sqwook: (Default)
In the moments I can stop the chatter in my mind, the world seems somehow closer. 
The task shifts from keeping the world at a safe decible distance to letting more of the world in.
"Keep walking, though there's no place to get to." -Rumi 
The mind doesn't help. It's the body that knows, that tells me when the direction is right: heart thump and stomach churn, the warmth spreading across my chest, steady steps, the expansiveness, the way I'm in love with the world.
Or when the direction is wrong: blurred eyes, lethargy, the halting steps, snagged by hesitation, the pettiness I can sink to. 

"the gift of this very day" 
sqwook: (Default)
"Don't look for it-- find it. Don't search for it-- come to it. ...
There are no patterns that declare an unknown path."

"In every human head, there is a seed of evil. It thrives in some and makes them stand out among their fellows for their wickedness and cruelty. The little seed suffocates and cannot flourish when it is choked by love. The little seed cannot flourish when it is smothered by compassion. The little seed cannot flourish when it is stifled by tolerance."

"They were free, they were unhurt, their legs worked, and there was always hope."
sqwook: (Default)
Teach the children... Show them daisies and the pale hepatica. Teach them the taste of sassafras and wintergreen. The lives of the blue sailors, mallow, sunbursts, the moccasin flowers. And the frisky ones--inkberry, lamb's-quarters, blueberries. And the aromatic ones--rosemary, oregano. Give them peppermint to put in their pockets as they go to school. Give them the fields and the woods and the possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit. Stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms.
Attention is the beginning of devotion.


Emerson would not turn from the world, which was domestic, and social, and collective, and required action. Neither would he swerve from that unperturbable inner radiance, mystical, forming no rational word but drenched with passionate and untranslatable song. A man should want to be domestic, steady, moral, politic, reasonable. He should want also to be subsumed, whirled, to know himself as dust in the fingers of the wind. This was his supple, unbreakable faith.

Emerson as quoted in Upstream: "I have confidence in the laws of morals as of botany. I have planted maize in my field every June for seventeen years and I never knew it come up strychnine. My parsley, beet, turnip, carrot, buck-thorn, chestnut, acorn, are as sure. I believe that justice produces justice, and injustice injustice."

Solitude was a prerequisite to being openly and joyfully susceptible and responsive to the world of leaves, light, birdsong, flowers, flowing water. Most of the adult world spoke of such things as opportunities, and materials. To the young these materials are still celestial.
sqwook: (Default)
"I walk down this trail (to the waterfalls), my shoes scritch-scritching on the surface. No one else is here. The only sounds are natural sounds. (...) I can feel myself relaxing. Trees do not care if I am normal or not. Rocks and moss do not care. They cannot tell the difference between one human and another. That is restful. I do not have to think about myself at all. (...) I concentrate on the water, seeing its pattern, the order in chaos and chaos in order."
- from 'The speed of dark', by Elizabeth Moon. (a beautiful but ultimately frustrating book I can't actually recommend)
sqwook: (Default)
But man? Alas! he is a creature whose highest priveleges are a curse. Without respite he is dragged by the two wild horses, memory and hope; and he is tormented by a secret that he can never tell. For every man worthy of the name is an initiate; but each one into different Mysteries. And some walk among their fellows with the pitying, slightly scornful smile, of an adept among catechumens. And some are confiding and garrulous, and would so willingly communicate their own unique secret--in vain! For though they shout it in the market-place, or whisper it in music and poetry, what they say is never the same as what they know.


(T)here is not a single homely thing that, looked at from a certain angle, does not become fairy. Think of the (River) Dapple, or the (River) Dawl, when they roll the sunset towards the east. Think of an autumn wood, or a hawthorn in May. A hawthorn in May-- there's a miracle for you! Who would ever have reamed that that gnarled stumpy old tree had the power to do that? Well, all these things are familiar sights, but what should we think if never having seen them we read a description of them, or saw them for the first time? A golden river! Flaming trees! Trees that suddenly break into flower! For all we know, it may be (our own land) Dorimare that is Fairyland to the people across the Debatable Hills.
sqwook: (Default)
"The earth is the only magician, always. There is no other."

