Words deliver only introductions to the art of being immersed in life …
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Spiritual knowing is not something that can be pinned down by specific words, because it expresses itself as a lived experience, moment by moment. But words can lead us towards a spiritual experience, just as certain images, sensations, or events can lead us towards something we sense is deeply meaningful. So, I have often been drawn to reflect on meaningful ideas in a more poetic or lyrical way than is offered by the usual expectations of prose, because in this way I can be less restricted by literal implications and more open to spiritual ones.
Here are the first few offerings . . .
PASSING BY THIS PLACE
I see a little stream now and again as I walk along a wooded path.
When I hear its voice, tiny and happy, mingling with other sounds and touches, I am often amazed to realize that every drop of water in it at some point reaches the furthest limits of an ocean and the atmosphere.
And I take joy in listening to it, passing by this place, at this moment.
Inside you it’s spring when you thrive so much that you can’t look back or to the future because each moment is so delicious.
Inside you it’s summer when you ripen so much that you forget yourself in the joy of being a part of everything in the world around you.
Inside you it is autumn when you relinquish so much that there is nothing at all you are not letting go of, and you feel like you’re coming into a deep homecoming.
Inside you it is like winter when you have warmed yourself so much that nothing around you feels cold, and everything envelops you within a silence abounding with meanings you cannot express.
Is the flower in the seed any less than the flower in bloom?
Is a full grown person any more human than a small child?
Are atoms less important than the universe that contains them?
Why treat things unequally when everything is part of the flow?
Is it possible to see beauty everywhere, even in places that are bleak and desolate, faces that are angry or cruel, situations that are violent, actions bred by falsehood or conceit?
Is it possible that beauty is not about how things look, but about how “your looking at them” impels you beyond appearances into a space where you can see them illuminated by compassion?
Your harvest is always ready when the work that you do is to love.
Your table is always prepared when what you provide is who you are.
There is always good food and drink when everyone you meet is a friend.
There is always an abundance when everything you do is a gift.
Your song is always beautiful, when its melody comes from your heart.
Your presence is always needed when all that you bring is your coming.
The fruits of a person’s character are not deeds that have been accomplished, but wonderful tastes that can be shared.
Branches that keep on fruiting are pruned so that new growth can emerge freely from the source of their vitality.
People who provide true nourishment detach themselves from their achievements so that they can stay grounded in love.
NOT TWO, NOT ONE . . .
Sometimes it is our good fortune to feel ourselves within a rhythm or melody, not two, not one …
Or see a face or an image that immediately creates an intimacy: not two, not one …
We are born into a wholeness, unique and united with everything around us: not two, not one …
always a part and always whole, blending with everything, never anything but we: not two, not one …
Just as our deepest sleep lies beyond our dreaming, our clearest perceptions take us beyond our words, and our purest loving forgets all conditions.
Like a cloudless night-sky, lit with infinite light, deep silence illumines the extraordinary awareness of being at one with everything.
So you can be at peace no matter what happens, because you can be sure that you are a part of all the wisdom and love that is, was, or will be.
Talk with your thoughts until they tire and go to sleep.
Walk with your feelings ’til they give out and cannot go on.
Take all your wants to a remote spot and leave them there.
When you are ready to do nothing, you will be ready for anything.