alive . aware . presence

Miriam Louisa Simons - Breathscribe series: I am here, detail

 

This year
on the day they call Christmas
Team Emelle wakes up
wondrously severed
from its culture’s insidious story
about stars and shepherds
wise men, stables and saviours.

 

Team Emelle is curiously deaf
to the seductive calls
of collective consciousness
to make of this date something special.
It greets the day with a deep bow,
celebrating its everyday sanctity
with gratitude and wonderment.

 

It tends the Great Light
known as Primordial Wisdom Awareness
(as befits its Dharma name, Yeshe)
with its own private rituals
custom-created
on its unique journey
through time’s long now.

 

It tends creation’s original Word
by sitting,
breathing,
in solitary, silent, stillness.
Breath is its prayer
and its practice.
Breath.

 

It tends the manger
in the Heart’s stable
– the soul’s sanctuary –
where the ever newly-born,
uncorrupted
Child
dwells in comfort and safety.

 

Team Emelle doesn’t buy
into the marketplace mindset.
It knows of only one present sure
to give happiness and joy,
one (omni)present that can’t be bought,
wrapped, given or owned…

 

a l i v e  .  a w a r e  .  p r e s e n c e

 


Artwork by Miriam Louisa Simons – Breathscribe series: I am here, detail.

Since the Miriam Louisa composite is made up of of many characters, to say nothing of 37.2 trillion cells and a roughly equal population of bacteria, I have come to think of it as Team Emelle.
Emelle = ML
ML = Miriam Louisa
All smiling and bowing at you right now!


Primordial Wisdom Awareness is also known as The Great Perfection


please take these offerings

Today – another tick in the annual count for she-who-scribbles while her spacecraft steers itself around the sun.

Sitting watching the morning star rise in the pre-dawn coolness, I thought back to this offering, which I posted exactly a year ago on this unlit light blog. It wants to be shared here. I fancy it might be my yearly birthday post, since I can’t find one word I’d change. And I need these words.


Birthdays are a good time to reflect on one’s blessings, and to offer gratitude to our friends for their kindness and thoughtfulness. I always begin my birthday with a gesture of thanks to my mother, who not only gave me the miraculous opportunity for life, but also fostered, nourished and inspired the flourishing of that life in every way possible.

Now in my eighth decade, and delighting in life regardless of its curved balls, I feel to share some of the observations that have delivered me to this joy. It’s the best I can offer; may your mind and heart be able to receive.

 

Miriam Louisa Simons - Offering Bowl

 

Life hurts.
But what you are never feels pain.

Everything changes.
But what you are remains unchanged, eternally.

You’re flat and exhausted and depressed.
But what you are is forever poised as equanimity.

You’re broke, stressed, squeezed dry, homeless and hungry.
But what you are is unaffected and impartial.

You’re smashed by disappointment, betrayal, abandonment.
But what you are is ever calm, accepting and unbroken.

You’re afflicted by physical and mental aberrations, abnormalities, imbalances.
But what you are never suffers for one second.

 

So what you are is clearly something with which you need to become very familiar. And it’s e-a-s-y to do so. You don’t need a formal introduction. You don’t need a manual or a map or a guide book. You don’t need to change your religion or your beliefs (although changes may well occur as a result). You don’t need a 12-step plan or a meditation practice.

What you are is more obvious and closer than the tip of your nose. It’s the one experience you can never escape, 24/7.

What would you call that? Your aliveness? Your awareness? Your presence? All these words come close, but none are ultimately true or exact. Why?

Because they aren’t yours. Or mine. Or anyone’s. Drop the personal pronoun, and there you are – radiant all-knowing alive presence. The Light of Knowingness, self-luminous, always-on, never-needing fuel or flint…

And that is what you are – free, fulfilled and flourishing as all you conceive, perceive and experience. All of it.

How wondrous that this is possible – that this primordial awareness is huge enough to hold the entirety of creation, excluding nothing – yet be unaffected and unmoved by any expression of its handmaiden, consciousness.

