A River Flows Through Us

There is a river of natural intelligence
Flowing through everything and everyone
Find that river and serve it
Over and over
At first it may be unfamiliar
But keep on serving it
And listening to it
It is the source of true goodness
The well spring of love

It is there, in the space between things
In the pause between breaths
And the deep silence of still mind
In the deepest acceptance of what is
It is there, whispering to you
Nudging you with it’s intuition
It’s your instinct
Your inner guidance system

When you sit in silence
On a still day
In the arms of a great tree
You will feel it
This intelligence is everywhere
Yet we override it
In favor of collective beliefs
And self centered thinking

It takes daring and humility
Softness and surrender
To court this intelligence
It will shrink from demand
And run from aggression
You can’t drag it out
Or beg or barter with it

But
You can become tender
With yourself
With your life
With everything you have previously judged
With all your righteousness
With your wounds and trauma
With the world itself
You can become so tender
That you fall into an unknown place
And you stop all this seeking and searching
Just for one moment
And in that moment of emptiness
Just listen, quietly
And out of that utter silence
You will hear it
And you will feel it
It’s there, inside everything and everyone.

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.

Life – It’s a Tough Lesson

Life
It’s a tough lesson
So many dreams and beliefs
Lie shattered
Hearts broken
Ideas strewn around
Like debris from a crash

You believed, naively,
In what you were told
We all did
That’s what youth is
And then reality starts
And down the dreams come
First one falls to the ground
And then another
And that’s when you hit
The danger zone
Bitterness sets in
Anger takes over
You believed it all
And now you feel cheated

But here is the thing my friend
Now is the time to question
Everything
Everything you were told
And all you came to believe
Look into the heart
The soul of life
Ask deeper and deeper questions

The difference between
The downcast and the warrior
Is a change in perspective
The warrior takes their pain
Their suffering
And transforms it
They release the inner victim
To fly into the heavens
The warrior stops trying
To be someone
Other than who they are
They embrace brokenness
As a gift

Life
It’s a tough lesson
But when you drop
All expectations
And just allow it to be
Whatever it is
You become noble and true
Like a blade
Forged on the anvil
Of disappointment
And broken dreams.

The Inevitable Calls Us All

We are confronted, and invited,
By life’s momentum
To let go of everything
Eventually letting go of life itself

Everything goes the same way
Through the same door
There is an agony in this
That renders us helpless
And brings us to our knees
We want to shut down the pain
And turn back the clock

But opening to it
And knowing we are not alone
Brings a drop of sweetness
In the midst of suffering
That’s all we really have.

(For Debbie)

 

A Love Beyond Valentine

Love is not a personal possession
Not something to keep for self
It’s not ownership of someone else
It is not something we can trade
It is a fragrance
So much deeper than self
It is the sweet beauty
Of openness without imagination
Tenderness without story
Love is the presence
Of just being with this as it is
It is humbling
And exhilarating
Compassionate
And without limit
Love is just what is naturally here
When everything that is not it
Is dissolved
In fact everything dissolves into it
Because love is not divisible
It is not me and you and others
It is the whole
Union.

Happy Valentine to your sacred heart ❤

Everything Resolves Into Love

My father shriveled into a coward’s life
His father carried his paranoia to the grave
His brother died of alcoholism and fear
My brother carries the darkness within him
My mother never recovered from bitterness
Her father was gassed in the first war and died early
Her mother retreated from life into illness

I nearly went the same way
The way of fear
The way of disappointment and bitterness
Of anger and resentment
Of addiction and desolation

But something happened on the way down

And my descent stopped
And became a kind of flight
Into the mystery
And the unknown

Everything unravelled
All beliefs and conditioning
Expectations and stories
And what was revealed
Was so natural and vast and pure

It was life
Without anything extra
Without the baggage and burden
It was the simple act of
Birth into form
From nothing into something
And back into nothing
I tried to find out what I was, what I am
And I discovered
I am love, freedom
Tree, animal, mineral
Bird, thought and sky
I am the space in which things happen
And the things that happen
I am the named and the nameless

Now I am recovered from the shock
I can laugh
And live easily
With gratitude and joy
My father, his father
His brother, my brother
My mother, her father and mother
All those who fell, broken and beaten
I can carry with such a deep compassion and love
They are healed and free
Free to dissolve back into
The formless realm
Of pure love
From which we all come
And all return to.

Seattle:2015

The Night Sky In My Heart

When everyone else
Is out fighting each other
And arguing about who is right
And who is wrong
Caught in an endless war
Of human against human
Elevating themselves
Or someone else
And tearing them from the pedestal

You will find me here
Sitting quietly
Strumming a guitar
Or reading the story
Of the zen farmer
Or maybe watching the stars
In the night sky
Looking out at millions,
Billions of years
Of coming and going

And when I do venture out
Amidst the squabbling and argument
I will do my very best
To take the zen farmer with me
To carry the night sky in my heart
And the stars in my eyes
I will be that old guitar
And maybe, just maybe,
I will be the music
The universe sings
And bring a peaceful song
To all the people I meet.