try it, do it

This is another extract from my mother’s file of inspirational clippings and notes, which I first wrote about in the post keep far away.  She has taken some time to copy the last three paragraphs from a book called The Quest of the Quiet Mind: The Philosophy of Krishnamurti by Stuart Holroyd.  In these final lines, the author is summing up Krishnamurti’s take on meditation.

Earlier parts of the chapter make it clear that K held a very emphatic position on what meditation isn’t – not “the repetition of a word, nor the experience of a vision, nor the cultivation of silence … not wrapping yourself in a pattern of thought, in the enchantment of pleasures.” He would have added that it is not prayer – which is rooted in the illusion of separateness, and it is not a way or a path to anything – certainly not to freedom, for freedom is the precondition of meditation.

- – -

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flame_from_a_Burning_Candle.JPG

The basis of meditation, then, is watchfulness, both of the objective and the subjective worlds. It is ‘seeing, watching, listening, without word, without comment, without opinion – attentive to the movement of life in all its relationships throughout the day.’ It is the continual emptying of the mind of thought and experience, allowing the stream of consciousness to flow freely without thought seizing on any of its elements; it is living and dying from moment to moment.

Another paradox about it is that although it is not a thing you can deliberately set out to do, it nevertheless demands hard work and ‘the highest form of discipline – not conformity, not imitation, not obedience, but a discipline which comes through constant awareness, not only of the things about you outwardly, but also inwardly.  Just watch and be aware of all your thoughts, feelings and reactions, without judging, comparing, approving, condemning or evaluating them in any way, Krishnamurti says. Try it, do it, he urges, and you will find that there is a tremendous release of energy, there is the opening of the door into spaciousness, there is the awakening of bliss.

In a telling image he likens the bliss of meditation to a pure flame, and thought to the smoke from a fire which brings tears to the eyes and blurs perception.  In meditation the mind penetrates and understands the entire structure of the self and the world that thought has put together, and the very act of seeing and understanding the structure confers freedom from it, for mediation ‘destroys everything, nothing whatsoever is left, and in this vast, unfathomable emptiness there is creation and love.’

- Stuart Holroyd, The Quest of the Quiet Mind: The Philosophy of Krishnamurti


Find a comprehensive selection of Krishnamurti’s books at the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust website.


Image source


keep far away
words from my treasured teacher


once your cruci-fiction is over

Bill Viola - The Crossing, 1996, video/sound installation

 

once your cruci-fiction is over

you will say Father

thank you for forsaking me

so that what I am

and have always been

could melt, again

into the womb

of the Mother’s wild Love

 

could shed the unstoppable

tears, that by some divine alchemy

transform

from grief into bliss

 

could abide again

in the Garden of Grace

regardless of life’s sorrows

and confusion and pain

 

you will say thank you

once your cruci-fiction is over

 


Image: Bill ViolaThe Crossing, 1996
Video/sound installation

Source


we are all waiting for you

Today, a guest post from Vicki Woodyard.

This piece is a perfect fit for a follow-on to my last post – one day you finally knew

Worku Goshu: Birth of Light, oil on canvas

One’s Own Truth

To own one’s own truth is what life is about. To reach the place where all of the bells ring … to heal the godforsaken stretches of your inner desertions ….

Yesterday I heard Gavin de Becker say that if someone cannot accept your “no,” then they are trying to control you. After my husband died, I said three noes that first year. Two led to a desertion by the ones to whom I said no. And they each led to a deepening resolve to continue the practice of “no.”

“No” to the outer world is a yes to your inner world. And the inner determines the outer. It is daunting to go so deep into your own spirit that you understand that you are one with everything. It doesn’t necessarily make you any happier.

This morning as I entered the grocery store, one of the employees said a clear “I love you” into her cell phone. I told her it was so nice to hear her say that. She was speaking to her soulmate, she said, her husband of three years. I told her I was widowed…

Being alone is not the end of the world. For me, it is a time for going deeper into what I have chosen. I want to be with myself from now on. In a way that heals inner division, in a way that comforts and stretches me. For this I must say “no” to things that do not nourish me. I am facing myself directly, which is a difficult thing to do. I often prefer to nibble at the cheesy things of this world. Like a rat, I sample American Idol, and that makes me want more. The world is like that… making you want more of what can never sustain you.

