Slicker Zikr

When my friend John posted this quote from The Matrix a week or so back:

 “Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth… there is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

I commented:

“I’d forgotten! The Matrix is A Course in Miracles in slick black leather. Goes down smoother.”

(And speaking of black, I’m still dealing with the mysterious black out in my blog dash board mentioned in my previous post. So, I am quite literally typing this into the dark. Forgive any typos I miss.)

 

This week, the third and (I assume) final season of the Turkish series The Gift (probably already in the can before COVID) dropped on Netflix. Of course, I devoured it in a couple of days. I confess, the last season felt a tad tired; but then, so, too often, does life, which is a f%#$ing miracle–the most dazzling game in town.

I would not dare give anything away. I only recommend the series again and offer a transcription of the final recitation.: a message that has been said in hundreds of different words and wise voices through the centuries. The truth doesn’t get tired… only the listener; and if it is Truth, if a single drop reaches a the heart, it can land on parched earth like thunder. A garden can spring from a single tear.

“Everything that is transformed inside can be observed outside.  Time is an eternal moment. Just as a single drop of water holds the heart of the past, a single moment holds the heart of all time. The past and the future. Those that grasp the moment, grasp the wholeness of time. Remember, life is the greatest gift we are given. It’s open to infinite possibilities. There is only one thing for you to do…surrender. Just surrender to it. Let life flow and flow with it. Let yourself live.  

You connect with another person either out of love or fear. Let it be love. Let it be infinite Love. Connect out of love and the universe will surround and protect you. It will embrace you with its loving arms. And not only in times of joy or pleasure, but also in darkness, grief, or danger. Don’t run away from any of it. Don’t be afraid to laugh or cry. Embrace it all. Enjoy it. That’s the way you’ll grasp the wholeness of every single moment. And only by doing that will you live a full life. Don’t be afraid of anything. Let time make you…you. Don’t try to be anyone else. Find out who you are and spread your wings to life. And as you spread your wings to life, your soul will appear. That’s how you become one with yourself and the world, united with the universe and everything in it. Never stop questioning. Never get tired of asking yourself the same question…over and over again…for the rest of your life: Who am I?”

 

I was struck and chastened as I listened to this recitation how privileged are any of us whose lives have allowed us to come to these realizations, even if we forget. As Rumi said:

Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.

 

In these trying times, it seems, even the privileged thirst for this remembrance, cannot hear it often enough.

 

The never-ending job of Mujib

Solstice is tomorrow, as is Fathers Day. Today is a newly official holiday, Juneteenth, landing on a weekend so as not to threaten anyone.  Plenty to blog about. But Mercury is also retrograde, and there is some mysterious malfunction in my blog space. Leaving me room to compose only a few lines before they are obscured by a strange monolith of blackness.  

I am curious whether what content I place below that dark horizon will display on a published blog. So humor this experiment. 

Today I primed the pump with a little pre-Solstice card spread.

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And while I was in listening mode, I looked up to see a squirrel lie face down on a post just off the deck where I was seated. Squirrel medicine is about preparing for future, gathering, and they are always busily dashing about doing just that. But his one, while holding my gaze, lowered is belly to the surface and just lay there, uncharacteristically, resting.  The message seemed to be that, yes, there is preparation to do, as seconded by the family of quail (mommy,daddy and 11 tiny chicks) who strolled through shortly after (medicine taking action), but this day, this moment of whatever duration, was for pausing, for resting in the present, even, especially, as circumstances tempt me to leave it for “future.”

 

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He stayed there long enough to make his point. Then, before scurrying off stage, he rose up on this forelegs into what yogis call Sphinx pose, as if to say, be still, and stay in your body.

Pardon any typos now. I’m typing in blackness, as if whispering in a void on the dark side of the moon, offering my words into the blind mysteries of Sphynx.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Icharest

I am now installed in the tiny A-Frame “Chalet” trailer, atop a hill at my friends’ Tree House Camp. The sun is very strong, yet it is simpler and saner here. The body labors in the summer extremes, but the psyche and nervous system are calming.

I have not been able to write much in recent weeks. Today, before throwing myself into cleaning the grit and neglect from the little space, I sat in a curious variation on Tonglen mediation, breathing in heat, pine pollen, uncertainty and cicada-song, transmuting it into courage on the exhale and distributing it through out the fragmented factions of being; then I picked up my journal. I wrote the following:

There is light in the void, pure Knowing Light. 

I am a child of this Void.

As light is called forth from that central Radiance through this vessel, I am pressed against the densities of the Borderland between this world and that, between Quantum and Newtonian, between unmanifest and manifest, Cosmic and Human, formless and form. 

As the Light inside grows, the shadows cast by the densities of self and flesh haunt like thick and stubborn ghosts, monsters invincible in their solidity. They cast dark shadows on a world long forgiven, reviving bad dreams.

