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

Make Space For the Beloved

Let all this knowing and awareness
Fall into the temple of the heart
And there, let the clarity of our seeing
Begin a process of cleansing
So that we meet all the demons and shadows
All the toxic beliefs and imaginations
And allow them to return to source

The purifying of the heart is a kind of emptying
In which, without knowing how or why,
The more empty it is
The more filled it becomes with the beloved

It is possible to shift
From being self centered
To being beloved centered
Without becoming religious
It has nothing to do with beliefs

Make space within your heart
And the beloved will move in.

Image by Devanath from Pixabay

INNER MASTERY

Become a master of your inner world
There is no choice
It is either this endeavor or else
A constant clawing at experience
To give you something you think you need
To fill a hole you imagine you have

Only the pursuit of inner mastery can bring peace
Meaning the deepest wisdom and insight
Into your beliefs and preconceptions
Into your wounds and grievances
Into what triggers you and why
And into your relationship with the world

Become a master of your inner world
For if you are not master
Something else, or someone else, is
And your life is not your own

It might be that this inner mastery
Is the only true power we have
To know our selves deeply
Is to know the world
And the world we think of as outside us
Stops being our enemy
And starts becoming our beloved

This inner mastery does not happen by accident
It happens through endeavor and willingness
It happens through inquiry and humility
Through opening the heart when it feels closed
And meeting all the demons and ghosts
That have haunted us for years

It is not an end result but an going journey
With no destination but deeper

No one can do this but you
It is your own free will.

Image by kmarius from Pixabay

Mystery of the Deep

I will meet you
When you have fallen
Down there in the dark
I won’t try and pull you up
Or change anything
I will simply sit in silence with you
And listen to the empty fullness
Underneath the eternal sky
If words arise they will be met
With the kind of presence that heals
A presence that has no ownership

When there is no attempt to change anything
But instead there is a meeting in the deepest presence
Things change by themselves
Such is the mystery of the deep.

Image by Helena Cuerva from Pixabay

Within and Without

I stood under the eternal sky
And gazed upwards into infinity
There was no end to anything
It was all the divine

I sat with my own self
Turned my attention within
And saw the same infinity
And the same divine essence

Soon I understood
That within and without
Were exactly the same
And the only thing
That separated them
Was my mind’s insistence
On separation

That was the end
Of my mind’s dominance.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

The Innocent Presence of a Child

Each one of us was once
A master of innocent presence
A zen master
Born awake and enlightened
We didn’t have to seek it or do inquiry
No meditation necessary
Simply a natural awareness
That required no effort
And with no attempt to hide it
Or to explain it

And upon that innocent presence
Was built a structure called you

At first it seemed so solid
But as time brought experience
It became unstable
And a longing arose from within

For something more
Something more than this structure

But more will not ever happen
More is an illusion

Only less will bring what is being longed for
A seeing through the structure that was built
And a celebrated return to innocent presence

For the zen master is still in there waiting
That which is true never dies
But may be covered up by that which is false
Remove what is covering the light
And there it is.

Photo by Shelby Miller on Unsplash

Presence

To be able to stay
Silent and still
Watching the mechanism
Of one’s own mind
As it projects its desires
Onto the world
As it seeks to choose
One over another
This over that
Right over wrong
Good over bad
Or bad over good

To be able to see this
Is the end of one’s lostness
In duality

This is the great freedom we seek
But it can only be discovered
When the seeking itself is seen

It is the work of a lifetime.

Image by Sirawich Rungsimanop from Pixabay

The Courage to Empty the Cup

Some try and leave their
Spiritual development
To chance
Hoping grace may fall upon them
And indeed, grace may do that

But those who, while they are waiting,
Have the courage to face themselves
In the naked truth
To meet with openness and care
Their own vulnerability
And regret, sorrow and anger
To make a decision
To hold the line
For their own accountability

They are doing the work
Of clearing out the debris of self
Accumulated over decades
Of misunderstanding and erroneous beliefs

In this way they are becoming empty
And grace is more likely
To fill an empty cup

There is no room when the cup is already full.

Image by Sylvia Michel from Pixabay

Enter This Moment Empty

What does this moment have to teach us
We who are so full of ourselves
Who arrive everywhere filled to the brim
The moment can only teach those who are empty

If we are full where is the room for anything new?

The wisdom and intelligence of this moment
Cannot compete with the fullness of self
It’s a different kind of intelligence
It can only be heard from emptiness

And so to really hear, to really be able
To receive the deepest wisdom this moment
Has to offer us, in its vastness and eternal depth
We must enter this moment naked and empty

The moment has everything to teach us
But our task must be the seemingly arduous one
Of emptying and not filling up again.

Image by Gidon Pico from Pixabay

I Know Who You Are, And That Is Why I Love You

My love for you
Is not for your personality
For that is simply a mask
You learned to wear
An attempt to fit in
And blend into the crowd
We all have one
And some of them are sweet
And some of them are sour

No, my love for you
Is deeper than all that
My love is for your broken open heart
Your soul that longs to sing
Your essence that yearns to dance
And cry and grieve with joyous truth
It is for your innocence
That still lives
Despite the mask and the cover up
And the games and the hurt

My love for you is true
And I don’t need anything in return
Your own remembering is enough
And your remembering is mine
That which is the deepest in you
Is the same as that which is in me

I want your liberation
But I love you anyway
For I know who you are
Beneath the layers
And beyond the mask.

Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay