Sunday, July 30, 2017

If there were a spiritual journey, it would be no more than a quarter of an inch long, though many miles deep. –John O'Donohue


And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.
It is a journey we can make only by the acceptance of mystery and of mystification – by yielding to the condition that what we have expected is not there.

–Wendell Berry
The Unforeseen Wilderness, excerpt

caribou migrating

discard all paths


I do not believe in spiritual paths. The purpose of spiritual paths is to enmesh you in the world of knowledge, while Reality resides prior to it. All spiritual paths lead to unreality.

Discard all paths.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj

Wintertale, Yugi Obata

There is only life. There is nobody who lives a life. –Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.

–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj




The beginning of the spiritual journey is the realization - not just the information, but the real interior conviction - that there is a higher power, or God. I would make it as easy as possible for everyone, that there is an Other - capital “O”.

Second step, is to try and become the Other - capital “O”.

And finally, the realization that there is no other.
You and the other are one. Always have been and always will be.
You just think that you aren’t and then, as the spiritual journey unfolds, one lets go of these false beliefs that there is separation from God.
One begins to perceive in events and in all other people the same presence of God, more and more aware of it, once found at the deepest level. And thus, the words of Paul become something which makes sense, that God is all in all - in other words, in a sense, we not only become God but are God.

–Father Thomas Keating


the road home


An ant hurries along a threshing floor
with its wheat grain, moving between huge stacks
of wheat, not knowing the abundance
all around. It thinks its one grain
is all there is to love.

So we choose a tiny seed to be devoted to.
This body, one path, one teacher.
Look wider and farther.

The essence of every human being can see,
and what that essence-eye takes in,
the being becomes.
Saturn. Solomon!

The ocean pours through a jar,
and you might say it swims inside
the fish! This mystery gives peace to
your longing and makes the road home home.

Coleman Barks translation


The Great Way has no gate; there are a thousand paths to it. If you pass through the barrier, you walk the universe alone. –Wu-Men


When the path ignites a soul,
there's no remaining in place.

The foot touches ground,
but not for long.

The way where love tells its secret
stays always in motion,
and there is no you there, and no reason.

The rider urges his horse to gallop,
and so doing, throws himself
under the flying hooves.

In love-unity there's no old or new.
Everything is nothing.
God alone is.

For lovers the phenomena-veil is very transparent,
and the delicate tracings on it cannot
be explained with language.

Clouds burn off as the sun rises,
and the love-world floods with light.

But cloud-water can be obscuring,
as well as useful.

There is an affection that covers the glory,
rather than dissolving into it.

It's a subtle difference,
like the change in Persian
from the word "friendship"
to the word "work."

That happens with just a dot
above or below the third letter.

There is a seeing of the beauty
of union that doesn't actively work
for the inner conversation.

Your hand and feet must move,
as a stream streams, working
as its Self, to get to the ocean.
Then there's no more mention
of the search.

Being famous, or being a disgrace,
who's ahead or behind, these considerations
are rocks and clogged places
that slow you. Be as naked as a wheat grain
out of its husk and sleek as Adam.

Don't ask for anything other
than the presence.

Don't speak of a "you"
apart from That.

A full container cannot be more full.
Be whole, and nothing.

–Hakim Sanai (1044? - 1150?)

Coleman Barks version





One does not stand still looking for a path.

One walks; and as one walks,

a path comes into being.

—Mas Kodani


Walker, your footsteps
are the road, and nothing more.

Walker, there is no road, the road is made by walking.
Walking you make the road,
and turning to look behind
you see the path you never
again will step upon.

Walker, there is no road,
only foam trails on the sea.

–Antonio Machado
proverbs and songs #29


If thou but settest foot on this path, thou shalt see it everywhere. –Hermes Trismegistus


The path to heaven lies through heaven,
and all the way to heaven is heaven.

–Catherine of Siena


The bird has no path;
where the bird flies is the path.

The fish has no path in water;
wherever it swims is the path.

–The Upanishads


I am a traveler


I am a fountain, You are my water.
I flow from You to You.

I am an eye, You are my light,
I look from You to You.

You are neither my right nor my left.
You are my foot and my arm as well.

I am a traveler, You are my road.
I go from You to You.

–Zeynep Hatun, 15th Century,
Murat Yagan translation


Saturday, July 29, 2017

reality is a sphere



They asked al-Hallaj, "To which religious School do you belong?
he answered, "God's own."

He who limned
a thousand worlds with paint -
you layabout! - do you expect
He'll use your color or mine?
Our paints and tints
are but opinions and fantasy,
He is colorless
and we must adopt His hue.

