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Earth/Art/Heart Offerings
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Apropos

I've had the opportunity, recently, to reflect once more on what it means to be peaceful.
I have come to the understanding that, as long as we are here, in this reality,
we will not attain perfection with it: Conflict does not seem to have abated and
in my understanding, as long as there is conflict, none of us is truly peaceful.
(Having to do with being part of the field etc. and the underlying unity of it.)
 So, the first step to being more at peace is perhaps to embrace 
living in a reality that in it's nature is dual...
Many of us wish to be, some of us think themselves to be... peaceful.
There are many layers of becoming more so, a whole life-times worth of it,
it seems. I find it sometimes amusing and mostly astonishing how many 
different ways of one-upmanship there seem to be, "enlightened" circles
not withstanding... this having to do with Krishnamurti's comment that 
all competition is a form of war...
Embodying peace more firstly requires a willingness to be harmless.
And, of course, just to mention it again: honesty and compassion.
We like to hold great ideals in our awareness. The thing is that it's not so easy to walk the talk.
Quite a few of us seem to find it easy to pretend to already "be there".
Non-judgment for instance is a thing that many people claim to hold when in reality,
judgment is something that happens all the time. 
In general i find it recommendable to hold the ideal while acknowledging that 
mostly, we still have some work to do around them. ( Work as in: approaching the
thing playfully) 
Mostly what healing ourselves has to do with is getting lighter and more compassionate -
with ourselves, with the other.
Coming back to harmlessness and peace, well, anytime we are in conflict, whether we 
witness it or are an essential player in it, it's a good idea to see/understand the situation
as an opportunity for self- reflection.
So, rather than thinking, oh shit, here it is again, train yourself to think, 
how great, i can learn something new. What might it be ?
One of the key ingredients is to take responsibility for being part of it; never mind 
in what capacity. Some people have a great desire to be "good" and so call forth
within them the immediate denial of anything they consider " bad" .
When we think in terms of good and bad, or that someone is "right" and another 
"wrong", it is automatically calling in the defenses of our wounded self trying 
to get on the side of the righteous. Storytelling can be a big part in that.
(Some people hold on to their story because they haven't come to any closure 
around it, meaning : they don't necessarily insist that someone else is " wrong" 
but that their experience is valid... )
But many times, people use story to fortify their beliefs about right/wrong as 
a law. The concept that everyone may have a valid point is not much cultivated
(even if Buddhism talks about "relative truth").
This is actually rather prevalent. Just look at world politics.
When we think in those terms, we may try to find others to corroborate the story,
in order to have a stronger position.
So, to become more peaceful, we would have to take responsibility :
- for being part of the field and co-creators in the happening
- for our own bias
- for any small voice wanting to be "right"
- for trying to distance ourselves by labelling and wanting to give the story 
a certain slant
- for any small unkindness in how we hold ourselves/the other
( thinking unkind thoughts is as much an action as anything else.
We would do well to understand the power of thoughts, especially in combination
with strong feelings) 
~
Conflict is a great opportunity to bring something within us into balance.
Screaming louder and louder about having been done to, taking sides, separating
ourselves from the other through, i.e., labeling, is only going to create more of the same.
Many of us know this on some level, but walking the talk seems to be 
