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Credit: Scott Stulberg

    Credit: Scott Stulberg  

I have written nothing, and yet the words are here before me, invisible ink of black and white. I see them through the lens of my own limitation even when vast knowing taps my shoulder. To look in its direction is to acknowledge the ease. But what of the journey, the stretches of hills and valleys where in the dark of night I have found them lacking? Words. They always come calling. I hear them in the wee hours like chants by Buddhist monks in solitude longing for peace. They are there. Fireflies dancing before me in tune with beat, in beat with tune. The sun shines and they fade. Illusion. What of the mirror reflects smoke when I hold truth tangibly in the palm of my hand? With a breeze it blows, yet there is no wind. Breath. That is what commitment takes: a single breath of continual breathing until something has been written and the smoke is no longer seen in the mirror, and illusions fade that truth might be revealed. This is why I write, and even when the ink runs dry the words come calling.

Be gentle

Exposed|Open

   Exposed|Open

If I had to crawl on my hands and knees journeying to you that my salvation be made real, I would. I have. And when I’ve touched the very soles of your feet that I might be cleansed, I was. What of this life takes me away even when the soul of me knows truth? How I forget what needs to be remembered. How I lose sight of my own seeing even when the path is made clear.

Be gentle. This is my mantra.

What of compassion seems so far when pointed with my finger in the direction of the within?

Be gentle. This is my mantra.

I am here again, bareboned. My hands and face to the floor crawling toward my salvation. I reach and the tears fall as my eyes set upon your hand reaching back.

Movement in the direction. Truth.

  Walking|Within

In every moment do I change. Growth brings me closer to the source, closer to the highest aspect of my being. There I am free.

No other place.

Where have I gone when I leave, and to where do I return when I am again consciously aware?

Within.

It’s like an unknown departing. In an instant do I move away from the center, and when the walls around me seemingly collapse, and the peace that once was feels no longer, do I realize having left.

Contrast.

Slowly turning again toward the within in order to reconnect.

God.

The center has always been my heaven no matter where in life I stand. Yet when I sit do I come again to know peace. With eyes closed and open to the light, I inhale a breath of gratitude. I exhale a breath of release.

Beyond now

    Beyond now

I am standing in light-shadows, sun against my skin.

Dark nights of full moons dancing.

How far air blows.

How nigh I know it.

Longing still for touch with hand’s warmth and Spring’s chill.

God.

I am but a squint that my pupil has caught.

Look yon.

It is I.

[Thank you Ettemeyer for the challenge of writing without using the letter “E.”]

Shadow|Side

Companion of self [shadow]

   Companion of self [shadow]

Everything is workable. That’s what Chogyam Trungpa said. I imagine this to be true, yet the practice of truth is a practice in and of itself. Trying to silence the ego and return to a place of equanimity isn’t the easiest path to take, yet we place one foot in front of the other and begin the walk. We pause. We step. We pause. We step. We look back and crave the egotistical voice that sets one straight, tells it like it is when things appear as injustice. We turn again in the direction of forward motion. We step. We pause. We step. Perhaps this is the way of the path and the path of the way. Perhaps this is the journey of enlightenment, not that we “wake up,” but that we pause less and keep steady our walk more. Nobody’s perfect. Perfection is an illusion. The fear of being seen as less-than keeps us inside the embrace of seeming better-than. No one is better. No one is worse. We are all here inside the experience of being human trying at times with desperation to navigate the way, sometimes kickboxing shadows–our own–other times embracing the dark side of our existence. The coin always has two sides, unless it’s a trick. We often trick ourselves into seeing but one side: the good. We fear anything else, running fast to get away, and every time we look back gauging how far we’ve gotten away, we realize how much farther we must run. It’s always with us, our shadow, even when we attempt to suffocate it with a pillow in the wee hours of the night while everyone sleeps.

Still, everything is workable.

I’ve learned the importance of letting go and giving in to the totality of who I am. There is no one way of being, there are many ways of being, and those ways manifest in even more ways. Cause and effect, as a good friend of mine frequently reminds, “are one not two.” True. Yet we move dualistically practicing separation in order to feel better about ourselves. Who wants to be known for having a darkside? No one. Yet everyone, turned upside down and inside out, has a shadow. If you don’t believe me just stand still and glance downward as the light changes. Who is that person beside you, behind you appearing as a familiar stranger? Smile and say hello. That’s the only way to move forward after all. And after we say hello we can begin the work of everything being workable.

Cambodia, Tonle Bati, Buddhist Monk standing in doorway

Where does it all go when you can’t seem to find it? I’ve stopped the search in order to encounter again the Divine. It is always there standing in the wait. I know this. I forget what I know. I am again reminded after walking in circles trying to find the absence inside the activity of the search. It is always there standing in the wait. Ready. Willing. I ignore the call even when the voice within points at my neglect. I light the candle on the altar, and rather than sit, I walk away leaving the light of the flame alone to its flicker. I will again return. Someday. I find myself there again sitting in the chaos contemplating that which is already known. Ignorance cannot be bliss nor relevant when you possess knowing, deep knowing. Still I wonder: where does it all go when you can’t seem to find it. It stands always in the wait.

Freedom

   Freedom

When we accept our limitations we encounter the vastness of life. We move out of the way and reach of the ego in order for the breeze of flow to move freely about us. There is no-thing lacking inside the arms of God. This is the force of life, life itself simply spelled with a “G.” The stretch of me reaches the four corners of the universe when I move in the way of my own divinity. Who has not seen his way when the light is set ablaze and the path made clear?

 

Ego traps.

 

When allowed it has its way, sweet-talks the heat from the sun, tells the moon is has been hidden always. Illusion. Ego needs to hide behind its own boisterous ways, lest it realizes how very fragile it is.

 

False courage.

 

It sips-slow of the very things its been addicted to: grandiose, mediocrity, arrogance, intolerance, and superiority. How drunken its way, tripping over feelings and coughing up a serum not meant to heal. This is the way when we forget life’s vastness and believe that we can do all things…alone. Independence is not real. All things reach in their connection to something.

 

Authenticity.

 

We make nice in order not to deny the side of ourselves revealing the shadow. Still we do not shake the hand of ego inviting it to stay for a while. No. We choose only to watch the way of its movement and the mindset it carries that wisdom allows a deeper understanding of truth: the ego is fear-based and we do not have to walk inside the shoes of it. Choice. We can turn again toward the outstretched arms of life, where no-thing is lacking.

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