And there was endlessness

The wholeness of undivided, intimate attention – an awareing that has no boundaries, no sense of separation, where observer and observed are both obliterated in a single movement of observing – is the subject of one of Denise Levertov‘s last poems, First Love.  The whole poem is sublime, but the final few lines speak so powerfully to me that I’m singling them out for this post.

It seems to me that one taste of that timelessness changes everything. This is not some cunning escape into yet another thought-bubble; not some desperate effort to transcend one’s mediocre little life. This is an experienced glimpse of another order of relationship. Haven’t we all had this glimpse? For me, it took hold of the steering wheel and has driven the trajectory of my life.

Through the entirety of your lifetime, what is it that you’ve deeply desired?

What has been – is – the Great Motivator of your days?

 

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968)

 
 
[…]

`Convolvulus,’ said my mother.
Pale shell-pink, a chalice
no wider across than a silver sixpence.

It looked at me, I looked
back, delight
filled me as if
I, not the flower,
were a flower and were brimful of rain.
And there was endlesness.
Perhaps through a lifetime what I’ve desired
has always been to return
to that endless giving and receiving, the wholeness
of that attention,
that once-in-a-lifetime
secret communion.

 

– Denise Levertov, from First Love
 in This Great Unknowing, Last Poems

 


Painting by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968), Morning Glories (Convolvulus)


 

the glory and the terror of it

The Path of Love is like a bridge of hair across a Chasm of Fire.

The Realization that every act, every word, every thought of ours not only influences our environment but mysteriously forms an integral part of the Universe, fits into it as if by necessity, in the very moment we do or say or think it, is an overwhelming and even shattering experience.

If we only knew deeply, absolutely, that our smallest act, our smallest thought, has such far-reaching effects; setting forces in motion; reaching out to the galaxy; how carefully we would act and speak and think. How precious life would become in its integral oneness.

It is wonderful and frightening. The responsibility is terrifying and fascinating in its depth and completeness, containing as it does the perplexing insecurity of being unique and the profound consolation of forming part of the Eternal Undivided Whole. And we all have the right to, and can achieve, the realization of this wonderful meaning of life: one is quite simply part of it all; a single vision of Wholeness.

Very acute it became after Guruji’s passing away. And I could not reconcile the torment of the heat, the mangy dogs, the filthy children, the sweat, the smells; for they were THAT too …

 

Himalayan Range from Kausani, Uttarakhand

 

But it was here, in the stillness of the mountains, that it gradually crystallized; distilled itself from a different dimension into the waking consciousness. And now I must live with the Glory and the Terror of it … It is merciless, inescapable; an intensely virile intoxicating Presence, so utterly joyous, boundless and free. It is blasphemy to attempt to put it into words.

I know that the states of Nearness will increase, will become more permanent; but also the state of separation will become more painful, more lonely, the nearer one comes to Reality.

I know that I go back to a life of fire; for you, dear Guruji, told me what to expect. I know that sometimes my health will fail, and that I shall be burned. But I know also that I can never be alone anymore, for you are with me always. I know that God is Silence, and can be reached only in silence; the Nearness to Thee will remain and give me the strength to go on.

Goodbye days of peace; and days of wrestling with myself. Days of incredible beauty with Nature at its best; days of glorious states of consciousness, wherein the divine heart within myself was the Divine Heart within the cosmos. When I knew the meaning of Oneness because I lived it. You did not deceive me, Guruji. You pointed out the Way, and now the Way has taken hold of me … fully … irrevocably.

Irina Tweedie


These are the final paragraphs in Irina Tweedie’s book The Chasm of Fire

They are part of a letter written to her beloved teacher, who had passed away some months before, from her retreat in the Himalayas.

The Chasm of Fire is an extraordinary account of her experience of liberation through the teachings of this Sufi master, in India. It is written in journal form, as instructed by the teacher.

It is an account of the slow grinding down of personality
– a painful process for Man cannot remake himself without suffering.
I had hoped to get instruction in yoga…
but found myself forced to face the darkness within myself…
I was beaten down in every sense till I had come to terms with that in me
which I’d been rejecting all my life.

For an excellent in-depth review of this book see: The Culturium: Irina Tweedie, The Daughter of Fire


Image: The Himalayan Range from Kausani, Uttarakhand, India.
Source


a deeper prayer

I love this profound and beautiful expression of radical surrender from Fred LaMotte:

No Affirmation

To make affirmations of abundance expresses lack.
To pray for strength confesses weakness.
To ask for healing is to be sick.
But simply to embrace what is
may be a deeper prayer….

