Why am I still here After all these years Given away my status Asked to be demoted Let go of all affiliations Depersonalized divine Developed an allergy To any trace of dogma Purged my scriptures Of fixed terminology Revived simple words Discarded trademarks Price paid for honesty So here I am after all In spiritual freedom Found by detaching Letting go of most all Even what was essential And helped me stand up Like scaffolding or staff Letting go such crutch No matter how grown Very close and dear Time came to stand On my very own feet That’s why I am here Not still, but all now More real than ever Answering a quest Why I am still here
“Embraced in silence” — so close, and yet so far — in memory of Elaine
Why I am staying away from institutions
There once was a man who was a seeker of God. He had traveled the world spending time with deep spiritual teachers of every sort he could find. He sang the 99 names of Allah. And he spent months in silence with Buddhists, Hindus and in Christian monasteries. He danced with Sufis, did vision quests with shamans and trained with Shaolin Monks. Then one day, he heard that were he to climb a certain secret mountain deep in the Hindu Kush, that were he to reach the top, he would meet God and find total enlightenment.
This was a very dangerous quest because the mountain was very remote and was difficult to climb for even the most experienced climbers. But the greatest danger came from the many bandits that always saw spiritual seekers as easy pickings.
The devil heard about this upstart and sent his demon to follow him and report back. The seeker headed up the mountain with the demon not far behind.
It was a difficult climb, but eventually, the seeker made it to the top. Standing at the very top of the mountain, standing on his tippy toes, the seeker reached up, higher and higher… and grasped hold of ultimate truth, met God and became cosmically aware! The seeker now knew all of the secrets of the universe and existence!
Naturally the demon was terrified and ran back to the devil with his report, fearing how his master would react. To his surprise, the devil just leaned back in his chair, yawned and said, “It’s not a problem. I’ll just tempt him to institutionalize it.”
Labels enable talk About what works And what does not To find one’s way In life’s context Of many realities Unfolding ever more Always another step To find what works Learning not to claim One to be the only way Free of dogmatic chains Which do tie one down To a one and only path In a vast infinity of all And spiritual freedom To recognize one’s own The clear choice of one Unique and individual In the relative harmony Of life, of love, and spirit The light and the sound The divine in everyone As God realizes itself Every moment anew Not because but in spite Of one’s labels and chains Allowing one to harmonize By just letting go detached With eternal compassion And the love of soul.
“Gently rotating fifth wheel” — a plea for peace
Labels enable talk about many things
Many ancient traditions are going through difficulties in an increasingly secular modern culture that is in great need of spiritual healing to overcome various forms of neurosis, partly developed by the way we live. In part this has to do with the fact that those traditions are still using archaic language and methodologies that don’t resonate with people anymore or are hard to relate to. The forms need to be updated from time to time as they meet a new era.
The mind-blowing popularity of hatha yoga is not an indication of those ancient traditions being alive or well understood by the masses. Yoga is becoming more and more like a fitness exercise imported from India, spreading all over the world after much of its profundity has been stripped off to fit consumerism. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. It’s just what is happening. No doubt that such a trend has many beneficial aspects. There is also a longing among many of us for something deep and profound…
To have more complete healing or spiritual awakening, it’s important to work with subtle dimensions of our own being and to purify psycho-physical karmic habitual patterns that hold us back in invisible chains of pain and suffering… Countless individuals have had life changing epiphanies that might be hard for others to understand. Many of them have profound experiences through Tantric and yogic practices — such as “unblocking the knot of the channels” — in which the body becomes healthier, the mind becomes more wholesome, and a sense of openness develops through which new streams of joy, love, and creativity flow.
— From the foreword by Anam Thubten Rinpoche to “Awakening through the Nine Bodies: Exploring Levels of Consciousness in Meditation” by Phillip Moffitt, pp. IX-X
Gradual letting go By embracing now What comes about A present moment To process the past And plan the future However most of all To relish the present Reality as the best Ever far more alive Than all memories Or eventual visions Into all possibilities Whether good or bad What is here and now Happening for real Is indeed unique And so precious Because it’s life With the divine Light and sound And every feeling Memory and plan Insight and vision Realizing wisdom Of just observing God in full action Here and now.
“Winter blue sky sunshine” — a prayer of gratitude
An infinite number of possibilities
It took him a while to realize that he didn’t see a single future time, but rather countless ones. An infinite number of possibilities. Walid was amazed. His initial panic subsided and now he looked at everything with extraordinary amazement. The carpet showed him the future like a tapestry in which a vast number of different paths were interwoven. And although all paths led to a different destination, each person had the freedom to decide which one to choose, whether to turn back or even make their own way. “So there is no fate, as Zahra claimed?” Walid wondered. He studied the carpet still more attentively, following the individual paths one by one and found that they often led to completely different places than he had expected. And he also saw that these paths could be abandoned for various reasons or unforeseen events could render people’s earlier decisions invalid and that, much more often than Walid had expected, the will and one’s own dreams led people on their search to the place they wanted to get to. Walid also discovered that there were many kinds of seekers: those who knew where they were going; those who thought they knew where they were going; those who did not know where they were going and suffered for it; those who did not know where they were going and did not care . . . An infinite number of paths and an infinite number of people who made decisions every day, decisions that could change their lives. Decisions that shaped a future or an infinite number of possibilities for the future.
La leyenda del Rey Errante / Der Teppich des Dichters / The Legend of the Wandering King — Laura Gallego García — pp. 185-186 in the German version
Take down illusions Observe what’s real In each one’s eyes And instantly gone Colored or distorted Settling into memory But while just looking It is — was indeed real Free from any illusions In the present moment Without interpretation Not slanted or twisted One way nor another Not a source of info But the experience All by itself — alone And together as well While everything else The very whole and all The light and sound Love and the divine Do not need names Nor any fixed faces Because spirit is all Indeed in everyone No matter illusions Of one and only ways Take them down now For spiritual freedom In our hearts and soul.
“This side of the other side” — illusion and reality
Responsibility for illusions
“Listen, my son, I don’t have much time left…” The old man paused, gasping for breath… and continued: “But now I will give you something that is worth more than a whole kingdom. A piece of advice that you should keep in mind for the rest of your life, because it will be useful to you.” “I’m listening, father.” “Listen to me carefully: we are all responsible for our actions, both good and bad. And life always gives you back what you have given. Never forget that, my son. Don’t forget that life makes us pay a price . . .” Walid didn’t quite understand what he meant, but he nodded. Then the king turned his gaze on him as if he could see him. “Remember my words, Walid!”
La leyenda del Rey Errante / Der Teppich des Dichters / The Legend of the Wandering King — Laura Gallego García — p. 71 in the German version
Why make it hard On yourself? Take it easy! It is what it is No matter what Life flows along Every day and life From one to the next The next to the one More or even less Rather less more At times focused May be scattered Breath in deeply Then again out Again, ever again As long as it works For one given body Then just move on From here to there From there to here Coming and going Well and most of all Being here and now Now and here all is! Yes, you are, we are More or less manifest Hardly any difference For the love and soul So very easy by itself.
“Beyond endings and beginnings” — essentially being
Why Warriors of the Light may make it hard…
Every Warrior of the Light has felt afraid of going into battle; has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone; trodden a path that was not his; suffered for the most trivial of reasons; has, at least once, believed he was not a Warrior of the Light; failed in his spiritual duties; said ‘yes’ when he wanted to say ‘no’; hurt someone he loved. That is why he is a Warrior of the Light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is.
— free after: “Manual of The Warrior of Light” by Paul Coelho