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Sunday, 19 November 2017

Rev 3.8


There is an open door which no one can close...

knowing
light to the touch
moments of mindfulness
emptiness too an illusion
smiling

Who knew?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Sound of Breathing

Nothing can prepare you
for the gentle shock of it
sitting there
thinking it’s all going well
then arising from beyond
somewhere
you knew you could ask
but hadn’t taken the time to listen
comes the thought
all these breaths
in and out
where do they come from
I cannot control them
they come and go of their own volition
and then the heartbeat
overtakes the imagination of its own heart
asking the same questions
about coming and going 
regularity of rhythm 
who knows
in the beginning I breathe in
at the end I breathe out 
what can I say about
everything in between
it just strikes you
and things are never the same
you walk with a slight limp
and a knowing smile
more than that who can say

with any degree of certainty.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Religion - binding or looking again...

relego or religo

Religion’s virtue is in its origin
looking again
believing change is possible
hard to see
nothing is what it
first seems
words divide
from
the one
its historical emphasis on form
rather than substance
has caused wars and deaths
devastating both
our species and planet
time to look again.

substance
dividing words
accidentally shown
reality to be confused
by mind

Thursday, 9 November 2017

'Write what you want', he said...

be still
know I am God
know that I am with you
know that I am is sending you
silence


there is no myth here
no story to revive and revise
just the essence
coming into the light
the fire
the sand
shoes off now
should I kneel
fall on my face
no time now
silence roars from the flames
something happened
nothing has changed
everything is different
what now

A Shepherd’s Life

tending the flocks that will never be mine
dreaming of camp fires and singing red wine
clanking of awkward rung bells
old and familiar smells
no one believes in a trick of the eye
how can I tell them they’ll say it’s a lie

but something happened out here in the cold
something more precious than silver and gold
awkwardly seeking my bones
grinding the truth with their stones
speaking in tongues in the fire and the flame
drawing me inward to join in the game

lost in the dreams of the moon and the stars
carrying bundles and counting the scars
flashing quickness of the blade
in the manger where he laid
out across the desert in the morning
comes the dreadful angel with her warning

hosannahs from the highest heavens call
bring news that God is something very small
tangled in an earthen web
joined forever in the ebb
can it be that God is leaving heaven
can I taste it here within this leaven

now before the morning star is risen
shaking off this old and dusty prison
letting go the iron bars
finding truth among the stars
walk the trails that many trod before me
resting neath the tree that harbours angels

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Participant /Observer

treble
the silence
nothing is here listen
join in the flowing mystery
thankful

challenged to face fear
and watching it fade
like smoke
once I was
everything then this
life tore me apart
words
separated me
from the one
finding my way back
it seems
is less now
about struggle
and more
about different perspective
arial view
revealing bigger picture
levitation
mind games

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Crow

listen
God alone knows
endless stream of living
present to you in the moment
glowing

three streams
meet
Buddhism
Christianity
and crow
lifelines in the hallway
offering support
discernment required
asked for
in silence
method in madness
structure
gives the impression
of solidarity
but crow knows
the Buddha sees
and the Christ smiles
what is to become of us
children of the earth
pilgrimaging
home



Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Morning Prayer

sitting
thoughts come and go
somewhere in the distance
another beating heart calls me
homeward

Monday, 30 October 2017

Monastery

deep impression
of beat
rhythm
leitmotif
of cosmic drone
ways of doing things
key to how work becomes prayer
if done thoughtfully and mindfully
if you have a routine
way
sense of purpose
of dedication
of discipline
then there is room
space
open hand
upon which
the butterfly might land.




