Stay Where You Are

There’s this new force that tells us
Stay where you are
Be confined within yourself
Don’t run after every miserable trick
That you invent for countenance

Stay where you are
You have the best view there
In the home that is truly yours
The one you have never built, the one
For which no walls were erected ever

Stay where you are
Where you will be blessed with full protection
For by being open to the winds of life
Defenceless, unprotected, you are therefore
Unbreakable

Stay where you are
In the expanse of your self
Be wide, no matter the limitations
For, believe me, there are none
Except on the racing grounds of mind

Stay where you are
Be a true opportunist 
Where life takes you, be like her guide
For you were never powerless
You are holding the show

Stay where you are
Don’t think it is not enough
For in the less you find the more
You are never prevented from anything 
You have all the freedom you need

 

~~~

Poem and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

 

The Hiding Place

There are times to let go of
The hopes and
The dearly loved dreams
And whisper in your life’s ear —
‘Baby, I will accept you now
As you are.’

There are times to stop clinging and 
Finally rest
In the bosom of your being
With all the comfort that —
At last!
You deserve here.

There are times to feel the ease
The joy un-contained
That rests in the moment
When you stop claiming 
Your due
And welcome it all.

It is not a sad time
Though you may have thought it was
It is the time you have been waiting for
All your life
Without knowing
So make room for it.

It is not a bad time
A sentence for
Your un-capabilities
It’s an eye-opener
For you have been it
Already — all the time.

But don’t renounce
Don’t make the move
Yourself
For it was never about you
It’s a free fall
Into the plentiful of this moment.

This time is coming
It has been patiently waiting 
For your readiness
Since the nowness of eternal being
Welcome it — come out of 
Your hiding place.

 

~~~

Poem and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

 

Change the Lighting

‘The edge of a Heath by moonlight’ – John Constable, 1810 – WikiArt

 

If you can’t change yourself, after all
the efforts, change the light
by which you read your story.
Exchange overhead for something softer –
a lamp, a candle, a vine of shining 
holiday lights – and feel yourself 
become hugged by the fabric of shadows.
You see the darkness here has wisdom too.
You see these objects around become related 
by the pregnant emptiness that holds them,
and you. Let this light reveal the rapture
of being just this. Then, further still, try
moonlight, or no light, until, at last,
this open, sourceless incandescence 
which you are
no matter who you think you are
will follow you from the inside 
wherever you may go, however 
you may change, or not.

 

~~~

Poem by Brooke McNamara
(excerpted from her book ‘Feed your Vow’)

Painting by John Constable (1776-1837)

~~~

 

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F319A9CC-4291-4FDC-91C5-986DA4372F6AOn her website, Brooke McNamara presents herself as a poet, performer, zen mama, and monk. She has practiced Zen meditation and is now a teacher in this tradition. She has also danced professionally for over a decade and toured internationally. She offers online classes in mindfulness, creative awakening, as well as movement education. She is a poet and published her first book ‘Feed your Vow’, in 2015. She lives with her husband and two sons in Boulder, CO.

Bibliography:
– ‘Feed Your Vow: poems for falling into fullness’ – by Brooke McNamara – (Performance Integral Édition)

Website:
Brooke McNamara
John Constable (Wikipedia)

 

Naked Presence

A prayer is an invitation to rest or abide in what is most essential in our being. I have tried here to express my own version of a prayer:

 

I don’t know, sweet beloved, 
what to do with my fear, my anger,
all my overwhelming feelings
and the limits I impose on myself.

So please take them into your loving lap,
tender them till they melt 
and are taken away to be
one with your infinite being.

It is my plea and my wanting,
rather my offering – for I’m asking nothing,
to be rid of all my clothes and be seen 
naked in front of your most naked presence.

Let your constant outpouring of love
be my daily inescapable anchor,
let me I be you and you I
and feel no more the pain of separation.

You were so unnoticed,
at best visited from time to time,
let me now be the absent, unnoticed one.

Let me be whole and one with all things,
let me find in the pain, in the ache,
your most gracious presence,

my heart!

 

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Suggestion:
Fragrance (on the role and nature of prayer)

 

God Only Knows

This poem was written by Katarina Jonsson, a Danish friend. I loved this poem from my first reading for its truth and simplicity. 

