be light, light, light – full of light!

Right on cue, as I ponder putting this blog out to cyber-pasture, WordPress tells me that its “stats are booming” or that another handful of readers have subscribed to receive notifications of new posts, or someone emails me with their appreciation.  As some of you know, these days I post my own writing and poetry over at echoes from emptiness; inevitably, that blog tends to get more attention.  Yet I’m told the resources on this blog are valuable for those interested in the mystery of our shared primordial awarenessThis Unlit Light.  So I guess I’ll keep on posting – albeit erratically.  Today’s offering is a little cluster of light-themed quotes glowing in harmony with Tatiana Plakhova’s astonishing graphics. (Do watch the video full-screen!)


Tatiana Plakhova, Complexity Graphics

 

God
pours light
into every cup,
quenching darkness.

The proudly pious
stuff their cups with parchment
and critique the taste of ink
while God pours light

and the trees lift their limbs
without worry of redemption,
every blossom a chalice.

Hafiz, seduce those withered souls
with words that wet their parched
lips

as light
pours like rain
into every empty cup
set adrift on the Infinite Ocean.

– Hafiz


Tatiana Plakhova - Flowerwings

 
[Physicist David] Bohm suggested that the explicate order is extracted from the implicate order in a similar way in which a holographic image is extracted from a series of swirls and shadings into a three-dimensional image when illuminated by laser light.

The illumination that extracts the physical universe from the implicate order is the light of consciousness.

In this model the act of observation draws ‘in-formation’ out of the implicate order and manifests it in the explicate order. Bohm was keen to use the term in-formation rather than information. By this he meant a process that actually ‘forms’ the recipient.

– Anthony Peake, Infinite Mindfield


We are constantly in the midst of light. We are surrounded, bathed, and nourished by it. This miracle we call light can transform. It can teach, reveal, evoke, and heal. It speaks in many voices.

We tend to see light as something that makes form visible, but light reveals much more. It reveals us.

In the subtle, soft undulations of a snowscape illuminated by an overcast sky, in the rare presence of a backlighted, towering, ancient oak, both subject and photographer are revealed. Light makes visible invisible.

– John Daido Loori, Making Love With Light


Tatiana Plakhova - Complexity Graphics

 

What we understand to be phenomena

are but the magical projections of the mind.

The hollow vastness of the sky

I never saw to be afraid of anything.

All this is but the self-glowing light of clarity.

There is no other cause at all.

All that happens is but my adornment.

Better, then, to stay in silent meditation.

– Yeshe Tsogyal

Quoted in Advice from the Lotus-Born


That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — your soul, if you will — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists; come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.
George Saunders, speaking at Syracuse University


Tatiana Plakhova - Light Beyond Sound

 

Even the sense of ‘I am’ is composed of the pure light and the sense of being.
The ‘I’ is there even without the ‘am’.
So is the pure light there whether you say ‘I’ or not.
Become aware of that pure light and you will never lose it.
The beingness in being,
the awareness in consciousness,
the interest in every experience
— that is not describable,
yet perfectly accessible, for there is nothing else.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That


In a dream I am walking joyfully up the mountain. Something breaks and falls away, and all is light. Nothing has changed, yet all is amazing, luminescent, free. Released at last, I rise into the sky … This dream comes often. Sometimes I run, then lift up like a kite, high above earth, and always I sail transcendent for a time before awaking. I choose to awake, for fear of falling, yet such dreams tell me that I am a part of things, if only I would let go, and keep on going. “Do not be heavy,” Soen Roshi says. “Be light, light, light – full of light!”

– Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard



Video and graphics by Tatiana Plakhova
complexitygraphics.com


 

are you on fire?

Sages have often spoken of the necessity of bringing an urgency to our inquiry into the Real – as though we were literally on fire with earnestness. The insinuation is that many inquire from mere intellectual curiosity, or an appetite for philosophical entertainment. Sometimes spiritual seeking becomes a type of insatiable addiction; Trungpa cautioned about that, Krishnamurti too. Dorothy Hunt’s words remind me of the compassionate severity of their words. What drives our inquiry? To what degree are we ready to “get Real”?


