Saturday, March 31, 2012

Listening is an Art

Listening itself is quite an art. Most of us never really listen, therefore we hear only partially. We hear the words that are spoken, but our minds are elsewhere; or our minds respond only to the meaning of the words, and this immediate response prevents us from hearing that which lies beyond the words.

So listening is an art; but if you can listen totally to what is being said, then in that very listening you will find there is a liberation, because such listening is unpremeditated, uncalculated; it is an action of truth because your whole mind is there, your total attention is being given.

If you listen without interpreting, without remembering a quotation from some old book, or comparing all this with what you have read, then you will find that your own mind has undergone a really radical change.          
                                                                                     ~ J. Krishnamurti

I have always been intrigued with the skill of listening. From an early age, I was told I was a good listener. I didn't know any different. I just like to listen to what was being said. There was a point in high school where I could repeat verbatim conversations I had experienced. My sister used to quiz me, thinking it was unfathomable for me to remember every word.

I have lost that skill, after years of wanting to say and do the right thing. It is true that we often spend the time someone is speaking trying to form our own response. We all want to say the right thing ~ something intelligent or compassionate or perhaps we just want to argue our point of view.

In any case, radical change is waiting for us if we can but listen, truly and completely with our whole being. The art of listening will bring to us that which lies beyond the words.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Giving Light...

"Transforming yourself is a means of giving light to the whole world."
                                                                                ~Ramana Maharshi

I love to think about light. How light gives life. How we are all made of light. How light vibrates at different frequencies to reveal colors. One of the quotes that is with me every moment is what Buddha said as he was dying.

"Make of yourself a light." Five little words that change everything! I guess actually, we are light whether we make ourselves or not. But I think that we shine a lot brighter and stronger if we know we are light and we live with the intention to shine.

So, let's just shine on...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Enter the fire...

The sun
for everyone just
so joyfully
as it rises

under the lashes
of my own eyes, and I thought
I am so many!
What is my name?

What is the name
of the deep breath I would take
over and over
for all of us? Call it

whatever you want, it is
happiness, it is another one
of the ways to enter
                  ~ Mary Oliver

Watching the sun rise somehow lights the cells of my body and recharges my being in a way nothing else can do. I agree with Mary Oliver that the sun blazes joyfully for us all.

Entering the fire has many meanings from warmth, to intense challenge, but today the fire ignites my joy and opens me to the oneness that I am.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Have Learned So Far

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don't think so.

All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of - indolence, or action.

Be ignited, or be gone.

~ Mary Oliver, from New and Selected Poems

I continue to be taught at the knee of this grand dame of poetry. Mary Oliver has been writing since she was 14! Born in 1935, Oliver is one of America's best-loved poets, having won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, along with many other prestigious awards.  What I love about her is the way she combines nature and deep heart-felt truths. She is able to draw into the reader's depths to find both joy and grief, suffering and jubilation.

Here is reminds us that sitting is just one part of meditation. The gospel of light is indeed "the crossroads of indolence or action."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Passion...

My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of
indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other's
presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight.

                                                                                     ~Eudora Welty

Yesterday morning as I walked with Payton, our Golden Retriever, the intensity of this invisible veil was almost palpable in the low lying fog that covered the fields of southwest Florida. How often do we truly see each other or ourselves?

Years ago as a young girl I longed to know the meaning of life. I spent endless hours contemplating, pondering, wondering why we are here and what is it we are "supposed" to do. Constantly nervous about not doing the right thing, my focus was on discovering some great mystery.

Occasionally revelations appear and disappear, but always a very gentle knowing and a sweet surrender to each moment brings joy and peace. With passion ever present, Grace shows me the way.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Life is...

Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was
going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and
then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it

                                                                 ~Joseph Campbell

Do you ever feel like this? I am notorious for wanting to ask questions during a movie and my husband has threatened more than once to go alone rather than endure my endless inquisitiveness. But lately I've been content to watch life unfold with curiosity and childlike wonder. There is no explanation for this change in attitude. Life truly is a great mystery. Will I be called away before discovering the ending? I know not, but maybe it's OK to just enjoy the moment. I think that is the only place to find joy, love, and peace.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
I would like to see you living
In better conditions.


