Friday, July 25, 2014




If you're lugging a heavy bag,
don't fail to look inside it
to see whether what is inside is bitter or sweet.

If it's really worth bringing along, bring it;
otherwise, empty your sack
and redeem yourself from fruitless effort.

Only put into your sack
that which is worth bringing.



the ultimate Tao


People may sit till the cushion is worn through,
But never quite know the real Truth:

Let me tell about the ultimate Tao:
It is here, enshrined within us.

–Lu Tung Pin (775-805)




There is no alternative for you but to accept the world as unreal, if you are seeking the Truth and the Truth alone.

–Ramana Maharshi

james dean

Thursday, July 24, 2014

what is called mind, what mind is called


What is called ‘mind’ is a wondrous power residing in the Self.
It causes all thoughts to arise.
Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind.
Therefore, thought is the nature of mind. 

Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world.
In deep sleep there are no thoughts, and there is no world.
In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts,
and there is a world also. 

Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself, likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself.
When the mind comes out of the Self, the world appears.
Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. 

When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end, leaving the Self (as the residue).
What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. 

The mind always exists only in dependence on something gross;
it cannot stay alone.
It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva).

–Ramana Maharshi




Just be the Self.
The ultimate truth is so simple; it is nothing more than being in one’s natural, original state.

It is a great wonder that to teach such a simple truth a number of religions should be necessary, and so many disputes should go on between them as to which is the God-ordained teaching. 

What a pity!
Just be the Self, that is all.

–Ramana Maharshi




Be with those who help your being.
Don't sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.

Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.
A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don't try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it's too late for all you could become.

Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?

Ode 2865
Coleman Barks translation


Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Light the fire.
This is now. Now is
all there is. Don't wait for Then;
strike the spark, light the fire.
Sit at the Beloved's table,
feast with gusto, drink your fill
then dance
the way branches
of jasmine and cypress
dance in a spring wind.

The green earth
is your cloth;
tailor your robe
with dignity and grace.



Monday, July 21, 2014

Who, then, is breathing?


Michael Sowa, Rabbit in front of a mirror (1998). This is great. Thank you, theshipthatflew & art-mirrors-art.


Observe your own body. It breathes. 
You breathe when you are asleep, when you are no longer conscious of your own ideas of self-identity. 
Who, then, is breathing? 

The collection of information that you mistakenly think is you is not the protagonist in this drama called the breath. 
In fact, you are not breathing; breath is naturally happening to you. 

You can purposely end your own life, but you cannot purposely keep your own life going. 

The expression, ‘my life’ is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. 
You don’t possess life; life expresses itself through you. 

Your body is a flower that life let bloom,
a phenomenon created by life.

Ilchi Lee 




The flute of the Infinite is played without ceasing, and its sound is Love.



like this


If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,
or what “God’s fragrance” means,

lean your head toward him or her.
Keep your face there close.
Like this.



Sunday, July 20, 2014

for your Sunday


not to worry


We love like the earth and the sky. 
We were planted inside each others lives
to blossom like flowers beneath the sun.





May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words

of love around you,

an invisible cloak

to mind your life.

—John O’Donohue


Saturday, July 19, 2014

headphones recommended ...


the Great Self


The universe must be experienced as the Great Self. 
Each is fulfilled in the other: the Great Self is fulfilled in the individual self, the individual self is fulfilled in the Great Self. Alienation is overcome as soon as we experience this surge of energy from the source that has brought the universe through the centuries.

New fields of energy become available to support the human venture. These new energies find expression and support in celebration. For in the end the universe can only be explained in terms of celebration. 
It is all an exuberant expression of existence itself.

—Thomas Berry

who am I if I was not I while I slept?


Mondays are meshed with Tuesdays
and the week with the whole year.
Time cannot be cut
with your weary scissors,
and all the names of the day
are washed out by the waters of night.
No one can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or Maria,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.

They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
of Chiles and of Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of the earth
and I know it is without a name.
When I lived amongst the roots
they pleased me more than flowers did,
and when I spoke to a stone
it rang like a bell.
It is so long, the spring
which goes on all winter.
Time lost its shoes.
A year is four centuries.
When I sleep every night,
what am I called or not called?
And when I wake, who am I
if I was not I while I slept?
This means to say that scarcely
have we landed into life
than we come as if new-born;
let us not fill our mouths
with so many faltering names,
with so many sad formalities,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much of yours and mine,
with so much of signing of papers.
I have a mind to confuse things,
unite them, bring them to birth,
mix them up, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the oneness of the ocean,
a generous, vast wholeness,
a crepitant fragrance.

