A small, weary, middle-aged woman sits on a zafu.  She is hobbled by an old injury that will soon require surgery.  She is thousands of miles from her work, her colleagues, her friends and her sangha.  Her brilliant life is reduced to ashes.

She is withdrawn but not sorrowful for she accepts her circumstances, and she deeply loves the two sweet friends – her parents – she has crossed the world to care for in their ancient age.

She has inquired deeply into life’s mysteries and questions.  She has been blessed to be taught and mentored by great spiritual souls.  The zafu is her friend.

She stops, perforce.  She sits.  She stays.  This time there is no escape.

She enters Emptiness.

~ ~ ~

It would be truer to say that Emptiness enters her.  Emptied out of all the notions of who she took herself to be, how her life should be, how the world should be and how she should fix it all, there was space, silence and stillness.

Emptiness found a vacant home and it moved in.

~ ~ ~

It became her custom to rise early, before the tropical heat became suffocating, and spend a couple of hours on the zafu before limping forth into the day.

And every morning there would be a small insistence, unavoidable, that she pick up the spiral-bound book she kept beside her and put some words down.  They simply arose, she simply scribbled.  She was often amazed at what was written, and caught herself thinking, “I wish I’d thought of that.”  But she never had any sense that the words came from another entity.  They just arrived.  They had a life and a movement of their own – if she didn’t catch them on the page, they moved on, irretrievably.

The notes were scribbled for a year.  She wondered for a long time – years actually, what to do with them, if anything, and what to name them.

~ ~ ~

Seven years later.  The woman is lying down after lunch.  She’s on a solitary retreat in a remote and beautiful hermitage in Aotearoa-New Zealand.  Her practice includes the morning zafu-sit, which has continued to be the default way to start the day.  She is not contemplating the notes – she is simply and delightedly breathing into Emptiness.

Suddenly she knows.  The title drops into brainspace.  Echoes from Emptiness is the name for the notes, and it’s time they were shared.

~ ~ ~

It doesn’t really matter where these notes begin – they are numbered, not dated – but chronologically-speaking, and most interestingly, it was on an Easter Friday.  The woman is not a Christian or anything else, but she has grown up in a Christian society and the symbolism isn’t lost on her.  Her own cruci-fiction finds meaning and relevance within the ancient pre-Christian Easter ritual of death and rebirth.

~ ~ ~

So, now you know as much as I do. Thank you for visiting, and for reading this far.
~ miriam louisa


This page, along with the first of the *echoes*, was published on October 21, 2010.  The last of those early *echoes* was published on December 16, 2012:

awakening is as simple as this

In this post I announced the completion of my project and asked readers for feedback regarding whether I should keep on posting current poetry and writing on the same theme – accepting the Truth of one’s identity and becoming accustomed to living from that savage wisdom.  The comments encouraged me to continue – and so it happened, albeit more sporadically.

While the early *echoes* were being posted, the blog ran a tag line “journaling a mindshift”.  Since the journal has folded its covers and made way for fresh material, I have deleted this tag.  I asked for a replacement and silence echoed back.  So be it!
~ ml


Copyright © Emptiness
All content belongs to Emptiness.
The flow was merely intercepted as it made its way through this mind-stream.
Kindly honor said source if you wish to copy content.
Thank you.

71 thoughts on “about

  1. Now I realize! Beautiful. Maren notified us on FB but mostly it passed me by, except for may be a brief visit (she has so any friends and poets, I can’t cope). But this is something else – and it is poetry also (I made a comment here a few days ago, more or less second hand). Wonderfull descriptive title. Definitely will subscribe – now. Thank you.

  2. Welcome dear Martin! Thanks for taking the time to visit – and for your comments. I enjoy your blog too!
    Happy New Now to you …
    In love and gratitude
    ~ miriam

    1. Thank you *brannu23*
      Welcome to this little blog, and also the WordPress blogosphere — your “Cosmic Echo – reverberating the unknown” – is beautiful in both design and content. Gratitude!
      ~ miriam louisa

    1. Thanks for the feedback Lauren. Fortunately one doesn’t need any knowledge of HTML to set up the Archives page in Manifest.

      I found out how to do it at the awesome WordPress forum.

      You go to ‘create new page’, call it ‘Archives’, and from the little ‘Template’ box to the right select ‘Archives’ (rather than ‘default template’) – then simply save the page. The theme will literally manifest it for you!

      If you’re customizing your menu, you might need to add it to your list there so it appears as you wish.

      Good luck! ~ miriam louisa

    1. A warm welcome to you dear Iris; thanks for leaving your trace … of emptiness!
      With love ~ miriam louisa

    1. Such a joy to know the echoes are bringing you precious silence, dear Adrian – thank you for sharing.
      Bowing ~ miriam louisa

  3. A very poignant write Louisa, you’ve a rare talent with both the art of language and the art of the arts.
    I can’t convey in these few words how heartfelt my feelings are for you, in reading this, and in following your journals of a lifetime into peace and love. Perhaps one day you will pen a whole book in the style of this post, third person (interesting linguistic division) … your life has been one hell of an amazing trip, parts of which I’ve been privileged to share. I’m suddenly overcome, on reading “About”, with a strange new sense of the deep sorrows in the remotest corners of your being, unnamed tortures, blessed spears that have sunk deep, pierced the soul, driven you to your artist calling, driven you all your life, through and beyond this earthly flesh to your true Self.

