Wednesday, March 27, 2019

letting each other go

For this is wrong, if anything is wrong:
not to enlarge the freedom of love
with all the inner freedom one can summon.
We need, in love, to practice only this:
letting each other go.  For holding on
comes easily; we do not need to learn it.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

how surely gravity's law (II, 16)

How surely gravity's law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing -
each stone, blossom, child -
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered
to earth's intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God's heart;
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

attachment to matter

Attachment to matter
gives birth to passion without an Image of itself
because it is drawn from that which is contrary to its essence.

The result is that confusion and disturbance
resonate throughout one's whole being.

It is for this reason that I told you to find contentment
at the level of the heart, and if you are discouraged,
take heart in the presence of the Image of your true nature.

~ from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene
art by J M Culver

you who want knowledge

You who want 
see the Oneness 

There you 
will find 
the clear mirror 
already waiting. 

~  Hadewijch II
(Antwerp, 13th century) 
translated by Jane Hirshfield
from Women in Praise of the Sacred

the pearl and the muddy river

The world's spiritual geniuses seem to discover universally that the mind's muddy river, this ceaseless flow of trivia and trash, cannot be dammed, and that trying to dam it is a waste of effort that might lead to madness. Instead you must allow the muddy river to flow unheeded in the dim channels of consciousness; you raise your sights; you look along it, mildly, acknowledging its presence without interest and gazing beyond it into the realm of the real where subjects and objects act and rest purely, without utterance.

The secret of seeing is, then, the pearl of great price.
If I thought he could teach me to find it and keep it forever
I would stagger barefoot across a hundred deserts
after any lunatic at all. But although the pearl may be found,
it may not be sought.

The literature of illumination reveals this above all:
although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always,
even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise…

I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam.
It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave,
has force: you rig a giant sail and go.

The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind.
Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail,
whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.

~ Annie Dillard
from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
art by Peter Jendro
with thanks to Love is a Place

Monday, March 25, 2019

who we believe we are


The construction of who we believe we are, 
what the world is like, 
and how we should behave
 is an ongoing exercise 
that we are undertaking all the time. 
We are not spectators 
who have simply been thrown into a world
 that is pre-made or pre-given. 
We are participants
 in a continuous project 
of constructing
 and reconstructing
 the world in which we live.
~  Traleg Rinpoche

Monday, March 18, 2019

this is how a human being can change

This is how a human being can change:
There's a worm addicted to eating grape leaves.
SUDDENLY, he wakes up...
Call it grace, whatever, 
something wakes him,
and he's no longer a worm.
He's the entire vineyard,
And the orchard too,
The fruit, the trunks, a
Growing wisdom and joy
That doesn't need to devour.

- Rumi 
from The Illuminated Rumi

you are the poor one

You are the poor one, you the destitute.
You are the stone that has no resting place.
You are the diseased one
whom we fear to touch.
Only the wind is yours.

You are poor like the spring rain
that gently caresses the city;
like wishes muttered in a prison cell, without a world to hold them;
and like the invalid, turning in his bed to ease the pain.
Like flowers along the track, shuddering
as the train roars by, and like the hand
that covers our face when we cry - that poor.

Yours is the suffering of birds on freezing nights,
of dogs who go hungry for days.
Yours the long sad waiting of animals
who are locked up and forgotten.

You are the beggar who averts his face,
the homeless person who has given up asking;
you howl in the storm.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke
from The Book of Poverty and Death, III,18
photo by Fran Khorvat

Sunday, March 17, 2019


When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego, 
when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality and get into the forests again, 
we shall shiver with cold and fright but things will happen to us so that we do not know ourselves. 

Cool, undying life will rush in, 
passion will make our bodies taut with power, 
we shall stamp our feet with new power and old things will fall down, 
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.

~  D.H. Lawerence

Saturday, March 16, 2019

seeking security

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.

~ from the introduction to a course in miracles

The major cause of violence, I think, is that each one of us is inwardly, psychologically, seeking security. In each one of us the urge for psychological security that inward sense of being safe -projects the demand, the outward demand, for security. Inwardly each one of us wants to be secure, sure, certain. That is why we have all these marriage laws; in order that we may possess a woman, or a man, and so be secure in our relationship. If that relationship is attacked we become violent, which is the psychological demand, the inward demand, to be certain of our relationship to everything. But there is no such thing as certainty, security, in any relationship. Inwardly, psychologically, we should like to be secure, but there is no such thing as permanent security.

So all these are the contributory causes of the violence that is prevalent, rampaging, throughout the world. I think anybody who has observed, even if only a little, what is going on in the world, and especially in this unfortunate country, can also, without a great deal of intellectual study, observe and find out in himself those things which, projected outwardly, are the causes of this extraordinary brutality, callousness, indifference, violence.

~ J. Krishnamurti
from The Book of Life

Thursday, March 14, 2019

only the Self

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

his own enlightenment


On the question of his own Enlightenment
 the Master always remained reticent, 
even though the disciples tried every means to get him to talk.

All the information they had on this subject 
was what the Master once said to his youngest son
 who wanted to know what his father felt when he became Enlightened.

The answer was:  "A fool."

When the boy asked why, the Master had replied,
 "Well, son, it was like going to great pains to break into a house
by climbing a ladder and smashing a window and then realizing later
that the door of the house was open.

~  Anthony de Mello

Monday, March 11, 2019


Until you practice surrender, the spiritual dimension is something you read about,
 talk about, get excited about, write books about, think about, believe in - 
or don’t, as the case may be. It makes no difference. 
Not until you surrender does it become a living reality in your life. 

When you do, the energy that you emanate and which then runs your life
 is of a much higher vibrational frequency than the mind energy that runs our world - 
the energy that created the existing social, political, and economic structures of our civilization, 
and which also continuously perpetuates itself through our educational systems and media. 

Through surrender, spiritual energy comes into this world. 
It creates no suffering for yourself, for other humans, or any other life form on the planet. 
Unlike mind energy, it does not pollute the earth, and is not subject to the law of polarities, 
which dictates that nothing can exist without its opposite, that there can be no good without bad. 

Those who run on mind energy, which is still the vast majority of the Earth’s population, 
remain unaware of the existence of spiritual energy. 
It belongs to a different order of reality and will create a different world 
when a sufficient number of humans enter the surrendered state 
and so become totally free of negativity. 
If the Earth is to survive, this will be the energy of those who inhabit it.

~ Eckhart Tolle
from The Power of Now

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


In the point of rest at the center of our being, 
we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. 

Then a tree becomes a mystery, 
a cloud a revelation, 
each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses.

The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us
 a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.

~ Dag Hammarskjöld
from Markings

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

awe is what moves us forward

The divine manifestation is ubiquitous,
Only our eyes are not open to it.
Awe is what moves us forward.

Live from your own center.
The divine lives within you.
The separateness apparent in the world is secondary.
Beyond the world of opposites is an unseen,
but experienced, unity and identity in us all.

Today the planet is the only proper “in group.”
Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows,
but we can choose to live in joy.

You must return with the bliss and integrate it.
The return is seeing the radiance is everywhere.
The world is a match for us.
We are a match for the world.
The spirit is the bouquet of nature.

Sanctify the place you are in.
Follow your bliss. . . .

~ Joseph Campbell 
with thanks to Love is a Place
photo - violet flower