And the light of this world becomes harsh; it burns this flesh, these eyes now tuning, turning to a rarer Light.

Light and Heat, once consorts, grow estranged, except where the warmth of 1,000 suns thaw the frozen tallow of my heart in an alchemy I know to be medicine, hard as it is Kind.

WB Yeats said something like: “Of all things not impossible, the Daemon requires one to do the most difficult,”  to mount the steed painted with the pigments of impasse, breathing the fire of God.

I ride that molten edge every incarnate moment.

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SipaPuja

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After winter hibernation, and just in time to avoid the Memorial Day crowds, we returned to Sipapu this week. Our little party of five retreated here a time or two last autumn, breathing our last gulps of summer in pine-filtered air, with morning meditations so bracing we could very literally watch our breath, like clouds of thought swarming our heads.

This week, with the May moon just past full and still at full perigee, and with nature in full surge of water and life-force, the scene was a saturated spectrum of almost unbelievable green (to this desert veteran). As we drove through Penasco and the Santa Barbara River valley, the surrounds were vivid to the point of provoking salivation, palpably straining the heart’s winter shutters: Meadows blanketed thick with dandelions, roadside POPpies living their name explosively against the vibrant grasses. The scene throbbed.

I was in a caravan, and totally DWE (Driving while Enchanted; it’s a New Mexico thing), so I did not stop for every roadside photo-op. We’d have never actually gotten to Sipapu.  But Dandelions R Us!

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I was reminded that the name “dandelion” comes from “dent-de-lion,” tooth of the lion in French. Who stops these days and examines this ubiquitous (and miraculous) flower to make such a comparison?  Here I was lounging on a blanket of salad, medicinal, radiant, and resilient. (I gather their roots can reach 50 feet deep.)

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By the time we arrived for a creekside nap and picnic at Hodges campground, we were almost giddy with euphoria, untethered, at long last, in relative wilds, unmasked, joining the flora and fauna in their bare and sacred perfection.

The next day, our one full day at Sipapu, I mostly lay by the rushing Rio del Pueblo, in a healing dance with the elements: Wood, Water, Earth, Fire, Air, and Metal.

First I lay along a fallen tree, as the water surged glassy underneath me, washing, combing, polishing my field, crown to toes. Occasionally I would drop hands and feet into the icy waters behind me, and feel the cleansing contraction of hand, feet and heart chakras, and the blissful smiling thaw as I brought them back to sun and safety upon my baking belly.

Then I lay on a great slab of granite, with feet magnetized to earth, nestled among thick dandelions. After 20 minutes scented with deep time, I turned to let the sun restore the blue blood of my back to red, before rolling off the stone and letting moist and giving ground instruct my yoga practice. If I could find words to communicate its wisdom sufficiently, yoga students would need a single class of mere seconds, to transmit the whole cosmic order, and its password, telepathically.

At one point, I rolled from a shoulder stand (in which one is gazing skyward through one’s upward vaulting feet) into fish posture (in which one has scooped the heart and chest skyward from underneath with the shoulder blades and elbows, and rests the top of the head gently on the earth), and I opened my eyes to a surreal scene of a green sky dangling dozens of sunny mushrooms.  I reached for the camera. Don’t try this at home.

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All the while the hummingbirds threaded the air above with an invisible web of whistling, as if weaving a net for their own trapeze-act mating ritual. And now I have settled into an aluminum chair with a Macbook on my lap, with nothing to say but everything to celebrate.

We will leave in mere hours; by the time this is posted, I will be back in the acrid soup of EMFs and ambient anxiety of a city; so, for now, we are all opening wide as the dandelions, dilating to suffuse each moment, and be suffused, with Presence.

…The sounds of water writing infinity in its rapids; the caress of clear air, a rarifed liquid stiched with birdsong; the damp earth receiving, forgiving and photosynthesizing all sin into rippling green redemption; the sun shining toward itself multiplied in a trillion Taraxacum faces flung wide open in worship; and the metallic sounds of humanity’s encroachment (the passing percussion of pistons, whirring fishing lines, and the soundless radiation of satellites pinging our skin, as well as our silenced cellphones.

And for all of this, and the sacred geometry perpetually reorganizes our chaos, we give thanks.

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A Bonne Danse

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But no harm in sniffing it again, just to make sure.

I noticed just yesterday how similar in structure the words Abundance and Abandon are; I mean, if they were Hebrew or Arabic they’d appear to have the same root.

However, other than acknowledging that ‘abandon’ is yet another experience in the parade of ‘abundance’ that is our reality, and that abandonment is one of abundance’s most effective disguises, I didn’t not feel the impulse to strain for more pithy connections.

