Poems

MYSELF

Myself appears no more than my desire, in the supermarket of entangles choices, I have not evolved out of the pursuance, that defines me as the hunter-gather.

Unhappiness haunts me like a cruel ghost, for not to get what  I want is to be unhappy.  This desire and this unhappiness link, like a pair of thieves who rob my heart of its treasures and awareness of any vision.

I desire therefore I am is my signature tune, solemnly out of tune with the rhythms of the marinates existence and the inter-play of circumstances.  This force is marshalled up, to imitate the go, go, go mentality, this ideology of individualism, of migraines and insomnia, of tables and alcohol.

But this self of desire is relentless, approval seeking sustains its stature.  I desire in order to be somebody, to be knighted by the approval of others, of surrounding desirous selves.  But there are not enough slices of cake to go around, not big enough slices, to fill this hole within. This hole shaped by desire.

- Christopher Titmus

HUMAN CONDITION

The human body, at peace with itself, Is more precious than the rarest gem. Cherish your body, it is yours this time only.  

The human form is won with difficulty, It is easy to lose.  

All worldly things are brief, like lightening in the sky, This life you must know as the tiny splash of a raindrop; Even as it comes into being.

Therefore set your goal

Make use of every day and night

To achieve it.

- Tsongkapa

KINDNESS

Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth.  

What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, , all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness, you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road.  You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with pans and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.  You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mil letters and purchase bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say it is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

- Rumi

ENOUGH

Enough. These few words are enough.

If not these words, this breath.

If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life we have refused again and again.

Until now. Until now.

- David Whyte

I WANT TO ASK YOU

I want to ask you:

In this world - What is the most profound most wonderful thing?

Sit erect and meditate right to the end.

As you meditate, you will find a clue and everything will naturally become clear.

Keep your concentration - don't miss your chance! After a while, your mind will become pure. 

Your wisdom will ripen.

Then you won't have to fool yourself anymore.

- Ryokan

 

SWEET DARKNESS

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark where the night has eyes to recognise its own.

There you can be sure you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb tonight.

The night will give you a horizon further than you can see.

You must learn one thing: the world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is to small for you.

- David Whyte

 

Quotes

'I make myself rich by making my wants few' - Henry Thoreau

'The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new' - Pema Chodron

'Patience in a moment of anger will save one hundred days of tears' - Chinese Proverb

'There is a fundamental affinity between mind practices and body practices because they are both simply curves in a grand concentric circle that continually spirals in, on and through itself with no beginning or end...Buddhism and Yoga: Its important that we understand these traditions as shifting descriptions of reality and not fixed truths untouched by cultural traditions' - Michael Stone

'Whatever is impermanent is subject to change.  Whatever is subject to change is subject to suffering' - Buddha

'We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are' - Anais Nin

'If you analyse it logically, in detail, you see that all physical forms break down until you get what modern physics calls a 'quark', the smallest part of an atom.  Buddhists realised this 2500 years ago and call it the 'particle-less particle'.  There is space between the quarks - shivering waves of energy but they never touch.  This pure energy is 'emptiness' and that is the ultimate truth' - Chamtrul Rinpoche

'Your time is limited, so dont waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the result of other peoples thinking.  Don't let the noise of others opinion drown out your own inner voice' - Steve Jobs

'When the level of energy in the attention if higher than the level of energy in what you are experiencing, say anger or love, then you can experience the anger or love without getting lost in it' - Ken McLeod

'Meditation teacher Larry Rosenberg went to practice with Zen Master Seung Sahn in Korea.  During the journey he undertook a pilgrimage to other masters and temples, and whilst traveling on a remote road he came across a particularly elegant Buddhist shrine, or stupa, at the base od the mountain.  Next to it was a sign, 'Way to the Most Beautiful Buddha in all of Korea', and an arrow pointing to the thousand step path up the mountain.  Larry decided to climb, hiking up the steps until he reached the top.  The view was breathtaking in every direction.  The simple Zen stone pagoda matched the elegance of the one below.  But in place of the Buddha on the altar there was nothing, only empty space and the gorgeous green hilled vista below.  When he went closer, at the empty altar was a plaque that read "If you can't see the Buddha here, you had better go down and practice some more' - Jack Cornfield