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)

~~~

 

9C993999-5487-4AB1-B901-DEAFD7688078

 

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)

 

The Slow Path

A prayer is an invitation to rest or abide in what is most essential in our being. So it is something like an intimation, a subtle realisation of something that may take the form of a longing, or wishing, but is in fact already here, subtly present if not yet realised. I loved this humble prayer by Michael Leunig, so I share it here with you…

 

~

 

Dear God,

We pray for another way of being:
another way of knowing.

Across the difficult terrain of our existence
we have attempted to build a highway
and in so doing have lost our footpath.

God lead us to our footpath:
Lead us there where in simplicity
we may move at the speed of natural creatures
and feel the earth’s love beneath our feet.

Lead us there where step-by-step we may feel
the movement of creation in our hearts.

And lead us there where side-by-side
we may feel the embrace of the common soul.
Nothing can be loved at speed.

God lead us to the slow path; to the joyous insights
of the pilgrim; another way of knowing: another way of being.

Amen.

 

~~~

Payer and cartoon by Michael Leunig

~~~

 

0526BD00-7BB3-43AD-BE57-E91737A198CCMichael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet. He describes his approach as regressive, humorous, messy, mystical, primal and vaudevillian – producing work which is open to many interpretations and has been widely adapted in education, music, theatre, psychotherapy and spiritual life. His work reflects, in his own words, “the fragile ecosystem of human nature and its relationship to the wider natural world.” He was declared a national living treasure by the National Trust for his unique contribution to Australian culture.

Read this article about Michael Leunig in Miriam Louisa Simon’s blog ‘The Awakened Eye’.

Bibliography:
– ‘The Penguin Leunig’ – by Michael Leunig – (Penguin Random House Australia)

Websites:
Michael Leunig
Michael Leunig Appreciation Page (on Facebook)

 

The Unattainable One

Parvathy Baul – Wikimedia

If you want to attain 
the unattainable One,
Free yourself from all that is
Fragile and temporary.
Know yourself
.”
~ Rasika Dasa

 

In the deepest villages of Bengal, there remains today a community of vagrant singers, both mystical bards and wandering minstrels, the Bauls. For centuries they have been treading the dust of the roads, with a firm and aerial step, at the rhythm of their daily needs and highest aspirations. The term ‘baul’, derived from the Sanskrit ‘vatulā’, means ’he who is affected, or carried away by the wind’. It might also refer to the term ‘vyakula’, meaning ‘impatient eagerness for god’, or ’auliyā’, a word of Arabic origin meaning ‘holy’, ‘ascetic’. But the asceticism of the Bauls is not lost in penances and meditations, is not only about achieving the set goal. It is rather a kind of refinement in the expression of the moment, a healthy ‘madness’ expressing through dance, music, and songs, the love of the divine and the spontaneity of living. Coming from both Hindu and Muslim religions, the Bauls retain nevertheless a fierce freedom of spirit and are rebellious to any ideology, following no ritual, referring to no scriptures. They are ’outside’, offbeat, refreshing and unique. […]

Continue reading about the Bauls of Bengal… (READ MORE…)

 

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)

 

Precious Little Remains

I have chosen to share with you here a few of the haiku-poems written by Ray Andrews, a friend from Wales. They are lovely little poems, making our heart soft, provoking here a smile, there some tenderness, taking you gently to a place in yourself where silence abides. They are, as one of Ray’s little haikus read, like “Precious little remains On the pathway To the sun”. I have married them with the evanescent photographs of Nicki Gwynn-Jones. Let them both be like little bubbles of meditation in ourself…

 

I gave my beloved
A wild rose
But did not realise
My heart would be the vase

 

A teardrop
Fell slowly
In an ocean
Of joy

 

786A6562-DF9F-4744-AE40-5CA95F1B8251Sometimes our hearts
Grow so much
They cease caring 
Who the owner is

 

 

 

 

 

When the lakes
Mirror surface is broken
No one in their right mind
Would try to repair it

 

Waves break
On the shoreline of ourselves
Sighing with relief
Into the sand

[…]

Enjoy many more of these poems and photographs… (READ MORE…)

 

~

 

Bibliography:
– ‘Just Being One’ – by Ray Andrews (illustration by Anna Fraser) – (The Swirling Leaf Press)

ED8A74BA-C5F0-4D48-B2AA-92FBE1F921D0

– “In the Dreamtime: A Meditation on the Flowers of Orkney” – by Nicki Gwynn-Jones – (Orcadian Ltd)

B6E190FF-17E4-4F23-A34C-326AB8883270