As it is “abundance” has closer ties to the word undulate, as “und” has to do with waves, and “abundance” derived from a meaning of an overpowering wave flowing. “Abandon” has a different root, originally to do with jurisdiction, power, proclamation, and the evolution from its root to its current meaning is a twisty one.

Still, while I busied myself with the business of the day, or at least the business of bleariness that excused me from much of it today, the wordplay worm tunneled about in the loam of my subconscious and dragged a tasty morsel of silliness to the surface, which I offer here (like a well-intentioned pet leaves its bloodied trophy at the kitchen door).

As the freight train of ambition, conformism, consumerism, control and conventional success hurl down its track with unsustainable abandon, many of us with a different compass or wiring find ourselves jumping (or falling) off the train, knowing that once off we will likely never, with our own mind or muscle, be able or willing to accelerate enough to catch that train again.

It’s rarely a clean and stress-free landing, but somehow, we abandon the train. Some or our relations on the train feel abandoned. And we must cultivate another sort of abandon; we must abandon ourselves to trust, to intuition, to the unknown, to a Benevolence whose currency no brick and mortar bank would honor.

We slow down, we befriend Presence.

We stop chasing or prioritizing material measures.

Our minds change with our priorities. We don’t remember the same things we used to.

We laugh more, like when the car is stolen.

We leave room for the Mystery, for serendipities and synchronicites. Little by little, we let go of control.

To the caffeinated majority, we seem ditzy, retrograde, and (especially when it comes to technology) willfully retarded. That’s right, we become

AbanDunces.

And as we relax the conditions we place on happiness, the more happy we find we can be in any condition. We ride those waves of fortune that abundance is named for.  We let go of trying to tread water with our own two lonely feet and we give ourselves to an often invisible ocean, and we find we float, mostly.

Abandunces of Abundance.

EloQuince

After the extended social silence of sequesterment, it has been a garden of delight visiting with some friends (not seen in person since before the Time of Corona), and not because they are gardeners and it is spring.  To spend a few days in and out of easy company is such a gift.

That said, bright and early this morning we went to the Farmer’s Market together. It was not, by former standards, particularly crowded, but I had not been among so many people at once since sometime in 2019. We were there an hour or less, and by the time I got home I felt uncomfortably disoriented, required a 1.5 hour nap, and have been out of it  most of the day!

Early this evening, as the fierce sun eased its glare and the thunderheads stirred the sky into luminous, churning cotton candy, I stood in the blissy breezes and, like a true synesthete, fancied I heard the the small quince tree in their garden calling me to smell it. I couldn’t tell you which sense actually “heard” (maybe telepathy), but the single brief and barely conscious message seemed to involve three senses.

I gave not thought to that at the time. I just came when called, wondering if the quince blossoms had a smell. I had recently been apprised that while this quince tree is relatively young, the Quince is quite old, an ancestor of apples and pears. I paused to admire the petite peach-like white blossoms tinged with pale pink, scanning for the freshest bloom, before forwardly poking my nose toward it and creating a very local updraft that mimicked the much greater ones generated by the clouds above me. My hair and the little petals rustled in sympathy.

I cannot, of course, describe the smell. As technology-resistant as I can be, I suddenly wished my iPhone camera could capture that scent along with the images I snapped in praise.

If you have a touch of synesthesia too, maybe the image will bless you with a whiff. I do hope so. If not, perhaps you can at least feel those leaves against your heart?

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A-Framing and Reframing: learning the alphabet of Abundance.

A few posts back, I paraphrased Jeff Carreira in his reframing of the concept of Abundance. He zooms out to see  and participate in life’s effulgent miracle not just in the limited terms of “what you have,” but in terms of “how much there is.”  That allows one to include everything, including oneself,  as part of the infinite, perpetual wellspring of “creation,” limited only, in any given moment, by one’s perceptions and identifications.

So, everything in our reality, and everything we aren’t aware of beyond it, is marching in the parade of Abundance. The minus and the plus, contraction and expansion, the everything and the nothing.

Phenomena, de dee da dee dee.

This week began with the birthday (Monday) of my dear friend Guy, whom I eulogized on this blog some weeks back. It was the first birthday when I didn’t even try to ping for his location on Earth.

I did ping my friend Steve, though, whose birthday comes the following day and who kindly pinged back from his home, for many years my home, in Colorado. This on the very day I was pulling out of my own digs here in New Mexico. Even through the week’s sleepy halo of my mother’s 10th death anniversary (today), I’ve felt downright buoyant, decompressing at the home of friends’, ministered to by their pup, Bodhi.

On this Friday, at this very moment, for as long as the battery on my aging laptop allows, I am lounging atop a hill outside Santa Fe, testing the air in an A-Frame camp trailer offered me to shelter in this summer, both from wild elements and domestic EMFs.