BBC 4 link only for another 25 days!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Late Autumn

dying
close companion
throughout the whole of life
turn your constant face towards me
daily



death has no emotion
no feeling
like thoughts of dying
which
creates fear and regret
watering these seeds
brings more suffering
better
see your true history
in clouds
in the faces of
parents
of people you helped
children, grandchildren
let every cell of your body smile
water the seeds of compassion








Sunday, 22 October 2017

Mid-Term

let go
restless yearning
listen to the weather
everything is as it should be
flowing

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Editing


wordless*
resting the brain
come back to the moment
nurturing seeds of the future
beauty






* ‘wordless’ stated off life as wording

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

New Moon

to what end
are meanings constructed
tiny footholds in crumbling rock
constantly shifting weight from
one leg to the other becoming
a stubborn people unheeding
jeering at prophets imagining cruel
endings
smiling morning star holds hope
new beginnings
when water sits as stone
silent snowfall makes it all
equally redeemable

keeping
to the water
morning breaks the meaning
letting go should be so simple
waken

Monday, 16 October 2017

Morning Glow

half-light
before colour
wondering about space
time and again in the mist of
morning

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Today

Dying
will be no more
rebirth proving once more
seasons endless rounding of time
exposed.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Something

Water
empty clear flowing
natural state of mind
ever changing present moment
flowing

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

On the seashore...

Complex
so many thoughts
breathing in breathing out
resolving the conflict within
simple

simple
follow the breath
calmness and peace ensue
water the seeds of compassion
gently

gently
bring the mind back
doing nothing let go
living in the present moment
grateful

greatful
simply being
in this joyful moment
nowhere to go nothing to do
breathing

breathing
being content
letting go of anger
knowing there's only this moment
deep peace

Complex
follow the breath
doing nothing let go
nowhere to go nothing to do
deep peace. 

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Allotment's Autumn

Sitting
in the garden
death is all around me
bursting with life every moment
timeless

Sunshine
breathe in and out
you can do a little
you can rest in the life giving
moment

Birdsong
gentle echo
listen my soul in peace
whispering of the universe
come home

Humming
late summer bees
searching for some pollen
calling me mindfully back home
centred

Breezes
flowing of air
playing with everything
making leaves dance and sing for joy
gently

Sitting
breathe in and out
listen my soul in peace
calling me mindfully back home
gently

Sometimes
all the time
it is possible to see
something of the world
beyond the senses
the seeing eye
that you dream with
sees the world as it really is
endless cycles are at rest
constantly changing
silent echoes
amid the quiet colours
weaving tapestries
of meaning before the eyes

Saturday, 16 September 2017

(untitled)

summer
burned itself out
remember her fondly
leaving the ash of fallen leaves
footprints

Friday, 8 September 2017

Friday

cloudy
seasons changing
knowing that I belong
day holds many things of wonder
simple

Saturday, 2 September 2017

September

no rules
what makes me real
until the tide comes in
re-membering the way it was
morning

Monday, 28 August 2017

The price of freedom...

Going through emails
unsubscribing 
from dozens of needless invitations to waste time
discovering myself wasting the same time surfing the net
realizing time cannot be wasted 
(I would have been doing something else)
next turn my attention to mindfulness
make breakfast
put on ambient music 

and tidy the garage

...constant vigilance





Sunday, 27 August 2017

Another day...


...another endband
It all seems to be getting better the more I try. The only inconsistency is at the start (left hand side) when the gap is too large between the stations.  The return is more consistent because the thickness of the thread gradually works its way round and by the time the left hand side is reached the gap is made up. Next time I will add an extra turn after the diagonal loop back in the early sections.
Note that the left and right refer to the top image which should be read reversed in the bottom image
rear view
The differences in height, the dip in the middle, is caused because the text block is slightly lower than the boards. Next time I hope to make them the same height.





Saturday, 26 August 2017

Today...

no time
like the present
living in the moment
past and future no longer loom
happy

Some days it is like that
today is one of those days
tired from yesterdays hard work
clearing the years of undergrowth
revealing the bare soil
beginning to understand how it all works
in a way that leaves room
for glorious unintended outcomes
to grace moments
cleaved from eternal wonder.


Friday, 25 August 2017

Finally

Turning the corner

Seems like an age, but it's probably only a couple of weeks, I managed to get this endband sorted.
I was making a tutorial to print off for myself and hit a brick wall when I got to this part. 

