March 30, 2006

Holy Longing

Now you are going to ask me how to destroy this stark awareness of your self. You might be thinking that if you destroy this sense of your self you will destroy everything else too and you will be right. But I will answer this fear by telling you that without a very special grace from God and without a particular aptitude on your part, you will never be able to get rid of this naked sense of self. For your part, this aptitude consists of a robust and profound sorrow of spirit... ..Everybody has a special reason for grief, but the person who has a deep experience of himself existing apart from God feels the most acute sorrow. Once we have aquired this sorrow it not only purifies our souls, but it takes away all the pain merited by sin and thus makes the soul capable of receiving that joy which takes from a man all sense of his own being. If this sorrow is genuine, it is full of holy longing. Otherwise nobody could bear it.

from The Cloud of Unknowing


...full of holy longing, otherwise nobody could bear it. In sorrow we are purified, and, with loss of a sense of our own (small) being, we are capable of receiving great joy.

March 28, 2006

You are a Lion!

There was lion cub whose mother was killed. The little lion cub fell into the company of a herd of sheep. They took pity on him raised him among them. The young lion acquired the sheep's habits and behaviors. By and by for all the young lion knew he was a sheep, one of the crowd. In the mirror of the sheep herd the lion saw his reflection as a sheep, his identity was given to him in this mirror of social convention. In other words he was programmed and conditioned to be a sheep, to take on the identity of a sheep.

One day a mature lion shows up on the scene, and of course the sheep flee and the young lion goes running and screaming along with the rest of the sheep. The old lion looks and he can't believe his eyes, "What the hell?" He sees the young lion running and squealing like a sheep, jumping and leaping in fear, you get the picture. So the old lion captures the young lion. Can you imagine the young lion's fear? The old lion drags the young lion, kicking and screaming for his life, to a pond where he shows the young lion his reflection in the still water. The young lion sees an accurate reflection, not one given to him by the crowd, by society, by conditioning. The young lion sees his original face and realizes his true nature.

March 25, 2006

Love Poem

Sonnet 17

I do not love you as if you were the salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

~Pablo Neruda

March 23, 2006

In the Stillness

Our beautiful language,
spoken and written
points to the ineffable
which is You.

There is a stillness
within our communion
vibrant with life, but still -
exceedingly awake, but still.

Underneath thoughts
in between thoughts
in between words
is the canvas
upon which the whole of existence
is painted.

Blessings fall
on everything
perceived through

March 18, 2006

The Grace in This

What is the Grace in this?

In this?

Even in this?

Even this.

And that, too.

Everything belongs.

March 17, 2006

Snow Day

Last week we had a snow day... I stayed home and just watched the snow falling - sometimes small flakes, and sometimes huge ones. It was so beautiful. Occasionally a tree bough burst from the weight, and suddenly dropped a load of snow onto the ground. Through the day I enjoyed watching the flakes fluttering down outside my windows, and observing for animal tracks through the snow and the birds at the feeder. Most of all, however, I enjoyed the great silence that accompanies a snowy day.

There is not only a great silence in the snow, but also a spaciousness... spaciousness surrounds each snowflake, and outlines the horizon as well as each small heap of snow. With the snow falling, and the jumping of the tree boughs, it is as though there is a symphony playing, with movement and dance, yet it can barely be heard. This silent spaciousness is inside of us, too. Between each thought and each movement, a great spaciousness exists. And in this spaciousness, we are silent. I sense the awakening of an alert presence in this silence, both outside my window and inside of me, too. There is a silent field underneath the words, underneath the snow, between the snowflakes. There are gaps here in which a great stillness is present. Stillness is here. So deep and so vast and so rich.

March 14, 2006


When it touches you,
send that unnameable sound.
Let it carry to us in sunlight
and shade.

Let it float in the sky,
a white cloud
so we can feel it,
being that whiteness
forming and dissolving
in silence.

Send it to us
in the music of rain,
the softness of snow;
in cold, crisp winds
and blue sky songs
of silence.

Deliver its aloneness
in spreading clouds,
soundless chiming,
always slipping away;

in dropping temperatures
and rising steam -
that warm, moist,
silent face;

in footsteps
where we lose ourselves,
finding nothing
again and again.

Show your hidden longings,
love with vastness.

Golden stream,
red tail cry,
silent friend
under a blanket of snow.
You brought a gift:
warm tears,
softening heart,
in this vast field
of pure white
and final rest.

March 12, 2006

March 11, 2006

Silent Victory

Here is a tender portrayal of a journey to live a conscious life ---even when faced with a difficult challenge such as raising a child with autism.

March 10, 2006


Once, a kindly teacher pointed out my arrogance. Arrogance. It is a word I had never considered as an attribute of who I saw myself to be. The word stung with a piercing quality and remains within me as a little ache, a memory of a lesson learned, a challenge to survey my own ego and to grow in compassion. It surely has been one of the most difficult hills to climb to see the other side of arrogance. Even still, arrogance often looms large. Letting go of arrogance is an ongoing task. Meditation and spiritual friendship has been the most helpful in highlighting and moving away from arrogance, allowing light to radiate from my truest nature. Indeed, if the purest quality within us is illuminated, we, with honest humility, move from a place of love and kindness, of genuine compassion for others, eclipsing the otherwise incessant rise of ego or arrogance.

