to surrender to the truth of yourself, is to surrender to love

My title is stolen from Gangaji, with respectful thanks.

I’ve had an interesting few days since the last post. Interesting as in wondrous, as in OMG, and as in “what am I gonna do with this?”

(The last post. Crikey – isn’t that what they play at funerals?)

In this case it was a poem by Mary Oliver about Buddha’s last instruction imploring his friends and followers to “Make of yourself a light.”

Make of yourself a light. My beloved teacher Krishnamurti issued the same urgent invitation – “Be a Light unto yourself!” – and if anyone was a stand-up example of a being who put everything – even godhood – behind him to be his own Light, it was K.

Make of yourself a light. Be a Light unto yourself. I’ve been sitting with this and I confess it no longer makes sense to me. How can I be a Light unto ‘myself’ when what I am cannot be separated from the Light of Beingness? Clearly both K and the Buddha were speaking to the individual. But this Light that ‘I’ is, has no experienced beginning or end and is indivisible and changeless and inescapable. It’s meaningless to imagine that I am separate from it and need to make myself one with it. No disrespect to my teachers, but … why didn’t they come upfront and say something like “Be the changeless Light that you are?”

A Light. A Light that knows all other light as its shadow. This is the truth of what I am and I cannot argue with it. I can only dive deeper and deeper into it, to “surrender to it” as Gangaji writes.

And what a strange synchronicity: at the same time I have been becoming acutely, painfully aware that the bottom line for me now is Love. It’s the only thing that really, truly, interests me – Divine Love. Paradoxically, it seems to be most intimately known by its absence.

In the mix of moving and settling and re-establishing relationships I have been neglecting the Beloved. The zafu has been waiting, the Gap has been beckoning. To the extent that I have procrastinated I have felt the subtle ache of estrangement. Finally it could no longer be tolerated and I pinched my nose, held my breath and dropped into Point Zero – Zafuland.

Beloved Lover was there; lovingness and lightness and laughter were there.

No buts, no maybe’s. Love lies awaiting when ‘I’  make the turn – when Unlit Light makes the turn. There were tears. There was contrition. Lover simply laughs: “No big deal babe!”

Love is like good bread – it must be baked fresh every day.

Krishnamurti used to say “Enlightenment is a Light that is continually lighting itself.”

Yes. I go forth with a massive box of matches …

~ miriam louisa

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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


mind the gap!

If you’ve ever traveled the London Underground you’ll be au fait with this warning. It’s painted on the platform exactly where the the doors of the train will open. It’s delivered over the intercom at every stop to alert passengers to be mindful when stepping off the train. You hear it so often you stop hearing it.

The reminder to “mind the gap” is one of those inadvertent gifts delivered by mundane daily life and language; it’s meditation’s best friend.

Minding the gap as I step off one train of thought and onto another, ‘I’ floats as spaciousness. The gap between thoughts is the closest thing to God I can think of – but to think at all, I’ve got to be back on the train!

Who’d have thought the London Underground would be such a kind teacher?

The gap is R&R for the brain. The gap is succulent silence and the flowering of pure Aware-ing. The gap is my version of Graceland. It’s where the Beloved lives.

Mind the gap?

You bet.

– miriam louisa


image source – http://www.guardian.co.uk/