Monday, October 31, 2016

you are not what you perceive





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You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting;

the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.



–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj 




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ssh





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You are not a drop in the ocean.
You are the entire ocean in a drop.


—Rumi



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Sunday, October 30, 2016

if







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If time is not real, then the dividing line between this world and eternity, between suffering and bliss, between good and evil, is also an illusion.

–Hermann Hesse


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the wind shifts like this





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This is how the wind shifts:
Like the thoughts of an old human,
Who still thinks eagerly
And despairingly.

The wind shifts like this:
Like a human without illusions,
Who still feels irrational things within her.

The wind shifts like this:
Like humans approaching proudly,
Like humans approaching angrily.

This is how the wind shifts:
Like a human, heavy and heavy,
Who does not care.


–Wallace Stevens



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Saturday, October 29, 2016

hush





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Hush.
I am so close, I may look distant.
So completely mixed with you, I may look separate.
So out in the open, I appear hidden.
So silent, because I am constantly talking with you.


–Rumi


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Complexity of a Sphere




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Buckminster Fuller defines a Sphere as “a multiplicity of discrete events, approximately equidistant in all directions from a Nuclear Center.”


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Friday, October 28, 2016

spirit of a place





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Different places on the face of the earth have different vital effluence, a different vibration of chemical exhalation, a different polarity with the stars; call it what you like. 
But the spirit of a place is a great reality.


—D. H. Lawrence



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HOW TO BE A POET (to remind myself)






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Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.


–Wendell Berry 











hush




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Stay open and quiet, that is all. 
What you seek is so near you that there
is no place for a way.



—Nisargadatta Maharaj


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Thursday, October 27, 2016

the brain is wider than the sky






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The Brain—is wider than the Sky—
For—put them side by side—
The one the other will contain
With ease—and You—beside—

The Brain is deeper than the sea—
For—hold them—Blue to Blue—
The one the other will absorb—
As Sponges—Buckets—do—

The Brain is just the weight of God—
For—Heft them—Pound for Pound—
And they will differ—if they do—
As Syllable from Sound—


–Emily Dickinson



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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

if you try





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You cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it. Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket. 

If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run. 

To “have” running water you must let go of it and let it run.


–Alan Watts


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conditions of a solitary bird





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The conditions of a solitary bird are five:

The first, that it flies to the highest point;

the second, that it does not suffer for company,
not even of its own kind;

the third, that it aims its beak to the skies;

the fourth, that it does not have a definite color;

the fifth, that it sings very softly.


–St. John of the Cross



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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I saw you dancing





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I saw you dancing last night
on the roof of your house
all alone.
I felt your heart longing for the Friend.
I saw you whirling
beneath the soft bright rose
that hung from an invisible stem in the sky.

So I began to change into my best clothes
in hopes of joining you,
even though I live a thousand miles away.

And if you had spun like an immaculate sphere
just two more times,
then bowed again so sweetly to the east,
you would have found God and me
standing so near
and lifting you into our arms.

I saw you dancing last night
near the roof of this world.


–Hafiz


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for every reason in existence





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And
For no reason
I start skipping like a child. And
For no reason
I turn into a leaf
That is carried so high
I kiss the sun's mouth
And dissolve.
And
For no reason
A thousand birds
Choose my head for a conference table,
Start passing their
Cups of wine
And their wild songbooks all around.
And
For every reason in existence
I begin to eternally,
To eternally laugh and love!
When I turn into a leaf
And start dancing,
I run to kiss our beautiful Friend
And I dissolve in the Truth
That I Am.



–Hafiz



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Love (Rescue)








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Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.

And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills.

A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.

It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.


–Czesław Miłosz
The Way One Looks At Distant Things
Robert Haas translation


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Sunday, October 23, 2016

beloved





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Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.

Help some soul heal.

Walk out of your house like a shepherd.