Through the trees, thunderheads dance dry promises around the 360 degree horizon. The sun is strong at 7,700 feet. It is hot, even in the modestly ventilated shade of this little trailer.

Every time I arrive here, I can feel the stress of the land and trees. The drought is serious enough this year that many farmers have been officially asked not to plant.   Even so, the strong spring sun is an aphrodisiac to the pines, and the air is thick with their scent and fine resiny semen. It burns the eyes, nose and lungs, but not fatally.  Breathing becomes a practice of forgiveness… and reframing.  Drought or no, I am swimming in a thick, resilient cloud of pure life force, of Abundance.

When I arrived here this morning, I took a walk down to Apache Creek, lately only a long trough full of dry leaves, pine cones and sparse but green grass, rumoring moisture.   I had not walked far along the creek when I was called to ground, literally. I obeyed the undertow, offering the earth what I had, urine and the low slung cloud of ancestral grief constipating my field and sawing across the cords of my heart like a siren, sending out pleas and prayers that I can neither understand nor answer with anything more than willing attention, compassionate non-resistance…all Soundlessly.

Here It is quiet enough to hear the quiet, to know quiet, to greet quiet in quiet, through the wind-sighed pines and bird-song speckled silence.

After I had lay on the ground long enough to not know how long, I heard rustling near me… Yes, possibly the boisterous breeze in the dry grass, as it periodically propelled a magic lantern display across the hat tenting my eyes and illuminated by a sun spinning through branches.

But something different had brought me alert, and I had the sense of a fox somewhere, some feet beyond my head. I lay still a while, detecting nothing more, and doubting my intuition.

Eventually, I rose from the dust and moved to where the shade had. I sat scribbling in my little notebook, and, anon, I heard an abrupt noise in the brush behind me.  This time I gently turned my head over my right shoulder to see a lovely black tipped fox retreating, having caught sight of me in time to spin a course higher up the opposite slope from my creekside ruminations. He might have been a half-charred ponderosa bough, but animated, sleek and prickly.

I was both glad and not that my presence was not depriving him of water. His visit was necessary, just in case. We’ve all known drought too often and too long, and we get on with life, pretending not to notice bereftness.

This is not a problem. Bereftness, is simply one of the sumptuous and countless Bs in the alphabet of Abundance.

A is for A-Frame, Allergies and Abundance. And Armageddon.

B is for Blue sky, Blog, Being, and Bereftness.

C is for Creation… and Cluelessness.

D is for Deficiency, Divinity,  Dukha, and, of course, Dancing. (It is also for Dean Spanley, one of my favorite movies; but that Deserves a post of its own.)

E is for Everything and Emptiness, Ease and Effort, for Entrance, Exit, the intervening Existence, and the Eulogy at the End.

F is for Fox, Friendship, Fill-in-the-blank and Finish, which I encourage you to do yourself.

…All the way to Z, which is for Zooming out to celebrate both Zero and Zillion, and every Enzo in between.

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Jesus Saves and Sopapillas

YESTERDAY:

Friday will be the 10th anniversary of my mother’s passing. This week, I have navigated  the mysterious oscillations between, reasonless weeping and viscous numb…all while moving house.

Yesterday I vacated the premises,  

leaving a little home of great undertow.

It took the last of my old strength.

As I  walk free of its pall, my vision is still shadowed, as one might feel leaving an oppressive relationship.

There is much trauma in the land around Santa Fe; the impressions were heavy in that place.

After some final dismantling and loading exertions, I sat outside for a few hours, resting restlessly, while the house-cleaner effaced all traces of me from the place. It may take a little longer to slough its traces from me.

My faculties scattered and my vision dulled, as I loaded my van, I saw only a taco truck stalled across the end of the driveway,  belching death rattles and white smoke, thick and bright, from under the chassis, as through a wound in its side.

Blown bearings, I thought. 

I could be of no help; I had no bearings of my own.

My neighbor commented on it as she came in the gate, about the big Jesus on the taco truck.

Jesus? 

I completely missed that apparition. And here I thought I had eyes to see.

I went back out and there he was, big as life (almost literally), arms outstretched to embrace the afflicted world.

He could not help that truck.

 …but he reached out to me 

through the titanium cloud of angel breath billowing at his feet,

 and I could feel him, just barely, reaching through the ancestral smog, into my heart.

TODAY:

Bodhi transmits his wisdom through his paws, directly into my lap, legs now pinned by love. 

No more running.

He knows when my attention drifts to the page, from transmission to translation, and

he walks in place, walks me back to here and now.

He turns to hold my gaze, sad doggy eyes mirroring my child soul, waking, aching, from slumber.

My lap is a boat

and, in company,

we sail the good ship of this moment,

this life,

on the sea of now, 

cajoled by the wind of what is

and the whispers of what might be.

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