Wednesday, April 23, 2014



Go deeper

Past thoughts into silence.

Past silence into stillness.

Past stillness into the heart.

Let love consume all that is left of you.



consider this


What is called the world is only thought.

–Ramana Maharshi



Behind all words, the Unsayable stands


Happy are those who know:
Behind all words, the Unsayable stands;
And from that source alone, the Infinite
Crosses over to gladness, and us -

Free of our bridges
Built with the stone of distinctions;
So that always, within each delight,
We gaze at what is purely single and joined.

–Rainer Maria Rilke


Two Tanka


From outside my house,
only the faint distant sound
of gentle breezes
wandering through bamboo leaves
in the long evening silence.

Late evening finally
comes: I unlatch the door
and quietly
await the one
who greets me in my dreams.  

–Otomo No Yakamochi


images - Nordin Seruyan,
central Borneo, via datura


where Heaven starts


There are days when I am convinced that Heaven starts already, now, in this ordinary life, just as it is, in all its incompleteness, yet, this is where Heaven starts. See within yourself, if you can find it.

I walked through the field in front of the house, lots of swallows flying, everywhere! Some very near me. It was magical.

We are already one, yet we know it not.

–Thomas Merton


Tuesday, April 22, 2014



Pay close attention to your mean thoughts.
That sourness may be a blessing,
as an overcast day brings rain for the roses
and relief to dry soil.

Don't look so sourly on your sourness!
It may be it's carrying what you most deeply need
and want. What seems to be keeping you from joy
may be what leads you to joy.

Don't call it a dead branch.
Call it the live, moist root.
Don't always be waiting to see
what's behind it. That wait and see
poisons your Spirit.

Reach for it.
Hold your meanness to your chest
as a healing root,
and be through with waiting.

–Jelaluddin Rumi
Eyes-Shut Facing Eyes-Rolling-Around
Coleman Barks version




these wings of yours


a voice out of this world
calls on our souls
not to wait any more
get ready to move
to the original home

your real home
your real birth place
is up here with the heavens
let your soul take a flight
like a happy phoenix

you've been tied up
your feet in the mud
your body roped to a log
break loose your ties
get ready for the final flight

make your last journey
from this strange world
soar for the heights
where there is no more
separation of you and your home

God has created
your wings not to be dormant
as long as you are alive
you must try more and more
to use your wings to show you're alive

these wings of yours
are filled with quests and hopes
if they are not used
they will wither away
they will soon decay

you may not like
what i'm going to tell you
you are stuck
now you must seek
nothing but the source

Ghazal 945
Translation by Nader Khalili


you come and go


You come and go.
The doors swing closed ever more gently, almost without a shudder. 
Of all those who move through the quiet houses, 
you are the quietest. 

We become so accustomed to you, we no longer look up when
your shadow falls over the book we are reading and makes it glow.
For all things sing you: at times we hear them more clearly. 

Often when I imagine you your wholeness cascades into many shapes. 
You run like a herd of luminous deer and I am dark,
I am forest. 

You are a wheel at which I stand, whose dark spokes sometimes
catch me up, revolve me nearer to the center. 

Then all the work I put my hand to 
widens from turn to turn. 

–Rainer Maria Rilke


your hidden self


In the ocean are many bright strands
and many dark strands like veins that are seen
when a wing is lifted up.

Your hidden self is blood in those, those veins
that are lute strings that make ocean music,
not the sad sound of surf, but the sound of no shore.



The Three Oddest Words


When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.

–Wislawa Szymborska


Monday, April 21, 2014



invent yourself and then reinvent yourself,
don't swim in the same slough.
invent yourself and then reinvent yourself
stay out of the clutches of mediocrity.

invent yourself and then reinvent yourself,
change your tone and shape so often that they can
categorize you.

reinvigorate yourself and
accept what is
but only on the terms that you have invented
and reinvented.

be self-taught.

and reinvent your life because you must;
it is your life and
its history
and the present
belong only to

–Charles Bukowski
No Leaders, Please

Thanks Be For These: Meditations on Life and Death


While something in us clamors for stability, for sameness in the deeper regions of our being, we know we are made for change.

