when God comes in your house

Nothing’s left but what is looking,
yet everything you see is you.

Image source - http://favim.com/image/4582/


The Invitation

When God comes in your house
it is only by your invitation,
but even your invitation is God’s,
for she has always been
landlady and tenant,
windows and walls,
the fire in your hearth
and the cold wind blowing at your door.

At first, her visits seem so welcome.
She brings tea and cookies and loves you
so sweetly inside your own heart.
You keep inviting her back
by your prayers and meditations,
imagining you’ve found the one you always wanted
who will hold you on her endless lap
and take away your pain forever.

But pretty soon, she starts arriving
unexpectedly, at odd hours of the day and night,
and every time she comes,
she takes something away–
a pretty picture here, a bookcase there,
maybe even some trash
you are happy to be rid of
in your basement.

But at some point, it occurs to you
she intends to move in completely.
And now the mind starts backing up:
“Perhaps you could come back another day,
after I’ve worked on my house,
after I’ve bought nicer furniture,
after I’ve finished my fight with evil,
after I’ve planted a peace garden.”

But you must know
that if you invite God in,
sooner or later she will set up house,
and when she does, beware;
for she tosses out every single thing
she does not need, which,
in the case of the personality,
is every single thing you thought you were.

Every thought and cherished belief
she just throws out on the garbage heap;
and that might be fine if she replaced them,
but she never replaces those sacred thoughts;
she utterly destroys them. She strips the coverings
off the walls, and peels the paper from the window glass,
opens the door to invite in the wind,
and every creature you wanted kept out.

Sometimes she cleans your house gently,
dismantling it room by room.
But often, she just comes in with a torch,
and you feel in your gut the fire burn
in the center of your separate comfort,
and you watch the contents of your house
melt and turn to ash,
and the roof blow off.

And just when you think
there is nothing more that she could take,
she opens the ground beneath
the barely intact shell of your house,
and all the levels of your being
fall into the space that has no name;
and you are left alone in all the world,
without a map, without a path, without a point of view.

And you know you are creator of your dreams,
your dreams of mountains and rivers,
calm seas and storm clouds,
crashes of lightning and spacecraft,
beautiful babies asleep at the breast,
joyful dancing and puppies at play,
Spring’s new blossoms,
and the threat of Winter’s war.

And at this point,
what you are inside your house
is simply What is looking out.
Nothing’s left but what is looking,
yet everything you see is you.
Now your life turns inside out.
Your body is the world of being
looking out of Just What Is.

And strange as it seems
to the mind of your memory,
you enjoy each dance of yourself,
even the pains you hoped to be rid of,
you experience fully without regret.
For everywhere your eye may look,
all it sees is infinite love
displaying itself in creation.

And just to be completely honest,
there are times you might be tempted
to rebuild your house of concepts,
for the mind just loves to think;
but the fire of Truth resides within you,
where it always lived before you knew,
and it keeps revealing moment to moment
what is false and what is true.

So what can be said about what happens
when God takes over her house?
She laughs and simply sips her tea,
washes her dishes and sleeps when it’s time,
then goes to find another house
where there has been an invitation,
an invitation to come in
from the deep, deep love of Herself.

© Dorothy Hunt, Only This!

Dorothy Hunt is the founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and serves as Spiritual Director and President of Moon Mountain Sangha, Inc., a California non-profit religious corporation. Dorothy currently offers meditation and satsang gatherings, weekend intensives and retreats, and also sees individuals for both psychotherapy and dokusan (private meetings with a spiritual teacher.) Her teaching is centered in the San Francisco Bay Area, but is offered elsewhere by invitation.

15 thoughts on “when God comes in your house

  1. Thank you Miriam, for posting this monumental work of Dorothy Hunt.

    I particularly chimed with the lines ‘. . . you are left alone in all the world, without a map, without a path, without a point of view.’

    Those lines reminded me of Thomas Nagel’s book The View From Nowhere and I was always drawn to the apparent paradox of such an idea.

    The suggestion in Dorothy’s work is at once that of a solitude, and yet a non-localized one for all that: ‘. . . everything you see is you.’

    I trust that September finds you in abundantly good health Miriam.

    Hariod. ❤

    • Dear Hariod – “monumental” is such a fine word to describe Dorothy’s poem, thank you! The (apparent) process as she poetically describes it, is in total accord with the unfolding here, in this body-mind. The free-fall into seamlessness is different for each version of Her-reclaiming-Herself, however it seems a ruthless reorganisation of the entirety of one’s self-structure (house) is not optional!

      Thank you for reading, and for your beautiful comment. September finds me thriving – for us ‘downunder’ dwellers, Spring is bouncing and budding. It’s a joy and a wonder to Know it!


  2. Louisa, I sent this to a friend who these days are sick in bed, alone, in a house where everything is taken apart –
    unending love and gratitude to you – and Dorothy 🙂

    • Dear N – that was a kind thought. I do hope reading Dorothy’s poem brought your friend some solace, some sense that she is never separate from the Unbroken. Thank you for reading, and commenting – much love to you.

  3. Hi man, that is really true, that line “deep, deep love of herself”. God is deeply inlove with us. One can not forsake that.
    I really, really, really love that line and the whole content of your post, miriam. That piece is really true.
    One might think negative about that, but I dont think so.
    We are subjects of gods created beings and binded by that loving relationship. When we are rooted in that loving relationship, god will care for us and protect us. Even our house and all the belongings we possessed.
    In other words; god loves us as well as all the possessions of our hearts. Anything that one might own and love.
    That relationship is deeply loving. Love is glue, the power that keeps us in contact with our god. It is that love only and no other thing.
    Once we are in love, we are inviting gods presence. And that bondage with god stays that way. Everything comes that way, even house and all our belongings. It is not natural for one to say that; he or she had life and the life’s pleasures without gods love. It was there before us, will be there today and forever more.
    We have been born in our of that and our life is made out of that. No one in this loving relationship with god.
    I really love your post, miriam.
    Hope my sharing is inline with you.
    Thanks once again for that wonderful stuff.

  4. This is one of my very favorite poems. I read it at Rupert’s retreat one time. The last evening people share writing, song, etc. Thanks for posting it here. Dorothy is here in the Bay area. We sat with her once.

  5. Thank you for this deeply moving poem, Miriam. It expresses soaring spirit and grounded soul so beautifully. I especially resonate with the lines: “and you are left alone in all the world,
    without a map, without a path, without a point of view.”
    I remember standing alone in an alley in the rain, absolutely bereft, spiritually naked. I felt so many tears inside that I felt as though I sloshed when I walked. In retrospect, those tears were showers of grace, the waters of my melting heart leaking through my eyes. Thank you for bringing me again to that dark and luminous place.

  6. Pingback: the altar of this moment | this unlit light

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