“No sooner had Jesus come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you’”

(Matt. 3:16-17, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:21-22).

You are my Beloved. You are the Beloved. Spiritual friendship helps us to realize our own Beloved nature incarnate. There is a voice between words spoken in loving friendship that speaks from the mystery, whispering tenderly and clearly, “You are my beloved, on you my favor rests.” This voice rises above old voices that trap us by derogatory messages: “You are no good, bad, worthless. You must prove yourself.” Realizing the gift of honoring our own belovedness helps us to transcend these negative internal messages and, paradoxically, helps us to become more than we ever thought possible. In all our ordinariness, our simplicity, our truest nature of childlike wonder, we are so loved. We are able presence this for one another in friendship with a heightened capacity for intimacy. There is a freedom here, yes? We can offer to one another freedom from the call to social perfection, from striving, from even a pretense of ‘knowing’. In this, there is no longer a need for arrogance. We can simply let it fall away as we humbly lift our hearts to this gentle presence of love instead.

A Maitreya Ishwara teaching parallels this notion. “To grow and to enjoy life you need only to be consciously with what is so. There is nothing to do or achieve.” Maitreya Ishwara writes that “God is all there is, we are not separate from the Whole.” This understanding seeps in gradually, and slowly allows us to trust and accept ourselves as we are right now, helping us to realize that we do not need to live up to the ideals of any ego-based teaching. We can wordlessly rest in this awareness. Sitting silently with the empty fullness of a living Buddha, of Christ’s belovedness, we recognize that this amazing transformation of love and acceptance occurs within us too. A friend’s loving communion tenderly lifts us up into the warm and radiant light of consciousness beyond self-importance to true Self, where we are not separate.

March 9, 2006

The Blue Sky

"It is easy to suppose that few people realize on that occasion, which comes to all of us, when we look at the blue sky for the first time, that is to say: not merely see it, but look at it and experience it and for the first time have a sense that we live in the center of a physical poetry, a geography that would be intolerable except for the non-geography that exists there — few people realize that they are looking at the world of their own thoughts and the world of their own feelings."

— Wallace Stevens, The Necessary Angel

March 6, 2006

What remains?

Akilesh: Touching, tender, vulnerable, yes, kindness, warmth, letting go, love, fresh citrus, glittering sunlight on warm water, purple mountains, living outside of time yet smiling and hugging inside it, friendship in eternity - Is this possible? The question turns to wisp and spirals off into the ether. Big Sky treasure, which feels undeserved, is laid at our feet at every moment. We live in the gap. We love and let go.

Meredith: This beautiful brisk stream of consciousness paints itself upon our inner landscape today, however fleeting, only to be washed away with the in-coming tide.

What remains?

Perhaps this question, too, turns into wisps and spirals off into the ether.

March 4, 2006

Kiss of the Wind

This morning the trees in the field out my window are wildly moving with a magical energy. It matched something within me that is moving just as wildly. There is a gap here, too, in this moment now; the wind floats in through the window casing to remind me. We move in this rhythm, feel this breeze, and know. We know in the deepest sense that the magic in this moment is here for us always, always new in the next moment, fresh again and again and again. What sweet bliss to feel the kiss of the wind.

What an even sweeter bliss to feel the presence of the Beloved Friend. You are here in this moment, and this one. And again. I hold you within as steady rhythm and a flow within me. You are a wild flow of warmth, energizing my every cell.

I sit in front of the window,
watching the tree's wind dance,
feeling the breeze blow through me, too.

I witness my Being in silence.
In this moving silence
is the fullness of Presence.

There isn't any other moment.
There isn't any other thing.
This silence is.

March 1, 2006

Sparkling Cascade

“…my heart is now a busted glass bead jar
spilling wildly across the floor....”

How delightful to hear this music:
a sparkling cascade of colorful glass beads
spilling wildly across the floor.

Spilling – allowing "self" to
spill out and disperse.
In the spilling, transformation.
Self appears from the background
into the foreground.
Little self disperses,
and the Self emerges -
its form simply energy, light, love,
and the glittering dance of glass beads
spilling wildly across the floor.

Where can this self be found now?
It is strewn across the universe.
And what are we?
The flow. The Flowing.
We are the flowing.
There is no permanent self here;
we have only thought there was.
Who we are is only the naked nameless
in the form steam rising from a cup of tea,
or of glass beads
dancing wildly across the floor.

Embracing this emptiness,
this no-thing, this vibrancy
is Self-realization,
the consciousness of no-thing,
is living in the gap.

So we rejoice, delighted,
smiling at the sound,
the spilling music of little glass beads
dancing wildly across the floor.

Dancing of Chris, Meredith and Aki