Fear can slip into your thoughts, and though unwelcome, bring great anxiety and deep distress. As a child fear was more often my companion than not and it wasn't until I reached adulthood that I discovered I was not my fear. It was a remarkable moment of immense freedom and joy to realize that I was not my fear or my thoughts or even my body.

Now that is not to say fear is never with me. The other day as I walked in an undeveloped area of southwest Florida, fear arose at the sound of rustling in the heavy underbrush. Our landlord had warned us there were wild boars, coyotes, and even bobcats! I was grateful to see a beautiful heron rise up from the bushes and the fear flew off with it.

Fear can be helpful, even necessary, but it doesn't need to be the room in which you confine yourself. In Yoga, we practice the lovely art of observing all, sensations, emotions, and thoughts. Letting go of each as it arises and dissolves away. It is a practice and, of course, some stay longer than others. But the art of detachment brings a peace that is beyond understanding. Grace becomes my welcome companion...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

This Silence

This silence, this moment, every moment, 
if it's genuinely inside you, brings what you need.

There's nothing to believe. 
Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty.
Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, 'Be more silent.'

Die and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you've died.

Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.

Live in silence.
~ Rumi ~

When I am on the beach, the connection to silence is so easy. This silence is not quiet but rather it is filled with all of creation and I am, too. No more frantic running, no tangle of fear-thinking ~ just living in silence.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Everything is Simply Happy!

Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars...
and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. 
Everything is simply happy.
Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.
Look at the flowers - for no reason.
It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.

The moon peeks through the trees reminding me that joy is always present. Without any reason the whole of existence is simply happy. Somehow that makes life easy. Recognizing that I don't need to do anything, I don't have to strive to reach some goal or behave in a way that may bring happiness to others.  Just BE... The blessings are endless and grace softly kisses my cheek.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Such Singing in the Wild Branches"

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves -
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness -
and that's when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree -
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing -
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky - all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last

for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then - open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
~ Mary Oliver ~

I vaguely recall writing about this poem on an earlier occasion, but Mary Oliver has a way of opening the heart in a thousands different ways. It is well-worth repeating.

When I visited the Ringling Museum I was fascinated with the banyans trees. There was a grove of them, most of them over 100 years of age. Towering above us, I found myself twirling around as I looked up at the sun shining through their intertwining branches. Like a child I was astonished by the mere presence of these lovely beings.

In some way, they seemed to communicate just as Mary Oliver so beautifully expresses in this poem. For more than a moment I seemed to float in one of those magical places! It's true, once you've been there, you're there forever. I recommend that you fly on your heavy feet and find an enchanting tree ~ there's nothing quite like it for comforting the soul.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let the Water Settle...


Let the water settle
and you will see moon and stars
mirrored in your being.

Leave it to Rumi to absolutely nail it! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Be Ready

You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?

How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

~ William Stafford ~
I love the way Stafford takes ordinary everyday things and makes them extraordinary. When you find yourself fully present, there is an almost magical feeling that there is nothing greater than NOW. He reminds us to keep it for life and know there is nothing anyone can give you that it greater than the gift of being present.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Spring and all its flowers now joyously break their vow of silence.
~ Hafiz ~

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
~ The Buddha ~

What is it about spring that brings such joy to the heart? I only know when it arrives, my heart smiles. The birds begin the day with joyful singing and everything begins to look brighter. The anticipation of new life, trees budding and flowers blooming brings delight to my soul. Welcome Spring!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Loneliness: Living in the Prison of Me

I do not know if you have ever been lonely: when you suddenly realize that you have no relationship with anybody. And this loneliness is a form of death. As we said, there is dying not only when life comes to an end but when there is no answer, there is no way out. That is also a form of death: being in the prison of your own self-centered activity, endlessly.

When you are caught in your own thoughts, in your own agony, in your own superstitions, in your deadly, daily routine of habit and thoughtlessness, that is also death - not just the ending of the body.

And how to end it also one must find out. The ending of sorrow is possible.   What Are You Doing with Your Life?                         ~  J. Krishnamurti

This quote from Krishnamurti reminds me there are many forms of death. One that brings unnecessary suffering is what he speaks of here. When we are caught in our own thoughts, in daily routines  and thoughtlessness, it is a kind of death.

