Step out of your house
Turn left
Or right
Then left again
Or maybe right
What does it matter really
You’re one with it all




Then enter the nearest wood
See how it is enchanted 
And don’t forget
This is all you
You’re not walking anywhere
Not reaching any new place




Feel it inside yourself 
It will pave your life with beauty 
See how the sun is throwing
Its light on the forest bed
Illuminating your dream




Then follow the path
To the royal staircase 
With the trees roots
Poking out deliciously
Inviting you to move further
Deeper into the woods
Deeper into yourself




Notice the flowers
As they show up inside your gaze
They are crazy things really
With their own unique beauty
But don’t just glance at them
Appreciate their presence
Their scintillating appearance




Maybe they are calling 
Desperately on you
Drawing your attention
For a more sacred act
For they are like mirrors
Held for you to look into
Your own pristine being




Move on leisurely
Along the winding path
Onto a clearing the colour 
Of a hurting green
A group of cows is lying here
Not some dispensable cattle
But a bouquet of presence
Bow to them as you would 
To a flower or a bird




We must discover them 
These subtle theatres 
Where the ebb and flow of life 
Is played out every day
Some barely visible things
Anonymous masterpieces
And the leaves and the grass
The beautiful waters coming alive




They are hidden from arid eyes
But show themselves splendid 
To some more eager ones
Curious and more in love 
With a path different and free
That points unto ourself
And speaks to our fibre




There are so many wonders 
For a sensitive heart
So many secrets and peaceful paths
That we should be humbled
Give in to all that is
Undress our soul 
And melt into silence




Then home will appear suddenly
Perched unexpectedly
On an arduous mountain side
A hermitage for your soul
To rest at peace at last
And contemplate your own being




The door is here 
Always open
And so profoundly inviting
It is praying your self
Come within 
Come within 
For this is home 
Your deeply longed for hermitage




Rest within
Let go so completely
Like flowers petals do
When they fall and give in
From the depth and pristine heights
Of their own secret being
Where you land is
Your lifelong and sacred



Text and photos by Alain Joly



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3 thoughts on “The Hermitage

  1. Oh Alain. I have just stumbled across your blog and my heart is on fire. This is such a beautiful expression of our oneness, of this infinite pool of love. I am very touched by your words and photos. Thank you, thank you.


  2. Thank you for the artful reminder of the nature of walking meditation . of the all pervasiveness of the self . of the flowers and cows and leaves and tree and sunlight and roots and us all being one and a part of the same self

    Liked by 2 people

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