[ a fresh bundle of small delights, dept. ]
Peace and joy are at the heart of all inspiration, yes.
In that vein, here’s a randomly assembled collection that’s inspired me this morning; some of you may endure..ah, enjoy, these little candles too. It further occurs to me that this ‘fresh bundle of small delights’ is inspiring its own production here. 🙂 as I follow along, held by the clasped hand of Inspiration, curiously sniffing, sipping and savoring all kinds of wonder, as it passes, as it occurs…we’ll see if it – this particular rhythm – keeps apparently happening…in aware living, there’s no future plan. No past either. We discover what’s next, when it happens. In truth, in life, the pattern and rhythm keeps changing; we’re often and variously delighted with the beauty of it all, AND we never know.. We never need to know. 🙂
** Leonard Cohen drew this insightful sketch while on one of his Zen retreats on Mount Baldy in Los Angeles. One lovely verse of his – which I love to sing – rings true for us today:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There’s a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
** This singer of songs has also long inspired me: Kahil Gibran:
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.”
** finally, if/when you’re in the mood for something surprising, in longish form:
[ fear and loathing is a belief, dept. ]
The root of all allusion, delusion and confusion is belief. To ‘believe’ requires a believer; a ‘someone’ conceptually, theoretically separated out only by the conditioned mind; a somebody that describes and comes to believe its own conceptual imaginings – it’s castings of good/bad, right/wrong, define and confine almost all of our daily experience.
The Mind gets all its power not so much from belief, as from fear; fear naturally arises from our need for security, for food, clothing and shelter to survive. But that natural instinctive urge gets seriously co-opted and corrupted by fears of not having, holding and possessing, enough. An ‘enough’ that’s variously and often vaguely defined but bound to fail in all its attempts to be satisfied. ‘Never Enough’ is the endless modus operandi that works day and night like rust spreads; there’s a certain flavored aggression – a smiling violence – a transactional self-serving throb and thrust that’s morbidly pleasant in producing fear-induced greed, power and domination. It’s our celebrity, winner takes all culture that tastes now sweet, now sour. It’s the Story Of Success many of us are conditioned to believe, yes
Indeed, it happens that not only the natural physical needs drive the beliefs and the supposed believer, but also these same innate needs get inundated with proposed and expanded fears of the minds conjured ‘future.’ Fear compels and propels beyond real, balanced necessity; we’re consumed by a fire of consumer desire that becomes – when fueled and fed by the culture we’re born in – corrupted and dysfunctional and unhealthy. Conflicts and confusions arise only because we believe something is wrong and it or he, she or they, could be or should be, other than what actually is occurring.
MIND CONCEIVES BUT CANNOT KNOW, REALITY.
Our opinions are believed to be real, to be essential to living our imagined personal life more securely – if not happily. There’s a complex interwoven believing that what’s described and imagined in the mind, exists in fact.. and that, ipso facto, there must be the describer, the ‘me’ that describes the ‘you’ it thinks is you.
And so it goes, that most of us live in our heads, in our mind-made descriptions, measurements, valuations and habitually accumulated confirmations we call ‘experience’.
SELF-KNOWING ALONE RELIEVES, HEALS AND RESTORES HARMONY BEYOND BELIEF
All that suffering from belief stoked by fear changes the instant we truly see – catch and release – the hidden wants and aversions that linger in the shadows of the mind. We simply, always lovingly, watch and allow whatever is arising, here/now, to happen in alert unattached and attentive awareness. In so resting, we live sans belief, in the ease of our being, moment-to-moment so to speak. And there’s an active learning, a learning that’s current, fresh, relevant. Wise. Part of that arising wisdom is in seeing that, to the degree we resist and insist that life and the living of it should conform to our expectations, hopes and fancies – to that same degree, we suffer, get frustrated, anxious and angry, exhausted and very, very tired yes? Indeed, one of our very best teachers is called ‘Suffering.’
The antidote to that suffering lies only in a constant Self-knowing. In resting choicelessly there as a spectator only, we live, move and have our being in sufficiency, in enough. There’s a full emptiness – empty of self – but full of the life of Self, full of the wordless, qualityless immensity beyond any description that we may label ‘peace,’ ‘joy’ or ‘love.’ There’s an obvious yet subtle delight and wonder that’s the same as we’ve always known – a wonder that startled us as children when we walked in the leaves, talked to the river, smelled the rain on hot pavement. And we find there’s no knower – never has been or will be. No entity that can communicate any ‘knowing’.
Still, there’s another kind of Self-aware knowing that arises that’s unknown as life, unseen as space, unheard as silence. This paradox that we are is clearly known yet unknown; it changes and yet remains, like beauty and truth. At the ending and beginning of the day – like a sunset that’s elsewhere a dawning – it remains, unspeakable because unknowable.
Love, and be well 🙂