The problems were about consistency and infilling. I was adding extra turns at the corner to try and fill in the gaps. Turns out that at the gap just go in as if into a section and continue as normal. I know this doesn't mean anything to anyone but it's a lot to me.

The key to it was making a trial one, a board with a few sections sewn on and then keep doing it until it is right. It's a bit soul destroying having to keep cutting it off and starting again but in the end it is worth it.

Having the right thread helps too. It has been quite a journey to find the right sort. I have tried all manner of threads, and still have a few on order to try, so the journey isn't over yet.

It seems St. Benedict was right, "Always we begin again.", though I can't for the life of me find it in the Rule.

Friday, 18 August 2017

When salt loses it's taste

strangely
based on living
having to forget things
looking at another layer
dreaming

turning

autumn to winter

what was 
before it was

inner searching
turning old leaved
familiar musty smell
rotting thoughts 

no comfort
when life's autumn 
turns it's seasons
towards the winter

yet

never was there such a day 
only a breath away

edging towards 
glorious inevitability
scything of mellow 
meadowed souls



always
we begin
again




Thursday, 17 August 2017

It is what it is...

Round the Corner
Well, it's all there nothing missed out. Nothing another few years of practice won't sort out.
A couple of things to note In my opinion:
Thicker thread makes the gap less obvious 
Thinner thread looks better

Home straight now. 

Mantra:
Into section 
wrap round top core
in through the back - missing three threads
diagonally across
round the top core
into section...
repeat


Better

Correct (After)



I was right, as I undid the thread I discovered that the two odd looking ones were in fact not wound round the top cord after going into the section.


Missed looping round (Before)

What is interesting is how the back looks even better.

Reverse View
All the books say start by going in from the back, but now I am wondering about reversing it so the outside is on the inside. 

Now there is just the trickery of the big gap on the corner to negotiate between the last hole and the first section.


Close...

...but no cigar


Waxed crochet yarn


These were better.


Blue 18/3 linen
   




Seem to be struggling a lot with this now, the first couple of books went fine then I started writing it up so that I could pass it on to others.
Things went swimmingly until I got to the part about the endbands. I think it's about focus and consistency somehow.

The trick is to learn and I think where it has gone wrong, twice, is not going round after going into the section hole.

Always we begin again.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Grass needs cutting on the allotment and...



things need tidying 
on the workbench
and 
I don't like it when this happens
when
working mindfully takes a back seat
and 
mania takes over
when
a million monkeys jump from tree to tree
and
instead of watching them
I chase after them.


Monday, 14 August 2017

Perhaps...

God is
made manifest
in the doings of christ
co-mingled with everything
daily

Friday, 11 August 2017

Nearing the End of Something

Blot

follow
nothing asked for
taking the time to be
re-cognising reality
gently


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Time past...

blue sky
seeming normal
longed for simplicity
turning poems into music
beating

Imagined field of poppies
yellow corn
probably clear blue sky
crisp linen shirt  bare
feet
well worn dirt path

longing yet homely feeling
coming home to the unknown place
with low door
lowing cattle smell of bread
goodness lives here
in the tiny mullioned windows

peer in
table set with wonder
swallows under eaves
swift action silence on the wing
even roses round the porch
seat

sit
closing eyes 
better to see the wonder of it all
as singing gently
she 
carries me home

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Moments

Breathing
nose chest tummy
tummy chest nose again
going nowhere doing nothing
simple.

Constant vigilance
ensuring
awareness doesn't wander
from the task in hand
watching the monkeys
in trees
playfully jumping
from branch to branch
taking care not to wander far
from the breath
returning to its apparent constancy
knowing the truth
becoming aware
that prayer is every
breath
no more no less

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Detachment is not the same as aversion.

detachment leads to wisdom and right perception 
whereas aversion leads to attachment and suffering.

