Friday, May 31, 2019



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

—Dag Hammarskjöld

yes is a pleasant country


yes is a pleasant country:
if's wintery
(my lovely)
let's open the year

both is the very weather
(not either)
my treasure,
when violets appear

love is a deeper season
than reason;
my sweet one
(and april's where we're)

—E. E. Cummings


Everything in the world began with a yes. —Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star


It is part of a wise man, I say, to refresh and restore himself in moderation with pleasant food and drink, with scents, with the beauty of green plants, with decoration, music, sports, the theater, and other things of this kind, which anyone can use without injury to another. For the human body is composed of a great many parts of different natures, which constantly require new and varied nourishment, so that the whole body may be equally capable of all the things which can follow from its nature, and hence, so that the mind also may be equally capable of understanding many things at once.
—Baruch Spinoza
Ethics, IVP45S


After the final no there comes a yes
And on that yes the future world depends.
No was the night. Yes is this present sun.

If the rejected things, the things denied,
Slid over the western cataract, yet one,
One only, one thing that was firm, even
No greater than a cricket's horn, no more
Than a thought to be rehearsed all day, a speech
Of the self that must sustain itself on speech,
One thing remaining, infallible, would be
Enough. Ah! douce campagna of that thing!

Ah! douce campagna, honey in the heart,
Green in the body, out of a petty phrase,
Out of a thing believed, a thing affirmed:
The form on the pillow humming while one sleeps,
The aureole above the humming house...
It can never be satisfied, the mind, never.

—Wallace Stevens
The Well Dressed Man With A Beard


Wednesday, May 29, 2019



You are neither the body nor in the body — there is no such thing as body. You have grievously misunderstood yourself; to understand rightly — investigate.


You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are the body and be only the knowledge ‘I am’, which has no form, no name. Just be. When you stabilize in that beingness, it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness, and you, the Absolute will know that you are also not the consciousness. Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquility. Beingness is transcended, but beingness is available.

—Nisargadatta Maharaj




Maharaj: There are may persons who have a great attachment to their own individuality. They want first and foremost to remain as an individual and then search, for they are not prepared to lose that individuality. While retaining their identity, they want to find out what is the truth. But in this process, you must get rid of the identity itself.

If you really find out what you are, you will see that you are not an individual, you are not a person, you are not a body. And people who cling to their body identity are not fit for this knowledge.

The names and forms that appear, with different colors and all that, their origin is water. But nobody says I'm water, they say I am the body. But if you see the origin of the body then ultimately the body has appeared only from water. All these plants and everything, all name and forms, they appear from water only. But still people don't identify themselves with water; they say I am the body.

—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Ultimate Medicine, Dialogues


From the waters everything is made, both what is manifest and what is Unmanifest.
Therefore, all manifestation (murti) is water.

—Prasna Upanishad 1.4-5


you are that


In a field
I am the absence
of field.

This is
always the case.

Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.

—Mark Strand

keeping things whole


Remember, you are entirely on your own.

You must realize first of all that you are the proof of everything, including yourself.

None can prove your existence, because this existence must be confirmed by you first.

Your being and knowing you owe nobody.

You are entirely on your own. 

You do not come from somewhere, you do not go anywhere.

You are timeless being and awareness.

—Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The body is our general medium for having a world. —Maurice Merleau-Ponty

... what is the direction of servitude between the body and the mind, and where does the constellation of certitudes we experience as a self reside in all of it?

—Maria Popova

how does a single-celled embryo grow up to be a differentiated biological body of organs?

—Amit Goswami


An embryo expands by cell division, making an exact replica of itself with all the same DNA, the same genes. But in the adult body, the cells are differentiated as to their functions.

... The proteins a cell makes determine cellular function; the genes have the code to make the proteins. ... But the source of the programs is not part of the DNA.

... Rupert Sheldrake (1981) has shown how nonlocal and nonphysical morphogenic fields are essential to understand biological form-making from the one-celled embryo. The instructions of form-making cell-differentiation (all cells contain the same genes, yet toe cell genes are activated very differently from brain cell genes), are nowhere to be found in the physical body, and that includes the genes (which are more or less instructions for protein-making).

—Amit Goswami
Quantum Doctor


What we call the body is not feet or shins,
The body, likewise, is not thighs or loins.
It’s not the belly nor indeed the back,
And from the chest and arms the body is not formed.

The body is not ribs or hands,
Armpits, shoulders, bowels, or entrails;
It is not the head or throat:
From none of these is “body” constituted.

If “body,” step by step,
Pervades and spreads itself throughout its members,
Its parts indeed are present in the parts,
But where does the “body,” in itself, abide!

If “body,” single and entire,
Is present in the hand and other members,
However many parts there are, the hand and all the rest,
You’ll find an equal quantity of “bodies.”

If “body” is not outside or within its parts,
How is it, then, residing in its members?
And since it has no basis other than its parts,
How can it be said to be at all?

Thus there is no “body” in the limbs,
But from illusion does the idea spring,
To be affixed to a specific shape—
Just as when a scarecrow is mistaken for a man.

As long as the conditions are assembled,
A body will appear and seem to be a man.
As long as all the parts are likewise present,
It’s there that we will see a body.

