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


taking it all to heart

Photograph by Alan Larus

what shall it profit me to know
that the leaf
has no color, shape or form
save those assigned by a bunch of brain cells?

to know that it has no existence
in time or space
aside from the space-time grid in my memory?

to know that it isn’t really anointed with
sparkling diamonds of dew
and it doesn’t really tremble
in the delicate dawn sunlight?

to know that all this appearance
is a figment of imagination?

in other words,
what’s the big deal to know
that form is emptiness?

if I stop there
where does it leave my heart?

I’ll tell you:
high and very very dry

but when I fall
into the suchness of the leaf
and wear its diamonds with delight
on my soft velvet greenness,
when I feel its quiver as my own
and float in its airy spaciousness

then I find, to my astonishment,
that the leaf’s gorgeous, sensuous livingness
and my own
cannot be wrenched apart

that’s when my heart leaps with juicy joy
and tears moisten my cheeks;
that’s when emptiness reveals itself
as none other than form,
and it’s so very clear
that love lies in the looking


It’s odd how outpourings are triggered. This morning this quote from the Bible fluttered across mindspace during a rapturous morning ‘meditation’. The last time I heard – or thought about – this quote was probably more than fifty years ago, when it was thrown, by a seriously strict teacher, at my friend and me for helping each other (cheating!) in a high school exam:

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
– Mark 8:36 King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition

It’s normally taken to refer to greed, ill-gotten gains and the loss of integrity, but after the poem wrote itself down I realized my take had shifted, or expanded. I think it could also apply thus:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain intellectual knowledge of the world, and lose his own heart’s intimate intelligence?

The Heart Sutra had to get a word in as well. Mark the Apostle meets Avolokitesvara. You never can tell what/who will turn up on retreat!


Photograph by Alan Larus, who tells me he just “clicks the button”. His modesty is as awesome as his artwork.


love is what’s left . . .

Apologies, dear friends, for my absence these past weeks. I’ve been beavering away very one-pointedly at another of my online passions – the awakened eye website and blog. The project saw a couple of hundred pages transferred from the original self-hosted website to the WordPress blog associated with it – literally weeks of (joyful) work. The reason? Simplification – downsizing – economics. Please zoom over and have a look at the new site. Feedback appreciated!

I’ve also been putting together a little essay for an online publisher about the “journey home” as it has unfolded for the emelle character – a project that turned up some surprises for her as she joined the dots of the decades. (More about this later.)

One thing I noticed as I examined my own experience over those decades, was a reluctance to use words like “love” when attempting to express the freefall into thusness. Maybe it was my education, which alerted me to recognition of terms that are merely conceptual referents. Maybe it was an awareness of how this word has lost its true meaning as a result of being mouthed ad nauseum by new age adherents and god-botherers in general.

Rupert Spira’s take on love is big enough for me, though. The following is part of a reply he wrote to someone who was courageous enough to ask for clarity about the real implications of this belief-burdened four-letter word.

Whatever is not present right now is not worthy of the name love and is likewise not worthy of our desire. Forget it. Whatever is not present now, even if it is one day found, will by definition one day disappear.

Why go for something temporary? It can never fulfill you. Let go of everything that can be let go of, everything – and anything that appears can be let go of – including all your, my and everyone else’s ideas about love.

In fact, as soon as we look for what is present, it is gone. We cannot focus on or even think about what is truly present. We can only think about an object, about the past, about the future. In other words, we can only think of a thought.

Thought can never know or find the one thing that it almost constantly seeks. It can only dissolve in it.

The mind dies as it turns towards love like a moth in a flame.

Let the mind dissolve in the understanding that it simply cannot go to the place of love and yet, like a fish in the ocean searching for water, it is already swimming in it.

Let everything pass by.

Remember William Blake:  “He who binds himself to a joy does the winged life destroy.”

The ‘winged life’ is love itself.  It is apparently destroyed by our looking for it as an object, by ‘binding’ our self to an object, which means to the past or the future.

Let go, let go, let go.

Let your tears be the river into which everything you know is offered up, all your longing, everything.

Someone once asked Mother Meera if it was okay to offer everything to God or whether only ‘positive things’ should be offered, and she replied: “A child offers its mother a snail, a stick or a stone; the mother doesn’t care what is offered; she is just happy to have been remembered.”

Offer everything. The love you seek is all that will remain behind.

Rupert Spira

Yes. Love is all that’s left, but it’s not like any kind of love you imagined. It has no object. It has no opposite. It is a simple, open acceptance without condition, of all that appears. It is no other than your natural self – whatever you are called.

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

 

a letter from home

[I can never leave – not for one heartbeat –
but I can write letters from home and this is one]

 

Letter to a friend

 

dear friend

are you looking for a sanctuary?
a place that’s private and quiet?
that’s rent-free, and can’t be bought or sold?

(you will never be evicted for any reason
whatsoever!)

that you don’t have to share – even with your family
or lovers – because you can’t?
that requires no maintenance?
that needs no insurance because it can’t be damaged?
that’s as large or small as you wish?
that you can take everywhere you go –
even when you have no fixed earthly abode
and you find yourself “homeless”?

that’s as solid as rock, yet lighter than a baby’s breath?
that has views onto both the temporal and the timeless?
that has a warm hearth glowing, and a welcome mat
with your name on it, at the door?

would you believe me when I say
it is wherever YOU are, no matter what your experience?

it’s wrong to say it’s close,
it isn’t even near

it’s simply right here, when thinking disappears

with warmest love

– miriam louisa

 


Image source

 

it never ends!

a dream was born of love

like a flower, budding in the field of time
it swelled, spread its petals
shared its perfume with complete abandon
smiled under the sun’s kisses
was tossed by many a foul storm
surviving almost a century
of spinning orbits around its bright star

“It never ends!” she exclaimed, exuberant,
just a few breaths before her last exhale,
before she abandoned our solar lover
and melted into the arms of
our eternal Beloved

a dream died

yet the love, the love remains,
imperishable, inescapable
and always beyond the reach of memory

~

impermanence


A little memorial piece. It’s been four years today … by the day rather than date.
(How beautiful that this year’s remembrance falls within the Easter weekend.)
I remain amazed and more grateful with every passing year for that final teaching:
IT NEVER ENDS

See also:

nothing ever dies but a dream

what is it that follows me wherever I go?

wideawake women

Image source unknown


the eye-kissing light

Photograph by Alan Larus

~

Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure.
The heaven’s river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad.

Gitanjali – The Offering Songs
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Photograph by Alan Larus