Look: a shadow lies crooked upon the ground because the very earth is laid rough; but no, that crookedness is straightness itself, for the perfection, the "straightness" of the eyebrow is in its sinuous curve.

Only because it is bent
is this piece of wood a bow.

Reality is a sphere: wherever you place your finger,
there is its dead center.

–Fakhruddin 'Iraqi
Divine Flashes


Complexity of a Sphere


Buckminster Fuller defines a Sphere as “a multiplicity of discrete events, approximately equidistant in all directions from a Nuclear Center.”


First find the immutable center where all movement takes birth. Just like a wheel turns round an axle, so must you be always at the axle in the center and not whirling at the periphery.

–Nisargadatta Maharaj


changing r00ms


Leave the familiar for a while.
Let your senses and bodies stretch out
Like a welcomed season
Onto the meadows and shores and hills.
Open up to the Roof.

Make a new water-mark on your excitement
And love.
Like a blooming night flower,
Bestow your vital fragrance of happiness
And giving
Upon our intimate assembly.

Change rooms in your mind for a day.
All the hemispheres in existence
Lie beside an equator
In your heart.

Greet Yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you mount the hidden tide and travel
Back home.

All the hemispheres in heaven
Are sitting around a fire
While stitching themselves together
Into the Great Circle inside of



living on the plains


That winter when this thought came -- how the river
held still every midnight and flowed
backward a minute -- we studied algebra
late in our room fixed up in the barn,
and I would feel the curved relation,
the rafters upside down, and the cows in their life
holding the earth round and ready
to meet itself again when morning came.

At breakfast while my mother stirred the cereal
she said, "You're studying too hard,"
and I would include her face and hands in my glance
and then look past my father's gaze as
he told again our great race through the stars
and how the world can't keep up with our dreams.

–William Stafford
The Way It Is

dronephoto Two Moo

There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres. –Pythagoras


The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second;
and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. 
It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world. 

St. Augustine described the nature of God as a circle whose center was
everywhere, and its circumference nowhere. We are all our lifetime reading the copious sense of this first of forms. 

One moral we have already deduced, in considering the circular or
compensatory character of every human action. Another analogy we shall now trace; that every action admits of being outdone. 

Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth, that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning; that there is always another dawn risen on mid-noon, and under every deep a lower deep opens.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson
from Essays: First Series (1841)

more at circles

Panic is the sudden realization that everything around you is alive. –William S. Burroughs


I am what is around me.

Women understand this.
One is not duchess
A hundred yards from a carriage.

These, then are portraits:
A black vestibule;
A high bed sheltered by curtains.

These are merely instances.

–Wallace Stevens


I live my life in growing orbits


I live my life in growing orbits
which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower
and have been circling for a thousand years
and I still do not know if I am a falcon, a storm
or a great song.


–Rainer Maria Rilke
The Book of Hours, excerpt
Robert Bly translation


… stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course. —Lao Tzu


This place where you are right now,
God circled on a map for you.



from blossoms


From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the joy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

–Li-Young Lee


Friday, July 28, 2017

Wholeness and the Implicit Order


[O]ne can no longer maintain the division between the observer and the observed (which is implicit in the atomistic view that regards each of these as separate aggregates of atoms). Rather, both observer and observed are merging and interpenetrating aspects of one whole reality, which is indivisible and unanalysable.


Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.

David Bohm


all things


The earth is not a dead body, but is inhabited by a spirit that is its life and soul.

All created things, minerals included, draw their strength from the earth spirit.

This spirit is life, it is nourished by the stars, and it gives nourishment to all the living things it shelters in its womb.

Basilius Valentinus
15th Century Benedictine
monk and alchemist


All things in this creation exist within you, and all things in you exist in creation; there is no border between you and the closest things, and there is no distance between you and the farthest things, and all things, from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, are within you as equal things.
In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found the motions of all the laws of existence; in one drop of water are found the secrets of all the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.

–Kahlil Gibran





The God who is intelligible to man is made by man himself,
but what is beyond his intelligence is the reality.

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

wait - what?
Shoayb Khattab,
Liwa deserts Abu Dhabi




“Hallo, Rabbit,’ he said, ‘is that you?’

'Let's pretend it isn't,' said Rabbit, 'and see what happens.'”

–A. A. Milne




We are bees of the invisible.
Passionately we plunder the honey of the visible
in order to gather it in the great golden hive of the invisible.

–Rainer Maria Rilke
from a letter to Witold Hulewicz
November 13, 1925


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




Truth cannot be out there—cannot exist independently of the human mind—because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there.

The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not.
Only descriptions of the world can be true or false.

The world on its own—unaided by the describing activities of humans—

–Richard Rorty
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity