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


 

nothin’ left to lose …

I’ve had an encounter with an ear worm. You know, those catchy tunes that keep playing in your mind ad nauseam.

It’s amazing the lengths tic-toc thinking will go to, to ensure some activity is going on. I’ve found the only effective antidote to be a kind of meditation where you just plonk yourself down (or not) and cast attention in the worm’s direction without any intention to “stop” it. Brain worms loathe the light of attention.

This worm was fun (for a while), as my mind played with the lyrics. I jotted a couple down before returning the wriggler to sender, from whence it has failed to return. Maybe it’s back in Janis’s pocket…

 

Janis Joplin, 1970

“Freedom’s just another word
for nothin’ left to lose.”*

Love is just another word
for when you disappear.

 

Peace is just another word
for right and wrong conjoined.

 

Heaven‘s just another word
for no one left to choose.

 

More stanzas on the nondual theme, anyone?

 

[Later – they just keep coming… ]

 

Me is just another word
for God knowing Itself.

 

Joy is just another word
for thankfulness enthused.

 

Praise is just another word
for wonderment expressed.

 

God is just another word
for What’s beyond all words.

. . .


* Lyrics from Me and Bobby McGee, by Kris Kristofferson


Image: Janis Joplin, whose version of this song was her only number one hit. It was included in the album Pearl, 1970. Source: Wikimedia Commons


 

lessons from the lifeboat

 

Echoes from Emptiness - Lessons from the Lifeboat

 

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…)

 

peace

is this rock-solid, inescapable

aware-ing

 

contentment

is simply the end of seeking

salvation

 

separation

is a story without verifiable

substance

 

suffering

is an argument with Life’s

thusness

 

compassion

is meeting Life’s thusness without

a story

 

joy

is unbridled delight at Life’s endless

wonderment

 

grace

is the gift of this unshakeable

understanding

 


Image source


joy

Dervish Dancer
 

there is a joy
that’s neither an emotion nor a feeling;
that’s unaffected by unkind words
spat from spiteful mouths;
that’s unwounded by hurtful gestures –
off-handedness, rudeness, scorn

there is a joy
that pulses on regardless
of the world’s apparent disarray –
the distress, the abuse and denial –
a joy from which one is choicelessly
propelled into impartial action

there is a joy
that has no opposite, or cause;
it can’t be cultivated or contained,
bought or sold,
given or attained,
yet you’ll never escape its presence

there is a joy
that trashes all your
“teacup ideas” of transcendence;
that sets your wild fearless heart
spinning like a dervish
amongst the sorrows of the world

 


Image: Rumi on Facebook


on christmas day in the morning

 

The Southern Cross and The Pointers

 

when you reach crinkled cronehood
days are as good as nights
as far as sleep’s concerned

wide-awake
I get up to pee

then I’m distracted by
the song of the Southern Cross
and lose my way back to bed

The Pointers are crisp and clear
SIT! they command
and who am I
to argue with the Cosmos?

oh joy and glee –

where else to be

but on a zafu

@3?

 


Image source – Sydney Observatory

One of the wonders of the night sky in the Southern Hemisphere (and greatly missed by its natives when they travel north of the equator) is the Southern Cross with its Pointers. In the image above, the Cross can be seen to the right, and the two Pointers to the left, indicating the position of true south.


this savage wisdom somehow soothes

362

reality

[aka

confusion
disconnection
resentment
frustration
cowardice
grief]

isn’t optional

reality

[aka

clarity
intimacy
gladness
ease
courage
joy]

isn’t optional

if I scream for a break from this full-on life
with all its dualistic extremes
I’ve gone and forgotten
again

 that reality isn’t optional

and how extraordinary to find that this
savage wisdom somehow soothes
and silences, softly,
sweetly,
the voice of she-who-screams

 ~

here I is!

326

Earth’s summer breath embraces the coolness of the pre-dawn atmosphere and for an hour or so reveals itself as soft mistiness. Through the big trees camellia blooms are showing pinkly; there’s a tree covered in huge scarlet trumpets and another clothed in a purple so intense it could explode:

Echoes from Emptiness: Jacaranda in full bloom, NSW, Australia

 

I sees but does not watch

I hears but does not listen

I feels but does not touch

I tastes but does not eat

I smells but does not inhale

I is freedom without the ‘from’

I perceives but doesn’t conceptualize

I has never been born and can never die

I is the still, silent, ubiquitous point at the centre of the spinning world

I has never believed one single belief nor thought one thought nor made one choice

I is amoral, innocent, unconditioned intelligence which has nothing to do with intellect

I is joy without cause

I is love without object

I is what one is
and what all sentient beings are
bottom-line,
fundamental,
I-ness
I-ing

 

(as the perfect purple of a Jacaranda bloom)


Image source