    1. My dearest friend Cazza, you who have similarly been driven by Truth on an equally amazing life-journey, I am deeply touched by your heartfelt comment. Thank you for taking the time to write, and also for all the times you have been there to listen, to support, and to share your unique wisdom with me.
      With love always
      ~ ml

  4. Dear Miriam,

    you have a lovely, thought-provoking blog! I am just starting in this world of WordPress and really like the way you did your archives page (though I have no archive yet, myself). Could you tell me what plug-in or coding you used? I’m specifically interested in having the archive as a separate page and divided by month and category. Feel free to reply directly to my email if you don’t want to clutter the blog with this info – I just didn’t know how else to get in touch with you.

    Thank you so much!!


    1. Hi Marcia – thanks for your kind comment about the *echoes*.

      Another reader asked me the same question about creating an archives page, and you can find my reply right on this page if you scroll up in the comments section. Her name is Lauren.

      Good luck – and happy blogging!

      ~ miriam louisa

  5. it is 5am but the time for sleep has not yet forced itself into my addled mind and i putter about eating fritos and loving my bella the big dog who likes them too. i wandered here quite weirdly but after reading of your retreats i grew so jealous and altered by my own memories of times like that…now i cannot sit for long but still i do not forget the knowing-ness of it all, that clear light spacious peace thing….loveliness.

    thank you for bringing your light to me before the sun has risen this day. it was sorely needed. i didn’t know it but do now. i shall return to visit you again. namaste.

    1. Welcome dear linda – yes, the “knowing-ness of it all” can never be forgotten. It just gets overlooked from time to time. It’s waiting for you. Always. Ever fresh in every moment.

      Bowing to you dear one ~ miriam louisa

  6. hello, i have just started a blog with the same theme, and i need some help. my site is: barrylornefreedman.com

    i am trying to create subpages, the same way you have, in which your ‘about’ page has subpages etc. i can’t seem to manage this!

    would you please let me know how you did it?



    1. Hi Barry – good to hear from you – your blog’s looking great.

      I’ve had several people contact me with the same question re creating subpages. I received all the ‘how-to’ from the fantastic WordPress Forum and can’t recommend them highly enough. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/

      If it helps, remember that when you create new pages there’s an option under ‘page attributes’ to select ‘new parent page’ or ‘subpage’.

      When you customize your menu, you need to add the new page to your pages list there so it appears as you wish. If it’s a subpage you indent it slightly on the list, beneath the parent page.

      I hope this helps – the forum folk will probably be more articulate in their instructions!

      Best of luck ~ miriam louisa

    1. Dear Hanuman Dass – lovely to hear from you again. I continue to enjoy your writing too.

      I’m honored that you consider this little blog worthy of nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award – thank you!

      Bowing ~ ml

  7. Hi Miriam Louisa,
    The poems here a beautiful. There are a few poets who visit my blog and with whose work I like, and I have a links category for them in my side bar; I’m going to put this blog in there.
    ~ Paul

    1. Mark – great to meet you here and to (eventually) be able to explore your interesting blog and writing.

      Thanks for your wry comments, and for the tsunami of “Likes”!

      BTW if you want readers here to click through to your blog, you’ll need to update your link URL.

      Best ~ ml

      1. Thanks for the ‘heads up’ – I wondered why I don’t get much trafffic. I think I’ve corrected it although I don’t really know what I’m doing … I’ll see what happens when this comes through

  8. Hi Miriam
    It’s taken me too long to discover you’re over here too – as well as in The Awakened Eye – and I really like what you’re saying about emptiness, the way the writing process just organized itself. All kinds of interesting things…

    1. Welcome dear Tiramit – thanks for your generous feedback. I continue to enjoy your writing at *dhammafootsteps* too; you take the reader right into the melee of street life so effectively, and always leave us something to quietly ponder as a bonus.
      Safe traveling and blessings on your dhamma-way ~ml

  9. I am sorry – it’s the kid in me; I got given an award and I’d like to pass it on. You have been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award. To see what on earth this is all about have a look at http://mlewisredford.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/versatile-blogger-award/. If you want to accept the award you have to do some stuff to get the badge and the little bit of publicity. If you want to accept the award quietly … (then let’s just keep it between ourselves – it is still nonetheless genuinely offered).

    1. Yay! The kid in me is happy that your blog and writing have received this well deserved award, Mark.

      There was a little flurry of award activity on this blog (and also at *this unlit light*) a few months ago. While I’m truly grateful that anyone would consider my writing worthy of an award nomination, I guess I just balked at the “stuff” I had to do… Such a lazy old cow.

      I think I’m going to put up one of those little badges *Award Free blog* or the like, which also mention how preferable it is to receive readers’ comments.