come in take off your robe 
make a heap of your clothes
shave your body make a pile of your hair.
flay your skin make a heap of that
strip all your muscles from their bones 
sinew cartilage and tendon 
make a pile of them
stack up your bones in a pile
grind them to dust
look closely at the piles
watch them fade to dust
blown by the wind 
carried into the clouds
out to the ocean to be rained on the earth once more
were is the independent I


gather the grape
fruit of the vine
work of hands
crush in the press 
reduce to liquid
pour out for all
gather the wheat 
grind
bake
tear
share
with all
where is the grape
where is the wheat

how sweet
this one moment
nothing could be simpler
sipping water watching it flow
through me

no birth
all one in time
no death no otherness
only part of the rolling tide
rhythm 


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Golden Cinquian


lost dream
gone in a flash
nothing left but feelings
there is nothing left but ashes
ever

ever
waking moment
dreaming of a lost life
in some parallel universe
resting

resting
calm engulfs me
every cell is smiling
waves come crashing on the shoreline
silence

silence
in the morning
birdsong breaking the spell
restlessness comes with the morning
calling

calling
over the hills
listening for echoes
longing for the distant whisper
comfort

(i) lost dream
waking moment
every cell is smiling
restlessness comes with the morning
comfort

miracle
everyday life
living for every day
focusing on the needful things
gently

gently
learning to sit
calmness is everything
manifestation of heaven
present

present
in the moment
long enough to savour
music behind the promises
singing

singing
songs of morning
blissfully awaken
resting in peaceful between states
music

music
noting silence
finding the harmony
joyfully running together
as one

(ii) miracle
learning to sit
long enough to savour
resting ion peaceful between states
as one

moving
out of the dream
into the wakefulness
senses awakening slowly
movement

movement
into the day
gently start unfolding
wings that have never been opened
promise

promise
new day dawning
what will you do today
with this one precious life given
jump in

jump in
every moment
lived to the maximum
spent in the service of others
loving

loving
spending it all
giving it all away
never stopping to count the cost
gladly

(iii) moving
into the day
what will you do today
spent in the service of others
gladly

garden
haven of peace
constantly challenging
dreaming of life in the moment
dying

dying
being reborn
endless cycles of life
constantly looking for freedom
elsewhere

elsewhere
awakening
across the universe
stirring some life into being
water

water
trapped in the land
looking for its mother
cutting through the tallest mountain
easy

easy
coming back home
rejoicing in the dawn
coveting the precious moment
smiling

(iv) garden
being reborn
across the universe
cutting through the tallest mountain
smiling

endings
unmasked mornings
stirring up potential
showing the way to go forward
by chance

by chance
reality
opens the way forward
sitting in the cool of the day
waiting

waiting
for nothing else
everything is in me
seedlings of the universal
watered

watered
sprouting to life
needing only nurture
growing in the silent darkness
movement

movement
towards the light
coming to the surface
manifesting endless glory
brightly

(v) endings
reality
everything is in me
growing in the silent darkness
brightly



lost dream
learning to sit
what will you do today
cutting through the tallest mountain
brightly















Monday, 24 July 2017

This morning at least...


stillness
ocean of calm
daily practice sustains
nothing in the mind of no one
empty

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Return

back home
all in the mind
generous offering
caught in the sense of the moment
subtle

Thursday, 20 July 2017

The Most High God

here I am
ready and willing to be a servant
of the most high God
and all the 
most high God wants
is to hide away
in full view
but that’s ok
I know the most high God is here
in the same way I know I am here
which is tenuous
to say the least
so we’re quits
the most high God can get on with whatever
and I will get on with whatever
knitting reality from fog

it’s a start anyway

starting
always as hard
thinking it’s something else
often just a little whisper 
calling

calling
in the morning
tapping on my window
some little bird to let me know
something

something
rattles around 
niggling at my conscience
inviting me to make a start
daily

daily
coming closer
is it in the sunshine
or the universal murmur 
calling

calling
loved and wanted
on the doorstep daily
coming closer every moment
welcome

starting
in the morning
niggling at my conscience 
or the universal murmur 
welcome

thankful
it never leaves
universal murmur 
always loving in the background
humming




Friday, 14 July 2017

Perhaps

looking sideways
at
constant vigilance
being the price of freedom

over your shoulder
through a mirror
read
mindfulness brings freedom

perhaps
freedom sets you free
to be enslaved
by its pursuance

breathing in
I breathe in
breathing out
I breathe out

well at least I try

Commentary:
Too much I.




