the altar of this moment

A beautiful poem for a Sunday: The Altar of this Moment by Dorothy Hunt.

 
For Simone, who was gratefulness and generosity embodied. And who left us seven days ago.

Reblogged with gratitude from the wondrous science and nonduality website


Photograph by Juliana Nan

 

Place everything you can perceive—
everything you can
see,
hear,
smell,
taste,
or touch,
upon the altar of this moment
and give thanks.

It is over so soon—
this expression,
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.

Dorothy Hunt

 


Image credit – Juliana Nan


Also by Dorothy Hunt:
when God comes in your house


please take these offerings

They often sneak up on me at this time of the year – a gaggle of words-wanting-shared. Yes, it’s birthday time – not a blog birthday, but another tick in the annual count for she-who-scribbles while her spacecraft steers itself around the sun…

Birthdays are a good time to reflect on one’s blessings, and to offer gratitude to our friends for their kindness and thoughtfulness. I always begin my birthday with a gesture of thanks to my mother, who not only gave me the miraculous opportunity for life, but also fostered, nourished and inspired the flourishing of that life in every way possible.

Now in my eighth decade, and delighting in life regardless of its curved balls, I feel to share some of the observations that have delivered me to this joy. It’s the best I can offer; may your mind and heart be able to receive.

Image source - https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/BoneStructure/

 

Life hurts.
But what you are never feels pain.

Everything changes.
But what you are remains unchanged, eternally.

You’re flat and exhausted and depressed.
But what you are is forever poised as equanimity.

You’re broke, stressed, squeezed dry, homeless and hungry.
But what you are is unaffected and impartial.

You’re smashed by disappointment, betrayal, abandonment.
But what you are is ever calm, accepting and unbroken.

You’re afflicted by physical and mental aberrations, abnormalities, imbalances.
But what you are never suffers for one second.

 

So what you are is clearly something with which you need to become very familiar. And it’s e-a-s-y to do so. You don’t need a formal introduction. You don’t need a manual or a map or a guide book. You don’t need to change your religion or your beliefs (although changes may well occur as a result). You don’t need a 12-step plan or a meditation practice.

What you are is more obvious and closer than the tip of your nose. It’s the one experience you can never escape, 24/7.

What would you call that? Your aliveness? Your awareness? Your presence? All these words come close, but none are ultimately true or exact. Why?

Because they aren’t yours. Or mine. Or anyone’s. Drop the personal pronoun, and there you are – radiant all-knowing alive presence. The Light of Knowingness, self-luminous, always-on, never-needing fuel or flint…

And that is what you are – free, fulfilled and flourishing as all you conceive, perceive and experience. All of it.

How wondrous that this is possible – that this primordial awareness is huge enough to hold the entirety of creation, excluding nothing – yet be unaffected and unmoved by any expression of its handmaiden, consciousness.

It is truly The Beloved, the Godhead of the saints and sages and poets.

And it is what you are.

 


Image source


 

may life have its way with you

Lisa Rivas: La Vida

 

May Life
have its incomprehensible way with you, and
may you have the courage
to welcome It
to embrace It
as you would your hungry body’s perfect lover

 

May you
be reunited with the innocent awe-full
bright awareing
that is born afresh
in every instant of aliveness
regardless of age or race or belief or religion

 

May Innocence
the eternal holy child
arise in your heart and bless us all
with its unconditional and utterly impartial Love
that we may, in turn
recognize its gaze in the eyes of all we imagined were ‘other’

 


With my deepest love and gratitude to you all, dear readers, for this holiday season and new year.

May blessings shower upon you – whatever moves you in this ever-sacred moment.

– miriam louisa


Artwork: La Vida, by Lisa Rivas


joy in spite of all

A weary angel
prepares for
the season of joy;

prepares its
spirit to fly
and sing joyfully.

IN SPITE OF ALL

.

Michael Leunig: Joy in Spite of All

.

In spite of all.

Homemade
heartfelt joy –
ORGANICALLY GROWN.
The work of angels.

The energy of joy –
IN SPITE OF ALL.

– Michael Leunig


May the angels visit you and your beloveds with their blessings of joy these holidays.

And may you be blessed to remember that you are one of their throng: Sing praises, for there truly is no “out there” there!


love and joy, thanks and celebration

glad tidings of great joy


emptiness blossomed as bliss

Darshan with Mother Meera

 

yesterday

those eyes

(darkly luminous, utterly empty)

looked into my heart

again

and

finding no watchman at the door

they waltzed right in,

blessed the space,

and emptiness blossomed

as bliss

 

oh Beloved!

we who are nowhere to be found

miraculously find each other

for an embrace of just seconds

in a dance

that spans eternity

 


on labyrinths, grace and the via creativa

When the new issue of the online magazine ONE : the magazine was published, I felt happy, humbled and honored to be the featured artist.

The text I contributed to accompany a gallery of images of my artwork made reference to what I call the via creativa.  Subsequently, and unexpectedly, I was asked to contribute some further words on this so-called via creativa.  I dug deep in my computer’s archives and found this little essay, written some years ago as a postscript to an unpublished manuscript, intended for inclusion in the eventual publication of an ebook on my blog wonderingmind studio.

Here’s an introductory paragraph or two.  I hope you’ll link through to the magazine to read the full monty – and sample some of the beautiful, wise, contributions from others –  Adyashanti, Unmani, Fred Davis, Eli Jackson-Bear, and more.

 

The Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth

 

The Labyrinth is a familiar symbol.  Its enigmatic presence has left footprints that fade back into the beginning of the human story.  Its origins and its purpose have been rich fodder for research and speculation.

I don’t pretend to know the truth of its tale, but see the archetypal labyrinth as apt visual shorthand for the map of a life, and that’s how its symbolism is used in this little essay.

The many lanes of the Labyrinth are in fact only one long path that winds and twists and turns back on itself as it explores all the territory of a life before arriving at its Heart.

By ‘Heart’ I mean the natural essence of the ‘walker’ of the Labyrinth – beyond both conception and perception – the unknowable and ineffable awareness we nevertheless recognize as our changeless Being.

As an artisan, I call this path the Via Creativa, but please don’t think I refer to any kind of laid-down, mapped-out path.

The path is a process, and the process creates the path.  It is the Via Creativa itself that teaches me how to make art and live Life.

[… ]

Continue reading at ONE : the magazine

a little prayer for the solstice

For most readers of this little blog, it’s the summer solstice that will be celebrated today.  But for those of us in the lands south of the Equator, today is the shortest day, the darkest day of the year.  It is winter.  And here on my misty mountain it is raining and chilly – a perfect day for a prayer to the Unlit Light – the Beloved known by a thousand names – the One that never fails to listen and to love.  It’s a deeply personal prayer – and yet, I know it is shared by you and you and you, no matter what your gender may be.

 

Bill Viola - Catherine's Room

 

may I be a mother
to the motherless

 

may I comfort them

may I give them shelter

may I foster their creativity

may I assure them they are loved

may I re-mind them of their brilliant life-fire

 

may I be shown the way

 

may I be a Mother Miriam

as was she who allowed me life:
Miriam ma

aymen

~

 


Image: Bill Viola – Catherine’s Room

Yes – you’ve seen this image here before – it’s one of my favorites:
today I light candles