The End of the Story

The personal story plays itself out
Until it no longer has anything to teach you
You will know that time
Because your personal history
Will no longer have any charge in it
And any moments in present life
That would previously have triggered you
Don’t

They may still have a shadow, a fragrance
Of the past
But they don’t drag the past into the present
And dislocate you from being where you are fully

In that way you are able to meet life and it’s nuances
More openly and effectively

Still life has its ups and down,
Its challenges and concerns,
But there is no leaving reality, no absence

You attend to your story with vigilance
Clarity, inquiry, softness and stealth
Openness and understanding,
Seeing the patterns of the past
As they rise up and crash on the beach
Over and over and over
You see them and you watch them
And sometimes you even get lost in them
But slowly slowly you understand the patterns
And then you get to decide
Whether to keep on abdicating your authority to them
Or you no longer need them

That is your power, your authority, right there
We want our spiritual awakening to happen to us
But we are called to do much of the work ourselves
Consciously, resolutely, with care and compassion
But with unwavering devotion to the task

If nothing else, you become a warrior
While seeking enlightenment, don’t just wait
Attend to what you can, what you must,
This is your power, your authority
It’s not given by someone else
It’s claimed by you.

The Splendor of Brokenness

When you have had enough
Of the vicissitudes of life
Come here
When you have been broken
One too many times
And you are exhausted
And ready to let go
Come here
When all your searching
Has led you to a closed door
Come here
When you are beaten, broken
Bombarded and bored
Ready to give up the fight
Come here

That’s what we do here
We sit in the splendor of brokenness
And discover that which is unbroken
We don’t fix you or heal you
We don’t deny you
Or create a faith
We don’t overcome the problem

We open to the whole thing
We open so wide we become the space
Inside which everything happens
We allow the human experience
With all its pain and suffering and grief
And joy and desire and happiness
Nothing is excluded

It is a great relief
To finally let go of the struggle
And be held
And sit with others
And dance, and laugh
And cry
And sit in the silence of it all

Come, come
A thousand times. come.

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.

Sky Nature and the Cloud World.

First there was Innocence. Pure, untouched innocence. The emptiness of the sky.

All I knew was the sky. I was the sky, and the sky was me. Everything was sky.

Soon the clouds came. They started slowly but over time more and more came. And they got thicker and thicker. After a time they covered the sky.

I forgot the sky existed. I thought there was just cloud, and so did everyone else.
Sometimes someone would say,’ Have you heard about the sky?’ but I no longer knew what they were talking about.

Occasionally I saw something bright and open and beautiful and free, but it didn’t last long and soon the clouds returned. A constant cloudy world.

I was depressed, disillusioned, unsatisfied, alienated, angry, dysfunctional and lost. Searching inside the cloud world revealed nothing satisfying, just the same old things over and over.

One day I met a wise man who said. ‘The clouds are always blowing through the sky, but the sky is always there.

I decided to investigate this riddle. What happened was a journey into the darkness, an unravelling, an adventure and a systematic endeavor to remove, dissolve, ignore or accept the clouds and begin to remember the sky, consciously accept that there is a sky and there always was, I just forgot it.

It didn’t disappear, I did!

Slowly I began to see the sky more and more. I had to change many things. There were some things that made the clouds come again. Like a veil they would return and trap me in their darkness, their sticky darkness. But I learned more and more what was sticky and what was not.

And then strange new things started happening. I began to see things in a whole new way. There was always more sky than clouds. There were a few clouds but mostly it was clear sky. And it was a similar sky to when I was a baby, but this time I had a choice where previously I had none. Now I knew about the clouds and how they come, how they bring darkness and foreboding, how they cover everything, and how everything ends up covered in clouds. And I saw clearly with wisdom, but childlike wisdom. The relief in living in a clear sky was unspeakable and beautiful.

People asked me why I seemed natural and relaxed and real. I told them the story of the clouds, and the sky, and the forgetting, and the remembering, and they asked me to tell them. So I decided to write down the story of sky nature and the cloud world.

When you are a newborn baby, all you see is sky. That’s all you can see as pure and innocent consciousness. The clouds come soon in the form of learned responses and behaviors. We call it conditioning but really these are, at first, survival techniques. After the first few years of life we no longer see or know the sky exists. All we know is clouds, clouds and clouds. The great forgetting. The great thinking.

BUT…if life proves unsettling, unfulfilling and empty, we may start to wonder why. Something is wrong.
We may have a flash here, a glimpse there, of something beyond the clouds, but it is fleeting and soon covered up again. Just clouds and more clouds, and everyone else’s clouds.

Don’t let thinking dominate your sky.

Remember your sky nature, the truth beyond the clouds.

Fall Into Grace

Though our time here is brief
And we are governed by the cruel hand
Of inevitability
It only takes a moment
A pause in the momentum of mind
To catch a glimpse of eternity
There, in the space between in breath
And out breath

Is the freedom we seek

There is a part of us
That is eternal
Call it soul, spirit or true nature
When we forget our essence
We feel so incredibly alone
And separate
Marooned
In time and space

Yet all it really takes
Is a simple stop
For us to open the door
And fall in to grace.

YOU Are Time and the Eternal

You are the enigma, my friend,
You are the puzzle, the paradox
You carry eternity within you
Your body is the universe
Your spirit is of the heavens
The stars themselves are your ancestral roots

And yet you are governed by time
Each thought rises and falls like a wave
The body perishes
The day’s come and go
You worry about time slipping away
One foot in the bound world
And one in eternity

If you lean too much one way
And forget your eternal nature
You become attached and anxious
Ruled by the great god time
Fearful and imprisoned

If you lean too much the other way
You dismiss your time bound self
And languish in the absolute
Detached and aloof
Head in the clouds, inaccessible

No, your task is,
With the skill and grace
Of a master warrior,
To carry the paradox
Everywhere at all times

This is the great and noble art
To be divine AND human
In the world AND not in the world

And when you can carry this paradox
Into all corners of your life
With dignity and humility
A great and secret doorway will open to you
For it is on the cross
Of time and eternity
That enlightenment happens
And peace becomes us

Time and the Eternal
Are the cross
Upon which
We are all crucified

I say, ‘Go willingly to your death,
You will be surprised by what dies
And what truly lives.’

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour

We Are Divine AND Human

The world we live in is so very human
Messy, uncontrollable, fragile, delicate
Impermanent, emotional
And equally joyous, loving, enduring,
Creative and inventive
The divine within us
Cannot solve the mess
Of the human condition
Neither must it be denied
But it can be held in palm of the hand
As you would hold a beautiful butterfly
Not with tight and clenched fist
But with palm open and soft

To forget our divine nature
Is to be plunged into a world
That is merciless in its push and pull
To have no awareness of our divinity
Is to be cut off from that
Which feeds us and holds us in its arms
Divinity gives this human life its context
It is the water we swim in, the air we breathe

Our divinity is not a belief
In some God
It is the truth of our nature
We are human AND divine
Always, all the time
And when we forget or slip into one or the other
We become detached and aloof
Or lost and crazy

Divinity AND humanity
Is who we are
Our forgetting is the problem
Our forgetting is the cause of war
And fighting
The cause of fear and hatred
And the cause of attachment and suffering
All this stems from our forgetting our divine nature

And remembering our divine nature
Reminds us that we are one consciousness
Manifesting as separate individuations
And everyone and everything is equal
And everyone and everything is worthy of the same love
And it is our human duty to look after and care for each other,
The world we find ourselves in, and all life that exists around us
Remembering our true nature restores us to wholeness
And when we are restored to wholeness
The world around us begins to return to wholeness.