FLaMotte-fb

I embrace ‘poverty,’
I expand into emptiness,
I don’t ask for ‘more.’
Is the universe not born from a boundless vacuum?
Not fearing the void, I ripple with wealth.

I confess that I am powerless
in utter surrender.
I abandon striving, and discover
pre-existent fullness,
the immoveable strength that is nearer
than the next breath…

I accept my dis-ease,
I welcome brokenness,
I hug this body.
In non-resistance, unity.
In unity, healing.

This very moment I refuse
to generate conflict
by changing the suchness
into the ‘should.’

I nestle into wholeness
and little things begin to happen
majestically…

All that greens with nectar,
all that buzzes with life,
emerges from
what Is…

Fred LaMotte

 

Image credit – Fred’s Facebook page.

all that dignifies, gives life, and astonishes

Another rendition of The Lord’s Prayer, or Jesus Prayer, translated from the original Aramaic by Mark Hathaway.

 

O source of the Wave,

which envelops and embraces the cosmos,
sustaining and renewing it at each moment,

Penetrate the deepest recesses of our hearts,
and there create a space for Thy holy shrine.

In this nuptial chamber,
conceive the creative potency of Thy Reign,

So that we may give birth to the embodiment of Thy desire:
as from the emanation, so too in form.

With passion and soul let us generate
that which is needed to sustain life this day.

Release us from the bondage of our karma,
as we free others from the captivity of their guilt.

And do not let superficiality cause us to vacillate,
but rather free us from all that impedes growth.

For from Thee bursts forth all that
dignifies, gives life, and astonishes,
from cycle to cycle, restoring wholeness.  Ameyn.


Translation by Mark Hathaway www.visioncraft.org


Related:

thy queendom come

from birthing to birthing

 

one holy wholeness

what happens

when one no longer needs to be liked or praised?

when one stops being concerned about criticism?

when one no longer longs for happiness?

when one stops worrying about being unhappy?

when one no longer yearns to gain?

when one ceases to care about loss?

when one no longer wants to be special?

when one is content to be ignored?

.

beloved, one is One

welcome home to holy wholeness!

.

stalking the seeker-self

Wholeness doesn’t play games. Wholeness (aka freedom) is at the beginning, not at the end. It isn’t an outcome. It doesn’t occur in time, and the waiting game is, with respect, just another game, an entertainment.

Seeking is the natural movement of Wholeness returning to Itself.
Waiting isn’t a movement. It’s the static strategy of a tenacious seeker-self.

Stalking the seeker-self seems to me to be crucial. It’s an authentic part of the movement of genuine “seeking”. (A while back I posted a poem of David Whyte’s – sitting zen– which expresses this tracking with haunting beauty.)

Whatever psychological or spiritual weapons are used in the hunt, the basic process boils down to a bottom line where one simply stops “… in mutual and respectful quiet”.

One stops stalling. Stops waiting. Stops story-telling.

Stops, without a “so that …”, or an “in order to …

Stopping is lethal to seeker-selves of all faiths and denominations. It’s also probably the most compassionate, loving thing one can do for oneself. (And the world.)

– miriam louisa
 

make no apology

This Unlit Light: who is not enlightened?

 

Why is it so hard to accept that one is already fully, utterly wideawake?

I’ve a wispy memory of beloved Ramesh writing in one of his books that this acceptance is perhaps the ultimate hurdle for the seeker. And herein lies the clue: the seeker.

The seeker-self  is about to become redundant. Totally irrelevant. The seeker-self is smelling its own death. It cannot afford to accept the awesome and evident fact that seeking – which is the natural movement of Wholeness returning to Itself – is not the action of a self of any description. The seeker-self is a construct, just like any other version of a self. And it turns out it’s the only impediment to the search!

It is only when you hunt for it that you lose it.  But then you cannot get rid of it.  And while you cannot do either, you remain silent and it speaks.  You speak and it is gone.  The great gate of charity is wide open, with no obstacles before it.
~ Lao Tzu

For the weary, frustrated, disgusted, infuriated seeker-self the days are numbered. There will be a eureka. In its own good time, according to its own pattern. It will be a eureka moment that renews and relights itself with every breath. And when that comes to pass you will know that it is simply ridiculous to deny it. Why would you apologize for what you are?

You hear the birds?
You see the sun?
Who is not enlightened?
~ Zen saying