–Pablo Neruda
Too Many Names


the law that marries all things


The cloud is free only
to go with the wind.
The rain is free only
in falling.
The water is free only
in its gathering together,
in its downward courses,
in its rising into air. 
In law is rest
if you love the law,
if you enter, singing, into it
as water in its descent. 
Or song is truest law,
and you must enter singing;
it has no other entrance.
It is the great chorus
of parts. The only outlawry
is in division. 
Whatever is singing
is found, awaiting the return
of whatever is lost.

Meet us in the air
over the water,  
sing the swallows
Meet me, meet me,
the redbird sings,
here here here here.

–Wendell Berry


Friday, July 18, 2014



They can be like a sun, words.

They can do for the heart
what light can
for a field.

–St. John of the Cross



For days the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree without moving, without any urge to teach. The gods came and encouraged him but he replied, “What I have discovered will not be wanted by almost anyone. Those who are not ready can not be swayed with words and those who are ready can discover it for themselves.” 

One of the gods pondered this for days and then returned and said “Great Buddha, what of those with only a little dust covering their eyes? What of those who are almost ready but only held back by a small hindrance? If you teach then these ones will enter the stream of wisdom.” 

After a moment the Buddha rose from his seat and went to give his first teaching.

–Traktung Rinpoche




Leave it all behind you. Forget it. Go forth, unburdened with ideas and beliefs.
Abandon all verbal structures, all relative truth, all tangible objectives.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Tree and the Sky


There's a tree walking around in the rain,
it rushes past us in the pouring grey.
It has an errand. It gathers life
out of the rain like a blackbird in an orchard.

When the rain stops so does the tree.
There it is, quiet on clear nights
waiting as we do for the moment
when the snowflakes blossom in space.

–Tomas Tranströmer

supposing i dreamed this)


supposing i dreamed this)
only imagine,when day has thrilled
you are a house around which
i am a wind-

your walls will not reckon how
strangely my life is curved
since the best he can do
is to peer through windows,unobserved

-listen,for(out of all
things)dream is noone’s fool;
if this wind who i am prowls
carefully around this house of you

love being such,or such,
the normal corners of your heart
will never guess how much
my wonderful jealousy is dark

if light should flower:
or laughing sparkle from
the shut house(around and around
which a poor wind will roam

–E. E. Cummings



What is the deep listening? Sama is
a greeting from the secret ones inside
the heart, a letter. The branches of
your intelligence grow new leaves in
the wind of this listening. The body
reaches a peace. Rooster sound comes,
reminding you of your love for dawn.
The reed flute and the singer's lips:
the knack of how spirit breathes into
us becomes as simple and ordinary as
eating and drinking. The dead rise with
the pleasure of listening. If someone
can't hear a trumpet melody, sprinkle
dirt on his head and declare him dead.
Listen, and feel the beauty of your
separation, the unsayable absence.
There's a moon inside every human being.
Learn to be companions with it. Give
more of your life to this listening. As
brightness is to time, so you are to
the one who talks to the deep ear in
your chest. I should sell my tongue
and buy a thousand ears when that
one steps near and begins to speak.

from The Glance

Coleman Barks translation


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

the brain is wider than the sky


The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—

–Emily Dickinson


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

love is a place


If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond

and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home

and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,"

I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,

and ask yourself, "I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them."

–Richard Brautigan
your catfish friend


that which abides



With their round dance the electrons spin
chrysalises of that which abides,
the inmost cocoons
which do not open of their own accord
but are of that which abides.

There it is not a matter of hatching out.

There it is a matter of tending and protecting
the metamorphoses of the inmost
deeper-down swaying,

the innermost playing of women in dance.

–Harry Martinson


i miss my friend


When you were a tadpole and I was a fish
In the Paleozoic time,
And side by side on the ebbing tide
We sprawled through the ooze and slime,
Or skittered with many a caudal flip
Through the depths of the Cambrian fen,
My heart was rife with the joy of life,
For I loved you even then.

Mindless we lived and mindless we loved
And mindless at last we died;
And deep in the rift of the Caradoc drift
We slumbered side by side.
The world turned on in the lathe of time,
The hot lands heaved amain,
Till we caught our breath from the womb of death
And crept into light again.