–Richard S. Gilbert

East Coker V, Four Quartets, excerpt


Dariusz Klimczak (Poland) - Curioos


Old men ought to be explorers
here or there does not matter

we must be still and still moving
into another intensity
for a further union, a deeper communion
through the dark cold and the empty desolation,
the wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters
of the petrel and the porpoise.

In my end is my beginning.

T. S. Eliot




You Are Tired (I Think)


You are tired,
(I think)
Of the always puzzle of living and doing;
And so am I.

Come with me, then,
And we’ll leave it far and far away—
(Only you and I, understand!)

You have played,
(I think)
And broke the toys you were fondest of,
And are a little tired now;
Tired of things that break, and—
Just tired.
So am I.

But I come with a dream in my eyes tonight,
And knock with a rose at the hopeless gate of your heart—
Open to me!
For I will show you the places Nobody knows,
And, if you like,
The perfect places of Sleep.

Ah, come with me!
I’ll blow you that wonderful bubble, the moon,
That floats forever and a day;
I’ll sing you the jacinth song
Of the probable stars;
I will attempt the unstartled steppes of dream,
Until I find the Only Flower,
Which shall keep (I think) your little heart
While the moon comes out of the sea.

–E. E. Cummings




Laurens Collegium Rotterdam
Conductor: Wiecher Mandemaker

I. Ubi caritas (0:00)
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est;
congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus et in ipso iuncundemur,
timeamus et amemus Deum vivum,
et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

II. Tota pulchra es (2:25)
Tota pulchra es, Maria
et macula originalis non est in te,
vestimentum tuum candidum quasi nix,
et facies tua sicut sol.
Tota pulchra es, Maria,
et macula originalis non est in te;
tu gloria Jerusalem, tu laetitie Israel,
tu honorificentia populi nostri.

III. Tu es Petrus (4:23)
Tu es Petrus
et super hanc pertam aedificabo ecllesiam meam.

IV. Tantum ergo (5:20)
Tantum ergo sacramentum
veneremur cernui,
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui.
Praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.
Genitori genitoque laus et jubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque sit et benedictio;
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

for your Sunday


A million prayers went up to heaven
They went for nothing
A million pleas came back down
They said "stop asking"

So much blood on my hands..
So much blood on my hands..

The angels cried "we can do nothing"
Our hearts were sunken
Cause the focus of our prayers
Was fraudulent yet wary
That the lords wrath would come

So much blood on my hands
So much blood on my hands

So much blood on my hands (I'm so lost)
So much blood on my hands (I'm so lost)



an embarrassment


“Do you want to ask the blessing?”
“No. If you do, go ahead.”
He went ahead: his prayer dressed up
in Sunday clothes rose a few feet
and dropped with a soft thump.

If a lonely soul did ever cry out
in company its true outcry to God,
it would be as though at a sedate party
a man suddenly removed his clothes
and took his wife passionately into his arms.

–Wendell Berry


sometimes a man stands up


Sometimes a man stands up during supper
and walks outdoors, and keeps on walking.
because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.
And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.
And another man, who remains inside his own house,
dies there, inside the dishes and in the glasses,
so that his children have to go far out into the world
toward that same church, which he forgot.

–Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Robert Bly


on prayer



Certain thoughts are prayers. 
There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body,

the soul is on its knees.

—Victor Hugo


be in silence


You need not go to heaven to see God; nor need you speak loud, as if God were far away; nor need you cry for wings like a dove to fly to Him. 

Only be in silence, and you will come upon God within yourself.

–Saint Teresa of Avila

passing through


Like a wave in the physical world, in the infinite ocean of the medium which pervades all, so in the world of organisms, in life, an impulse started proceeds onward, at times, may be, with the speed of light, at times, again, so slowly that for ages and ages it seems to stay, passing through processes of a complexity inconceivable to men, but in all its forms, in all its stages, its energy ever and ever integrally present.

A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature. 

In no way can we get such an overwhelming idea of the grandeur of Nature than when we consider, that in accordance with the law of the conservation of energy, throughout the Infinite, the forces are in a perfect balance, and hence the energy of a single thought may determine the motion of a universe.

