Inspiration - Blue Sky Thinking
INSPIRATION - BLUE SKY THINKING
INSPIRATION – BLUE SKY THINKING
(A work in progress, and in confidence)
Inspiration, in glimpses of blue sky thinking – and blue sky mind
And this, then, a book of reflections, upon the infinite blue, of bliss
(As if a mirror to the sky)
A commonplace book, full of ordinary life experience, it’s true,
As if a book of days, no more
And yet a book, too, of changes – small changes, small adjustments, to awaken a greater mindfulness, hopefully – maybe – and to act, perhaps, as a sort of template for living, as if a first draft, incomplete, and unfinished, of a life’s hurried and imperfect script
And it’s also a journey of meditation, and meditations,
From emptiness, and
Upon emptiness, and
Quietly breathing, body gently swaying, heart beating, thoughts arising
In questions, seeking answers, that
Are assuring, reassuring
And we speak
Open hand, open heart, open mind
And in gentle touch, a thought
Calling out, in the beginning, as at the end, perhaps …
And ‘Grant me a nature’, says Coleridge, ‘having two continuous forces, the one of which tends to expand infinitely, while the other strives to apprehend or find itself in this infinity, and I will cause the world of intelligence to rise up before you’.
A world of intelligence.
Intelligence. Intelligence. Intelligence.
How, then, to develop, this intelligence, this deeper intelligence, that may, over time, clear a path, in the heart, in the mind, to wisdom, meaning a place, a room, in the house, of the wise.
And the answer may be surprisingly simple, if subtle, and perhaps goes something like this,
Don’t think yourself too intelligent, as if already you knew all the answers, all the answers, all-knowing, and knowing everything.
And don’t be a know it all.
No, for the mind must surely be open – there must be room for questioning, doubt, uncertainty,
Like a universe.
And, not thinking yourself too intelligent, try then not to judge – and, that’s to say, try not to judge, and to act as if really you knew what you were talking about, were convinced of that, indeed, and considered yourself in a position to judge.
No. Not at all.
And try, rather, to loosen up a bit; to loosen up your anxious, fearful, controlling, rigid, angry, “I”.
Let him go of him entirely, indeed; be gone – the fool!
And instead breathe freely; breathe again freely.
And, breathing freely, see how thoughts arise, gently, upon gentle waves of gentle thinking, in quiet mind
And seated comfortably now, so comfortably, in the greater Self,
Be as no one
Begins then, very slowly, very carefully, to read,
And to read, not only the seemingly obvious, and the apparently meaningful,
But to read also, and most especially, in the quiet spaces, at first seeming empty, blank, between the lines …
And to read between the lines
And to read between the lines
And again to read between the lines
For this, truly, is intelligence.
Wake up, then, the mind;
and may our hearts be opened.
[For] ‘… [t]here are so many dawns that have not yet shed their light’. (The Rig Veda)
And still the sun shines new each day.
‘Through countless wandering
From far I come
And pass from place to place
In a sleep-wandering pace
To seek my home …
‘Seeing the landscape, sketching a mindscape, gathering together the elements of a world …’ (Kenneth White)
And so you say to yourself: this text, here, in my hands, and beneath my eyes, these words, gathered here, and these many letters, so arranged, are letters to my unconscious, as if messages to myself. And, as I write out these letters, I say to you: just think of it – picture it – imagine it – in line with my words. And say to yourself: this is all so true. Something like self-help, quite simply.
And listen, then, for the sound of silence.
A silence deep and profound.
And then, if you find it helpful, and as if to sound the silence, and the mind, ring then, in thought, a clear bell, a mindfulness bell.
(And hear it sound … )
And think of it, if you will, as a call to awareness, to attention, and perhaps also to prayer.
And, as you explore your awareness, and your attention …
And, as you pray, see too if you cannot also give praise;
Prayer, and praise …
And raise, then, your hands and arms above your head, then to your forehead, then to your chest.
And adopt an attitude of gratitude.
Open your hands, and open wide your arms.
And open your heart, and mind.
And, freeing now your true voice, to sound,
Feel free, to love.
And look, look at me, take a good look at me, look at me closely, look at me carefully, and observe me in as much of my fulness as you can manage, for here I am, in your reflection: human being.
A real man. And a real woman.
Totally woman. Totally man.
Gendered, and transgendered.
Heterosexual, or …
Gay … or bisexual … or lesbian …
Transsexual man. Transsexual woman.
And simply so sexual, and sexy.
Simply so sexual, and sexy.
Simply so sexual, and sexy.
Simply so sexual, and sexy.
And, my goodness, so sexually and sexily fluid in so many magnificent and beautiful, meaningful, marvellous ways …
(Such energy, glorious … and such love for life!)
Butch girl, and effeminate boy.
Call me he, or she.
A little of one, and all.
All, and nothing.
And everything in between.
Whatever – no matter.
And, all in all, an extraordinary spectrum of sensation; and a rainbow of many colours, quite simply.
And our names are all human.
So do let’s try, and do let’s try, and do let’s try.
And do let’s try to open up our minds, a little, and a little more, and more, to understanding.
And I try simply to open up my mind to understanding.
And should you not yet wish to join me in growing into an ever fuller and richer being, and being the very best that you can possibly be, and in this way becoming a little like a god – divining the divine call, and then calling out together, as if one voice, to raise the collective energy – then you would do me a wrong, and fail, and disappoint me, for our lives are interwoven, my friend, my life, with yours, your life, with mine, and together we weave a whole, as if we were all of us woven from the same human fabric, and all of us cut from the same human cloth, all human textured, and skinned, somehow, and all forming a small but vital part of the same human story.
Seek holiness, then.
Become A Whole.
And do all you can
With what you have
In the time you have
In the place you are
Do all you can
A life of prayer, in praise of all that is; holding everything dear.
And this everything, my dear reader, what is it?
It is what is; it is what is meant to be; it is what needs to be; it is the ultimate reality trip; it is what needs to be; it is what is meant to be; it is what is.
(And, as if a breath, divine, and seemingly without beginning, or end).
And, thanks to this English language in which now we write, and read, we can in any case leap easily in imagination from “I” to “You”; for this “You” is, somehow, the “Youniverse”, if you will (and I do will), and a universe made up of all there is and, at one and the same time, made up only, made up only of (and by) you, yourself, your you yourself, and, as if, then, this, your, you, yourself, were nothing less than an absolute expression, in the mind – all in the mind – in the mind, an absolute expression, of infinity, individually unique, but collectively whole, the universe, a single verse of poetry, a vibrating, humming, enchanting, delirious hymn, of thanks, and praise, and a whole-hearted love.
We sing because we have a song.
We are the song, and we are the singing.
And I have heard a zen koan described as follows:
The place and the time and the event where truth reveals itself.
Be Here Now.
And, as you look around, and as, looking around you, in curiosity, you discover, and examine, your world, you should know that what you see, or what you appear to be seeing, or what you imagine yourself seeing, and who you are, or who you appear to be, or who you imagine that you are, that you, that I, that who, who sees, is, to a very great extent, the extent of your world, your reality, and the extent of you, who you, that you, that you call you, whoever you, may be. And for this reason alone, and above all, open wide your eyes. And, why not, then, enlarge your world; and open yourself up, to a greater, a far greater, an ever greater, and forever greater, reality.
And perhaps it would help to try also to put into words what you see. And to be honest about that: to tell it as it is. For this, for now, is your reality. And it’s not only that you form a part of it, if only in a modest way adding something, contributing something, to that reality that currently you perceive; no, for you must also assume it, own it, take responsibility for it and, where necessary, change it. And so do not stand back or stand by. Try, rather, to be an active part of this (your) story as it unfolds: make it up, if you have to, invent a new story, then act in it, and act it out, and act up, and act now. And get with the plot, in other words, and step forward and, moving, entering, the picture, take a stand, and make it so.
In the words of *Proust, “[T]he real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
My friend, draw upon your inspiration like water from a bottomless well.
Thinking it up
Thinking it through
And, thinking it through,
And, thinking it through, through ink, in ink,
And, thinking it through, through ink,
Thinking through ink,
Thinking through ink, with pen, and paper,
Putting pen, to paper,
And thinking it through,
And writing it down,
And writing it all down,
As word, and …
Words on a page.
Words on a page, so many; words …
Words on a page.
Tingling … tinkling … inkling … thinkling …
And to realize yourself as being now again so creative … and to find that you are feeling so free, now … and so immensely inspired …
(And, trust me, if you realized just how free, and how radically free, you were, right now, and always, your heart would blossom open, and burst into an indescribable bloom of joy!)
And Einstein explains that there are two ways to live life: one, as if nothing were a miracle; and the other, as if everything were a miracle.
And some say, like *Eden Phillpotts, that the world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our eyes to grow sharper.
And so I ask you:
What draws your eye?
What do you see?
And what, your point of view?
What, your perspective?
What do you think?
What do you say?
And what, then, your part?
Happiness is a butterfly that, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which, if we sit down quietly, may yet alight upon us. (Words attributed to Nathaniel Hawthorne.)
And surely it is foolish to pursue what the Japanese call “Karoshi”, or death by overwork; far wiser it would be, perhaps, to pursue a Zen path of non-activity. The Chinese call this “Wu Wei”. Learn to relax; to sit properly (“Seiza”); to sit still; to be still.
And recall Blaise Pascal’s observation, that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
So come, then, please, and sit; sit quietly here beside me; come, sit beside me, come sit with me; come sit with me, here, beside me, if only for a spell; and let me be your company …
In addition, beginning now, shall we not see if we cannot pay closer attention, and start to let go; and pay attention, and start simply to let go; as if, paying attention, and letting go, letting completely go, and letting go, completely, of all the tension that has accumulated in the body, and, all the tension, attention, that now, finally, letting it all go, and letting it all go, and letting it all go, not only there, there you go, but also here, finally, you are, you truly are, and being deeply relaxed, and present, you are, truly, and one.
And, at the same time, let go of all your thoughts, also; let go of all your thoughts, too; and all your mental chatter.
Let go of your mind.
And allow yourself gently to fall into rest.
(And to surrender).
And now, if you’re still following and understanding me, as I believe that you are, your mind joins mine, your voice, joins, my voice, joins, your words, joins, my words, and, in joining, enjoys expanding, developing, deepening, quietening, a little, ever so little, and ever so little, by little, enjoying, in joining, my mind, stream, in joining, enjoying, your mind, stream, streaming, inward, in, flowing outwards, onwards, thinking, thought.
So that we begin now perhaps to see a little more clearly, and we begin now to understand, how now, how, to understand.
For the whole universe surrenders to, and bows down before, a quiet mind.
The whole universe surrenders to, and bows down before, a person of stillness.
Sit quietly, then; be still, be calm, be patient; let’s take our time.
And: “Do not expect full realization”, says Milarepa; “simply practice every day of your life”.
Do your practice, and all is coming.
For practice makes perfect.
Practice makes perfect.
And practice makes always perfect.
Do your practice, then.
And repeat, indefinitely.
Every day, definitely, and with quiet determination.
Over and over again.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Every day, your life.
And this deepening practice may itself, over time, in time, be practically perfection.
Do your practice, then.
And all is coming.
For practice, as we know, makes perfect.
And know, too, that the gift of truth conquers all gifts. The taste of truth conquers all sweetness. The joy of truth conquers all pleasures. And the loss of desires conquers all sorrows.
And the one of noble character, of virtue and vision, who follows the Path of Perfection, whose words are truth, and who does the work to be done – the world shall love such a person.
And the man or woman whose mind, filled with determination, is longing for the infinite, and who is free from sensuous pleasures, is called uddham-soto, “he or she who goes upstream”, for against the current of passions and worldly life he or she is bound for the joy of infinite bliss …
And shall we then set off together in a cheerful little boat, upstream, to a land of peace and tranquillity whose green gardens are watered always by running streams … ?
And we’re sure to sleep there upon a grass pillow.
And, light of heart, to dream of wandering into a grove of flowering plums …
Arise, then! Raise thyself by thy Self; train thyself by thy Self. And, under the shelter of the Self, and ever watchful, bright like a moon free from clouds, thou shalt live in supreme joy …
For the person whose hands are controlled, whose feet are controlled, who is self-controlled in all things, and who finds the inner joy, with a mind self-possessed, who is one and who dwells in a perfect inner peace; this person, one might call a religious, intimately bound up with the ways of the universe, and seeming, somehow, as if, a monk.
Monos – Solitary – Alone – All One – and Whole
Make, then, a splendid island for your Self. Hasten and strive. And be wise, when you can. And, with the dust of impurities blown off … come gladly unto the glorious land of the truly great and the profoundly wise.
And do try, to this end, to show self-control and moderation in what you eat.
Also familiarize yourself with the solitude of your room and your bed.
Recall these words: Faith – Watchfulness – Energy – Contemplation – Vision
And do not do what should not be done; do not hurt by deed or word, for example; and do not what is evil.
And instead do what should be done; do what is good.
Overcome anger, by peacefulness; overcome evil, by good; overcome the mean, by generosity; and overcome the one who lies, by truth.
Speak the truth, yield not to anger, and give what you can to whoever asks: these three steps alone will lead you to the feet of the gods.
Be wise; let your work be well done; live in love; and in truth, supreme; act in honour …
And keep your mind pure. Be awake. Know boundless joy.
For this is a search for highest consciousness.
Manifest, then, as your highest self, divine.
Asking: shall we then dance, you and I?
Dancing the Ananda Tandava, as if with Shiva, and Paravati …
And to connect to the five senses: hearing; smell; sight; touch; taste.
And to connect to the five elements: fire; water; earth; wind; ether.
And to dance the Cosmic Dance.
In making, and remaking
The World, as
And, just as the bee takes the essence of a flower and flies away without destroying its beauty and its perfume, so may the sage thus wander freely in this life.
And see the Way of life as a stream. A person floats easily, the way is smooth. Flowing in the deeper currents, you may well pass through. The same person, turning away from and struggling against the current, becomes quickly exhausted. To be One with the Universe, find your current, your vibration, your wave, your flow, your stream, your path, your way, and surrender to it, as if all there is to do is do nothing, and only to follow.
Confucius tells us that the way of learning is nothing else but to seek for the lost mind.
In meditation it is possible to dive deeply into the mind and to know a place where there is no disturbance but only an absolute quietness and solitude. Try, then, to live in this state of deep meditation and contemplation: make yourself familiar with the solitude of silence and the joy of quietness. It is here, and now, in single-pointedness, in the profound stillness of supreme contemplation, that the sound of the supreme mind may itself be heard.
And the word “Sesshin” refers to “gathering the mind” or “stilling your thoughts”.
In Soto Zen, “shikantaza” means simply “sitting … just sitting”. That is, it is a form of meditation with no object, no anchor, no content. You strive, without striving, simply to be aware of the stream of your thoughts, allowing thoughts to arise and pass away without interference, and thereby going beyond the stream of thoughts, and into a great calm, and silence.
And when you are sitting in meditation in this way, and a thought drifts into your mind, remind yourself that, “that’s not my business”, and let the thought go …
For we practice precisely to learn how to let go, knowing that enlightenment appears when your mind is no longer muddied by wants and desires. It follows, then, that if you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. And if you let go completely, you will have complete peace.
Know, then, that when desires go, joy comes.
Do not think, however, that practice means only sitting with the eyes closed. Steady practice means keeping mindful in every posture, whether sitting, walking, standing, or lying down. When coming out of sitting, do not think that you are coming out of meditation, only that you are changing postures. If you reflect in this way, you will surely find peace. And so, wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, try to maintain this attitude of awareness.
And know that “Samadhan” means “constant concentration of the mind”.
Be mindful, then.
Be here now.
And Aristotle observed that, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”.
So know, then, that you are your own best teacher, and investigate yourself to find out your truth; go inside yourself. And knowing yourself is the most important thing, okay; so start by reading and rereading the lines of your key text: the heart. Learn them by heart. Know them by heart. Look to your heart. Look through your heart. Keep close to your heart. Keep heart. And then speak from the heart. And, in this way, become self-enlightened, and self-certified.
Says Watazumi Doso:
It’s fine that you are all deep into music. But there’s something deeper and if you would go deeper, and go to the source of where the music is being made, you’ll find something even more interesting. At the source, everyone’s individual music is made. If you ask what the deep place is, it’s your own life, and it’s knowing your own life, that own way that you live. And when you hear some music or hear some sound, if for some reason you like it very well, the reason is that that sound is in balance or in harmony with your pulse. And so, making a sound, you try to make different sounds that imitate various different sounds of the universe, but what you are finally making is your own sound, the sound of yourself.
And recall the trial of Joseph Brodsky:
The judge asks: “And what is your profession?”
Brodsky answers: “I am a poet and a literary translator”.
The judge: “Who recognizes you as a poet? Who enrolled you in the ranks of poets?”
Brodsky: “No one. Who enrolled me in the ranks of humankind?”
Judge: “Did you study this?”
Judge: “How to become a poet. You did not even try to finish high school where they prepare, where they teach?”
Brodsky: “I didn’t think you could get this from school?”
Judge: “How then?”
Brodsky: “I think it comes … from God.”
Says Ajahn Chah:
The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and simply let things be.
