Wednesday, July 26, 2017

the unknown flute









I know the sound of the ecstatic flute,
but I don't know whose flute it is.

A lamp burns and has neither wick nor oil.

A lily pad blossoms and is not attached to the bottom! 

When one flower opens, ordinarily dozens open.

The moon bird's head is filled with nothing but thoughts of the moon,
and when the next rain will come is all that the rain bird thinks of.

How is it we spend our entire life loving? 



~ Kabir 

Sssh






Sssh the sea says
Sssh the small waves at the shore say, sssh
Not so violent, not
So haughty, not
So remarkable
Sssh
Say the tips of the waves
Crowding around the headland's
Surf. Sssh
They say to people
This is our earth,
Our eternity.



~ Rolf Jacobsen
from The Soul is here for its own Joy
edited by Robert Bly 
photo by Eliot Porter 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I have received and am still receiving



  illustration by Vladimir Radunsky
 for On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne




How strange is the lot of us mortals!
 Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, 
though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection
 one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — 
first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being
 our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, 
unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. 
 
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life
 are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, 
and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure
 as I have received and am still receiving.
 
 I am strongly drawn to a frugal life and am often oppressively aware
 that I am engrossing an undue amount of the labor of my fellow-men.
 I regard class distinctions as unjustified and, in the last resort,
 based on force. I also believe that a simple and unassuming life
 is good for everybody, physically and mentally.



 ~ Albert Einstein




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