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.
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
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…
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
The world within often draws me towards itself – to leave the cares of moving life behind and to rejoin the eternal. There, I find a jewel that I cannot give away. I might well share it if I could. I would make of it an offering, but it’s stuck in my lungs and hands and all the rest. All I can do is Be it. In the moment, it’s just this sweet sense of Being, and these words, a gesture of gratitude with my attempt at a little stamp of light.
Maybe I’ll spend the morning with the geese that hang out near here, fearless creatures they are. They stroll along busy streets causing a mess and don’t care much about the drivers who gets chuffed along the way. Sometimes I think: I am but a bird singing my song for the simple joy of singing it, not (necessarily) to attract a mate, however, just because it’s my thing. That’s a nice image, but today, I think I’d like to be a goose walking in front of traffic, for the simple joy of charting my own course, not (necessarily) to stump anyone or cause a rift, but just because I’m alive. Let’s not get too romantic about it.
There is more here than just the endless inner world, or at least, I’ll give myself, as bird-feed, the illusion that there is, and touch hands to face under the breaking light of day.
there is a collapse
of walls held round the heart
and then the reflected light of the body
graces itself to love again:
a slow walk under the cool moon.
it’s not a big moment
it’s not a big event
it’s not an enlightenment
god, to only let go of that word,
we’ve all done our work!
let’s remember what we share
it’s a slow, gentle, patient falling away:
snow drifting onto parched earth
and melting in, deep, through
muscular tissues and fascia
into the cells and marrows
of memories laid down
time before time.
there’s also a sharpening to this,
a grinding away of ignorance’s block
it doesn’t all feel like snowflakes –
but this part comes with that satisfying feeling of
pulling apart pieces of old dead flesh
making way for the light to cascade through
light that is living
that’s beyond care
light just for light
it’s animal and beatific
it’s pure and it’s rude
it’s a divine melting
and a burning crash
This isn’t really for angels.
I mean, I don’t know any.
life is red and black and blue and white
and everything else for that matter
it’s a symphony
it’s all transparent
This wonder lives
in the eye of the I,
as brief expanses of light
echo within galaxies lost to time
that soar through the night sky,
When waking life is seen to be the waking dream
then Life, never parted from beauty,
is known once again in the heart of Awareness
and all of this enfolds itself inside once more,
and there’s no more gap.
the empty cup is full
but the dizzy dancer doesn’t settle for terms.
it’s all too much sometimes
too much to take in
so there’s a melting into the words of a song
and then the song melts itself into the motion of silence
and then it springs backwards into fireworks over the bay
and motion snores
and everything between is singing for us to remember
because there is nothing to fear:
not a belief, not a thought, not a dream nor a nightmare
the one in charge is good
we have a good captain on deck
I only know because one time I glimpsed the sunrise after a dark night,
a night when everything collapsed,
and now I know.
or, maybe, now I know I don’t know much but
what I’m trying to say is:
The sun doesn’t stop rising,
And we are all children of the sun.
What is here?
Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching;
The senses, the mind and the body.
All are perceived by the same consciousness.
And this consciousness is self-knowing.
It may seem like there is only the body, the mind, the world,
and the consciousness is distinct:
but what do the body, the mind and the world arise within?
Consciousness is often likened to a ‘space’ where all these perceptions arise.
In fact, the world is not ‘outside’ of you. It is inside. Everything is inside.
The body sensations arise within the conscious ‘space’ –
an infinite welcoming presence waiting for our joyful surrender.
Where would the body, the mind, the world arise within other than in consciousness,
other than in the reality that perceives?
All perceptions are within you, within awareness.
And what is the substance of these perceptions, what are they really?
They are perceived by consciousness, in consciousness,
and they are made of consciousness.
There is only consciousness.
This consciousness we are has no border or boundary,
no shape, size, or texture,
it is Aware,
it is Present,
it is Real,
it is Limitless Perceiving.
When was this consciousness born? When will it die? Will it die?
Or is birth and death a sentence given to objects, for that which arises and which must eventually fall?
But consciousness – when have we experienced it arising?
When have we experienced it falling?
It’s always been with us.
It’s always been us.
It’s always been.
And it will always be.
Consciousness is Eternal Life.
Because that which Lives, that which is truly Alive, is that which perceives, that which creates and sustains the forms,
itself not subject to the rules and quandaries of impermanence.
Everything is impermanent, but consciousness is not a thing.
It is what is truly permanent.
And in it, we find Peace.
Peace that is not subject to the comings and goings of any event or any object or any situation or any relationship.
Peace that is in fact causeless, timeless, permanent.
Our very nature is Peace itself, whether we know it or not.
And the key to rediscovering this is simply to notice
and to fall in love with our very
This is what I think the path is, at least the first stretch. Really it’s the path to the path, the path to the initiation, but it’s the part of the spiritual journey you hear about the most. It’s not the end, it’s really just a new beginning, but there’s a path towards it, and this is how I see it these days:
First of all…
It isn’t a theoretical path. It’s an experiential one. It isn’t really a path for the mind, it’s a path to what’s beyond the mind. (Which has always been, but you have to realize it, and that’s what happens.) It’s not a path for the mind but it has to be communicated somehow, and words, and the thoughts they form, are the quickest means to deconstruct belief systems, it seems.
That’s what this part of the path is about, it’s a big rug-pull under the kitchen table holding your Big Belief Sandwich.
The reason, by the way, people write about non-duality (hopefully): is not to advance some grand scheme or theory for the mind but in a deconstructive sense – to deconstruct what was previously held to be true, for the one reason that there are beliefs we hold about reality (namely, that we are separate from it) that cause us suffering.
With that said, the path to the path beyond suffering is, in fact, very simple:
you just have to realize the reality of your awareness.
It’s always been real. It doesn’t become more real or less real. Nothing happens to it. It’s just, first, you realize ‘Hey, awareness is real’.
What do I mean by real?
I mean, that you know that you are aware, with 100% certainty. Always have been. Any time you check, awareness is there. And everything else, you don’t know, this might be a dream, but the awareness part is real.
You know you are aware. I am aware, awareness is real.
Then you’re sitting under a gate (a gateless gate), that says ‘Awareness is Real’ in gold letters above. And you sit there for a while, knowing full well that awareness is not a body, or a mind, or a world, having no idea where else to go. And eventually the gate opens and you’re pulled in and when you look back up at the gold letters above, they’re flipped around from this side and now they say:
‘Reality is Awareness’.
Or whatever words come to you that signify The Infinite-Eternal Self, which is actually more like a silence than gold letters, but there you have the limits of blogs.
This is all figurative, by the way, the words are just pointers and can be replaced any number of ways. There’s no literal gate, but somehow you’re still taken to the other side of your preconceptions.
You discover, in your own way, that awareness and reality are synonymous. There’s only One, one awareness, one reality, one indivisible Self, and You are That.
Awareness is real, Reality is Awareness. It’s just about realizing the reality of your awareness.
The truth is, this is always the way it’s been:
Our reality has always been awareness, we just think and feel that we’re separate from it when we’re not. We are always That, The One Being seeming to take many forms.
The good news is that the ticket through the gate is the Love of the Truth, and the other good news is that the gate is a gateless one. You, awareness, are already in your steady Home,
the place beyond time and space where we all
(ALL of us)
meet, in the end.