TRUST

Trust
Trust God
Trust the Absolute
Trust Life
Trust consciousness
Trust yourself

Whether it’s Him or Her or It or I
It doesn’t matter how we conceive of the Transcendent Supreme

Just trust that the ‘Power Greater Than Ourselves’ is at work
In all things
And although those things and those workings
May be beyond our understanding
Trust is the way

We may wonder
How do we trust what we cannot see?
And yet there’s so much we trust
That isn’t visible
We trust gravity and atoms and electricity
We trust love and friendship

So just trust That which is beyond your view
But whose effects are seen everywhere

There is a Great Intelligence at work in the world
Call it the universe or God or life or the Great Spirit
Or nature or Being or the Self

And all that we can see and know
Is part of it
An expression of it
It’s both in the world and beyond it
Immanent and transcendent
It’s the great wholeness

But our minds are not cut out to understand it
We’re not privvy to the full comprehension of its functioning

But in our hearts
In our essence we are one with it
And we KNOW that it can be trusted
Even while we cannot comprehend it

I choose to trust it
If only because to not is to suffer
And perhaps trust is difficult sometimes
When fear and the assaults of the mind are strong

But trust is the baseline
Trust is the ground
Trust is the steadiness of the hub of the wheel
The stillness at the eye of the storm

Trust allows all things to occur without resistance
Trust allows the needed work to happen freely
Trust relieves the burden of unknowing
And knowing
And the need to control

Trust demonstrates the magnificence of universal unfoldment
At all levels
In all ways and places

Trust reveals truth
And confirms itself
Trust begets truth
And truth begets trust
A virtuous cycle

But trust comes first
WE have to take the first step
Then life will meet us
As trustworthy and true

Not always in terms of our wants and comforts
But in terms of our freedom and growth
Our spiritual needs
Our ultimate well-being

Because we are spiritual beings
Not just worldly creatures
We are that Great Self
That universal being
We are endlessly diverse
But the Ground is ONE
And trust Abides

– Martyn

 

SOME THOUGHTS ON POLITICS THIS XMAS

While faith has a political dimension
Partisan politics is deeply divisive
The faithful of whatever stripe
Should cleanse their hearts of such division
Individually we must include the ‘other’
Warts and all

If our hearts are filled with self-righteousness
And moral certainty
Of the kind that condemns the other
That abandons the other
As fallen
And unworthy
Of love
Forgiveness
Charity
As beyond the dignity of consideration
Then we are the fallen ones
We have failed in our task
Of spiritual inclusion

When we close our hearts
To the ‘other side’
Then it is us
Who must soften
And put down our stones
And work to remove the beams from our eyes
And give of OUR shirt and coat
And by example show love

Not by condemnation
Not by the ‘public prayer’
Of signalling our superior virtue
But by the demonstration
Of our living faithfulness
To kindness
Love
Generosity
Forgiveness
To our neighbour
And our enemy!

And then
And only then
Can we win hearts
And minds

So I ask
While we condemn
Our political enemies
Do we forgive and pray for them?
With love not contempt
With humility not moral arrogance

For it is we who must search our hearts
So that we may stand as living witness
And testament
To love

Happy Holidays

THE WAY

I’ll show you the Way 
But will you follow?

The Way is no way
The Way is silence and surrender
The Way is no effort
The Way is ‘stop!’
The Way is just this
The Way is no more seeking

Can you see the Way?
Can you accept the Way?
Or will you reject it?

Wherever you plant your foot is the Way
Wherever your eye lands is the Way
And the foot and the eye

The Way is unmissable
Because it’s everywhere
And everything

All beings everywhere follow the Way
There are none that fall from the Way
Because whatever occurs is the Way

Even the thrashing and tantrums
And refusals and resisting
The obstinate willful ignoring
The wailing and self-pity

There’s nothing 
That does not show the Way

Suffering is the Way
Joy is the way
What is not the Way?

The Way embraces and upholds all
Includes all 
Nourishes all

Be at peace 
The Way has you
Always

.

THE IMPULSE TO SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

The impulse to spiritual practice
is the impulse to awaken
so even if practice is wrong
or poor
or difficult
or ineffectual
it’s never misguided,

and in the worst cases
it can be redirected
or transformed
to better express
the core impulse.

All the prayers
and mantras
and chants
are well and good
but the urge
to practice
goes beyond
the limits
and constraints
of any particular method.

So don’t constrain yourself
to one particular
mode
or method
or time
or place.

Less doing
more noticing.

Always return to presence;
this is powerful and profound
yet simple.

Be aware(ness)
always here and now.

This is the final practice;

beyond this
is abiding simplicity itself
the passing away
of all efforts
of all practice.

Simple Self-recognition
nothing to do.

