31.5.08

    Look     Look     Look

My eyes fondle carved metal and stone
Suck up jeweled faceted bronze nasturtium leaves and flowers
Feed and nourish strapped sense glued in bone marrow
We would rather swim, dance

Eyes glance and glide over polished surfaces
Lacquer gold yes I test it with my thumb
Solid
Impossible to believe that all I see is light
Reflected from images and ritual implements
Thunderbolt bell
Gleaming vajra

"Love in fantastic triumph sate..."


Philip Whalen, 16viii71

30.5.08


Photo: Mara Moore

Flowers, the World and My Friend, Thoreau

It no longer matters what the names of flowers are.
Some I remember; others forget: ones
I never thought I should. Yes, tell me one.
I like to hear that. I may have forgotten again
next week. There’s that yellow one whose name
I used to know. It’s blossoming, secure
as ever as I walk by looking at it,
not saying its name or needing to.

Henry, it’s true as you said it was, that this
is a world where there are flowers. Though it isn’t our truth,
it’s a truth we embrace with gratitude:
how should we endure our dourness otherwise?
And we feel an eager desire to make it ours,
making the flowers ours by naming them.

But they stay their own and it doesn’t become our truth.

We live with it; live with othernesses
as strangers live together in crowds. Truths
of strangeness jostle me; I jostle them
walking past them as I do past clumps of flowers.
Flowers, I know you, not knowing your name.


William Bronk


Thanks to Joe Massey for sending me this.

27.5.08

In all innocence.

Equanimity

Every one is doing their work: we are all in the same boat. With this insight comes a deep expansive relaxation: a relaxation into the race, the species, life and existence. Compassionate companionship. If you look at people and things with this knowledge then you look into their hearts as you give them your heart.

26.5.08

Buddha Torrents

If any of you are interested in downloading movies and music with a spiritual bent, try this site (click the title above).

An Irregular Ode


Once I began to write,
Be ruled by Beauty & her wilfullness
& got no further
Choking and wheezing, subject completely to the selfishness
of my own history

I don't wonder that you doubt my love
My attention wanders even now, squinting at the moon
bamboo blinds — I should be with you
we're only blocks apart

The same imaginary beauty splits us up, I keep chasing
the one who invents the mountains and the stars
I'm a fool supposing she's someone else than you
are moss & ferns in forest light


Philip Whalen, 13i60

25.5.08

My work has become a simple metaphor of life. A figure walking down his road, making his mark. It is an affirmation of my human scale and senses: how far I walk, what stones I pick up, my particular experiences. Nature has more effect on me than I on it. I am content with the vocabulary of universal and common means; walking, placing, stones, sticks, water, circles, lines, days, nights, roads.

Richard Long

24.5.08

Inhumanism

I like Robinson Jeffer's reversal of the pathetic fallacy. Instead of seeing human qualities in the inanimate he saw inanimate qualities in ourselves – when at our best.

What is the quality possessed by all? Presence?
the indissoluble unity of the human organism

FM Alexander

For losing her love all would I profane
As a man who washes his heart in filth.
She wakes so whitely at my side,
Her two breasts like bowls of snow
Upon which I put my hands like players
In a child's story of heaven.

For gaining her love all would I protest
As a man who threatens God with murder.
Her lips part sleep's jewelled rain
Like little red boats on a Sunday lake.
I know nothing about men who die
Like beasts in a war-fouled ditch—
My sweet . . .

O God what shall become of us!

Kenneth Patchen, 1942

Unlocking the Tail




Workshops today, tomorrow and next Saturday in London.

Phone me if interested.

23.5.08

Walking

The heel descends, penetrates and takes the ground up into the sacrum. The ball of the foot then flattens gently, sucking the ground up into the heart and the heart down into the Earth. Each toe, as it presses down into the ground, fires a charge into the brain (rather like the fingers playing a piano – each with its own style and content). Each step effectively connects and energizes the skeleton, softens and draws a veil of self-protection away from the heart, and engages a five-pronged energetic attack (crown of thorns) upon the sleepiness of the self-engrossed mind.

22.5.08

Touch

A tactile tradition is far more interesting than an oral one.

When people touch or are touched they are immediately more than themselves, no matter how much they protest (protect) and resist. The secret is to let the touch through the bones and into the marrow. That is where true softness lies: through the hardness; through the pain.

20.5.08

Spirit

The problem with civilized society (a controlled environment, system, rigid, fluid, open or closed) is that it rarely, if ever, brings out the best in us.

