All Things Are Equal

Last night I saw the heavens open
I watched as the sky cried its mournful tears
There were worlds within worlds
Eternity stretched out in all directions
Waving into form and out of form
This bewildering rising and falling
And such a stillness at the heart of it all

This morning I woke up
And attended to the chores
I washed the dishes
And made breakfast
In the simplicity of things.

Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash

Your One True Purpose

We are sent from beyond
To bring heaven to earth
To bring love to the realm of self
To bring the ineffable to the mundane

But we experience the great forgetting
And, although we arrive as innocence,
We soon forget our one true purpose
We fall into a dream
Occasionally we may have glimpses
And momentarily awaken
But soon we are back sleeping

Yet the dream is not satisfying
Despite our great attempts to make it work
Something is missing
Always something is missing
We think it’s us
We think we are doing something wrong

But it’s really a nudge from the beyond
A reminder to remember
No-one, not even the divine,
Can do it for us
And no-one can make us remember
It is in our hands

Don’t let this dream swallow you up
Remember, and stay awake
Don’t go back to sleep

What this world offers is a drop
In the ocean
Until you remember
Your one true purpose
Then it makes sense.

Beauty in Everything

Can you see the beauty
Even in the drama
Even in the horror and suffering

Somehow that has happened to me
In truth I don’t know how or why
I followed no method or course
It was just grace
And the determination to ask questions
And to never settle for mind’s stories
No matter how convincing

Eventually my eyes were scraped clean
And inside everything I saw beauty
And a kind of love that is creation itself
Not as a belief but as something divine
No religion can explain this
Nor any philosophy

Silence knows it
The sweet tenderness of surrender knows it
The wise ones know it
If you look beyond the beyond
And gaze softly into the heart of things
You will see it also
Maybe just a glimpse
But that is all you need

True beauty reveals itself
In just a glimpse
Keep your eyes open.

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.

Turn Towards Life

Again I wake up, heart broken open
Yet now, unable to turn away,
I am compelled to simply remain open
No fixing this, no resolution
No turning away, no righteousness

Instead, surfing the edge of this delicate web

The human experience,
Imbued with suffering, is inescapable
There is a tender agony to all existence
All form caught in the same dance

And loving deeply,
The kind of love in which you lose your self,
Comes with the inevitable finale,
A clause built in to every contract that reads,
‘This is temporary.’

But, my friend,
I would rather love with this openness
And endure the pain of existence willingly
Than turn towards denial and hatred
The suffering of hatred seems agony
And spreads like a disease

It’s not for me
So I will choose
To wake up heart broken open
Again and again and again

Don’t turn away from life
Turn towards life with arms wide open.

 

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.