HUMILITY

True humility comes when you run out of strategies and realise that you’re powerless
Surrender comes as a result of this
It’s something that happens not something ‘you’ do

This is the difference between prescription and description in spiritual teachings
The seeker hears prescription
Because it can only understand what it hears in terms of itself
It’s personal
It’s something it must ‘do’

But when I say “you need to surrender”
I’m really saying that surrender needs to happen
That humility needs to dawn in your experience
There is no-one to do it

And if this kind of talk is frustrating
Then good
It needs to be
Learning that you’re powerless can be deeply frustrating
Even annoying

Then what’s left is to ‘admit it’ as the 12 Steps say
Pay attention
Be earnest and sincere
And honest about what you discover
And it’s inevitable that you’ll find the truth
Reality

Learn humility
And surrender
Then Grace can come

But it’s not an exchange
Surrender for grace
You’re not bargaining for power
This for that

Surrender is giving it all up
Even if there’s nothing to replace it
It’s just stopping
All the strategies
Because they don’t work
And so you surrender them all
Not as a deal with God
But just because they’re all fake and useless
You effectively create a vacuum
Grace fills it

Die before you die
Sacrifice what you are for what you could be

In your heart
Gather all that you think you are
All that you think you possess
All that you think you know
Gather it all up
And throw it on the fire
Today
Now

It’s time to wake up

GETTING IT

The dichotomy dissolves
Of subject and object

Spiritual knowledge goes
Spiritual persona goes

Just this
Whatever is happening
Is it

Doubt
Is it
Mental discussions
About how this can’t be it
Is it

You can’t turn anywhere
Touch anything
Hear anything
Feel, taste
Without it being it

There’s nothing that isn’t it
And there’s nothing that can happen
That can make it not it
And nothing can happen that means
That you’re not it

Everything that happens
Is it
So keep quiet
(So far as one can take instructions)
Remain in ‘only don’t know’

Dive in
Or sit back
Think it through
Or not

Whatever occurs
Is it
This is it
Always

The sheer truth of it
The absolute is-ness
Will assert itself
More and more

But always
This is it

 

I, NATURE

we are natural forms

organic creatures

more like trees

and thickets

than the straight, chiselled lines

we’ve come to measure ourselves

against

it’s easy to forget

and to distance + seclude

ourselves, inside

our toy boxes

and tool sheds

and coffins

stone + wood

from the earth

but sawn + measured

built to contain

our spirit

aah

the perfect interaction

of wind + sun

and blossom petals

the gracious, free flight

and immeasurable

landing

the light by which to see it

does the coal tit watch too?

is the squirrel inclined

to admire

the tulips?

does the stone ground

register the breeze

and the fall of flowers?

and what of inspiration?

are we –

once wild + simple –

alone in our reverie

and poetry?

are we

alone?

JUST A POEM

I don’t really notice much
Outside
Because everything that happens
Happens in me
Of me

The flowers bloom
In me
The wind blows
In me
The hills roll and rise
In me

Like my bones
And my blood
And my breath

All in me

As if my body
Were the universe itself
And my breath
The wind

And the stars
Rejoice in my body –
The world

I am
Where I look
I am
Where I feel and touch
I am
Where the Sun shines

And the blaze of heat and light
Is me

I confess
That I am bigger
Than I imagined
And more capacious

In fact
I cannot find anything
That I am not

How reassuring
To be so complete
How helpful
To be so undivided
And so full

I am free to be
Myself

FEAR

The process (of awakening) requires us to face the most profound fear of our own annihilation or destitution

To face that fear and continue is the challenge of awakening

In the end there’s nothing we can do

We either come to the edge and let go or we don’t

Rather, it will happen or it won’t

There is an inevitability about it

Ultimately all beings wake up

(Maybe)

And it’s not a choice

But the unfoldment of the story of ‘you’

One day the belief in yourself as a person just isn’t there

And it becomes obvious that the person you thought you were was and is a character in a dream

And you’re the dreamer, consciousness

.

There’s no-one doing any of this

It’s just happening

And if I say ‘you’ need to see this

It’s not the person I’m talking to

It’s You

If you want to wake up because you think you’ll get more of anything

Then that’s ‘false view’

If you think that awakening will prevent your utter destitution

Then that’s ‘false view’ also

I’m not trying to scare you

Or discourage you

I just want to name the fears and expectations directly

Drop your expectations and face your fear

Because expectations are a distraction

And fear is a threshold you must pass

To be free

FEEL

Just feel the feelings

Don’t deny them, don’t indulge them, just allow them to be

Feel the fear, feel the anger, feel the grief, let it all come

Let yourself feel the vulnerability all the way through

Open yourself to it all, all the storms and weather of emotions and feelings rising in your being

Whatever begs to be felt, let it in, be the space for it

Feel it, let it be, welcome the woundedness of it all

Love yourself, feel, feel

This all wells up, and stays for a while, and then recedes

Our most intimate being is an ocean of feelings and sensations and emotions

Let them all come

Open yourself to receive it all in you

It will come and it will go

Be the surrendered, loving heart that gently welcomes and embraces it all

You will learn that whatever comes, you are wider and deeper, and of greater capacity than it

But for now, feel it without reserve, allow the fear, allow the anger, allow the grief, it is all you

THE CAVE WHERE THE DRAGON SLEEPS

Have a practice.