–Nikola Tesla
The Electrical Review, 1893

Saturday, April 19, 2014





Keep far away.

You should never be here too much; be so far away that they can’t find you, they can’t get at you to shape, to mould.

Be so far away, like the mountains, like the unpolluted air; be so far away that you have no parents, no relations, no family, no country; be so far away that you don’t know even where you are.

Don’t let them find you; don’t come into contact with them too closely.

Keep far away where even you can’t find yourself; keep a distance which can never be crossed over; keep a passage open always through which no one can come.

Don’t shut the door for there is no door, only an open, endless passage; if you shut any door, they will be very close to you, then you are lost.

Keep far away where their breath can’t reach you and their breath travels very far and very deeply; don’t get contaminated by them, by their word, by their gesture, by their great knowledge; they have great knowledge but be far away from them where even you cannot find yourself.

For they are waiting for you, at every corner, in every house to shape you, to mould you, to tear you to pieces and then put you together in their own image.

Their gods, the little ones and the big ones, are the images of themselves, carved by their own mind or by their own hands.

They are waiting for you, the churchman and the Communist, the believer and the non-believer, for they are both the same; they think they are different but they are not for they both brainwash you, till you are of them, till you repeat their words, till you worship their saints, the ancient and the recent; they have armies for their gods and for their countries and they are experts in killing.

Keep far away but they are waiting for you, the educator and the businessman; one trains you for the others to conform to the demands of their society, which is a deadly thing.

They have a thing called society and family: these two are their real gods, the net in which you will be entangled.

They will make you into a scientist, into an engineer, into an expert of almost anything from cooking to architecture to philosophy.

Keep far, far away; they are waiting for you, the politician and the reformer; the one drags you down into the gutter and then the other reforms you; they juggle with words and you will be lost in their wilderness.

Keep far away; they are waiting for you, the experts in God and the bomb throwers: the one will convince you and the other show you how to kill; there are so many ways to find God and so many, many ways to kill.

But besides all these, there are hoards of others to tell you what to do and what not to do; keep away from all of them, so far away that you cannot find yourself or any other.

You too would like to play with all of them who are waiting for you but then the play becomes so complicated and entertaining that you will be lost.

You should never be here too much, be so far away that even you cannot find yourself.

–J. Krishnamurti


beyond conclusions


I can feel this heart inside me and I conclude it exists.
I can touch this world and I also conclude that it exists.
All my knowledge ends at this point. The rest is hypothesis.

—Albert Camus
The Myth of Sisyphus
(Gallimard, 1942)


anyone can sing


Anyone can sing. You just open your mouth,
and give shape to a sound. Anyone can sing.

What is harder, is to proclaim the soul,
to initiate a wild and necessary deepening:

to give the voice broad, sonorous wings
of solitude, grief, and celebration,

to fill the body with the echoes of voices
lost long ago to bravery, and silence,

to prise the reluctant heart wide open,
to witness defeat, to suffer contempt,

to shrink, lose face, go down in ignominy,
to retreat to the last dark hiding-place

where the tattered remnants of your pride
still gather themselves around your nakedness,

to know these rags as your only protection
and yet still open - to face the possibility
that your innermost core may hold nothing at all,

and to sing from that - to fill the void
with every hurt, every harm, every hard-won joy
that staves off death yet honours its coming,

to sing both full and utterly empty,
alone and conjoined, exiled and at home,

to sing what people feel most keenly
yet never acknowledge until you sing it.

Anyone can sing. Yes. Anyone can sing.

–William Ayot
Small Things that Matter


via negativa


The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.



first ... know what you are not


The seeker is he who is in search of himself…
To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
Discover all that you are not — body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that. 

Nothing which you perceive, concrete or abstract, can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.

The clearer you understand on the level of mind that you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realize that you are the limitless being.



Friday, April 18, 2014



Give yourselves to the air.

You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing
that is more than your own.
Let it brush your cheeks
as it divides and rejoins beside you.

Blessed ones, whole ones,
you where the heart begins:
You are the bow that shoots the arrows
and you are the target.

Fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back
into the earth;
for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas.

The trees you planted in childhood have grown
too heavy. You cannot bring them along.
Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.

