caught in the crosshairs

'Crosshairs', computer art by Danielle Navarro

I am caught in the crosshairs: At the still-point of being, where the wondrous ever-presence of that-which-can’t-be-lost and the streaming sadness of my losses intersect.  And cannot be torn apart.

It mystifies me that some speak of ‘Awareness’ as something separate from what it ‘awares’, or of ‘Knowing’ as separate from its ‘knowns’.  As though one can step out of consciousness and still be conscious…

The idea-lisation of some kind of primary state – Atman, Godhead, Emptiness, Creation – that somehow exists apart from the activity of my experience, turned out to be a monstrous red herring.  I muse that it might be the most unholy black joke, the ultimate conspiracy of misinformation that humanity has dreamed up.  But what do I know?

This:  Primordial* Awareness is inseparable from both the capacity to be aware, and whatever activity it is awareing.  It’s also inseparable from the space in which the entire show appears.  I can’t face it.  I can’t escape it.  Imagine the relief of realising there’s no way out and nothing to escape.

Please check it out for yourself.


Mark Nepo expresses this seamless interaction exquisitely in his poem, ‘Adrift’

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ADRIFT

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief.  The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat.  The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger.  In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.

.


Mark Nepo


Art by Sydney-based computational artist Danielle Navarro


* Primordial comes from the Latin words primus, ‘first’ and ordiri, ‘to begin’.
When something is described as being primordial, it means it has existed since time was invented.  No wonder I feel weary.

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the joy of dying

Today is the 4th day of the 4th month and 9 years since my mother breathed her last at 4am.

Two Miriams, Hervey Bay QLD

This little blog was created to express my gratitude for her wondrous wideawakeness and wisdom; she was a priceless teacher for me. Her lessons – lived in her everyday life – deepen and mature in me as the years go by.  She gave us 97 years of her presence.  Even on her deathbed she was wide-eyed and full of praise for everyone.

This year I’m moved to share words from two teachers she’d have loved for their open-hearted honesty, warmth, sweetness, and for their radiant wisdom: Joan Ruvinsky and Robert K Hall. Joan was speaking shortly before her death. Robert is still with us, but his departure is immanent.


 

just this… in all its simplicity…
welcoming what is here already…
not coming… not going…
obscured even by seeking…

So we meet in the paradox of apparent teachings, retreats, trainings or gatherings, to celebrate and explore this nameless presence that we are.  At first, there is the tendency to accentuate the myriad of practices the yoga tradition has developed, to focus on concepts like nondual, true nature, awareness, self-inquiry or other-inquiry.

But all this activity eventually leads us to a giving up.  And in this surrender what is revealed is seen to be what has always been here, before the search began, during its full intensity and after its cessation.  The task turns out to be ceding to stillness, and in that stillness the recognition of just this.

Falling back and resting in what is so familiar that it has been overlooked during all the body sensing yoga, during all the pranayama, all the yoga nidra and amidst all the dialogues, amidst life itself, we find our self simply sinking back into just this.

Joan Ruvinsky

 


 

Letting go is not an easy process, especially how much I’m enjoying life, surrounded by so much love and people who take good care of me… I have talked at length about my experience and difficulties about the dying process… today I’d like reflect on the positive side and share my experience about the joy of dying…

Robert K Hall

 

This short talk (8:07) expresses so much warmth, love, joy and presence, it will melt your heart.
For more videos and audio teachings: Robert K Hall Dharma Talks


From the archives:
grief is a shower of grace
the gift of grief

here is where the vista opens
the cosmic chirp


 

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


I watch me appear; I watch me disappear

 

I am never absent, I cannot be escaped
I watch me appear, I watch me disappear

I am unaffected, I have no preference
I watch me appear, I watch me disappear

Forget ‘Big Brother’ and CCTV:
there’s an eye there is no hiding from
and it’s known as “I” to me.

It prowls this world of dream and drama
ceaselessly scoping the cosmos and all creation:
macroscopic, microscopic and myopic too,
the outer worlds and inner…

Eyes wide open, eyes shut tight
I can never escape its unlit light.

