p e a c e
palpable as the presence of a Presence
yet utterly ineffable
a benediction without diction
beyond the grope of thought
a blessedness without symbol
not experienced as other but
– inescapably so –
immaculate all-adoring silence
Image: Miriam Louisa Simons – detail, Stained Glass Morning
Missa Gaia Series, 1987-88. Painting on silk, stitching.
Private Collection, Auckland New Zealand
a moment arrives
without a need of the past
the full moon rises
a thought bubbles up
a preference is posited
the moon doesn’t mind
the bubble bursts, pop!
awareness has no center
mooning melts the night
Image: Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando), Wind Blown Grass Across the Moon
Collection, Brooklyn Museum, New York
Dear (newly wide-awake) reformed seeker –
If you haven’t yet been called delusional, flakey, misguided, weird, out-of-touch, in denial, crazy, mistaken, blasphemous, arrogant, heretical, evil, a nutter…
If you haven’t been judged, shunned, ostracised, scorned, ignored, rejected, excluded, gossiped about, sent to Coventry…
No worries – there’s still plenty of time.
Seven billion stories (and counting) are poised to project their characters onto the empty pregnant space that you know yourself to be.
Hang in there – if you can find a ‘there’ anywhere. (Chuckles)
When the barbs come thick and fast you’ll be astonished to find that they fly right through your shimmering spaciousness. It’s quite a trip actually!
Cartoon by Michael Leunig
emptiness loves emptying
that’s it’s nature
its forms are endless; beyond mind’s conjecture
you can’t arrive
at an apperception of its infinite beingness
by any practice or prayer
it is too ever-present
without ever arriving, it’s always here
a Very Dear someone-I-know
likes to be called ‘I Am’
he says it’s the most powerful name
one can adopt
(the masters told him so)
I tease him and tell him to call me
he’s unamused; he’s very earnest about
his spiritual status and frequently
sends me to Coventry
for my irreverence
I’m probably over-pedantic
(blame it on my story as an ex-educator)
but from the moment it was seen
what ‘I’ is – when IT was fully unclothed
and revealed as naked Presence –
the ‘Am’ has been superfluous
so has the ‘Am Not”, strangely enough,
but kid sisters l-o-v-e to goad)
isn’t the “I am” statement the ultimate oxymoron?
it’s both incongruous and self-contradictory…
the only verb-form ‘I’ can logically take is an IS
for there’s nothing about ‘I’
that could be called personal,
given its inextricability from whatever ‘it’
knows or does
and yet, our entire manner of speaking insists
that we stand as separate objects
when irreducible BE-ing is all that
yes, it’s grammatically incorrect
(teacher winces, adjusts glasses)
but it’s unarguably accurate
in terms of one’s experience
my much-missed bro
when can I come home
and play with you again?
The sky is powder blue and cloudless.
Like a cartoon cut-out
defiant against the celestial foreverness
stands a tall straight palm,
its huge bracts lavishly festooned with nectar berries –
breakfast au plein air for birds, beetles, insects.
High above the bracts,
the palm fronds erupt into a wild dance
celebrating – as though their lives depended on it.
Behind the palm and the security fence
the surface of the swimming pool is tickled
by the quirky breeze. It trembles.
Nodding demurely by its edge
clusters of coral bougainvillea
saturate the eye with impossible tropical color.
This is ‘n’ – the thusness of now-this-here
in which quivers of yearning
and shudders of aversion
find no place.
exists as ubiquitous Presence
presenting Itself to Itself.
Vast Presence is always perfectly still.
And yet – as happened today – when a child is injured outside one’s gate and lies screaming in shock and pain, there is action. It is action unclouded by confusion, by conceptualization, by choice. Action simply acts. The child is held and comforted, first aid is applied. She is protected until her mother arrives.
Vast Presence does nothing but be present.
Isn’t it curious that we strive to live in the moment when it’s impossible to find any-where or any-when else but the vastness of the Present, this very moment? We are prisoners of this perfect Presence: there’s no need to seek it, and no possibility of escape!
See also – I’m prisoner of a presence