this luscious luminosity

A selection of favourite word-weavings on the theme that underpins this blog, beginning and closing with beloved Rumi.

I drank that wine of which the soul is its vessel.
Its ecstasy has stolen my intellect away.

A light came and kindled a flame
in the depth of my soul.

A light so radiant that
the sun orbits around it
like a butterfly.

– Rumi

 

Light-Moth. Source - Amrita Nadi

 

I, the light of pure Knowing, can never be seen as an object or known as a state,
and yet all objects and states shine with My light alone.

– Rupert Spira


The great, shining light of divinity is not a light you can see;
it’s a light that sees.

– Adyashanti


Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent
and the divine is shining through it all the time.

This is not just a nice story or a fable,
it is true.

– Thomas Merton


Such love does
the sky now pour,
that whenever I stand in a field,

I have to wring out the light
when I get
home.

– St. Francis of Assisi


Meditation is that light in the mind which lights the way for action;
and without that light there is no love.

– J Krishnamurti


You are the light of the world.
You are the consciousness that illuminates the world.
Know yourself as that, and that’s freedom, liberation, awakening,
the end of suffering and madness.

– Eckhart Tolle


Vast is That, and self-luminous, of unthinkable form, and subtler than the atom.
It shines forth, farther than the far, and yet It is very near, for those who see,
residing in the shrine of the heart of every being.

– Mundaka Upanashad


The lamps are different, but the Light is the same.

So many garish lamps in the dying brain’s lamp-shop.
Forget about them.

– Rumi


and this Light does know all other light as its shadow


Image credit and first Rumi poem – Amrita Nadi on Facebook


silence stillness simplicity serenity solitude

How wondrous that the words most intensely meaningful for me at present – in my mountain hermitage – all begin with the letter ‘s’.   Aren’t these words delicious?  Can’t you feel the way each one somehow lifts you by the heart-strings, delivering you into the mystery beyond words?

Longtime readers of this little blog will be familiar with my abiding love of retreats of any kind.  Oh, the sublime depth of noble silence, the absence of encroachment by mind-fueled noise!  In the days of Great Busyness my torpedo-like life needed the balance gifted by formal retreat.  Here on Kiels Mountain I relish each of these words and I smile, recognizing that my appetite for retreat has manifested a full-time “retreat lifestyle”.

Slow motion opens the mind.
Smooth motion opens the heart.
Slow smooth motion
turns on
the inexplicable delight.
– Paul Reps

This post is a smorgasbord of offerings from some favorite writers and sages.

.

Ura-Senke: approach to the Tea House, Kyoto, Japan

Silence and spaciousness go together.
The immensity of silence is the immensity of the mind in which a center does not exist.

– J Krishnamurti

*

Stop talking, stop thinking, and there is nothing will not understand.

Return to the root and you will find the Meaning.

Persue the Light, and you will lose its source.

There is no need to seek Truth: only stop having opinions.

– Seng-ts’an / Sosan

*

Silence is not acoustic.  It is a change of mind, a turning around.

– John Cage

*

Silent and serene, forgetting words
Bright clarity appears before you.

When you reflect it, you become vast.
Where you embody it, you are uplifted.

Solitary and shining, a river of stars,
Snow covered pines,
Clouds enveloping the peak.

In darkness it is most bright,
While hidden all the more manifest.

The crane dreams in the winter mist.
The autumn waters flow far in the distance.
Endless kalpas are totally empty,
All things completely the same.

When wonder exists in serenity,
all achievement is forgotten in illumination.

Only silence is the supreme speech,
Only illumination the universal response.

Responding without falling into achievement,
Speaking without involving listeners,
The ten thousand forms majestically glisten
And expound the dharma.

– Wanshi Shogaku

*

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. The more solitary I am the more affection I have for them…. Solitude and silence teach me to love my brothers for what they are, not for what they say.

– Thomas Merton

*

In my travels I spent time with a great yogi.
Once he said to me.

“Become so still you hear the blood flowing
through your veins.”

One night as I sat in quiet,
I seemed on the verge of entering a world inside so vast
I know it is the source of
all of
us.

– Mirabi

*

That’s all you have to do – just abide in that stillness.

If you know how to be with that stillness without looking for anything else then that stillness is no longer just a stillness and that stillness is the Buddha Mind, it is the luminous awareness.

In that stillness you are going to discover your true nature.

The discovery of your true nature is the true liberation, is the bodhi, is the great awakening.

– Tulku Thubten Rinpoche

*

I teach silence
in all languages
through intensive examination of:
the starry sky,
the Sinanthropus’ jaws,
a grasshopper’s hop,
an infant’s fingernails,
plankton,
a snowflake.

– Wislawa Szymborska
Classifieds

*

… full understanding can come to you only through an inexpressible mystery.

