a duet of paradox and praise

Two heart-healing poems from Chuck Surface.

I found these on the poetry blog – being silently drawn – one of my favourite online oases for mind medicine. Thank you Tina Koskelo.

First, the paradox of our wideawakeness: How can it be that we are not this or that but thisthat? How can it be that we are simultaneously wave and particle? How can we reconcile apparent dualism with the unsplitable reality of our experience? As it turns out, this endeavour on the part of the insatiable thinker is less paradoxical than it would have us believe.

Like, can there be more than one meaning to ONE?

And then, a little hymn to the Beloved.


Richard Diebenkorn - Coffee, 1959


cream, two sugars, please


Within… Fullness, Completion, and Bliss,

Without… She prefers milk chocolate to dark.


Within… nothing can be added, nothing taken away,

Without… everything comes to Her, and goes.


Within… Unmoving, Ineffable Sublimity,

Without… She experiences ever changing manifestation.


Within… joy and sorrow have never been,

Without… She Shines, even in the midst of tears.


Within… time and space have never existed,

Without… She is born, grows old, and dies.


Within… within and without never were,

Without… within and without ever are.


Within… no preferences, propensities, proclivities,

Without… cream, two sugars, please.


Within… The Sun Shines,

Without… All is Illumined.





There’s no intimacy in talking “about” The Beloved,

Moving away from Her into words and concepts,

As if She is not Present.


How rude.


She exists in the Quiet Stillness of our Heart,

When Attention returns from outward wandering,

And falls into Her awaiting arms.


How Inexpressibly Beautiful.


Some have turned Her into a science,

And argue Her existence, lawyerly.

They know nothing of Her.


Arid minds.


She cannot be “proven” through argument,

Or anyone “convinced” of Her reality,

Short of direct Experience.


Direct… Experience.


Only Longing entices the Beloved,

From Her Secret Garden…

In the Cave of your Heart.


How Ineffably… Sublime.


Chuck’s poetry website is In the Garden of the Beloved – a place to rest, and be both soothed and intoxicated.

Richard Diebenkorn, Coffee, 1959; oil on canvas, 57 1/2 in. x 52 1/4 in.
[Did you notice the bindi?]

Collection: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

the primordial call

Gangaji speaks about the call that comes from deep within – the aching longing to know again what has been ever known, purely and absolutely, to be the truth of who one is. 2.07 minutes.

More videos from Gangaji

how could you not love something like that?

This is an unapologetic rant.

How could you not love something like that?


how could you not love something that

never leaves you
regardless of how often you ignore it?

that’s always self-shining –
never needing flint or switch or fuel?

that never changes
regardless of the vicissitudes of your daily experience?

that never takes sides
whatever person, team or nation you’re supporting,
whatever idea or opinion you hold?

that never breaks apart
even though your life appears to?

that never minds
n-e-v-e-r  m-i-n-d-s
that you spend your life running around looking for it
while it’s in your face the whole time?

how could you not love something like that?

something you can never escape,
and that’s so immanent
you are forced to accept it
as your own true identity?

how could you not then love
Y O U R S E L F ?

and everything arising
– thoughts, perceptions, memories, feelings –
within that inconceivable Self?

how could you not love that immensity which precedes
and includes all existence?

how could you not kneel at your own feet
in awe?


how could you pretend that your enlightened
heart-driven passion
was not the Great Passion of That
which holds the planets in their orbit?


how could you ignore the urge to pour
your energy and attention
into whatever opens your heart?




– miriam louisa

the cathedral of emptiness


saying ‘yes’ to your heart’s longing for silence

requires an unapologetic ‘no’ to the world

with its ceaseless need to script your story.


The world will dissect your motives, analyze your actions, categorize your traumas;

it will never accept your silence.

Silence is the word-wielding world’s worst enemy; you may well be spurned,

even by those who claim affection for you.


But your heart, quivering with quiet,

will deliver you into the cathedral of emptiness –

where the “roar on the other side of silence”

– the holy nameless name –

sounds existence into shape and form.

– miriam louisa

the call from the heart

It’s two years today since my mum’s departure.

Here we are at her favorite beach-side cafe, indulging ourselves in our mutual coffee addiction! She would have been 95.

This post celebrates and honors her wideawake wisdom.

She is so alive in me now. Gratitude. Love.

“Following the heart’s longing…”  It’s a poetic turn of phrase, but there’s nothing poetic about the felt anxt of longing to be living a life that’s radically different from the one you find yourself in.  I’m long-in-the-tooth enough to admit to decades – yes dears, decades – of feeling as though I was somehow in the wrong story, on the wrong planet.  The times when I felt as though I was really “at home” in the “right place” were rare and usually circumstantial.

I recall my sweet mother confessing to me once – many years ago, she’d have been in her mid-fifties – that she had once found herself standing at the kitchen sink staring out the window, feeling like a caged bird and screaming “Let me out of here!”

To me she was the epitome of patience and forbearing, so I was deeply shocked.  I asked her why she hadn’t walked out, left the cage.  She replied that something in her knew that there was nowhere to go, that wherever she ran her mind would be there, urging her to find something better.  So she chose to interpret her mind’s freak-outs and desperate longing as a call from her heart to find sanctuary within.  She learned to meditate at a time and in a place where the idea was virtually unknown. She found her own way into the temple of changeless quietude – what her daughter would call Safe Mode a few decades later.  (It’s interesting to note that she sacrificed her hearing to do this.  She became totally deaf, and delighted in being able to turn the world on and off at will at the flick of a hearing-aid switch.)

It was a rare privilege to grow up with a mother who didn’t ‘do’ stories. Infuriating too, as I so wanted her to take sides (mine, natch) and prop up my self-righteousness and self-esteem.  She didn’t.  What she did, loyally and without fail, was point me towards my heart’s longing and unconditionally support whatever clarity of direction came out of that longing.  She taught me to ignore the shoulds and the yes-buts and the what-ifs, and to move with the promptings of the heart.  I was a very slow learner; caution had been thrown in the mix courtesy of my pragmatic father.  Unlike her, I had many red herrings to meet and move on from.  My path was the Neti Neti  Highway.

But the ultimate wisdom she left me with was this:  no matter what pathways the heart leads you down on the grand adventure of experience it is always and inexorably guiding you to find your changeless shining Self.  Dissatisfaction is the most precious of friends for it tirelessly re-turns you to that task.  You won’t be satisfied, ultimately, with anything else, for all else is mind, no matter how poetically put.

All else is mind.  And we all know that mind is just a dream, don’t we?  Little Miriam calls on me to remember, and I bow my head in gratitude.

~ miriam louisa