It is possible to fall in love
with the same sweet partner
all over again.
Not through discipline
The years are a mirage,
shimmering with pain
of simple kindness
Tears mean something.
Photo: My dear wife Anna
This morning I know why Krishna's body is blue. Because it is the color of wonder, and the tint of pure consciousness. Morning blue, the blue of a tiny new violet, the blue of the sky that stains a lover's thoughts, the canopy of emptiness, the boundless firmament pervading every cell of my flesh, the vast blue element of Presence, where the past and future are but waves of transparency; where words are but tremors of silence; where feelings, whether anxious or sweet, bubble up and dissolve in one clear tincture of Awareness, and I dissolve into Am. This morning, surrender to the blues. Let the lover, the beloved, and their yearning be one sky.
Words like presence, beauty, and sorrow
don't speak to me any more.
They are ghosts searching for a body.
Only a hyacinth seedling clenched
in her bulb of groans, unfurling
a fury of birth and praise from the glint
of minerals in odorous loam,
a death of old wings in her fist,
suffices to express for now,
not abstraction, but a hunkering
of emerald in sod, poised like a prayer
to leap for the sun, and fly.
so in my final breath, as in my first,
let there be Matter, and its cry.
To be human is to be sad and joyful at the same time. Angels envy this wholeness. Gods must be born on earth to taste it. The Bhodisattva feels 'karuna,' the sorrow of all grieving creatures, and 'muditta,' the joy of all who rejoice. Yet the sutras name 'Karuna-muditta' as one, not as two separate feelings. For the Bhodisattva, joy and sorrow are one power to feel. Now I share this poem, 'Tears of the Buddha,' from my book, 'Wounded Bud' (LINK).
I have brought you thus far
teaching you to sweep away the past
with a single breath.
Now go forth with nothing
but your gentle smile, the curve
of this moment, horizon of emptiness.
A tear knows how to well up
and when to fall
even if no one is weeping.
Unless, perhaps, it is the moon
bent toward the blossoming plum.
Nothing evokes such drops of love
like being nobody!
This is how your tears become
tears of the Buddha.
Penetrated by the moon, seeds burst, not knowing why. Bees feast on pollen, yet the concept of honey has not occurred to them. Two lovers entangled their glistening chromosomes to weave you from the chaos of desire, yet they never saw your face. Perhaps they gazed half terrified at some formless beauty in each other's eyes, but was it you?
Now this body can't conceive how many dynasties of worms its death will nourish. If the new moon could foretell how her belly will be swollen with radiance, she would hide forever in the shadow of the sun. In the bud's fist, the rose cannot grasp what flowers mean. Fragrance billows from that affliction.
Don't numb your heart with conclusions. Take some time for uncertainty. Let darkness lie fallow until your grief garden ripens. Slowly creatures will unfold, revealing their gifts of light, a riot of amaranth poppies through cracks in the asphalt. Unknowing is not a cloud, but the sky. Wait boldly. Rest in bewilderment. Don't be so sure.
Return to the silence
that was here before God said
Let there be light.
Return to the miracle
of this breath,
Rest in the heart,
the miracle you Are.
Painting, 'Teshuva' by Pat Allen
This is a quiet time, a dark time. But it could become a self-luminous time.
Quietness and darkness frustrate a mind that gets stuck looking outward, addicted to external sensations. But quietness and darkness can heal one who turns inward for awhile. Inwardness demands courage.
Shall we waste this precious time "othering" public figures, casting blame on political parties? Nothing gets healed when we project our fear, angst, and anger onto the usual scapegoats. Healing happens when we return to our own hearts and embrace these shadows here, at their point of origin.
It is time to become whole. If we cling too tightly to an angel, it vanishes. If we hug a demon with all our heart, it becomes an angel. For angels and demons are reflections of the soul in the moving sea of our mind.
Now is the time to pause. Let waves of the mind grow still. Let the mirror gaze into a mirror. See neither angels nor demons, but the radiance of your own Self.
How can I pour the ocean
of praise into a thimble?
The lifespan of Shiva
just a breath in your eternity.
Earth spins on the spine
of your stillness.
Planets circle their stars because
your darkness is awake,
our galaxy your dripping bowl.
Give us this day our daily milk.
