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
awakening from sleep
awareness arrays a new-born world
gropes for zafu
settles butt, folds legs
inhales the fragrant flowering gums
chuckles with the kookaburra
trembles with the palm fronds
sips steaming green tea
disappears into a silence
that senses every tone and texture
breathes – is breathed
not one scientist, philosopher or sage
can explain how any of this can possibly occur
on an exquisite pulsing rock
awhirl in a numinous space –
a space inseparable from
the immense, immeasurable awareness
in which it all appears
Image source – Parallax
the sun rose
with no sympathy for a small-time insomniac
the heart sang
drowning out mind’s misery-mongering
an unavoidable Presence ‘watched’
aloof and impartial
and yet inextricably absorbed
within every thought and feeling and deed
(there was caring and cleaning and caring and cooking and caring
and shopping and caring and listening and caring and playing and caring
for the adorable ancients whose turn it is to be my toddlers)
the sun set
the heart sang
its little song of gratitude
On a sun-drenched Easter Sunday nearly seven decades ago, two destiny maps – known as my Mum and Dad – came together in marriage and stayed together.
It happened in the remote Ida Valley, Central Otago – sheep-station country in New Zealand’s South Island. Think tussocks blanketing the dry landscape with shimmering liquid gold, huge rock outcrops and only a few scattered willows bordering the creeks; skies of unfathomable indigo with tiny skylarks soaring and diving and ceaselessly singing on the wing…
Time! How it creates this apparentness of be-ing! Creates the insistent illusion of individuals with identities and histories; creates the fabric on which Life embroiders a multitude of manifestations. Time is mind’s favourite toy.
This is my question:
What was never born
never entered into marriage
never had children or parents
never succeeded or failed at anything
never suffered injury or heartache
nor enjoyed a single moment’s pleasure
and yet ‘knows’ it all, intimately,
utterly unaffected and impartial?
Painting: Road West, Ida Valley by Grahame Sydney 1999
710mm x 1220mm
Oil on Linen
I leave the mountain, cross the border,
stop where the river rushes into the jaws of the Pacific.
The pretty park receptionist, painted like a porcelain pot
shows me to my spot at the water’s edge.
My tiny tent goes up.
Huge pelicans effortlessly ride the tide.
Ibis stalk around like three-legged cartoons.
A thousand bats silently flap their way –
whence, and wither?
Dusk draws the peak of Wollumbin
in charcoal on hazy apricot.
First the wind carries the drone of motorway traffic,
then it shifts; now there’s rolling surf-speak.
On a stone zafu
at the river’s edge I find
a mind that doesn’t seem to mind.
What has neither parents nor offspring
yet knows existence as its family tree?
What has never had a mind to ‘make up’
yet sees everything directly and intimately
and acts freely, without choice?
What has no body, no form
yet the ten thousand things
and the ten thousand no-things
fit it perfectly?
Tamborine Mountain, in the great down-under called Oz, wraps its stony self in subtropical rainforest garb. Peering through spaces in the forest bordering this property I see cultivated areas of huge avocado and macadamia nut trees. There’s a large tree massed with flowers of scarlet. Beyond, there’s a stand of huge eucalypts, and it’s through their open arms that the sky shows gold, then pearl, as the great Shining climbs out of the Pacific and over the rainforest rim.
I notice that as this verdant vista unfolds in perception, it brings up a bouquet of similar delights archived in this particular memory: Normandie, Norway and New Zealand, the English Lake District, Uttarkashi in the Himalaya, and the Western Ghats in Kerala, India. Each vignette bears its unique geographical and chronological label, yet all places and all times exist nowhere but now–here in this vastness of mind.