19.5.08

Amongst White Clouds



Saw this movie at the Cinemateque last Friday. Well near perfect. I watched it with Hebrew subtitles - not understanding a thing - so instead just felt and absorbed the energy of the monks. Having just seen it again with English subtitles I can vouch that it is an astonishing and deeply rewarding experience.

"When ignorance is exhausted we see our True Nature."

Original Perfection is so much more interesting than Original Sin.

18.5.08

Light & nimble
like a monkey.

Spirit

To free spirit of mind.
To free mind of thinking.
To free thinking of language.
To free language of deceit.

Language orders the mind incorrectly and veils the heart.

When the heart is clear and open there are no words
there is only communication.

17.5.08


...before me fled
The night; behind me rose the day; the Deep

Was at my feet, and Heaven above my head...

Shelley, from The Triumph of Life

Photo: Yotam
I thought poetry could change everything, could change history and could humanize, and I think that the illusion is very necessary to push poets to be involved and to believe, but now I think that poetry changes only the poet.

Mahmoud Darwish

10.5.08

Everything is easy; the only hard thing is getting to the point where everything is easy.

Andrew Sterman

9.5.08

In the thick of it.

these books
get up my nose

white flower
pointing down

light-sabre
life saver

8.5.08

Life

Actually it's not a matter of riding the wave that's important, it's having the wave flow through us, then not only are we alive, we are also life itself. This is the great meditator who sits yet lives with more intensity than those high on adrenaline or whatever.

7.5.08


Still from FW Murnau's Sunrise

Look at the way the ends of the pews, the rows of people and the shafts of sunlight all converge on the trinity: the marrying couple brought together by God (the priest). In a way sacrament attends all acts of union and all acts of creation: such acts change us forever. In fact it is only through such acts that we can change.

Life

Life is a wave begging to be surfed whilst most of us are dithering on the beach. What stops us riding the wave is always fear, usually dressed up as having better and safer things to do. When the wave is so overwhelmingly present, as it is, the only thing strong enough to lure us away is the thinking mind, individual (ourselves – our fantasies) and collective (civilization and its artifacts). Originally the thinking mind was a tool we could bring into play when, for whatever reason, the wave died down – a means to finding a new and stronger wave (a means to staying alive). Now it has become a way to avoid life. Not only does the thinking mind shun the vitality and danger of real life, it has cleverly lagooned off a part of the sea, invented wave generators that always deliver waves of the specified size and strength, and passes this off as the real thing. In fact now we don't even need to get wet, we can instead watch other people living, or other people pretending to live, on TV. And all this because we are afraid of getting hurt – afraid of death. We avoid real life to avert real death.

5.5.08


Another (perfect) still from Ozu's Ukigusa

Attraction

The knee is the middle joint of the leg – between the hip and the ankle – so when the knee bends softly but actively the hip is drawn towards the ankle. It is this simple action that draws both your energy down towards the Earth, and the Earth's energy up into you. It is the same with the elbow: it being the middle joint of the arm – between shoulder and wrist. When the elbow bends (and sinks) softly but actively the shoulder and wrist draw towards each other. If the hand is sticking to another entity then this simple action will draw their energy into you and your energy into them. It is as though the knee/elbow is the stable point of reference.

Still from Ozu's Floating Weeds (1959)
The present moment is the point at which life spills out of the past and opens up into the future.

Still from FW Murnau's Sunrise (1927)

Wisdom

Wisdom is having a handle on time. This becomes possible when we are aware of the process as well as aware in the present moment. When aware of the process each moment contains a glimmer of all other moments, some more strongly than others, and time stops being sequential.

1.5.08

Rooting

On sinking our energy down to the Earth, as long as the body retains its integrity – doesn't collapse, then we receive a kickback from the Earth that passes up the body and all around us. This upward energy is of a different order and quality to the downward. The upward, once it gets out of and beyond our head, receives a similar but downward kickback from something above us. We feel this as a slight pressure bearing down on the crown of the head – pressing us down. Again, this downward energy from the Heavens is of a different quality to that either sinking or rising. Our task, once we have opened up to these energies, is to keep them flowing and keep them balanced. We are then squeezed by them, and it is this squeeze that causes our energy to express and communicate as compassionate acts: the squeeze forces us to reach out. So, in the same way that the sole of the foot is rooted to the Earth, so the crown of the head is rooted to the Heavens – there is really no difference.