This is borrowed from the beautiful blog:
Imagine you are walking alone at night on a country road.  No people or cars or houses around, just enough starlight to see your way, the only sound the sound of your shoes on the road and the swish of your clothes as you walk.  You feel the stillness inside of things come close. You stop. Now there are no sounds, except the almost-never-heard hush of things being.
You sense the stillness on all sides and an identical stillness within you. It makes you uneasy, as if you are about to be extinguished.  You try to think, to establish yourself against the stillness, but the voice of your thoughts sounds thin, metallic.  You feel an irrepressible need to be distracted, to change the stillness and its overwhelming of you. You walk home thinking about plans for tomorrow.
But in the quiet of your room you realize what happened: you got scared.  You got scared of opening into the stillness, of allowing it to be.  It was a close call.  You see how throughout your life you have invited one distraction after another to prevent just this from happening.  Now you feel disappointed in yourself. So instead of turning on your computer or reading a book or getting something to eat, you sit down and invite the stillness back.
A phrase you once heard comes to you, from Psalm 46: “Be still, and know.” Be still. Be still.
You arrange your body as you have learned to do.  You sit in a comfortable, alert position, with your back vertical so you don’t slump or drift off.  You let your body be motionless, quiet.  The motionlessness of your body is a helpful friend; you know it is temporary, and in fact it is not really motionless – little shifts and sensations keep happening – but the relative stillness of your body reduces your identification with it, with the sense you are your body’s ambitions and memories and likes and dislikes.
Learning to sit still, to settle like this, is called by Tibetan lamas “the first motionlessness.” A quiet body at ease relaxes the persistence of thoughts.  Once the first motionlessness has been learned, they say, then it doesn’t matter if the body is motionless or moving, for the the ground of stillness is always available.  But for now you need this helpful friend, and you sit still.
Now you invite what the lamas call “the second motionlessness.” This is the still, empty openness “behind” each of your senses, the openness in which your senses arise.  You relax into that openness. To say it is not moving points to its nature, but that’s not entirely accurate.  It is not the opposite of motion, or of the visible, or of sound.  This motionlessness is not definable – it is not a sensation. Nevertheless it has an almost kinesthetic effect on you, as if it is vanishing you, as if the existing one you thought you were, the receiver, the photographic plate that records your experience, this”one,” becomes transparent. You begin to feel the same threat of vanishing you felt on the road, but now you relax and let it be.
  “The third motionlessness” comes now, unbidden.  It is the stillness of presence itself – the stillness of a clearness that is always here, behind and within everything. It is what allows everything to show up.  It is empty too not made out of anything, yet it is awesome and radiant in its presence.  It is without being an it.
You remember now how the phrase from Psalm 46 continues: “Be still, and know I am God.”
“God”  – this old, strange word that sounds like a judge and yet still resonates beyond that – could it mean – could it have first meant – this empty Presence without form, appearing as all form?  You realize you are trying to figure it out and you stop. Be still, and know I am God.  The knowing is not thinking. It is presence being present to presence.
You find yourself wavering here – one moment at ease in the clarity, and in the next thinking about it.  You hear the words again: Be still. Do nothing. Let be. Don’t fill anything in.  No need to figure anything out. Relax.
A sense of peacefulness opens in you, vast and without dimension.  This what Sufis call sakina – vast, peaceful tranquility without dimension – and suddenly you are smiling, your eyes are filling with tears – a joy – could it be called that? – a joyousness like praise and thankfulness together, love pouring forth from nowhere, the whole show showing up – mountain, sky, stars, bodies – from nothing, from stillness.
In remembering the Real, all hearts find joyous peace.