It is truly The Beloved, the Godhead of the saints and sages and poets.

And it is what you are.

 


Image – Bowl, Miriam Louisa Simons, Japanese washi, threads, cardboard


 

being . just being . here

 

Vija Celmins - House 2, 1965

Like the moment you too saw, for the first time,
your own house turned to ashes,
Everything consumed so the road could open again.
– David Whyte

My landlady has notified me that the cabin I call home is needed for family use. Once again I’m packing cartons for a move. But. Where to go?

It’s so strange – the old ideas about what the ML character needed in a dwelling (privacy, tranquillity, beauty, light, workspace, car-cover, community of like-minded souls…) are dropping away during this hesitant recovery from recent surgery. There was no rush to the rebound. BP was happy to stay flat. Slipping away would have been easy; no resistance arose…

But it didn’t happen, and tonight I sit here with the dusk chorus swelling in this vast audial auditorium. Soon the bats will arouse from their upside-down day pose and head east towards their nocturnal feeding-fields. The upswelling of delight is delicious as I relax into the unedited immediacy of Being. Just Being. Here.

There is no longer a wanter-woman here. This, I confess, is the most remarkable thing I can say about my current experience of life. The wanter-woman was so central – and so subtle. She turned up as a host of identities – even trying on the ‘no-wanter’ mask for a while. Whatever saw through all the masks remains a mystery, but I can say with confidence that it’s not another object of any kind.

The contentment and joy known tonight weren’t “wanted”. What I mean is, my particular “wanting” wasn’t consciously motivated by desire to escape from the usual melange of human emotions; nor was I seeking salvation, or freedom from fear. I just needed to know whether the sages were being honest when they spoke of the existence of something changeless, immeasurable, real.

As a child I’d known this ineffable ‘something’ intimately – What was that? Why had it seemed to fade as I grew up? What did it have to do with creativity, harmony, beauty? My lifepath organised itself around these concerns; the wanter-woman was an effective vehicle for the journey … until eventually she was understood to be the root of the problem!

It was seemingly by default that contentment and joy bubbled up in the space being vacated by the wanter-woman’s residual repertoire. (Yes – that’s how it moves here: the wanter-woman was seen for the phantom she was and took off. However she left behind a heap of junk, sneakily stashed away as old patterns forged over a lifetime. One by one they percolate up to be acknowledged, welcomed, loved, and sometimes put to new service.)

Being. Just being. Here. What more could be wanted than the capacity to hear the sweet canoodling of the Rosellas as they settle for the night? Or the croaks of the frogs as they gear up for their mating games? The capacity to sense the air become cooler – my skin alive to its breath; to inhale the fragrance of Jasmine, Petunia and Bauhinia blossoms; to view the darkening world as it exhales, its succulent rainforest forms and colors transforming into a deep-toned two-dimensional dreamlike display? And further, deeper, wider, to experience the impossibility of separation from any of this display – the knowing that The Knowing is all there is?

Capacity! Life’s extraordinary gift, so miraculously ours by default – and unarguably known and experienced to be none other than the inescapable Real, even as one’s BP flattens and the nurses’ eyes narrow.

What more could be wanted than what is already here, and has always been here so long as we’ve been alive – yet taken for granted, overlooked as we search for some awesome ‘Real Deal’ with bells and whistles?

I don’t know why Life returned my BP to normal then gave me a fortnight’s horizontal retreat to wonder why it would want to do that, when the old girl was happy to fade out, to return to sender. What I do know is that my gratitude is beyond words.

Perhaps, after all our speculations die down, that’s all Life ever wants – to hear itself sing its praises to itself.

No brims nor borders such as in a bowl
we see. My essence was Capacitie
– Thomas Traherne, 1634 – 1677

If you know of a humble abode, temporary or permanent, where ML can keep practicing her praising – both verbal and visual – please make contact.

