You, yes, you.

You, yes, you.

You stopped me in my tracks tonight, yes, you.

I walked outside, and you were ever so near

yet hidden in the dark underbrush.

 

I was in a foreign land, far from home.

You startled me with your chorus.

 

I stared off into the blackness, you caught my attention.

Who were you all?

Singing as if you were a grand symphony

all in unison and somehow not, but it all seemed right.

 

I, busy with work, preoccupied with all I had to get done.

You caused me to pause for one brief, fleeting moment

in admiration of your brilliance.

 

Yes, you.

You stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps hundreds of you.  Maybe even thousands.

Who knows?

 

Tree frogs and insects and other magnificent creatures

I could not name.

For one minute, I ceased all my thinking

as you serenaded me in delight.

 

Whom am I?

I thought.

I am nothing compared to the mysterious livings

of a world outside my grasp.

Magnificent, living creatures

far more than I

 

You, yes, you.

I can still hear you from my window.

You who know more about existing than I.

Shush, let me listen.

 

 

 

 

Come, come and dance

Come, come and dance.

Dance with me

in the sacred dance.

 

Come, come and dance.

Shed away all that is illusion

protecting and fielding

a human life.

 

Come, come and dance.

Strip away all the falsities of a parade

marching by with

flamboyant costumes and masquerades.

 

Come, come and dance.

Take off your garments

throw off your ideologies

and sing with me

in all your great nakedness.

 

Come, come and dance.

I breathe in all that you are

and I breathe out all that I am not.

We too are intermingled.

We are one.

 

Come, come and dance.

Dance the beautiful, stirring,

liberating,

sacred dance.

 

Come, come and dance

with me.

 

Take off the mask

Illusions of grandeur.

Momentary lapses of self-importance?

Egocentric desires run rampant.

 

Take off the mask.

 

One word breaks the crackled skin.

Not worshipped enough?

How dare they.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Anxiety, fear, defensiveness pervades like fog over the ocean.

Have your fragile assumptions been checked?

Defend that ego.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Stop the struggle.

Release yourself into the God

who created you.

Let go of your illusions of self.

 

Take off the mask.

 

Let go of the need for control.

Release yourself into the God

who birthed you.

Let go of your illusions of egocentric desires.

 

Live.

 

“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.” — John O’Donohue

 

 

In the darkness

Where are you in the darkness?

I am vulnerable.

I am foolish.

I am weak.

I am despised.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

You see my wounds.

You see my hurting.

You see my agony.

You see my angst.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

I want to see the light.

I want to feel the light.

I want to be the light.

I want to spread the light.

 

Where are you in the darkness?

I wait.

The Buddha within.

Funny how life is.

There once was a woman who I thought wronged me through my business.  It was not the woman but it was the organization but she represented the organization.  It became messy and I became upset.

About six months after this episode, the woman reached out to me.  She wanted to apologize for what had happened. At the time I thought it was a noble act.

We kept our link to each other occasionally having coffee and conversation.

For my birthday, she had a little gift.  A gift of Buddhist teachings.  I was touched.

One thing led to another and we started walking together.  During our walks, our conversation went more towards personal matters.

She is from Zimbabwe and a very beautiful woman.

Today, I consider her a spiritual guide.  Her one act of unfamiliar humility so long ago left me intrigued.

Abra is a Buddhist, part of Shinnyo-en, an international Buddhist community founded on the ancient wisdom and love embodied in the Buddha’s teachings.

I attend a home meeting and chanting ceremony.

Prayers and mantras are recited throughout the Buddhist world as ways to touch upon one’s enlightened nature. As chanting is also a form of prayer, the devotion of those who have chanted the same verses over the centuries has accumulated and imbued the chants with great liberating power. Chanting also acts as a form of meditation that can cut through ego.

The ultimate goal is an awakened nature within through altruistic Buddhist practice.

Now I understand why Abra needed to make amends for the organization’s actions.  It is part of her nature.

Will I attend more. Yes!

There is something magical about bowing in deference.  What an act of reverence.  It stirred my soul.

The ego felt release during that moment.  While the chanting was difficult to understand, it somehow filled my soul.

I look forward to my next walk with Abra next week and for more chanting ceremonies and home meetings.

It is all about those guiding us on our spiritual journey and those next steps in our journey.

Abra has become a blessing.

And, what a week it has been – It is only Wednesday and it has been full, rich, and joyful.

 

 

abra

In reverence to my spiritual guide, Abra.

 

 

 

And your heart begins to ache

When a deep stirring inside

calls you to more

And your heart begins to ache

of soul stirrings from a long time ago

You have come to the place

that is at the heart of all belonging.

 

When you begin to see with clarity

and feel with compassion

And your heart begins to ache

in a way that you have never witnessed before

You have come to the place

that is the kingdom of the eternal.

 

When you feel your destiny stir within you

and all seems to have awakened

And your heart begins to ache

of that pilgrim soul

You have come to the place

that is the true nature of your soul.

 

Love is the nature of the Soul – John O’Donohue.

 

 

IMG_1158

The sunlight filtering through clouds in Achill Sound on the west coast of Ireland.  October 2014.

 

 

Release yourself

When the dawn breaks

Separating the darkness from the light

And a streak of pink light

Crosses the sky above you

Understanding begins to awaken

 

And when you finally see

what finally lies under the surface

The precious that has always been

You have arrived

May your beloved wait for you still

To take you home

Finally to where you belong

 

When the darkness

Arrives to close the day

The light slowly ebbs

Golden, pink, gray

And, soft black circles around you

Come to the only shelter you know

You release yourself

To another

Nourished by belonging

 

 

10606249_10152638883562480_3416255204313696015_n

Sunset in Bennington, VT – August 2014 at Southern Vermont College – the old Holy Cross Novitiate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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