very difficult - sometimes especially for those who think they are already "there".
There are many layers to why our Soul-self may call in the challenge,
mostly very personal.
But, so far, i have come to identify a few general things.
 We create a situation for personal growth in order to :
- find greater understanding/ compassion for the self - this may include changing one's 
judgment around being " wounded" on some level.
- understand the woundedness of the other ( often through coming to know one's own better)
- understand the greater dynamic of playing a part in a whole ( which is a good place
to look at judgment i.e. around what people like to call "drama". I've witnessed quite
a few people very judgmental about " drama" while being really good at 
making it happen) 
- ultimately coming to the layers of acknowledging the dynamic ( i.e. between 
2 people while being one of them ) from a place of stillness. 
Stillness is, by the way , a great tool - to allow feelings to arise, 
to allow compassionate witnessing for all parties, to acknowledge without having to 
act or react...
~
The thing is that things are always shifting, within and without.
When we don't tune in, we become very "grooved" = inflexible in our responses.
When we don't self-reflect, we tend to think it's all "over there".
When we are not still, we can't allow feelings to arise and therefore, discharge/change...
~
Many of us seem to think that "peacefulness" is something that, once found, will 
be more prevalent, meaning stable within us.
Well, i'm not so sure about that. Certainly, some people have been luckier than others
with the initial imprinting of their nervous systems... this being actually a rather large factor,
i believe, in how life is going to play out for us. Awareness of one's initial imprint is 
crucial in understanding certain things about one's own make-up...
In general we can make great lemonade after having been handed lemons.
Many people nowadays understand their intial challenge in life also as their 
greatest teacher/ ~ ing. 
Peace, though, especially in these time of quick changes and speeding, is not 
something stable - it is an on-going act of balancing, centering, allowing feelings to
inform us and recognition of why stuff happens...
My personal experience is that there are also times of intensified learning around 
what stresses us out personally - which can vary quite a bit from person to person.
Fascinating.
I seem to be learning about liking myself even when i get stressed/ wobbly ( relating to 
the first level of compassion with self), which is pretty significant for many of us 
because the not liking can lead to more stress etc. So, identifying what's going on
becomes rather crucial at some point of initiation.
Certainly there are people who label all this as navel-watching or even narcissism -
my experience with those people is that they don't understand themselves very well and
 therefore often delegate the drama... while thinking themselves above it all. 
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We say
We say we don't like conflict
and through the judgment
invoke it consistently ...
rarely acknowledging co- creation.
Some people pride themselves 
in being "easy", not in conflict,
and so create it by separation;
 exporting it being one of the great 
commodities of these times.
" Is your life guided by Spirit or
by your wound ?" a roadsign asks
slyly, separating yet once more.
When conflict arises, 
within/without is one.
The Soul urges us to set something right,
the wound wants us to be right ...
In between is space - 
for paying attention, listening & learning.
Change only happens 
through compassionate awareness : 
A man accosts me in a store,
yelling " dogs are people , too !"
His dog and I have already had
a silent conversation about me passing,
unbeknownst to him.
Was I prepared for the attack ?
Not in that very moment,
but later, the irony strikes me
as very funny, indeed,
and I give thanks to the Invisible
for putting me up to this.
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Autumn :

