Saturday, January 28, 2006

radiant mind

The mind is something more radiant than anything else can be, but because counterfeits--passing defilements--come and obscure it, it loses its radiance, like the sun when obscured by clouds. Don't go thinking that the sun goes after the clouds. Instead, the clouds come drifting along and obscure the sun.

-Ajaan Mun, "Heart Released"

Saturday, January 14, 2006


"I felt it shelter to speak to you."

-Emily Dickinson

knock, knock

If you cling to an idea as the inalterable truth, then when the truth does come in person and knock at your door, you will not be able to open the door and accept it.

-Udana Sutta

Sunday, January 08, 2006

blazing forth

Of all the ways you can think of, none has a sixteenth part of the value of loving-kindness. Loving-kindness is a freedom of the heart which takes in all the ways. It is luminous, shining, blazing forth.

Just as the stars have not a sixteenth part of the moon's brilliance, which absorbs them all in its shining light, so loving-kindness absorbs all the other ways with its lustrous splendor.

Just as when the rainy season ends and the sun rises up into the clear and cloudless sky, banishing all the dark in its radiant light, and just as at the end of a black night the morning star shines out in glory, so none of the ways you can use to further your spiritual progress has a sixteenth part of the value of loving-kindness. For it absorbs them all, its luminosity shining forth.

-Itivuttaka Sutta

Saturday, January 07, 2006

kismet school of danse orientale

we abscond with old Turkish and Egyptian caravans
servants dispatched into music's dawn
laden with our goods, zils, swords and lordly
instruments of show

radiant gossamer silks caress their shoulders
drums are legion

dumbeck, djembe, tar, conga
bongo, tabla for the Indo, kanjira
thavil, mazhar and duf
deep throated and strong

names mattering less than sand
when dancers begin again
shining, beautifully at ease, entrancing
our helwa

we unleash timeless beats
starting our whirl again, yala, yala
behest of the rhythms

baladii, maqsum and karslama
fire tribal bonds, their bodies
undulate, group and spiral to pounding secrets only
we recite, the familiar count
beguiling and kneeding them together

arms sway softly serpentine
paint the air and call us on
luring seductive branches above an oasis

draped in fragance, beckoning
where waters dabble, led
ginger-limbed by our clanging zils
brightly glinting from a female sun

mingling among crowds
our corterie unwinds her fervent patterns
earthly product of our fingers alight

drums thunder
lifting and parting
swaying them to the old stories
costumes ablaze and offering forged metals
pregnant, ornate and shimmering
hypnotic over a warm desert air

tuned hands and bodies answering

masmoudi, saudi, chiftitelli, bolero
raw moving, flowering
hips, arms, palms, bellies
reds, blues
tight teks and throbbing duns
jangling baubles, mirrors dazzling on their hips
riveting eyes that burn stares in all directions
fashioning trickery and imagined lust

driven upon them by rampant bodies and hands

such is their heat, veiled by jeweled shawls
shedding shards to the floor
falling noiseless
piling at our blind tapping feet
enriching us

quieting the fire

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman's hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mysterious Doors Swing Open

When the perfect wisdom is first seen, a new perception comes into being that does not depend on any structure. The great quest of the seeker now blossoms as various vast and mysterious doors swing open at the mere touch of the new perception.

There is the door that opens to a vista of the essenceless essence, that which is the real nature of the manifested world. There is the door of liberation from a merely partial perception or muddled perspective of this real nature. And there is the door that opens directly into the authentic realization of this true nature.

There is the wonderful door that opens into an intensity of sights and sounds, color and beauty. And there is the door of balance and ease through which one looks in awe at all the limitless structures of the world as one looks at the star-studded night sky. And there is the door to the exquisite happiness that would never want to own any worldly treasures or to possess even that same happiness. Finally, there is the door of total awakening itself.