Breathe in deeply.
Then release, let go.
And once upon a time in ancient Japan, a young man was studying martial arts under a famous teacher. Every day the young man would practise in a courtyard along with the other students. One day, as the master watched, he could see that the other students were consistently interfering with the young man’s technique. Sensing the student’s frustration, the master approached the student and tapped him on the shoulder. “What is wrong?”, enquired the teacher. “I cannot execute my technique and I do not understand why”, replied the student. “This is because you do not understand harmony. Please follow me”, said the master. Leaving the practice hall, the master and student walked a short distance into the woods until they came upon a stream. After standing silently beside the streambed for a few minutes, the master spoke. “Look at the water”, he instructed. “It does not slam into the rocks and stop out of frustration, but instead flows around them and continues down the stream. Become like the water and you will understand harmony.” Soon, the student learned to move and flow like the stream, and none of the other students could keep him from executing his techniques.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is happiness.
And when we observe things calmly we notice that all things have their fulfilment, says Basho Matsuo.
(It’s a cause for celebration).
(It calls for celebration).
(Okay, then; let’s celebrate, let’s have a party!)
And we see that certain messages appear, clothed in different words and phrases, again and again. They urge us to develop enthusiasms, to take action, to face up to fears, to never give up, to believe in ourselves, not to be daunted by the mistakes of the past, and to regard each new day as a miracle.
The great essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. (Joseph Addison)
And the cure for boredom is curiosity.
(And there is no cure for curiosity).
Listen, then, to me.
If you find a man, or a woman, who is constant, awake to the inner light, learned, long-suffering, endowed with devotion, a noble man, or woman – follow this good and great person even as the moon follows the path of the stars.
AND OUR EYES ARE A WINDOW TO THE SOUL, they say.
LOOK INTO MY EYES!
LOOK INTO MY EYES, DEEPLY, GO DEEPLY, GO AS FAR AS YOU CAN, THEN GO FURTHER, THEN FURTHER STILL: LOOK INTO THE DEPTHS OF MY EYES; GO DEEPLY, DEEPLY DOWN, GO DEEPLY DOWN, THEN DEEPER STILL; GO TO YOUR GREATEST DEPTHS, MY EYES.
And tell me:
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE DEPTHS OF MY EYES?
NOW WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THEM, THERE, AT THE VERY DISTANT LIMIT OF YOUR SEEING?
WHAT IS IT THAT NOW YOU SEE?
No, don’t worry – I’m just teasing you.
This isn’t the movies you know!
This is for real.
And yet, what is this reality?
The world, after all, is but a canvas to our imagination.
And this reality is in my head, like a fabulous dream, full with emptiness: the world is in my head.
And this reality is in my body, inhabiting it with ease, like a familiar land: my body is in the world.
My body is in the world.
The world is in my head.
And if the eyes are a window to the soul, as they say, and the voice – this voice – is a passage to the heart.
My friend: go to the heart of what you want to say; speak always from the heart!
(Knowing that it’s not about how your voice compares to those of others; it’s about HOW SOUND YOU ARE, AND HOW YOU SOUND).
And, speaking from the heart – take these words to heart – and then read this text, aloud, then reread it, again, and again, day after day, repeating it time and time again, time after time, time upon time: and glimpses of blue sky mind, we’ll call it. INSPIRATION.
For a person is what he or she deeply desires; as you think, so you are.
And wherever your mind goes, your self follows.
And the flower returns to its root;
Even as the echo answers to the voice;
And even as the shadow follows the shape.
And as it is written in the Dhammapada:
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow; our life is the creation of our mind.
(And as we have sown, so do we reap).
And if a man speaks but a few holy words and yet he lives the life of those words, free from passion and hate and illusion – with right vision and a mind free, craving for nothing both now and hereafter – the life of this man is a life of holiness.
So, I say to you: love not what you are but what you may become, for our aspirations are our potential, our possibilities, and our future.
And where some men see things as they are and say “why?”, I dream things that are not yet and say “why not?”
For a man or a woman is what he or she thinks about all day long.
And the greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitude of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven, says Milton.
Be mindful, then, of your thoughts.
Choose your path wisely.
Question your thinking and change the world; for these thoughts, too, these words, will change your life.
For it is said that, if you take an intention to your heart and repeat it there, 1,008 times a day for 45 days, your goal will be attained, and your dream made manifest.
You begin to achieve when you begin to believe.
Go confidently, then, and in good faith, with trust, in the direction of your dreams.
And, writing as if upon the sky, think your dreams to come true.
Live the life you have imagined and live it well, living completely in the present, launching yourself on every wave, finding your eternity in each and every moment.
(And know that our truest life is when we are in dreams awake. Dream, then, as on a bed of clouds; clouds, my pillow. And know that for you, my friend, the sky is the limit!)
And with the remainder of your time, simply listen; and listen carefully; and listen very, very, carefully.
As Blue walks into the labyrinth …
Absolute silence is demanded of all its visitors so that their presence does not disturb the poets who are directing the excavations. Digging can only proceed on the calmest of days as rain and wind destroy the finds.
The archaeology of sound has only just been undertaken and for the moment remains a somewhat haphazard discipline, more art than science.
Blue watches as a word or phrase materializes in scintillating sparks, a poetry of fire which casts everything into darkness with the brightness of its reflections.
Blue protects white from innocence.
Blue drags black with it
Blue is darkness made visible
And now I ask you in all seriousness:
Where are you placing your attention now that I distract you?
(Recalling that watchfulness is the path of immortality.)
Watchful amongst the unwatchful, awake amongst those who sleep, the wise man like a swift horse runs his race, outrunning those who are slow.
And the monk who has the joy of watchfulness and who looks with fear on thoughtlessness, he goes on his path like a fire, burning all obstacles that stand before him, both great, and small.
So, whatever you do, watch where you are going, and …
BE HERE NOW.
And now that you have collected yourself a little, please pay me some attention; heed my words.
And I ask you: you can enjoy … how much … joy … do you think, then … that … you … and, can you, then … enjoy?
(And where are you placing your attention now, right now, this very moment?)
And listen …
I am sitting still.
I feel; I sense; I touch; I look; I watch; I listen; I learn.
I am quiet, calm, still, always observing, and observing everything with always the wide-eyed innocence of a child, seeking understanding.
And I know that the wise man removes impurities from himself even as a silversmith removes impurities from the silver: one by one, little by little, again and again.
I am alive.
And I am awake; and I am coming to be wide awake.
My mind is very alert.
My mind is clear.
And I know perfectly, in this moment, that energy is eternal delight, and that energy is something that I have in abundance, always.
And the wise man straightens his mind as a maker of arrows makes his arrows straight.
Channel, then, your energy.
Burning bright, one-pointedness.
Eternal … delight.
And I hear now, and realize, now, that each thought rings out with the clarity and brightness of a bell.
Like a call to prayer.
And notice, too, how easily I move from I to You, ebbing, and flowing, moving back and forth, easily, like the breath, like an inhalation to the ground of the self, a point lost in the infinite and then refound, and then an exhalation out to You, a point lost in the infinite and then again refound; breathing consciously; and, from consciousness, breathing.
(Yours. Mine. Whose. Me. We.)
And may you experience much loving kindness.
And may you experience great compassion.
And may you know happiness and all the causes of happiness.
And may you know great joy.
And may you display great equanimity.
And may you attain enlightenment.
For such is life.
And wherever I go …
There you are.
And here I am.
And wherever I go …
And wherever you are …
Be here now.
For here is the most exciting of places.
And this is where it’s all happening, right now.
And so there’s nowhere better to be …
On earth, now; grounded.
And so be it, then; good.
Ethics is easy.
Ethics, too: is easy; just easy does it; mind how you go.
For that deed is not well done when, being done, one has to repent; and when one must reap with tears the bitter fruits of the wrong deed.
And, if you think about it, a fool who thinks he is wise, and oh so terribly smart, and clever, in fact goes through life with himself as his greatest enemy, and he ever does wrong deeds which in the end bear bitter fruit.
And if, then, on the great journey of life, a man cannot find one who is better or at least as good as himself, let him joyfully travel alone, like a king who has left his country, or like a great elephant alone in the forest: for a fool cannot help him on his journey.
And true, too, that it is better to go alone on the path of life than to have a fool for a companion. With few wishes and few cares, and leaving all sins behind, let a man then travel alone, if such his need, and wish, like a great elephant alone in the forest. For he who can be alone and rest alone is never weary of his great work, he can live in joy, when master of himself, by the edge of the forest of human desires.
If, however, a fool can see his own folly, he is wise at least in this; but the fool who thinks he is wise, he is truly a fool.
And even if during the whole of his life a fool lives with a wise man, he never knows the path of wisdom as the spoon never knows the taste of the soup.
But if a man who watches and sees is only a moment with a wise man he soon knows the path of wisdom, as the tongue knows the taste of the soup.
Look, then, upon the man who tells thee thy faults, as if he had told you of a hidden treasure, for the wise man shows you the dangers of life. Follow that man: he who follows him will see good and not evil.
Let him admonish and let him instruct, and let him restrain from what is wrong. He will be loved by those who are good and hated by those who are not.
Have not for friends those whose soul is ugly; go not with men who have an evil soul. Have for friends those whose soul is beautiful; go with men whose soul is good.
He who drinks of the waters of Truth, he rests in joy with mind serene. The wise find their delight in the DHARMA, in the Truth revealed by the great.
And good men, at all times, surrender, in truth, their attachments. The holy spend not idle words on things of desire. When pleasure or pain comes to them, the wise are indifferent, feeling neither pleasure nor pain.
And he who for himself or others craves not for sons or power or wealth, who puts not his own success before the success of righteousness, he is virtuous, and righteous, and wise.
Few cross the river of time and are able to reach NIRVANA. Most of them run up and down only on this side of the river.
But for those who, when they know the law, follow the path of the law, they shall reach the other shore and go beyond the realm of death.
Leaving behind the path of darkness and following the path of light, let the wise man then leave his home life and go into a life of freedom. In a solitude that few enjoy, let him find his joy supreme: free from possessions, free from desires, and free from whatever may darken his mind.
For he whose mind is well trained in the ways that lead to light, who surrenders the bondage of attachments and finds joy in his freedom from bondage, and who, free from the darkness of passions, shines pure in a radiance of light, even in this mortal life he enjoys the immortal NIRVANA.
Aspire, then, to wisdom.
Who are you?
This, at least.
Here, and now.
Present, in presence.
And you are a person who carries with you, at all times, a small cloth or leather bag in which you have pens and paper, and a number of blank cards; a writing board; some glue and a small pair of scissors; a camera; the book that you are currently reading; a notebook containing words to learn from the various languages that you are studying; a notebook of quotations to learn by heart; your journal; your latest story or manuscript, in loose leaf and notebook form; and, finally, a rather special notebook that, for ease of reference, we shall call here “inspiration”.
(The Songs of the Sage).
And this notebook, entitled “Inspiration” is one of many notebooks that you are continually revising and updating. You are a person, after all, who takes notice: you are a person who takes notice of everything. And as you notice everything, so too do you make a mental note of everything. And, moving swiftly from thought to action, you immediately put pen to paper, noting down all your thoughts and impressions in your notebooks and journals. You keep a journal, too, in the sense of a travel log or waybook, an account of a journey through life, or of a record of a life lived moment by moment, thought by thought, line by line, day by day. You attempt to map out the vast territories of the mind – majestic, magnificent, beautiful, blissful – that mind – your mind – that can do such marvellous things – that mind that knows –
And thinking …
And thinking …
And thinking …
And thinking it up; and thinking it through …
And thinking it through, through ink, in ink.
Writing yourself out, and writing out the world.
And so again you put pen to paper: to write it down; to write it up; to write it out.
And now, going on with that inner journey, I want you to focus on your breath.
Be mindful of your breath.
This moment …
And make from your breath at once an anchor securing you to the bottom of the ocean and a springboard launching you high into the sky.
Make from your breath your sanctuary.
And you know, of course, that there is nothing more natural to you than breathing.
And, similarly, your heart continues to beat even when you are unaware of it doing so.
And of what else are you unaware?
Or of what else are you not yet aware?
And you have in fact been going farther and farther into trance your whole life: trance into transition into transformation.
And you have surely noticed that, when it needs to, your awareness migrates … automatically … following an inner voice, an inner awareness, a place, an inner space, of quiet comfort and effortless relaxation … where suddenly you know that the time is right for a change … and where suddenly you know the exact change needed … and you recognize that feeling now … as if an act of recognition … of re-knowing … of re-learning … of re-membering … that something needs to change … and that something needs to change … now … and naturally we can imagine what it might feel like to know without knowing what needs to be done, and to be told, without hearing, by an inner voice, an inner feeling, that … you … should … (DO THIS NOW) … and you, responding effortlessly, automatically, to this voice, observe the actions, the flow … of words … words forming associations … echoes … a galaxy of meaning … and this, an inner knowing … that tells you what to do, and when … and you, responding effortlessly, automatically, to this voice, observe the actions, the flow … of words … words forming associations … echoes … a galaxy of meaning … and this, an inner knowing … that tells you what to do, and when … and you … you are someone as if born with the knowledge … the intuition … the awareness … the wisdom … to know … to trust that feeling … naturally … and at the same time to be so comfortably aware of yourself … that at last … all is easy … and but a migration of thought … a migration of awareness … as your mind moves effortlessly now towards those things most needed …
And your mind is crystal clear.
Asking: what, then, is your plan of action? What is your life plan? And how do you wish, now, to proceed?
And I ask you, too: do you have any recollection, any recollection whatsoever, no matter how faint or vague, of how you learnt to learn? And have you any recollection, any recollection whatsoever, no matter how faint or vague, of how difficult it was for you to learn to recognize and to reach out for objects, for example, and likewise to learn to recognize the faces of those around you, and then to learn not only to cry but also how to make noises meaningfully, how to produce sounds with your breath, neck, tongue, mouth, voice, sounds in imitation of the sounds of nature, and sounds in imitation of the sounds, and voices, that you heard around you, and sounds that would soon form words to become speech, and then to learn how to eat without spilling all of your food down your chin, and to learn how to hold a knife and a fork, and to learn how to sleep quietly alone in your bed at night, tired but happy, and then to learn how to concentrate and focus, a concentration, a focus, on the strength of which you learn first how to raise your neck, then how to sit up, then how to stand up on your own two feet, and to walk, and you learn how to ride your bicycle, and you learn how to read and to write, and you learn, too, how to be patient, and how to listen, and how to hear, and how to look after things, and how to look after others, and how to love? And now you do not even know, I think, how you learned to remember to do any of those things, now, do you?
And I ask you: what do you have that you did not first receive?
Think of a sunbeam, a ray of outpouring light, a gift, to see.
(And, far away in that sunshine, beyond even the very farthest horizon, are my highest aspirations. I may not realize all of them but at least I may try to do so, as I look up, and recognize, their beauty, and believe in my dreams and aspirations, and follow them, and pursue them, saying:
Hold always near, and dear, to your heart, your hopes, and dreams.
And listen. What you do remember perfectly – now – what you do now know – is that you can learn whatever it is that you need to learn, and that you can do whatever it is that you need and want to do, and that you can always go to wherever you wish to go, and that you can think whatever you wish to think, and that you can write whatever you wish to write, and that you can be whatever you wish … to be … free … here … and now …
And you know full well that learning is easy when you are deeply relaxed.
And you are deeply relaxed.
For you know, now, what it feels like to be completely relaxed.
And condition, then, your mind, to this, this state, of deep, deep, deep, relaxation.
And take any doubts and anxieties and delusions and false beliefs that you may have, and see them now for what they truly are, as foolishness, as triviality, as nothing … and let them go, then, now, and let them fade away, completely, and let them disappear from your universe, forever.
And then set up a pattern … of letting go … so that your mind can follow naturally, easily, automatically.
And breathe freely.
So as to be relaxed, my soul, in soul Blue.
And to be relaxed, my sky, in sky Blue.
And to be (Ananda), my self, in self Bliss.
And I wonder: have you not realized that every blade of grass in a meadow and, that’s to say, every single blade of grass in a glorious, idyllic, summer meadow, is a subtly different shade of green?
Go take a look, my friend: look long and hard; then look again, and again.
And whatever you do, do not give up.
Rather, recall the words of Thomas Edison, that “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”.
And, facing it, always facing it. That’s the way to get through it. Face it. Let’s face it.
Do the thing and you will have the power.
Step out: the support will be there, the wire will support you, and you will come here to find your way, and to trust your way.
Tighten the rope. Sleep walk, if you wish.
Man on wire, on fire.
Trust, have faith.
And live, then, there, on the edge,
And as if you were going to die tomorrow.
Throw yourself into life.
And, at the same time, paradoxically, study long and hard, day after day, as if you were going to live forever.
And remind yourself that …
Repetition is the key to success.
For practice makes perfect.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try, again.
Fall seven times, and stand up eight.
And keep always in mind that even if you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start at any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.
And those things that hurt, instruct.
For some of the best lessons we ever learn, we learn from our mistakes and from our failures. The error of the past is the success and the wisdom of the future. In any case, a mistake may sometimes be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.
