Songs of Awakening

Nancy Neithercut is my newly invited guest on ‘The Dawn Within’. After many years of trying to figure out the pain of existence, Nancy has experienced a shift in her life where all sense of separation faded away and, in her own words, “the whirling center of the dream had exploded and imploded into a vast unknowable unknown.” She now writes and speaks about this ungraspable no-thing in countless poems which are direct effusions of her inner life and understanding. They have been gathered in her website, “Nancy’s posts and poems”, and in her numerous books.

I chose and gathered here a few excerpts of her poetry that came my way. My mind drifted through Nancy’s beautiful writings and picked up just what it did, sometimes arrested by the deep meaning conveyed, sometimes by a harmonious dance of words, or a striking force, or a freshness, or just a no thing elusively expressed. At the end of her last book, she wrote: “This is the end of my seventh book of songs of awakening and I have never captured even one bite of this deliciousness… Yet songs flow through me and even as these words appear my story writes itself.” We are grateful for her many attempts. I hope you enjoy reading these songs of awakening…

 

Without a listener there is no song, and there is no singer.”

 

~~~

 

the rush of stillness
sings through it all
it cannot be trampled
or held
it cannot be concocted
by chanting spells
or reading books
or sitting for a thousand years
you cannot wait for it
or gain it
or throw it away
knowing this
is the dawn of love

 

~

 

I would say that the stillness that seekers long for is the end of belief in the dream. Yet this is also feared, because when the dream of this and that is seen to be made up, then it means also that they are made up! It would mean that everyone they have ever loved or known in their entire lives are also made up! 

It would mean that there has never been a past and there will never be a future.  A future where somehow stillness could be attained or lost.  

It would mean the end of all seeking, as the seeker has disappeared.  The end of all ideas of other better more or next.  It’s like the Zen guy sitting there in the cartoon and one guy says to another so this is it huh? And the other guy says Yep.

[…]

Continue reading Nancy Neithercut’s Songs of Awakening… (READ MORE…)

 

The Never Ending Story

May you find that within you 
which already lives beyond death 
and begin to live out of it now
.”
~ Rafe (Benedictine monk)

 

Listen to it. It is now. It is taking place now. It is taking your whole world in, and it does it effortlessly. For this is it. The whole thing yes, all you have ever been, seen, heard, encountered. All you have ever thought and felt. Including that which has given a home, a birthing place to it all. The whole bunch of it, this is you. I mean really you. Don’t think that you were some part of it. There are no parts. Your life is an undivided whole. And put your two feet in it. Stand as it. Don’t escape into some dark corners. Be proud. Take it all in. Be the giant that you truly are. But first, diminish all that is small in you. All your bits and pieces. Your thoughts of grandeur and failure. Your overwhelming feelings. Your precious little person. They will get in the way. Make them dim and distant. Let them leave you. For they were never yours, never you. They were little clowns dancing, laughing, crying on the stage of your life. Asking for your applauds or your pity. Don’t involve yourself with them. Welcome them all but stay remote, untouched. Let them perform though. They need to tell you something. To warn you. But stay when they have left the stage. Don’t run away with them. Don’t forget who you are. Extend your view. Make your being whole. Encompass it. Espouse it. Listen to it. It is now. It is taking place now. It is taking your whole world in, and it does it effortlessly. For this is it. The whole thing yes…

 

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

Other reveries from the blog…

 

The Neglected Self

Relinquish yourself.
I mean this little voice
That feels it is in charge,
Entangled in things and situations.

Leave it behind.
Take height.
Experience how you can be
Detached from it.

Let it uninvolved,
It will smoothly die;
Will be englobed
By something higher, bigger.

It will release 
Its illusory presence,
Replaced by the one only being
That it so superbly ignored.

Be global. Be whole.
Take your stand as
The one thing in you that is
Complete, encompassing, ever present.

Stay with it. Be it.
For it is you, the real you
That you have left behind
Unexplored, unseen, neglected.

For you have busied yourself
With all things apparently separate;
Have engaged in an endless conversation
With a precarious little voice. Don’t.

Be like a prince: watch every thing
From the heights of your Self.
Let yourself go. Be with what is left.
With your long-neglected Self.

 

~~~

Text and photo by Alain Joly

~~~

 

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

 

God Wants it All

Photo by Gerson Rodriguez / Pixabay

“(et hi tres unum sunt)
And these three are one
~ Bible, 1 John 5:7–8

 

God wants it all.
Beware if you’re planning
A little visit.
But don’t worry now!
He’s not going to eat you.
It doesn’t work that way.
Rather you will be pushed,
Through some gentle pressure of His,
To eat Him yourself.
How do we eat God?
Now relax!
It’s all been chewed already.
You just need to let go,
To leave the place for Him
To move in.
It’s not such a big move.
He’s here anyway,
Occupying your couch,
Eating your food,
Breathing your air.
Only gently move away.
Start by going out
Of your precious apartment.
It lives perfectly well
Without your being present.
Give it some air,
Take a little walk,
Have as many outings
You feel!
Let God gather its belongings
And get used to the place.
It’s His already but
You failed noticing it.
Don’t think you will feel crowded
When you come back.
God is the best room-mate ever.
He will make it all nice for you!
I bet you will enjoy
His presence.
He will only stay to the extent
You let Him in;
So don’t be so anxious!
He’s not the kind to impose Himself.
Rather do it yourself:
Impose Him on yourself!
You will feel so free;
You will enjoy and pray Him
To stay,
To live here for ever
While you keep on strolling
In the city.
But don’t feel shy!
Make the effort,
Pay Him a little visit.
It is your home after all!
He’ll be happy to see you,
For by seeing you,
He is enjoying your sweet friendship 
And flavour —
Which is His by the way!
Befriend Him as your best friend.
You might even start
Going out with Him,
Everywhere,
To enjoy the world:
Listen through His ears;
Admire through His eyes;
Sense the world with all
His generous being.
You will laugh!
You will love!
And who knows,
You might even date Him
Just as He might date you,
And you two will melt and
Go back home.
He might move in.
You might move in
Back into your flat.
But not alone this time,
And yet not two either.
Yet your presence
Will not feel lonely.
You will feel bigger,
Wider,
Richer,
Though still
Your own unique self.
As for your friend,
You won’t even see Him
Anymore,
For He is just only you.
But His glorious heart
Will beat inside you
Manifold
In your life.
I warned you!
Remember…
God wants it all.

 