-Lioness, in 'Summerlong' by Peter S. Beagle
sqwook: (Default)

(T)he world is full of signs and wonders that come, and go, and if you are lucky you might see them. Once, twice. Perhaps never again.


"He'd come home from work strangely disheartened one winter evening. We asked him what was wrong. 'Did you see the sky today?' he said. He'd been walking through a London park on his way back from a press-call. It was deserted but for a small boy playing by a frozen boating lake. 'I said, "Look up, look at that. Remember you saw that. You'll never see it again."' Above them both was a vast tracery of ice-rings and sun-dogs in a wintry, hazy sky. A 22 degree halo, a circumzenithal arc and an upper tangent arc, the sun's light refracting and cutting the heavens into a complicated geometry of ice and air and fire. But the boy didn't seem interested at all. Dad was baffled. 'Maybe he though you were one of those strange men,' we sniggered, rolling our eyes, and he looked embarrassed and faintly cross. But he was so very sad about the boy who didn't see.

Now that Dad was gone I was starting to see how mortality was bound up in things like that cold, arc-lit sky. How the world is full of signs and wonders that come, and go, and if you are lucky you might see them. Once, twice. Perhaps never again. The albums on my mother's shelves are full of family photographs. But also other things. A starling with a crooked beak. A day of hoarfrost and smoke. A cherry tree thick with blossom. Thunderclouds, lightning strikes, comets and eclipses: celestial events terrifying in their blind distances but reassuring you, too, that the world is for ever, though you are only a blink in its course.

Henri Cartier-Bresson called the taking of a good photograph a decisive moment. 'Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera,' he said. 'The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone for ever.' I thought of one of these moments as I sat there waiting for the hawk to eat from my hand. It was a black-and-white photograph my father had taken many years ago of an elderly street-cleaner wtih a white goatee beard, wrinkled socks and down-at-heel shoes. Crumpled work trousers, work gloves, a woollen beret. The camera is low, on the pavement: Dad must have crouched in the road to take it. The man is bending down, his besom of birch twigs propped against his side. He has taken off one of his gloves, and between the thumb and first finger of his bare right hand he is offering a crumb of bread to a sparrow on the kerbstone. The sparrow is caught mid-hop at exactly the moment it takes the crumb from his fingers. And the expression on the man's face is suffused with joy. He is wearing the face of an angel."


"It struck me then that perhaps the bareness and wrongness of the world was an illusion; that things might still be real, and right, and beautiful, even if I could not see them -- that if I stood in the right place, and was lucky, this might somehow be revealed to me."


"The world is full of signs and wonders that come, and go, and if you are lucky you might be alive to see them."