In the words of Charles Franklin Kettering: “I could do nothing without my problems; they toughen my mind. In fact, I tell my assistants not to bring me their successes for they weaken me; but rather to bring me their problems, for they strengthen me”.
For a positive thinker does not refuse to recognize the negative, he refuses to dwell on it. Positive thinking is a form of thought that habitually looks for the best results from the worst conditions.
No failure, only feedback.
Keep in mind, then, the Buddhist sayings: “Expect nothing!” and “Suffer more!”
See it all as so much character building.
And say to yourself:
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we must walk over that path again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to guide our lives. Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.
I’ll keep going, then, with all my courage and strength and focus and determination.
I’ll keep on going; I’ll keep on going, stubbornly.
And that’s just fine.
And, in the same way that a crystal is not fragile, but fine, be fine, my friend.
For you are doing just fine.
And everything is fine, just fine.
All is well.
So let go, again; just keep on letting go, refining, going deeper, and deeper …
(As into a well, a sense of wellness).
And do not hold your breath, ever.
But breathe freely, now, and forever …
And I shall weave words from the winds; and with these words I shall give you wings to fly; and upon these wings I shall write, among other words, the words “peace” and “love”, “trust” and “courage”, “forgiveness” and “openness”, “understanding” and “energy”, “joy” and “bliss”, “confidence”, “take heart”, “be bold”, and “go”; and with these words, like wings, you shall fly around the world; and you shall love the feeling of freedom that the sensation of flying affords you; and you shall love to take wing, and to fly …
And, as if it were the sky itself, sounding you, surrounding you, listen now to the sound of this, your voice, my voice, saying:
The time is always now.
So know, now, that this, then, is the right moment, to begin … for …
The moment …
To breathe your body more deeply into a feeling of deep relaxation.
A soft breeze …
As if moisture upon the air …
A deep breath …
And a drop in the ocean, of …
The mind’s ability to do amazing things.
And a gateway to trance.
An arrival; an (en)trance; a beginning.
Breathing in …
The moving mind; and the mind, in motion.
And your mind, breathing out, may wish now to extend, to go out and beyond itself, and to wander, and to travel.
And that’s fine, too, for you have surely noticed, now, that your awareness mostly migrates always to here, and there, where you most need to place most of your attention most of your time.
AND HERE IS WHERE WE MEET
Let’s simply go, trust.
Let’s be open, free.
Let’s lose ourselves in love.
For when you need something, there it is.
And when you look for something, you find it.
And when you look for this or that person, some / one / special, you find them, too.
And when someone is looking for you, well, likewise, they find you, if not immediately, at once, then very, very soon.
For wherever you go, there you are.
And you are always present, saying:
Be Here Now.
So stranger, if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?
( … for the riddle that other people represent has occupied me all my life: and that’s to say, I find you interesting! But I am not expecting a simple answer from you; what I seek is a deepening of understanding, a shared humanity, a sense of communion).
And you, Stranger: are you not a sound in search of echo, or a call that seeks response, saying: come, let’s wonder about the world together; tell me about your world! Where is your earth, for example, your plot of land? And where, your roots? And what is your point of view? And from where have you come? From where do you hail? And how far have you travelled to be here now? And where are you, now, in fact? Where are you on your travels? And where next?
Or are you perhaps one who prefers not to know where you are going, simply enjoying the sensation of being a little lost, a little adrift, floating, swimming, in the river of life, and facing it, faceless, all faces, in motion, emotion, and movement itself, a mystery, travelling always towards the over there, beyond, and beyond even the I, am That, in ecstasy, a hum.
(Relax, then, into your face).
(Relax, then, into your face).
(Relax, then, into your face).
Asking: what is your name? What mine? How shall we say? And who are you, then? And who do you say that I am?
(Knowing that the most important thing is not so much what you call me – and the possibility that you might be mistaken, and getting my name quite wrong, like calling a wrong number; no, the important thing is simply that you call. So please, smile, say hello, establish contact, make a call, write a letter, be in touch, share a word, share a world …
And I am so happy that now our paths have crossed, for here is where we meet.
This day, this journey; and so many journeys, paths crossed, stories shared: a time to talk, break bread, sip tea; a time to keep silence; and a time to move on.
It’s been a pleasure to meet you.
May you know great happiness, in love, and gratitude.
Until next time: bon voyage, my friend, fare well.
And say to yourself: …
I am so happy that now our paths have crossed.
Crossed paths, shared journeys.
So much to say, to tell.
To give, to receive.
To live, and to learn.
Looking up; looking forwards; looking out.
And just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience of that which is going on around me, says Albert Schweitzer.
And Einstein: “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest … a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to 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.”
And Dostoevsky: “Love all God’s creation, both the whole and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of light. Love the animals, love the plants, love each separate thing. If thou love each thing thou wilt perceive the mystery of God in all … “
A rain of blessings.
And this night, then – this night – shall be for us a night of storytelling, and the heavens above, for a little while, our home, and the stars, our company.
And from here, or there, or wherever, floating freely, looking up, looking down, upon first a darkness, impenetrable, becoming slowly, gradually, the sound, whirling, like a breeze, a swirling mist, in the depths, vibrating, the voice, acting, refracting, like a light, so that, letting there be light, there is light, and this light, subtle, revealing to us, then, little by little, ourselves, to ourselves, so slowly, so subtly, at first, and as if we were floating upon an ocean, vast, and beautiful, of faces, so many faces, now faint, now clear, and human faces, so many, to see, and to see, the sea, sounding, seeing, listening, hearing, and feeling the humming voices, vibrating, and telling stories, so many stories, and what extraordinary, or simply ordinary, extraordinary, stories, and, indeed, vast, and beautiful, and boundless, they are, like an ocean, and each one a drop in a beautiful, boundless ocean, vast, and like an ocean of story, a sea of stories, to see, to hear, to tell.
And aren’t you going, then …
To see the sea?
To see the sea!
(The Far Horizon)
(For you have always known that imagination is more important than knowledge; fire your mind now; and let your imagination fly free).
And yet, how is it, then, that we
To wonder at
The might of the mountains
The surge of the seas
The roaming of the rivers
The awesome grandeur of the oceans
And the circling of the stars …
While at the same time we pass ourselves by without ever …
Wondering … ?
And from that thought, there, return, then, here, and now, to this time, and place, the earth …
Take your bearings.
Stretch out your arms, the horizontal line, stretching out towards the far horizon.
You are here, now.
At a crossroads, the beginning of a path, a way.
(And always the centre of things; the middle way).
That way, North. That way, East. That way, South. That way, West.
The Great North. The Far East. The Deep South. The Wild West.
Breathe deeply, stand up straight, walk tall.
Be vertical, stretch up, reach up.
Try to touch the sky: the heavens above.
And, suspended there, as you are, like a line between heaven and earth, vertical, and horizontal, both plumb the depths and soar up into the heights. Work on your poise, develop balance. And be at once earthed, and heavenly; human, and divine. Know yourself. To be, becoming.
And hold then this thought, like golden earth, in the palm of your hand.
And feel your roots, saying: let this thought be as our hearth.
(The base, or ground note, and the earth beneath our feet).
And let the fire burn bright.
Earth, Wind, Water, Air, Fire.
And please, gather around, for we’ll sit close together, now, this night, and for a while, at least, be warmed, by …
The sound, of the human voice, divine, saying …
Whenever you feel inspired to do so, and, that’s to say, almost all the time, putting pen to paper, again and again, you write to me.
And what will you write?
That’s up to you.
Keeping only this in mind: hold everything dear.
And you shall begin, then, by writing:
To dear …
And be inspired, quite simply.
For your words, whatever you write, shall be wonderful, to me.
And your life, a life of words, true words.
(As in Shingon Buddhism)
Breath, rhythm, sound, and song.
And what fabulous adventures you shall speak of, then, describing them in wonderful detail, and adventures, that’s to say, seeking expression, in words, in language, in sound speech, and in the music of the heavens, the songs of the soul, and … sounds and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not. And I tell you … then … that … here … in this place … sometimes …
… a thousand twanging instruments …
Will hum about mine ears, and sometimes voices, too
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked
I cried to dream again …
And knowing, then, that our minds, when dreaming near the dawn, are of the truth, and my thoughts, as the weaving …
… of a magical garment for my muse, of perfect workmanship.
For a goddess’s robe is seamless, woven entirely on the loom.
And the dream, the pattern, the story, always changing, unfolding …
To dream, a dream, of …
A holy well.
And an ink well … thinking …
… of words … wondrous words … welling up, warm, like tears … tears of the moist, muddy earth … fruit of mother nature … a fabulous abundance … a magical, fabulous flow … of wondrous words … and energy … each word, a seed, a thought, becoming … a necessity, a karma, a destiny, and a fate … my word … my wyrd … and words … being … weaving … spun … woven … a voice, first thin, like mist … then reverberating … breeze, stirring … my voice, looming out from the dark depths … from the very breath of the winds, divine, that have blown us here, together, now, in service to … what? … supposing, some animating principle, and the thin, spinning, sunbeam, thread, like golden flax, telling, the tapestry, of the tale, first found – and picked out – plucked from thin air – and then told – trouvere – troubadour – told, spun, woven – like tantra, texare, textiled – weather woven words, worn … into text, and weaving, into being … an image, a vision, a story … spun … of a writing of a world as yet to be, and calling out, obscurely, in world writing, mind – and sound, searching echo, in question, and in response …
… Kotodama …
(The land where the mysterious workings of language bring bliss).
My self, your self.
And you know full well, now, and always, that your very greatest adventures are interior, when perhaps on the outside not much appears to be happening, and there is only stillness, and silence, and on the inside, by contrast, all is in motion, in emotion, and the breath, animating the mind, that moves, dances, trances, and is being always the centre of a boundless knowledge, understanding, imagination, creativity, beauty, bliss, as here, and now.
To sound true.
And to hit always the right note.
For you have realized – haven’t you? – that our soul is composed of harmony, and this, the music, of life …
Twelve (or … goodness knows … how many?) tones, like the steps of a ladder, ascending to heaven …
To sound true.
And to hit always the right note.
And, that’s to say, to be in tune, to be in harmony: to be in tune, in harmony, with all the people around you, your community, and to be in tune, in harmony, with your environment, and to be in tune, in harmony, in accord, one single, multi-layered chord, with your own nature, and to be in tune, in harmony, then, as a natural consequence, with the world, and to be in tune, in harmony, too, with me, right now, this moment, listening to the sound of my voice, your voice, our voices, singing out, clearly, beautifully, and producing such a lovely, wonderful sound, and a sound that, takes us away with it, now, as into the most magnificent dream, and a sound creating sacred space, sound space, and a beautiful music to the ears, like singing, with angels, and the sound, moving, dancing, flying, soaring upwards, as if to heaven, and a paradise of bliss.
And reach out, then, make contact, feel free.
And be bold, in touch, and sound, in word, and deed.
And have no fear.
Find your voice.
Indeed, and above all, have confidence: forget about the rest of the world for a minute. Go within: for this is your true reality. Listen to the music of the mind, then dance to it, quite simply.
(And what I say may be perfectly true. It certainly sounds true.)
And this, according to Diogenes, is why philosophy is useful:
“If nothing else, to ensure that we are ready for any destiny.”
(And what a destiny!)
And you know that all human beings share the same basic wish to be happy and to avoid suffering.
So we are not so very different, at the end, you and I.
And, my friend, you have nothing to fear.
I give you inspiration, and encouragement.
And this, now: a meeting of minds.
And I ask you, then:
Where should I look for you?
Where will I find you?
Where do you belong?
And I tell you:
I do not belong anywhere, in particular.
I belong everywhere.
And where do you happen to be living now, just now?
On the planet earth, mostly.
(But not always; for occasionally I have found myself somewhere that has seemed a little like a living hell; yet, I must say, fortunately, so very fortunately, and more and more often, indeed, I find myself in a kind of heaven on earth. A question, perhaps, of circumstance, and chance. A question, perhaps, of perspective, or attitude, or practice. Perhaps. Or perhaps not.).
And, in any case, truly, truly, truly, I aspire TO BE a citizen of the world, a citizen of the cosmos, a true cosmopolitan: a universal man, a universal woman, and all small parts in a far greater whole. For my intention is to make all feel familiar, so that wherever I am, and wherever I go in the world, I open my mind and allow myself all at once to feel everything around me as extraordinarily and beautifully familiar and intimate. So I call, then, not as if for the very first time; but rather, I re-call, little by little, remembering everything. And I say to myself: “Yes, I recognize this place and these people. It all feels so familiar. And in fact I feel completely at home here, as if I’ve been here always. And as if here I am among my family.”
Draw near, then, my friend, come close: make all feel familiar, and hold everything dear.
Asking: for what are you seeking?
What is it that really and truly you want?
And: is it useful? Does it work? And is your thinking sound? And are your thoughts in conformity with your reality? And is your world in harmony?
And, if so, with which, or whose, reality, is it in harmony?
Does it conform to the reality that you think that you see and understand? Or the reality of which you dream, and which you are inspired to create?
And remember, too, that, if at all possible – and all is possible – whenever you can – and that’s to say, at all times – always – you must call each thing by its true name. Adam, the ground, the earth. Be always honest: tell it as it is. And watch your tongue, then, watch your language, pay attention. For your words not only reflect the world, as it is – tell it – as it is – they also create the world. So always be sound, and true, and sound, always. And attend to your breath, and your ENERGY, and draw in your inspiration, and follow your genius, ETERNAL, to go with the flow, and to map out the wyrd songlines of your inner world, and to map out your mind, in DELIGHT, and, in making this, your world, in music, to sing out your soul’s joyful dreaming, in bliss.
And if you are looking for answers, first question, asking:
Why do you not simply look around you, again, and again, and each time more carefully, and more attentively, so as, in this way, to explore, a little more, our world, your world, this world – and yes, this world, your world, our world -right here, and now, as it is, or as it appears, at least, to be?
For you know that, although on your passport it says this, or that, in truth you are a Hyperborean. And the Hyperborean is engaged on an erratic path to a far-out something. What people see are the erratics, or the stones he leaves on his path, when what he sees are flashes of the far-out thing. So argues Kenneth White, at least. And I think perhaps he’s right; quite right, again.
In a state, then, of expanding ecstasy, or far-outness, move first in the direction of, and towards, what you value, and then see if you can’t explore your limits still further, and expand yourself a little more, attempting to stretch outwards those limits and, in doing so, to develop, from within yourself, the courage simply to let go, and to let go of you, and to let go of yourself, so as simply to lose yourself, completely, and, surrendering yourself, completely, to come to be, that, being, completely, relaxed, and being completely open, and being completely, completed, as if in complete surrender, somehow, to selflessness, and selfless, freedom, from being, this, or that, and at once, being, then, as it were, incomplete, and at once, being, then, as it were, complete, and at once incomplete, and complete, in bliss.
(So Be Zen)
And then, in tranquillity, return to your centre, and be restored.
For your mind, then, is as a miniature world that at the same time somehow expands to contain all that you could ever consciously understand to be. Your body, by contrast, is very much in and of the world. Let go, then, of the need to understand, and to control; and nor need you look down, even, to test the ground of your next step; for only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road. Let go, then, of all fear and trembling, doubt, and hesitation. Let go of everything, indeed. Be free.
And in your imagination you travel often, and easily, from north to south and from east to west, and from the northern to the southern hemisphere.
And likewise you move with ease between the left and the right hemispheres of your brain.
And your brain itself is like a miniature world and perhaps, to you, it is the only world that you shall ever know; and in your throat, stuck there, a testament not only to love, and to desire, but a testament, too, to your curiosity, a piece of Adam’s Apple; and your heart, too, wilful, independent, a law unto itself, a world apart and it, too, a little like a brain, a centre of feeling and emotion, intuition, and insight; and, lower in the body, the intestines, the stomach, the serpent of the knowledge of good and evil, the great power of the Kundalini; and, lower still, going down, you begin to lose your discrete sense of self; and you lose yourself in the joy, the delirium, of the body; and in the joy of sex, you lose yourself, completely.
And so whenever, losing yourself, you are feeling down, move your energy up, from the pit of the stomach to first the heart, and then the brain, and there find yourself again.
And just imagine that it’s the movies, and now MOVE!
(Lights! Camera! Action!)
(You look a million dollars, by the way; a real star!)
And move, from depression, to expression.
And express the thoughts that arise in the mind.
Reach out, and communicate – a meeting of minds.
And, in this way, see if you cannot make of your experience a storehouse for one, and all.
Make of it a story house; a story …
And, through this story, transform the maze, the labyrinth, of the mind, into a mandala.
And, rocking a little from right to left, from left to right, a very slow, circular motion, circling clockwise to turn inwards, anticlockwise to turn outwards, achieve balance, and harmony.
Allow yourself some space and time, some time, and space.
To get to know yourself a little better, and better.
And try, too, and then, always, to think honestly, and to speak truly, going always to the heart of what you wish to say; and above all try to be true to yourself. And have the courage of conviction in everything you do, in other words. And focus on the beautiful, the extraordinary, the exceptional. Or rather, learn to see the beautiful, the extraordinary, the exceptional, in everything, by approaching work, as life, in a spirit of abandon, of total abandon. And, trying to live each second as if your last, live your life well; just live it well, that’s all; your life, and up to you.
