how a few moments of empty-mind spiked with questions of the unanswerable kind can deliver you to your effulgent nothingness

Edgar Degas, Woman, Seen from Behind, Drying Her Hair, c.1905 - 1910

 

I take off my clothes,

lift them to my face,

inhale the fragrance of my skin.

By what alchemy was that unique odour created?

  

I soak in the bath,

submerged to my chin.

Wetness, warmth: what registers these sensations

yet never gets wet?

  

I towel-dry my mop of silver hair.

I marvel that it grows, it falls out;

more grows, automatically.

Can I spin one thread of hair?

  

I trim a toenail.

How does this perfect toe-guard

know how to grow?

Is there a how-to manual for nails (and hair and cells)?

  

My scissors slip.

I watch my bright blood slowly seep,

congeal, clot (or not).

Can I control a clot?

  

I listen to the ambient sounds of my environment.

By what miracle can I hear

the kettle boiling urgently,

and those rowdy Kookaburras?

  

I make coffee and slowly savour the flavour,

asking myself,

(eyes shut)

Where exactly is ‘taste’ located?

  

Then, uninvited, the mother of all questions shows up:

Where’s my world viewed from?

I gaze undistractedly

at my coffee cup.

  

I can’t find a point of perspective.

So then I try to find a viewer.

Can I find a fixed point,

a “me”?

  

Almost 75 years of wondering, checking for myself,

what can I report?

Well, as the saying goes:  All the lights are on but

no one’s home.

  

I imagined myself into existence,

only to find I am unfindable.

What I find is inescapable space.

Space that’s unimagined, and unarguably aware.

  

Space – ceaselessly birthing

all experience in, and as, time,

including this tricky two-step called

BE-ing.

  

Aware space, dancing

as every sensation, feeling, thought,

every belief – questioned or not,

every thing and every no-thing too.

  

And I, hobbled and hollow-boned,

know its fancy footwork as my own.

  

  

Don’t you just love the way a few moments

of empty-mind

spiked with questions of the unanswerable kind

can deliver you to your effulgent nothingness?

 

– with a deep bow, ml


Art – Edgar Degas, Woman Seen from Behind, Drying her Hair c. 1905 – 1910.
Public Domain.


 
 

early this morning

 

Miriam Louisa Simons - Stained Glass Morning, Missa Gaia Series

 

p e a c e

palpable as the presence of a Presence

yet utterly ineffable

a benediction without diction

beyond the grope of thought

a blessedness without symbol

not experienced as other but

immanent

– inescapably so –

oh!

 

silence

 

immaculate all-adoring silence

 


Image: Miriam Louisa Simons – detail, Stained Glass Morning
Missa Gaia Series,
1987-88. Painting on silk, stitching.
Private Collection, Auckland New Zealand

wonderingmind studio


creation is a selfless selfie

 

Echoes from Emptiness: Photo by Miriam Louisa Simons - Lanzarote aquascape

 

the seeing of It:

the ripples and reflections
the surface and the cool depth
the sun-snatching edges and the calm continuo
the tones, textures, colours

 

the watching of It:

the naming and the recalling
the emotional embroidery, the visceral memories
(pain and pleasure both flushed my cheeks
on that windswept isle in the Canaries)

 

the knowing of It:

all that unfolds before, behind, within and throughout me
as this world I call ‘mine’
shimmers fluidly in a center-less, owner-less
wideawake Aware-ing

 

I am Not,
but the Universe is my Self.

– Shih-T’ou, A.D. 700-790

 


Image – swimming pool reflections captured on a long-ago vacation; Lanzarote, Canary Islands


 

are we listening?

361

To listen and to hear are as alike as oil and water. We often think we are listening, when all that’s really happening is that we’re hearing a download of noise from an external source, data which our memory (thinking) sorts into stories that gel with our own worldview.

The art of listening involves bringing relaxed word-free attention to the moment’s fullness – whether it’s a friend sharing confidences, a ghetto-blaster thumping, a kookaburra cackling, the water murmuring and the breeze sighing over its surface. In the same impartial way, this listening notices the constant commentary being broadcast inwardly by thinking and feeling – the whole movement of “me”.

It’s interesting to find that when this quality of listening is present there’s really nothing to say because opinions are absent. There’s nothing to say, yet everything that matters is being said. In the absence of words, something else has space to speak, something inextricably intimate that we recognize as Love.

~

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


you won’t find this in iTunes

322

emptiness is ceaselessly singing itself into existence

shhhhhh – if you’re very still and silent
you’ll hear its unstruck sound

in the so and hum of breathtide
and the murmuring pulse of bodybeat

in the spaciousness too vast to be contained
within a bony cranium
you’ll hear the choirs celestial –
the harps, the tinkling bells,
the roaring, flaming om

and you’ll hear it all
without turning an ear

for if you’re curious enough to check it out
you’ll be amazed to find …
the ‘listener’ and that sacred sound
cannot be torn apart

~