The Tao That Can Be Spoken

Tao

Life’s paradoxes are not contradictions —
resisting its flow is the source of affliction.

Expansion and contraction define each other,
self and non-self contain each other;

right and wrong create each other,
plus and minus require each other;

joy and sorrow alternate with each other,
pleasure and pain become each other;

war and peace depend on each other,
good and evil reflect each other;

motion and rest follow each other,
life and death astonish each other;

earth and sky support each other,
you and I adore each other.

At the still-point where all oppositions
converge in a flash of recognition:

brightness in the dead of night,
darkness at the core of light –

there is a whole and both are parts,
the light and dark of our still secret hearts.

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No Escape

nothing works, no escape

futilely trying to quiet the mind

the running riot persists, insists

nothing works, no escape

slipping exhausted into a vague sleep

mirror images dart in dream shadows

restless churning of a haunted heart

hopelessly entangled in an angry knot,

lost in a livid compulsion, recycling

every meaningless triviality, dark

thoughts rebounding, pounding

the mind drums, dull ugly echoes,

wanting, wanting, wanting to blame

still nothing works, there is no escape

strapped to a form, fixed in the fire,

no light in a tunnel, no resort,

no escape

Another Face in the Fire

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Getting Free of the Trap

First of all, stop trying.

The one who wants to get free
is the trap itself, the illusion itself.

Sitting still in the midst of it
without trying to change the experience,
something unexpected happens.

Keep breathing,
it is all OK.

Whatever it is,
it is a gift.

Turn nothing away,
receive it all.

Feel it,
however it comes —
some sorrow, pain, heart hurt —
it is all just for you.

Isn’t it a miracle
that we can feel?

That we can experience?

How amazing to contemplate:
that emptiness can give birth
to all of this, and then can
feel it so fiercely!

What a wonder!

But don’t hold on,
cling to nothing.

Bow in thanks,
then let it go.

Freedom

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Surya Namaskar

flare6

Salutation of dark chromatine matter
leaping from cis 1, 2 dimethylmethionine
to trans 1, 3 phosphorylguanine,
an electron seeking an M shell
to convert into body double
a blue positron
colliding in hyperspace
finding an inverted spinning tachyon
for melting into taintless white light
unmoving toward strange violet attractor and
crystallized into timeless tetravalent
carbon atom substrate frozen within
large polyamine chain —
a catecholamine transmitter
traveling through a silver white axone
towards an embracing multiramified dentrite
exploding into a synaptic chamber
streams hurtling through the
wall of next membrane
a deep accumulating dam,
waves of low neural potentials
exchanging secret sounds
matrix of 1000101010101 digits
N-dimensional bended Riemann strings
building alpha numerical memory units
becoming a ribosome,
a laser like sensor witnessing
elongated proteins forming
pyramidal neural cell
neocortex, white
holes birthing
material worlds
transmigrating
solar fusion state
galactic resonance
harmonic N-fields
rejoice angelic hosts
Supreme Mahamudra
embryonic metamorph –
the kitten within a cat:

Om Tat Sat!

hubble-globular-cluster

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Left To Say

snowy

This high up, winter
sets in early, leaves late.

I have no complaint.

I liked the light,
and so I settled here.

A small fire,
twigs and dried grass –

my few books long ago
bestowed their kindling grace.

The lure of the unknown
no longer coincides with some
urgent need for reasons — that’s
the business of knowing, and I’ve
closed up that shop for the duration.

Stalking my own mortality
like a light-hunting night moth,
it is as I suspected: I am
what I’ve pursued.

The futility of all effort:
when I turn around,
nobody’s there.

Turning back again,
I find myself everywhere.

The phosphorescent trail
traced by a snail in damp moonlight —
a map on slick moisture, the pilgrimage
from me to myself is transparently revealed.

Though everything born
is destined to eventually die,
a mysterious presence endures.

If you seek to align with it,
you have already abandoned it.

If you try to attain it
by always following others,
you’re cutting off your own legs.

Everywhere I travel,
I always meet the same one,
the one I am, yet I am not that one.

That one aimlessly breezes along
like a curious wind through rustled pines,
while I just recline in the meadow, caressed
by the crickets’ lulling songs, sifting me
into the oncoming night.

