Sunday, July 23, 2017

at the heart of time






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I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age-old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours
And the songs of every poet past and forever. 



–Rabindranath Tagore



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accidental fences




 
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We with our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves. But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean’s bottom. Just so there is a continuum of cosmic consciousness, against which our individuality builds but accidental fences, and into which our several minds plunge as into a mother-sea or reservoir.

–William James









eye of my heart





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I am blind and do not see the things of this world;
but when the Light comes from above, it enlightens my Heart,
and I can see, for the Eye of my Heart sees everything.

The Heart is a sanctuary of the Center in which there is a little space
wherein the Great Spirit dwells, and this is the Eye.
This is the Eye of Wakentaka by which he sees all things,
and through which we see Him.



–Black Elk

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look at the unity of this






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look at love...
how it tangles
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life

why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how unknown merges into the known

why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows
right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be?


–Rumi
Nader Khalili translation




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like this






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The best method is to plunge deep into the inner man and remain there in seclusion, constantly tending the vineyard of one’s heart.

–St. Isaac of Syria


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out of my heart





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Out of my deeper heart a bird rose and flew skyward.
Higher and higher did it rise, yet larger and larger did it grow.


At first it was but like a swallow, then a lark, then an eagle, then as vast as a spring cloud, and then it filled the starry heavens.
Out of my heart a bird flew skyward. And it waxed larger as it flew.
Yet it left not my heart.


–Kahlil Gibran



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the beautiful necessity





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Let us build altars to the Beautiful Necessity, which secures that all is made of one piece; that plaintiff and defendant, friend and enemy, animal and planet, food and eater, are of one kind. 
In astronomy is vast space, but no foreign system; in geology, vast time, but the same laws as to-day. 

Why should we be afraid of Nature, which is no other than “philosophy and theology embodied”?
Why should we fear to be crushed by savage elements, we who are made up of the same elements? 

Let us build to the Beautiful Necessity, which makes man brave in believing that he cannot shun a danger that is appointed, nor incur one that is not;
to the Necessity which rudely or softly educates him to the perception that there are no contingencies;
that Law rules throughout existence, a Law which is not intelligent but intelligence, — not personal nor impersonal, — it disdains words and passes understanding; 
it dissolves persons; it vivifies nature;
yet solicits the pure in heart to draw on all its omnipotence.



–Ralph Waldo Emerson




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look






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Look at the birds. Even flying
is born

out of nothing. The first sky
is inside you, Friend, open

at either end of day.
The work of wings

was always freedom, fastening
one heart to every falling thing.


—Li-Young Lee
Book of My Nights




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journey of the breath






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Of the two spoiled, barn-sour geldings
we owned that year, it was Red—
skittish and prone to explode
even at fourteen years—who'd let me
hold my face to his own: the massive labyrinthine
caverns of the nostrils, the broad plain
up the head to the eyes.
He'd let me stroke
his coarse chin whiskers and take
his soft meaty underlip
in my hands, press my man's carnivorous
kiss to his grass-nipping under half of one,

just so that I could smell
the long way his breath had come from the rain
and the sun, the lungs and the heart,
from a world that meant no harm. 


–Robert Wrigley
Kissing a Horse



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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sorrow Arrow, excerpt






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You sit in your body, quietly making blood
Wild blood
Bird of the world


–Emily Kendal Frey


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on being perfectly alive







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I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me.

That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly,
and my blood is part of the sea.


There is not any part of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surfaces of the water.


–D. H. Lawrence



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air





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Breathing, all creatures are
Brighter than the brightest star
You are by far
You come right inside of me
Close as you can be

You kiss my blood
And my blood kiss me.


–Mike Heron
(The Incredible String Band)



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you are that





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Your mind is the knife that cuts the continuum of space and time into neat slices of linear experience.
 


...


At this moment, you are seamlessly flowing with the cosmos. There is no difference between your breathing and the breathing of the rain forest, between your bloodstream and the world’s rivers, between your bones and the chalk cliffs of Dover.



–Deepak Chopra


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listen





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In the ocean are many bright strands and many dark strands like veins that are seen when a wing is lifted up.

Your hidden self is blood in those, those veins that are lute strings that make ocean music – not the sad sound of surf, but the sound of no shore.


