A Collective Grief

And if an immense sadness
Approaching grief and overwhelm
Should fall upon you
Do not throw your hand
Or think there is something terribly wrong

For the opposite is true
Something right is happening in you
Albeit painful and difficult
There are two types of sadness and grief
The individual and the collective
And we cannot know which is which

Our emotional body is connected to the whole
But we are unaware of this
And this may cause us great pain
We are more connected to each other than we know
And we try so hard to maintain our separation

But we are in the time of collective suffering
And we are each barometers and holders of that grief
When the collective lie is great
It is the same as the pain of individual denial
Which is great

We cry, we grieve, we endure
We dance, we mourn, we shout
We rage, we pray, we love, we beseech
We laugh, we allow,
But we do not deny
And we are not ashamed of feeling fully.

Image by aaron son from Pixabay

Already Masked Up

How many masks will we wear
Before we realize
We were already wearing masks
Because shame is at the root
Of unconsciousness
And we live in a world
Where people hide their vulnerability
And hide their grief
Afraid of revealing themselves

This new mask syndrome is convenient
But, on the existential level,
Doomed to failure

We are born for contact, for connection
We are trained to watch each other’s every detail
We stare into the eyes and face of our mother
Reading with wonder every twitch, smile and frown
And now all we see are the eyes of strangers
Some hostile, some benevolent, many scared
Reaching out across space and time
Like stars blinking in a dark universe

We were already masked up
Hiding how we feel
This current masking brings us to our grief
The height of our apparent separation from each other
Secretly, on the shadow side,
I think many actually want to wear masks

We are at our grief point my friend
Breakdown or breakthrough, who knows which

I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you.

– Kaviji

Image by Poli from Pixabay

COAT PLEASE

These coats we wear
Bought in childhood
Bright and shiny in youth
Slightly ill fitting in middle age
Worn out and frayed in maturity

Why not just throw them off
And go naked and free

Because when we try to take them off
We find they are stuck to us
And we are strangely attached to them

We want to be free
But the coat is familiar and safe
We want to be naked and open
But the coat hides our shame
It covers us in our vulnerability
And we don’t have to face the world
The coat is our investment
And we are reluctant to give that up

Eventually we may come to a great palace
Where to enter is our greatest longing
A longing beyond all other earthly longings
At the entrance we are met by a doorman
Who says ‘May I have your coat please?’

Photo by Velizar Ivanov on Unsplash

Battle or Surrender

The world of experience
This phenomenal display
We imagine we understand
But get so wrong

Will either drive us mad
Or drive us deep inside ourselves
The same world
Will taunt and tease us into battle
Or invite us into surrender

What makes one person wise
And another ignorant?
What makes one learn from life
And another endlessly fight with it?

No one knows what fate is
No one knows what karma is
All we really have is this, here, now
An opportunity for deepening
Or the perpetuation of our struggle

The most dangerous thing about life
Is thinking we understand it.

Image by Krzysiek from Pixabay

The Dance of Awakening

You can only really dance
When you let go of everything
And live entirely in the moment
Then the movement and energy
That was there anyway
Touches you at the core
And vibrates its way through you
And you call it dancing

It was there always
But you weren’t
Until you let go
Of self consciousness
Distracting thoughts
And past and future imagination

It’s the same with realization
So just think of it as a dance
And don’t be so heavy about it
If you need a reminder every now and then
Get up, turn the music up
And freak out.

– Image by ArtTower from Pixabay

WHY WE NEED TO GRIEVE

This poem is a call to grief
A call for us to throw off our defenses
To tear off the stony masks
That cover our pain
And to grieve innocently and fully
Wherever we are
Whatever our circumstances

We must grieve
To renew
It is part of the cycle of joy
Which is part of the essence of life
Grief is an acknowledgment
Of our humanity, our vulnerability
And our temporariness

Grief is the balm the ego needs
To soften its aggrandizement

And now we are here, at home,
Confused, angry, anxious, alone
Losing loved ones and strangers alike
We have always been losing loved ones and strangers alike
Death and suffering surround us

But now our fragility and our vulnerability
Are in true focus
The truth of our condition is here to be seen
And to be felt
We are fragile
And the web of life is fragile

We can’t pretend any longer
To pretend is to deny
And to deny
Is what causes us to bury our darkness
Deeper and deeper
Until it becomes a monster

My friend, don’t be afraid of grief
It is the doorway to beauty
And all that is real
Be afraid of falseness and denial
It will make you cold and brittle

We are in extraordinary times
When we are being reminded of the truth
That we cannot turn away from our humanity
Or carry on in our old ways
What an opportunity.

– Image by Richard Mcall from Pixabay

Don’t Miss This Life

The greatest tragedy in life is not death
It is that we did not live fully
The greatest tragedy is not
That we are here
Marooned on either side by eternity
It is that we wasted our precious time
On things that didn’t matter
And forgot to smell the spring flowers
And stop to listen to the sweet birdsong
As it welcomes the dawn
We forgot to see a world of beauty
And got lost in things we thought we needed

Don’t miss this
Don’t get so caught up in the waves
That you forget to feel
The beautiful texture of the water.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Fragile Creatures

We are fragile creatures
Surrounded by loss
Our daily lives are lived
In an uncertainty
It is difficult to face
So we turn away, again and again,
But denial is no answer
To truth

The wise one
Holds uncertainty
And inevitability
As intimate companions
Yet identifies with neither
Choosing instead openness
And loving kindness

This is the choice
Either this
Or the agony of closure.

Image by ArtCoreStudios from Pixabay

Surrender to the Deep

Where are you my friend
Are you struggling on the surface
Fighting with the waves
Trying to stay afloat
I don’t mean physically
I mean in your mind and heart
In your existential body?

I see everyone pulled to the surface
And on the surface is where
The righteousness happens
Fear does that, it leads to righteousness

Stop trying to understand it all
You will never be able to control it

There is wisdom and natural intelligence
To be discovered
When you let go
Even for a moment
And sink down
Into the deep
Picture the drowning man
Struggling for breath on the surface
Eventually he reaches a point where he lets go
And surrenders to the deep
What relief
What an incredible moment, to give up the fight
(This metaphor is very powerful and not intended to cause distress)

There is only so much that can be discovered
On the surface of life
To gain wisdom and the ability to see clearly
There is no choice but to fall
That falling itself is the journey
Of transformation
It’s not where you arrive that matters
It’s what you meet on the way
And how you face it
That forges you

Keep diving into the inner world
And let the outer world
Be as it is.

Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands#stayathome #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

Dance with Tears in Our Eyes

Eventually fate arrives
At every door
With the same invitation
To return home
Until then
We must live boldly
Tenderly, authentically
Wisely and freely
We must dance with tears in our eyes
And the beauty of life
In our blazing hearts
Tasting the sweetness
Even as it vanishes into emptiness.

Image by Randy Rodriguez from Pixabay