And do not be afraid to take a big step where one is indicated; after all, a significant result requires a large ambition. And, as David Lloyd George once observed, you cannot cross a chasm in two small jumps.
And follow “The Way” (call it the Tao, or Zen).
That’s to say, be open to the learning of all arts.
Be curious about all professions.
Know the difference between gain and loss.
Pay attention to your conscious awareness.
Pay attention to those things that are beyond consciousness.
Pay attention to the smallest details.
Yet concern yourself only with what is useful.
And move always towards what you value.
Focus on the beautiful, the extraordinary, the exceptional.
And know that whatever satisfies the soul, is truth.
And in such a way, from here on, and now, and always, you shall be resonant, vibrant, energetic.
And your voice shall sing out clearly, in love, and truth, and beauty.
And if life seems sometimes simply too complicated, remember, it needn’t be complicated, so keep it simple, saying to yourself:
Just direct your thoughts usefully.
One thought at a time.
One thing at a time.
One step at a time.
Always one, at a time.
All is one, at a time.
And what a time, of oneness.
It was, that …
And I am, then; still, somehow …
To tell …
In numbers, numbingly … counting up, counting down … the clock, ticking … and counting the years, the months, the days, the hours, the minutes, the seconds … my life, your life, our life … and telling the time … of my life, your life, our life … and counting … on time … and counting … on you … being … always … on time … and counting … on you … being always … in time … in time … in right, close up, intimate, rhythm … beating … time … to …
For like a migrating bird, you yourself simply know, and simply know where to go, and when to go, responding always to an inner voice, and responding always to an inner voice that calls out to you, that calls out your name, and to an inner voice that is, even now, calling out to you, in emotion, setting all in motion, in motion, emotion.
That voice, listening …
And your awareness, your mind, naturally migrates, then, towards those things that most require your attention, or simply to those things that are most important and most interesting to you.
And you just seem to know where to go, and when, and what to do to take care of yourself.
And you are totally at ease.
And you are doing just fine.
And an inner voice, an inner awareness, drawing your attention, setting you in motion, moves you, in emotion, towards a place, an inner space, a sanctuary, of quiet comfort, and effortless relaxation, and there to know, all of a sudden, just like that, that the time is right, for change. And to know, all of a sudden, just like that, the exact nature of the change that is needed. And to recognize that that feeling is an inner awareness, and a recognition that something needs to change, and that that something needs to change now, change now, now change.
For nothing really endures, but change: change is the only constant.
And in the words of William Arthur Ward:
The goal of life is to grow.
The nature of life is to change.
The challenge of life is to overcome.
The essence of life is to dare.
The beauty of life is to give.
The joy of life is to love.
And keep then clearly in mind, that:
To achieve change, think first to exchange.
And to move away from confusion, fuse with that which is there, and that which is true.
And make of yourself a useful sacrifice: surrender your mind to that which is now.
And to move away from depression, move towards expression.
Express yourself, then.
Be open, brave, and bold.
For thanks to change there is growth.
And deep change can only be brought about when first you choose to change yourself, so change yourself now; be the change you seek!
And you know that you can achieve that change.
You are your own boss.
You are the ruler of your world.
And you are yourself responsible for yourself.
So make it so.
For naturally you flow with that change.
For naturally you flow with change.
And naturally you flow, and change.
And naturally you flow easily, and grow easily, and change, knowing and understanding completely that all growth takes place through change, and naturally you flow easily, and grow easily, and change, knowing and understanding completely that all growth takes place, thanks to change …
And so you flow, and change, and are always in harmony, with nature.
And you flow, and change.
And you flow, with change.
And you flow and change with change.
And you become change.
And you are change.
And all, then, is change, and in constant motion.
A book of changes, life.
Give, and receive.
For energy is eternal delight.
And dance, then, wherever you may be – Dance! Dance! Dance! – in deep delight, within, and without a doubt, and once and for all, forever, and a day, starting now.
And I am the Lord of the Dance, said He.
And this, my house, full of delight, in which the dancer, dances, and the songbird, sings …
And transform, then – trance/form – your life.
And what a dance!-
For this voice, your voice, our voice, my voice, and these words, your words, our words, my words, shall go with you, always.
So listen to this, this voice, your voice, our voice, my voice, and to these, these words, your words, our words, my words, with an open mind, and an open heart.
And be clear in your understanding.
For this NOW is the (En)trance to transition into trance/formation in transformation.
So, from now on, change your chances of success: take a chance on change.
And, to do so, first relax, then follow your nose, follow your gut feeling, and go with your feelings, go with your intuition, go with your emotions, follow your heart.
And be bold.
For fortune favours the bold, so they say.
And: no guts, no glory.
And so they say:
A game of …
Take a chance, let go.
Take a chance, go with the flow.
Take a chance on change.
So take a chance.
Take a chance.
A chance …
Chants, singing –
Chants, of a lifetime.
… in trance …
A heart of gold, with which …
And says St Teresa of Avila:
“Remember: if you want to make progress on the path and ascend to places you have longed for, the important thing is not to think much but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens you to love.”
To come in, be welcome.
To step out, fare well.
And simply to be; to be on your way …
As impermanent are all compound things.
With mindfulness, strive on.
And, can you imagine?
And once upon a time, everybody “knew” that the earth went around the sun, and that something heavier than air could not fly, and that to run a mile in less than four minutes was of course a physiological impossibility.
And so to refresh your view of the world, change the way you see things: twist the kaleidoscope around and around until the pattern that is taking shape before your eyes comes to please you.
Look out for a new perspective: if needs be, buy new glasses.
For change is the only constant.
And so try to be the change, then, if you can, that you seek.
And we can easily imagine how it might feel to know, without knowing, what needs to be done, and to be told, without anyone doing the telling, by an inner voice, an inner feeling, simply to do this now! And you can so easily also imagine, likewise, how it might feel to have actions flow from those feelings, responding naturally, effortlessly, to an inner awareness, an inner knowing, that tells you what to do and when and how to do it, and to be as if simply born with the knowledge, and to trust that feeling, and to be so comfortably aware of oneself that simply everything becomes naturally, and effortlessly, much easier; a knowledge, a decision, that is, that is part of each human and other being and that guides and directs intuitively towards those things needed, as if in a migration of thought, or awareness, that presents you with memories, ideas, understanding, for you, to use, for you, so that, even as you relax, your mind moves towards those things needed, and your unconscious provides that core awareness and understanding that you can use later on, if you wish, or right now, if you wish, and simply whatever feels right.
And, I ask you: why not use it now?
Why not do it now, right now, at once?
For a journey, after all, begins in the mind, in the imagination.
It begins as a movement, a merest breath, and faint breeze, of thought, an impulse, a stirring, or a curiosity, softly whispering, within the ear, that grows then, little by little, into a desire—something more, and something new—to experience, to learn, and to understand, in what is at once a calling, and a response, and a changing of the mind, a turning of the mind, in a placing of one’s attention, with focus, to here, and to there, until, little by little, these pathways of the mind, in the mind, forming, and sounding, the mind, begin to sound out something like a vocation, and a vocation, and a vocation, that is, which is a finding of a voice, and a path, and a direction, in the way of the inner life, and the spirit, that becomes then embodied in a starting out, a stepping out, from thought’s beating heart, into thought’s beating heart, beating heart’s life and, born from there, and then, comes as if a new reality, and a new journey, and a new day, and a new beginning …
For in the beginning was the Word.
And words come easily …
And inspiration, too, comes easily …
(Breathing in, breathing out).
And inspiration comes all the time … to me, whoever he … or she … (s)he, s/he … hush … ! … might be …
For I am indeed an inspiration!
And indeed, I hold it in my hands, this word, this book, look: “INSPIRATION!”
For, staring, at first silently, into the darkness, thoughts form, fresh, and glistening, silver, like the moon … through red, purple, blue, and white … upon the early morning dew, into words, sparkling silver, then gold, at the rising of the dawn’s new sun, in the blue ink, of the day’s new sky, bright light, and song, and your body, sounding, as if vibrating, then, to all the glorious colours … of a rainbow … at the end of which … you find … a heart-shaped pot … of gold … pure gold …
A heart of gold!
And all this but a breeze of thought floating out, flowing out, upon the breath, into word, and action.
And says Lao Tzu:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Your journey begins with an inspiration in the mind translated into an impulse to move.
And there is always a moment when someone must make the first move, and take the first step; and let that someone be you!
And your journey begins with your feet: so take the first step, my friend; just go!
Life itself, a journey.
I travel not to go anywhere in particular but, put simply, simply to go. I travel for travel’s sake. For the great affair is to move. It’s how we’re programmed, and made.
And I travel, at the same time, if paradoxically, to …
Be here now.
Be here now.
And now again, to go away!
And, for what it may be worth, try to be one of those people who try themselves to the limit by trying the limits and the extent of their ability and their potential.
And that’s to say: first clear your mind of all that is unhelpful and then go out of your way, get out of your way, and try to get out more, and look around you, and explore a bit, and discover the world.
And learn to hold your head up high; learn to sit up straight, and to stand up straight; bind fast, and tight, the rope of life; then learn to walk on it; just learn to walk upright upon the earth; then learn to run; learn to skip; learn to jump; learn to dance; learn to ride; learn to swim; learn to sail; learn to climb; and learn to fly.
Take a walk; jump on your bike; hitch a lift; saddle up; jump on a boat; ship passage; celebrate a holiday; fly away; and, failing all that, keep it simple, and just do as you’ve heard them all say so many times before you: simply walk it! On your bike, mate! Get lost! Be gone! Go!
(But please don’t take this the wrong way – take only the right way).
And to help you, keep clearly in mind the thought that energy begets energy. Have confidence, then: the path will become clearer to you with each step taken. In confidence, walk on.
And so I ask you: what is stopping you?
Okay, so …
So you must start from somewhere; agreed.
So let’s start from here, and begin.
And let’s begin right here, and now, immediately, at once, this very moment.
And recall the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga:
The Law of Pure Potentiality
(All is possible; anything can happen; all is to play for!)
The Law of Giving and Receiving.
(Circles of virtue)
The Law of Karma
(Cause and effect)
The Law of Least Effort
(Minimize effort and maximize effect)
The Law of Intention and Desire
(Know what you want; want it with all your heart and mind; articulate the thought, write it down; picture it so; then go for it; make it so!)
The Law of Detachment
(Think of your children … )
The Law of Dharma
(Know yourself. What is your purpose in life? What is your vocation? Who are you, finally?)
And recall, too, the Rules of Engagement:
Choose your territory.
Discard all unnecessary things.
Remember that the Breath of Life resides in your inspiration, so connect to a Higher Power.
Free yourself of your conscious thoughts.
Slow down time.
And then, and only then, engage.
(And may the Force be with you!)
And I say to you: be always enthusiastic, be passionate.
And also reflect consciously, and often, upon the qualities that you most admire in certain special people or animals or places or things, then reflect consciously upon those qualities, in and of themselves, and then consciously imitate those good examples, those models, those heroes, and heroines, then be the change you wish to see, be the change, and then, as it were, become your heroes, and your heroines, until at last you can be a hero or a heroine to yourself, the person you’ve always dreamt of being, your ideal self or, so to speak, the person you’ve always had in mind, from the very beginning, and the person you were meant to be.
And know, then, that from now on you shall be a mirror held up to the very best that you can be.
And, put simply, you shall be the very best person that you can possibly be.
The person you’ve always had in mind.
And everything about you shall be fit, and meet, fit, and strong.
And you shall always show great poise:
Standing up straight, looking straight ahead, standing tall, and walking tall, as if a giant.
And, standing firm, you are as solid as rock, and as unmovable as a mountain, when necessary.
And, with age, you’ll surely age into being as an old oak tree, as solid as can be.
Look straight ahead
Go all the way
Observe, too, and hold, and respect, your body, as if it were a temple to life itself, as indeed it is.
And recall the Latin tag, “mens sana in corpore sano”, a healthy mind in a healthy body, or (to be) sound of mind and body.
The words are those of the Roman poet Juvenal, in Satire X:
It is to be prayed that the mind be sound in a sound body. Ask for a brave soul that lacks the fear of death, which places the length of life last among nature’s blessings, which is able to bear whatever kind of sufferings, does not know anger, lusts for nothing, and believes the hardships and savage labours of Hercules better than the satisfactions, feasts, and feather bed of an Eastern king.
And so you try always to eat simply and healthily.
You think lean.
You attend carefully to the needs of your body.
You listen carefully to what your body is telling you.
And you remain always in tune, in harmony, knowing that a positive frame of mind is half the battle.
So that you sound always …
Sound in mind and body.
And fit, too, in mind, and body.
And you love resistance, for you love a challenge; indeed, you adore a challenge, for it is only under difficult and challenging circumstances that you can feel the full strength of your mind and body, spirit and purpose.
(So do not remain at home, safe and sound, but rather: go out into the world. Sit naked upon a mountaintop. Feel the wind in your hair. Let go!)
And so, whenever you can, you walk, and run, and leap, and skip, and dance, and jump …
And, even so, you know that your body has been sculpted using dust, earth, water, mud, clay, air, and breath. It is limited, defined, definite.
But no vessel shall ever be large enough to contain your mind: no attempt at definition will ever limit your mind’s scope, or diminish its mysteries, or exhaust its potential, and its power.
Know, then, that your mind is limitless.
And develop an intention towards perfection.
And this, then, the art of living well, named: “well-being”.
Says Lao-Tzu: “He who is open-eyed is open-minded. He who is open-minded is open-hearted. He who is open-hearted is kingly. He who is kingly is Godly. He who is Godly is useful. He who is useful is infinite. He who is infinite is immune. He who is immune is immortal.”
And I define my body in the following ways: relaxed, at ease, yet bursting with energy.
Listen, then, to the body, as it hums, vibrates, and resonates, sounding out this vessel of life breath, and making the soul, in turn, ring out, and sing.
And I am perfectly balanced, perfectly in tune, perfectly pitched.
I am in harmony with myself, with those around me, and with the universe as a whole.
(And this is “just” intonation).
(Sounding it out).
And think and reflect: be silent, for a moment, be still, sit still, sit up straight, or stand tall, then slowly, surely, extend yourself, stretch out, reach up, grow tall, and let the spirit soar, reach up to, and touch, the sky, then fly.
And I walk tall, like a giant.
Place a mountain in my way and I shall move it.
For my mind clears a path, finds a way …
And my mind, clears …
Keeping always a clear mind.
So that this mind, your mind, my mind, now, is crystal clear.
And it goes almost without saying: try not to let yourself down; try not to fall. But should you do so, don’t worry, for that, too, is normal. Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. We learn by our mistakes. We learn from our mistakes. We learn by a process of trial and error. So that …
When I lose, at least I don’t lose the lesson.
And if you fall, say, for example, seven times, just make sure you stand up eight times. And when, inevitably, and from time to time, you find yourself unexpectedly on the floor, simply pause for a moment, enjoy the sensation, the moment, then rise again, pick yourself up, brush yourself down, then carry on, and on, and on …
For the flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful.
And things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.
And every cloud has a silver lining.
Have faith, then: a faith that allows you strength even to err, and to wander off the well-trodden paths, and to wander into the unknown … and there …
… there simply to go on, then, for as far as you can, and for as far as you possibly can.
And, possessing the patience of Job, never giving up …
And, like a happy Sisyphus …
Going on, and on, and on …
Going right to the end.
(And knowing, too, that if you fall into a ditch it will take you great effort to get yourself out again; far better to avoid the ditch in the first place, and to keep positive.)
Says Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an Angel, in apprehension how like a God: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.”
Man know thyself and thou shalt know the Universe.
“To thine one self be true; thou canst not then be false to any man.”
A truly Herculean task.
A life’s work.
And that’s okay, too, for you have a life, time, and you are doing just fine.
And simply relax now; and enjoy the journey; and go with the flow.
And from now on, as and when you need to do so, you will hear all that you need to hear.
And you will see all that you need to see.
For your unconscious will see all that it needs to see, and hear all that it needs to hear, and understand all that it needs to understand.
So see hear now.
(Tune in, as it were, to your intuition).
And now you may open your eyes, now, here, and look up.
A light breeze, drifting through the mind.
And the mind, clearing.
Thoughts giving light.
A cloudless, clear blue sky.
Heavens above, earth below.
Asking: where are you?
Asking: who are you?
Then saying to yourself: now open the hand of thought, and reveal the diamonds in the mind.
See; hear; understand; now …
And now …
BE the light.
And a voice, moving across the waters, calling out in the wilderness.
Words scattered, like seeds; seeds planted, to grow.
And who can be muddy, and yet, settling, slowly, ever so slowly, become limpid, and clear?
Who can be at rest, and yet, stirring, come slowly to life?
Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?
And can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?
The Master does not seek fulfilment; not seeking, not expecting, he is present, and welcomes all things.
(Still deeper paradox).
And be then an island unto yourself: a refuge to yourself and no other. Have the courage of your convictions. Show strength of purpose. Show character.
Know, too, that right and wrong are situational.
In the appropriate situation, nothing is wrong.