We were amphibians, scaled and tailed,
And drab as a dead man's hand;
We coiled at ease 'neath the dripping trees
Or trailed through the mud and sand.
Croaking and blind, with our three-clawed feet
Writing a language dumb,
With never a spark in the empty dark
To hint at a life to come.

Yet happy we lived and happy we loved,
And happy we died once more;
Our forms were rolled in the clinging mold
Of a Neocomian shore.
The eons came and the eons fled
And the sleep that wrapped us fast
Was riven away in a newer day
And the night of death was past.

Then light and swift through the jungle trees
We swung in our airy flights,
Or breathed in the balms of the fronded palms
In the hush of the moonless nights;
And, oh! what beautiful years were there
When our hearts clung each to each;
When life was filled and our senses thrilled
In the first faint dawn of speech.

Thus life by life and love by love
We passed through the cycles strange,
And breath by breath and death by death
We followed the chain of change.
Till there came a time in the law of life
When over the nursing side
The shadows broke and soul awoke
In a strange, dim dream of God.

I was thewed like an Auruch bull
And tusked like the great cave bear;
And you, my sweet, from head to feet
Were gowned in your glorious hair.
Deep in the gloom of a fireless cave,
When the night fell o'er the plain
And the moon hung red o'er the river bed
We mumbled the bones of the slain.

I flaked a flint to a cutting edge
And shaped it with brutish craft;
I broke a shank from the woodland lank
And fitted it, head and haft;
Then I hid me close to the reedy tarn,
Where the mammoth came to drink;
Through the brawn and bone I drove the stone
And slew him upon the brink.

Loud I howled through the moonlit wastes,
Loud answered our kith and kin;
From west and east to the crimson feast
The clan came tramping in.
O'er joint and gristle and padded hoof
We fought and clawed and tore,
And check by jowl with many a growl
We talked the marvel o'er.

I carved that fight on a reindeer bone
With rude and hairy hand;
I pictured his fall on the cavern wall
That men might understand.
For we lived by blood and the right of might
Ere human laws were drawn,
And the age of sin did not begin
Till our brutal tush were gone.

And that was a million years ago
In a time that no man knows;
Yet here tonight in the mellow light
We sit at Delmonico's.
Your eyes are deep as the Devon springs,
Your hair is dark as jet,
Your years are few, your life is new,
Your soul untried, and yet -

Our trail is on the Kimmeridge clay
And the scarp of the Purbeck flags;
We have left our bones in the Bagshot stones
And deep in the Coralline crags;
Our love is old, our lives are old,
And death shall come amain;
Should it come today, what man may say
We shall not live again?

God wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds
And furnished them wings to fly;
We sowed our spawn in the world's dim dawn,
And I know that it shall not die,
Though cities have sprung above the graves
Where the crook-bone men make war
And the oxwain creaks o'er the buried caves
Where the mummied mammoths are.

Then as we linger at luncheon here
O'er many a dainty dish,
Let us drink anew to the time when you
Were a tadpole and I was a fish.

–Langdon Smith



Monday, July 14, 2014



Know yourself to be the changeless witness of the changeful mind.

That is enough.

–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



The great corn arrives.

The child-rain arrives.

In a way of beauty arrives.

Grasshopper arrives.

From the west arrives.

Vegetation arrives.

Pollen arrives.

In a way of beauty arrives.



who is there?


One went to the door of the Beloved and
knocked. A voice asked, 'Who is there?'
He answered, 'It is I.'

The voice said, 'There is no room for Me and Thee.'
The door was shut.

After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked. A voice from within asked, 'Who is there?'
The man said, 'It is Thee.'
The door was opened for him.

–Jelaluddin Rumi




If you go on working with the light available, you will meet your Master, as he himself will be seeking you.
Ramana Maharshi

The word guru has passed into the English language, but it is often misunderstood. 

Guru simply means “heavy,” one who is so heavy that he or she can never be shaken. A guru is a person who is so deeply established within himself or herself that no force on earth can affect the complete love they feel for everyone.

It is good for us to remember that the guru, the spiritual teacher, is in every one of us. The outer teacher makes us aware of the teacher within.

We should select a teacher very carefully. We should not get carried away by personal appearance – because we like his hairstyle or her robes. There is a good test of authenticity: does their life accord with what they teach? We have to listen carefully, judge carefully, then make our own decision. Once we make a decision and select a teacher who is suited to our spiritual needs, we should be prepared to be loyal. 

To the extent we can be loyal to the outer teacher, we are being loyal to ourselves.

–Eknath Easwaran
Words to Live By