#4489 - Saturday, January 21, 2011
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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4489, Saturday, January 21, 2011
You keep waiting for something to happen,
the thing that lifts you out of yourself,
catapults you into doing all the things you've put off
the great things you're meant to do in your life,
but somehow never quite get to.
You keep waiting for the planets to shift
the new moon to bring news,
the universe to alight, something to give.
Meanwhile, the piles of papers, the laundry, the dishes, the job,
it all stacks up while you keep hoping
for some miracle to blast down upon you,
scattering the piles to the winds.
Sometimes you lie in bed, terrified of your life.
Sometimes you laugh at the privilege of waking.
But all the while, life goes on it its messy way.
And then you turn forty. Or fifty, Or sixty...
and some part of you realizes you are not alone
and you find signs of this in the animal kingdom -
when a snake sheds its skin its eyes glaze over,
it slinks under a rock, not wanting to be touched,
and when caterpillar turns to butterfly
if the pupa is brushed, it will die -
and when the bird taps its beak hungrily against the egg
it's because the thing is too small, too small,
and it needs to break out.
And midlife walks you into that wisdom
that this is what transformation looks like -
the mess of it, the tapping at the walls of your life,
the yearning and writhing and pushing,
until one day, one day
you emerge from the wreck
embracing both the immense dawn
and the dusk of the body,
just as you are.
- Leza Lowitz, Poems of Awakening by Betsy Small, posted to The_Now2
A World with No Boundaries
With every breath the sound
of love surrounds us,
and we are bound for the depths
of space, without distraction.
We've been in orbit before
and know the angels there.
Let's go there again, Master,
for that is our land.
Yet we are beyond all of that
and more than angels.
Out beyond duality,
we have a home, and it is Majesty.
That pure substance is
different from this dusty world.
What kind of place is this?
We once came down; soon we'll return.
A new happiness befriends us
as we work at offering our lives.
Muhammad, the jewel of the world,
is our caravan's chosen guide.
The sweetness we breathe on the wind
is from the scent of his hair,
and the radiance of our thought
is from the light of his day.
His face once caused
the moon to split in two.
She couldn't endure the sight of him.
Yet how lucky she was,
she who humbly received him.
Look into your heart and see
the splitting moon within each breath.
Having seen that vision,
how can you still dream?
When the wave of "Am I not?" struck,
it wrecked the body's ship;
when the ship wrecks again,
it will be the time of union.
The Human Being, like a bird of the sea,
emerged from the ocean of the soul.
Earth is not the final place of rest
for a bird born from the sea.
No, we are pearls of that ocean;
all of us live in it;
and if it weren't so, why would
wave upon wave arrive?
This is the time of union,
the time of eternal beauty.
It is the time of luck and kindness;
it is the ocean of purity.
The wave of bestowal has come.
The roar of the sea is here.
The morning of happiness has dawned.
No, it is the light of God.
Whose face is pictured here?
Who is this shah or prince?
Who is this ancient intelligence?
They are all masks . . .
and the only remedy is
this boiling ecstasy of the soul.
A fountain of refreshment
is in the head and the eyes -
not this bodily head
but another pure spiritual one.
Many a pure head has been spilled
in the dust. Know the one from the other!
Our original head is hidden,
while this other is visible.
Beyond this world is a world
that has no boundaries.
Put your water skin away, brother,
and draw some wine from our cask!
The clay jug of perception
has such a narrow spout.
The sun appeared from the direction of Tabriz,
and I said, "This light is at once joined
with all things, and yet apart from everything."
- Rumi Ghazal (Ode) 363, version by Kabir Helminski, from Love is a Stranger, posted to Sunlight
this could happen in a bright room
where a band plays and people laugh
anywhere a boat could drop anchor
or directly beside you so close
I could kiss your cheek
but my love I don't hide my love there
my love is hidden in rain and the dirt
it flits about the way email messages do
nothing so easy you can push it
this love's the way people dance
and sing when they forget anyone could laugh
my love asks for nothing
the universe unfolds too
a gigantic cup peeling back on itself
I imagine a question for that answer
years built caution into a fence
I leap around inside myself
the love itself is a cat with another home
and it visits and watches
in the heat where silence saves me
- Raewyn Alexander
Ode to My Socks
Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder's hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.
Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
as learned men collect
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.
The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.