Note on the Mirror

1. The world as you perceive it is not real

2. You are not who you imagine yourself to be

3. You are not going to figure it out

4. Trying to hold on to things is futile

5. Whatever is will cease to be

6. Thoughts are not your friends

7. Spirituality is an obstruction

8. Sacred texts are distractions

9. There is no special attainment to pursue

10. There is nobody in control

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Oxygen Magic

There are countless micro-magi
wandering through our bloodstreams,
following the stars’ bidding, the pilgrimage
of blood, performing the miracle of oxygen.

In a feat of magic beyond compare,
each one of us can inhale and exhale
with nothing up our sleeves but air.

Everything conjures itself
into this amazing breathing trick,
and all is changed in the blink
of a wink by every aspiration.

Voila —
now we see it
or maybe we don’t —

in any event,
our breathing
guarantees our seat –
we may as well enjoy the show!

Life poured some breath
into these lungs –
just the right amount.

Is it any wonder
that our heart applauds
this wizardry of oxygen?

We petition no magician to make us
real, nor leap through hoops
for audience regard.

We’re always awake
where the sorcery ends, here
within this breathless heart,
happy, silent, breathing.

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Bubble Nebula

Blown by the wind from a massive star,
this magnificent interstellar apparition
has a surprisingly familiar shape.

Cataloged poetically as NGC 7635,
it is also known as “The Bubble Nebula”.

The Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex
lie a mere 7,100 light-years away, toward
the celestial constellation Cassiopeia.

It’s actually an emission nebula,
emitting its own light from within.

Although it looks delicate, it offers evidence
of violent processes at work.

Above and left of the Bubble’s center is a hot,
O-type star, imaginatively named SAO 20575.

Several hundred thousand times more luminous
and around 45 times more massive than the Sun,
it is pushing the nebula outward at a rate
of 100,000 kilometres per hour.

The fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star
has gradually blasted out the structure of glowing gas
against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud
which excites the nebula, causing the material itself to glow.

That molecular cloud contains the rate of the bubble’s expansion,
resulting in the cosmic object’s nearly symmetrical appearance.

Meanwhile, back on this planet we as humans call Home,
there’s always opportunity for feasting, with anticipation
of even more to come, for those mischievous entities
who dwell among us, feeding on fear and negativity.

Imagine, however, if due to some miracle,
all of our self-inflicted cruelty were to cease.

Imagine if peace were to break out across the lands,
and all the sources of conflict resolved equitably,
with everyone getting what they believed
they were fighting for.

Additionally, imagine if all the forms of inequality,
poverty, and despair were eradicated all around the world,
so that utopian-type conditions came to prevail.

Even if all that were to happen, we would still be faced
with the inescapable specter of an underlying stress,
a contraction or knot in the being like a hot O-type star,
from which we have only been temporarily distracted
by the events and circumstances which heretofore
have managed to dominate our attention.

The whole search for independence and happiness
which has defined our existence and even driven us
to the desperate point of slaughtering each other
has the same basis, or source, in each one of us,
regardless of our nominal affiliations.

Indeed, if we were to stop right now and inspect
our own being, if we were to turn the light around
which we have been casting into the outer world
and take a close look at what is happening within us
at the core of our thoughts and feelings, we would notice
that this chronic contraction has been propelling us
like glowing gas in a fierce stellar wind.

That is, everything we think and do is the inevitable result
of our futile attempts to pacify, loosen, or be liberated
from this quintessential stressfulness.

All of our religious conflicts, all of our political conflicts,
all of our financial conflicts, all of our social conflicts,
and even down to the microscopic cellular level –
all is spinning around in the orbit
of this core contraction.

And what is it?

It is the cumulative stress of consciousness itself
which clings to any and every transient identity,
as if to a futile life raft on the vast celestial sea.

Only by letting go of all support and allegiance
to our vanity’s self-images which come and go
in time, can we freely expand out to infinity
with no molecular cloud of fixed identity
to limit or contain us.