      So. May I “accept the award quietly” with gratitude for your generosity?

      🙂 ml

  10. thank you for your beautiful blog, which radiates maturity and essence
    the words fall deep into me and resonate with the same knowing, which started to shift me 1,5 yrs ago

    1. Dear Leonie – thanks for your beautiful comment – and for introducing me to your own beautiful blog. I’m looking forward to browsing your posts.
      And also, gratitude for the cascade of lovely “likes” you’ve left here, and on my other blogs. How precious, this resonance!
      ~ ml

      1. yes indeed, how precious this resonance
        it always leaves me breathless and exited to see the words of my heart written by other hands 😉

    1. Indeed! Many thanks for alerting me to the change of access to Paul’s blog, James. It gave me a prompt to check some of the other links there as well, and a few have been deleted or edited. ~ ml

  11. Hi Miriam
    A friend pointed me towards your blog and i am so glad that she did. After many years in Himalayan mountains and also at Arunachala i am soon to be facing the change of adapting to life in Australia. Would love to connect with kindred spirits in that thirsty land. Perhaps you are a kiwi like myself. It hardly matters, but still…

    1. Dear Lyse – I’m so happy you’ve made contact, it feels like a great blessing. Reading a little of your life-path on your blog and then this: “Even if just one heart is opened, for one moment, to the immensity of what ACTUALLY IS, then the purpose of sharing here will have been fulfilled” makes it clear we are Dharma sisters! I’d love to meet you when you return to Oz – where will you be living? Perhaps you’d like to email me at emellesse[@]gmail[.]com?
      And YES – I’m a kiwi too. 🙂
      – miriam louisa

      1. Thank you Miriam, so nice to connect. I sent a mail to the above address. It would be so great to meet up in OZ indeed. I laughed when i saw your email address, i have one very similar emaillyse@g…
        Looking forward to hearing more…

  12. An auspicious circumstance brought me here…I feel a resonance.

    I recently left the first real place that truly felt like ‘home’ to me, and have returned to my hometown to spend quality time with my aging mother.

    A zafu, along with some Tibetan Buddhists’ wisdom, are my way through this. I hope they will help me find ways to muster more dignity and patience than I feel I currently have to offer.

    Thank you for sharing your words and heart.

    1. Dear Lisa – it’s wonderful to have your comment, and I’m so glad you found your way here.

      You are meeting one of the greatest challenges on the (pathless) path – caring for one’s parent in old age. You will, with your worthy companions, find your way. Your mother will be your teacher, mirroring all you need to now allow to emerge into your awareness.

      I’m not saying it will be easy! My parents were agreeable, grateful, reasonable in every way and yet my responses were often very undignified and impatient. Still – there’s nothing I’d change. I needed to learn love’s humility… am so grateful for that, and for this knowing, now, that I did my best. Love really took care of it all. As always…

      Thank you Lisa
      – miriam louisa

    1. sonmi, I greet you here with arms open wide. We are, I suspect, star-sisters and fellow cloud-dancers across aeons of timelessness. Will you teach me some of your tricky steps? (I am a huge admirer of your choreography.)
      – ml, dancing on the dot

      1. How did you know about my Scottish ancestry? That I grew up with the wail of bagpipes? That the mere tuning/warming breath of a piper is enough to set my small feet a-jigging? That I already know the steps?
        *memo to emptiness: WoooooHoooo! Step we gaily on we go…*
        – ml caught at a moment of unexpected frivolity

  13. Hi Miriam
    I happened upon your blog and you poetry. So beautiful. Thank you.
    And I wondered if you would be open to my publishing a piece on my website of course fully honouring you as its creator!
    Love to hear back

    1. Dear Anne – thank you for your kind feedback.
      Would you mind letting me have the URL for the website you mention? I went to “luminousmoon” but it appears to be a shop-front for a design company.
      – Miriam Louisa

  14. Lovely words Miriam and I hope you keep posting them. So many of us are ‘time poor’ but we have to trust that the right words find the right ear as they are needed because that’s how this river seems to flow. With love, Andrew

    1. Andrew – it’s a joy to meet you here. Thank you for visiting and leaving your kind words. What you say about trusting that one’s words “find the right ear” is so true. Our work is to simply be empty enough for the delivery, and then it’s a case of hands-off.

      I’ve enjoyed visiting your blog/website/oasis and will add a link to it when I next update the “mindshifters” page. You deserve more traffic!

      1. That’s very kind Miriam. I find your words here really moving, they seem to reach inside me and give my heart a little poke 🙂 You reminded me it’s been a while since I updated my ‘Awakenings’ links on my blog, so I’ve done that and added one to your wonderful writings here. With metta, Andrew

    1. So kind of you to comment @bert0001.
      If you’re googling Wei Wu Wei and Krishnamurti you’re on a very profound journey of inquiry. Thank you for joining me here!

      1. you have a most inspiring blog.
        “profound journey”: i understand it mentally, now there’s a need to translate into being … 🙂

  15. I am glad to have kept posting . I look forward to reading all your posts . I am drawn towards the simple resonance of what you have to share

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s