Without the appropriate situation, nothing is right.
What is right in one case is not what is right in another.
What is wrong in one case is not what is wrong in another.
Rules, in any case, are made to be broken: this itself is a deeper rule.
Say to yourself: “I know the rules but the rules do not know me.”
So let there be much method, too, in your seeming madness, saying:
“Good heavens, no, I don’t suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!”
Live fast and furiously.
Work hard, play hard.
Be brave, be bold, take risks.
And be sure to break every barrier and taboo: break out of the box; break the mould.
And, above all, let go of all the norms: be enormous!
And know, too, that fear is the only darkness.
But when you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is immediately and at once certain and inevitable.
Kill the fear, at once.
And instead show strength of mind; show strength of purpose.
For fortune favours the bold.
And no guts, no glory.
And with it, inspiration.
Shugendo, the path of training and testing.
(Tuition, training, keen observation, study, practice, repetition, ongoing learning, and discipline; these build the bridge between goals and accomplishments).
And you, a yatri, a pilgrim soul, on a journey of pilgrimage, a yatra.
So turn your thoughts again, perhaps now to Budo, or to Shambhala, the Way of the Warrior, the Solar Warrior, perhaps practising Aikido, the Art of Peace, or Kinomichi, the Way of Energy, and I Ching, the Way of Change.
And it is said that the pen is mightier than the sword; a smart but weak scholar is nevertheless not ideal. And a strong but ignorant warrior is likewise not ideal. One must strive to be not only a scholar monk, or poet, but also and above all a warrior monk – a Sohei – and a warrior poet, combining strength and intelligence so as to wield well both pen and sword. Be both a gentle and a noble person wherever you find yourself: a person of culture, and learning; a person of strength, and speed; hard in body and purpose, subtle and gentle in mind and spirit; both a warrior, and a writer. Dedicate yourself totally, then, to the way of the pen and the sword; wield well both pen and sword.
And recall the words of The Wanderer.
“Therefore a man cannot call himself wise, before he has a share of years in the world. A wise man must be patient. He must never be too impulsive nor too hasty of speech, nor too weak a warrior nor too reckless, nor too fearful, nor too cheerful, nor too greedy for goods, nor ever too eager for boasts, before he sees clearly.”
“A man must wait when he speaks oaths, until the proud-hearted one sees clearly whither the intent of his heart will turn.”
A dancer, dances.
A singer, sings.
A writer, writes …
And you: what do you do? What is your field of work? Where do you till or plough the land? And what would you most like to do, if given the choice? And when, and where – and doing what – makes you feel that now, at last, you are really in your element? And what then will be your most meaningful contribution?
Ah, I see.
Your condition is hypergraphia, the overwhelming urge and need to write.
In that case, as you are a person who writes, a writer, practising a stream of Shodo, or calligraphy, literally “beauty writing”, meaning beautiful letters, or the art of writing beautifully, making your strokes dance, a choreography of beautiful words, spinning, singing, woven into text; penmanship, or the art of writing well; the way of writing, Bunbu Ryodo, the ideal of the warrior poet: a person educated, sophisticated, cultivated, cultured.
And breathing out now, once more: become only this awareness of exhalation, in contact, and feeling.
And follow your words, then, your WYRD, your writing out of the world.
And let’s also describe this as the art of conscious living, of living well, in the ways of the world, along the world’s way, where you practise yoga, or union.
For you put your shoulder to the wheel, and turn it.
And your attitude to Dharma parallels what ancient cultures called “warrior knowledge” – the knowledge that comes from developing skills in difficult situations – as opposed to “scribe knowledge” that people sitting in relative security and ease can set down in words. Of course, warriors need to use words in their training, but they view a text as authoritative only if its teachings are borne out in practice. The Canon itself encourages this attitude when it quotes the Buddha explaining that: “As for the teachings of which you may know, ‘These teachings lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to divesting, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome’: You may definitely hold, ‘This is the Dharma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher’s instruction.”
Thus the ultimate authority in judging a teaching is not whether the teaching can be found in a text. It lies in each person’s relentless honesty in putting the Dharma to the test and carefully monitoring the results.
Parivrajaka, Wandering Monk.
“For there is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rupture on the lonely shore; there is society, where none intrudes; by the deep sea, and music its roar. I love not Man the less, but Nature more … “ (to quote Lord Byron).
And, so saying, seek silence, seclusion, stillness, emptiness – sunyata, tranquillity, peace.
Leave your cave, take a walk, go into the woods, go into the forest, and wander, freely, through the woods, and forests, and go on a journey into the mountains, the high places, the land of the gods, to dwell, in time, among them; Shugendo; Shugenja; Yamabushi, one who lies in the mountains; a hermit among the hills; a mountain monk, a mountain mind, a breath of the moon in the heart, and mountains of the moon in the mind, as gods.
And take now a deep breath, inhaling very, very deeply, to help you get there: breathe in deeply.
(A sound upon the air, in the breeze, whispering to you, like a mother; listen then to the wind, your mother.)
And, from being first an ascetic, be now an ecstatic.
Set yourself totally aside, and enjoy now an ecstatic freedom from yourself; and simply follow your bliss.
And, at some point, somewhere, somehow, you arrive, somewhat breathless, as if for the first time, the very first time, perhaps—or perhaps not—asking:
Where, then, really, does the beginning, begin?
A vibration, a soft, gentle, humming, sound.
A stirring across the waters, in spirit.
A being, breathing, moving, thinking.
Calling, and recalling.
And you recall now the rules of engagement.
First, choose your territory.
Feel relaxed, and comfortable: centre yourself.
Discard all unnecessary things.
For the breath of life resides in your inspiration.
And connect, then, to a Higher Power.
Free yourself of all your conscious thoughts.
Slow down time.
And then, and only then, engage.
For, as you know perfectly well, an unexamined life is not worth living.
Aspire, then, always, to the highest place …
But to get there, look down; look down deeply within yourself; and believe in …
The colour of lights, becoming: blue, blond, or yellow, gold, a flash of light and, blinding, shining out and, sometimes, also burning, bright, like a star.
Bright eyes, blazing forth.
As if enlightenment.
And a pavement of sapphire, the throne of God.
And now, in a second, you’ll see a flash of colour.
And the sky mind coloured blue upon the breath; and the powerful ocean, breath blue, swirling, in the throat; and sky mind, voiced, in ocean blue …
(And remember that a person with a naturally blue aura is a person who is oriented towards the life of the spirit; such a person could be a social worker, a counsellor, a teacher, a psychologist, a philosopher, a writer, or a poet.)
So many shades of blue.
And Blue – light and dark – the colour of the morning and the evening sky.
The colour of God’s glory.
And, meditating now on Blue, the language of the soul, in blue-throated mantra, singing out …
I sing …
To the Blue …
And singing the Blues, for …
In Bliss …
Breathe in, inhale.
And breathe in deeply, through the nose.
And count to ten, hold for ten.
Breathe out slowly, through the mouth.
Wait a while.
And, says Basho: “When we observe things calmly we notice that all things have their fulfilment.”
Relax, then; relax completely; and make yourself completely comfortable, now …
And if you want to close your eyes, well, that’s a good idea, why not, but, if not, well, that’s also okay, that’s fine, that too … and then you can simply listen quietly to the sound of this voice, your voice, my voice … and of course you’ll be aware, too, of all the other sounds going on around you … sounds from inside and outside the building … a concert of sound seeking silence … and that’s okay, too … as these sounds won’t disturb you … and in fact they are going to help you to relax, because every single sound you now hear … seeking silence … will now help you to relax … now … and because of all those sounds, the only sound you need now to think about … now … in silence … now … is the sound of this voice, your voice, my voice … and while now you listen to the sound, that sound … silence … of this, that voice, your voice, my voice … now simply allow yourself to be as comfortable and as lazy and as relaxed … now … as you could ever wish to be … and … now … I want you … in this silence … now … just to allow yourself to be simply as comfortable and as lazy and as relaxed now as you could ever wish to be … here … and … now … in silence …
Inhaling deeply, through the nose.
Exhaling completely, through the mouth.
Oxygen to the brain.
And now, as you simply relax, wherever you are standing, or sitting, or lying down, even, just try now to become a little more aware of your body … and to be aware now of your hands, wherever they rest … and perhaps noticing also the angle of your elbows … and perhaps sensing also the weight of your head … and now … that I say that … you know … listening to the sound of this voice, your voice, my voice … that … the sensation of weight that you are now experiencing may seem just ever so gently to increase … and ever so little … and ever so subtly … as you allow yourself to relax more and more now … and just becoming more and more aware now of your ankles and feet now, and wondering if they, too, will start to feel also heavy now, as you … relax … and thinking about your breathing now, for a few moments … and noticing that your breathing, too, is becoming slower, and steadier … and time, too, to feel … and time, too, to feeling, too, too slow … to time, too, feeling so, so slow … and your body, heavy … as now you become more and more relaxed … and relaxing more and more deeply … slowly … your breathing becoming ever deeper, ever slower … slow, and steady … until you are breathing now so slowly and deeply and steadily and evenly now … that it’s just as though you were pretending … to be … sound … asleep … and with your eyes gently closed … as you breathe so evenly, so steadily … and so slowly that now you could not even disturb so much as a feather placed immediately in front of your nose … as you breathe so easily, and so slowly, and so deeply, and so gently … and so that now you could not only not disturb even so much as a single filament of feather placed right here, in front of your nose, in front of you, but also …
And also … and also … and also listen now, very carefully, to the sound of that voice, this voice, your voice, my voice.
For I am going to tell you a story, beginning:
Once upon a time …
There was a king, a great and wonderful king.
Imagine him sitting in regal splendour upon his throne. And around him stand great columns ornamented with ivory, bearing the banners of the king with great honour. And then all of a sudden it pleases the king to raise a small feather from the ground. And, having raised it from the ground, he commands it, then, this feather, to fly. And the feather flies, not because of anything in itself but simply because the air bears it along. And thus am I …
I am a feather on the breath of God.
And like a feather, and like a bird’s feather, and like a bird, I fly.
I fly to wherever the winds wish to take me …
Into the unknown.
Into the Blue, Blue skies.
And into an infinite possibility, becoming tangible.
And into an infinite Blue, being bliss.
In songs of the soul, sounded out, in bliss.
And now I’m going to ask you to concentrate again, for a few moments, on your breathing … and I wonder if you can imagine a very strange idea … a very strange idea indeed … I wonder if you can imagine that you can actually breathe … through your fingertips … just imagine the rather strange idea that you can actually breathe through your fingertips … imagine that you can feel the air moving into your hands … slowly, at first, very slowly … and then with just an ever so faint tingling sensation that you might feel on the back of your hands … or perhaps in your palms … and then just imagine that feeling moving slowly along your arms … through your elbows … and just imagine that comforting flow of air moving through your elbows and then into your upper arms … and then into your shoulders … and into both arms … and both shoulders … and then maybe finding again that faint tingling sensation … perhaps in your elbows or forearms this time … and then moving down through the body … and down into your legs … and through the thighs … and through the knees into your shins and calves … and then you might feel, again, that faint tingling sensation, just there, below your knees … and then down through your ankles and into your feet … and then out through the feet … and then … into … space … thin air …
And there you can find a great deal of calmness and easiness … there in that rather strange idea that you can breathe in through your fingers … that you can actually feel the air moving through your whole body … in one single, warming, comforting, powerful flow of energy … and because the air flows in one direction only … moving through your whole body in one single comforting flow … the calmness and relaxation that you breathe in … simply doesn’t get involved with the tensions and the anxieties that you now breathe away from yourself … so that with each breath you take … and with each word spoken, that you and I are speaking now … you find yourself becoming steadily more and more … relaxed … and even beginning now, perhaps, to notice more and more the weight of your head … and wondering if that weight might seem now gently to be increasing … ever so little … as you relax even more … and the weight of your feet on the floor … and as you begin to wonder if that weight, too, might not seem gently to be increasing now … even as you think about it … so that some people can find that … the sensation of total relaxation … that makes you feel as if you are actually beginning physically to sink gently through the chair or couch or bed … and the floor … and beginning physically to sink gently down … so that it seems almost as if you are enveloped … by the earth itself … and so that you are so relaxed now … and it’s such a good feeling … and it’s a feeling of such calmness and safety … of great calmness … and of great safety … and it’s a feeling that increases still more, even, with each and every breath that you take, and with each and every word that I speak … listening to the sound of this voice, your voice, my voice, that shall go with you, and accompany you, always, from the very depths, to the very limits, to the very extremities, of your physical being, your body, and also to the very ends of your breath, your spirit, and to the very ends of the earth, as you imagine it, in your mind … and all this, as you continue, then, to breathe in through your fingers … and, accepting all, now … so that … you are …simply allowing that powerful, comforting, warming, relaxing flow of air … to move through your whole body and then out through your feet, to the beyond, your body …
So that this, too, is something that you can do for yourself whenever you wish … simply settling yourself into a comfortable position … with your eyes closed … then simply imagining yourself breathing in through your fingers … and imagining that flow of air comforting and relaxing every part of your body … and then breathing that air out through your feet now … so that each time you breathe out you just say to yourself: “Relax … now … “ … ONE … just saying TWO yourself: “Relax … now … “ … “Relax … now … “ … “Relax … now … “ … for you are THREE … and with each ONE breath, Blue, you breathe … you will find that this, TWO, will act as a trigger to your unconscious mind … so that when you feel FREE you say it … Blue … Bliss … and then the fourth time … you listen to me, always, with your unconscious mind … Blue … and then again … this voice, your voice, my voice … going with you … Blue … Bliss … and then each subsequent time … you shall find yourself … and you shall find your voice … in repeating, and hearing, the word … BLUE … and “Relax … now … Blue” … so that now you’ll find yourself to be then more and more relaxed … and more and more relaxed … than you’ve ever been before … and more and more relaxed … than you could ever wish for, even … and then more and more relaxed … than you could ever, ever have dreamed were possible … and then more and more relaxed … than you could ever have dreamed, even … while dreaming a dream … once in a while … mindful … of your breath … of … look, listen … while the owls, calling out to you, our soul, your soul, my soul, to climb, now, a ladder … a ladder up to the milky, breathless, beauty of the beautiful blue, blue moon … and the moon, floating, dreamily, in the night sky … and your thoughts floating, dreamily … beautifully … drifting by, like dreams … bright stars, shining bright … and whole oceans, and seas, ebbing and flowing … winds blowing … trees swaying … humming … whispering … murmuring … chanting … singing … and dreaming a dream … of the telling of a tale … of a story that always serves you … of a poem, a parable, a fable, a story, a saga, or a song … and going on and on now … into myth, legend, dream … and so that, now dreaming, a dream … of once, in a while … that is … woven, from sights, then, seen, and sounds … so beautifully … and like a story, threaded together, in silk … and opening up, then, before you, like a path … this dream … and what a dream … it is … of something … as extraordinary … and as magnificent, surely … as your very own path, a yellow brick road all paved in gold … or as something so delicate, beautiful, magnificent, wonderful … as a thread, of silky silence … a breath, of air … and an inspiration, no more … a gentle sigh of a story … so that you find yourself, asking … can I walk this path as if it were not now made of gold so much as rice paper, and leaving there no impression, no footprint? … for this, surely, is the level of lightness, and sensitivity, and acuity, and intelligence, and respect … and love … that is asked of me … now … for my path shall be woven finely, as if from silk … and myself, like a feather, or a gesture, a beau geste, a movement, a step, floating as if just above it, or across it, my path, and each step at once firm, and subtle, falling softly, gently, down … and stepping out … upon the clouds … and walking behind the sky … as in a dream … upon a path … opening up more clearly … with each step taken … of … pure … woven … silk … and that path becoming, now, as if the Silk Road itself … and as if a path simply opens up now across the river from the Taj Mahal … or else the sun at dawn … and my … inner … I … open … at last … to crossing countries, and continents … and moving always, and always, moving, on … always travelling … in a restlessness that surely has its roots in some insatiable curiosity, some searching intelligence, some soulful longing … and then openness … in shared story, shared history … and, as it were, a collective history, or remembering … so that this then is you … wanderer … vagabond … traveller … troubadour … musician … philosopher … dreamer … poet … lover … storyteller … writer … all these things, and more … and a person, too, of course, who needs sometimes some rest … and from rest, to drift into a deep, deep slumber … and from there, to sleep … and in sleep, perchance, to dream … for you, my friend, are a dreamer of such splendid, and wonderful, dreams, magnificent … as now … such that … trusting your dream … again you cross India … a young spirit-guide, for company … and your child, holding your hand … chanting, softly … a mantra … to India … and to the land of your dreaming childhood … to jade monkeys … to ivory miniatures … to indigo blue incense … bathing sanctuaries of the soul … and walking on, then, eight miles more … more or less … and then again … and again … across the Himalaya … and again, and again, until a mountain pass … that is … Nepal … Tibet … Mongolia … and to the sights, and the sounds … and to the winds, and bamboos … a game … Mah-Jongg … sipping tea, with friends … of China … and a seeming vast, infinite, eternal … and an almost, but not quite … going on … and going on, then … going on, and on … for you know full well, my friend, that a seasoned traveller has no fixed plans … and, effortlessly letting go, in that free-floating space … forgetting, almost, where you are … who you are … as, listening, to this voice, your voice, my voice … and, opening your eyes, opening your mind … a game of Go … to … Sakura … and the cherry blossom, so exquisitely beautiful, of Japan, in spring … and to the sound of the Shakuhachi … and to the murmuring of the mountain stream … and to life … and change … and a gentle breeze, blowing through your hair … and the wind, in the pines … and the temple bell … ringing … in the empty sky … and as a crane dips its beak in snow … so do I … so do I … so do I … do I … weeping … take ink … to write … these words … these words … upon a page … and so many, many words … upon a page … and with them, Albion, to dream a dream in which … to fly … and to fly far, far away … on a route … from roots … in Britain … to France, Germany, Italy, and Spain … and into the heart … the heart … of Europe … western Europe … eastern Europe … and on, to Russia … to Turkey … to Africa … and the Middle East … perhaps … and to cross, somehow, someday, some way, and ask not why—or ask, rather, why not?