Wednesday, May 31, 2017

wit-ness






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The idea that there is a mind independent of thinking, a body independent of sensing or a world independent of perceiving, is a belief.

The mind itself is limited so it can never know whether or not such a belief is true.

The mind, body and world are never experienced as they are normally conceived to be. Our only experience of them is thinking, sensing and perceiving. Thinking, sensing and perceiving are modes of knowing or experiencing and the only substance present in knowing or experiencing is our self, awareness.


...


In other words, the witness cannot stand alone.

If we truly take our stand as witnessing presence of awareness and look at the objects of the mind, body and world, we do not find any distance or separation between our self, this witnessing presence, and the objects of the mind, body or world that it witnesses. In fact, we do not find two entities there, a witnessing awareness and a body, mind or world.

We find only the seamlessness of experiencing utterly one with or pervaded by the intimacy of our own being. That is, it only finds itself.


...


In other words, we do not cease to be a separate self and become the witness and likewise we do not cease to be the witness and become pure awareness.

It is only thinking which seemingly reduces pure awareness to these apparently successive stages of limitation and localisation. And it is only for thinking that these layers of ignorance, or the ignoring of the true nature of experience, are removed. For our self, awareness, no such thing ever happens.


...


So, as we proceed back along this projected path, in the opposite direction from which it arose, it is understood that our only knowledge of the mind, body and world is thinking, sensing and perceiving.

And if we look more closely at the nature of thinking, sensing and perceiving, we find that there is no substance present there other than our self, awareness.


—Rupert Spira
Presence: The Intimacy of All Experience




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markings
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this truth





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As I have searched the entire scientific records in more than a half dozen languages for a long time without finding the least anticipation, I consider myself the original discoverer of this truth, which can be expressed by the statement: There is no energy in matter other than that received from the environment.

–Nikola Tesla

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listen






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Time is not a straight line but rather a labyrinth, and if you press yourself against the wall in the right place you can hear the hurried steps and the voices, you can hear yourself walk past on the other side.

–Tomas Tranströmer

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one thing






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It is the hand that lifts, but you say “I lift”.
The eyes see but you say, “I see”.
The nose smells, but you say, “I smell”.
All this is the power of the Self and yet you say, “I did it”.
That power belongs to God.

Who is this ego arrogating ‘I’?
He has no place in the palace, but once admitted inside, he
overrules the king and affirms his own existence.
After some enquiry, this ego’s existence is easily disproved.
Then the king once again affirms, “I am Reality.”

There is one thing about this condition – there is bliss.
If there are two, then there is pain.
Where there is One, there is bliss.



–Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj



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question





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What do you have to do?
Pack your bags,
Go to the station without them,
Catch the train,
And leave your self behind.

–Wei Wu Wei


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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

a contemporary

 



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What if I came down now out of these

solid dark clouds that build up against the mountain

day after day with no rain in them

and lived as one blade of grass

in a garden in the south when the clouds part in winter

from the beginning I would be older than all the animals

and to the last I would be simpler

frost would design me and dew would disappear on me

sun would shine through me

I would be green with white roots

feel worms touch my feet as a bounty

have no name and no fear

turn naturally to the light

know how to spend the day and night

climbing out of myself

all my life

 

—W. S. Merwin












Of the Surface of Things, excerpt





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In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;

But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four
hills and a cloud.



—Wallace Stevens


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intersection





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The human skin is an artificial boundary: the world wanders into it, and the self wanders out of it, traffic is two-way and constant.

–Bernard Wolfe



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wakey wakey






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Don't go back to sleep.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the
doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.


–Rumi

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what is the world?





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Without imagination there is no world. Your conviction that you are conscious of a world is the world. The world you perceive is made of consciousness; what you call matter is consciousness itself. 

You are the space in which it moves, the time in which it lasts, the love that gives it life. Cut off imagination and attachment and what remains? 


–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj*



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*?
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do you know what you are?





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You are a manuscript of a divine letter. You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. This universe is not outside of you.

Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you are already that.


—Rumi

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your self




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Be kind to yourself;
it is the only one and perishable.

—Allen Ginsberg



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Sunday, May 28, 2017

parts of a tune





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One old man keeps humming the same few notes
of some song he thought he had forgotten
back in the days when as he knows there was
no word for life in the language 
and if they wanted to say eyes or heart
they would hold up a leaf and he remembers
the big tree where it rose from the dry ground
and the way the birds carried water in their voice

they were all the color of their fear of the dark

and as he sits there humming he remembers
some of the words they come back to him now

he smiles hearing them come and go


–W. S. Merwin
The Shadow of Sirius



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words for love







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Sanskrit has ninety-six words for love; ancient Persian has eighty, Greek three, and English only one. This is indicative of the poverty of awareness or emphasis that we give to that tremendously important realm of feeling.

Eskimos have thirty words for snow, because it is a life-and death matter to them to have exact information about the element they live with so intimately.

If we had a vocabulary of thirty words for love … we would immediately be richer and more intelligent in this human element so close to our heart. 

An Eskimo probably would die of clumsiness if he had only one word for snow; we are close to dying of loneliness because we have only one word for love. 

Of all the Western languages, English may be the most lacking when it come to feeling. 


–Robert Johnson
The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden




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A Brighter Word Than Bright






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Words are substance strange. Speak one and the air ripples into another's ears. Write one and the eye laps it up. But the sense transmutes, and the spoken word winds through the ear's labyrinth into a sense that is no longer the nerve's realm.

The written word unfolds behind the eye into the world, world's image, and the imagination sees as the eye cannot see - thoughtfully.


–Dan Beachy-Quick


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listen to me






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Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it’s raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt’s shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift—go in,
your shadow covers this page.


