Ablaze with the City

Look they are here
Roaming along the street
My wandering thoughts
Among the fallen leaves
The abandoned litter
And a creaky bicycle passing by

Listen it is here 
Visiting among the trees 
A random feeling 
Among the neatly parked cars 
A stray panting dog
And birds flapping above my head

See and feel it now
Ablaze with the city
The aliveness of being
Gently taking its place
Down from the cobbled alley
To its soaring among the clouds

You had a sweet friendship with it
Amongst the busy crowd
You felt its warm embrace
And its soft company
Between the blast of a horn 
And the gust of a passing truck

As you crossed the avenue
Meeting glances from the cafe
It rose to a presence so vast
That you felt enlarged with it
Like a long standing friendship
That burst into a sudden love

You knew it was home
Where you wanted to be
As the first large drops of rain
Began tapping against your coat
You opened your heart to it
Disappearing within its space

Now the whole city was glowing
And the few happy rays of a sun
Sent rainbow lights amongst it all
There was a hum and a throbbing 
It was the life surrounding you
The whole place, the whole of it, was you

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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

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The Little Monsters

Here is a reminder inspired from the words of Rupert Spira. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

Just experience the raw sensation, for example of fear, without thought, without the labelling. Instead of covering it up, turn around and face it. Let the feeling come totally to you. Face it, keep living with it, keep opening yourself to it so fully, until there is not the slightest resistance to it. Ask yourself: Can I live with this feeling for ever? You have to be able to answer ‘yes’ to that question. Then see what remains of it. Be very careful not to turn this into a practice that you undertake in order to get rid of unpleasant feelings. Make it just a loving contemplation to discover the truth of your being, the dissolution of this feeling being a side-effect, a by-product…’

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Further exploring on the subject:

Observation is like a flame which is attention, 
and with that capacity of observation, 
the wound, the feeling of hurt, the hate, 
all that, is burnt away, gone
.”
~ J. Krishnamurti 

~

Fall in love with this secret humanity. Know that darkness is NOT darkness, only scared fragments longing to come into the light, beings who want love, and attention, and breath, and inclusion in the larger picture of Self. […] Illuminate. Radiate. Make it safe for the little monsters to come out of hiding. Let them know they are beautiful. And worthy. And not monsters at all.”
~ Jeff Foster

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In simple openness which is welcoming you will come to accept and get to know your negative feelings, desires and fears. Once welcomed in non-directed attention these feelings will burn themselves up, leaving only silence.”
~ Jean Klein (‘I Am’)

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You never remain with any feeling, pure and simple, but always surround it with the paraphernalia of words. The word distorts it; thought, whirling round it, throws it into shadow, overpower it with mountainous fears and longings. You never remain with a feeling, and with nothing else: with hate, or with that strange feeling of beauty.” […] Try to remain with a feeling, and see what happens. You will find it amazingly difficult. Your mind will not leave the feeling alone; it comes rushing in with its remembrances, its associations, its do’s and don’ts, its everlasting chatter. […] Can you look without the movement of the mind? Can you live with the feeling behind the word, without the feeling that the word builds up? If you can, then you will discover an extraordinary thing, a movement beyond the measure of time, a spring that knows no summer.” 
~ J. Krishnamurti (Commentaries on Living, Series III – Chapter 37 – ‘Aloneness Beyond Loneliness’)

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The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each 
has been sent as a guide from the beyond
.”
~ Rumi

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The photo is by Alain Joly

Bibliography:
– ‘Presence’, Vol. I & II – by Rupert Spira (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘Commentaries on Living, I, II & III’ – by J. Krishnamurti – (Quest Books,U.S.)
– ‘The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love’ – by Jeff Foster – (Sounds True)
– ‘I Am’ – by Jean Klein – (Non-Duality Press)
– ‘The Essential Rumi’ – Translated by Coleman Barks – (HarperOne)

Websites:
Rupert Spira
J. Krishnamurti
Jean Klein (Wikipedia)
Jeff Foster
Rumi (Wikipedia)

Suggestions:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)
A Day at Brockwood Park (Homage to J. Krishnamurti)
Rumi (Homage to Rumi)
A Secret Love Affair with Life (text by Jeff Foster)

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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

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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

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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…)

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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!

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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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)

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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…)

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The Mystery

Sometimes opinions and beliefs isolate us
Should we have none, should we be just
Open and light-hearted, driven by the wind 

Should we open ourself to the mystery
Concealed beneath thick layers of desire
The unfulfilled dreams of a thirsty conscience

Should we never be hungry, never thirsty
Hanging nothing on the walls of our thoughts
Keeping nothing and forgiving all

Should we leave everything at the threshold of our nights
And discover every morning, at last, this new day 
That invites itself at the banquet of possibles

That one with sparkling hours rising straight and proud
Like bubbles bursting without return, renewed to the 
Rhythm of the un-formed, of the non-becoming

Without wounds — never — why should there be
When every second contains them all
And when the mind is keen, sharp as a blade

When life offers herself, whole and ardent and never 
For a moment ceases to be amazed at herself 
At this love that irrigates her, incorruptible, never changing 

That same one that moors us to the great Silence
For intimate apprenticeships, unexampled deliverances 
Alone — yet feeling so vibrant and one with what is

 

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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