Friday, October 20, 2017

In praise of silence


In praise of silence, the less said the better.

However.....let it be said that this is it.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing extraordinary.

The it that this is may be decorated differently moment to moment, now as the furnishings provided by the senses, now as the furnishings provided by the mind.  But the decorations themselves are simply hung on the invisible fabric of this that is all there is.

Perhaps keeping silence is better -  but it must be said that we LOVE the decorations - even to the exclusion of this that makes them visible.  Just the other day I was captivated by.....  And then there was.....   What is captivating now?

Perhaps the less said the better, so we become captivated by silence, ever present in spite of the words, in spite of the story, in spite of ourselves  - silence that interpenetrates all noise and its absence, all image, all sensation - silence that underlies not only the presence of content but the absence of content as well, even presence itself swallowed by silence.....

.....in praise of silence.  That's all.






Joan Ruvinsky
Photo:  Peter Bowers












Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thanking


I think as long as you are a human being
there is thanking, gratitude for being,
not for being human,
but for being
what you fundamentally are.
Thanking for the sake of thanking.





Jean Klein
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In our consciousness of time



In our consciousness of time
we are doomed to the past.
The future we may dream of
but can know it only after
it has come and gone.
The present too we know
only as the past. When
we say, "This now is
present, the heat, the breeze,
the rippling water," it is past.
Before we knew it, before
we said "now," it was gone.

If the only time we live
is the present, and if the present
is immeasurably short (or
long), then by the measure
of the measurers we don't
exist at all, which seems
improbable, or we are
immortals, living always
in eternity, as from time to time
we hear, but rarely know.

You see the rainbow and the new-leafed
woods bright beneath, you see
the otters playing in the river
or the swallows flying, you see
a beloved face, mortal
and alive, causing the heart
to sway in the rifts between beats
where we live without counting,
where we have forgotten time
and have forgotten ourselves,
where eternity has seized us
as its own. This breaks
open the little circles
of the humanly known and believed,
of the world no longer existing,
letting us live where we are,
as in the deepest sleep also
we are entirely present,
entirely trusting, eternal.

Is it concentration of the mind
our unresting counting
that leaves us standing
blind in our dust?
In time we are present only
by forgetting time.





Wendell Berry
Leavings
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Monday, October 2, 2017

out beyond ideas




Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.





Rumi










Sunday, October 1, 2017

Prayer



Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.





Galway Kinnell
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Adamantine Perfection of Desire





Nothing more strong
than to be helpless before desire.

No reason,
the simplified heart whispers,
the argument over,
only This.

No longer choosing anything but assent.

Its bowl scraped clean to the bottom,
the skull-bone cup no longer horrifies,
but, rimmed in silver, shines.

A spotted dog follows a bitch in heat.
Gray geese flying past us, crying.
The living cannot help but love the world.





Jane Hirshfield
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We are...



We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity.   We are pain
and what cures pain, both.  We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.





Rumi
Photo:  Peter Bowers





Tuesday, July 11, 2017

what will always be





Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.

With the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.

The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite.

What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.





Wendell Berry
Sabbaths 1999, VII










Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In The Desert




























In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said:  "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."






Stephen Crane
Artwork:  Ana Teresa Barboza














Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Adrift



Let my dreams while I’m wide-awake 
loose. Let me be drowned, baptized, 
in the light given me. Day comes around, 
night, fall, winter, spring, 
summer. Leaves overhead, underfoot. 
Waves arrive, buffets from friends 
offended, enemies. Let it all come: 
this is my way, this is the canoe I’m in.





William Stafford
Photo:  Peter Bowers






Sunday, May 21, 2017

Homage to the One


To this transparent light, clearness itself, omnipresent as space, 
to This, the host of all that appears, 
to This, the non-locatable, spontaneous here-and-now,
to This that is identical with the openness of all those who, 
whether known or unknown, have recognized its simple presence;
to This our vibrant home, never created
so never able to cease,
to this unseen light, the most familiar presence of now,
indistinguishable from the bones in our face
and the tongue in our mouth,
indistinguishable from our most intimate thoughts and feelings, 
yet beyond all limitation,
to this infinite kindness that allows everything to appear,
we bow down.



...



To which direction shall we bow,
to what sacred space, shrine or God,
if not to the bowing itself?



...





Pir Elias Amidon
Free Medicine
Photo:  Peter Bowers















Saturday, May 6, 2017

i am a little church



i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
—i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
—i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)





e.e.cummings
photo:  Peter Bowers






Tuesday, May 2, 2017

If you love love...




If you love love,
look for yourself.





Rumi
The Book of Love
Photo:  Peter Bowers











Sunday, April 23, 2017

may my heart always be open


may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it's sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile




e.e.cummings
photo:  peter bowers














Wednesday, March 22, 2017

For the Anniversary of My Death


Every year without knowing it I have passed the day
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
and the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what





W.S. Merwin
Photo:  Peter Bowers





Monday, February 27, 2017

love is a place



love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds





e.e. cummings
Photo:  Peter Bowers








Friday, February 10, 2017

just this



just this.....in all its simplicity......
welcoming what is here already......
not coming......not going......
obscured even by seeking......


So we meet in the paradox of apparent teachings, retreats, trainings or gatherings, to celebrate and explore this nameless presence that we are.  At first, there is the tendency to accentuate the myriad of practices the yoga tradition has developed, to focus on concepts like nondual, true nature, awareness, self enquiry or other-enquiry.  

But all this activity eventually leads us to a giving up.  And in this surrender what is revealed is seen to be what has always been here, before the search began, during its full intensity and after its cessation.  The task turns out to be ceding to stillness, and in that stillness the recognition of just this.

Falling back and resting in what is so familiar that it has been overlooked during all the body sensing yoga, during the pranayama, all the yoga nidra and amidst all the dialogues, amidst life itself, we find our self simply sinking back into just this.





Joan Ruvinsky










Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Way It Is













There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.







William Stafford
Photo:  Peter Bowers








Monday, January 16, 2017

Thy Will Be Done


What would it be like
to just sit
with no intention,
to give up this idea
that the mind
must be guided
or directed?

What would it be like
to give up the habit
of believing that one
aspect of experience
is more worthy
of attention
than the next?

What would it be like
to simply be
with no desire,
an empty cup
overflowing with
the nectar of
wanting nothing?





John Astin