Likewise, since it is a group of fingers,
The hand itself is not a single entity.
And so it is with fingers, made of joints—
And joints themselves consist of many parts.

These parts themselves will break down into atoms,
And atoms will divide according to direction.
These fragments, too, will also fall to nothing.
Thus atoms are like empty space—
they have no real existence.

All form, therefore, is like a dream,
And who will be attached to it, who thus investigates!
The body, in this way, has no existence;
What is male, therefore, and what is female!

The Way of the Bodhisattva


The moment you know your real being, you are afraid of nothing. Every vestige of your imaginative self must first die, then the universe is your own, it becomes your body and your expression. Nothing can truly affect you, you are free beyond description.

—Nisargadatta Maharaj


love letters


The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.



Your body is away from me, but there is a window open

from my Heart to yours.
From this window, like the moon,
I keep sending news secretly.



not two


The body provides something for the spirit to look after and use.

—Alan Turing


I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.

—Rainer Maria Rilke


Creation, invention: there is nothing more real than this body that I imagine; there is nothing less real than this body that I touch that turns into a heap of salt or vanishes into a column of smoke. With that smoke my desire will invent another body. Eroticism is the experience of a full life that appears to us as a palpable whole and through which we enter totality.

—Octavio Paz
An Erotic Beyond: Sade
translated from the Spanish by Elliot Weinburger


Discover yourself.

There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the body.

Discover that current and stay with it.
—Nisargadatta Maharaj


Monday, May 27, 2019

the narrow gate


The first step in love is losing your head. After the petty ego you then give up your life and bear the calamity.

With this behind you, proceed: polish the ego's rust from the mirror of your self.

—Fakhr al-Din Iraqi
Love's Alchemy
David and Sabrineh Fideler version


The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


close your eyes. fall in love. stay there. —Rumi


No, you do not have a thousand years to live. Urgency is on you. 

So while you live, while you can, become good.

—Marcus Aurelius

a lover gambles every(thing


The small ruby everyone wants has fallen out on the road.
Some think it is East of us, others West of us.
Some say ‘among primitive earth rocks’,
Others, 'in the deep waters.’

Kabir’s instinct told him it was inside,
And what it was worth –
And he wrapped it up carefully in his heart cloth.



A lover doesn't figure the odds.

He figures he came clean from God
as a gift without a reason,
so he gives without cause
or calculation or limit.

A conventionally religious person
behaves a certain way
to achieve salvation.

A lover gambles everything, the self,
the circle around the zero! He or she
cuts and throws it all away.
This is beyond any religion.

Lovers do not require from God any proof,
or any text, nor do they knock on a door
to make sure this is the right street.
They run,
and they run.
Coleman Barks version


Path to God
Made me such an old sweet beggar.

I was starving until one night
My love tricked God Himself
To fall into my bowl.

Now Hafiz is infinitely rich,
But all I ever want to do

Is keep emptying out
My emerald-filled

This tear-stained



Sunday, May 26, 2019

love is a place


Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.

It will not lead you astray.



Love, and do what you like! —Saint Augustine


It is every intelligent man's experience ... wrong-doing recoils on the doer sooner or later. Why is this so?
Because the Self is one in all.

When seeing others you are only seeing yourself in their shapes.

'Love they neighbor as thyself' means that you should love him because he is your Self.

—Ramana Maharshi
S. S. Cohen, 15th August, 1948


It’s rigged — everything, in your favor.
So there is nothing to worry about.
Is there some position you want,
some office, some acclaim, some
award, some con, some lover,
maybe two, maybe three, maybe four
— all at once,
maybe a relationship
I know there is a gold mine in you, and when you find it
the wonderment of the earth’s gifts
you will lay aside
as naturally as does
a child with a
But, dear, how sweet you look to me kissing the unreal:
comfort, fulfill yourself,
in any way possible — do that until
you ache, until you ache,

then come to me





You are young.
So you know everything. 
You leap into the boat and begin rowing.
But listen to me. 

Without fanfare, without embarrassment,
without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul.
Listen to me. 

Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest,
and your heart, and heart's little intelligence,
and listen to me. 

There is life without love.
It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. 
It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied.

When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight,
the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil,
fretting around the sharp rocks--
when you hear that unmistakable pounding--
when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead
the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming--
then row, row for your life toward it.

—Mary Oliver
West Wind #2


They made love among the hazel shrubs
beneath the suns of dew,
entangling in their hair
a leafy residue.

Heart of the swallow
have mercy on them.

They knelt down by the lake,
combed out the earth and leaves,
and fish swam to the water's edge
shimmering like stars.

Heart of the swallow
have mercy on them.

The reflections of trees were steaming
off the rippling waves.
O swallow let this memory
forever be engraved.

O swallow, thorn of clouds,
anchor of the air,
Icarus improved,
Assumption in formal wear,

O swallow, the calligrapher,
timeless second hand,
early ornithogothic,
a crossed eye in the sky,

O swallow, pointed silence,
mourning full of joy,
halo over lovers,
have mercy on them.

—Wislawa Szymborska