I am unmoved, I am all movement
I watch me appear, I watch me disappear

I am never absent, I cannot be escaped
I watch me appear, I watch me disappear

– miriam louisa

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I watch me appear; I watch me disappear
 .

Gangaji expresses this warts-and-all totality to perfection:

At a certain point, a couple of years after [the disappearance of the ‘me’ as separate entity], I was aware of a sense of myself as a person starting to slowly return.  And I thought, “Oh, no, what does this mean?” because at that point I had been counseling people not to reconstruct themselves after this kind of experience.  There was a moment of wondering if this sense of myself meant I had lost anything, but by then I knew enough to check and see.  When I did, I saw clearly that the truth that needs no scaffolding was not bothered by any sense or perception of myself as being this human animal, this body-mind configuration.  Silent conscious awareness was not bothered by any disappearance of the sense of this form and not bothered by its reappearance.

The fact that the sense of me as form reappeared was actually a teaching for me because it threw me into profound inquiry.  And in that inquiry I saw that this sense of being a separate entity appears and disappears all the time, even in a day—for everyone.  It’s just that until we have an experience of it disappearing, and then discovering the true “I” to still be present, only then do we have the possibility of recognizing that the disappearance or the reappearance doesn’t really touch the unmoving truth.

It was at this point I felt myself reincarnating as an ordinary human being.  I didn’t fight the ordinariness coming back, because I was always aware that whatever came back—an emotion, a sense of me, a negative thought, etc.—it didn’t touch what had been revealed…

To this day, I can say that from that moment there has been no lack of resolution and fulfillment.  There have been negative states as well as positive.  There has been grief as well as joy.  There have been trials and there have been defeats, but nothing has dislodged the certainty that who I am includes all.

© Gangaji, 2012
[My emphasis.]
Source:  http://www.onethemagazine.com/blog/2012/10/12/answer-to-a-prayer/


Image source:  Rumi Facebook page


 

what once felt like grief

Rashani Réa - what once felt like grief

Poetry and collage by Rashani Réa


Rashani needs little introduction to readers here – her beautiful poem the unbroken was posted many moons ago.  If you missed it, please click on the link  below.

Some months ago Rashani was so kind as to compile a couple of her little Card Decks with words from the several websites and blogs I cultivate online.  It’s taken me as many months to overcome my shyness, but I reckon I might be ready … and Rashani’s work is so beautiful it should be shared and celebrated regardless of my reluctance to be seen as some kind of “awakened” writer.  I’m just a scribbler who likes to see what gets written, and sometimes what gets written is amazing.  The crack in the world widens a fraction and Grace finds the gap.

~

Card Deck by Rashani Réa

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Card Deck by Rashani Réa

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I’d love to think you might have a look at these little ‘Altar’ decks at Rashani’s site. And while you’re there, have a browse through her collection of greeting cards, postcards, books, ebooks, and posters available for purchase. All proceeds go towards Rashani’s work at Kipukamaluhia, her home and retreat sanctuary in Hawaiʻi.

Rashani’s website

small card decks by Rashani

~

A new addition is a writer’s journal, inspired by the SAND conference last November. It includes more than forty of Rashani’s collages with words by women and men who are exploring and sharing nonduality. (Including yours truly.)

Rashani Réa Nondual Reflections Journal

The Nondual Journal has 144 pages and measures 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.

It doesn’t seem to be loaded to Rashani’s website as yet, but you can order from her directly:

808 929-8043
rashanirea[at]yahoo.com


Rashani’s poem:

the unbroken

the unbroken

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.

There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.

~ Rashani Réa

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these words are clumsy feet

The one who grieves –
who finds it is their ‘work’

The one who’s sad –
who aches for yesterday

The one who awares –
who beams this unlit light

The one who woes –
who keens to love’s goneness

The one who weeps –
who melts in holy love

who – or what – is that One?

 

These words are clumsy feet
(dual by default)
dancing the dream

The  Beloved rests
unmoved
impartial
in the wings
caps in lap:

choreographer, director
actor and audience

absorbed within
Its one-wo:man act
and never leaving Home
for even half a heartbeat

– miriam louisa