A River of Grace

There is a love beyond form,

A river of grace

In which we all swim

Whether we know it or not

When you remember this

It lights up your life

From the inside

And shines out

Like a lighthouse

On a dark and stormy night.

Photo by Robert Wiedemann on Unsplash

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we carry the paradox

on one hand it is at it is,
perfect in itself
and as life unfolds
moment by moment
it seems to be moved by it’s own intelligence
it will last long beyond our arrival
or departure

and yet on the other hand
so much is broken
and man’s destructive hand
has swept across the earth
with arrogant intensity
forgetting he is the mere custodian
and not the owner

we who see
must carry the paradox
of the perfection
and the imperfection
with grace
and with great compassion
knowing the futility
of man’s grasping at eternity
his desperate clutching at power
and his utter blindness
to what beauty is already here

all it takes is one step backwards
and a breath
to see the magnificence 
and the perfection
even amidst the horror
and the suffering.

*please note – when i use the term ‘man’ here, although it’s generally used to signify all humanity, i am leaning more and more towards it actually meaning MAN. The history of humanity has, in the last few thousands of years, as far as i can see, been the history of the masculine paradigm. suppression of the feminine, both inside each individual, and outwardly in the relentless and ruthless domination of women, has brought us to where we are. that is not ‘all humanity,’ that is mankind, the masculine with all its demented narcissism. i see a world that is changing, because it will have to. and that means the end of masculine, patriarchal domination and the rise of the new feminine. what that looks like and how it changes things i do not know. but it’s in the air and it is coming. so yes i very much mean ‘men’ when i say men.

The Search for Grace

Only grace can allow us to see beauty
In the midst of horror
Only grace can open our steely hearts
In hell
Only grace can whisper yes
When the whole world screams NO!
Only grace can pour healing water
On the unquenchable fire
Only grace can shine a light
In the great darkness

So what then is this grace
That can offer so many miracles
For without it
Life would be unbearable
Grace makes existence bearable
Yet we do not know
What grace is?
There are no words, no nouns, no descriptions
No one has met grace
Yet here it is
Casting influence over all things
Surely it is this mysterious force
That gives all life it’s meaning

And the search for meaning is
The search for grace
The search for the undiscoverable
Radiance that underpins
All existence.

 

born to love

my love
while we still have this precious time together
before eternity tears us asunder
let us sit together here
under the night sky
as it pours down it’s magnificence
on our innocent heads
there will be a moment
as yet unknown
when we will part
and one of us will leave this realm
bound for distant shore
oh! the pain of that moment
when we say goodbye

to have loved in this way
to have found each other after so long
and fallen so far in
we disappeared
given up all notion of self
and yet to have found ourselves completely
there has never been a love like this
let our ecstatic embrace send ripples into the world
and ring throughout forever
let it be said
‘they loved completely without fear of death.’

India, approx 2004

 

Born to Do Nothing

Terrified of meaninglessness
We create ourselves
As the pinnacle of life
We built a world
That uses doing
As being
Because we need meaning
But we were born
To do nothing
Just enjoy existence
And take care of our bodies
And our souls
To look after each other
And to bathe in the innocence
Of love’s sweet fragrance
All this that we have created
We have done in our own image
It is a monster
A machine
That eats everything
And everyone
And deludes us all
Into thinking there is meaning in it

I am so sorry to tell you
There isn’t

To rest as a speck in eternity
Surrounded by forever
Infinite distance and time on all sides
To know this, to feel it and to live it
And to maintain some composure
As the waves of awareness
Flood into and through you
To be innocent
And pure of heart
That is the only meaning
I can find.

surrounded by eternity

last night as i was preparing for bed
i had pause to stop
and in that stopping
a subtle yet strong
awareness came upon me
i realized just how tiny i am
both in terms of size
and in terms of time
i am a breath
surrounded by eternity
and i felt how
exquisite and terrifying that is
and why humans clutch and grasp at power
desperate for meaning
in the vastness
for myself i felt no agony
nor desperation
i just allowed the waves
of awareness
to wash over me

the truth is we can do nothing
but realize it
and embrace it all
the wonder, the horror
the suffering, the joy
the love and the loss
embrace it all
with a tender openness
and let it pierce
our defended hearts and minds
until we see the same dilemma
in each other

love is the only remedy.

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

the garden is inside us

there is a fragrant and innocent garden
in each of us
the same garden adam and eve played and loved in
it didn’t vanish
but disappeared deep inside
and became forgotten
as we fell further and further
into the mind’s obsession with itself
we lost the silken and delicate thread
that joins us all together
and now we wander like ghosts
haunted and hungry
with nothing to feed on
but each other

but there is a garden inside us
and all it takes to remember
is a little tenderness
and a little openness
and the garden begins to grow

walk with me
on the gentle grass
in the meadow under the willow
when the hummingbird dances
and the swallows soar
let us celebrate our joyful innocence
and open wonder
my heart aches with this love
knowing the garden is here always

sometimes even the cruelest beings
catch the early morning scent
as it wafts through their heartless lives.

life with no wall

don’t jump back
into who you were
stay a little
in this blazing openness
of love’s splendor
before you return
to your brittleness
don’t be so quick
to erect your wall
and block your self in
its easy to live in the familiar
but life with no wall
is the real life
come out of your prison
once and for all
and be your true self
don’t jump back
into who you were.

Throw Open the Doors of Love

We met for this,
To talk of love
To share it
And to throw open its doors
And invite everyone in
Love is a force
It is THE force
Of the universe
And it wants everything
It is like the light
It wants to shine on everything
And cast out
The shadows
We met for this
When we first shared it
We were wildly in love
And our sharing was
Carefree and crazy
Now the wine has matured
And is ready to drink
With grace and care
Love turned my life
Upside down
And now
I see it everywhere
I see where it is not embraced
Where it is denied
And longed for
But I want to say
It is here, now!
It is the oxygen
The air
The water
In the flesh and bones
And blood
It is all
And all is it!
Oh mercy
I must stop….

You will never know how grateful I am…
Let this heart’s love
Ring throughout eternity.

A picture at the recent retreat at Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, California. June 2018. My wife, author and teacher Amoda Maa.

A Gradual Dawning

Eventually all the games
The twists and turns, the avoidance
And the mental manipulation,
All the feeble and emboldened attempts by the mind
To figure it all out and keep me safe
Came to an end, worn out by over use
And a lack of attention on my part
I just figured, let the tapes run
I’m not going to listen
And they got quieter and quieter
Until one day I noticed silence
And stillness
No more monkey on my back
And no more noise.

Since then there have been no more stories
And no more argument with what is
Just this sweet simplicity
And a voice that speaks
Of love
And little else.