sqwook: (sqwook)
  And so now you will begin to work at your (art). Remember these things. Work with all your intelligence and love. Work freely and rollickingly as though you they were talking to a friend who loves you. Mentally (at least three of four times a day) thumb your nose at all know-it-alls, jeerers, critics, doubters.
But if when I walk I look at teh sky or the lake or the tiny, infinitesimally delicate, bare, young trees, or wherever I want to look, and my neck and jaw are loose and I feel happy and say to mysel with my imagination, "I am free," and "There is nothing to hurry about," I find then that thoughts begin to come to me in their quiet way.
My explanation of it is that when I walk in a carefree way, without straining to get to my detination, then I am living in the present. And it is only then that the creative power flourishes.
It is only in walks that are a little too long, that one has any new ideas.
(paraphrase) don't dwell on your inadequacies; encourage yourself, and be freer and bolder.
Think of telling a story, not of writing it... In writing one must be bold, free and truthful. Being truthful keeps one from the boldness that means showing off.
One of the very worst, self-murdering lies that people tell to tehmselves is that they are no good and have no gift and nothing important to say.
To sum up – if you want to write:
1. Know that you have talent, are original and have something important to say.
2. Know that it is good to work. Work with love and think of liking it when you do it. It is easy and interesting. It is a privilege. There is nothing hard about it but your anxious vanity and fear of failure.
3. Write freely, recklessly, in first drafts.
4. Tackle anything you want to – novels, plays, anything.
Only remember Blake’s admonition: “Better to strangle an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.” (sbh: lol, jfc, wtf?)
5. Don’t be afraid of writing bad stories. To discover what is wrong with a story write two new ones and then go back to it.
6. Don’t fret or be ashamed of what you have written in the past. How I always suffered from this! How I would regurgitate out of my memory (and still do) some nauseous little lumps of things I had written! But don’t do this. Go on to the next. And fight against this tendency, which is much of it due not to splendid modesty, but a lack of self-respect. We are too ready (women especially) not to stand by what we have said or done. Often it is a way of forestalling criticism, saying hurriedly: “I know it is awful!” before anyone else does. Very bad and cowardly. It is so conceited and timid to be ashamed of one’s mistakes. Of course they are mistakes. Go on to the next.
7. Try to discover your true, honest, untheoretical self.
8. Don’t think of yourself as an intestinal tract and tangle of nerves in the skull that will not work unless you drink coffee. Think of yourself as incandescent power, illuminated perhaps and forever talked to by God and his messengers. Remember how wonderful you are, what a miracle! Think if Tiffany’s made a mosquito, how wonderful we would think it was!
9. If you are never satisfied with what you write, that is a good sign. It means your vision can see so far that it is hard to come up to it. Again I say, the only unfortunate people are the glib ones, immediately satisfied with their work. To them the ocean is only knee-deep.
10. When discouraged, remember what van Gogh said: “If you hear a voice within you saying: you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working.”
11. Don’t he afraid of yourself when you write. Don’t check-rein yourself If you are afraid of being sentimental, say, for heavens sake, be as sentimental as you can or feel like being! Then you will probably pass through to the other side and slough off sentimentality because you understand it at last and really don’t care about it.
12. Don’t always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. “I will not Reason & Compare” said Blake; “my business is to Create.” Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable.
sqwook: (Default)
"I pondered my own experiences of meditation (...) By looking into my own emptiness, I had paradoxically discovered more of my own voice. What I had learned (...) was that I did not have to know myself analytically as much as I had to tolerate not knowing."

"We are afraid to venture into the unknown becasue to do so would remind us of how unsafe we once felt. ... Meditation gave me the faih that there were other techniques of self-exploration than the analysis of my thinking mind."

create a situation of nonjudgmental awareness, to be able to look directly at aloneness / emptiness / dropping the ego/ dropping the compensatory mind -- while not being overwhelmed by fear of the disconnections of the past.

(in a flow activity) "I had permitted myself to simply be, without worrying about keeping myself together."

"Thinking is quite useful when there is somethign to ponder. but defensive thinking just makes us feel cut off."

"The defense is what hurts. (...) In our misguided attempts to become more self-assured, we tend to build up our defenses even more, rather than disentagnling ourselves from them. "

"We do not have to cure every neurosis, we just have to learn how not to be caught by them."

"I did not need to be infallible to get home, I realized. Nor did I always have to be in control. The retreat /had/ changed something in my mind. Retaining a sense of expansiveness toward things instead of the usual contraction, I felt a spirit of generosity toward myself. Things did not have to be perfect for me to be okay, it seemed."

