For Lovers Peninsula

In simple symmetry our bodies meet and spark

An arabesque dance beneath

Warm woolen blankets of ecstatic potential.

 

Disrobe; each swimming movement a gift of subtly unique;

A union of senses, a lungful of forest fragrance in times crooked branches

Untraceable.

The vestiges of Shangri-la still burn up ashen,

Close to source and promise.

We smear our faces in such darkness

To lie unmoved and universal beneath stars.

 

You, the open book, the breaking light and the darkness

Between hearts and moths,

Hidden from precious gorges

Within our sanctuary of rocks and sand.

 

I, the fractured salt in ocean spray and the crystal breeze that seeks;

The sins we revel within to hide,

The stamping breath on callous chest,

The dormant, tidy seed.

 

How can we learn to pour through these fearsome tempests,

The holes we dig, the raging Celtic seas?

 

Together, we recline incandescent and practiced,

The rising emotion tickled pink by the ferocity of the felling tides

And the beauty stored within a formless

Yet flickering offshore light.

 

An abandoned lighthouse scars the lovers peninsula,

Sacred land of ruins and mountain ponies.

Off its craggy cliff;

Rowing aimlessly to make my waves

Across the glittering depths of unknown truths.

 

 

 

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Alan Watts – Guru, Scoundrel or ‘Spiritual Entertainer’?

leroywatson4:

I’ve been listening to more Alan Watts recently and stumbled across this old post that you may enjoy. Does it matter that our spiritual guru’s are rascals? Or does it just make them more endearing and human. More real?

Originally posted on Riding effortlessly on a large green turtle:

‘There was a young man who said Dan, for it certainly seems I am, a creature that moves in determinate grooves, I’m not even a bus I’m a tram.’ 

Alan Watts is a man who has taught me much, giving me insight and inspiration and always a good laugh.  Although he died in the early ’70’s his legacy lives on in his many books, recordings and the seemingly endless clips on Youtube.

Alan’s words deeply resonate with me, he was a man who didn’t seem to take himself or life too seriously.  I am always heartened by his mischievous belly laugh, which for me, was an integral part of his appeal (and teachings!).

Under a Thai Sun, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Thailand

By his own admission, Alan was a ‘spiritual entertainer'; but he was surely being modest, he was much more than that to so many folk.  He was a scholar who…

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Reflections on Grey Skies I & II

I
There are dark shadows
Lain over separation.
Between the gates of the field,
Reach out to chaos.
Lose mind to find fragments of truth
And a fragile tranquility
Projected within the slim pickings
And morsels
Of this movable feast.

Meaningless little crumbs
Are scattered all over the place.
The mind must act as a knife,
Sharp and present,
Able to cut through the nonsense
Felt and witnessed;
Right discernment the key to
Navigating through the oceans
Of potential suffering.

We have greatness with us.
Capabilities unfathomable,
Love supreme.
Look within to things that sparkle
With assured kindness, things that draw us in
To vistas of profound darkness
And rich seams of great strength;
Fields of baffling joy, untamed joy;
Where we may build our nest of twigs
And bones for a short stay;
A sheltered reprieve.

Beyond force and beyond fear;
Beyond thought, prayer, pity, wealth,
Song, gospel, beauty, word, instinct, intuition;
Beyond all emotions great and small;
There lies golden motions,
The infinite gesticulates towards our hearts
In signs and a manner unfamiliar,
Because we are square wooden pegs floating
On the cascading realms of tumult
And vibrancy. Change, the only constant.
Something of nothing
Which we have chosen to ignore.

We have turned our back on the essence of love,
The innocence of love; pretty and playful.
The sweet wisdom unknowable when tied
To fallacy and folly.
How do we spend our time?
Do we ‘spend’ it well?
In this realm of cause and effect,
What is our ‘cause’?

Make a peaceful fist and break the mould.
Stop to take in the fractured reflections of wisdom,
Seize the opportunity to emulate the stars
As they are the flickering, tender light
In aeons of perceived darkness.
We are the mighty conduit,
Emulating the awe that culminates in simple moments
Without immediate worth.
Become a reflection of something else;
Uncontrolled and pure.