–Rainer Maria Rilke

Sonnets to Orpheus, Part One, IV


i will love you


I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when
trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table.

I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce
and as the dark spot loves the leopard,
as the leech loves the ankle of a wader
and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture.

I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship,
and the passengers love the lifeboat
and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale,
and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms.

I never want to be away from you again,
except at work, in the restroom or when one of us
is at a movie the other does not want to see.

–Lemony Snicket
The Beatrice Letters


childhood friends


You may have heard, it's the custom
for Kings to let warriors stand on
the left, the side of the heart, and
courage. On the right, they put the
Chancellor, and various secretaries,
because the practice of bookkeeping
and writing usually belongs to the
right hand.

In the center, the Sufis, because in
meditation they become mirrors.
The King can look at their faces
and see his original state.

Give the beautiful ones mirrors,
and let them fall in love with

That way they polish their souls
and kindle remembering in others.

A close childhood friend once came
to visit Joseph. They had shared the
secrets that children tell each other
when they're lying on their pillows
at night before they go to sleep.
These two were completely truthful
with each other.

The friend asked, "What was it like
when you realized your brothers were
jealous and what they planned to do?"

"I felt like a lion with a chain around
its neck. Not degraded by the chain, and
not complaining, but just waiting for my
power to be recognized."

"How about down in the well, and in
prison? How was it then?"

"Like the moon when it's getting
smaller, yet knowing the fullness to
come. Like a seed pearl ground in the
mortar for medicine, that knows it will
now be the light of the human eye.

Like a wheat grain that breaks open in
the ground, then grows, then gets
harvested, then crushed in the mill for
flour, then baked, then crushed again
between teeth to become a person's
deepest understanding.

Lost in Love, like songs the planters
sing the night after they sow the seed."

There is no end to any of this.
Back to something else the good man
and Joseph talked about.

"Ah my friend, what have you brought me?
You know a traveler should not arrive
empty handed at the door of a friend
like me. That's going to the grinding
stone without your wheat. God will ask
at the Resurrection, 'Did you bring Me
a present? Did you forget? Did you think
you wouldn't see Me?'

Joseph kept teasing,
"Lets have it. I want my gift!"

The guest began, "You can't imagine how
I've looked for something for you.
Nothing seemed appropriate. You don't
take gold down into a goldmine, or a
drop of water to the Sea of Oman!

Everything I thought of was like
bringing cumin seed to Kirmanshah where
cumin comes from.

You have all seeds in your barn. You
even have my love and my soul, so I
can't even bring those.

I've brought you a mirror. Look at
yourself, and remember me."

He took the mirror out from his robe
where he was hiding it.

What is the mirror of being?

Always bring a mirror of non-existence
as a gift. Any other present is foolish.

Let the poor man look deep into
generosity. Let the bread see a hungry
man. Let kindling behold a spark from
the flint.

An empty mirror and your worst
destructive habits, when they are held
up to each other,
that's when the real making begins.
That's what art and crafting are.

A tailor needs a torn garment to
practice his expertise. The trunks of
trees must be cut and cut again
so they can be used for fine carpentry.

Your doctor must have a broken leg to
doctor. Your defects are the ways that
glory gets manifested. Whoever sees
clearly what's diseased in himself
begins to gallop on the Way.

There is nothing worse
than thinking you are well enough.
More than anything, self-complacency
blocks the workmanship.

Put your vileness up to a mirror and
weep. Get that self-satisfaction flowing
out of you! Satan thought, "I am better
than Adam," and that 'better than' is
still strongly in us.

Your stream-water may look clean,
but there's unstirred matter on the
bottom. Your Sheikh can dig a side
channel that will drain that waste off.

Trust your wound to a Teacher's surgery.
Flies collect on a wound. They cover it,
those flies of your self-protecting
feelings, your love for what you think
is yours.

Let a teacher wave away the flies
and put a plaster on the wound.

Don't turn your head. Keep looking at
the bandaged place. That's where the
light enters you.

And don't believe for a moment
that you're healing yourself.

Mathnawi, I, 3150-3175, 3192-3227
Coleman Barks version