 

Where do you come from
he asked
I never arrived
she answered
but I come from a thousand different places
sometimes from sorrow and hurt
sometimes from the greatest joy
other times from shame and guilt
from projections and competition
she said

But where do you come from
he asked
I come from a thousand different places
she answered
I never arrived
Sometimes I come from ignorance and blame
sometimes from darkness and despair
I have come from happiness and communion
from disappointment and loneliness
she said

But where do you come from
he asked
I come from a thousand places 
I never arrived 
she answered 
I came from inferiority and superiority 
sometimes from equality 
I have come from thoughts and emotions 
and I have called them love

They both fell silent

Where do you come from
he asked 
I come from silence 
from love 
from God
she said
I have arrived 

Who has arrived 
he asked
I don’t know
she said

 

~~~

Poem by Katarina Jonsson

Photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Ripples…

Why do I keep thinking that things happen
That there is drama
All kinds of ups and downs
Desperation between two short-lived chunks of contentment

Why do I keep looking for an escape
Something better, more fulfilling
An adventure for my little self
Lest it would plainly die or disappear

Can I not see the call of steady ground
The unstoppable peace behind it all
The depth of the unfathomable soul
That rise not but stays unshakable 

Can I not see that my worse dramas 
Are but ripples – maybe not even this
That sink into a space so vast 
That nothing – oh nothing! – can move it

Can I not see the blaze of immensity
Running so close, dancing before my very self
Making itself so very obvious and present
That I have to strive to miss it

Can I not see that my blindness, forgetfulness
Is but a futile escape from a release so plain
A readiness to see that just behind my ache 
Stands already revealed my completeness.

 

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

 

Swami Bharatananda

~~~

Maurice Frydman is one of most extraordinary people I’ve ever come across and virtually nothing is known about him.” said David Godman, one of the foremost and infatigable exponents of Ramana Maharshi’s life and teachings. Maurice Frydman was born a polish jew in 1894, in Warsaw. Exceptionally bright at school, he was a prolific inventor, spoke many European and Indian languages, and was an earnest and passionate seeker of truth. He has explored many traditions, including Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and the Theosophical movement of Annie Besant. He devoured books from all possible traditions, particularly interested in all the great writings of Hinduism. Over the years, he met and was close to numerous spiritual teachers like J. krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, swami Ramdas, and Nisargadatta Maharaj. He wrote a book on Ramana Maharshi, ‘Maharshi’s Gospel’, and was responsible for recording and publishing the now classic ‘I Am That’ by Nisargadatta Maharaj. He lived in India during the later part of his life, becoming an Indian citizen, and was associated with Mahatma Gandhi, inventing a new implement on the famous Indian spinning wheel, the Charkha. He was given the Indian name Swami Bharatananda when he was initiated as a Hindu monk or sannyasi by Swami Ramdas. Ramana Maharshi refused him this initiation, saying that “Sannyas is taken from within; not from without”. Maurice also greatly helped to organise the Dalaï Lama’s escape to India and to find places for the Tibetan refugees, like Dharamsala. But, “there is no mention of Maurice in any of the books related to either Dalai Lama‘s escape or the smuggling in of the Buddhist manuscripts from Tibet. I have never seen a person as Self-effacing as Maurice”, wrote V. Ganesan. Maurice Frydman died in Bombay in 1976, after an accident. Nisargadatta Maharaj, who held Maurice in high esteem, and considered him as a true jnani, was by his side. Of the days spent in Ramana Maharshi’s presence, Maurice wrote: “We took a cupful when the ocean was at our feet.”

~~~

Here are two Extracts from Maurice Frydman’s poetry: 

I am at the end of the tether 
and can’t break the cord 

All my going ahead 
is a deceitful dream, 

All my thinking not true, 
all my feeling not pure, 

All my doing not right, 
all my living not clear. 

I am tied to myself 
by myself through myself, 

The knot out of reach, 
I am in your hands.

There is a Heart and a mind, 
and a body and soul 
Waiting for you. 

You will come when you choose, 
And whatever you like 
you are welcome to do. 

 

* * * 

 

Heavy with the mud of many lands 
I was flowing lazily, 

Making obstacles of myself 
out of my unholy accumulations. 

Suddenly I awakened 
to the freshness of endless beauty, 

And felt the eternal environment 
of endless peace. 

My beloved I have found you, 
and yet never were we separated, 

Every drop of my being is you 
and yours is the force of my flow, 

Never are we apart 
and yet I always strive after you. 

The flow of creation will go on 
with me or without me, 

Only do not make me forget 
that I am none 

and that you only exist and create 
in ever-changing mobility. 

 

~~~

Poetry by Maurice Frydman (1901-1977)

Painting by Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903)
‘Temples and bathing ghat at Benares’ – wikiart

~~~

 

– Maurice Frydman’s poetry is from the book:
Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi’ – by Laxmi Narain – (Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad)

– Read this more extensive biography of Maurice Frydman here.

Bibliography:
– ‘I Am That’ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Chetana Pvt.Ltd)
– ‘Maharshi’s Gospel’ – by Ramana Maharshi and Maurice Frydman – (Sri Ramanasramam)

Websites:
Maurice Frydman (Wikipedia)
Paula Marvelly, An Interview with Sri V. Ganesan
’The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi’, As Shared by V. Ganesan