Colours delighting the Soul, leaves rustling,
invoking memories;
silence and darkness expanding,
enfolding the world in
magical exhalation ...
The willing deepen their listening,
ready for greater instructions,
while those clinging to fear hold on
to what they consider to be true :
either one a teaching.

Autumn has many shades and shapes,
reaching into hearts desiring to see;
the veils of artful concealment
giving a last good show...

Tenderness awaits those 
who are of kindred Spirit.
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Dig Down Deeper



if you say you love me;

and deeper still

if you say you once did.


Dig down in the face of disgrace, 

adversity, foolishness and

accusation.


Dig down if you claim

to be a poet, a dreamer,

a maker of destiny,

dig down and learn to bear

your own medicine.


Dig down to the well

if you say your heart is open,

let it be so,

demand this of yourself:

let your love become pure and

free of it's selectiveness

and preferences...

Dig down deep to overcome

the illusion that we are separate,

have nothing to do with

each other : your Sunday poets' need

for special treatment.


Dig down deeper still to become

one with the mud :

a figure of clay formed 

by the breath of the Universe - 

what else do we have 

to give if not our

true core ?


( written for H.C. 2005 - thanks for the dance & well wishes)

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" ... you cannot escape the fact that all matters of belief are a matter of opinion ...
In Zen, there is no duality created between the higher self and the lower self, because
if you believe in a higher self, it is a mere trick of the lower ...
If you think that you have an ego and then you fight against it, 
nothing strengthens the illusion that it exists more than that...
So this tremendous schizophrenia in human beings, thinking that they are rider and horse; 
soul in command of the body, will in command of emotions, wrestling with them, all that kind of thinking simply aggravates the problem...
And so we have all kinds of people engaged in an interior conflict that will never, never
resolve, because :
The true Self - either you know it or you don't.
If you do know it, then you know it's the only one & the other, the lower self , seizes to be
a problem. It becomes something of a mirage & you don't go around hitting at 
mirages with a stick or try to put reigns on them.
You just know they are mirages & walk straight through them ... "

Alan Watts in " World as Consciousness" 

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An ant hurries along the thrashing floor with it's wheatgrain, moving between 
huge stacks of wheat, not knowing the abundance around.
It thinks it's one grain is all there is to love ...
So we choose a tiny seed to be devoted to :
this body, one path or one teacher.
Look wider and farther - the essence of every
human being can see and what the 
essences' eye takes in, the being becomes.
Solomon, Saturn, the ocean pouring through a jar
and you might say it swims inside the fish.
This mystery gives peace to your longing and
makes the road home, home.

from the documentary "Rumi, Poet of the Heart"

 
 


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Carpe Diem   

Seize
the day lightly
for it is 
yourself
you're after

2014
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Growing older 
is not about striving more or 
knowing better. It's not about
keeping up with the Joneses,
becoming more rigid and
lording it over the rest of the world.

Growing older is not about becoming
 more fearful of dying 
or counting moral mis-steps.
Nor is it about living safely and
becoming smaller and smaller.

Growing older is about
getting braver, trusting more,
learning to love life more deeply 
in all it's forms, not counting the days.

Growing older is about becoming more 
playful, breathing around fear and judgment,
within and without.

Growing older is about becoming
more honest, more vulnerable
more patient, more humorous,
more grateful 
without being sanctimonious.

Growing older is about becoming
 curious and listening,
recognizing one's self in 
the other, becoming more compassionate.
Growing older is about widening the view,
becoming lighter...

and is an on-going event.



 
 
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Walking
with those wild dreams,
feeling the body become alive
with ancient wisdom;
collecting bones, spreading them.

Walking through the meadows,
not frightened about
mankind's curse
but rather: enjoying it.

Flowers will grow
long after
the bonerattler danced,
long after
my life spread into the clouds,
long after.

Quietly they will sing, joyously.

1988

 
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I was assured by
a well-meaning man 
( who had no need to sell it ) 
that putting a new roof 
over my head
would eleviate my worries...

Yet here they are again,
fresh and vigorous with 
on-coming rain
( which now i hear 
as music from above ),
focusing on my thresholds.

Should i not be amused, then,
having chosen this
incarnation, this lifetime,
this experience, 
finding the worry so exquisitely focused
on the next and the next.

This fascination with fear,
inherited from long tradition,
what does it serve?
To keep me occupied
like the chicken on the line
or perhaps to awaken me to compassion?

Allowing consciousness to expand
might just
take care of 
the doorsteps.

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Psyche to Eros   ( 1999)


... deeper now, the yearning,
quieter for you - 
i can set you free anytime,
no need to light a candle:
I am enough to myself.

- and still ...

a woman born many times, my fabric
softened by the elements...
i hung my heart into the Wind, often
( you came with many faces).

You see the child in me, but i am old.
(divinity has gained in me,
you, the god, has stumbled).

I have no need of you.

- and still...
( the yearning )

I am the Earth that gave you life,
you, walking proudly, taking.
( I offered)
Hoping my surrender would soften
your need and pain that came
in many shapes, each one
a teaching.
You left me barren - 
Wind's blowing through now.

-  and still ...

 
 
 
 

 
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Surrendering
... basically means relaxing into
who one really is ...
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When

sweet love comes 
pouring through,
beholding the beauty
in every curve and shape
and shade of color
that feels too
great to wrap in words;
when sweet love
remembers itself 
in your heart
as the softness
of touch, the
light through trees,
clouds kissing the mountain
and rain the ground
as much as 
a feather and 
night, then love 
will know you 
as a vessel : 
lost to yourself
and found.

2005