"When we seek happiness through accumulation, either outside of ourselves-- from other people, relationships, or material goods-- or from our own self-development, we ar emissing the essential point. In either case we are trying to find completion. But according to buddhism, such a strategy is doomed. Completion comes not from adding another piece to ourselves but from surrendering our ideas of perfection. "

"I began to think there was something awesome about my timing. How was it that, at the exact moment of my stopping, such incredible things were happening? It took me longer than I am prepared to admit to realize tht such things were /always/ happening. It was only that I was finally paying attention. "

I had awareness of just how unimportant my efforts to understand myself were. Relaxing my mind into its own deeper nature, as I was doing spontaneiously when I interrupted my walk, I could reach beyong my personality into somethign more open.
sqwook: (Default)
The only way to really know if a seed is alive is to plant it and see if it grows.

By cosmic rule,
as day yields night,
so winter summer,
war peace, plenty famine.
All things change.
sqwook: (Default)
Don't let your throat tighten
with fear. Take sips of breath
all day and night, before death
closes your mouth.


Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stonger pull of what you really love.


Unfold your own myth, without complicated explanation.


Give up wanting what other people have.
That way you're safe.


Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.


But listen to me: for one moment,
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you.


Don't fall down the well of scripture.
Use the words to keep moving.
Let the wellrope pull you out.
Then let the wellrope go.
sqwook: (Default)
If your love has contracted into agner, the atmosphere itself feels threatening,
but when you're expansive and clear, no matter what the weather,
you're in an open windy field with friends.


Don't repeatedly keep doing what your lowest self wants.


You have a source inside you, a cool spring that sometimes stops flowing, frozen or clogged with silt. (...)
If your heart feels numb and metallic, walk into into the sun, or whatever the mystery is that makes your inner spring well up.


Muhammed said no one looks back and regrets leaving this world. What's regretted is how real we thought it was!
How much we worried about phenomena and how little we considered what moves through form.


Spring is how the soul renews and refreshes itself, fields damp and sprouting.


Silence is the best alchemy.


Flow inside me, source of the source of joy, life essence.


In every instant there's dying and coming back around. Muhammad said, This world
is a moment,
a pouring that refreshes adn renews itself so rapidly it seems continuous,
as a burning stick taken from the fire looks like a golden wire when you swirl
it in the air, so we feel duration as a string of sparks.


Don't make yourself miserable with what's to come, or not to come.


No one knows the source of joy.


Movement wakes us up and unlocks new blessings.


When you feel a peaceful joy, you're near the truth... Speak the clearest truth you know.


Joy moves always to new location, the ease of its flow never freezing.
A long winter's tale is over. Now with each spring day a new story.


When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.


It makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.


Half of any person is wrong and weak and off the path. Half! The other half is dancing and swimming and flying in the invisible joy.


Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.
sqwook: (Default)
The more actively we seek out happiness, the less likely we are to find it. The reason for this is that all forms of seeking pertain to the finite, egoic consciousness (our everyday identity), whereas true, permanent happiness is the unconditional Reality itself, which transcends the ego. (...) We cannot become happy; we can only be happy.

Most people have experienced moments of joy or delight at one time or another in their lves. That means we know what happiness feels like... what we experience when our whole body radiates with joyous energy and we feel like embracing everyone and everything. In those precious moments, we are in touch with something more real than our ordinary self or the world that our ordinary self experiences. Our ego is temporarily suspended, and our consciousness and energy and stepped up manifold. There is simply an overwhelming feeling of happines, of blissfulness, which has the quality of love. We can always remember, with our whole body, those occasions of extraordinary joy. (...)

To remember to be present as the body is a skill that can be learned. To be presently happy rather than to seek to become happy is an open option for all of us-- in every single moment. We can either lose ourselves in fear, anger, sorrow, lust, jealousy, pride, self-complacency, and all the other diverse egoic states, or we can feel through to the great pool of bliss that lies beyond them.


We are always already enlightened, but this must become our immediate and continuous apperception.


Stressful effort-- "trying too hard"-- is always a sign that our ego is in the way.

sqwook: (Default)
Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances.
That's not for human beings. Move within,
but don't move the way fear makes you move.
I thought I had self-control,
so I regretted times I didn't.
With that considering over, the one thing I know
is I don't know who I am.
Don't let your throat tighten
with fear. Take sips of breath
all day and night. Before death
closes your mouth.