Qur’an 13:28

~ Pir Elias Amidon
from Free Medicine

No more labyrinths

The Place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.
~ Hafiz
The poet tells you
god has put a circle around you on a map
to locate you in sacred space.
Then why do you keep tunneling
carving labyrinths for your escape?
~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame
This morning, waking with the usual baaad feelings, i got out of bed, put my feet on the ground, and was filled with deep release.
I went to my PC to send a mail – and found the two poems above from  the beauty we love
This is what I am being called to love.
No more carving labyrinths
Without judgments, the baaadness turns into something quite interesting

This uncontainable light

Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XXIX
Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell.  As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
(with kind permission from Joanna Macy)
(In Praise of Mortality, translated and edited by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)


To move
Needing to be
Nowhere else.
Wanting nothing
From any store.
To lift something
You already had
And set it down in
A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~
(You & Yours)

A day in the life of love

This is a piece from Stephen Levine’s poetic awareness. Thank you, Stephen, for your blanket permission to include your work in my work –

This is taken from “A day in the life of love ” – Pt 1,July 26,2010

We have so long mistaken ourselves for our fear. We may even feel that without our fear we would not know who we were. But love can give a meaning to our life that the state of meaninglessness can not imagine. Indeed we may find when we begin to live a life of love that we have not been living our own life but rather in the image and likeness of someone else’s, a parent, an admired hero, an unreachable religious figure. The image of someone we wished we were. And come to notice why “ wearing the clothes of another” our life fit so poorly.

We discover our true life a day at a time. The unfolding of our authentic life may take us through unexplored territory. What we settled for previously may be seen as always somewhat dissatisfactory as the satisfaction of we become increasingly loving toward ourselves and others. Not allowing the judging mind to rush into the wake of our progress and follow us like a lost dog. But noticing those tendencies too to be unloving toward ourselves. Sometimes the barking gets so loud we can hardly hear our selves think anything else. But instead of running fearfully away we mindfully turn toward these fears and speak softly to the dog, we make it feel safe not knowing quite what lays ahead but daily learning from an increasing warmth to trust the process. Its not, as the judging mind might growl, that we were somehow living a lie before but that now day by day options previously little considered are presenting themselves. In a sense we are always living something of a lie until there is nothing separating us from the clarity that is indistinguishable from love.

No one can dream our dreams or pray our prayers. But grace is our true nature. The experience of our true grace awaits our willingness to go deeper. And when we meet beneath who we think we are who we really are it thrills us. It liberates unimagined options.

As Rene Dumal pointed out in Mount Analogue those who stay in the base camp may believe they are safer at times but those who climb gain a perspective that stays with them for a lifetime. In fact once we have been able to see above the lowlands we are never quite lost again and our view of life is forever offered a more spacious option.


What might it be like to inhabit a life of clarity and love?

To explore the terrain of love just below the stormy atmosphere that sometimes hides our true nature from view? To traverse a universe within greater, more spacious, than that in which the stars seem to float. To wander the pastures of compassion, to dive to the bottom of the bottomless sea of Being and the heart not skip a beat, and the breath breathe itself in absolute peace.

A woman who had been depressed for some time spoke of waking up one morning into “a very new day”. She said she awoke somehow knowing that “when the heart has broken it heals back bigger than before because it has to incorporate so much pain”. The subtle nausea that often precedes a breaking through arose as her attention dropped into the ache growing at the center of her chest. The pain was so great she could hardly breathe. It felt like her breath, maybe even her heart, might stop. It seemed a very long time between breaths. Gasping for air like someone just short of drowning she said, it felt like first her belly, and then her chest burst open as she took a breath directly into her heart. She felt a kind of mercy and willingness to live fill her heart. Her body heaved with a great sigh as she let that releasing breath go.From something deeper than knowing she remembered how breathing directly could revive the heart.

And she began to breathe in and out of the ache in the center of her chest sensing it was a vent directly into her heart. Breathing in love and breathing out all the unattended sorrow. Opening into a day in what became a remarkable life of love.

Please note that nothing written here is intended as medical advice. Readers who think that they need help with a physical or psychological condition are advised to seek a qualified opinion.

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