This Unlit Light - How serious is your inquiry?

How deeply do you want to go in your spiritual life? Are you satisfied with a glimpse now and then of your true nature? A retreat now and then to remind you of the power of Silence? An intellectual knowing of a path, a teaching, or a memory of a past awakened moment – then it’s back to “life as usual”?

How much do you want to live from truth rather than think about it? How much do you want to open your heart and let its love and compassion flow to yourself and to a suffering world? How much energy do you expend trying to “pull the weeds” of your suspected egoic deficiencies, or holding onto the “flowers” of lovely, desired experiences rather than returning to the Ground from which the seeing and being of all moments spring?

What do we DO to keep alive our remembering?

We stop relying on memory of the known, and return again and again to being awake NOW, opening to the moment as it is now, paying attention to the undivided Ground more than weeds or flowers, and being willing to see more and more deeply the subtle ways our conditioned mind attaches, sometimes with great emotion, to its belief in a separate “self.”

Our home ground, our source, is always available. We do not have to import it. We do not create it, and we cannot hold onto it. It is present in every experience. It is in the smile on your face, the frustration of a mind that cannot “get” what it is seeking. It is here now in the taste of morning tea, the challenging boss at work, the beauty of a sunset. It is here seeing, awaring, loving, being all moments, all experiences. As you no doubt have discovered, it is easy to remain awake in heaven. But what is awake is awake in the hellish moments as well. And beyond any experience, there is our true source, “making everything shine.”

© Dorothy Hunt, 2016

In reality there is only the source, dark in itself, making everything shine.
Unperceived, it causes perception. Unfelt, it causes feeling.
Unthinkable, it causes thought.
Non-being gives birth to being.
It is the immovable background of motion.
Once you are there, you are at home everywhere.
–Nisargadatta Maharaj

 


Also see:

2016 – what I wish for you

continuous awakening – Dorothy Hunt


Dorothy’s words were originally posted at Science and Nonduality – gratitude!

Image source: the incomparable Bob O’Hearn


2016 : what I wish for you

Kirlian Photograph of a Coleus Leaf

 

In reality there is only the source,

dark in itself,

making everything shine.

Unperceived, it causes perception.

Unfelt, it causes feeling.

Unthinkable, it causes thought.

Non-being, it gives birth to being.

 

It is the immovable background of motion.

 

Once you are there,

you are at home everywhere.

 

– Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

Beloveds, may you never, ever, leave home
no matter how far and wide you travel.

– miriam louisa

the primary fact

Sometimes a stunning image calls for an equally knock-out quote. I’m moved to post this one from Nisargadatta, because there’s so much misunderstanding around the ‘primary fact’. It shows up as stories that equate Reality with divine or sublime objects, or posit that it’s an experience one should strive to attain (via a smorgasbord of profit-earning materials and activities). It’s touted to ‘bring’ peace, happiness, awakening, enlightenment, and of course the obliteration of all our messy emotions as well as the problems we have with ‘others’.

Bring? The primary fact is that these supposed attributes are immanent in every case.

The primary fact is not metaphorical, mythical, magical or mystical. It’s not able to be experienced yet all experiences depend upon it for their existence. It is prior to anything conceivable and depends upon nothing for its absolute and ever-available presence.

And yet: It can only be apperceived as its display. How sweet is that?

 

Tree of Life: photograph by Kenneth Mucke

 

Beyond the mind there is no such thing as experience.

Experience is a dual state.

You cannot talk of reality as an experience. Once this is understood, you will no longer look for being and becoming as separate and opposite. In reality they are one and inseparable like roots and branches of the same tree.

Both can exist only in the light of consciousness, which again, arises in the wake of the sense ‘I am’.

This is the primary fact.

If you miss it, you miss all.

– Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

 


What are the implications of this view?

There is only The Dance. Today you are as twinkle-toed as a prima ballerina. Yesterday you dragged those feet as though they were cast in lead. Tomorrow? Who knows what will arise and choreograph your steps with exquisite fidelity to your patterned preferences and aversions?

It’s all the same, beloveds: Reality r-e-a-l-s on regardless; it only has one pair of shoes.