The perfection of this moonlight’s seduction
does not go unsung by the awed nocturnal voices,
now raised in a synchronous harmony no
artifice of pious chant can equal.

Draped in luminous vestments of star-shine,
the night slowly disrobes and remembers itself
all over again, in the same way I recall myself,
embraced by this brilliant vastness, opening
to that same vastness shining within, and
welcoming all as quicksilver memories
of myself, arising and dissolving.

This way of self-remembering —
now unmistakably clear with impersonal truth,
then relaxing, letting go, and forgetting that too . . .

Cutting off all my hair was easy.

Relinquishing schemes of renunciation
is a much steeper path to tread.

I came a long way to forget myself,
forgetting the one who remembers.

Having roamed this wide world
from mountain to shore for more years
than I care to count, my journey itself
may have been in vain, yet there’s
wisdom found in failure too.

The road’s red dust still clings to my clothes,
but merciful tears have washed my eyes
clear of despair and regret.

I have always been grateful for water.

I lean back against the crumbling wall
of a long-abandoned ruin, eyes brimming anew
with sudden tears, now woven with the wind
that swirls a blanket of cricket peace
around my shoulders.

What is there left to say —
so many frosted moonlit nights
cascading now behind me, sitting here
amidst chill mists, mystified by dawn.

dawn mists

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Softly Laughing

All throughout this dark and windy night
everything is tipsy and translucent.

Light is swaying drunkenly
between the visible and invisible.

I wonder if perhaps it’s only me, wobbling
on my feet, swaying to some spirit beat, listening
to soft laughter echoing through the midnight air.

There is no apparent source for this muffled mirth,
and so it must be my wine-soaked imagination.

Here we are tonight, face to face in our happy place,
smiling without reason like two daring dreamers, sharing
the same intriguing dream of soft and distant laughter.

Now look, Love, can’t you see –
what pours through you swoons in me!

Our blood runs through incandescent arteries
that connect the planets, moons, and stars
with sweet and liquid laughter, laughter
flowing through our pulsing veins
like a rich and heady wine.

I wonder how this can be –
the invisible pouring into visibility.

So entrancing is this unknown laughter
that we have lost our way back
to the sobriety of the known.

I wave my empty glass for more while
you look on, barely hiding your laughter.

The little drops of wine I’ve left behind
to mark our way have one by one evaporated –
laughing softly in the air all through
this dark and windy night.

Having things be visible or not
now goes the way of lovely wine drops,
drips of galaxies – all laughing softly in the air,
having never known sobriety, having
never set foot there.

I wonder how this can be:

I set out at dusk to discover the One
who laughs so softly in the air, not knowing
that it was You and I dancing between visible
and invisible, intoxicated by the light of night,
together softly laughing, laughing softly
in the midst of who knows where.

windy night

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Praising Wildflowers

I’ve heard all the thoughtful talk
about life’s purpose and its meaning –

just never took any of it all that seriously.

Happily purposeless, my skull
a bowl of delicious sunshine, I ramble
through magnificent mountain meadows
while meaning, that mewling straggler,
struggles hopelessly to catch up.

It hops along on one ragged foot,
while mine barely touch the ground.

I’m not here to explain –
I’m here to praise.

Sometimes an explanation
can be a form of praise.

Just so, I offer
the following explanation:

There is nothing to explain.

Praise be!

There have been enough
explanations, not enough praise.

The very act of appearing at all
is reason enough for praise —

it needs no explanation.

Listen, you old mountain:

not one wise word today
about history or spiritual direction –

not while these fabulous wildflowers
run a giddy riot up and down your hillsides!

wildflowers

2.

Last night I slept in a wild lily bed
as the cool night breeze wove lullabies
and stalks and flowers, hearts and souls
revolved together, tethered in trysts,
anointed by that heavenly perfume
of a full moon’s irresistible shine.

Brushing pollen from hands and feet,
crusty remnants of sleep from my eyes,
I rise at dawn, smile and yawn, and welcome
the sun with a wink and a nod, greeting
my own self in each fresh lily sigh
of gently humming gratitude.

Awake, I’m ready to wander on,
revived once more by my lily loves,
all happily tilting toward the unknown,
the vast open sky that I call home.

Blanket of night tucked away for the day
I bound along with sweet praise on my lips
and the succulent bliss of their lingering kiss –
so fragrant with wild lily memories.

lily

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