Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unchanging presence

What is given to us
can be taken from us

What we find
can be lost

What we create
can be destroyed

What is allowed us
can be refused us

But that which is
neither given
nor allowed
can be neither taken
nor refused

That which is
neither found
nor created
can be neither lost
nor destroyed

That which is
already and always
is here
through everything

through sickness
and through health
through joy
and through sorrow
through life
and through death
this prevails
which we truly are

Like the center of an earthquake
like the eye of a storm
we are
solid unchanging presence
right in the lap
of everything
that unfolds

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Victim, abuser and freedom

Note to Readers:

1.We tend to exclude ourselves from the old human pattern of abuser-victim, since we feel that those strong terms are best reserved for the big scenarios of life, such as the holocaust or genocide or even domestic violence. However my experience, both within myself, and working with many others, has been that the abuser-victim pattern is an ancient, widespread human phenomenon, and need not refer only to violence at the gross physical level. It can and does, equally manifest in subtle ways within us all.
2. When we turn on the news we see ample evidence of the gross physical manifestation of this human pattern. And for many of us it is disturbing, and brings great sadness and despair over our collective fate.
3. My response in such a situation is to turn within, with a simple question. - How am I participating to sustain this pattern at this time? Consciously or unconsciously, greatly or in a small way, obviously or not so obviously. Over the years I have found that this approach not only dissolves the despair and fear but also opens up radical new possibilities for life within and without. For in the end we are each different, but not separate. So with deep love I share my experience and offer a suggestion in this poem.
4. This is meant only for those with whom it resonates. It is not a suggestion to explore something that you are uncomfortable exploring.

the unresolved victim
is the abuser
and the un-admitted abuser
remains a victim

in this realm
of recognition
things are not linear
but elemental

in this realm
of recognition
there is no time
and there is no space

one relationship
here and now
is not separate from
another relationship
there or then

in this realm
of recognition
degree matters not
only deed;
the smallest
act of aggression
is not separate from
the biggest
damage done

in this realm
of recognition
gross matters as much
as the very subtle;
the slightest
act of aggression
is not separate from
the most obvious
damage done

when we let
this in fully
we can stop
fracturing ourselves
into little pieces
across time and space
abuser here
victim there
abuser then
victim now

when we let
this in fully
we can see
the extent
of our participation
in everything
good and bad
at all times
then judgement
can let go of us
and what remains
is love
love for our humanness
love for all humanness
love for frailty
love for strength
love for everything
pure unadulterated love

when we let go
into this love
we are transformed
and so is our world

sanity is restored
clarity regained
joy rediscovered
well-being reborn

see if this resonates:
allow the abuser
and the victim
to be seen
within your own being
no judgment required,
fall into love,
and free us all
that much more

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Intellect and Consciousness

Intellect is but a tool
in the hands
of the consciousness
that uses it

History is replete
with examples
of very intelligent
criminals and aggressors

We celebrate intellect
without regard
for its impact
in our world

We worship intellect
without attention
to its potential
for harm

Now I am not even
speaking of
the glaringly obvious

Now I am speaking
of errors of omission
rather than

Apparently intellect
does not always
care to
examine itself;
its motives
and its agendas

Apparently intellect
is too afraid
to encounter
its own limitations
too smug
to conceive
of their possibility

There is no dearth
of intellect
on our great planet
right now

Yet we have not
solved the most basic
of our problems
with any consistency

Sure things have changed
here and there
Sure we can
ascend to great heights
then descend to
great depths
Sure we have eradicated
one disease here
only to find another there
Sure we have stalled
poverty here
while transferring it there
Sure we have abolished
slavery here
while introducing bondage there!

The greatest Intellect
can still come
from tribal consciousness
that seeks
to maximize the interests
of one group
without any regard
for another

The greatest intellect
can still miss
the indelible connection
between each group
and each one

Our planet
at this time
stands testimony
to our tribal consciousness

Clearly I am not
speaking only
of tribes of yore
but modern ones;
tribes that come together
around an idea
a cause, a purpose
an interest, a mission
tribes that come together
as one group
while putting themselves
outside another

For a while
it works
as tribes transcend
personal egos
to care for another
within their tribe

For a while
it works
as tribal consciousness
evolves from
individual ego consciousness
as a step
towards the more inclusive

But we have
too much uncomfortable
evidence now
that its days are done
for us individually
and collectively

And yet
tribal consciousness
cannot exit
tribal consciousness
on its own;
it does not have
so much power

Something larger
must intervene
to break us out
of our orbital looping;
Something beyond
our limited selves
something I call Grace

As it does with
individual ego consciousness
so it does with
tribal consciousness
Grace takes us beyond
an obsolete paradigm
and opens us
to something new

We can join
the movement of Grace
We can choose
to be opened
to its wisdom
inside us

We can join
the movement of Grace
We can choose
to see clearly
to examine deeply
what is still
unseen and un-examined
within us

We can join
the movement of Grace
and allow it
to guide our intellect
and coax it
out of its
self-imposed captivity

We can join
the movement of Grace
and say yes
not to change
here and there
but transformation
that leaves
nothing and no-one out

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Giving and Receiving - Part 2

What we give may be material or immaterial
What we give may be in kind, word or deed

We don't simply give what we are giving
We also give how we are giving

We don't simply give what we are giving
We also give the attitude with which we are giving

We don' simply give what we are giving
We also withhold what we are withholding

Externally we may be giving one thing
Internally we may be giving its opposite

When we give with our whole being
we receive simultaneously in full measure

Be aware if your giving
separates you from the receiver
Be aware if your giving
comes from pity or disdain

Be aware if your giving
reinforces your position
vis-a-vis the receiver's
aggrandizing the giving
lessening the receiving

Ask yourself also:
Would you like to be
on the giving end
of what you receive?

Ask yourself also
Could you be
on the giving end
of what you receive?

In receiving
there is gratitude
in giving
there is joy

Each one of us
gives and receives
This is simply
the sacred way of life

As human beings
it is our great good fortune
to be able
to see
to realize
to know
and to be
the one movement
that is both
giving and receiving