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.)


time is mind’s favourite toy

342

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.

 

Echoes from Emptiness: Grahame Sydney - Road West, Ida Valley

 

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,
while remaining
utterly unaffected and impartial?


Painting:  Road West, Ida Valley by Grahame Sydney 1999
710mm x 1220mm
Oil on Linen