For you are El Shaddai,
Lord of Breasts.
Overflowing is your nature.
We drank from you
before we were created.
Trillions of minds floating like dust
in the golden beam of your gaze,
silently, so silently.
When you close your eyes,
there is wholeness.
When you open them, we dance.
Civility can be cold and unkind. Oppressors are usually quite civil to each other.
Love is uncivilized. Love is the fragrance from the wilderness of the untamed heart.
Love led Gandhi and King to civil disobedience. Jesus outraged the civil authorities. His love transcended the Law. Krishna was an outlaw too. With Radha, he broke all the rules in the garden of ecstasy.
Love is not born from our effort to be civilized, but from the Effortless. Love is not born from the rules in our head, but from the brush of God's breath on our breastbone.
Then we relax completely. We can be fearless and wholly present, because our true nature is dancing. We can bathe the other in the light of our listening heart, without the slightest practice of 'civility.'
explodes in stillness,
the gift of night.
through the broken seal
from your lips to mine
cannot be known by
only by Two.
Photograph by Kristy Thompson
Let the hollow in your belly rhyme
with the space in blue agave seeds.
Gush out of the earth, flinging droplets
of unfathomable darkness.
Above and below change places.
Night is your loam.
Before she died your mother
only said one prayer:
Someone left a bottle
of Pepe Lopez beside you,
empty as the sky
where stars get dizzy surrendering
to your bundle of cries,
you who remain
fixed, without a center.
Trust what was already here
before anyone said,
"let there be light."
Turn loss into fertility.
Become the abysmal spring
of all that you desire.
How can the well be thirsty?
Photo: ancient Indian step well
Why waste your life believing
that the sun is above, the earth below,
only to discover too late, too late,
that starlight gushes from every pore
the moment your body begins to dance?
Why travel from here to there?
All journeys are over
but the deepening of now.
Your heartbeat is the shaman's drum,
your mind the rattled hollow of a shell.
Seeds of grief give you rhythm.
Don't move, be moved.
There is only one talisman left to find:
the flame you were before
you started the search.
Ferns made fists all Winter,
waiting for your belly to unbreathe.
Spring is the intuition
crinkled in cocoons: your laughter
can do something about that.
Now fall among bulbs in black soil
on the only world that is really yours,
and touch heaven with your knees.
Painting by Diana Bryer
"Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?" ~Winnie the Pooh
A car keeps rolling down the hill for awhile, even though it has run out of gas. So action continues to arise in this body, through karmic force of habit, even after the mind attains emptiness and the do-er vanishes.
Upon enlightenment, there is no reason not to enjoy a glass of Cabernet, not to taste moods of sadness and exuberance, not to continue one's morning meditation for the sheer joy of it. In fact, these actions arise more delightfully, because they are not performed to achieve anything.
The ever-exploding reality all around you is nothing but Consciousness: hence there is no "inside" or "outside." The stream of ideas you experience right now is neither "your" mind nor "mine."
Beneath these thought-waves lies a continuum of awareness that is both you and I, being and nothing. This continuum of awareness is one spontaneous moment in which the whole universe, with the eternal future and eternal past, appears as a sudden mirage.
If you still feel hurt and angry, just wake up. There is no one to blame, nothing to forgive, and no compassionate enlightened forgiver.
The unidentified flying objects in the sky are dead bugs on your windowpane: that's how maya works. So stop projecting your fears into a world that isn't other than your seeing.
To be "poor in spirit" is to be empty, which is true wealth. You have no choice but to love your neighbor, because your neighbor is your Self. Don't even call it "love." It is simply seeing, without wearing the concepts of "me" and "you" on your nose.
Think of what makes you most angry and afraid. Where is it? Now stop thinking. Where is it?
In the final analysis, there is neither superior nor inferior. The revolution is to be nobody.
What happened just before the creation of the world was much more important than anything since, and That is who you are right now.
You are an antelope leaping toward the sun, just as a cougar sinks her fang into your jugular vein. Pain and ecstasy, life and death, triumph and loss, are exactly the same energy.
Now roll up your Master's degree and your PHD. Light them like a fine Cuban cigar. Watch them burn right down to your fingertips. When you feel the burn and the flame goes out, your education is complete.