behind the curtain of belief

in a moment of true availability, when the curtains of belief are withdrawn, what is glimpsed could be called that which is real. it is real because it has always been and will always be, because it is the home-ground of all experience, because it cannot be removed from its Being…it is a conscious reality, knowing itself independent of any cause or any premise. it does not become conscious, as its unchanging and irreducible nature is always consciousness. it is this very consciousness reading these words, the one that perceives and exists, this numinous entity which creates and sustains the cosmos. 

so what is a moment of true availability?

it is a moment of not-knowing, where we somehow suspend the belief to be a limited consciousness. we have to be honest – what do I really think and feel and believe myself to be – we have to be truly open to the possibility that consciousness is universal. this openness does not come from having an agenda to find something for a small ‘me’ – for the ‘me’ that would find something is already the assumption of limitation. instead, the availability comes from the innocence of an open desire, or love, for the truth. it’s a moment of honesty, and it’s a moment of grace. this moment is the initiation into the journey of Peace, which stabilizes itself, and deepens into the various realms of our life over time. it’s not that we become insusceptible to feeling and thinking we’re a separate entity after this moment – but somehow the deepest root of that belief has been severed – and if the post-awakening sadhana as it’s sometimes called is undertaken, we eventually learn to live our lives from this freedom.

that would be a way of speaking about awakening from the point of view of a human mind.

however, the moment is not really a moment – it only seemed that way from the perspective of a body/mind. our nature is timelessness itself. it only seems that somehow, in a certain location within time and space, consciousness has stopped believing itself to be a separate reality among many, and now, in a more or less stable way, remembers its universal nature. this is all a concession to the belief in limitation, an attempt to paint a picture of a journey from our original silence to nowhere else. in truth, there’s nothing to say about awakening – there’s only always been consciousness, it’s never known anything else, and primordial Peace has never even been veiled – not from consciousness itself which always remains in its home-ground. from the perspective of belief, perhaps, Peace was temporarily veiled by thoughts and feelings on behalf of a limited entity, but in truth, consciousness was only ever itself. there never was anything else to be.

that’s why many non-dual teachers speak ill of the seeming emphasis on awakening in spirituality – it’s a storyline, ultimately one that makes no sense from our true nature, and like any storyline, it can be appropriated to the mind that dreams it up. it becomes a fantasy, an escape from reality instead of an investigation into it. but at the same time, we have to acknowledge that psychological suffering has at its root the belief to be a limited entity. if we don’t acknowledge that – if we just say something like ‘everything is relative, there’s no Absolute truth, suffering and happiness are flip sides of the same coin’ which is a common refrain – then we’ve fallen into the trap of duality, the belief that consciousness is relative – and there’s always suffering around that corner, whether we admit it or not. in that sense, we can talk of awakening in relationship to suffering. if there’s suffering, an open investigation into the root cause can relieve it, eventually, by initiating us into the journey to be free from ignorance.

one conductor

this little vessel made of sand and stone – this shape that reforms itself anew at each moment – is but a moving pictogram, struck, as they all are, by the light of the origin. cascading waves of desert grain create, in the blink of the eye, a remnant of perception; a bare shift of energy within the creator’s reality. what remains after the glimpse of eternal being is that same sandstone: ever refining, ever deepening, ever opening – a dance of mind and body coagulating into the varying forms of Life’s celebration.

the wry musculature of this formed body asks for release…and simultaneously yearns to be rebuilt, a construction project built on the grounds of peace. It is a failing attempt to contain the multitudes of feeling within – failing because any container will soon overflow where Love is concerned. 

In this little corner of the infinite, I – although which I, I don’t know – learn somehow to play this instrument with a little more precision and a little more grace, to tune in to the harmonic symphony of the absolute where we all all played by the same Conductor. The conductor is fully in charge, and in fact he too is the only one musician with a million faces and a million bows. We could say he works through our bodies and minds as we learn to live in greater harmony with what is here, and all we can do is to truly disappear – to become transparent to him – to rest as our self and allow his work to be done.