~~~

Text by Alain Joly

Photo by Gerson Rodriguez / Pixabay

~~~

 

Suggestion:
Eternity with a Smile (other pieces from this category)

 

O Mystic Nuns!

Photo by Abee5 on Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Thy love was not of earth; no woman’s soul 
For mortal love craved with such a yearning. 
So thou didst wed great God Himself! O Goal 
Beyond our ken, beyond our dim discerning! 
And soul to soul, like sunbeam unto Sun, 
Thou didst vanish away, O mystic Nun!

~ Sri Devendranath Sen

 

At all times, India has embraced the love and longing for God as a privileged access to our ultimate reality. This path of love or devotion, called bhakti, was trodden by countless seekers and poets who have offered their verses to posterity. Amongst them many women. Women who, alone, have walked the steep path to God, going against the society of men, marriage and conventions, with only one goal: to reach divine love. I present here three such women — Andal, Akka Mahadevi, and Mirabai — these mystic nuns, whose personality and poetry are an unforgettable milestone to this day in India and elsewhere.

Through devoting or directing their love to a god, be it Krishna or Shiva, these devotees were searching to experience the bliss of their own being, the happiness that is the very nature of their self. But by conditioning their love to an object, they also experienced suffering, longing, sadness, anger, which all came to feed their poetry, their songs, all these exquisite expressions. These were the very vector that supported their spiritual search. But don’t think that this is a path that is limited or lacking depth. For though directed towards an object, the love they feel is always their own. The forms of Krishna or Shiva were a vehicle to lead them to their very self, to realise that their longing is and has always been for their own unborn nature, for love itself, the oneness of their own being.

This tension between the love for God as a form, and for being or oneness as a principle, between saguna and nirguna bhakti, as it is expressed in the Indian tradition, is at the core of the bhakti endeavour, of the journey to divine love. In ‘The Embodiment of Bhakti’, Karen Pechilis Prentiss wrote: “The lord is characterized by both ‘paratva’ (otherness) and ‘soulabhaya’ (ease of access). He is both here and beyond, both tangible as a person and intangible as a principle.” These nuns were expressing this tension with various degrees in their many songs and poems. Listen to their voice. Listen to how Krishna’s forms and attributes, ramblings and happenings are only expressions of a deeper reality, of the understanding and tensions at play in the seeker’s very being. They are their paths whose completion will lead to the recognition of their own true self. […]

Listen to the poetry of Andal, Akka Mahadevi, and Mirabai… (READ MORE…)

 

The Search

Come, 
Come away, 
O love, 
Sit beside me; 
I will teach thee 
The way to 
Happiness
.”

 

I have collected here some excerpts of a poetical work by J. Krishnamurti, published first in 1927 under the title ‘The Search’, and later in the book ‘From Darkness to Light’ (1980), along with other poems from this period. Krishnamurti considered these writings as not being part of his official teachings, for they were written when he was still involved with the Theosophical Society, the organisation that raised him to become the new World Teacher and that he left in 1929. They are nevertheless a beautiful read, imbued with the wonder of nature, and the search for happiness. In the Publishers Note, we read: ‘These poetic writings represent a facet of Krishnamurti that is characterized by the intensity of his feelings and by his passionate appeal to the individual for self-realization of truth.’ I hope you enjoy them…

 

~

Balanced between the past and the future, 
the “I” is poised as a tiger ready to spring, 
as an eagle ready to fly, 
as the bow at the moment of releasing the arrow. 

This moment of equilibrium, of high tension, 
is “creation.” It is the fullness of all life, 
it is immortality. 

The wind of the desert sweeps away 
all trace of the traveller. 

The sole imprint is the footstep of the present. 
The past, the future… sands blown by the wind
.“

~ J. krishnamurti (From Darkness to Light)

~

 

I have been a wanderer long 
In this world of transient things. 
I have known the passing pleasures thereof. 
As the rainbow is beautiful, 
But soon vanishes into nothingness, 
So have I known, 
From the very foundation of the world, 
The passing away of all things 
Beautiful, joyous and pleasurable. 

 

If thou wouldst concern thyself with the lasting, 
With the eternal, with the indestructible, 
With divinity, with immortality, 
With wisdom which is the pool of Heaven, 
If thou wouldst know of that everlasting Kingdom of Happiness, 
If thou wouldst know of that Beauty that never fades or decays, 
If thou wouldst know of that Truth that is imperishable and alone— 
Then, O world, 
Look deep within thyself

[…]

Continue reading excerpts from this poem by Krishnamurti… (READ MORE…)

 

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)