There are times when it feels like I'm caught in a pattern. I watch myself behave repeatedly in ways I don't like and ways I don't want to be. It feels like a prison of my own making and I experience suffering. What I want to do is discover how the ending of sorrow is possible. Is just being aware enough? I must find out...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Your True Nature ~ Infinite Spirit

We try to grasp something strange and mysterious because we believe happiness lies elsewhere. This is the mistake. The Self is all-pervading. Our real nature is liberation, but we imagine that we are bound, we make strenuous efforts to become free, although all the while we are free.

Birth and death pertain only to the body, they are superimposed upon the Self, giving rise to the delusion that birth and death relate to the Self. The universe exists within the Self. Discover the undying Self and be immortal and happy. Be yourself and nothing more. Thoughts change but not you. 

There is neither past nor future; there is only the present. Yesterday was the present when you experienced it; tomorrow will also be the present when you experience it, therefore, experience takes place only in the present, and even the present is mere imagination, for the sense of time is purely mental.

All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that? Your true nature is that of infinite spirit.                 ~ Ramana Maharshi

Friday, March 16, 2012

Balancing Between Oppposites, Watch Your "Play"

In meditating, meditate on your own divinity. The goal of life is to
be a vehicle for something higher. Keep your eyes up there
between the world of opposites watching your 'play' in the
world. Let the world be as it is and learn to rock with the waves.

~ Joseph Campbell ~

In A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on The Art of Living, Joseph Campbell reminds us it is important to play. Sometimes it feels as though meditation is such a serious endeavor. While it does take commitment, focus, and practice, it is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time.

While visiting the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Estate, I played on the "tightrope" display in the Circus Museum. Balancing on the pretend wire, I watched the world of opposites and felt the bliss of letting go.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Only an Instrument...

"The time left in this body is to be used helping all others on the planet
and in all realms. Remain Being and help everyone. This is not a desire, but a natural surrender; you are just a tool, like a bank teller, it is not your money that you are giving away, you are only the instrument. Always give and you will never need. If you do not give you will always be needy."                    ~Poonja

When we visited the Ringling Estate in Sarasota, Florida, I was awe-struck by the gardens and in particular, the rose garden lovingly tended by Mable Ringling from 1913-1929. It is filled with 1200 rose bushes, some varieties dating back to 1867! Of course, today, many of the roses blooming were not available for Mable to plant. The one pictured above is the Princess Diana rose and I couldn't help but consider Poonja's quote.

Though Mable lived at the estate, Ca d Oro, for only three short years before dying of diabetes, she and her husband, John, created an epicenter of cultural life on Florida's west coast. Their passion for art and culture continues to  Of the few details known about her life, Mable was not a flamboyant woman, and she did not seek the spotlight in either society or show business. She was a leader in her community, founding the Sarasota Garden Club and looking for ways to beautify the city she loved. Imagination envisions a kind, compassionate woman who loved art and culture.

Diana was truly an inspiration of all who knew of her tireless work for children and underprivileged people all over the world. She exemplified this idea of just being ~ a natural surrender ~ only the instrument.

Something to ponder ~ the time left in this body is to be used helping all others...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No Simpler, Easier Way

All will come as you go on.
Take the first step first.
All blessings come from within.
Turn within. `I am' you know.
Be with it all the time you can spare,
until you revert to it spontaneously.
There is no simpler and easier way.
                                                                     ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sometimes life seems so difficult; every step is an effort. But in reality, life simply IS. There is nothing to DO, no one to BE. Everything just unfolds. Though that may not make sense to the mind, the heart knows when you turn inward and connect with your true nature ('I am'), there is no easier way.

All blessings come from within...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Each Note...

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.

Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.

Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!
                        ~ Rumi, Ghazal 532, The Essential Rumi

Remember where the life-breath originates and know that each note is unique. Each has her own song to sing. Sing with a passion for life, your own genuine reflection of the divine.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sparkling Starfishes

On the tidal mud, just before sunset,
dozens of starfishes were creeping.
It was as though the mud were a sky
and enormous, imperfect stars
moved across it as slowly as the
actual stars cross heaven.

All at once they stopped, and,
as if they had simply increased their
receptivity to gravity, they sank down
into the mud, faded down into it and lay still,
and by the time pink of sunset broke across
them they were as invisible
as the true stars at daybreak.
                                       ~Galway Kinnell

One of the best things about being near the beach is the astounding connection to being alive. The sand grounds you into the earth as the water brings fluidity to mind, the breeze offers the elements of air and space as the Sun brings the glow of fire.

