I wrote these reveries during last Summer Movement Monastery.
The first set came from focusing on skin as we moved, then writing from the feeling.
The second pieces are from my journal.
Today I dance to Arabic taksim. The music hypnotizes me into the Moment. Vines of sound coil this way and that, furbelows and twists and double-backs and digressions. The flute takes me. We wind around and around, losing our bearings. As if in a blizzard, the world swirls white. I seem to waltz on the same spot, step after step, heading somewhere but which way? The world becomes spherical. The relentlessness of linear time has dissolved…When the snowfall ends, when the music resolves, the world stills. Where am I? I am somewhere, but is it forward or backward or up or down? I am just here… Read more
“What happens in that passage between the subsiding of the movement and the beginning of deep rest?” That is the study question I asked my NYC Dervish Dancemeditation group in last week’s session. The perfume of a meditation period—from The Rosebush story—is most palpable in the stillness and inner gaze during the Deepening Phase that follows the active Effort Phase. (Three Phases of Deepening: Effort, Expansion, Deepening)
Here are a Sri Prem Baba’s thoughts, that are may be relevant: “Perhaps one of the main challenges for the spiritual seeker is the impulse to keep doing things. The ego always wants to do something, but there comes a time when there is nothing else that can be done. One simply needs to stop and quiet down, which will enhance one’s perception of the truth.” Read more
One must have enough to engage in Path. What is the right amount?
I have always felt that choosing simplicity—which is not quite the same as poverty but similar—was less of a strain on the ecosystem. Have what is essential. Don’t indulge. Animals get this equation right. Humans have to work at it. Buddhists, Sufis, Yogis, and pretty much all Paths, know about appetites and the need for simplicity. Read more
Late September, Apache Mesa
Ric and I discover a large spider, the size of a first thumb joint, outside the cabin window. Every day just after sunset, she weaves a capacious web. It takes 45 minutes. By the time she is finished, it is dark. She sits in the middle. Within a half hour dinner is snagged—the past two evenings it has been an ethereal white moth with silver eyes. By morning, she has packed up her web. No sign at all. I wonder what time of night she does this but have never been awake to see it. She has been in residence for a week. Read more
When I first returned from the mesa, I saw very little of Ric. He came and went. We were both content with ourselves and loving toward one another, and I felt such pleasure seeing him buoyant and industrious at 57 after years of doing responsible but unfulfilling work, knowing he had found his place in the world. But there was that first evening…It was 10pm. He had departed twelve hours earlier and I hadn’t seen him since, Read more
I wrote this in late September at Ravenrock:
I walk onto the deck in twilight that feels as if it is hurried along, as if the wind dashes over the crest snapping a whip, urging the light, which gathers birds and butterflies in its graying arms, away from this summer haunt to other regions south of the equator. Yes, it is no longer summer. Read more
It is a quiet thing, learning from wilderness, becoming less tame, and less inclined to tame every little moment and every little action, to let time roam freely in me, my hair to tangle, my ears to grow as big as jackrabbit ears. ‘Wild’, as I am coming to know it, is learning a different way of being, and discovering, once the old veneer of self has chipped off, the original wood of self, Read more
Mid-September. The cold front arrived as promised with a heavy blanket of cloud and sharp rainy winds out of the northwest. I curled under cozy covers all night, intermittently sleeping soundly, but often awake, eyes closed, listening to the wind and rain, safe and warm. Snug in a storm.This is one of the keenest pleasures I’ve ever known. Read more
Soon a big year starts for me: I will have been engaged in daily spiritual practice for thirty three years.
That is a lot of daily practice. Some delicious, some a slog, some neutral. Once set in motion, the dailiness was fairly easy to maintain. The health benefits—both mental and physical—are striking and rewarding. Spiritually it is less predictable, but I think that’s because from time to time I entertain fantasies about what ‘spiritual’ is, what Path is. (As distinct from the experience of Path which arises from practice and study.) My favorite fantasy is that Path will relieve me of my ‘self’ and of the conflicts in my life. I ask it to be Prince Charming. The escapism disappears, however, when I get down on the mat and breathe & move. I find myself, whatever she is today, and no matter what trouble I have been avoiding, I find solace. Such a simple thing. Read more