Take time out each and every day to sit in the cave of your interior and wait and watch. This is where the dragons are and this is where the gold is.

It is the cave of the unknown and that is the place of fear. It takes courage to enter and to face whatever comes. You will wrestle your demons here and gardens of bliss will grow here.

And just by turning up you call forth whatever dwells in the unseen, dark places of your being. You are the hero venturing forth with courage and awareness. You light the torch in the dark places, you illuminate that which is unformed and inarticulate.

You are the Light Bringer.

This is my cave. I come here alone. I leave the safety and comfort of the tribe and I sit in solitude, in waiting. I cannot know what will come so I cannot prepare. But I know that I am, I exist. And I have slayed dragons before, and I have gathered gold and flowers.

.

I am the cave and I am the light. And I am the dragon and the flowers. I am the spilled blood of demons and virgins. I am the temple bell and the sleepless night. I am the dream of hunger, the wolf-whistle and the kindness of strangers.

I am the dragon and I am awake. The gold is mine. Courage or not, you will die. If not by my hand then by the ravages of time. Is it truly gold that you seek, hero? Or is it the end of death?

I am the cave. Timeless. So many heroes, so many dragons, so much gold and blood. My walls and floor hold no stains, but I remember all.

I am the gold and the virgin and the light of life. I am the object of desire and greed. I will not fulfill. I am what I am. I remain in my immutable nature, I adorn the world and all the beings in it. Yet I remain untouched and unmixed. I do not decay or waste away. I am ever resplendent, bright as the sun at noon. Behold, here I am, the object of your aspiration and surrender.

.

We don’t want the gold, we want to be the gold. We don’t want love, we want to be love. We don’t want to be free, we want to be freedom.

Unity means free of boundaries, devoid of separation. Yoga is not to unite but to be unity. Nonduality is the state of nonseparation.

We are freedom, not free.

Love not loved.

Truth not true.

Peace not peaceful.

Life is the cave of dragons. Each day, each moment we must stand and face what comes. Armed only with our nature and our wits and the light of truth and courage..

I’ve been slaying dragons for so long now, but they keep coming back. These damn hydra. Sisyphus I am. I don’t need the gold. What do I need the gold for anyway? I need sleep more than I need gold.

Fighting is for heroes, I’m no hero.

I fight not for me but for others. There’s nothing in it for me. But since I must fight, I fight for them. Even though they despise me and reject me, I speak my truth because I must.

.

Is there a better way to be?

Than what?

Than striving, controlling, wanting, needing, being someone, something..

Is letting go, stopping, dropping the chase, surrendering and accepting what-is.. is shedding the burden of being and doing a better way, a more peaceful way, a fuller way?

If I drop my sword and allow myself to be devoured by the dragon, what then?

If my bones become food for the plants and birds, what then?

Can we give up the struggle and see what comes, what remains?

When we’re tired of holding on can we just let go and see what happens?

Do we trust enough? Do we care too much? Fear too much?

Do we lack the courage to release our grasp?

Do we even know what would happen if we did?

Do we fear to find out?

Do we dare?

Let go?

So we freefall into oblivion, forever. So what?

Enjoy the fall. There’s an adventure for the fainthearted!

It’s happening anyway. It is what is. We just don’t care to admit it. We’re just really, really tense about our not-knowing.

We are freefalling, there are no fixed points. Endless openness in all directions. Freedom is exhilarating, no?

Breathe in, breathe out, repeat if necessary.

Breathe through the fear, because this is how it is and you’re stuck with it. Might as well get used to it. No point denying the truth, it has a way of insisting itself.

.

In the cave of dragons, the voice of the father echoes out words of reproval. I thank him for his wisdom and go my own way.

My heart is filled with fear and love, but I am free.

Softly I begin to sing, words of goodness and kindness, words of joy and ease and peace. Words of love and essence. The melody is the fabric of Being, it is the Song of Life.

Behold the kindness of life.

 

NOTHING

There’s nothing to do
Nothing to think
Nothing to drop
Nothing to see
Nothing to follow

There’s no plan
No strategy

There’s nothing to believe
Nothing to hold on to
And nothing to let go of

There’s nothing to hope for
No future to come
No past to understand

There’s no right
And no wrong
No bad
And no good

Everything is negated
And transcended
In this
Unspeakable
Unknowable
Reality

Nothing that should be
Nothing that should not
No needs
No musts

Nothing ought
To look
Or be
Or feel
A certain way
To be right
Or not wrong
Or complete
Or true

It is
Simply

This