In Yoga, there's a pose called Starfish where you open the arms, set the feet wide apart, and feel the heart open. Energy flows through the cells of the body sparkling like starfish. Standing on the beach in starfish, you shine like a star!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Place for Angels

There must be always remaining in every life, 
some place for the singing of angels, 
some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.
~Howard Thurman 

Yesterday afternoon my sister and I went to the beach. We spread out our towel, settled back on the sand and watch the clouds dance through the sky. Seagulls played in the warm air. Clouds magically changed into shapes as our imaginations recognized some and not others. Tuning into nature so deeply in that moment we felt we had found such a place ~ breathless and beautiful ~ a place for the singing of angels.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Invisible Lifebird

hiding in this cage
of visible matter

is the invisible

pay attention
to her

she is singing
your song


How easy it is to turn away from who you truly are; to lose track of the invisible lifebird nestled deep in your heart. Finding it opens the throat to the loveliest of melodies ~ your song.

Friday, March 9, 2012


One of two things must be done. Either surrender because you admit your inability and also require a High Power to help you; or investigate into the cause of misery, go into the source and merge into the Self. Either way you will be free from misery. God never forsakes one who has surrendered.
                                        ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi (from "Talk 363"; 20th Feb., 1937)

I have wrestled with this concept of "surrender" for most of my life. Perhaps I would be an entirely different person had I surrendered years ago. I grew up a "people pleaser." I always felt I was hiding part of myself in order to be accepted or to keep the peace at home or to achieve whatever perceived goal I had at that moment.

When I began investigating "spiritual" paths, the idea of surrender turned up again and again. Many groups and philosophies that initially held my interest quickly faded when I felt pressure to surrender to someone or something other than myself.

Now my idea of surrender has evolved and I recognize that the only one to surrender to is your inner guru, your own higher self. The ancient wisdom teachings remind me there is an ease of being. This seems natural; it feels "right."

As Ramana so succinctly says, "surrender, and all will be well."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Life is Shaking You...

If you really live
deeply in spiritual practice
then this moment is intense.

Moment to moment,
life is shaking you
out of what you know;
shaking you out of everything
that is comfortable.

So much so that
all you can do is surrender
to this moment.

All you can do
is allow everything
to be as it is
and fall deeply
into impersonal being.

It is in this that
deep transformation happens.

It is in this that
you really realize
that you exist beyond everything.

That you are the personal yet
you are completely beyond the personal.

The intensity of the Shakti
pushes you beyond yourself
and you learn to remain
surrendered in this intensity
with great silence,
great humility
as consciousness itself.

So do not be afraid
to let yourself
be in such intensity.

It may be challenging,
but if you run away
from that challenge
back into everything you know
and what is comfortable,
you will miss it.

Because it is in this intensity
that you feel the most alive.

There is some part of you
that recognizes
that this is the doorway
to your freedom.

~Kip Mazuy

Last night the full moon was incredibly beautiful. The breeze was soft and gentle and the night air wrapped around me like a fine silk sheet. The palm trees swayed and the moon and I played hide and seek. Surrendering to the intensity of each moment, awareness shook me into deep silence and I bowed in gratitude to the Great Mystery that is life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free What Waits Within Me...

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

- Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy

Rilke is one of my favorite poets. He is a master at taking the ordinary and creating something that transforms the reader bringing awareness into everyday moments. His ability to enchant us is his honesty, clarity and depth of seeing.

I'm not sure if everyone has this feeling, but I think many writers and artists do have a kind of yearning to express what is inside of them. It is what birthed this blog for me. The secret may be authenticity. To allow what is inside to flow without forcing or holding back. When I am able to rest in the moment, I feel the song riding on the deepening tides, "freeing what waits within me."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Breathe before it's gone...

The morning wind spreads its fresh smell.
We must get up and take that in,
that wind that lets us live.
Breathe before it's gone.
                                            ~ Rumi

Rumi reminds us to experience each moment of life without trying to hold on. Life moves quickly with no promises of the next moment. Everything happens in the "Now." When we remain present, in the now, we are truly alive.