–Octavio Paz
 Eliot Weinberger translation




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exposed on the cliffs of the heart






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Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Look, how tiny down there,
look: the last village of words and, higher,
(but how tiny) still one last
farmhouse of feeling. Can you see it?

Exposed on the cliffs of the heart. Stoneground
under your hands. Even here, though,
something can bloom; on a silent cliff-edge
an unknowing plant blooms, singing, into the air.

But the one who knows? Ah, he began to know
and is quiet now, exposed on the cliffs of the heart.
While, with their full awareness,
many sure-footed mountain animals pass
or linger. And the great sheltered bird flies, slowly
circling, around the peak's pure denial. - But
without a shelter, here on the cliffs of the heart...



–Rainer Maria Rilke



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Saturday, May 27, 2017

question






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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


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a natural history of the senses, excerpt






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Look at your feet.
You are standing in the sky.
When we think of the sky, we tend to look up,
but the sky actually begins at the earth.

We walk through it, yell into it, rake leaves,
wash the dog, and drive cars in it.

We breathe it deep within us.

With every breath, we inhale millions of molecules of sky, heat them briefly, and then exhale them back into the world.


–Diane Ackerman



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Being a Person






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Be a person here. Stand by the river, invoke
the owls. Invoke winter, then spring.
Let any season that wants to come here make its own
call. After that sound goes away, wait.

A slow bubble rises through the earth
and begins to include sky, stars, all space,
even the outracing, expanding thought.
Come back and hear the little sound again.

Suddenly this dream you are having matches
everyone's dream, and the result is the world.
If a different call came there wouldn't be any
world, or you, or the river, or the owls calling.

How you stand here is important. How you
listen for the next things to happen. How you breathe.


–William Stafford
Even in Quiet Places: Poems



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that alone



Water doesn’t react, it flows
Even a rock changes over time
Eroded by the elements
Permanence of any kind is a myth




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That which speech does not illumine, but which illumines speech:
know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which cannot be thought by mind, but by which, they say, mind is able to think: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which is not seen by the eye, but by which the eye is able to see: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which cannot be heard by the ear, but by which the ear is able to hear: know that alone to be Brahman, not this which people worship here.

That which none breathes with the breath, but by which breath is in–breathed: know that alone to be the Brahman, not this which people worship here.


–The Kena Upanishad



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listen





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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



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Friday, May 26, 2017

questions






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Is anyone there
if so
are you real
either way are you
one or several
if the latter
are you all at once
or do you
take turns not answering
is your answer
the question itself
surviving the asking
without end
whose question is it
how does it begin
where does it come from
how did it ever
find out about you
over the sound
of itself
with nothing but its own
ignorance to go by


–W. S. Merwin
To The Soul



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In a Dark Time, excerpt





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In a dark time, the eye begins to see,
I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;
I hear my echo in the echoing wood -
A lord of nature weeping to a tree.
I live between the heron and the wren,
Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What's madness but nobility of soul
At odds with circumstance? The day's on fire!
I know the purity of pure despair,
My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.
That place among the rocks - is it a cave,
Or winding path? The edge is what I have.


–Theodore Roethke



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co-inherence






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The chooser's happiness lies in his congruence with the chosen,
The peace of iron filings, obedient to the forces of the magnetic field.
Calm is the soul that is emptied of all self,
In the eternal moment of co-inherence.
A happiness within you - but not yours.


–Dag Hammarskjöld
from Markings


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this is what I believe





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This is what I believe: That I am I.

That my soul is a dark forest.

That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.

That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.

That I must have the courage to let them come and go.



—D. H. Lawrence



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Photo Beth Moon,
Ancient Trees: Portraits Of Time 

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the soul of the universe






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You are the soul of the soul of the universe,
and your name is Love.


—Rumi



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Thursday, May 25, 2017

prana





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Man has no Body distinct from the Soul!
for that Body is a portion of the Soul
discerned by the five Senses,
the chief inlets to the Soul in this age.

Energy is the only life and is from the Body;

and reason is the bound or outward
circumference of energy.
Energy is eternal delight.



–William Blake
18th century












Looking Across the Fields and Watching the Birds Fly






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Among the more irritating minor ideas
Of Mr. Homburg during his visits home
To Concord, at the edge of things, was this:

To think away the grass, the trees, the clouds,
Not to transform them into other things,
Is only what the sun does every day,

Until we say to ourselves that there may be
A pensive nature, a mechanical
And slightly detestable operandum, free

From man's ghost, larger and yet a little like,
Without his literature and without his gods . . .
No doubt we live beyond ourselves in air,

In an element that does not do for us,
so well, that which we do for ourselves, too big,
A thing not planned for imagery or belief,

Not one of the masculine myths we used to make,
A transparency through which the swallow weaves,
Without any form or any sense of form,

What we know in what we see, what we feel in what
We hear, what we are, beyond mystic disputation,
In the tumult of integrations out of the sky,

And what we think, a breathing like the wind,
A moving part of a motion, a discovery
Part of a discovery, a change part of a change,

A sharing of color and being part of it.
The afternoon is visibly a source,
Too wide, too irised, to be more than calm,

Too much like thinking to be less than thought,
Obscurest parent, obscurest patriarch,
A daily majesty of meditation,

That comes and goes in silences of its own.
We think, then as the sun shines or does not.
We think as wind skitters on a pond in a field

Or we put mantles on our words because
The same wind, rising and rising, makes a sound
Like the last muting of winter as it ends.

A new scholar replacing an older one reflects
A moment on this fantasia. He seeks
For a human that can be accounted for.

The spirit comes from the body of the world,
Or so Mr. Homburg thought: the body of a world
Whose blunt laws make an affectation of mind,

The mannerism of nature caught in a glass
And there become a spirit's mannerism,
A glass aswarm with things going as far as they can.


–Wallace Stevens




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