—an Empty Quarter … where the camel floats across the slipping sands like a ship upon the sea … searching shade from the sun … and someone … somewhere … there … so that, later, at last, some company … in the shape of a woman, perhaps, walking at the limit of my vision, at the far horizon … distant … and beautiful … like a dream … and shimmering, as if a mirage … inviting, sensual, seductive … and Sahara, I shall name her … the journey, herself … searching shade, from the sun … the warm, dusty sun … bright, almost too bright, upon the sand dunes … and some shelter, perhaps, from the heat of the day, the chill of the night … and some other voice, perhaps, too … and stories, shared … and the skin, seeking moisture, rain … earth, mud, clay … so come, then, if you will … robe me in your majestic beauty … and love me … ephemeral, like a dream, as you are … and as if you never were, indeed … although your plump lips, now, for now so vivid, so real, and opening to speak with us, together, of flesh, and blood, as one … and to share with us the stories those lips have kept untold … upon lips no longer parched, but wet … and the water, refreshing … and the taste of fruit … like a woman, so soft, so warm, so generous, in my arms … and Sahara, I shall name her … the journey … to Africa … here, and now … although really she is Pegah, the dawn, in Iran, or so it seems to me, now … and now onwards, in dreaming, India … travelling on, and onwards … in dreaming … to Asia, for Asia, I shall name her, then … and … prey to all sensation, I shall be … a slave, most willingly, to life’s most marvellous abundance … for you know that mine is a world of infinite abundance … and beauty … and inspiration … and so take me, I tell you … take me up! … take me in your arms! … take me away! … and scratch me, cut me, rip me … tear me apart, indeed … show no mercy upon me … break my heart! … and how sharp, then, how rude, at times how bitter, is this experience … now … to strike! … like a cat, a mouse … like a tiger, its prey … and like a tiger, leaping, into the air … and like the imagination, leaping, into … and like your beating heart, racing, jumping, leaping … panting … for air … and your thoughts, becoming as birds, taking wing … and then flying, at last … and flying, flying free, completely free … to Australia, then … and New Zealand … to South America … and to Central America … and the Caribbean … and to North America … through Mexico, the United States, Canada … and Alaska … and Greenland … and on to the still farther North … and to the idea … only the idea … of the North … like a dream, a most marvellous dream … North, East, South, West … and, accepting no limits, no boundaries, no barriers … and knowing no frontiers … are you … also … and again … there … and there you are, again … the dreamer … the eternal dreamer … listening always to the sound of your beating heart … and dancing to the flow, the rhythm, of your blood, your beating heart … and dancing, always, to the flow, the rhythm, the circadian rhythms, of your blood, your beating heart, your body, your spirit, your soul, your mind, your awareness, your consciousness … and dancing, then, always, always, always, to your awareness, your consciousness, of time, the seasons, and nature, the day, and the night, the sun, and the moon … and the eternal movement … and flow … of energy … and emotion … moving, migrating, humming, vibrating … and dancing, always … always, always dancing … if dancing perhaps to another drum, a different drum, another music, a different music … and then listen … and listen carefully … only listen … and the rhythm, then, of your dreaming heartbeat … and the music, of your mind … and the sights, scents, and sounds … and now the noise and the bustle … now the peace … the tranquillity … of the pilgrim soul, singing quietly … to the Blue Mountain … sun-drenched, beautiful … where you sit, still … as Marco Polo … upon a lapis throne … by the river … Oxus … and the mind, marvellous … to sit with me, still … here, and now … by this still, blue, mountain, lake … so deep below the sky so high above … a beautiful, blissful blue … and there to dream a dream … or to dream a dream of a dream of a dream … so marvellous … the mind … like a film … or films … in a cinema that shows all that you have ever lived through or known, again, and again, every thought, sensation, experience … such that, so many films … floating through the mind, across the sea of memory … Ukiyo-e … and all these pictures, of a floating world … and thoughts, like clouds, themselves, floating, floating as if across an otherwise cloudless blue, blue sky … and with all these pictures, images, sensations, thoughts, memories … floating … like a dream … or dreams … I hear a caravan … and this caravan, approaching … to the sound of dogs, barking … and the blue canvases, fluttering, in the wind … and the blue people, departing … from over the sea … in ultramarine … and to collect, there, here, and now … the lapis … the dreaming lapis, with its flecks of gold … from which comes again the dream of a compass, and the points on a compass, and of a direction … looking always, again, to the farthest horizon … and knowing that a journey does not need reasons … always … but simply a breath of wind, and an inspiration, or a whim … call it what you will … and simply an idea, often … can be enough … and more than enough … an invitation, a bidding, a voice, calling out to you, a vocation … and so listen, first … and listen carefully … and only listen, then … and trust … your instinct … and then … sounding the strong voice, to sing, and to sing out, loud, and clear … to go! … as go! … just go! … and answering always yes, and yes, and yes! … in day after day … and journey upon journey … the road making, and unmaking you … all the time … and your path, unfolding … until the journey itself, reason enough … for disembarking … again … and setting off … again … and again … and again … and again … and again … and starting again, then, going on … and travelling far, far away … to the stars, the moon, the sun … saying, follow me, my friend, to the East, or to the West … and let’s walk together, for a while, at least … let’s travel … East … or West … and … into … then … the …
Ocean … blue …
And Blue Bottles, buzzing … lazy, summer days … a sky blue butterfly, swaying on a cornflower … lost … in the warmth of the blue heat haze … singing the blues … quietly and slowly … softly, sweetly … blue of my heart … blue of my dreams … and delight, such delight … of slow blue love … in these delphinium days …
(And this, too, as if a love letter, my love, to Derek, master poet, and artist, and lover, dear Derek Jarman).
(But now the time has come, as the Walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes – and ships – and sealing wax – of cabbages – and kings – and of why the sea is boiling hot – and whether pigs have wings.)
And let’s now go down, then, shall we, into the deep magic; and simply follow, please, your instinct, and listen closely, and listen well.
And listen, then.
La philosophie – dit-il – c’est en fait le mal du pays, c’est le besoin de se sentir partout chez soi. N’est-ce pas ?
And so :
You allow yourself, here, and now, to relax, ever more, and more …
And more and more and more and more and more … deeply … and more deeply still …
Going ever deeper, and deeper, and then deeper, and deeper, still: deep magic.
You are a brave person: a person of heart.
And strong and brave, you are; brave heart.
Be open, then; relaxed.
Learn to listen, simply.
And simply learn.
For you are here to learn.
As you know, full well, saying:
To learn, to know, and to understand, full well.
Indeed, I live to learn; and I learn to live well.
For life is one long learning opportunity, isn’t it?
(So they say!)
And we come in time to learn, to know, to understand, that there is so much, still, to understand, and so much, still, not quite yet, fully, understood, but still, to understand, as you come to know, I come to know, we come to know, through learning, at long last, full well.
Develop, then, an intention towards perfection: be a polyglot and a polymath.
And indeed, so subtle could be your understanding, now, that I ask you:
Can you perhaps not sense … now … the beating of your heart? … sensing the beating of your own heart … and just seeing whether you can use the power of your mind to slow that heartbeat down … just a touch … just ever so slightly … and just seeing whether you can use the power of your mind to slow that heartbeat down just a little … ever so little … so that you can then feel your whole body slowing down … and becoming lazier and lazier … and more and more relaxed … because in any case you’ve got absolutely nothing whatsoever to do now except to relax … nobody wanting anything, nobody expecting anything … so that you can allow your whole body to continue to relax now, and your heartbeat to become steadier and easier until it’s just ticking over … like a well-oiled machine … or like a clock … now … just ticking over … smoothly … easily … quietly … calmly … comfortably … so that you can become gradually more aware of your whole self … and so become aware, once more, of your hands and arms, just sensing how they are now … aware of your legs and feet, too … again just sensing how relaxed they might be now, and wondering if it’s possible to relax them even more … and to be so in touch with yourself that you can actually get your whole body to relax even more … and yet remaining totally alert … and noticing now how even your face muscles can begin really to relax … relaxing and letting go of the tensions that were there, almost, but not quite, completely unnoticed … and just being vaguely aware of the skin and the muscles of your face settling … and smoothing out now … and such a good feeling … and wondering just how long all that tension had been there … and where it had all come from in the first place … and then realizing that you simply couldn’t care less … because you can feel it draining away from you now … all that tension … and that feels good … and as you continue to sense the beating of your heart and the absolute steadiness of your body’s rhythm … you wonder at the fact that you are so absolutely relaxed and comfortable that you simply can’t be bothered even to try … allowing yourself just to be … relaxed … and relaxing even more now … and to become now as lazy and as relaxed as anyone could ever wish to be … and yet even so, I wonder, still … if you can just about manage to relax still more, and even more now … even though you are already as relaxed as it is possible for most people ever to be … and just finding the last traces of tension in your body and simply letting them go … with each easy, gentle breath, you breathe … allowing every muscle … every fibre … every cell of your entire body … to be as beautifully relaxed as anyone could ever wish to be …
And I shall tell you a story.
Imagine … you are in a beautiful garden … with lush, manicured lawns … and beautiful, exotic plants … and the sun is shining … and there is a cool breeze … and the temperature is just as you would wish it to be … and the air is pure and fresh … and as you marvel at the vivid colours all around you … and as you hear the relaxing sounds of birds singing overhead …
You take a deep breath.
And as you breathe out you relax still deeper, and deeper … ever deeper, and deeper …
And as you stroll around this magnificent, beautiful, garden … feeling the soft grass underfoot … you wander towards some flowers … and they are so beautiful, these flowers … and as you approach them … the scent of these beautiful flowers grows to be more fragrant than anything that you have ever experienced … and the rich colours brighter than any you have ever seen … and again you take a deep breath … and inhale the soft, warm, and perfumed air … and as you breathe out you relax … ever deeper, and deeper … and as you continue on your way … you come to a pretty winding pathway that leads you down to a beach … and as you wander along … relaxing deeper, and deeper, with every step … you soon reach the beach … which boasts mile upon mile of golden sand … and as you slip off your shoes and stroll across the soft sand … the sensation of soft, warm sand between your toes, beneath your feet … as you gaze out into the distance … and see the vastness of the sea … and you watch as the waves roll up towards the beach … in a never-ending sequence … one upon another … and you hear the sound of the waves building up … and then petering out as they near the shore … tides in … tides out … and well, then, now …
And you feel, too, a growing feeling of peace and calm … enjoying a deep feeling of peace and calm … as the warm sea air blows lightly upon your skin … and as your feet sink into the sand with every step … so that with each step you relax ever deeper, and ever deeper, and deeper, still …
And soon you reach the wet sand at the very edge of the shore … and you notice how much louder the sea is, up close … as wave upon wave of ocean rolls towards you …
And your feet are now sinking deeper down than ever before … into the wet sand … and then … when you reach the sea … you gently let your toes test the water … which is slightly cold at first … but soon seems warmer as you take a few more steps … and as you allow the waves to roll over your feet and ankles … and then retreat again … and as you breathe in the fresh, salt, sea air … and relax again … ever deeper, and deeper …
And as you gaze out at the calm blue sea … you see the waves lapping lazily around you … and you hear the sound of the seagulls high up above you … and you notice a fishing boat … gently bobbing, up, and down … and with its white sail, rippling, like golden sunlight, ever so little, upon the waters … and the sun, shining brightly … and the sky, a clear, clear blue … and there’s not a cloud in the sky … and all is vivid, and bright … and at the same time you feel more and more relaxed … with not a care in the world … at this moment in time … so that again you breathe in … and you take a deep breath … once again … slowly, deeply … and then … as you breathe out … you relax still more deeply, more deeply, and then, more deeply, still… relaxing … now … and going to sleep … into a deep, deep sleep … relaxing, now … into a deep, deep, deep sleep … a sleep deeper, and deeper, than ever, before … and I shall tell you again a story—relaxing, now … sogni d’oro—of a deep, deep sleep, so that … now … finally … you may …
For you feel so well.
And you are doing just fine.
And everything’s just great …
So that you can step down, calmly, and confidently, into the depths of your dream.
And it’s like sleep, almost; only deeper, more profound; a trance.
And your eyes are closed now.
Dropping deeper, and deeper, down.
And it’s as if now you were counting down a set of steps.
Into the Blue.
And the Sea.
And letting all again go, as you count with me:
TEN – floating gently deeper and deeper down.
NINE – deeper, still deeper.
EIGHT – letting go of all doubts, now, all worries, and anxieties.
SEVEN – deeper, and deeper, relaxed.
SIX – and the longer you need to concentrate on relaxing, the deeper you go.
Now pause for a moment, take it easy; take FIVE …
FOUR you feel so well.
And you are doing just fine.
Relaxing more and more deeply, more and more completely.
And relaxing and going ever deeper, to be …
FREE – letting go, going deeper.
And on TWO – still deeper, and deeper still.
As ONE – well … and … you are completely and utterly relaxed now, my friend.
And you feel so well.
And you are doing just fine.
And perhaps you are not now – yes – in a state of trance, now, are you not?
Or perhaps you are.
And indeed, you are so deeply in a state of trance that it may seem to you as if you are a body-less-mind, and as if your mind were floating in space, free of your body, floating in space, and floating in time, almost as if you were flying, and free.
And now I want you to think about some time, in the past, when you were just a child. And my voice will go with you. And my voice may also transform itself into that of your parents, your neighbours, your friends, your schoolmates, your playmates, your teachers. And I want you to find yourself sitting at school, daydreaming a little, perhaps, the dust dancing in the sunbeams, listening to the birdsong, seeing the sun in the swaying trees, a light, fresh breeze, a beautiful, clear, blue, sky, and feeling very happy about something, something that happened a long, long time ago, and that you forgot, or that you had thought that you had forgotten, a long, long time ago. And tell me, now, again, a story …
Tell me your story, my friend.
For this is your life.
This is the story of your life.
And you, its author.
But to begin with, just take, please, this one, single, memory, in which, let’s imagine, you are sitting, for example, on a swing, in a garden, perhaps, or in a park, swinging back, and forth, back, and forth, back, and forth, and singing … singing for joy, from sheer joy … and singing out to the great vaulting sky above your head … singing out to the sky … the sky blue … and … the colour … blue … of …
And so, simply from the sheer joy of being alive, you sing!
And turn, too, to the child within, saying:
Lost boy, lost girl.
And look here, then there.
Open your eyes, my dear sunshine, and see.
And when he opens his eyes and sees the light …
You make him cry out, in delight, saying:
O Blue, come forth
O Blue, arise
O Blue, ascend
O Blue, come in.
And look here …
For your mind, now resonating, vibrating, is awash, with colour, like a rainbow … red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, white … awash with colour … and the colour … red … blood … red … vibrations … impulses … nerve-endings … and the mind … as if a theatre of … extraordinary … possibility … a theatre … of ideas …
And, “try to join the dots”, says your mother, “then colour in the picture … .”
As you do so, bear in mind, then, as the great Epictetus reminds us, that it is not the things in themselves that may be troubling, but rather the opinions that we hold about those things. So remember, it is your mind that colours your thoughts … that colours them in … and that’s okay, too, for you are doing just fine … and as you colour your mind, your feelings … and as you control your mind, your feelings … and as you feel so well … not minding … and as you’re in control … completely in control, even in stressful situations … and as you’re in complete control of your thoughts and feelings … so too do you create your own reality … as something so good, so rich, so colourful, so extraordinary, so beautiful, so vivid, so real …
… and so red, too … orange, and yellow, and green … violet, and blue …white, and black … colouring me … (IN) … tensity …
So that, from now on, what you think, you create
And what you feel, you attract
And what you imagine, you become
And what I say to you, then, is this:
Don’t recall – let go of what has passed;
Don’t imagine – let go of what may come;
Don’t think – let go of what is happening now;
Don’t examine – don’t try to figure anything out;
Don’t control – don’t try to make anything happen;
Just rest – relax – and be as you are – here, and now …
And I want you to draw these affirmations deeply inside you, repeating the words with real feeling and a total conviction. And imagine, then, every part of you, your mind and body, resonating with the power of the affirmation, and repeating each affirmation with complete belief … for belief itself is very powerful … and thoughts, themselves, are very powerful … and your mind, too, is very powerful … for the thoughts we manifest in our minds – what we picture in the theatre of our mind – will become our reality. And so imagine every part of you repeating the affirmations with complete conviction, as though they were already your reality … or rather, as though already … they are your reality … right NOW.