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All of It

Carlotta, Ca 2004

There’s an ancient humble comfort, simply watching
the immensity of clear white light pouring down
in gracious mountain harmony, filtering through
these majestic old growth redwood trees, pure awe
expressed as a gentle pendulum of soulful sighs
and glad hummings in uncontrived surrender
to the mystery woo of the wandering wind,
the moo of the cow standing still in its field,
hark of a distant barking dog, the sudden flight
of feisty mountain bluejays, and now this:

an impossible full moon slowly peeking around
the bend in the hills, milky white on cobalt blue,
and the pendulum stops in the midst of its track,
its track across time, then the sudden sensation
of cessation, cessation of any motion, both past
and future liberated from any fabricated necessity,
all creation itself resolving in the same smile,
this one, the enduring smile of our original face,
open, welcoming, gratefully praising . . . all of it.



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Tightrope Walking

Balancing on a thin tightrope tautly stretched
across the virtual topography of “my” story,
who stands revealed in the scattered light
of an opaque prism, transforming, morphing
in the poignant play of ripening conditions:

a costumed clown with a borrowed frown,
a small boy waving a toy sword at the sky,
a dynamo brimming with surging life force,
or reluctant wounded warrior rallying round
a weary worried wagon train of wry belief,
projection, resistance, and rejection?

In reality we are none of them,
yet in love’s wild perplexing play
of paradox, we are all of them too!

When transient images are taken seriously
we tend to lose the humor of the view –
the gift of its intended amusement —
trapping ourselves in fixation’s glue.

All identities are meant as costumes
to express love’s innocent delight,
a vehicle to play this game
of incarnating light.

Somehow we manage to forget that,
creating many problems that ensue,
though even such forgetfulness
is part of love’s play too!

Here all of us are teetering, walking tightropes
stretched between our births and deaths.

There’s no safety net to catch us
should we trip and fall, except that love
which brought us here to answer it’s own call.


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The Temple of What Is

Welcome to the Temple of What Is,
which is no different than anyplace else,
except in the mind that clings to preference.

Imagine relaxing with friends around a warm campfire,
your uncontrived faith, compassion, wisdom, and devotion
all signs that you have heard the teaching and taken it to heart,
having recognized directly that the nature of all multiplicity
is nondual, and things in themselves are pure and simple.

Now that you have finally relinquished allegiance
to any doctrine, dogma, philosophical position,
or religious conceit, you find that you are
no longer inclined to doubt the obvious:

the utter futility and wasted effort
of trying to figure “This” out with mind.

Greatly relieved by such illuminating grace,
even to the point of treating each other kindly
in every circumstance, all stressful motivation
for competition and self-assertion has dissolved
in the realization of the essential unity of creation.

Without any agenda, scheme, or strategy
aimed at having things be other than they are,
or attempting to manipulate and fix outcomes,
and without prolonging that endless war of ideas
in pursuit and confirmation of some fictional entity,
typically called “myself”, you abide instead as peace.



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The Play

Loose lips lay claim that “Ego” is my name,
just a fanciful play in a fast fleeting game,
though would you find some fault in me
I say look closer, not in vain —
what stands before you now
is well and fully free of blame!

The one saints strive to be without
is simply that which — king or lout —
reflects a schism in the view,
the mirror here suggests a clue;
but lest you judge me well or ill,
“The play’s the thing”,
and so says Will!

In nature’s tryst of light and dark,
and even as the curtains part, behold
already here I am, do not mistake me
for a man, as any wise one may tell true:

‘tis not a thing the actors do,
but you who script the story’s plot,
and in such nets the fish is caught!

Witness how imaginary tales spin forth,
illusory appearances to happenstance reflect,
and though in any single beat of human heart
the meanest thing be shining holy bright,
what hath arisen surely shall decease,
gone the way of any windblown fleece,
impersonally vanishing from sight —
out of mind and on into the night.




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