So I sit here at the computer, wanting you to love me. But that is just another bite of cheese in the trap. What I really want is to love myself so clearly that I never say “yes” when I feel “no.” That is a big, big thing. The bigger the truth, the more it can change and heal you.

We are all waiting for you
to strike that one chord
in your own heart.
You know, the one you haven’t
strummed in so long.
The one that will make us all
stop for a moment and sigh…

For we have enough false notes
stored up in our music benches.
We need to see your single finger
pluck the harmony and sorrow chord
so we will remember who we are.

- Vicki Woodyard


After regularly publishing on Facebook for some time, Vicki is now re-energising her blog as the premier place to access her writing. You can find it at http://www.vickiwoodyard.com/


Painting by Worku GoshuBirth of Light


one day you finally knew

When tempted to deviate from one’s own authenticity, to parrot the songs of other souls – however exalted, to stay over-long attempting to fix heal or recover that which no longer serves the fledgling understanding of inter being, to succumb (yet again) to the programmed imperative to “be good”, it’s helpful to revisit Mary Oliver’s poem The Journey. Let it reorient the inner compass to heart-point central, where the myth of separation finds no foothold. Let it whisper a reminder that we have a unique voice – however timid and hidden away it may be – and that allowing it to sing out will not only save our own life, but also the life of the world. For truly, there is no separation. Let us do this for each other. Please.

- – -

Still from Steven Spielberg's film: The Color Purple

 

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice -
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do -
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- Mary Oliver

 


Image:  Movie still from the Steven Spielberg classic – The Color Purple


this lucid light of livingness

Photo: Andrew Cottam

 

sitting.
my cells singing their delight
in the pre-dawn hush.

awareing my breath’s ebb and flow
on shores that cool by the day
with winter’s arrival.

still velvety dark.
Venus is huge
and wearing a faint pearly corona.

I marvel that the light
which makes her visible to these eyes
began its journey so inconceivably long ago.*

yet I marvel even more
at this bright unknowable knowing we call awareness
which allows her luminous appearance
to be perceivable, along with all her cosmic neighbours
– this lucid light of livingness
which, unlike the intrepid photon,
has never endured a journey through matter, time and space
to arrive here

contentedly

gazing

at itself

 

- miriam louisa


* Although rays from our sun’s surface take around eight minutes to reach Earth’s surface, the actual photons can take a million years to make it out of the Sun owing to the density of the material and hence being scattered internally so many times. See The Naked Scientists


Photo by Andrew Cottam


a deeper prayer

I love this profound and beautiful expression of radical surrender from Fred LaMotte:

No Affirmation

To make affirmations of abundance expresses lack.
To pray for strength confesses weakness.
To ask for healing is to be sick.
But simply to embrace what is
may be a deeper prayer….

FLaMotte-fb

I embrace ‘poverty,’
I expand into emptiness,
I don’t ask for ‘more.’
Is the universe not born from a boundless vacuum?
Not fearing the void, I ripple with wealth.

I confess that I am powerless
in utter surrender.
I abandon striving, and discover
pre-existent fullness,
the immoveable strength that is nearer
than the next breath…

I accept my dis-ease,
I welcome brokenness,
I hug this body.
In non-resistance, unity.
In unity, healing.

This very moment I refuse
to generate conflict
by changing the suchness
into the ‘should.’