And so you say to yourself, repeating after me:
I alone am responsible for my destiny now. I am in charge of my life. I am in control of my life. I am the boss. And I feel secure in that knowledge. And I feel secure in myself. For I have complete confidence in my own abilities. And nothing and no one can hold me back.
And with this thought, floating free, unaware of my body, I am deeply relaxed.
And my mind is a place of inner calm, inner harmony, quiet stillness, great depth.
And I breathe slowly and deeply: breathing in new, vibrant, joyful energy; breathing out old, heavy, stale energy.
And I feel both very connected to the earth below me, very grounded, and as light as a feather, floating free.
And my nerves are strong and steady.
And I possess great inner strength and power.
And I am centred, balanced: completely in control of my thoughts and feelings.
And all the time, deeply relaxed, I am letting go …
And I easily let go of any and all ego-driven behaviour.
And in the same way I never allow myself to dwell on a negative thought.
Rather, I see difficulties as obstacles to be overcome.
I see problems as challenges.
And, in any case, I never allow problems to hold me back.
And I forgive myself for my mistakes, seeing them as lessons in life.
And I learn from my mistakes.
And I always keep going on; I always keep on going.
And I completely understand – I understand perfectly well – that the game is never over, until it’s over …
And, for this reason …
Instinctively, I move away from people and things that drain my energy.
And, instinctively, I move away from any negative struggle, and conflict; I avoid all struggle and strife.
And I have absolutely no time in my life for quibbling and “nit-picking”, for trivialities, pettiness, small-mindedness, mean-spiritedness, unkindness, jealousy, rivalry, bigotry, prejudice, arrogance, ignorance, and stupidity.
And I try immediately let go of any ego-driven behaviour that I encounter on the way …
Indeed, it washes over me like water off a duck’s back.
And I cultivate detachment.
So that things that once bothered me no longer matter.
And I have an amazing ability to rise above anything trivial and mundane.
And in this way it’s as if I am entering in each moment of life still more easily and effortlessly into a new life of calmness and serenity.
And I know that I deserve to be happy and successful in every part of my life.
And I know that I deserve all the good and wonderful things that life has to offer.
And for these reasons I accept only the positive.
And I see and hear only the positive.
And I am enjoying the present moment.
Indeed, I am always and easily enjoying the present moment.
I enjoy the moment.
And I am always enjoying – and making the very best of – now.
And wherever I am, it is always here … and now …
Be here now.
(And life, a gift).
And in this way I cultivate a deep sanctuary of inner calm.
So that quite naturally and spontaneously I enjoy at all times a feeling of deep inner peace and calm.
And this feeling of profound inner peace and calm – quiet joy – is with me at all times, so that I breathe in deeply of peace and tranquillity; and I bathe in feelings of peace and calm.
And I find it easy, too, to love and feel compassion, for I am a loving and compassionate person: I feel love and compassion for all living things. And I love deeply and passionately, completely and utterly, with my entire being. For I am full of love and compassion; I am love, and compassion. And indeed, I regularly lose myself in love. And for this reason I pray to resonate with a powerful, positive energy, humming at a high level of consciousness. And when I need to be, I am electric. And when I need to be, I am magnetic. And how extraordinary it is, always raising the vibration, to become, as it were, a little more illuminated, and aware, as I realize now, and anew, each moment, as if there were simply so much positive energy inside me now. And I express my positive energy in so many creative and exciting ways. And I love to make positive changes in my life. And my relationships, therefore, are overwhelmingly loving and harmonious. And everything in my life is harmonious and in balance. For what goes around, comes around. And I create so much love and abundance in my life. And I experience so much love and abundance in my life. For I give and receive love easily. And I love to make positive changes. And I draw positive energy easily into my body. And I give out positive energy easily from my body. And my sexual energy – one aspect of my enormous joy and delight in life – delighting in all the beauty I see around me – wildly, freely, gleefully, playfully, spontaneously, creatively – possesses such creative potential, and quiet strength, and force, and power. But it is also balanced and, where appropriate, contained, and always earthed, in any case, in thoughts of love, and kindness, compassion, honesty, harmony, and tenderness. For I enjoy a balanced sexual energy and all my relationships are for this reason, on balance, harmonious.
My tongue, too, is likewise contained. Silence, I know, is golden – whereas speaking, as they say, is for beggars. I do not speak without good reason. And in this way I feel always calm and forgiving. For I accept myself completely. And I accept others, too, and completely, for who they are. And what good fortune, and what great blessing.
And so it is that I move easily and effortlessly through life, living life in a spirit of fluidity, and of flexibility, and coping easily and philosophically with life’s natural ebb and flow, life’s normal ups and downs, and acting always with great strength and presence of mind, being always calm and composed, and in this way deriving such great pleasure and satisfaction from my journey, and also enjoying always my journey, every single step of the way, and feeling so good now, so positive.
For I am still; I am serene; I am happy; I am positive. And I enjoy a wonderful feeling of freedom, a deep feeling of inner peace. And I spontaneously experience wonderful feelings of joy and happiness. And I enjoy every second of every single day. And I feel inspired and motivated to live my life to the full, full of passion, and enthusiasm, and with so much zest and chutzpah, and with such great courage, and confidence. And I live my life in a way which is always fulfilling and rewarding. And I live my life full on, with great courage and confidence, passion, and enthusiasm.
This keeps my spirit young, too. And, says Helen Keller: “One should never count the years – one should count one’s interests. I have kept young trying never to lose my childhood sense of wonderment.”
And, as Charles Kingsley noted, we act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we really need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about. And I am enthusiastic about almost everything!
And in such ways I live my life completely free of fear; for facing my fears frees me from them. And so I go forward into my future free of fear, and take on new challenges with a fearless attitude. For I see the positive in every situation. And not only do I enjoy an immense personal power and potential but I possess also a great self-belief. And, powerful, and dynamic, believing in myself, I am in control of my destiny. And there is nothing to hold me back. I have my share of talent and potential. And I enjoy the ability to focus upon my strengths. And I can achieve anything I want to achieve when I focus my mind. And I find it easy to remain focused and to see things through to their end. And when I take a positive decision nothing can stop me from moving forward. And I love to set and to achieve new goals. And when I set myself a goal, I become very single-minded and focused, one-pointed, upon achieving that goal. And I am absolutely determined to achieve all my goals. And I love to set myself new challenges; I love new goals. And I rise to challenges; I achieve all my goals. And I see myself achieving my goal, as if it is an absolute reality now. I visualize and feel sensorially, and easily, every positive aspect of my goal. And when I have achieved my goal, I thoroughly enjoy my success. I thoroughly enjoy all the positive aspects of having achieved my goal. And I have so much motivation and desire to raise the quality of my life and to create success in every area of my life. For nothing and no one can hold me back. And I never procrastinate. I am always decisive. And I am always positive. For I trust in my judgment and abilities. And I have so much potential. And I completely understand that. And I repeat: I completely understand, on every level, that I have so much potential, and that I will continue to express that limitless potential in so many new, different, creative, and positive ways, for I am determined to go beyond my old limitations and to realize my true potential. I am determined to express and realize my true potential. I am determined to achieve my goals. And nothing and no one can hold me back. For I know a million ways to express my creativity and talents. And I understand, too, that life is full of opportunities. And as time goes by new opportunities will open up for me, and I shall create for myself a myriad of exciting new realities. For I find it easy to manifest good things in my life. And I have so many talents, and so much creativity. And naturally and spontaneously, then, I create many great things in my life. And I achieve many great things. And I live my life to the full, with courage and confidence. And I live my life to the full, with a big heart, and an open mind, and a self-belief that I can achieve anything I wish to achieve when I focus my mind. For I believe in my own judgement and abilities. I trust in my own judgment and abilities. And I believe in myself. Indeed, I have complete faith in myself. For I live my life with complete self-belief. For inside me is an infinite source of wisdom and knowledge, creativity, self-belief, and confidence. And I am enlightened and aware: I enjoy a great understanding of life. And my knowledge leads me to the determination, the strength, the confidence, and the trust that I seek, and that I need, gently, and easily, so as so easily to make changes, radical changes, moving forwards, travelling, going to wherever I wish to go, calmly, and in total confidence. For everything is possible. And I repeat: I know that I can achieve anything I want to achieve, when I go inside and focus my mind. And I will achieve so many great things. I will achieve so much. That too, I know. For it is written down, here, and now. It is certain.
For I am a very positive person.
And I feel completely confident about expressing my positive feelings.
And positive thinking comes naturally to me.
And I always think positively.
Indeed, I actively cultivate the habit of positive thinking.
And it is easy for me to let go of things that don’t work for me, for example.
And I find it easy to make positive changes in my life.
So that I see the positive in every situation.
And I feel so positive in my everyday life.
And I have an incredibly positive outlook on life.
And I always convey positive thoughts and feelings to others.
And I think positively all the time.
And I believe in myself.
And that’s why I radiate positive energy.
And that’s why …
I enjoy immense energy, enthusiasm, optimism.
And I feel incredibly positive and optimistic about my future.
And I look forward to the future with tremendous optimism.
For I deserve only good things in my life: I deserve to by happy and healthy, eating well, if simply, and taking regular exercise – mens sana in corpore sano – a sound mind in a sound body – a healthy mind in a healthy body – fit in mind and body – and abundant and prosperous, creative and free, and full of such creative, imaginative ideas, and fertile, in mind, and body.
In short: I deserve only the best.
For my tastes are simple: I want the best.
And I want always the best from myself and others and for myself and others.
Indeed, I am easily satisfied with the very best all round.
And, in addition, the positive energy I give to others returns to me tenfold. Always. For what goes around, comes around. And what I give out naturally returns to me. And so naturally I attract good things into my life. And positive people, and energy; for abundance flows to me freely and naturally. And I see limitless opportunities around me. And I draw these opportunities towards me. And I also create many new opportunities. And I understand completely that life, for me, is full of opportunities. And I take up these opportunities. I seize these opportunities. So that my life is a life of opportunity, of extraordinary chances and of fabulous good fortune. And my mind is full of positive thoughts about the future. And I look forward to the days ahead. And so of course I step out with confidence, in confidence. Indeed, I live life, always, with great courage, and confidence. And I take positive, courageous steps into my future. For I am moving easily towards my true destiny. And I am always in the right place at the right time. And, on top of that, I move decisively and with complete self-belief. For I take decisions easily. And I always make the right decisions. And I always meet the right people, at the right time. And being successful is a habit for me: it’s just something that I have come to expect. And so I go forward into my future free of fear. And I go forward in great leaps and bounds. And I move effortlessly ahead so that I am always at the front and on top of my game. So that I don’t walk so much as fly. For my future is looking good now, feeling good now. Looking good, feeling good. And it feels as if I’m flying, flying high: a real high-flyer. And the sky’s the limit for me. And life’s a breeze.
And I am a feather on the breath of God.
And as light – and as free – as a bird.
And I am immortal, too, in a sense.
For love is life that lives forever.
And I continue to feel ever stronger and stronger within myself.
And my inner strength grows stronger all the time.
So that I am calm and confident, knowing that I have so much power and potential inside me.
And my mind is calm and clear; my soul quiet, still.
And I feel safe and secure, comfortable, and relaxed.
And I am at peace with myself and the world around me.
And I feel relaxed and secure.
I am without cares or worries.
I’ve not a care in the world, in fact.
And I accept myself completely.
And I believe in myself.
And I am deeply calm, and totally at peace.
And I enjoy a deep feeling of inner peace.
And I am at ease: centred, strong.
And I am still; I am serene; I am happy; I am free.
And I feel so good in myself.
Floating free, unaware of my body, deeply relaxed, completely relaxed.
And I breathe, deeply.
And I enjoy a deep connection to the effortless flow of nature.
And I trust in life.
And I trust in life itself to deliver all the many good things that I deserve, the very best that life has to offer.
So that my life, too, flows easily and effortlessly.
And I go with the flow.
Easy does it now.
Easy does it now.
Letting go …
Letting go …
And now …
Letting go …
I want you now to focus all of your attention upon an area in the middle of your forehead, so that your whole concentration becomes completely focused on a point in this area … and I would like you to imagine this point as a tiny white ball of light … that is now hovering just in front of your forehead … just floating in mid air … right in front of your forehead … and this tiny white ball of light … is in every way … the size and appearance of a tiny distant star … a shimmering, glowing star … shining brightly in the night sky … radiating energy and light … and you may very soon feel … a slight tingling sensation … or you may very soon feel a warm, comforting glow … as you become aware … as you become ever more aware of the radiant vibrations … coming from this tiny white ball of light … that shines ever more brightly … as it hovers just in front of your forehead …
And now …
I would like you … to see this tiny white ball of light … possessing such enormous healing energy … and sending healing thoughts to yourself and others … as it slowly begins to float upwards … just gently lifting up into the air … higher and higher … until it reaches a point … about a foot above your head … and as it hovers there … just above your head … I want you to see it begin to grow in size … and as it begins to expand … shining more and more brightly … you become more and more aware of the radiant quality … of this illustrious object … and you see the purity of its colour … like the pure white of freshly fallen snow … and you feel its radiant warmth … like a gentle heat from an open fire … and maybe you even hear its faint vibrations … as it grows larger and larger … giving off a more brilliant light all the time … and as it grows … like a thought bubble … to the size of a large balloon … a breath balloon … or a ball … a ball of energy … and as you instinctively become aware … of its great healing qualities … its great healing energy … healing thoughts … and sensing that its radiant energy can heal disease … and that this energy can quell any discomfort … and that it can and will revitalize and energize anything it touches … and as it hovers there … just above your head … glowing ever more brilliantly now … and you feel yourself irresistibly drawn to this healing energy … more and more … as you sense its purity … and its inherent goodness … knowing that its healing qualities … have no limit … and know no boundaries … when it comes to seeking out … and freeing any disease or discomfort … and you will want to immerse yourself … in the radiant energy … and to bask in its purity … bathing in its white light … and knowing that you can only benefit … from its wonderful healing properties …
And now … as you think of this … the ball slowly begins to open … gently unfolding, like a rose … like a rose of Jerusalem … or like a lotus flower … as it showers you with its pure, healing, white light energy … energy that will revitalize you … and balance you … energy that will cleanse and heal every part of you … and now, as the free flowing stream of energy … begins its downpour … I want you to feel this stream of healing energy … freely flowing down into every part of your body … down through the top of your head, first of all … and clearing out any negative thoughts or emotions that may be there … and installing new feelings of well being and balance as it goes … down your neck and shoulders … relieving any tension or stress there … all the way down your back … entering every muscle fibre and nerve in your spine … and clearing away any toxins that may have gathered there … and as this fountain stream of pure white healing light … continues cascading down … pouring into every last cell … in your whole body … cleansing and revitalizing you … healing and rejuvenating you … you may begin to feel more and more uplifted … more and more alive … and more motivated, more uplifted, more inspired, more alive … than you have felt in a long, long while … as feelings of health and well-being … begin to resonate through your entire system …
So that now …
As this constant stream of energy … continues to pour into your body … you vividly see this pure healing white light energy … freely flowing into every organ … in your chest and stomach … cleansing every artery and vein … purifying the air in your lungs … strengthening every muscle and bone … as it continues its free flow … down into your lower body … into your legs … and all the way down … to the tips of your toes … and clearing away all waste and debris on the way … and at this point … you may wish to concentrate this tremendous flow of energy … on a certain point of your body … some part of you that needs more healing … directing this tremendous flow of energy … to where you need it most …
So that now …
As you continue to allow this pure healing white light energy … this free flowing radiant white light energy … to permeate every part of you … clearing away all blockages … and cleansing and purifying every part of you …
I want you to imagine … that the ball above your head … has now grown even larger in size … to about three feet in width … so that its endless downpour of healing energy … has now completely enveloped your entire body … so that you are now immersed … from the top of your head … to the tips of your toes … in this radiant healing white light energy … completely bathed in this pure source of radiant energy … and you are bathed in a white light … that continues its free flow in and around your body … so that every cell in your body resonates with this pure healing light … bringing you wonderful feelings of health and vitality … and the knowledge that anywhere, at any time … you can visualize this white light energy … entering your body … and healing every part of yourself … and so that you will continually encourage … feelings of health and well-being … in your mind, body, and spirit …
And so you say to yourself:
I am surrounded by an arc of white, protective, healing light, which shields me against all negative energy. And here I am protected; I am safe and secure. And this bubble of white light seems to carry me up and away, floating off into the sky, towards the infinite blue, of bliss.