Saturday, 1 July 2017

River end...

Completed a  River booklet - 11 more to go.

   

       
 

The structure is a Dos a Dos with Psalm 46 (RSV) as the first section and two further sections containing five cinquains each. The cuff and cover are made from 200gsm cold pressed watercolour paper and the text block is inkjet printed on 80gsm copy paper.

Here are the cinquains:

Cinquain(i)

Rising
old memories
threatening the present
letting go of all attachments
falling

falling
all to easy
into ways of thinking
listen to the tender silence
rising

rising
inner tensions
future looming larger
only in the present moment
falling

falling
seeking progress
walking quite awkwardly
always hold on to the vision
rising

rising
glimmering light
that of love within me
present in the presence of God
falling
Cinquain(ii)

Rising
all to easy
future looming larger
always hold on to the vision
falling

river
swelled with rail fall
up and down stream the same
only in this precious moment
presence

stillness
carved from water
freely given wonder
only everything demanded
whisper

mercy
whispered come now
unaware it caught me
(I was seeking something other)
hiding

slowly
in the garden
children of soil play
innocent of any knowing
graceful




Monday, 19 June 2017

New Coptic Stitch

Same size as the others but this time a coptic stitch rather than tackett stitching. Fifth book made in five days. Pleased about that, goes to show what making time does.
Been to Le Prevo today in Newcastle, brilliand guys, very helpful, came away with lots of lovely coloured threads to stitch with.



Simple Closing


Peek Inside








Sunday, 18 June 2017

Another day...

Another book
A tackett book, just a little one A6, I like that size. Discovering ways to work with images and Blog on the iPad. All a bit of a learning curve. The trick seems to be to take the photo with the iPad and then enhance it with the Image Size app then get it into Google Photos. Do this by opening Google Photos and uploading the image from the iPad.
Here's another image:


Take 2

In the middle of another tackett stitched book. This time with two cutouts. I staggered the stitching on the one above and it means that the sections will move up and down. Nothing wrong with that but I want it a bit more stable.
Learning all the time. 'Every day's a school day.'

Friday, 16 June 2017

Day 1 Book 1

A little decoration on an old theme.


Just trying to figure how this works on the iPad. A new app (Image Size) and a bit of googling and I'm away.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Molloy (I do make I laugh!)


process or technique
take this morning
take now!
I begin to reflect
before reading
this is because I am led to explore the difference between the words I have just read. “more of a process than a technique” referring to Lectio Divina 1

A technique is in a sense limited. There are a finite, though granted it's a big number, of ways of expressing myself in words, paints, sketching, drawing, music, acting etc.
This is because in using resources as techniques. I am attempting to realise something. I have some sort of aim in mind; a painting, a play, a song, some sort of output.

A process however is a a way of journeying without any intended outcome. This doesn't mean that there will not be one.
1. 30 minutes then photograph the result from the south west at an angle of 45 degrees from the horizon.
2. Import this image into Photoshop and apply a filter based on rules I will decide by use of a dice.

Techniques produce a desired effect.
Processes are more open ended.

Techniques are about achieving a goal.

Processes are about possibilities serendipity and unintended outcomes.

Techniques are about step 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc end result repeatable scientific method?

Process is about steps of randomness.
The path is traceable, if you want it to be, but has more potential for discovery and innovation.

They can overlap, and often do. I can be drawing and just letting the pencil meander across the page with no intention other than that of making a mark.
Whilst doing this I can be enjoying some reverie and suddenly a form will appear which I am invited to mound and shape into something.
This is how creativity happens for me sometimes.

Techniques can stifle.
They can constrain by their dogmatism; we use this glue, this colour, this card and this drill. This is how we make.
If we follow this sequence of actions we will produce that which we seek - reproduction.