Past Those Palace Walls

even in those times when we have no choice
but to offer our humble lot to the Above,
when we are undone by life’s firm grasp in
that way she shakes us free from what we are not –
could it be that this too is perfect?

there and wins and then there are losses
our lives tend to flow between the two
but some become so distracted by winning
never seeing in fact, past those palace walls,
that true Freedom only comes from loss –

the loss of everything you took to be you.

this is not a somber loss, it’s only the mind that thinks it must be so –
firmly attached as it is to the belief to be separate from the hand that holds:
it is a loss and yet the deepest gain – a gain of nothing, really, but what a nothingness,
the nothingness of divine peace and an opening to Love within.

it comes when we put down the heavy load we’ve been carrying
when we finally surrender our love to nothing but the truth –
all these judgments and resentments and projections and frustrations
must be thrown into the sacrificial fire and burnt to ash
we’ve only held onto them because we are afraid to stop complaining!

life does not punish but rather she is forced to give us tough love
she’s not sentimental – why would she care about those precious feelings –
she wants us to release ourselves into and as the wide open and nothing less,
to stop pretending to do everything ourselves in the face of all she does for us…

so, let’s not worship at the foot of Frustration,
pretending like we are justified in a revolt against Life –
it is simply arrogance to believe that life has wronged us,
when she gives us every opportunity to drop the pretence and Be.

at some point we must recognize that our prayers are answered
at any moment we stop fighting, and let Life pierce our heart open to love;
it’s not about having a bowed head, it’s about saying ‘Yes!’
and getting out of Her way for once.

we have to recognize that suffering comes when we fight against the universe
it is the reminder that we have shelled ourselves away from Her.
peace and love is our nature, begging for us to let them in –
and if you fight the universe – who do you think will win?

image source: Catf

morning coffee

this my ritual of defrosting the body, absorbing bittersweet warmth into its cool carapace. slowly, slowly, the felt sense that I am apart from the rest resolves itself into the dew of unity’s palate. some days, bubbles of joy break through the froth almost immediately, and there is a waking dance under the lip of my mug. others, quieter days, I am reminded of how the body longs eternal for its release into the open vista, and there is a gentle surrender – a dipping ever downwards into the mystic night of the endless merge – slipping deeper into the thick silvery black of the molten brew.

The Tree

Green,
some of them –
made of oak or pine,
our watchful neighbours,
titans of the forest or on streetlines.
tell, have you ever really looked at a tree:
watched how it grows and yet stands still
what I wouldn’t give to become treelike
a tree has nothing to apologize for!
it insists only on its being itself
on growing into its full stead
without asserting dominant
nor hiding from the day
it is a simple thing
as far as I know
but it’s strong
and gentle
like the
earth
on
some
cool
days
when
your
feet
touch
dirt
and
you
know
this
life
is
perfect.

Freedom Within

Is it possible that this very consciousness that is perceiving in this moment is completely free? Free from the feelings – pleasant or unpleasant – of a body, its up and downs, pains and enjoyments, moods and emotions, even the raw sensations that pulse along throughout the states. Free from the thoughts – the buzz of the mind, the projected self-image, the internal dialogue, even thoughts about the truth. And free from the world – not limited to these five human senses but ‘sensing’ itself in a dimension not quite known to man but rather, man being known through it. Is it possible that we are simply playing this game of being people – and yet we have made these bodies out of our own substance and the world they play in too, while all along we watch happily as the person lives it out, set within. Is it possible that the substance of our being is completely intimate with all seeming things, that nothing arises that is not chosen by It? This Being, this Consciousness, has not for one moment parted itself from its home. It has always been, resting in itself, contemplating itself, loving itself, being itself. This knowing, with which you know yourself and out of which all appearances are made is Freedom…

The Town is Empty, but the Guesthouse is Full

room and board has already been paid
the town is empty but the guesthouse is full
we stay up all night sometimes
dancing to the beat
of the infinite drummer
we don’t worship
we don’t get stuck in dead words
there’s not a lot of room here to get maudlin
and any shame is left on the road by the overpass

to avoid overcrowding, we’ve set up a lottery
but there’s only one name on the ballot
no way to get around that

my friend,

you’re in.