–Rumi

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

living on the plains






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That winter when this thought came -- how the river
held still every midnight and flowed
backward a minute -- we studied algebra
late in our room fixed up in the barn,
and I would feel the curved relation,
the rafters upside down, and the cows in their life
holding the earth round and ready
to meet itself again when morning came.

At breakfast while my mother stirred the cereal
she said, "You're studying too hard,"
and I would include her face and hands in my glance
and then look past my father's gaze as
he told again our great race through the stars
and how the world can't keep up with our dreams.


–William Stafford
The Way It Is


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I live my life in growing orbits





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I live my life in growing orbits
which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt.

I am circling around God, around the ancient tower
and have been circling for a thousand years
and I still do not know if I am a falcon, a storm
or a great song.

 

–Rainer Maria Rilke
The Book of Hours, excerpt
Robert Bly translation



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direction





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… stay at the center of the circle and let all things take their course.

—Lao Tzu



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not to worry





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This place where you are right now,
God circled on a map for you.

–Hafiz


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Friday, October 21, 2016

Hoedad (reforestation)





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I will walk to a place with a high cliff, and camp by the lake there at evening, and study the grand firs and the nobles reflected in the water made still by the evening.

I will sit by the fire and consider, and lie down to count stars, and sleep, and in sleep dream dreams of green bones.

When the morning arrives, grey and cold, I will rise and walk to the high place, bringing with me a drum I have made, and a song for my scattered people.

There, on the rock, where no one will hear, I will sing the sun up, and name names, and the names will be holy to me.


–Richard Bear



.
the rest of this lovely thing is
here
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

not to worry





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They are always kissing,
they can't control themselves.
 

It is not possible that any
creature can have greater instincts
and perceptions than the
mature human mind.

God ripened me.
So I see it is true:  
all objects in existence are
wildly in love!


–Meister Eckhart


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

delicious trouble





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This the spirit that Beauty must ever induce, wonderment and a delicious trouble, longing and love and a trembling that is all delight.

For the unseen all this may be felt as for the seen; and this is the Soul's feel for it, every Soul in some degree, but those the more deeply that are the more truly apt to this higher love – just as all take delight in the beauty of the body but all are not stung as sharply, and those only that feel the keener wound are known as Lovers.

These Lovers, then, lovers of the beauty outside of sense, must be made to declare themselves.


–Plotinus


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

no need






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You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.

You need not even wait,
just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.

It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.


–Franz Kafka


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not to worry





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The clear bead at the center
changes everything.
There are
no edges to my loving now.

You've heard it said there's
a window that opens from one
mind to another,

but if there's no wall,
there's no need for
fitting the window, or the latch.


–Rumi



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Saturday, October 15, 2016

i am that







I am not this hair,  
I am not this skin,  
I am the soul that lives within.


–Rumi


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journey






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And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.

–Wendell Berry


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caribou migrating
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dear world






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One regret, dear world
That I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed

Is that
I did not kiss you enough.


–Hafiz



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Friday, October 14, 2016

Statement to the Court, excerpt

 



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Your honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth.
I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it;
while there is a criminal element, I am of it;
while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

  
–Eugene Debs
Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act,
September 18, 1918




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a song on the end of the world







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And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.

As long as the sun and the moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet
Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
No other end of the world will there be,
No other end of the world will there be.


–Czesław Miłosz




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pebble





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The pebble
is a perfect creature
equal to itself
mindful of its limits  
filled exactly
with a pebbly meaning
 
with a scent that does not remind one of anything
does not frighten anything away does not arouse desire
 
its ardour and coldness
are just and full of dignity
 
I feel a heavy remorse
when I hold it in my hand
and its noble body
is permeated by false warmth
 
- Pebbles cannot be tamed -
to the end they will look at us
with a calm and very clear eye



–Zbigniew Herbert
Peter Dale Scott and
Czesław Miłosz

translation




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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Stone





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Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.
From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.
I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.


–Charles Simic
The Voice at 3 A.M.


 
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