Processes can liberate.
We have glue, paints, card and a drill. What can we make?
If we play with these things what outcomes might there be? - newness.

Techniques when practiced lead to skilful reproduction, processes when explored and combined can lead to unintended outcomes.
When we make an attempt to raise up our mind and heart to God we are entering into a process.

Walking on stepping stones are a technique for crossing a river.
If you are on one side and wish to get to the other side.
There are things you must be able to do in order to get from one side to the other.
Follow the steps, literally, and you will get to the other side.
This technique is ok to a point but of little use if you are blind, in a wheelchair, have a broken leg, afraid of falling in etc.
Getting to the other side now involves the need to be open to the possibilities and the resources around you, and indeed, to question the very essence of the task.
You may even decide not to attempt the crossing, in doing so you begin to enter a process rather than employing a technique.

I don't know that I am any nearer really.
Technique is about tools.
Process is about possibilities.

What does this have to do with prayer/ praying or getting ‘closer’ to God?
Language strains a bit. I'm not physically trying to cross a river.
These things are not about me doing, probably more about me being - God is involved.
What does that mean?
How is God involved?
I think there's a lot more wrestling time involved.
Maybe this discussion is about method and technique, perhaps process and technique are synonyms?
Language it seems has let me down.
Or is it my flawed logic, or will logic also let me down in the end?

It's how language is employed, now there's the thing.
Perhaps how I use it determines its meaning.
But then perhaps that meaning would only hold true for me, I think Wittgenstein had something to say about that.

It seems, like Beckett's sucking stone sequence in 'Molloy', 2 in the end it's all a matter.
It only matters when it matters and then does it matter?!


Spent all morning till now on this - time to go and wrestle with the weeds.

Sometimes  I do make I laugh!

1 Wiederkehr, M. (1995). Tree Full of Angels. HarperCollins, San Francisco. (p 58)
2http://www.samuel-beckett.net/molloy1.html

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Words End

listen
in the silence
without expectation
gently returning to the breath
often

Friday, 26 May 2017

Edited

coolness
treads softly now
takes nothing for granted
walking into futures freely
wonder


when watering
just water


Magic!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The River


I forgot the river’s name
lagging behind the others
walking slowly now
unerring in step
grateful for every breath 
senses locked into automatic 
revealing something of the folly of it all

I forgot the river’s name
thankfully however it remembers mine 
and so I am enabled to gather fragments
memories of an uncertain past 
echoing down the years
tumbling into bed with myself
lost in the wonder of it all

I forgot the river’s name
faster flowing now
than is good for a body
but look 
the bank sustains the edges
holding up life in all its forms
gently now in darkened pools of light

I forgot the river's name
but dawn reflected light
sparkled clear as crystal 
bright as any sunlit dewdrop tear
on half forgotten pointed leaf
gently gathering 
mild morning magical mist

I forgot the river's name
was it childhood
walking back from school
paddling in new shoes
walking them dry home
wondering about transgressions 
even at that age of innocence

I forgot the river's name
sat upon the shore 
watching the others
splashing about all laughter
all light and connectedness
fearing nothing in those days
secure in her loving arms

I forgot the river's name
but not the blackberry redness
oozing in autumn’s loose grip
cobwebbed remembrances
never tasted so good back then
but then the world was younger
more disposed to smiling and laughter

Derwent

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Book Review*



O’Rourke, B. (2010) Finding Your Hidden Treasure. London: Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd.

sometimes
books come along
taking you by the hand
magically lead you to water 
you drink

there is no coercion
in "Finding Your Hidden Treasure"
seamlessly
the royal red carpet unrolls
enabling a path you always knew
to be covered in thickets of chaotic
complexity
but
because of hard won stories
others brought back
curiosity kept you
hammering
and now
sitting by the river
the highway

now
becoming no easier
but generously illumined by
a voice of authenticity
becomes crystal clear
straightened
invitingly desert smoothed
walk hand in hand a page or two
find yourself
comfortably alone
peacefully connected to everything
at last
even wanton fragments
find their place
necessary faults
in the landscape of soul