II
The web of space and planets
Refracting in the prisms we create.
Potential joins the fractal nature of infinity;
Blessings shower momentarily
Like meteors sent from mythical realms
Of heavenly sensation;
Forces that destroy our flashing existence
To unearth a profound appreciation,
Precious sediment grows
At the base of each river.

You the dream maker! You darkness voyager! You epic consequence!
Surfing same tides.

Just one in the sacred breath
Rising like dawns mist
From the supreme universe.
All giants building bridges that spell delusion.
Why can’t we recline
For a time in the enchanted lands
Of the dream world?
Play the gods at their own game?
Find eden riddled with human virtue.

Words are weak
When held up to the sun,
Gathering tides burgeon
In invisible depths.
From the pit of our stomach
Emanates a worthy repose.

We are reaching into nothing,
For nothing.
Life’s greatest mysteries
Are cloaked by the ambiguity
Of greater questions.

Here, where all who have lived are saved,
Simple gestures rest in the peace
Of the water way;
Earth, wind and air.

No one leaf falls without consequence.

Know that and the tree of life is not wood and water,
But a cyclical dance of evolving love.

 


 

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No fear in the familiar

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Sunset from Llyn Peninsula

Mysterious wisdom,
The hovering art,
The ‘all seeing eye!’

Beating the game through
A pack of propaganda.
Where are the super heroes we seek?

The infinite in the ordinary,
The wisdom of the ages
Ensnared by the daily grind,

In bodies, in minds.

Where is the siddhi of truth?
Lost in the foothills of the insane
Desire spirals in a consuming charade.

Have we thought it through?
You; the master who rules.
The mantle of a god is a curse.

No alarms, no surprises,
No shock and joy.
Will relates to the extraordinary.

True affection
In the humanity of petty existence;
Brilliant existence,
Existence for the sake of it.

Do not be disappointed
By the magical mornings
Of grey skies and cold toast.

No white robes or
Beatific folly can ease
The darkness drawn to your gaze.

Do not fear the familiar,
For the tired lines on your face
Are the brushstrokes of true grace.

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‘In the brief dust and light’ – P.B. Shelley

“Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds Of high resolve;

on fancy’s boldest wings.”

“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Here is a very small excerpt taken from the lyrical drama ‘Hellas’ by Shelley, which he dedicated to the Prince Alexander Mavrocordato of Wallachia. This drama is rich in historic imagery, taking influence from a fascinating period in humanities great adventure; when God kings waged wars, blood, wine and romance were thick on the ground; Greek, Persian, Arab and Oriental imagery and characters all merge and mingle on the page.

Shelley is certainly a western seer, a sage with fabulous gifts of insight into the mystic and most of all, a brilliant story teller, renegade poet, political thinker and bizarrely, devout atheist (or someone who opposed organised religion and its norms at the time). Shelley died at the tender age of 29, he led what you could call ‘a full life’ (which seems a distinct underestimation).  He was outrageously talented and fearless, a true free spirit who embraced the burgeoning ‘free love’ movement (which only seemed to influence a handful of poets and artists at the time!)  Shelley attacked monarchy, war, commercial practices and religion whilst championing republicanism, vegetarianism, free love and atheism.

“Rise like Lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number – 

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you – 

Ye are many – they are few.”

Every poet of the romantic persuasion should have a bit of Shelley in them.  Its the part that wishes to stay up all night long, lamenting the open, pale moon, sipping wine with Dionysus and making love with Sirens and Faeries.  The hopeless (and ever hopeful) romantic.  We all need a little genuine, joy based debauchery, carefree expressions of exuberance, if in word and image alone.  As Shelley once said ‘the poet is both a Creator and a Destroyer’ surely insinuating that the poet rides the waves of spontaneous creation which rise and fall of their own accord.  This poet wishes only to be with that which speaks through them in formless, uninhibited and timeless love.  Poets feel an unspeakable obligation to transmit the ethereal, the otherwordly, the unimagined beauty of existence via ball point, quill or keyboard.  Like divine spokespeople, they have an essential role in any civilised society and Shelley’s words speak as vibrantly and as intensely as they did all those years ago. He creates great vistas in our minds which cannot be washed away; conjures unknown emotions, challenges and soothes with tenderness and guile.  Shelley wished to be remembered in such a way:

Drive my dead thoughts over the universe

Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!….

