Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Friend

In the old days, my Baba said,
True teachers, gurus, murshids,
Did not sit “in front of” groups, elevated above,
But were simple people… simple…
Always sitting “across from” a simple friend.

They were fellow Lovers of The Beloved,
In whose Hearts Her Flame was alight,
And in relationship with whom,
The ember in one's own Heart would ignite,
And one would become, in time… “like them”.

This is, after all, the point, is it not?

This was an intimate spiritual relationship,
Not seeing from a distance, seldom,
Over the heads of a crowd,
Not being “taught” in words and concepts,
But a Mystical Illumining of Grace…

Heart to Heart.

The guru, the murshid, the teacher,
Took tea with a friend, and chatted,
And together they bathed in the Presence,
That Illumined both their Hearts,
One aflame, the other igniting.

Things were said, questions asked, in this simplicity,
That would not be uttered in a crowd of strangers,
Revelations of the Heart's deepest Longing,
Questions utterable only in the Intimacy of Friendship,
And answers…

Born of a Heart Fulfilled.

It did not matter, my Baba said,
Whether the teacher, the guru, the murshid,
Was brilliant, of diamond-like mind,
Eloquent, and inspiring of speech,
Beautiful for the eyes to behold…

Or a drooling idiot.

All that was required, he said,
Was their Presence,
Which had become, over time,
Through Love, Longing, and inward turning,
Indistinguishable, inseparable from…

Her Timeless Presence.

Two simple Friends,
Two simple ones,
Two Lovers of The Beautiful Mystery,
Taking Tea, chatting, as only Friends can do;
Sipping… Sipping…

Vanishing in The Tea.
In this way, this Ancient Way, my Baba said,
The Flame in one, ignited the ember in the other,
And in time, when that ember burst into Flame,
Another teacher, guru, murshid was born,
A Simple friend, a Fellow Lover…

Of That for which “Love“ is a wholly inadequate word.

Two things he oft' repeated:
“Slowly, slowly; She is doing everything.”
And, more often even than that,
“Remain always, a simple man.”

For the old days are now.

Chuck Surface
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


            I can see humility
            Delicate and white
            It is satisfying
            Just by itself

            And Trust
            absolute trust
            a gift
            a precious gift

            I would rather think of humility than
                        anything else.

            Humility, the beautiful daughter
            She cannot do either right or wrong
            She does not do anything
            All of her ways are empty
            Infinitely light and delicate
            She treads an even path
            Sweet, smiling, uninterrupted, free


             Agnes Martin
             Photo:  Peter Bowers

Like Snow

Suppose we did our work, 
like the snow, quietly, quietly,
leaving nothing out.

Wendell Berry
Photo:  Peter Bowers