–Rumi



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revelation




 
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A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.


–Hermann Hesse



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something grand

 



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The sun and stars that float in the open air... the appleshaped earth and we upon it... surely the drift of them is something grand;

I do not know what it is except that it is grand, and that it is happiness,
And that the enclosing purport of us here is not a speculation, or bon-mot or reconnoissance,

And that it is not something which by luck may turn out well for us, and without luck must be a failure for us,

And not something which may yet be retracted in a certain contingency.


–Walt Whitman



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beloved






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Put out my eyes, and I can see you still;
slam my ears to, and I can hear you yet;
and without any feet can go to you;
and tongueless, I can conjure you at will.

Break off my arms, I shall take hold of you
and grasp you with my heart as with a hand;
arrest my heart, my brain will beat as true;
and if you set this brain of mine afire,
upon my blood I then will carry you.



–Rainer Maria Rilke
from The Book of Hours





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Friday, July 21, 2017

sight






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Once
a single cell
found that it was full of light
and for the first time there was seeing

when
I was a bird
I could see where the stars had turned
and I set out on my journey

high
in the head of a mountain goat
I could see across a valley
under the shining trees something moving

deep
in the green sea
I saw the two sides of the water
and swam between them

I
look at you
in the first light of the morning
for as long as I can


–W. S. Merwin



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For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love. –Carl Sagan





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Be helpless, dumbfounded
Unable to say yes or no.

Then a stretcher will come from grace to gather us up.
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we’re lying. 
If we say No, we don’t see it, that No will behead us 
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything, 
Beside ourselves, and only that, so 
Miraculous beings come running to help. 
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute, 
We shall be saying finally, 
With tremendous eloquence, 
Lead us.

When we have totally surrendered to that beauty, 
We shall be a mighty kindness.


–Rumi



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aimless love









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This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table. 

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor’s window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle. 

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone. 

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel. 

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida. 

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
just a twinge every now and then 
for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit. 

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow. 

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap, 
so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.

I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.


–Billy Collins




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hush







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The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and inter-dependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind.

Words create words, reality is silent.


–Nisargadatta



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real(ly






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Time is only an idea. There is only the Reality.

Whatever you think it is, it looks like that. If you call it time, it is time.
If you call it existence, it is existence, and so on. After calling it time, you divide it into days and nights, months, years, hours, minutes, etc.

Time is immaterial for the Path of Knowledge. But some of these rules and discipline are good for beginners.


―Sri Ramana Maharshi



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inner light






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In the inmost of the smallest of all spaces
runs a mute and constant play of color, inaccessible to eyes.
It is the light shut in that once in the moment of creation
was born inward and abode there, going on, once it had broken
up into the smallest of spectra in keeping with prismatic law at
frequencies that by the sighted would be called colors
if they encountered eyes able to see.

It moved in periods unimaginably small for time and space
but still with time and space enough for the least of the small.
In fact it found it had ample room and time.

It moved in cycles of nanoseconds and microspaces
from white light and the colors of the spectrum and back to white light.
A kind of breathing for light.

The photons breathed and pulsated with one another,
alternating signs and levels.

So the light kept going in spectral balance
from dense light to split and back to dense light and split,
in spectral cycles infinitely repeated.

It was like a play of fans,
in keeping with the same law that holds for rainbows,
but with spread and folded fans alternating with one another
in keeping with the law of light inscribed in them.

It was the light when it dances enclosed
when it is not traveling abroad and seen.

It belongs to the nature of light that it can be shut in and
still not die out in its movement,
that it preserves itself thus in the darkness as thought, intent
and aptitude, that it remembers its changes
and performs its dance, its interplay.

With this art the light keeps together the innumerable
swarms of matter and sings with light's spectral wings the
endless song in honor of the fullness of the world.


–Harry Martinson




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summer plain, excerpt







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We have seen so much.

Reality has almost used us up ...


–Tomas Tranströmer
Windows and Stones



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1 and 0






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When we understand,
we are at the centre of the circle
and there we sit
while Yes and No
chase each other
around the circumference.

–Chuang Tzu


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yes






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For all that has been, Thanks.
To all that shall be, Yes.

–Dag Hammarskjöld


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