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.

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 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.

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.

Into the Unknown

Don’t try and catch me
When I fall
I’m falling by choice
But you might get hurt when you land,’ you said
Don’t worry, I replied, there is no ground
This falling is without end
Falling itself is the only ground

Choosing the unknown
Turning away from mind’s constant need to know
Mind’s constant reassurance
And our addiction to certainty
Sends us into a tail spin
Even a panic

What happens if I let go completely!’ you scream,
Will I die?’ you beg

Try it and find out
Give up your knowledge for a moment
Turn away from your certainty
Fall into doubt
But you must do it fully
Fall into the unknown, keep your hands by your side,
And don’t clutch to anything
If you land somewhere
Some ledge of certainty
You have probably grasped at some false hope
Jump again!

There is no ground friend
And the unknown is your liberation
But on the way down
Your mind’s tyrannous nature
Will beg and scream and cry and threaten
And that’s where your work is
Right there on the ragged edge
As you fall
It’s a beautiful death.

The Infinite Speaks Its Name

you are the universe
in fragile form
a moment in eternity
an expression of the infinite
who you are
what you say
and what you do
is the infinite
speaking itself
to itself
the formless utters its name
through you
and there is nothing
you have to prove or do
achieve or conquer
that changes this ineffable truth
it is the secret wonder
of this great mystery.