*smiling and bowing*


Image: Vija Celmins House 2, 1965

David Whyte quote: from the poem Fire in the Earth


 

plus ça change…

WordPress wizards in training

The ingenious wizards at WordPress have shifted things around again. They no longer offer a sampling of blogs using the themes they offer – a pity, imho, as it’s always interesting to see the way a variety of bloggers turn a particular theme into a personal platform for their writing.

The changes mean this little blog is no longer featured as a “great blog using the Manifest Theme.” Overnight the stats shrank like unmentionables doused in a shower of icy water.

There’s a sense of relief that the folk who turn up here nowadays are more likely to be interested in the content of this blog rather than its theme and design. Yet this is mingled with gratitude that the exposure generated by the WP link may have delivered a few web-wanderers – who might otherwise have scooted on by – to these pages.

When all is said and done, all that remains is emptiness. And emptiness is not about to be silenced. So if you are a stalwart subscriber to this blog, fear not. She-who-transcribes-the-downloads isn’t about to clock off because she’s been sidelined by WP. She thrives on anonymity, and it’s a constant source of amazement to her that Life makes sure her offerings land exactly where they are able to be received.

Nothing, nothing is required of her but to offer what’s given.

And she wryly observes that the Changeless remains – well – unchanged.

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

 


Image source.


three haiku for the road ahead

Leaving Cloud Mountain

 

xxii

How to heal a heart:
stand alone, drop your stories,
fall in love with this.

 

xxiii

When my aloneness
smiled with simple contentment
love loosed its wild song.

 

xxiv

Now that I’m clueless,
emptiness dances naked
wherever I gaze.

 


 

Life moves. It’s taking itself off the mountain and into the marketplace again. Who knows what will unfold? The only thing I’m certain about is that gratitude and fulfillment go with me – one’s my left leg, the other my right…

three haiku from cloud mountain hermitage

 


awakening is as simple as this

And so my scribblings in that little ring-bound notebook came to an end.  Three hundred and sixty five dawns had come and gone.  The notes began with the calamitous and irretrievable loss of a psychological solid-state “me” entity.  (See the free-fall.) They jotted themselves down in prose or poetry, as I explained in the about page.  Incidentally, I was more surprised than anyone to find that readers thought the echoes were “poetic”.

At the end of that year, Life sent a robber to divest me of the physical aspects of my identity, as though it were cleverly matching outer to inner.  I’d be lying if I claimed to be happy about this, but I was fairly philosophical – or so I’m told.  It was awfully inconvenient.  I learned what it felt like to be a refugee, a paperless person.  (Identity theft is an expensive thing to address – one has to begin by proving that one was actually born, and build up the official paper/image trail from there.)

All this occurred a decade ago.  Last year there was an impulse to post what I’d come to call the *echoes* on a blog.  It was the same kind of impulse that prompted me to scribble them in the first place; I complied unhesitatingly, having learned by this stage that Life’s agenda is totally beyond my personal comprehension.

And anyway, it was fun.  I love learning new tricks, and the folks at WordPress were always there to help.  Gratitude goes to the wonderkids who, without a trace of impatience, cheerfully answer one’s goofy questions on the WP forums.  And gratitude to whomever deemed that this little blog would serve as a good example of the ‘Manifest’ theme on the WordPress Themes pages.  When I look at the stats, I keep in mind that many of my visitors have probably come to see how the theme works, rather than to read the content.

But perhaps something of the perfume of this savage wisdom has wafted across cyberspace, regardless.  How else to explain the long list of followers?  Blessed be.

The question now is:  do I stop here or do I continue?  Perhaps it’s for my subscribers and readers to decide.  The *echoes* keep echoing; I keep scribbling. Do you want to continue to tune in?

I leave you – for the moment – with the last of my notes from that time, a decade ago.  I had been reading my favorite living poet, David Whyte, and this *echo* echoes forth from my embrace of his unique wisdom.  Homage!

awakening
in this now place, here
is as simple as this:

look and look again
for the self you take yourself to be

find every self’s substance
to be a reflection
in the mirror-light of looking

and at last
on knees of awe and gratitude
see your True Face

– miriam louisa

 

Echoes from Emptiness: quantum emptiness