have you got a minute?

 

I’d like to invite you to sit down
right now,
for just one minute,
and not entertain one thought.

 

Can you do that?

 

Can you feel the coolness
that wafts through your entire
Presence
when you stop thinking?

 

Not “stop … and”
not “stop … then”
not “stop … so that”
but just stop.

 

Stop.

 

Everything you’ve ever longed for
is waiting for you
in that pause.

 

The cogs and gears of the “me project”
grind to a halt.
The engineers maintaining the scaffolding of the self
take a smoko.
The universe itself sighs,
so gladdened to see an earth angel
hold the claws of thought apart
for even one minute.

 

And every cell in your always-fully-awake body
lights up with a smile: “Now, at last,
we can bow before our own experience
and dance our destiny!”

 

You can do it.

 

It’ll only take a minute.

 

One thought-free minute equals one minute of full wideawakeness
or, one minute of intimacy with what the Buddha knew.
(Did you know that?)

 

You just need to want to meet the Truth of your life
more than you want to entertain a thought about it.

 


[entertain: v.t. Maintain (correspondence, discourse) Concise Oxford Dictionary]


Calligraphy by Jakusho Kwang, Roshi

it was a damn good deal

Ceramic sculpture by Haejin Lee

 

Until I woke up
to my unconscious insatiable insanity
it was the tireless weaver
of the fabric of my life.

It wasn’t enough to have mentally unpicked
and clearly seen-through
the myth and mirage
of the solid-state ‘me’ story.

Unconscious residue of that ‘me’
I thought was done and dusted
remained, and so, another unpicking began
– a second-level unpicking if you like.

Waking up to what one isn’t is utterly mind shifting.
It’s tempting to rest in the inevitable sweet relief;
it’s tempting to assume one has attained
the ultimate wisdom.

Yet, although thought likes to tell itself otherwise,
the thrust of cellular conditioning forges on
below the limn,
obvious to everyone but oneself.

I am driven by curiosity –
especially concerning creativity and freedom.
What might I not know about this multi-layered energetic playground
called my life? An investigation was called for.

I saw how the old unconscious imprints
ran deep; how their effects can’t be denied
yet are avoided, by-passed, rationalised
by a self-idea facing sure extinction.

Have you ever unpicked knitting?
You take the single thread responsible for the fabric’s form
and simply pull. The stitches unravel with ease.
If there’s a knot, you tease it free.

Just like that: I grasped the master lie,
and pulled. Stitch by stitch the network of neurology
unravelled. Each stitch was an imprint of pain:
fear, anger or grief.

Separation ceased as each imprint was fully felt
without one word being brought to the alchemy.
(Commentary, analysis, explanation
are neither required nor helpful.)

The howling insatiability that fuelled
my craziness was slowly sated. An incomprehensible
fulfilment surfaced that has no idea what words like
sanity or insanity might mean.

These days I find it absurd to claim that I am
anything – even “That”, or “Life”, or “Nothing”.
To say “I am” is a lie, yet as a sage once observed,
“the universe is myself”.

The universe chuckles to itself:
“It was a damn good deal – an imaginary ‘me’ for an immensity!
It only cost me everything … and everything
came back, marked perfect, wondrous, eternal.”

 


“I am not, but the universe is myself.” – Shih-T’ou, A.D. 700-790


Ceramic sculpture by Haejin Lee


 

wholly whole and holy

ma deva padma - existence

 

So.  Here we are.  Sitting upon our lotus-leaf

pondering the paradox

that there is no inner and outer to this experience

of exist-ing.

Not only is the fabric of our being

felted from the Primordial Awareness we can’t

escape,

but every appearance we consider

‘other’

is similarly ex-pressed from that source.

And if there’s no inside/outside,

no this/that

no me/other

it means this:

there’s nowhere to hide

 

We love to think that our quiet denial

of the pain too unspeakable to countenance,

is safely hidden from view.

 

Or, and this is more common,

we are no longer aware of it

as it vibrates below the limn

of our consciousness.

 

Perhaps we stitch together satisfying stories about

our awakened understanding.

(Or the absence thereof.)

Yet in moments of self-honesty we can see:

our scars go before us

laying out the trajectory of our lives.

 

Every stitch in the tapestry

of our magnificent ‘me’

is displayed across the cosmos.

 

All is known.

Because there’s nowhere for anything

to hide.

 

This is exquisite.

It’s a realisation that throws open the possibility

that the wound we have spent a lifetime

avoiding, can become the catalyst

for an unimaginable new View.

 

How come?

 

No inside/outside, remember?

No separation, remember?

Only One immeasurable inconceivable Whole is happening.