I nestle into wholeness
and little things begin to happen
majestically…

All that greens with nectar,
all that buzzes with life,
emerges from
what Is…

- Fred LaMotte

 

Image credit – Fred’s Facebook page.

keep far away

Today marks the fifth anniversary of my mother’s departure to the Cosmic Recycling Agency. Which means this little blog is now nearly five years old. To celebrate the memory of Miriam’s quiet yet influential life and all those who have contributed to the blog, I thought I’d post something that held special significance for Mum. I found it while sifting through cartons stored since my parents’ departure – an exercise in time-travel, like watching an excruciatingly intimate movie unfold before one’s eyes. There’s everything from bank statements and medical bills to little notebooks filled with their personal jottings and daily chores. If I rest my mind on any one item, I can so easily reconstruct the whole scenario – the context, the weather, the players, the feelings – and I can melt into the thusness of that place and time. Which is, of course, right here and now!

One folder is particularly compelling for me. It’s a simple clearfile with no cover or title. I probably gave it to Miriam years ago, to file her correspondence. In the front pocket she has placed a little breathscribe blessing – a painting I sent her years ago when I was working in England. And inside she has gathered up a mixed and marvelous collection of writings that inspired her (including some of my own). In her last years, she kept this folder beside her bed. It was her own little Bible, she said.

I intend to share some of the things that are tucked into this treasure of a folder – starting today with this rather odd poetic piece from J Krishnamurti. I say odd, because the style of writing seems quite different from K’s usual pragmatism. It’s a style, however, to which Mum’s ears were attuned – and the message is profound. In spite of first appearances, he’s not talking about running away from the world, society and one’s responsibilities. He’s not talking about separation in time or space.

His insistence is that one must keep “so far away that even you cannot find yourself”. Or “others”. That one must keep beyond the reach of all that would condition the mind – education, religion, philosophy, nationalism and stray renegade thoughts. That one must keep safely anchored in the unassailable purity of one’s own perfect Presence.

 

Milford Sound, Aotearoa New Zealand - http://www.amazingnz.com/8Days-English.html

 

You should never be here too much; be so far away that they can’t find you, they can’t get at you to shape, to mould. Be far away, like the mountains, like the unpolluted air; be so far away that you have no parents, no relations, no family, no country; be so far away that you don’t know even where you are. Don’t let them find you; don’t come into contact with them too closely.

Keep far away where even you can’t find yourself; keep a distance which can never be crossed over; keep a passage open always thorough which no one can come. Don’t shut the door for there is no door, only an open, endless passage; if you shut any door, they will be very close to you, then you are lost.

Keep far away where their breath can’t reach you and their breath travels very far and very deeply; don’t get contaminated by them, by their word, by their gesture, by their great knowledge; they have great knowledge but be far away from them where even you cannot find yourself. For they are waiting for you, at every corner, in every house to shape you, to mould you, to tear you to pieces and then put you together in their own image. Their gods, the little ones and the big ones, are the images of themselves, carved by their own mind or by their own hands. They are waiting for you, the churchman and the communist, the believer and the non-believer, for they are both the same; they think they are different but they are not for they both brainwash you, till you are of them, till you repeat their words, till you worship their saints, the ancient and the recent; they have armies for their gods and for their countries and they are experts in killing.

Keep far away but they are waiting for you, the educator and the businessman; one trains you for the others to conform to the demands of their society, which is a deadly thing;* they will make you into a scientist, into an engineer, into an expert of almost anything from cooking to architecture to philosophy.

Keep far, far away; they are waiting for you, the politician and the reformer; the one drags you down into the gutter and then the other reforms you; they juggle with words and you will be lost in their wilderness.

Keep far away; they are waiting for you, the experts in god and the bomb throwers: the one will convince you and the other [show you] how to kill; there are so many ways to find god and so many, many ways to kill. But besides all these, there are hoards of others to tell you what to do and what not to do; keep away from all of them, so far away that you cannot find yourself or any other. You too would like to play with all of them who are waiting for you but then the play becomes so complicated and entertaining that you will be lost. You should never be here too much, be so far away that even you cannot find yourself.

- J Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti’s Notebook

* They have a thing called society and family: these are their real gods, the net in which you will be entangled. [Krishnamurti's insertion in the full text edition]

Find a comprehensive selection of Krishnamurti’s books at the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust website.


Image Credit – Milford Sound, Aotearoa New Zealand


Last year’s celebratory post: a light with no source