a mind full of light

A drop of water has the tastes of the water of the seven seas: there is no need to experience all the ways of worldly life. The reflections of the moon on one thousand rivers are from the same moon: the mind must be full of light.
~ Hung Tzu-ch’eng, 1593-1665

How do you get a mind full of light? That is an intriguing question. Like a dipper of cold water, a mind full of light would be soothing to the parched soul. Enlightenment must equal that.

But wait a minute. Hang on a sec; there is no mind. It has been said, however, that when the mind is still it can reflect the Self. That is why we sit in meditation, pray, do zazen, whirl, and so forth. We want what we haven’t got, a mind full of light.

I am not such a good student of Zen koans. To me the sound of one hand clapping is pretty clear. A dog has Buddha-nature and you can’t put a head on top of a head, but I am getting off topic. I see that someone has put up a sign saying, “Mind has just been mopped. Stay off of it.” Okay, okay.

Right now I am in the school cafeteria of life and as usual I have put more on my tray than I can eat. First I grabbed dessert—lemon icebox pie. Then I saw clear red cubes of Jell-o and grabbed that too. Next came fried chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans—gotta have a yeast roll and a cup of coffee. That’ll be—how much?!

I sat down with some other students and saw that they had done the same thing. Bitten off more than they could chew. Karma, predestination, free will, nonduality all look pretty tasty until you start to consume your attachments. Belly ache, get the Pepto, call the witch doctor—where’s a good shaman when you need her?

I had completely forgotten that I wanted a mind full of light—an empty tray sitting serenely, reflecting light from the overhead fluorescent bulb. I come to myself—hear dishes banging, silverware clanking and water running. I just sit and take it all in. So that’s how I get a mind full of light. Neat.

~ Vicki Woodyard

Vicki Woodyard's book 'Life With A Hole In It'If you haven’t delighted in doing so yet, this guest post from Vicki is a gentle reminder to read her book, LIFE WITH A HOLE IN IT: That’s How The Light Gets In.

The e-book  and paperback versions can be ordered here: http://www.booklocker.com/books/4931.html

Jerry Katz has said, “Vicki Woodyard is one of the treasures of spiritual literature.”

I so agree!


silence is the essence of us all

It’s Vicki Woodyard day at unlitlight central today. I am so thrilled to know that Vicki’s new book Life With A Hole In It: that’s how the light gets in is out and available for purchase. But more of that later. First, a little treat about silence:

There is an essential silence that continually blesses us all.  I feel it as I type words into the void.  It unreels like an old movie, the kind where no voice was able to be heard.  It breathes life into the words of this world.  It animates everything.  Trees know it and rocks absorb and emit it.  Stars beam it down to us in the form of light.  How blessed we are to be that silence and to share it freely.  We do that because it is effortless.  A strained silence is noisy whereas essential silence is a benediction on this weary world.

The silence seeps in around the cracks of suffering. Like light, it is who we are. As love, it transforms ugliness into grace and grace into miracle.  I tend a piece of this silence.  I am farming it so that flowers grow tall and the soul’s lushness is revealed petal by petal, word by word.

Silence is the essence of us all.  The void from which we spring peppers the world with hallelujahs.  It softens the suffering soul and revives the desert landscape.  It also shows us the beauty of the desert and the dark valleys of loss.  Lest I become overwrought, I shall stop on a dime’s worth of words so you can feel like a millionaire within it all.
~ Vicki Woodyard

“… this time you found your voice and your passion to tell the truth yourself.  And that is how you go on.  Like the Energizer Bunny, you run on the battery of the beyond within.  It is a mystery and a blessing how everything works out when you determine to go the distance.”

If you would like to order a copy of Life With a Hole in It please go to


And bless you for believing in me.

~ Vicki Woodyard


Free Excerpt From The Book (requires Adobe Reader)

source: the nonduality highlights