Overlooking You

So you have abandoned me
At least it feels like it
You have let me drift on the shores
Of helplessness and suffering

For you were too humble
Never showing your qualities
When I needed specificities
Preferences as good and bad
That’s why I didn’t notice you

You were reaching far and wide
Never complying to any border
When I wanted something to rely on
That was solid and densely felt
That’s why I missed your embrace

You had no place in time to be
Never travelling in linearity
When I desired to grasp you so
Within a thought or a moment
That’s why you left elusively 

You had no care for a distance
Always standing so merged and close
When I liked you slightly remote
To catch you in my wilful gaze
That’s why I overlooked you

You had no taste for the personal
Always averse to belonging
When I sought you in my puny self
And discarded the world for it
That’s why I shrugged at your beauty

You kept away from conditions
Always shining unreservedly
When I expected you in the bright
Not in the dark and the lowly
That’s why I misunderstood you

You were with me shining and clear
Always loving all beings and things
When I was torn in suffering
And thought you had abandoned me
I must have simply looked away

.

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

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

.

The Song of Ashtavakra

Photo by Nick Kenrick.. on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

I’m sharing here the Ashtavakra Gita, in the translation of John Richards. This is a famous song and landmark of non-duality in India. It has been composed in Sanskrit as a dialogue between the eminent sage Ashtavakra and his brilliant disciple Janaka, also king of Mithila. It was allegedly written around the third Century BC although some scholars dated it in the eighth Century AD, at the period of Shankara. The author is unknown and the characters are borrowed from the ancient epics of India. ‘Ashtavakra’ means ‘eight bends’, for he has a deformed body. This is a short work of 300 verses, and was one of the favourites of Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi. In this dialogue, the process of enlightenment is easily dealt with, for Janaka is, in Ramesh Balsekar’s words, “a superbly ‘ripe’ disciple, one who is just waiting for that one quick spark of initiation into Truth that brings about sudden enlightenment.” The dialogue quickly moves to be an exposition of truth by two equally enlightened beings. Yet, a process is here at work, between the guru and his disciple, between truth and the slow movement towards full understanding, between the one reality and the many roads and aspects that lead to a total and definitive grasp of it…

.

अष्टावक्रगीता

.

Chapter I

Instruction on Self-Realisation

King Janaka asks the question that provoked Ashtavakra’s plain and direct exposition of truth…

Your real nature is as the one perfect, free, 
and actionless consciousness, the all-pervading witness 
– unattached to anything, desireless and at peace. 
It is from illusion that you seem to be involved in samsara
.”

.

Janaka asked:

How is knowledge to be acquired? How is liberation to be attained? And how is dispassion to be reached? Tell me this, sir.

Ashtavakra replied:

If you are seeking liberation, my son, shun the objects of the senses like poison. Practise tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness like nectar.

You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether. For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the witness of these.

If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will become happy, peaceful and free from bonds.

You do not belong to the brahmin or any other caste, you are not at any stage, nor are you anything that the eye can see. You are unattached and formless, the witness of everything – so be happy.

Righteousness and unrighteousness, pleasure and pain are purely of the mind and are no concern of yours. You are neither the doer nor the reaper of the consequences, so you are always free.

You are the one witness of everything, and are always totally free. The cause of your bondage is that you see the witness as something other than this.

[…]

Continue reading the beautiful teaching of Ashtavakra… (READ MORE…)

.

The Navel of the World

How come if we feel to be a little body amongst billions of other bodies, how come if we are a little thing lost, moving in a vast world, that we feel to be so important, like the centre of the world. My thoughts may tell me that I am a small, separate being. But in reality I feel that I am bigger than that. I feel that my little person happens to be most of the time a very big one, that takes literally the whole space. And whose world has become the one and only reality there truly is. Why is that so? 

My thoughts tell me that I am a small, separate being, and yet my felt reality is different. So I want to repair that injustice, to make me bigger, more important than I am, and of course I only expand that part of myself which is only a thought. And this leads me to act in selfish, unkind, or distorted ways. But the intuition was correct. I am wide, everlasting, important, precious, because the self that I am is not just a bundle of thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

[…]

A short reverie about where lies the true centre… (READ MORE…)

.

Search me, O God

I am presenting here a text excerpted from the Christian Old Testament, in the Bible. It is commonly known as Psalm 139, and belongs to the Book of Psalms. ’Psalm’ in Greek means ‘instrumental music’ and is by extension, a hymn. These hymns are mostly praises to God. This particular Psalm was brought to my knowledge by Rupert Spira. This is certainly one of the richest for it expresses the all knowing and pervasiveness of God, of that deep presence that is the nature and heart of our utmost self. It also stresses that this presence shines in all circumstances, including in our darkest hours. The psalm seems to hold in itself the soft power of a prayer, which is the ability to make us aware of our true self. For this is the function of a prayer, to throw us back into our self, into the deep silence that is the core of our being. As Stephen Mitchell wrote in ‘A Book of Psalms’, “Pure prayer begins at the threshold of silence. It says nothing, asks for nothing. It is a kind of listening. The deeper the listening, the less we listen for, until silence itself becomes the voice of God.” Listen to the depth of this poem. As its promise reads, you may be led “in the way everlasting”.