One-size-fits-all.


the great perfection


Photograph: Tree of Life, copyright Kenneth Mucke: more information here.


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

*


the niggle in the gut

Awareness is always present – how else could one know one’s alive?  But as we also know – or sense – that’s not the end of the story. The “Awareness is all there is, therefore there’s no doer and nothing to do” position can be such a trap, and it’s one I can write about with some authority – having been leg-baited there for a while. It got me. I think of it as the “half-baked goose” period.

It’s a position that logic can’t refute. It might bring relief if there’s guilt, or if the search has been sickeningly long and fruitless. It always delivers an existential shudder, a shock to the system both physically and mentally. It can lead to nihilism and profound despair. A brain operating-system deprived of wise mentoring can get very very stuck there. It happens.

I’m not saying it shouldn’t happen. In my case it was a gift beyond price – with the benefit of hindsight of course.

The problem with this position is that you know in your innards that something isn’t right. You feel … uneasiness. This has to be denied, of course, and denial deepens the unease. You argy-bargy with yourself: “There’s only Awareness. There’s no self, so who’s here to be in denial? Everything is just happening.”

In a very subtle and sneaky way, thought has turned the shattering revelation that “Awareness is all” to serve its own ends. This is precisely thought’s function; we can’t (and needn’t) damn it for doing its job. But the problem is that most of us haven’t really got a grip on the subtle functioning of thought. We aren’t on to its dynamics. How could we be? It’s not part of the curriculum in our education. (Unless you’ve been lucky enough to be educated at Brockwood Park School, or one of the other Krishnamurti schools worldwide.)

So we miss the way the thinking process (not yours or mine or anyone’s) has shifted the ground to take up another position in regard to this wondrous Awareness. We grokked the first bit, the bit about Awareness being ever-present and all-there-is. But Awareness has remained an object with something apart from it (me) going on about it. This rankles, this is the niggle in the gut. What’s up?

Thought can’t accept that Awareness is the one thing it can never, ever, know anything about. In spite of all the dialogues and seminars and conferences and retreats we attend, in spite of all the youtubes we watch and books we devour, we don’t know a thing about Awareness – except, ironically, that nothing can be known. Eventually this sinks in. There’s a crisis where we admit to ourselves that perhaps the goose isn’t fully cooked after all. A very humbling moment. Exquisite.

This is the point at which some kind of Grace finds space and a ‘eureka!’ moment lights up our weary mind. The gist of it goes like this:

Awareness is always all and everything and always present.
Presence is the dynamic by which Awareness knows itself.
Presence and the movement of thought/thinking are mutually exclusive.
Presence is literally the undivided Be-ing of Awareness.

And Presence is entirely up to you, because, um, what else could you be
but Presence itself?

Well OMG it’s all about me after all. Bless my beloved wee boots!

You can know the false only
the Truth you must yourself be.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

And so the turn is made. Presence cooks the goose. The argy-bargy stops. Awareness re-turns to itself in delight. And the entire body-mind thrills to rightness and ease.

– miriam louisa


a nothing that is utter plenitude

This Unlit Light - Lotus by Bahman Farzad

 

Sitting on the magic zafu this morning pondering some words from Nisargadatta that were included in one of this week’s Nonduality Highlights.  Words about wanting nothing.

Going deep into the significance of a wantless life.  And deeper still.  Falling feather-light below the limn of language, down down into the body’s beatland.

 … wanting nothing from God or the world, desiring nothing,
expecting nothing, projecting nothing …

 
Feeling the skin on the back of my scalp tingle and loosen.  a contraction in my stomach – nausea, it wants to heave – then release and pins and needles cascading down through the gut.  Then a sense of porosity, no idea where my body begins and ends as it streams out into the quantum soup.  Eyes, these eyes, the eyes of mankind, the universe perceiving Itself, ears, nose, same.  Brain feeling like a flower opening (I’ve never felt my brain before).  Hair standing on end.  Shockwave after shockwave.  Tsunami of tears.

a flowering, a beating, a breathing
a nothing that is utter plenitude

 

That is all and It is all.

 


Image by Bahman Farzad