Scatter, as from an unextinguished hearth

Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!……

Here is a flavour of Hellas, one of the choruses that inspired this post:

Worlds on worlds are rolling ever

From creation to decay,

Like the bubbles of a river,

Sparkling, bursting, borne away.

But they are still immortal

Who, thought birth’s orient 

Portal,

And death’s dark chasm hurrying to

and fro,

Clothe their unceasing flight

In the brief dust and light

Gathered around their chariots as

They go;

New shapes they still may

Weave,

New gods, new laws receive,

Bright or dim are they, as the robes

They last

On Death’s bare ribs had cast. 

This is an incredible passage and is a succinct description of what some would call a very ‘spiritual’ description or insight into our conscious state of being.  There seems some esoteric understanding being exhibited here and it is fascinating to think of what influenced Shelley or his reactions to such reflections.  A form of fertile inspiration and eloquence which is awe inspiring!  They certainly don’t make atheist like they used to!!!!

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The Taste Of Morning – Rumi

Times knife slides from the sheath,
As a fish from where it swims.

Being closer and closer is the desire
Of the body. Don’t wish for union!

There’s a closeness beyond that. Why
Would God want a second God? Fall in

Love in such a way that it frees you from
Any connectivity. Love is the soul’s

Light, the taste of morning, no me, no
‘we’, no claim to ‘being’. These words

Are the smoke the fire gives off as it
Absolves its defects, as eyes in silence,

Tears, face, love cannot be said.

Rumi

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‘The Western Guru’ – Albert Einstein and Tenzin Palmo

I have heard people in the East refer to Albert Einstein as one of the great Western gurus of the modern age and have had the pleasure of reading more into his life of late. The more that I learn about the man, the more I realise what a shining light of spiritual wisdom he was, especially when considering the cultural and social backdrop that he was living amongst.

‘A human being is part of a whole called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space.  He (or she) experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal selves and to affection for a few people nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.’  Albert Einstein 

I think the picture and words above show a man at ease with the nature of existence and possibly operating on a different level of awareness to most of us, behaviour certianly befitting that of a ‘guru’ (who traditionally takes seekers us from the dark and into the light).  Most of these spiritually charged quotes come from later in his life, when his science seemed to go a little awry.  I guess you can’t have the best of both worlds!

Milarepa

As the great Tibetan Buddhist saint Milarepa said:

‘Accustomed long to meditating on the whispered chosen truths. I have forgot all that is said and written and is printed in books.

Accustomed long to application of each new experience to my own spiritual growth, I have forgot all creeds and dogmas.

Accustomed long to know the meaning of the word-less, I have forgot the way to trace the roots of verbs, and source of words and phrases.’ 

The greater the level of spiritual inclination or exploration, the greater the intention to free ourselves from the bonds and restrictions of a purely ‘mind and material’ based existence; this in turn leads to a dissolution of concepts that once seemed to define our existence and ‘ourselves’.  We see a higher path to be tread.  We are free to perceive life for what it truly is, undistracted and pure.  Our focused consciousness encompasses all and is clearly immersed in the glory of the all pervading present; radiant in its simplicity and luminosity.  To exist in such a state, life can be equated to:

‘Music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all, but you are the music while the music lasts.’  T.S. Eliot   

If we can make this our life’s work, make this quest, this great disrobing, one of our priorities in life; then we may for once, collectively, unearth a remedy for human kinds many woes and unearth the route of all temporal suffering.

‘The whole of the worlds troubles are due to mans inability to sit alone in a room.’  Pascal      

Quotes and inspiration taken from the book ‘Cave in the Snow’ based on the life story of Tenzin Palmo. 

Tenzin Palmo

Loving kindness is spontaneous.  Obstacles the teacher, develop patience.  The way we die will be the way we lived.’  

‘We need to wake up, but the desire to keep sleeping is so strong.  We like dreaming.’

Tenzin Palmo

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