~

.

O lord, thou hast searched me, 
     and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, 
     thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, 
     and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, 
     but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, 
     and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; 
      it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? 
     or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: 
     if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, 
     and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, 
     and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; 
     even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; 
     but the night shineth as the day: 
     the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

For thou hast possessed my reins: 
     thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: 
     marvellous are thy works; 
     and that my soul knoweth right well.
My substance was not hid from thee, 
     when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought 
     in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book 
     all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, 
     when as yet there was none of them.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! 
     how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, 
     they are more in number than the sand: 
     when I awake, I am still with thee.

[…]

Search me, O God, and know my heart: 
     try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, 
     and lead me in the way everlasting.

~ Psalm 139 (King James Version)

.

~~~

Psalm from the Holy Bible (King James Version)

Photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

Bibliography:
– ‘The Book of Psalms: King James Version’ – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
– ‘A Book of Psalms: Selected and Adapted from the Hebrew’ – by Stephen Mitchell – (Harper Perennial)

Websites:
The Bible (Wikipedia)
King James Version (Wikipedia)
Psalms (Wikipedia)
Psalm 139 (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Other prayers from the blog at Fragrance of Love

.

The Golden Thread

A golden thread is running through our life;
It says: listen, I want to be happy,
I long to be free from darkness and strife
And find that peace that is looking for me.

So now I’m out in search of all the things
That will give me some meaning and relief;
But that peace is short-lived, only quick flings
That leave me unfulfilled and full of grief.

Is it that things cannot satisfy me,
Have no power in bringing happiness?
Is it again that I have failed to see
That not a thing away from me can bless?

Life knows it well that puts death at the end
To stop me ‘cause this endeavour is null;
It is only a hint — not some cruel bend —
To show there is some answer in that lull.

Now turn around and face that void in you
That is no thing but bears all things that are,
And remember you’re not anyone who
Can say I am separate and afar.

I am empty presence that knows and sees,
Renders all things as if they were in me;
I’m the silent watcher behind all these
That previously were my identity.

Now hear at last — there is some highlight here —
That when you rest in that newly found ‘I’,
All your strife and suffering disappear,
You’re found to be happy, at peace — oh my!

.

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

.

This poem is inspired by Rupert Spira’s suggestion that the longing for happiness is a golden thread which, if followed right through the end, leads to the discovery of our true nature.

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

.

A History of Veiling

Your life 
between so-called birth 
and death 
does not exist
.”
~ Robert Adams

..

Why was I never told? To all appearances, there is no world out there. The world is empty. With no real substance. Well a substance is at work. One with the most beautiful, exquisite shine. That explains the beauty. But look for solidity around you and you won’t find it. Look for something that exists on its own accord and you will grasp nothing but thin ether. So don’t believe what the mind tells you. Or you will send a bigger reality at bay, in the hidden. 

Yet nothing ever passes unseen. Not a thing. A thought, a feeling, a sound, a vision. They’re all being witnessed, and known. They’ve all been soaked with light — their presence revealed. They have only been hidden from me, whatever ‘me’ is. A sound in the distance is left unnoticed for I was lost in thoughts, not present. I chose to be identified with only a small part of my total experience. I was busy, had an agenda with some words running in my head and oups!… There is that bird’s exquisite song that disappeared in the nimbus of my confused mind. 

[…]

A short divagation on the question of veiling… (READ MORE…)

.

There are Always Songs to Sing

Photo by Corinne Galois – Galerie photographique

.

Anand R. Raghavan is my newly invited guest on ‘The Dawn Within’. I have discovered Ananda’s beautiful writing while visiting his blog ‘Ananda Only’. He wrote in his presentation: “Silence and stillness are my closest proxies to the truth. My greatest guide and unconditional companions. They underlie a lot of the thoughts and words that appear on this blog.”

I’m presenting here one of his texts called ‘There are always songs to sing’. This is a tribute to his brother, recounted with a soft poignancy. I was moved by the efficacy of the descriptions and the sensitivity and wisdom that are expressed in his text. “I write to explore, understand and connect with my own heart. I reach into the quietness in my memories, relationships, experiences, observations, dreams and contemplations to do so.” I hope you will enjoy Ananda’s excellent prose as I did…

.

The darkness behind closed eyes was like my own soothing reflection. 
An imperceptible identity. Independent of my body, my home, 
my name and my life. Being close to it again felt reassuring
.”

~~~

.

There are Always Songs to Sing

.

Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
and between the two my life moves
.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

.

With time, everything is forgotten. Memories and dreams grow alike and interchangeable, and leak beyond the horizon of the heart with the certainty of sunset. They leave a residue of love and longing, that remain in our bodies and become our stories.

My brother was 17 months older than me. When he was 7 years old he won silver in the 50m run at the school sports meet. As he crossed the finish line, the wind raced past my ears and a surge of lightness rumbled through the wooden stadium planks. His joys and fears were mine and my hopes and victories were his. I could never truly accept that he was another person.

[…]

Continue reading Ananda R. Raghavan’s excellent prose… (READ MORE…)

.