This morning I'm going to the beach for Yoga. There the sun will gently kiss my cheek and the wind will awaken every fiber of my being. Gratitude, such gratitude, my heart smiles and softly sighs.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Something in us...

There is something in us
That has nothing to do with night and day,
Diamonds which come from no earthly mine.
                                                ~ Rumi

The sun is shining and the air is warm. It's March in Florida and truly, all is right in my world. When I saw this quote from Rumi, I wondered how could he know so deeply and express so clearly all that I experience. 

Consider what is real. Let go of the body and the mind and move deeply into that diamond mine. Find that which is changeless. This might be such a small, rough, uncut stone that it is easy to pass it by. But there is something that strikes a chord and resonates in a way that there is no doubt.

Grace and joy appear to polish and shine the something within us that comes from no earthly mine. Quite amazing actually...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moving Onward

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.
                    ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Sometimes when I read a poem like this the mind is at once confused and clear. No words come to explain what I see. But the deep pristine part of me is crystalline. Its multidimensional pattern reflects light in all directions. My senses climb into a vast spaciousness and it's a bit like standing on fishes or water or clouds. The non-separation, the oneness is visceral. Boundaries melting...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Out of the Stars

Out of the stars in their flight, out of the dust of eternity,
here have we come,
Stardust and sunlight,
mingling through time and through space.

Out of the stars have we come,
up from time.
Out of the stars have we come.

Time out of time before time
in the vastness of space,
earth spun to orbit the sun,
Earth with the thunder of mountains newborn,
the boiling of seas.

Earth warmed by sun, lit by sunlight;
This is our home;
Out of the stars have we come.

Mystery hidden in mystery,
back through all time;
Mystery rising from rocks
in the storm and the sea.

Out of the stars, rising from rocks
and the sea,
kindled by sunlight on earth,
arose life.

Ponder this thing in your heart,
ponder with awe;
Out of the sea to the land,
out of the shallows came ferns.

Out of the sea to the land,
up from darkness to light.
Rising to walk and to fly,
out of the sea trembled life.

Ponder this thing in your heart,
life up from sea:
Eyes to behold, throats to sing,
mates to love.

Life from the sea, warmed by sun,
washed by rain,
life from within, giving birth,
rose to love.

This is the wonder of time;
this is the marvel of space;
out of the stars swung the earth;
life upon earth rose to love.

This is the marvel of life,
rising to see and to know;
Out of your heart, cry wonder:
sing that we live.
                                 ~ Robert Weston

The night sky has been magnificent these last few evenings with extraordinarily bright stars sharing the deep blue velvet of the night with the moon. It is easy to believe we are beings of lights, born of the stars as I feel the light breeze wash through me. I feel somehow connected to those little bright shining lights. Gratitude and the vastness of the universe fills me with peace.

It is said that the Buddha's last words were "Make of yourself a light." In the Christian tradition, there is a verse in Luke 11, that says in part, "If you are filled with light... then your whole life will be radiant..."

Hmm, I wonder...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Don't Complain...

Don't complain of affliction,
for it's a smooth-paced horse
carrying you towards non-existence.
                               ~ Rumi

Often life brings unwanted afflictions: sickness, personal problems, career issues, family disagreements, chronic conditions, whatever. It can be so overwhelming to feel that all is lost or the pain will never leave. But the reality is that everything in life changes. Nothing lasts forever. 

Recognizing that who you are is so much more than all of the things that happen to you brings a deep sense of peace. Understand that, beyond all doubt, you are the changeless awareness within which all happens. Dissolve into who you are and let "a smooth-paced horse" carry "you towards non-existence."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Background of Awareness

The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is a background of awareness which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during a solar eclipse.
                                                      - Nisargadatta Maharaj

This morning as I rested in the place between sleep and waking, the thought arose "the ease of being." In an instant I knew what that meant. I've heard teachers say it; I read it; I agreed with it; I thought I understood it. But this morning in instant, I KNEW it.

We are traveling to Florida for the last of a very mild winter. As we drive south, the world seems to be waking up. Trees just barely beginning to bud, then redbuds opening their tiny blossoms. Today we'll see palm trees and sand and the mysterious ocean. I wonder what will this moment bring... Staying present, filled with gratitude and deep respect for the changeless background of awareness.