Thursday, April 23, 2015
Place everything you can perceive—
everything you can
upon the altar of this moment
and give thanks.
It is over so soon—
this single moment of your precious life,
this one heart
pounding itself open
with fear or wild joy,
this one breath rising
in the cold winter air
smoothly and gently
or coughing and sputtering.
Bow, while you can, before
this one taste
of afternoon tea
warming its way to your belly,
or the fragrant orange
exploding its sweet juice
in your grateful mouth.
You have to love
the antics of your mind,
imagining life should only be sweet.
The bitter makes the sweet; and life is both.
It is whole, like you,
before you think yourself to pieces.
Place this moment’s pain and confusion on the altar, too,
and give special thanks for such grace
that wakes you up from sleeping through your life.
Pain is greatly under-rated as a pointer to Unknowing,
yet greatly over-rated when taken as identity.
In this one moment,
your eyes meet mine and there is
a single looking.
What is peering from behind our masks?
Can it touch itself across the room?
Place your palms together;
touch your holy skin.
In another moment it will shed itself.
What will you be then?
What were you before you had two hands?
What are you now?
You cannot capture That
and place It on the altar of this moment.
It is the altar,
and this moment’s infinite expressions,
and the Seeing,
and its own devotion to itself.
You are That.
Photo: Peter Bowers
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Everything in nature bespeaks the mother. The sun is the mother of earth and gives it its nourishment of heart; it never leaves the universe at night until it has put the earth to sleep to the song of the sea and the hymn of birds and brooks. And this earth is the mother of trees and flowers. It produces them, nurses them, and weans them. The trees and flowers become kind mothers of their great fruits and seeds. And the mother, the prototype of all existence, is the eternal spirit, full of beauty and love.
Photo: Peter Bowers
Saturday, April 11, 2015
What is there beyond knowing that keeps
calling to me? I can't
turn in any direction
but it's there. I don't mean
the leaves' grip and shine or even the thrush's
silk song, but the far off
fires, for example,
of the stars, heaven's slowly turning
theater of light, or the wind
playful with its breath;
or time that's always rushing forward,
or standing still
in the same - what shall I say -
What I know
I could put into a pack
as if it were bread and cheese, and carry it
on one shoulder,
important and honourable, but so small!
While everything else continues, unexplained
and unexplainable. How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly
to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.
But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing
in and out. Life so far doesn't have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.
If there's a temple, I haven't found it yet.
I simply go on drifting, in the heaven of the grass
and the weeds.
It is a strange and magical fact to be here,
walking around in a body,
to have a whole world within you and a world at your fingertips outside you.
It is an immense privilege,
and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here …
It is uncanny how social reality can deaden and numb us
so that the mystical wonder of our lives goes totally unnoticed.
We are here.
We are wildly and dangerously free.
From Anam Cara
image: Peter Bowers