Friday, July 31, 2015

the shiva dance image








~ Aldous Huxley

Thursday, July 30, 2015

individuality








The world is not in need of improvement.  Stated another way, the world is not the problem...
When we detach from the thinking mind, perceiving senses, doing body, happy/unhappy person we regain right view.  In that, all is well. 

You have been trained since infancy to direct your attention to what is temporary. Had anyone before revealed the Permanent to you, there would be no need to sit with Wu Hsin. 

Most people don’t sit because they are afraid of what is revealed. 

The individuals fear that they will lose their individuality, their identity. One could say that the love of Being is not yet greater than the love of being somebody … or it could be said that the fear of the not yet known is far greater than the distaste for the known. 

Either way, “I’ll pay any price” is suddenly shown to be a hollow offer.

When you become clear that you are not this body, but that it is your instrument, then worries about death dissolve. 

In essence, death dies.



~ Wu Hsin
from  the introduction to Behind the Mind: 
A Short Discourse with Wu Hsin


Monday, July 27, 2015

the road home







An ant hurries along a threshing floor
with its wheat grain, moving between huge stacks
of wheat, not knowing the abundance 
all around.  It thinks its one grain
is all there is to love.

So we choose a tiny seed to be devoted to.
This body, one path, one teacher.
Look wider and farther.

The essence of every human being can see,
and what that essence-eye takes in,
the being becomes.  Saturn. Solomon!

The ocean pours through a jar,
and you might say it swims inside
the fish!  This mystery gives peace to
your longing and makes the road home home.



~ Rumi
translation by Coleman Barks



the heart's counting knows only one






In Sung China, 
two monks friends for sixty years
watch the geese pass.
Where are they going?
one tested the other, who couldn't say.

That moment's silence continues.

No one will study their friendship
in the koan-books of insight.
No one will remember their names.

I think of them sometimes,
standing, perplexed by sadness,
goose-down sewn into their quilted autumn robes.

Almost swallowed by the vastness of the mountains,
but not yet.

As the barely audible
geese are not yet swallowed;
as even we, my love, will not entirely be lost.




~ Jane Hirshfield
from Lives of the Heart
artist unknown from the Yuan Dynasty





listening to the koln concert





After we had loved each other intently, 
we heard notes tumble together, 
in late winter, and we heard ice 
falling from the ends of twigs. 

The notes abandon so much as they move. 
They are the food not eaten, the comfort 
not taken, the lies not spoken. 
The music is my attention to you. 

And when the music came again, 
late in the day, I saw tears in your eyes. 
I saw you turn your face away 
So that others would not see. 

When men and women come together, 
how much they have to abandon. Wrens 
make their nests of fancy threads 
and string ends, animals 

abandon all their money each year. 
What is it that men and women leave? 
Harder than wren's doing, they have 
to abandon their longing for the perfect. 

The inner nest not made by instinct 
will never be quite round, 
and each has to enter the nest 
made by the other imperfect bird.



~ Robert Bly
from Eating the Honey of Words
art by van gogh


Sunday, July 26, 2015

nothing ahead






Lovers think they're looking for each other,
but there's only one search: wandering
this world is wandering that,

both inside one
transparent sky.  In here there is
no dogma and no heresy.

The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said
or did about the future.  Forget the future.
I'd worship someone who could do that.

On the way you may want to look back, or not.
But if you can say, There's nothing ahead,
there will be nothing there.

Stretch your arms
and take hold the cloth of your clothes
with both hands.  The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed.  If you don't have both,
you don't belong with us.

When one of us gets lost,
is not here, he must be inside us.  There's no
place like that anywhere in the world.






~ Rumi
from The Book of Love
translations by Coleman Barks

where you love from







Look inside and find where a person loves from.
That's the reality, not what they say.


~ Hypocrities


Friday, July 24, 2015

the many wines






God has given us a dark wine so potent that,
drinking it, we leave the two worlds.

God has put into the form of hashish a power
to deliver the taster from self-consciousness.

God has made sleep
so that it erases every thought.

God made Majnun love Layla so much
that just her dog would cause confusion in him.

There are thousands of wines
that can take over our minds.

Don't think all ecstasies 
are the same!

Jesus was lost in his love for God.
His donkey was drunk on barley.

Drink from the presence of saints,
not from those other jars.

Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight.

Be a connoisseur,
and taste with caution.

Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king, and choose the purest,

and ones unadulterated with fear,
or some urgency about "what's needed."

Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it's been untied,
and is just ambling about.



~ Rumi
from The Book of Love
translation by Coleman Barks


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

the center of the circle






Forget about knowledge and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times better off.
Throw away charity and righteousness,
and people will return to brotherly love.
Throw away profit and greed,
and there won't be any thieves.

These three are superficial and aren't enough
to keep us at the center of the circle, so we must also:

Embrace simplicity.
Put others first.
Desire little.



~ Lao-tzu
Tao Teh Ching
Mcdonald translation

Friday, July 10, 2015

we have ways within each other








They try to say what you are, spiritual or sexual? 

They wonder about Solomon and all his wives. 


In the body of the world, they say, there is a soul 

and you are that. 


But we have ways within each other 

that will never be said by anyone. 





~ Rumi



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