Saturday, July 4, 2015

autumn refrain







The skreak and skritter of evening gone
And grackles gone and sorrows of the sun,
The sorrows of sun, too, gone . . . the moon and moon,
The yellow moon of words about the nightingale
In measureless measures, not a bird for me
But the name of a bird and the name of a nameless air
I have never–shall never hear. And yet beneath

The stillness of everything gone, and being still,
Being and sitting still, something resides,
Some skreaking and skrittering residuum,
And grates these evasions of the nightingale
Though I have never–shall never hear that bird.
And the stillness is in the key, all of it is,
The stillness is all in the key of that desolate sound.





~ Wallace Stevens


Friday, June 26, 2015

who knows what is going on





Who knows what is going on on the other side of each hour?

How many times the sunrise was
there, behind a mountain!

How many times the brilliant cloud piling up far off
was already a golden body full of thunder!

This rose was poison.

That sword gave life.

I was thinking of a flowery meadow
at the end of a road,
and found myself in the slough.

I was thinking of the greatness of what was human,
and found myself in the divine.




~ Juan Ramon Jimenez
English version by Robert Bly
with thanks to Poetry Chaikhana


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

horses at midnight without a moon






Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing.
Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.




 ~ Jack Gilbert
from Refusing Heaven


Sunday, June 21, 2015

the door





One day you’ll see: 
you’ve been knocking on a door 
without a house. 
You’ve been waiting, shivering, yelling 
words of daring and hope.

One day you’ll see:
there is no-one on the other side
except, as ever, the jubilant ocean
that won’t shatter ceramically like a dream
when you and I shatter.

But not yet. Now 
you wait outside, watching
the blue arches of mornings 
that will break but are now perfect.

Underneath on tip-toe 
pass the faces, speaking to you,
saying ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’, 
smiling, waving, arriving
in unfailing chronology.

One day you’ll doubt your movements, 
you will shudder
at the accuracy of your sudden age. 
You will ache for slow beauty 
to save you from your quick, quick life.

But not yet. Hope 
fills the yawn of time.
Blue surrounds you. Now let’s say
you see a door and knock, 
and wait for someone to hear. 


~ Kapka Kassabova
with thanks to Love is a Place

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

a different self





... I myself I require a more direct revelation, 
not one that must come through so many minds before it reaches mine.  
I must have a faith that I can see and hear, 
one that I can feel without thinking or even trying to put it into words.  
It is not for anyone else, 
it is a personal faith.

The interval of solitude is precious.  
It is a different world and I am a different self.  
I feel relieved of a responsibility that cannot be defined.  
I am released from pressure, my mind is free.  
Yet would I not feel a lack of balance if I lived alone all the time?



~ Harlan Hubbard
from his journal, 1959





magnetism








The Self is like a powerful magnet within us. 
It draws us gradually to itself, though we imagine we are going to It of our own accord:
 when we are near enough, It puts an end to our activities, 
makes us still, and then swallows up our personal current,
 thus killing our wrong personality. 
It overwhelms the intellect and over floods the whole being. 

We think we are meditating upon It and developing towards It, 
whereas the truth is that we are iron filings and It is the Atman-magnet 
that is pulling us towards Itself. Thus the process of finding 
the Self is a form of Divine magnetism.




~ Ramana Maharshi


surrender





.

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




what keeps us alive





What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure?
I think it is the hope of loving,
or being loved.

I heard a fable once about the sun going on a journey 
to find its source, and how the moon wept
without her lover's 
warm gaze.

We weep when light does not reach our hearts, We wither
like fields if someone close
does not rain their
kindness
upon 
us.



~  Meister Eckhart


Monday, May 25, 2015

in succession, in division








We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. 
Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence;
 the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; 
the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist, 
and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing
 and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, 
the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. 
We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree;
 but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul. 




~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
from the essay The Over-Soul
art by gene kloss

Sunday, May 24, 2015

co-inherence







The chooser's happiness lies in his congruence with the chosen,
The peace of iron filings, obedient to the forces of the magnetic field -
Calm is the soul that is emptied of all self,
In the eternal moment of co-inherence.
A happiness within you - but not yours.



~ Dag Hammarskjold
from Markings

Saturday, May 23, 2015

love impels





...love impels people to service.  If love starts with a downward motion, borrowing into the vulnerability of self, exposing nakedness, it ends with an active upward motion.  It arouses great energy and desire to serve.  The person in love is buying little presents, fetching the glass from the next room, bringing a tissue when there's flu, driving through traffic to pick the beloved up at the airport. Love is waking up night after night to breastfeed, living year after year to nurture.  It is risking and sacrificing your life for your buddy's in a battle.  Love ennobles and transforms.  In no other state do people so often live as we want them to live.  In no other commitment are people so likely to slip beyond the logic of self-interest and unconditional commitments that manifest themselves in daily acts of care.

Occasionally you meet someone with a thousand-year heart.  The person with the thousand-year heart has made the most of the passionate, tumultuous phase of love. Those months or years of passion have engraved a deep commitment in their mind.  The person or thing they once loved hotly they now love warmly but steadily, happily, unshakably.  They don't even think of loving their beloved because they want something back.  They just naturally offer love as a matter of course.  It is gift-love, not reciprocity-love.



~ David Brooks
from The Road to Character



at rest






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.



~ Dag Hammarskjöld
from Markings


Saturday, May 16, 2015

on friendship and love






Such a friendship has no model but itself, and can only be compared to itself. It was not one special consideration, nor two, nor three, nor four, nor a thousand; it was some mysterious quintessence of all this mixture which possessed itself of my will,  and led it to plunge and lose itself in his, which possessed itself of his whole will, and led it, with a similar hunger and a like impulse, to plunge and lose itself in mine.  I may truly say lose, for it left us with nothing that was our own, nothing that was either his or mine.


~ Montaigne
from Essays of Michel de Montaigne



In any true love - a mother's for her child, a husband's for his wife, a friend's for a friend - there is an excess energy that always wants to be in motion.  Moreover, it seems to move not simply from one person to another but through them toward something else.  ("All I know now / is the more he loved me the more I loved the world" - Spencer Reece.) That is why we can be so baffled and overwhelmed by such love (and I don't mean merely when we fall in love; in fact, I'm talking more of other, more durable relationships): it wants to be more than it is; it cries out inside of us to make it more than it is.



~ Christian Wiman
from My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

Friday, May 15, 2015

we say







We say release, and radiance, and roses,
and echo upon everything that's known;
and yet, behind the world our names enclose is
the nameless: our true archetype and home.

The sun seems male, and earth is like a woman,
the field is humble, and the forest proud;
but over everything we say, inhuman,
moves the forever-undetermined god.

We grow up; but the world remains a child.
Star and flower, in silence, watch us go.
And sometimes we appear to be the final
exam they must succeed on. And they do.



~ Rainer Maria Rilke
translation by Stephen Mitchell
photo by Carsten Meyerdierks

Monday, May 11, 2015

well of darkness





If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.

We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
with patience.




~ Pablo Neruda
from The Sea and the Bells
translated by William O'Daly
with thanks to Love is a Place