*Disclaimer:
The last time I did a book review was "The Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds." That was back in 1962/3 I was at school and won a prize for it. This is my first book review since then so have a care.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

St Augustine

Your True Teacher

"Your true teacher 
will always be 
the teacher within. 
It is he who enables you to understand, 
in the depths of your being, 
the truth of what is said to you." *





*O’Rourke, B. (2010) Finding Your Hidden Treasure. London: Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd p91

Monday, 8 May 2017

Waiting on Morning Prayer.

because
awareness dawned
just aware of being
hand in hand we walk together
gently

because
I looked for God
everywhere else but here
he waited patiently at home
for me

gentle
awareness dawned
coming home to myself
ceasing all the strife and longing
relief

nothing needed doing
just aware of being
is enough to see the picture
smiling

homeward
pilgrim father
greets the prodigal son
hand in hand we walk together
knowing

richly
rewarded soul
nothing to do but wait
opening to the mystery
gently

Friday, 5 May 2017

Three Masted Prayer

50 Words:
“Your mind is not your friend - God is.”

My mind is not my friend - God is.
these words do not come easy
yet they bring solace
mind is illusion
endless storehouse of past and present
attachment rejection
constant turmoil my mind is not my friend
God is
though I confess to little understanding
just now
it  rings true.

Second Mast:
Logic and reason
have been my friendly
rafts getting me thus far
round and round
nowhere substantial
simplicity abandoned
for certainty

I have made an island
of the raft
mistaking it for land
now it is time to erect
the sail of unknowing
driven by the breath of wind
to some other shore

compass in the hand of God
sailing the welcoming
wide eternal seascape
of my soul
sighting hope
in another story
exchanging sea for land.

Cinquain:
Confused
letting things be
mind was never helpful
living in the present moment
clearness.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

I really need to stop trying

morning
no progress made (nowhere to go)
no progress to be made
nothing to do but to listen
daily

perhaps
one day
in mind’s busy silence
seeking
raging torrents threaten the bank
watching the soil crumble away
attempting regular diligent return
get away down stream
still  waters run deeply
just beyond
surface calmly reflecting sun
dazzling brightness
lost wonder
burning senses
shiny insights rippled
across soulscape
perhaps
one day

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Resolving Paradoxes

Paradox

knowing
see what to do
reflecting on outcomes
somehow now in tune with rhythm
goodness


knowing
what do I do
having to make a choice
without access to all the facts
relax

relax
see what to do
walk into the future
reaching out into the darkness
hoping

hoping
doing something
reflecting on outcomes
seeing if it’s life enhancing
peaceful

peaceful
nothing changes
everything is different
somehow now in tune with rhythm
daily

daily
morning pages
opening windows wide
touched by something deep within me
goodness


Monday, 24 April 2017

John 3:1-8

The Gospel taken from Mass today.

John 3:1-8 (NAB)
There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew, who came to Jesus by night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him.’ Jesus answered:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
unless a man is born from above,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.’
Nicodemus said, ‘How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’ Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
unless a man is born through water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter the kingdom of God:
what is born of the flesh is flesh;
what is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Do not be surprised when I say:
You must be born from above.
The wind blows wherever it pleases;
you hear its sound,
but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’

“You must be born from above.”
what on earth might that mean
born form above…
the ordinary understanding of words appears at first to collapse, but John records Jesus speaking these words twice and asks his hearers not to be surprised by them because it is the work of water and the spirit.
He leaves me with the idea of the spirit being like the wind - it comes and goes as it pleases but you cannot tell where the wind comes from.
Now, obviously, I now have the BBC and weather vanes at a push. These however only tell me the properties of the wind not about its nature which is always a mystery. It comes from variation in air pressure. What causes a change in air pressure? Ascending and descending air. What causes the air to ascend and descend? Heat and cold. The sun heats the air at ground level this reduces its density which drives convection to drive the warm air vertically causing heat lows. What drives the engine? Well that’s as easy as predicting the weather and as I know highly reliable, thanks to the Chaos theory.
Perhaps the message is unless I become insubstantial I won't enter the kingdom - what's that? - because the reign of God is made of such things and unrecognisable from a material point of view.

