‘Reality is always already the case.’ Adi Da Samraj
I don’t know much about nuns.
In my 58-year span, there’s only been two of any note. One was a confessor at the tail-end of a six-week stint in rehab where I had just turned 27.
The other appeared through the mists of lockdown on the web, less than a year ago, when I had decided to make the most of our shared inwardness by taking it seriously.
If ever there has been a time when the divine held up a neon placard to the world exhorting us to turn within…
‘A wilful ego hinders your being. A witness must enter on the scene enabling you to see the ego for what it is — an object.’ Jean Klein
It is the worst of times and the best of times, each individual consciousness perfectly reflected by the current crisis, the net accumulation of many lifetimes, catching the wild swimmer downstream exactly where they are and no further.
The veiled opportunity lies not in the world but within, the way to the narrow gate ajar, the price of admission the purification of all that is not, but attributed from the time we…
We ache in the mornings,
this storm of inflammation
and ageing creeping toward us
like a returning vow.
It is long broken. I take solace
from your eyelashes moving on the pillow,
and comfort from your dreaming.
Yet I cannot help but wonder if we are cursed,
this the penalty for our departure.
I watch in the midnight hours -
your frown, the way you clench
teeth and fingers, the different ways
we feel it, how two atone together.
He comes for us at night like a stalker, surreptitious but howling through dawn while I lie or kneel to pay…
Once upon a time, around 35 years ago, when I was wrestling the serpent that is alcohol in a life or death struggle, life put in my path an ageing Zen Buddhist. Pamela was 67, an aristocrat, had herself spent many years sliding down that particular snake.
An existence as the wife of a wealthy tea planter in India had been supplanted and stripped by a self-replenishing bottle that finally landed her in a one-bed council flat in Worcestershire.
She lived almost entirely in kimonos, shone with the light of Truth and was perhaps the happiest person I have ever…
‘What is Truth?” asked Pilate as he stood right at the edge of corruption.
Isn’t that where we all stand now? Having to decide how good we want to be, how courageous, how much risk we are prepared to take, how much comfort we can afford to give up? The air spins with questions, smells like fear. Then the spin itself, telling us up is down as we’re assaulted from all sides, and you see with alarm, it’s the people you never would expect.
And then you remember this isn’t about intelligence but consciousness and that light takes lifetimes to…
He was an old man even then, a man with hands like birds disrupting feathers from a nest, their violence, a ferocious urging, their floating, a breath bearing you home. And you knew he had come to tell you something you could not, should not live without. A scarecrow in a technicolour dreamcoat, Uranus distilled, shooting bolts of seismic thought, which his twin birds reached up and gathered from the heavens, returning to caress one ear then slap another. He left you stunned, felled by the koans he delivered like darts, foxed by a mind that knew what you did…