{ pure gold }

 
     

It must have been more than 50 years ago.

I was a newbie meditator and yogini when my teacher threw this curved ball:

“Pray for disappointment.
Disappointment is the highest teacher.”

Gulp.  I thought I was signing up for Transcendence 101, not some advanced course in self-mortification.  Please explain, I asked, and she did:

Disappointment will unpick your stories.

It will shatter your certitudes.

It will strip you of hope.

It will lead you to the other side of the assumptions you unknowingly live by. 

(It will be a huge shock to realise that the only free and true choice you can ever make is to stop, shut up, listen and open.)

If you can live with its inevitability, it will deliver you to unbreakable peace and equanimity.  You will understand the real meaning of trust and you will make impermanence your touchstone.  

No fatalism or nihilism involved – no ‘isms’ whatsoever.  
No ideology, therapy or frantic god-bothering required.

 

{ pure gold }

 

Well, as it happened, she was right.

Did I ever offer up a prayer of invitation to disappointment?  
Not that I recall, but I’ve always been a bit contrary, and I was definitely curious.

Everyone was hunting for the enlightenment cookie via his or her own tendencies and patterns – I guess I was too.  In hindsight it’s clear that my fierce wild-maned Cincinnati yoga teacher (who was managing my return to mobility after having my right leg leg severed in an accident) was introducing me to the Via Negativa,
to the ancient Vedic Neti Neti inquiry.

And so far as the gods of disappointment were concerned,
my ingenuous curiosity was enough to catch their attention.  

Off I went, from one knee-grazer to the next.

Sometimes they served up the prompt in the midst of the mishap, accident, heartache, bust-up, betrayal, rejection.  Sometimes it would show up in the aftermath.  But it never failed to arrive, scribbled in gold on the back of an increasingly tattered calling card:

 

What knows this,

ceaselessly, inescapably, 

while remaining entirely unaffected?

 

a h h h h h . . .

s y s t e m – r e s t o r e

 

{ pure gold }

 

I bow before disappointment’s wild grace.

 

Speaking personally, mls.


Notes:

Sometimes a poem calls forth an image; sometimes an image elicits a poem.  I’ve been keeping company with this Kintsugi sculpture by Billie Bond for a while, waiting to see if words might line themselves up in response to its powerful eloquence.  What showed up surprised me.  While I have been blessed with untold good fortune, generosity and joy in my life, I confess that it was the unspeakably harrowing experiences that opened up intimacy with the entire field of experience.  So I’m posting this in case it matches the shape of a wound that needs loving attention.  We all have them. And we are the world.

From September 18, 2013: a love letter to disappointment

Sculpture:
Billie Bond, Kintsugi Head 1, 2014
H32 W22 D15
Black stoneware, resin, epoxy, gold leaf
Unique
http://www.billiebondart.com/kintsugi-sculpture.html

Kintsugi – “golden joinery” also known as Kintsukuroi – “golden repair”, is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with lacquer mixed with powdered gold.  As a philosophy it sees beauty in imperfection; it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.


memo to mind

Dear team-member:

 

It has come to our notice that you’ve been indulging

in speculation, prediction,

definition and generalisation

about

what it will be/is like after “awakening” occurs,

how to recognise an “awake” human being,

and even the degree of your own “awakening.”

 

 In other words, you’ve been snoozing on the job

and entertaining yourself in an indisious dream

in which you assume some kind of god-identity

and dish out judgement.

 

Not good teamwork, comrade Mind!

 

Speculation only serves to separate,

and we all know this team is a seamless unit;

seamless, spacious and silent.

 

What is your life about, anyway?
Nothing but a struggle to be someone.
Nothing but a running from your own silence.
– Rumi

 

We note that you get very edgy around silence.

(Your earnest claim of being no one

shatters silence as effectively as any “struggle to be someone.”)

 

Arthur Boyd, Sleeping Woman with Dragonfly and Watching Figure, c.1964

 

Dear comrade,

have you noticed

the iridescent miracle

hovering at the window of wonderment?

 

Are you aware

of the Beloved’s presence,

eyes bloodshot from its sleepless lifelong vigil?

 

Have you marvelled

at the way the life-stream flows on, inevitably,

without minding (without minding).

 

– – –

 

Please reconsider your function and report back.
Thank you.  You are a valued member of the team.

 


Arthur Boyd (1920 – 1999), Sleeping Woman with Dragonfly and Watching Figure c.1964
Pastel on paper, 48.5 x 63.0 cm


Apologies to Arthur Boyd for hijacking his artwork for poetic purposes.


 

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


silence has found me

This poem was originally posted on one of my other blogs in 2009. During some cyber housekeeping I found it again and it spoke to me with the same intensity expressed six years ago. It wants to be shared here on ‘the echoes’. With love.


 

Johann Heinrich Füssli - The Silence

 

silence has found me

its ruthless simplicity
has culled the clutter
from closets
I never knew existed
in the corridors of my brain

its unstoppable tide
has drowned the demon
that danced through my days,
demanding:
control, adjust, fix!

its throbbing roar
has muted the mutterings
of protest,
the pleas for reprieve,
from the screaming ‘me-me!’ myth

its yawning vastness
has swallowed whole
the impostor who once laid claim
to this luminous lifestream:
t i m e

its perfect love
has melted all that I took
to be me
in its crucible of fiery
Grace

and the receptors in these cells
heard the words
the whole world hungers
to hear:

you are loved!

how could it be otherwise
when separation from your essence
is impossible?

 

be silence

and Know

 


Image – Johann Heinrich Füssli, The Silence, oil on canvas, 1799-1801
Source – Wikimedia Commons


Reblogged from this unlit light


surfer chick

 

Echoes from Emptiness: tunnel surfer

 

I’ve been there
crouched low,
riding a tunnel wave

but it wasn’t in that
rolling roaring wetness

it was in this
silent
unfathomable
ocean of Being

 

imagine my amazement
to discover – here
in this human form –
an aging amphibious
void-surfer

 


Image source unknown – if it’s yours, please advise!


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

 ~