The approach to it is called the Gateway of the Stillness beyond all Activity.

If you wish to understand, know that a sudden comprehension comes when the mind has been purged of all the clutter of conceptual and discriminatory thought-activity.

Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it.

Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.

– Huang Po

*

In the end it’s all very simple.
Either we give ourselves to Silence or we don’t.

– Adyashanti

*

This is not magic.  It’s not mysterious.  Sit down in a chair or on your couch and don’t make a decision when to get up, and just feel.  And all of sudden it will become obvious.  Your body will start to move with the feeling and you’ll just be getting up.  Try it sometime.  It’s interesting.

Spend a day like that; just feeling, not moving until you feel.  If your mind is asking you, “is this the right feeling?” you’ll never get it.  It’s like thirst.  When you’re thirsty, you’re thirsty.  That’s knowledge, that’s direct knowing.  What would you say to somebody if they said, “how do I know when I’m thirsty?”  Well, you’ll feel the flow of it.  But if a mind was involved, the mind might even feel thirsty and the mind would go, “how do I know that that’s thirst?  How do I know?”

But on the inside, in quietness, thirst and reaching for the cup would be just one movement.  Thirst and the cup: simple.

– Adyashanti

*

The power of the Divine works in the silence.
People want lectures; I give them silence.

Words you can get anywhere.

In silence one can receive more
because all one’s activities become concentrated at one point.
There is only one real rhythm; in silence you hear it.
When you live to the rhythm of this silence, you become it…

– Mother Meera

*

Life is this simple.  We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent, and God is shining through all the time.

This is not just a fable or a nice story.  It is true.

If we abandon ourselves to God and forget ourselves, we see it sometimes, and we see it maybe frequently.

God shows Himself everywhere, in everything – in people and in things and in nature and in events.

It becomes very obvious that God is everywhere and in everything and we cannot be without Him.  It’s impossible.  The only thing is we don’t see it.

– Thomas Merton

*

Immobility and silence are not inactive.
The flower fills the space with perfume, the candle – with light.
They do nothing yet they change everything by their mere presence.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

*

Above all things, love silence. Out of your silence will arise something that will draw you into deeper silence. If you practice this, inexpressible light will dawn upon you.

– St Gregory of Nyssa

*

Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self.
– Henri J M Nouwen

*

Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

– T S Eliot

*


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

Truth: it’s got us by the short curlies

Awakening is a space that opens in you.
If that space is infinitely open, then Truth can reveal itself continuously,
in a way that is always somewhat unexpected.
~ Adyashanti

Understatement of the century, says I with a droll grin.  Who’d have expected Truth to turn up as just exactly this?  Who’d have expected Truth to turn up as just exactly what is, here and now?  Who’d have expected that Truth would be ceaselessly waiting for me without expectations?  Or conditions?  Or qualifiers?

Who’d have expected that someone as crazy, mixed-up, diseased, addicted, selfish, ancient, depressed, deluded, ego-consumed, unworthy, ____  (insert pet beat-up label) as this creature called me would turn out to be Truth in apparent disguise?

Who’d have expected Truth to be naked and silent after all the years of assuming It would come blazing and whistling and shouting hallelujah?  Who’d have expected It would be so intimate that separation is impossible?  Escape impossible?  (It’s got us by the short curlies dear hearts, whether we like it or not.)

Who’d have expected that the only thing apparently standing between me and Truth was my belief in the myth of separation?

~ miriam louisa

gobbled by the gap

Last week was a bit strange. I guess I’m slowly learning what many others have discovered before me, which is that the more one reaches out towards this – immense unknowableness – the more it seems to advance. These are crazy words, for there is no reaching and no advancing and never any separation, but how to speak of it?

Adyashanti says “Truth is a sleeping giant, which once aroused and awakened, becomes an unstoppable liberator.”

Unstoppable. That’s what I’m learning. Extend invitations at your peril!

So, what happened last week? Well, I wrote a few fairly innocuous words about minding the gap. I wrote about how the gap between thoughts was succulent silence and the flowering of pure Aware-ing, about it being my version Graceland. Well I must have left an arousing calling card, for the next thing I knew the gap got me good. I was cast like an aged ewe upon the zafu. It wasn’t that I was in bliss-bunny land, or that I was tired. I was simply … hollow. There were no bones in my bodysuit.

Hollow like bamboo. Thoughts bubbled up through the hollowness occasionally like echoes from outer space. There was no intention to remain hollow, or not. But there was a gentle sort of curiosity. The sensation was of floating, buoyantly bodiless – as though held in a gravity-free womb.

It went on without interruption all day, over night, and all the next day. I had been gobbled by the gap.

Don’t be fooled – there’s nothing human here. She-who-writes is a gap-scat in disguise.

– miriam louisa


Image source: Osho Zen Tarot –copyright Ma Deva Padma