Friday, May 27, 2016


We cannot precisely say what this listening is, because it is not a function. It is without intention. Being free from intention also means being free from concentration.  In both we are looking for a target, looking for a result, but in listening we are simply open, directionless.

In listening there is no grasping, no taking.  All that is listened to comes to us.  The relaxed brain is in a state of natural non-function, simply attentive without any specific direction.  We can never objectify listening, because that would mean to put it in the frame of space and time.  It is listening to oneself.

In listening to oneself there is no outside and no inside.  It is silence, presence.  In this silence-presence there is total absence of oneself as being somebody.

In listening we are not isolated.  We are only isolated when we live in objects, but free from objects we live our essence where there is no separation.  In listening there is not a you and not another.  Call it love.

Jean Klein
The Book of Listening
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Thursday, May 26, 2016

wind in the pine trees

No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything
that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees. 
These pages seek nothing more than to echo the silence and peace 
that is “heard” when the rain wanders freely among the hills and forests.

But what can the wind say when there is no hearer?

 There is then a deeper silence:
 the silence in which the Hearer is No-Hearer. 
That deeper silence must be heard before one can speak truly of solitude.

Thomas Merton 

Monday, May 9, 2016


A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.
A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
they run toward the screaming.

And they can't be bought off.
If you were to ask one of those, "Why did you come
so quickly?" he or she would say, "Because I heard
your helplessness."

Where lowland is,
that's where water goes. All medicine wants
is pain to cure.

And don't just ask for one mercy.
Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

Push the hair out of your eyes.
Blow the phlegm from your nose,
and from your brain.

Let the wind breeze through.
Leave no residue in yourself from that bilious fever.
Take the cure for impotence,
that your manhood may shoot forth,
and a hundred new beings come of your coming.

Tear the binding from around the foot
of your soul, and let it race around the track
in front of the crowd. Loosen the knot of greed
so tight on your neck. Accept your new good luck.

Give your weakness
to one who helps.

Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.

Just a little beginning-whimper,
and she's there.

God created the child, that is your wanting,
so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

Cry out! Don't be stolid and silent
with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
of loving flow into you.

The hard rain and wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

Ignore those that make you fearful
and sad, that degrade you
back toward disease and death.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Lord Krishna to Arjuna

Creatures rise and creatures vanish;
I alone am real, Arjuna,
looking out, amused, from deep
Within the eyes of every creature.

I am the object of all knowledge,
Father of the world, its mother,
Source of all things, of impure and
Pure, of holiness and horror.

I am the goal, the root, the witness,
Home and refuge, dearest friend,
Creation and annihilation,
Everlasting seed and treasure.

I am the radiance of the sun, I
Open or withhold the rainclouds,
I am Immortality and
Death, am being and non-being.

I am the Self, Arjuna, seated
in the heart of every creature.
I am the origin, the middle,
And the end that all must come to.

The Bhagavad Gita
Stephen Mitchell translation
Photo:  Peter Bowers