Walk to the well.
Turn as the earth and the moon turn,
circling what they love.
Whatever circles comes from the center.
sqwook: (Default)

All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

"You owe

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the


You carry
All the ingredients
To turn your life into a nightmare--
Don't mix them!
You arry all the ingredients
To turn your existence into joy,
Mix them, mix


Close your eyes for a moment and maybe all your fears and fantasies will end.


Do sad people have in

It seems
They have all built a shrine
To the past

And often go there
And do a strange wail and

What is the beginning of

It is to stop being
So religious




Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God.

Now is the tim to understand
That all yoyur ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child's training whells
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
With veracity
And love.

Hafiz is a divine envoy
Whom the Beloved
Has written a holy message upon.

My dear, please tell me,
Why do you still
Throw sticks at your heart
And God?

What is it in that sweet voice inside
That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.

This is the time
For you to deeply comput the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is sacred.


There is nothing in your mind
You have not invited in.


All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better


Stay close to any sounds
That make you glad you are alive.


So that your own heart
Will grow.


Because this is a food
Our starving world

Because that is the purest

sqwook: (Default)

Sometimes when you are really struggling with something emotionally, it’s because you’ve set up some core belief in reaction to something that happened earlier, and the time for that core belief is now thoroughly past. You can’t see the ill fit until the point where it becomes really a major problem. So the upheaval feeling, while it sucks, is happening because it’s time for something to change. It's time to look at it.

Like, at one point, “Remember the pain of this” makes sense, and then at some point it stops making sense to deliberately carry that as a sword to fall on each day. That one was maybe a little obvious, as soon as the time came to see it.

And then “Use no energy; Disconnect and disengage” can make sense for a time, when the risk seems too high. Except that you exist in the world, and your existence inherently *has* connections and actions. It is not possible to 100% withdraw and still exist, and let us agree that we will continue to exist. So, amend wherever possible when you fuck up, continue to exist, and act with love and kindness and as much wisdom as you can muster.

sqwook: (Default)
I would suffer. I would suffer. I would want things to be different than they were. The wanting was a wildernessand I had to find my own way out of the woods. It took me (years). I didn't know where I was going until I got there.

(I)t occurred to me that I didn't have to be amazed by him anymore.
There were so many other amazing things in this world.
They opened up inside of me like a river. Like I didn't know I could take a breath and then I breathed.

It was all unknown to me (...). Everything except the fact that I didn't have to know. That it was enough to trust that what I'd done was true.To understand its meaning withoutyet being able to say precisely what it was (...). That it was everything. It was my life-- like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be.
sqwook: (Default)
I hope to make pictures like I walk in the desert-- under a spell, an instinct of motion, a kind of knowing that is essentially indirect and sideways.

What do the eyes rest upon -- mind disengaged, heart not -- that combines senses and affection into a homeland?

(B)lue, terra-cotta, green. Sky, stone, life.

(T)he river celebrates things we forget how to celebrate: our own spirits, the eternity of all things.

(T)he serenity of being beside a river induces an intensity of awareness that is inflammatory; one moves from languid calm to burning ecstasy in an instant.

It is as if there is no air or stone here, only light.

In solitude you strip yourself bare, you rest your mind on what is essential and true.

The river draws off my madness and calms me.

I am an obligate species, obligated to have this river. I can match this life to its shape. Perhaps then I might learn something.

Slowly, the senses had a way of overtaking the mind so that the perfume of clifforse could push me into a realm of sheer pleasure.

I was seized by something that could never be wrestled down, a feeling not unlike sorrow and ecstasy compounded.
The wind rakes our hair and we see so many stars at night, I fear that merely by watching them we will lose all moorings and float upward into the deep, silent light.

