting.

Our hearts irrigate this earth.
We are fields before
each other.

How can we live in harmony?
First we need to
know

we are all madly in love
with the same
God.



~ St. Thomas Aquinas
(Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West 
by Daniel Ladinsky)