Language and reason have brought me to a threshold and although words may be all I have they are useful only as far as they go, as vehicles, and I abandon them at my peril but canonise them at greater peril.

 So get into the mindset of the above. Paraphysical reality or Paramateriality because to me, at least, it seems that’s what John is saying Jesus is saying that's what the reign of God is about.

Materiality is about time and places and objects in space time and ‘stuff’whilst the reign of God is about the hum behind the universe the cosmic background noise the inconspicuous which makes the rest possible - leaving me with the question what does make the world go round? Love perhaps, money perhaps?

You chose; today I set before you life or death. Be blown along, flow with the water or attempt to resist change.

Of course it might just be used as biblical support for the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation which would make life far simpler.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Easter

Glory
gifted morning
another type of sight
watching life and its unfolding
flowing.

Glory
crowning sunshine
warming up the morning
who knows where the journey takes us
daily

daily
gifted morning
never take for granted
one day there will be no morning
sadly

sadly
no senses now
another type of sight
like that easter morning sunrise
wonder

wonder
changes it all
the point and the meaning
watching life and its unfolding
gently

gently
stopping to rest
sitting in the silence
everything is as it should be
flowing.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Mid-Spring

prologue
hedges
green blushed with spring
six months of warm weather
hopefully new seeds are planted
old friends

i
change assures that
nothing changes
elements remain
if not the same
clearly identifiable
amid the new strands
there we were bumping along
when suddenly this happens
we became different
yet remained the same

ii
trying hard to see the acorn in the oak
the rain drop in the ocean
the cloud in the river
and they are easy
I construct the horizon
set the limits
at times they are so very small
I’m tempted to feel ashamed
but realise in time that breathing
saves me like nothing else

iii
it seems there is reality
and ultimate reality
like infinity which
isn’t just a big number
ultimate reality isn’t just another
paradigm
because you smash one idol
in favour of another
doesn’t make the new one
any less of an idol

iv
life’s searching
it seems
will yield up no answers
only more questions
because there is no end of questions
until the hard wiring itself breaks down
or
stopping the process
counting the breath
becoming the 'noble detached observer'*,

v
I come to see myself
as the horizon
running towards it
does not bring it any closer
only by stopping
will it come to me
like god or a butterfly
or some other illusion
which I can watch arise
and fall away

epilogue
thankfully words fail
eventually I collapse exhausted
and am able to see
the beauty of the clouds
scurry across the sky
hear the dawn chorus
smell the new spring season
taste the food which breaks my fast
get on with living
while still alive.











*Giacobbe, G. C. (2009) How to Become a Buddha in 5 Weeks: The Simple Way to Self-realisation. London: Arcturus Publishing. (p95)

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Shoreline

grey day
sunshine hiding
seemingly anytime
yesterday today tomorrow
matters

mind pulls this way and that
never thought to ask in whose interests
false delusion of ego mind
gets too big for its boots
ultimate reality clouds over
right mindfulness polishes the mirror
seeing nothing
going nowhere
emptiness
constant vigilance needed
so not to miss the miracle of the moment

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Spring

Cinquain
sunshine
breathing new life
energy is rising
winter blues are almost over
growing

50 Words
warm days begin opening buds
springtime gently strolls up the lane
blessing all in her path
generous lady
green mantled
fresh as a daisy
welcome back from the wintry depths
teach me how to savour moments
without rushing into some imagined future
help me learn the precious jewel of now.

It’s true though, all I want to be is somewhere else, when now is all there can be. Slowing down and observing activity in a non-judgemental way is the only way to live. Every moment examined without thought or correction or ethics. Emotion kills the present moment by making judgements over past deeds or imagined futures in which there are rights and wrongs when in fact there is only now. Watching the manifestation of necessary conditions. Watching them arise and fall without attachment or aversion. Bubbles in the ocean of mind which can lead to confusion about self-identification and wrong perceptions of my being.