I liked the drums pulsing inside my head until they seemed to drive my own blood through my veins, and the way the dance arenas opened to a sky soon to be strewn with stars like seeds cast from a gourd-- some radiant combination of things so acutely visual and physical that you understand more easily what it is you love.

The desert gives an unsettling sense of the largeness of the universe in relation to the self.

"Here the immensity, the emptiness, feeds the spirit, and leaves it with no hunger for anything but more space, more light-- as if one had suddenly glimpsed the largeness, the emptiness of one's own soul, and come to terms with it, glorying at last in its open freedom." -David Malouf, An Imaginary Life

For me it (turquoise) is simply instinct, and perhaps this is all that a person can try to put into each of her days: attention to the radiance, a rise to the full chase of beauty. 
sqwook: (Default)
Virtue - doing what helps (yourself and others) - working with the tendency of the mind to transform what arises
Mindulness - paying attention - being with whatever arises
Wisdom - let go of the things that hurt you, and strengthen those that help you - taking refuge in the ground of being

Being on your own side.
Use your actions benevolently toward your future self.
"It's imporssible to change the past or rhte present: you can only accept all that as it is. But you can tend to the causes of a better future."
"To take these steps, you have to be on your own side."
"Please consider... You are a human being like any other --and just as deserving of happiness, love, and wisdom."

"To nurture self-compassion adn strengthen its neural circuits:
*Recall being with someone who really loves you
*Bring to mind someone you naturally feel compassion for, such as a child or a person you love
*Extend this same compassion to yourself - be aware of your own suffering and extend concern and good wishes toward yourself; sense compassion sifting down into raw places inside, falling like a gentle rain that touches everything."

Remember the concept of first arrow and second arrow.

"If you can simply stay present with whatever is arising in awareness-- whether it's a first dart or a second one-- without reacting further, then you will break the chain of suffering right there."

"Your brain preferentially scans for, registers, stores, recalls, and reacts to unpleasant experiences. (...) Actively look for good news, particulary the little stuff of daily life (...) Savor the experience... the longer that somethign is held in awareness adn the more emotionally stimulating it is, the more neurons that fire and thus wire together, adn the stronger the trace in memory. (...) Imagine or feel that the experience is entering deeply into your mind and body, like the sun's warmth into a T-shirt..."

Mindfulness meditation. Even just five minutes. (or the length of a stick of incense, or ... ? )

Buddhism's 'wise speech' - "Say only what is well-intended, true, beneficial, timely, expressed without harshness or malice, and - ideally - what is wanted."
sqwook: (Default)
Blue stability and orange witchery!!!

 (regarding penguins)

"... and if their parents, finally, when the chicks are strong, stop arriving with squid, so that the chicks become hungry enough to wobble off, through miles of golden blowing snow, to find the unseen sea, then they will discover, once they leap in, that they have talents besides standing-- swimming with sudden winging, wheeling grace in water."

(regarding Ginnungagap, the "gaping gap, dark and empty")
"But there are others who still experience the Ginungagap, like buttercups. Into the gaping gap buttercups send their yellow-dusted anthers, petitioning for a bee; and the gap is where the crane flower sets up its blue landing-petals and orange flicker-flame petals-- in order to doubly tempt the sunbirds--with blue stability and orange witchery."

"So why not stay stafe in the dirt, a seed holding tight, instead of a seed bursting forth and offering the plummy stationary self to slim mold and powdery scab and blossom end rot and weevils and sow bugs and gangrene and silver scurf and scrapy little sparrows waiting above ground?
Plants cannot stay safe. Desire for light spools grass out of the ground; desire for a visitor spools red ruffles out of twigs. Desire makes plants very brave, so they can find what they desire; and very tender, so they can feel what they find.
Those who are feeling their way into the Ginnungagap must be able to feel, which means able to freckle, and fringe, and soften, and tilt. And if they can tilt they can fall."
Page generated Oct. 21st, 2017 08:59 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios