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.

No Destination But This

Mind, arising in consciousness
Considers all things to be dual
It seeks completion in
Destination thinking
And applies its belief
To spiritual freedom

You, as consciousness,
Believe the mind’s stories
And in that attachment
Is a grave error

The error
Of freedom as a destination
There is no destination
There is the path
The walking in presence
One step at a time
One day at a time
One month, year and life at a time

When the path becomes
Easier and less rugged
It becomes a kind of destination
But it is still a path
That is walked
There is no imagination
That arrival at some place
Will solve the problem.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

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.

The Appearance of Form

If I could sum up the history of our species
In one line it would be thus:

The Tale of the Imaginary Other

It would be a saga
Of unnecessary war and conflict
Of jealousy and greed

Friend, you and and I are one
Don’t let the individual masks we wear
Trick you into believing we are separate
There is but one consciousness
One god, utter unity of all that is
The appearance of form
Is not separation
It is the appearance of form
Everything is connected to the same web

The appearance of form
Is god’s delight

We would do well to remember that.

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