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

Silent Emptiness

Last night I fell in a hole
It just got deeper and deeper
There was no way out
And suddenly I was faced with a choice

Either keep on struggling
Or surrender the fight
What a dilemma…

If I struggled on
It would be pointless
But at least there was hope
Even if it was illusory
There was some reason to keep going
However desperate

If I surrendered maybe it was resignation
I would have to stop running
And face the horror
The pain, the sorrow, the truth
Who would I be if I gave up completely?
I would be entirely alone

Realizing the futility of struggling
I surrendered the fighter to the darkness
Oh did I fall!
As though into eternity
Seeing the ground disappear as I dropped
Deeper and deeper
I left myself behind
I left everything known
Somewhere up above

And I came upon emptiness
A profound silence overwhelmed me
And in that empty silence
There was something new and different
A presence of unconditional acceptance
That filled everything, including me
It seemed to touch the very fibers of me
And I came to know myself as that
Silent emptiness

By and by, the hole, the struggle
The fear, the doubt and confusion
Dissolved

I returned to the world
Subtly, profoundly, quietly changed
Filled with gratitude and awe
For all I do not know.

The Avoidance Strategy That Doesn’t Work

When you finally and irrevocably realize
That all the addiction
All the reaching for things
All the avoidance of pain
And the denial of personal suffering
And the attempt to avoid this moment
JUST DOESN’T WORK
The addiction only brings a temporary fix
And the story comes back and back
And the reaching for things to numb the pain
It just doesn’t work
It just defers it for a moment
It anesthetizes it
But as surely as night follows day
It returns, always it returns

When you really dig in and realize it doesn’t work
That’s your time
It can crush you because you think there is no way out
But that’s your time
Your time for transformation to really begin
The turning, maybe slowly, maybe only
Inch by tentative inch
Turning towards what causes such pain
Whatever it really is you are trying to avoid

Yes, the end of trying to avoid what you run away from
With support, with help, with God, or alone
However you do it, whatever moves you
It just doesn’t matter
It may take time, it may happen quickly
It doesn’t matter
It will hurt, at times it will
Hurt like hell
At times it will feel so good, such relief,
And the reaching, the desire, it will continue

Keep going friend, keep on going
Keep on turning towards it
Facing the unbearable
Meeting yourself, just doing it
Regardless of how it feels

Life will have your back
The change may be radical, or subtle
Profound and ordinary

But you will never regret it
All it takes is realizing
That your current strategies
Really don’t work very well.

I tried for twenty five long years to avoid my pain
Until the avoidance became unbearable
And it was either going to kill me
Or I was going to face it
I faced it
It was worth it.

Time to Blossom

The human experience
Carries the potential for greatness
Or terrible tyranny

We are latent beings
Waiting to be activated

There is adventure
Written into our code

What makes one
Rise up against all odds
Out of their suffering
And become a carrier of light

And yet another
Lauded with wealth
Cosseted with opulence
Becomes the harbinger of doom

Don’t think this lies somewhere else
It is in each of our hearts
I was a wreck, tortured by my past
Inflicting my pain of everyone

And then opportunity for change arrived
And I seized it by the forelock
Even though it terrified me

Truly it doesn’t matter what has happened
What matters is how it serves you now
Does it cripple you?
Does it feed you?
Can you use it as food for your transformation?

None of this is easy
But we must face these hard truths
We have but one short life
That may be wasted in the past
And we will miss this beauty.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
― Anais Nin

The Endless Search

Through dark forests he crawled
Across vast oceans
Torn and broken
He searched and searched
In mysterious valley
And the highest mountains
He peered into space
Open mouthed at the sheer majesty
Of eternity as it circled above him
Onwards he went
Searching and searching
More and more desperate

‘What are you searching for?’
Asked a farmer he met on the road.

’There is something missing,
I feel incomplete
Surely we are all looking for this completion
Isn’t this what drives us?’

‘You are misguided my friend,
This is a myth perpetuated
By the blind and foolish
By the ignorant and wayward
By those who seek power over you
And by your own arrogant mind.’

‘But without this sense of incompletion
What is the point of life
Why would we go on
What is the purpose
There must be something more?’

‘Friend, you are scratching an eternal itch
You have surrendered yourself
To the wrong master
Your own mind and its tyrannical ways
You are now enslaved
And held captive
In a myth of incompletion
Whereby you eternally search
And die unfulfilled.

Give up all this searching
And look with your inner eye
The mechanism of lack
That is at work
Just sit there and see like buddha
For one moment

In this simplicity is the truth.’

We never left the garden
And became incomplete
We went unconscious
And drunk with knowledge
And got lost in thought.

The Wisdom of Emptiness

Let’s meet when the sun goes down
And sit quietly together
Forget the world for a while
And turn our attention
To the silence we are
There is a beauty that nourishes the soul
When we sit quietly together
It’s not found in the busy world
In the cafes or the shops
It’s not found in any of our doing
It is simply this, naked and free,
No need to speak
Or share knowledge
We can let the wisdom of emptiness
Say more than all this talking

The wise one sits to one side
Silently looking at the clouds
As they flow through the empty sky
He left the market long ago.

Billionaire and the Bum

The material world
With its allure of power
Dangles the carrot of immortality mercilessly ahead
We follow it blindly
Hypnotized by the dream it offers

The unconscious one,
Desperate to avoid the truth of non existence,
Accrues wealth and power
Billions and billions
A fortune of lavish living

Yet none of it cushions them
Against the truth of emptiness

The bum, lost and empty,
Abandoned and cast out,
Dreams smashed on the rocks
No more carrot, no avoidance of brokenness,
This one has a beauty
Unseen, unheard,
Yet true

My heart turns tenderly towards both
But when I meet the bum
Through chance encounter
I am filled with great humility
Somehow I always feel
As though I am in the presence
Of a spiritual being, a sadhu,
One of the broken ones,
One who fell through the net
And dropped out of the illusion

They always bring love out of me
And for that I am grateful

There is nothing naive about this.

Photo by Daniel van den Berg on Unsplash