It’s like an eyeless eye.

 

It

knows Itself

intimately, lovingly

in all the discarded, denied details

of our every wound,

every misdeed and regret,

every choked-back emotion,

every failure to love…

 

and still It loves us

nourishes

holds

and

lives us

 

so

 

how could we not be safe?

we can come out

we can stand up

we can own up

we can shine

 

wholly whole and holy

 


 

Sorry to shout.   But this matters.  Evidence of unintegrated primal pain is displayed for all to see across our world at this time.  Imagine what the scene would be like if emotionally mature grown-ups were carrying the best interests of humanity forward, rather than beings frozen at the age of three?  This is probably as close as I will ever come to making a political statement.

 


Image copyright Ma Deva Padma, Existence, from the Osho Zen Tarot


the ultimate conundrum

 

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893
(OMG – another think coming!)

 

Contemplating the savage wisdom of one of my major mindshifters

 

If you can forget it or remember it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can experience it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can know it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can be it, it is not you therefore discard it.

 

… I find myself scribbling some lines that say pretty much the same thing, but employ some of the more common jargon spinning around the contemporary seeker’s scene:

If you can surrender to it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can invite it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can activate it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can practice it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can lean into it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can rest in it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can embody it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can point to it, it is not you therefore discard it.

If you can master it, it is not you therefore discard it.

 

If you think you can discard anything,

you’ve got another think coming.

 


 

It cannot be invited; it is quietly present when you are absent.

 


The opening words are from Nisargadatta Maharaj. I have heard that when the realised teacher sees the efforts of the student towards their ’emptying’, they are filled with delight. Niz was not known for his patience with fools; would my application of some of the common lingo that shows up in the spiritual circus these days get his nod? Thank god it doesn’t matter.

The final words are not a quote, but my paraphrasing of the way my teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti would address the ultimate conundrum.


The image needs no introduction: Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893 – I am solely responsible for the sub-title, “OMG, another think coming!”


For those who might not be familiar with colloquial English usage:
“Another think coming” is the original form of the colloquial phrase aimed at someone who has a mistaken view. It comes from the old comical expression, “If that’s what you think, you’ve got another think coming.”


 

how could you not love something like that?

I was poking around one of my favourite poetry sites recently and found some of my own lines. They had been sourced from one of my other blogs.
(Sincere nods of gratitude to the curator.)

I had quite forgotten these lines (unsurprising, since you didn’t write them, says Emptiness), and reading them again delights me. Unashamedly. So I’m sharing them here.

 

Echoes from Emptiness: how could you not love something like that?

 

how could you not love something that

never leaves you
regardless of how often you ignore it?

that’s always self-shining –
never needing flint or switch or fuel?

that never changes
regardless of the vicissitudes of your daily experience?

that never takes sides
whatever person, team or nation you’re supporting,
whatever idea or opinion you hold?

that never breaks apart
even though your life appears to?

that never minds
n-e-v-e-r   m-i-n-d-s
that you spend your life running around looking for it
while it’s in your face the whole time?

how could you not love something like that?

something you can never escape,
and that’s so immanent
you are forced to accept it
as your own true identity?

how could you not then love
Y O U R S E L F ?

and everything arising
– thoughts, perceptions, memories, feelings –
within that inconceivable Self?

how could you not love that immensity which precedes
and includes all existence?

how could you not kneel at your own feet
in awe?

 

how could you pretend that your enlightened
heart-driven passion
was not the Great Passion of That
which holds the planets in their orbit?

 

how could you ignore the urge to pour
your energy and attention
into whatever opens your heart?

 

how?

 

– miriam louisa
August 2013


Link

goofiness and the great grok

After the last unashamedly goofy post about cavorting with twinkle-toed Hafiz and a pipe-playing bunny it seems timely to post something a little more … grounded.

Unfortunately Emptiness doesn’t deliver according to demand; this is what turned up. It starts off sensibly enough, but when the metaphorical “clicks” deliver one to the inevitable placeless-place, i.e. when the free-fall occurs, it all gets dizzy again.

(Sorry, but you did sign-up / click-through…)

ALICE and the Quantum CAT

Yes. It’s true. The mind shift out of separation is monumental. That’s why it tends to be mythologised. Yet the ‘happening’ itself is more like a series of extremely subtle nano-gestures; somewhat like the unnoticed adjustments one’s eyes make to a change in ambient light.

In my experience something is definitely ‘felt’ in perception – it’s physical as well as psychological. In other words, the shift can be sensed by something, yet I find the ‘something’ can’t be torn apart from the sensing. I notice, for example, a releasing of muscles in the eye area, the forehead and the back of my head. The top of my head wants to open like a flower.

However, it’s in the psychological arena that the effects are monumental. Imagine, if you will, a little meter in mindspace with a needle that registers ways of perceiving / creating / experiencing one’s world. As the needle moves through the various modes there’s a little ‘click’.

You start off in particle view; you know yourself as a solid-state person with a mind of your own. You don’t need anyone to tell you otherwise, but along comes a sage (or a kind friend) who says that’s a lie. (Ooops.) You explore a bit – maybe try meditation, or check out the evidence presented by your own direct experience. Eventually something causes your boundaries to melt and – you’re awash in wave view.

“CLICK”

You’re feeling pretty cool about your new wave view; it feels amazing actually. It makes you take the so-called spiritual search seriously and you suspect that this is what they mean by ‘enlightenment’. Maybe you crow about it a bit, start entertaining ideas about teaching others the particle / wave trick. But someone or something disabuses you (oh) and you settle down into humble not-knowing-ness. And without moving a neuron, maybe your humility quiets the wave and there’s a shift to oceanic view.

“CLICK”

Oceanic view seems like the pinnacle – enlightenment at last! – yet you find yourself asking, “What’s awaring this view?” Meaning – there’s still a sense of subtle separation. By this stage though, your flotation suit (the one with “ME” laminated in electric yellow on the back) is leaking badly. Your head is in the tiger’s mouth (as they say) and nothing can save you from drowning and dissolving. Now you no longer know any boundaries: self is spaciousness.

“CLICK”

Oh – – – so this is what they mean by cosmic view! Mama Mia, you say, I’m awake and I was never unawake! And it is true – you are awake and you know you are awake. Your eyes are wide with the shock of sensing your self as everything you can perceive as far as perception’s probes can penetrate.

(The sky-dancing sage is cackling and shaking her rattle. She knows the goose isn’t yet fully cooked; there’s more… )

Cosmic view is … yet another view. It’s the one, however, that places you in the neighbourhood of black holes, and eventually Life will make sure you are devoured, entirely devoured, by one of them. Everyone knows there’s no view inside a black hole. No view, and no you.

“CLICK”

{ { { J U S T  T H I S ! } } }

Crikey.

The edifice has been dismantled. Full-on wild wideawakeness pops the eyes right out of the head. Awareness beams itself through the slits in the eyes of Mr Schrödinger’s cat and sees that ‘dead’ and ‘alive’ and Infinite Potential coexist in timelessness. Goofiness floods in. The enigmatic grin of the great grok appears on your dial.*

The why and the how of it can’t be explained. It seems comic that thought desperately needs to bullet-point the ineffable.

As if it mattered!

Life joyously heads out into the theatre of  magical mind, meeting each moment afresh and recognising all arisings as its endlessly-morphing self: “This too! This too! This too!”

And what does the world see? A goof with a silly grin on her face and a cunning cat at her heels (or not).


* ‘Grok’ means ‘identically equal.’ It means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed — to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in…

“All that Groks is God.”


Image – detail from the cover of Alice and the Quantum Cat, edited by William Brandon Shanley – an adventure into the world of 21st century science with contributions from Fred Alan Wolf, Amit Goswami, F David Peat, Nick Herbert, Danah Zohar, Beverly Rubick and Peter Russell. What a line up!

http://www.paripublishing.com/books/alice-and-the-quantum-cat/


walking forth, legless

 

walking forth,
legless,
into the theatre of my life
after 39 days immersion in a
silent Dzochen retreat

 

miriam louisa simons, Wangapeka journal - Dzogchen retreat, New Zealand, 2010

 


I recently came upon a journal written on a 6 week silent Dzogchen retreat at Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre in Nelson, Aotearoa-New Zealand, in 2010. (The Lama had asked me to do this as part of my practice.) Other writings from this period have been posted at this unlit light blog but the scribblings in this journal haven’t been shared before. The one above, written on the last day of silence, packed a punch from which I will never recover.

This is what happens on a retreat that goes long enough, deep enough, wide enough – you get ripped in three and re-braided.

“formations”? – anything that takes shape in consciousness: a thought, a feeling, a memory, a story, a self, an other…

“universe”? – the changeless, ever-present, immeasurable, all-inclusive and inescapable THIS.

“preferred”? – by whom? by what? (there being no chooser to be found) By the universe ITself, as the miraculous and incomprehensible expression of ITself.

“why”? – make up a good story; it doesn’t matter what you conceive … all stories are formations, fluffy consolations for a mind made redundant.

(Best not to attend such retreats unless prepared for obliteration of the old concepts and fixations around self-identity and world-view.)