Through the Forest of Shadows

Our healing, our freedom and our awakening
Are all found when we have journeyed
Through the dark forest of shadows
We must be willing to enter this forest
And place one foot in front of the other
Meeting demons and ghosts, sent from the past
We must face what Buddha faced,
The maras of deception, illusion and temptation
We must meet what we have not met
And, with great stealth and softness
With the steel of a samurai
And the tenderness of an innocent,
Walk on, and on,
Until we even meet our death
Our inevitable departure,
And we must keep on walking
Embracing all, denying nothing,
Until we come to the light at the edge of the forest
This is the cleansing of the mind and emotion
This is our ‘valley of the shadow of death,’
This is the transformation from wounded
To wounded healer
From broken adult to wise elder
This is our inner calling
And all our existential crises point to this.

Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

Unconditional Embrace

Our conflict is between
Our own divisive nature
And our innate truth as union

We arise from union
And learn the ways of division
Conditioned to separation and identity
We forget our true nature

But true happiness and peace
Cannot be found in division
Cannot be found in form, identity
Or anything temporary

Without the greater context
Of our deeper truth as consciousness
We are lost in this identification
And thus we fight
With ourselves and each other

Only by knowing ourselves
By deepening our wisdom
And seeing ourselves in each other
And treating each being and creature
As sacred and the same as us
Can we hope to resolve this conflict

That is the task of the new warrior
To hold existence lightly
With tenderness and kindness
To hold duality, identity and form
In unconditional embrace
Knowing we are not that
But living it fully.

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Dissolved Into Silence, He Truly Lives

I cannot contain my life within my life
All sense of myself
As a separate person has gone

And I have become everyone
And all things of creation
I am you, him, her, child and dying person
I am the sun and moon, the stars and heavens
Fish, dog and ant
I see the beetle scurrying across my path
And I am that beetle scurrying to the other side
I am all feelings and no feelings
Nothing seems to be mine
And everything is borrowed
I am dreamer dreaming
And the dream
All life appears to emanate from me
Yet I have gone
Nothing separate to call myself

A love, yes
A kind of reverie of love
A tasting of time’s fleeting moments
Everything here and then vanished

Only presence remains
In silence everything manifests
In silence everything dissolves
What, then, is real.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

It Is All Borrowed

I got a ride with Ernie
A driver of Spanish origin
In New Mexico
He recently lost his son
And previously his daughter
He had a beautiful attitude to life
Taught to him by his grandmother
She told all the children
‘Nothing here is yours
It’s all borrowed
And it will all have to be given back
We arrive empty and we leave empty
Remember this always.’

This elder teaching has allowed Ernie
To stay true even in the midst
Of emotional pain and suffering
And has brought him to great equanimity
He was free to love without attachment

It was quite a ride.

Your Power of Transformation

This is your time, now
Don’t look to any other
Don’t spend this precious time
Gazing backwards into the mist
Or forwards into the hope
But root yourself in presence
This presence is openness
Be so wide open, and so here,
That the world, the past, the future
All of it falls into you
As if you are a black hole
That can transform matter
Into light

For this is your essence
You have this capacity
But you are stuck in the horizontal world
Liberate yourself from the linear
Become empty, open and present
And allow the divine to use you
To transform all that comes into your orbit
To light

That is love.

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

The Separation of Man and God

When Man and God were separated
It was the singularly most destructive action
That resulted in Man’s powerlessness
And the rise of the devil within, ego
Abandoned by God
Ego was free to rule Man’s inner world
Unchecked and without balance
Man lost his essence
And became enslaved to the idea
Of an outer authority

Separated from his salvation
And his truth
He was alone and scared
His life meaningless and bereft
Out of this abandonment
Did the ego take hold
And come to dominate

Thus did Man fall prey
To addiction, to seeking wholeness outside himself
And become subject to manipulation
By those offering him
A route back to the God
He was once intimate with

Only the return of God
Of godliness, of goodness
The reconciliation of Man and God
Will restore inner harmony
And return him, and her, to wholeness
And end this tyranny of ego

Anything less than the
Wholesale return of God
To the heart and soul
Of Man and Woman
Will perpetuate this enslavement
And there will never be peace.

*footnote.
When I use the term Man I am intending to mean both men and women.
Please forgive me, I am using the singular term for simple expedience.

No Destination But This

Mind, arising in consciousness
Considers all things to be dual
It seeks completion in
Destination thinking
And applies its belief
To spiritual freedom

You, as consciousness,
Believe the mind’s stories
And in that attachment
Is a grave error

The error
Of freedom as a destination
There is no destination
There is the path
The walking in presence
One step at a time
One day at a time
One month, year and life at a time

When the path becomes
Easier and less rugged
It becomes a kind of destination
But it is still a path
That is walked
There is no imagination
That arrival at some place
Will solve the problem.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash