There is only life. There is nobody who lives a life.
–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
A man goes to sleep in this hall. He dreams he has gone on a world tour, is roaming over hill and dale, forest and country, desert and sea, across various continents and after many years of weary and strenuous travel, returns to this country, reaches Tiruvannamalai, enters the ashram and walks into the hall.
Just at that moment he wakes up and finds he has not moved an inch but was sleeping where he lay down.He has not returned after great effort to this hall, but is and always has been in the hall.
as a board,
as an untouched glass
--not a single
from the past:
we touch the moment
with our fingers,
we cut it
it brings nothing from yesterday that can't be redeemed,
nothing from the lost past.
I am where I was:
I walk behind the murmur,
footsteps within me, heard with my eyes,
the murmur is in the mind, I am my footsteps,
I hear the voices that I think,
the voices that think me as as I think them.
I am the shadow my words cast.
Eliot Weinberger translation
The window is the absence of the wall, and it gives air and light because it is empty.
Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in.
Be quiet. Ra is in the wind.
He speaks when the earth is silent and he alone existed until he named the names of things.
River, he said, and River lived.
Nile. Mountain. Beetle. Fisherman.
From his tongue springs words of water.
The river quakes with the sound of his voice.
Air escaping from his nose. Breathe deep.
The wind a sigh from his mother.
Such things are made everyday:
Duck, Mandrake, Raisin.
Grape, Pomegranate, Melon.
Cypress, Palm, Osiris.
–The Egyptian Book of the Dead
I am so afraid of people's words.They describe so distinctly everything:And this they call dog and that they call house,here the start and there the end.
I worry about their mockery with words,they know everything, what will be, what was;
no mountain is still miraculous;
and their house and yard lead right up to God.
I want to warn and object: Let the things be!
I enjoy listening to the sound they are making.
But you always touch: and they hush and stand still.
This is how you kill.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Annemarie S. Kidder translation
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.
To kiss a forehead is to erase worry.
I kiss your forehead.
To kiss the eyes is to lift sleeplessness.
I kiss your eyes.
To kiss the lips is to drink water.
I kiss your lips.
To kiss a forehead is to erase memory.
I kiss your forehead.
For one human being to love another:
that is perhaps the most difficult task of all....,
the work for which all other work is but preparation.
It is a high inducement to the individual to ripen...
a great claim upon us, something that chooses us out
and calls us to vast things.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Our job is to love others, without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.
That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business.
What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.
you speak to me in italics
slanting your thoughts deep into me
you come at me from an angle
impaling me on the point of desireyou lean towards me like a tree in the wind
each leaf inscribed with the same wordI have never met your type before
yet I can read you like a book–Andre Ramier
You must know that I do not love and that I love you,because everything alive has its two sides;a word is one wing of the silence,fire has its cold half.I love you in order to begin to love you,to start infinity againand never to stop loving you:that’s why I do not love you yet.I love you, and I do not love you, as if I heldkeys in my hand: to a future of joy—a wretched, muddled fate—My love has two lives in order to love you:that’s why I love you when I do not love you,and also why I love you when I do.
—Pablo NerudaOne Hundred Love Sonnets,
Stephen Tapscott translation
Mystery has its own mysteries,
and there are gods above gods.
We have ours, they have theirs.
That is what’s known as infinity.
Among the Senoi, children are taught that they are the gods of their own dreams and therefore should dream kindly.
The adults believe that their gods are dreaming them.
And so it goes.
Love all that has been created by God, both the whole and every grain of sand.
Love every leaf and every ray of light.
Love the beasts and the birds, love the plants,
love every separate fragment.
If you love each separate fragment,
you will understand the mystery
of the whole resting in God.
The earth I tread on is not a dead inert mass.
It is a body—has a spirit—is organic—and fluid to the influence of its spirit—and to whatever particle of the spirit is in me.
—Henry David Thoreau
The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the hidden side of things. They bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language—the word ‘enthusiasm’—en theos—a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within, and who obeys it.
The way the dog trots out the front doorevery morningwithout a hat or an umbrella,without any moneyor the keys to her doghousenever fails to fill the saucer of my heartwith milky admiration.Who provides a finer exampleof a life without encumbrance—Thoreau in his curtainless hutwith a single plate, a single spoon?Gandhi with his staff and his holy diapers?Off she goes into the material worldwith nothing but her brown coatand her modest blue collar,following only her wet nose,the twin portals of her steady breathing,followed only by the plume of her tail.If only she did not shove the cat asideevery morningand eat all his foodwhat a model of self-containment shewould be,what a paragon of earthly detachment.If only she were not so eagerfor a rub behind the ears,so acrobatic in her welcomes,if only I were not her god.
It’s that dream that we carry with us
that something wonderful will happen,
that it has to happen,
that time will open,
that the heart will open,
that doors will open,
that the mountains will open,
that wells will leap up,
that the dream will open,
that one morning we’ll slip in
to a harbor that we've never known.
–Olav H. Hauge
translated by Robert Bly
You have been telling the people that this is
the Eleventh Hour.Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour.And there are things to be considered:
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!
There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are those
who will be afraid.
They will try to hold onto the shore.
They will feel they are being torn apart
and they will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
push off into the middle of the river,
keep our eyes open and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves.
For the moment that we do,
our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over.
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner
and in celebration.
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
–The Hopi Nation Elders
of Oraibi, Arizona
This is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
Now is the season to know
That everything you do
It could happen any time, tornado,earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.Or sunshine, love, salvation.It could, you know. That's why we wakeand look out -- no guaranteesin this life.But some bonuses, like morning,like right now, like noon,
Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers
within yourself that you have built against it.
Then when you see what is around you as
not other-than-you, and all and everything as
the existence of the One;
when you do not see anything else
with Him or in him; but see Him in everything as yourself and at the same time as the nonexistence of yourself;
then what you see is the truth.