seek no refuge

weary of the incessant prison chatter of the mind

he sought refuge in the ineffable

yet even there he found no peace, just escape

eventually he died to it all

and was resurrected as silence

it had all been a dream

the tale of a vivid imagination

seek no refuge, hide from nothing

but let the world kill you

until there is no more you

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turn to face the broken

if you expect these words to be positive
look away
i am not concerned with being positive
i am for what is real
and that means sometimes
turning to face the broken
and the messy
it means looking deep into
the heart of the darkness
i would rather face the agony of the truth
than the pretence of the lie
for in turning around
to meet sorrow and suffering
our steely hearts may break
and from that broken place
may pour the milk of human kindness
and without kindness
there is nothing but
an empty existence.

surrender the righteous self

i have discovered the great secret
that will transform the world
and end the war between people
though i am not sure many will buy it

for they cling like drowning men
to the raft of being right
they divide this great world
into the right and the wrong
and that’s it, that’s all there is

but if you head in the opposite direction
you will discover a secret majesty
and great power
and openness
beyond this play of duality

and that is the simple secret
that by endeavoring, over and over,
to surrender the righteous self
not as some theory
but in those heated moments when one
clutches so hard at being right,
or falls into the victim pit of being wrong,
and by willingly surrendering this
over and over,
by and by
the door of the palace of wisdom and love
will swing open and you will be invited in
this is the wonder that awaits you
should you put down your weapons
of righteousness

but a word of caution…
it is not easy
and something within you will have to die
and that part will scream and tirade and whine
still you must allow it to go

only he, or she, who is empty and unarmed
may enter the palace.

the only human left

in the face of great horror
dont turn away
when the world offers you its worst
and evil doers run rampant
don’t turn away

if you are the only human left
after chaos has reigned supreme
don’t turn away

but stand with head bowed,
and be witness as love
don’t close your heart
no matter what life may throw at you
no matter what mara’s you see
stay open as love

for your only real choice is
to close or open
you cannot control what is outside you
but you can turn away
or stay open
and everything must be witnessed.

falling with hands open

yesterday it all seemed so clear and bright
today the dark clouds have returned
and the sky hangs heavy
with foreboding

yesterday i was the bird untethered and free
today i am an innocent man
tied to the mast of his own vessel
as the boat skews this way and that
in the raging storm

yesterday there was love in my heart
today there is a fear in my veins
like a poison

the only antidote to all this
is abiding acceptance
like a forever falling
into an eternal well

most of us are struggling
to hold on to something
but when everything turns to dust
the wise learn
to fall with their hands open.

The Illusion of Opposites – A Story

As it arrived at the gathering
Death appeared to mock Life, taunting it
With an arrogance, a leering smile and a brash dismissal,

Shrouded in black, faceless and anonymous.
“We are locked in eternal embrace,” grinned death,
“And I always win. I take them all, I take everything eventually.”
“Ah,’ said Life, Sweet Death, always thinking in opposites.”
“What is it you win, exactly?”

You do not understand, obsessed as you are by transitions and crossings. You see a part of the picture and think it is the whole picture. I see the whole picture and embrace everything inside it. The coming and going, the movement towards and the movement away, the struggle and the ease, the peaceful acceptance and the angry struggle, and the longing for immortality. Nothing is separate from the whole. There is only one thing, sweet death, and you, and I , and everything that ever has been and ever will be, is it. You may imagine me as your enemy, but I love your delusion as a mother loves her unruly baby.”

They left the gathering together.

between a rock and a soft place

in my most silent moments
of quiet reflection
i see a life passing in a flash
always just out of reach

some dreams lie shattered
on the floor
and others hang emblazoned
upon the wall
the majesty of brokenness fixes everything

and now it all melts into the same ocean

somewhere between
resignation and acceptance
is where i live
i don’t struggle to swim
no longer concerned with being anything
or anyone
no illusion of anything but this
tender bitter sweet
existence
unfathomable and fleeting

the union we seek is always here
the love we yearn for never left us
we never left the garden
it was just a thought
a momentary lapse of gratitude

only love is real.

love and death – the beauty and the agony

we are drawn to love 
like moths to the flame
and that flame is death 
we are designed to carry love into death
and invited to retract from neither
to be willingly broken, to love anyway
knowing that one day
it will all shatter into a thousand pieces
and transform into love’s absence
or move into the heart for permanent residency
this is the heroic goal of each human

the agony of love, the beauty of love
both are inevitable.

Just found out a fellow musician and husband of spiritual teacher Unmani has died suddenly in Goa. Robert was/is a great musician and just released his first album about two days ago. And then he left, leaving Unmani and a very young son.
My heart goes out to Unmani and his family.

Amoda and I talk about this often and live with the potential reality, particularly as I have been ill before and even now have potential heart and liver issues that have been flagged up as problems further down the line.
So often the men go early.

But what to do?

We are drawn to love, human beings are drawn to love like moths to the flame. And that flame is death.
We are designed to carry love into death, and to retract from neither.
To be willingly broken, to love anyway, knowing that one day it will shatter into a thousand pieces and transform into love’s absence, or move into the heart for permanent residency, this is the heroic goal of the human.

The agony of love, the beauty of love.

Here is his album, it sounds wonderful. So sad..

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/roberthanuman

earthquake poetry

last night as i travelled to some distant dimension
bodiless and free of all measurable constraints
i was yanked violently back to this dense place
by some almighty shudder and groan

‘WAKE UP!’ it demanded

and thus i awoke
confused and alarmed
mind scrabbling to comprehend
anxious for my beloved
fearful for my precious life

the dog next door howled and barked
at this unknown mystery
that visits when it wants
without any introduction

and then it fell silent
as if nothing had happened

nature returns effortlessly to calmness
not so the anxious mind
terrified of death and pain and loss

but slowly slowly mind calmed
heart slowed
and i returned to that other place
bodiless and free of all measurable constraints

in the morning it all seemed like a dream.

SAN FRANCISCO — A magnitude 4.4 earthquake centered on the Hayward faultnear the UC-Berkeley campus jolted the Bay Area awake early Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. CBS San Francisco reports the quake struck at 2:39 a.m. and was felt throughout the East Bay, North Bay and San Francisco. While many were jolted out of their beds, there was no preliminary reports of damage.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/earthquake-rocks-san-francisco-bay-area/

The Time World

We are bound by invisible chains
We call them seconds, minutes, hours, days and years
We arrived here from a timeless dimension
Innocent and naive
And destined for departure from the time world
Our pristine brilliance
Of no body, no self, no thing
Became corrupted
By our senses
And the veil came down upon us
All we know is time
It has us completely enslaved
Our very thinking is based on it
Everything and everyone is trapped
Like prisoners in time itself
With death the only escape
And each of us meets time
At the end he shakes our hand, kisses our cheek
And ushers us away

Only the master, the awakened one
The wise sage
Can see the illusion
And yet we live in the days
When many are beginning to see the light
All our eyes are opening
To something new and unseen
For many the illusion is too great
And the attachment too strong
They clutch and grab for power
Desparate to cling hold of that
Which is crumbling to dust
Before their very eyes

Don’t be fooled by time my brother and sister
Don’t be conned by your own perception
There is something vast everywhere
Inside and outside
It is here now, in this micro moment
At the edge of your senses
Through the door of the unknown

To be in this world
But not of it
To know it as a dream
But to live it fully anyway
To cherish each fleeting moment
But to stand outside time
This is wisdom
And unconditional love

Time is real…..but not that real.