a shock of silence!
the crested cockatoo has fled
purple blossoms sigh
Under a new moon, at the turning of the earth towards summer, I sit at my table out on the deck, the candle flickering as the last stragglers of the bat community head over east, and I, a being once so addicted to “everywhere-but-here”, a global gaddabout of the first order, so easily seduced by salubrious memories of living and working and loving in Europe, North America, India, the Homeland (Aotearoa New Zealand), always ready to go – go – go now, am wallowing in a ridiculous contentment that consumes all desire to spend precious energy fleeing the inexplicable luxury of just this.
How, when my inhalation blesses me with the fragrance of Jasmine, Lavender, Wisteria, Orange and Mango blossom and I am giddy with double delight* at the excessive glory of the huge Bauhinia in my backyard, could I pine for any other clime?
How, when Kookaburra, Currawong, Magpie, uncountable Lorikeets and a host of unidentified cheepers and warblers chorus so insistently at 4am could I wish for a dark, cold, silent dawn elsewhere?
How, when greeted, like this morning, with a sky of powder-blue that throws the Border Ranges and Mount Warning into a chiaroscuro of subtle tones of silver, could I long even for those beloved Alps of my childhood?
I bless the land life has brought me to. It wasn’t my call, and it hasn’t always been easy. But I know beyond a shadow of doubt, it was, and it is, exactly where I need to be.
I am at last able to say – I love I love I love this sunburnt country.
And the weird thing is that it’s not about Australia at all.
I am simply and hopelessly in love.
Image by yours truly: Bauhinia blakeana – also known as the Hong Kong Orchid Tree. More info here.
*Treble delight actually – the tree is a dynamo of insect activity, and the Rainbow Lorikeets never draw breath.
“sunburnt country” – lifted from Dorothea Mackellar’s poem: My Country.
One of the most prevalent and persistent myths swirling around the concept of awakening, is that those who have been obliterated by the irreversible EUREKA are instantly and henceforth rendered exempt from all the trials of the flesh that plague “the unenlightened”.
The mind loves to employ this fantasy to critique even the sagest of sages. (“How could someone like a Krishnamurti or a Ramana become a victim of cancer?”) But more sneakily, it turns its scorn upon one’s own delicate understanding.
It loves to hold up one’s (so-called) unattractive qualities – one’s addictions, physical ailments and emotional irruptions as proof that one hasn’t understood anything of import. Really.
What sport it is to watch and listen to this chattering, taunting, would-be bully. For a while you return the volleys. But it doesn’t take long to realise it’s a game without end and you grow bored – you know the score already.
So you serve your Ace straight up.
You simply ask whether the rock-solid immensity of Awareness is being affected, in any way, by whatever is coming at it.
The answer is always the same.
Game. Set. Match.
when the myth of separation erases itself
from the mind’s story-trove
one free-falls into a view (there’s no choice about it)
the shock of seamless intimacy is usually hair-raising
no separation! outside & inside – same!
- – -
all those stories one tells oneself about oneself
and the mythical others
all those resolutions made in the aching lostness:
practice! diligence! discretion!
all those stern exclusions: the egotist, the phoney
the ignorant, the ‘evil’…
all those fantasies about embracing
some Unknowable Immensity
all those comforting conclusions; certitudes acquired
along a streaming lifeline
gone – synapses wiped
- – -
only this Nothing that excludes nothing
remains, on Its knees
and excruciatingly sweet
- – -
Image source unknown. Please notify me if it’s yours, so credit can be given. Thank you.
would you believe me
if I assured you that
you can never be too old
(or too young)
to meet the unborn
that is your actual identity?
would you believe me
if I whispered that you
and the world appearing
within that radiant
except in thought?
would you believe me
if I said, No, it is not
to turn in, to dive down
into your immensity
and feel loved again by
your own shy Life?
if your days feel deadened
by weariness and futility,
if your world seems fragmented
and full of pain,
I implore you: please
don’t believe or not believe,
but glance, with thoughts
at the ever-present invitation
to check this out for yourself
perhaps it is time?
Multiple exposure portrait by Christoffer Relander
the seeing of It:
the ripples and reflections
the surface and the cool depth
the sun-snatching edges and the calm continuo
the tones, textures, colours
the watching of It:
the naming and the recalling
the emotional embroidery, the visceral memories
(pain and pleasure both flushed my cheeks
on that windswept isle in the Canaries)
the knowing of It:
all that unfolds before, behind, within and throughout me
as this world I call ‘mine’
shimmers fluidly in a center-less, owner-less
I am Not,
but the Universe is my Self.
– Shih-T’ou, A.D. 700-790
Image – swimming pool reflections captured on a long-ago vacation; Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Seventy years on and still floating along. This morning’s sit sent me scrambling for my pencil and here’s what downloaded – a list of seven treasured wisdoms the old girl has learnt (so far…)
is this rock-solid, inescapable
is simply the end of seeking
is a story without verifiable
is an argument with Life’s
is meeting Life’s thusness without
is unbridled delight at Life’s endless
is the gift of this unshakeable