And then …
As the healing process is completed … I want you to see the mass of energy above your head … shrink again to the size of a large ball … and the downpour of energy … begin to slow down … slower and slower … until finally it comes to a stop … as the large ball above your head gently closes … leaving you radiating with feelings of health and vitality … and leaving you surrounded by a rainbow of healing light … as you enjoy a feeling of immense well-being all over … and at this point you will notice … how much better you feel … both physically and mentally … and you will feel, too, a sense of being emotionally uplifted … and as this wonderful healing process comes to its conclusion … I want you to imagine that this large ball … still floating above your head … begins slowly to shrink in size … becoming smaller and smaller … until it returns to the size of a tiny distant star … and then to let it begin to descend … gently floating down … back to the area just in front of your forehead … where it becomes absorbed … back into your consciousness … as you become more and more aware of how uplifted … and of how revitalized you feel … as your whole system … your mind and body … has been purified and cleansed … in this wonderful holistic healing process … that continues, naturally, spontaneously … as and when you’ve need of it … as and when … repeating after me … that … :
I am That.
And if you like, let’s count down slowly, again, from ten to one. And as you do so, take these steps here, at your feet, down to the sea. Blue. Relaxing more and more. And relaxing deeper and deeper until you are completely relaxed now, and your mind now completely clear; so clear your mind; focus your mind; and think; think clearly; direct your thoughts, then write them down; put pen to paper; and be the ruler of your own world; measure up, in other words; know your own mind, and speak from the heart; speak your mind, from your heart; and do it now; go on.
And going on, then, on that inward journey … and taking yourself deeper and deeper into your innermost being … and finding that place … at the centre of the labyrinth … a chamber of echoes … a house of spirits … of voices … of words … of song … of music … almost like a symphony hall … or an opera house … or as Delphi, perhaps … or Olympus … a temple to the soul … deep inside yourself … blue … and a place of deep reflection … beauty … contemplation … meditation … where there is peace … and calm … and tranquillity … and of course you are very curious about that place … and those comfortable feelings that you are noticing as you come closer … and closer … to finding within yourself such a place of safety … and comfort … deep inside yourself … here … and now … and this place feels more … and more … comfortable … and safe … and peaceful … as you settle yourself down … deep down within yourself … and as you know something now … of which until now you had only been vaguely aware … and becoming aware that this place … deep inside yourself … has been there, now, for a long … long … time … and as you look around yourself … taking in the beauty and tranquillity of the scene … and being aware that this place has just the right kind of light for your needs … and knowing that you are surrounded with soft sounds that soothe and comfort you … and feeling just a gentle breeze against your skin … and breathing in a sweet, delicate perfume that seems just to float in the air … and everything just as you need it for your comfort, and ease, and peace … and now I want you to take a few moments … to explore this place … and to become aware that this place is … as small as a grain of sand … and yet … at the same time … as large as the Universe … and that this spark is the life force within you … and that you know that this spark was inside you already … when you awoke this morning … when you were a child … when you were a baby cradled in your mother’s arms … and even when you were in the womb … for this spark already existed and came into you from the very first moment that you were conceived … and think, then, of that tiny body that grew and became you … a new life … extraordinary … developing inside the safe warmth of your mother’s womb … and taking its rhythm from the stars and planets … from nature … and naturally developing in the right way for you … so that when you were born … beneath a full moon, let’s say, in spring … or a bright summer dawn … or into a tender autumnal breeze … or on a crisp, fresh, winter morning … and knowing that you knew already this place, deep inside you … and that you returned to it easily whenever you needed to … and that you kept returning to this place when you were a child … and a young person … and knowing, and knowing perfectly well … that the spark continued to guide you … through your life … and up to just now … a few minutes ago … and that this spark … which is deep inside you … and where you are, right here, and now … listening to me … will of course continue to guide you … and guide you well … right up until the end of your life … and as you breathe out your last breath … this spark will carry on, still then, and always, carrying, and carrying on, your essence … and will carry, then, and carry on, your essence … returning it to the Universe itself … and back to your home among the stars … so that the connection is there from the beginning of time … until the end of time … and as you take now a few moments … to gaze around this place of peace and calm and tranquillity … and to know that this life spark is always there, within you … safely guiding you … and to know, then, that … at any time you choose … in the future … you can make this journey again … to this place … deep … deep … deep inside you … and you can rest there in peace … and calm … and tranquillity … breathing to the slow, steady rhythm of the Universe … with the stars all around you … and the spark of life making all the necessary connections … from the beginning of time … until the end of time …
And so listen to me; repeat after me:
Life entrances you.
And in your trance you feel completely and utterly at ease, completely and utterly comfortable, completely and utterly relaxed.
And in a few moments you will hear me say, that …
The time is always …
And when you hear me say the word …
And when you hear me say the word …
All nervous tension now leaves your body.
And now your body sinks down.
Now sinking deeper and deeper.
Now more and more relaxed.
Now completely letting go.
Now completely comfortable.
And now completely at ease NOW.
And now calm and centred.
And now drifting down …
And now drifting down, and down, and down …
Deeper and deeper.
And into the very deepest …
And into a state of complete relaxation …
So that now you are unaware of your body.
And your mind is free.
And you repeat after me:
My mind is completely clear, and free …
To know, and to know deeply, within myself, and with absolute conviction, that … it is easy, somehow … it is easy … so easy … to wake, each, and every, day … into the early morning … and before the dawn’s first light … and to wake effortlessly … as if simply easing oneself into, and flowing oneself into, each new day … and the human brain is, after all, an extraordinary 80 per cent water, and the human body is, after all, an extraordinary 70 per cent water – for which reason, perhaps, one finds oneself so easily and so effortlessly and so gently flowing upon the river of time, water, blood, ink, in motion, formless, creative, spontaneous, fluid, fluent, and free.
And so I open my eyes, wide, and look up. And for a split second I catch my likeness in the mirror. And it’s okay; it’s all okay. I am gentle.
And the world is like a looking-glass, says Thackeray, that gives back to every person the reflection of his or her own face.
And I know that an unexamined life is not worth living.
And so I prefer to be awake.
For a person who is truly awake need know no fear.
And for this reason I am very happy to be awake.
And I am wide awake, saying:
“Open your eyes, wake up, and see afresh!
And this, here, beneath your feet, is your path; so why not walk it?”
Saying: yes, for I am that path, my path, my journey, my way.
And I am on my way, time traveller, world wanderer.
And I am already that which I seek, in a way; for I am the gradual discovery, unfolding, and self-revelation, of my own innate potential.
And I achieve easily a clear and focused mind.
For my mind is still.
And I am glad when I realize myself to be clear-minded, focused, and concentrated, easily blocking out all noise and distraction …
For I find it easy to remain focused and to see things through to their end.
And nothing is ever lost on me, myself least of all.
This human life.
And, held in this warm embrace of thought – let’s call it faith – I feel so free now, and so extraordinarily free.
And I am free.
And naturally my unconscious, from such freedom, flows freely.
This field of nature.
This force of nature.
And I breathe so easily, too, and so freely, now, now that I am on my path, and on my journey, and on my way, moving forward, and going on. And my breath flows so easily, deeply, gently.
And inspiration naturally flows into me, as I breathe; and inspiration naturally pours out from me, as I breathe.
And naturally I find myself feeling ever more creative and inspired.
And, thinking ever more clearly, I see that I too can be so very creative, and inspired.
And still there is so much outstanding potential, for growth, and for change.
And, naturally, I am becoming now so intuitive, and so perceptive, and with an expanding knowledge, as if in longing, reaching out, for wisdom.
And I enjoy an abundant creative energy.
For indeed, this creativity, this inspiration, this source … seems … seemingly infinite …
Saying: rise up, my child, and share your dreams with us, show us your dreams, and make your dreams as if real to us, and for us, simply by making manifest, your dreams, and making all of your dreams, in this way, little by little, come true.
( … and there’s more than enough, in any case … inspiration … to make manifest … little by little … your dreams … and more than enough … in any case … inspiration … to make … little by little … your dreams … come true … )
(Show us who you are.)
And a light breeze drifts gently through the mind, clearing away all outside thoughts, all distractions and concerns and, as my mind clears, my thoughts, too, become lighter, and my imagination, then, becomes as if completely free. And I float down, in this way, into my inner world, my inner reality. And I am deeply, deeply absorbed in my own inner, creative world. For I am at almost all times feeling hugely creative and inspired.
And I am creative and inspired.
And I am free.
And I am free to write, right now, write now.
And I can.
And I shall.
And so here I am, and I am wide awake.
And I wake up with a feeling of well-being all over. For I have always so many good things to look forward to in the day ahead. And I am so extraordinarily positive. And I feel so good. I feel so good in myself. And I feel really well. And I feel rested, and refreshed. And I feel relaxed, and secure. And I feel uplifted and energized, full of wonder and excitement. And I’m really enjoying this relaxing, uplifting journey, and enjoying every passing second of each and every day. And I move so easily and effortlessly through life. And over time I feel more and more uplifted. Indeed, I’m having a ball! I’m having a blast! I’m enjoying the time of my life! And I feel so alive, so extraordinarily alive! And I also feel confident, positive, and full of optimism for the future. And I feel incredibly positive, for there are so many good things ahead of me. And I shall continue to achieve so many great things. For I have the will to succeed. And I can hardly wait! And, at the same time, I know well how to channel my enormous energy and enthusiasm, and, at the same time, I know also how to be patient, and I know also how important it is to take just one step at a time. And so first I observe myself as an onlooker, calm and detached. And then I regulate my heartbeat, breathing slowly, and calmly. And then (as if) I say to myself, I say:
And I simply breathe out all the old, and heavy, energy.
And all the energy that I breathe in is fresh, and light.
All so much oxygen to the brain.
And my muscles, too, are all loose, and relaxed, and soft, and smooth, and free of all tightness, and tiredness. And I cultivate mental calm, mental focus. And right now I am without any cares, or worries. And for this reason my mind is quiet, and still. And I am calm, and centred, and balanced, and confident. And I am safe and secure. And I am floating free, unaware of my body, and deeply relaxed. And, at the same time, all the time, I am feeling ever more and more uplifted and energized.
And, as I awaken, I am deeply and profoundly aware of my mind becoming as if crystal clear, like a clear blue pool of water, or like a mountain lake, or like a still sea, azure, indigo, aquamarine, and a deep, deep, beautiful, boundless, blue.
Still, and clear.
And a deep, deep, beautiful, boundless, blue.
And my mind is as if a pool of deep tranquillity from that floats up, effortlessly, freely, abundantly, as in a sea of stories, like an ocean, a vast ocean, of story.
And: ‘Let there be light!’, I say, jumping up energetically from my bed as if this day were my very first on earth, seeing everything afresh and anew, and full with wonderment, like a child, so that all I see amazes me. And nothing here seems ordinary: everything is extraordinary. And this alone makes me so impatient, so desperate, to write: in fact, my hand itches to write, right now. And right now, this minute, too, my hand is just itching, and itching, to write. And I wish to put pen to paper, right now, this minute! So give me please a pen! Take ink! And, weeping with joy, weeping with sadness, I shall write. And I shall write, and I shall write, and I shall write. And, it’s as if I’m sweating ink now, as they say in Spanish: estoy sudando tinto!
And the time, now, is important: for the time is always now.
And so I wake up each morning as early as I possibly can. And I write …
I write to remember.
And I write to remember that each morning, as early as possible, I wake to write and I write to be awake.
And to come to know.
And to understand, a little, if ever so little, of life.
And simply to taste, to smell, to hear.
And to feel …
A little more intensely, a little more acutely, a little more finely.
So that, when I am writing, and when I am reading, and when I am studying, I work with all of my senses: taste; smell; hearing; sight; and touch.
And, in this way, I keep clearly in my mind, constantly recalling that, each morning, as early as possible, I wake, to write, saying: now I shall write, and now I shall write, and now I shall write, and in the morning, too, I shall write, and then I shall write still more.
So that, always, each and every day, as early as possible, I wake, to write; and just as I write, right now, these words … they feel … and one feels … right … and so right, that feeling, as if …
As if, so much oxygen, flowing, to the brain: breathing in, breathing out.
So let’s get going; let’s go.
For yes: you are.
And, repeating, after me:
(And dreaming, as if dreaming, again, and again, of Prospero).
And so I sit now in a state of quiet contemplation in the writing room of my mind. I sit in a comfortable chair near the warmth of an open fire. To one side is my desk, clear but for a recent manuscript, a tall pile of papers. And surrounding me, on each of the walls, are books: shelf upon shelf of books. For I am a compulsive, a voracious, a voluminous reader. I am a big fat book worm, an ever so greedy library rat; and my library, here, is dukedom enough, for me, for I simply love to read. And I am constantly reading; I am reading all the time, practically inhaling books and ideas, like air … virtue and discipline … meditation and concentration … discernment and wisdom … absorption and reflection … and trying to be always patient, intent, alert … self-shining … and … such … that … literature, poetry, rhetoric, drama, acting, the history of art, the art of the kitchen, music, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, theology, and religions … religions, my goodness … Native American, Animism, Atheism, Buddhism (Zen), Christianity (Mysticism and Monasticism), Confucianism, Druidic Spirituality, Hinduism, Islam (Sufism), Jainism, Judaism, New Age Spirituality, Rastafarianism, Shamanism, Shinto, Shugendo, Sikhism, Taoism, you name it … and can there really be so many gods? or so much absence of these same gods? … and of course not forgetting, also, geography, history, law, politics, economics, the sciences, medicine … and, in short, all our collective human KNOWLEDGE … as much of it (not so much) as I can get my mind around … and all in the full knowledge, in any case, that if we know anything about a path at all, it’s only because of those creative and extraordinary individuals who have gone before us, lighting the way, through reflecting, thinking, teaching, writing, changing, creating, imagining the world … and forming a LIVING KNOWLEDGE … for it is from their curiosity, creativity, and engagement, love and kindness, that we may aspire to follow in these footprints; that is, if we aspire to follow at all … and I think we should, we surely should … and that’s why … well, that’s why it interests me, don’t you see? … that’s why it all interests me …
… and so, in such a way, and with such an attitude, as this, and with my path illuminated by the many who inspire me, I inhale, deeply – of their inspiration – and, thanks to this inspiration, I too, no matter if unrealistically, aspire, in turn, to exhale, and to share, my own modest breath of inspiration … and in this way to be even a small portion worthy … of … or else … in some small way, perhaps … well, in few words, simply to help, even if ever so little … and simply to serve, even if ever so little … and in this way to make some small, modest, positive, contribution, even if ever so little … no matter … and so let us then think again, and only, and exclusively, to those whose work and inspiration continues to guide and to enlighten us … recalling that, like all of us, in truth, I for one live and breathe in this universe of thoughts and ideas … and I live and breathe thanks in part to all the different authors and books that I have read … and thanks in part to all of the different and great figures from history that, thanks to my reading life, I have in some sense encountered, studied with, and learned from; for it is in some sense this vast galaxy of thoughts and ideas, in its entirety, that comprises our human universe, and which, in some sense, makes up also my own individual life, and so that, in some sense, too, it makes up also me. And there have been, and are still, so many minds and imaginations, traveling, seeking company, and creating, over time, a community, of thought, in time; and this, then, the air I breathe, and the company I keep. And the path unfolds, then, beneath your feet; you have only to walk upon it and, in confidence, go on.
And in the Dharmapada it is written that:
When the scholar driveth away sloth by earnestness,
He attaineth the palace of wisdom,
Sorrowless in the sorrowing world.
And the wise one, he looks upon the ignorant,
Even as one upon the mountain peak looks upon one upon the ground.
And, my friend, although you may at times be as fiery as a noble horse touched by the whip, try at the same time to endure all hurtful words in silent peace, much as the strong elephant endures so many arrows released from the angry bow bent in battle’s rage.
And so, in such a way, by faith, by virtue, and by virtue of an ever expanding energy, and by deep contemplation, and vision, and by wisdom, and by right action, you will gradually overcome the sorrows of this life, and begin, rather, little by little, perhaps, to radiate a light upon the world that is a little, just a little, like that of a moon free from cloud.
And be now again attached, and then detached; be now attached, and now again, detached; attached, detached; attached, detached; and learn to understand the difference; and in all cases relaxing into the very fullest of presence, so as to be here now.
And to be, in this way, as if an emptiness prayer; a prayer as if in prayer to itself; an emptiness prayer; and an I, as that.
For that indeed, you are, as nothing.
A subtle, invisible, boundless energy.
Call it “the Force”, if you will.
Or the Tao.
Or the Way.
And so you read between the lines and dive under the net.
And to do so you find, first, a thread of some kind, and then you follow it. And you draw in that line – that strand of meaning, that thread of thought – slowly and patiently, yet with focus and absolute determination. And your thoughts may at times be blown about in the wind but that’s okay too. And you always weave words from these breezy thoughts – words whispered upon the winds – and, in this way, you weave words from the winds and, delicately threading them all together, you weave them, then, into one single fabric, making them become as one single garment, an amazing technicolour dreamcoat; and you stitch up a story, in this way, and with that story, you make not only sense, you make magic, and enchant.
For you are indeed a work in progress.
So put on your thinking cap, my friend; and wear it often; weave words from the winds; and become then the very writing itself.
And, to this end, here, just beside me, is a small coffee table upon which is opened an especially important and gorgeous leather-bound book. This enormous, splendid volume contains the story of my life. It contains descriptions of everything that I have ever thought, or seen, or heard, or smelt, or tasted, or touched, or experienced in any way whatsoever. In addition, it contains descriptions and histories of all my ancestors, complete with the stories of their lives. And absolutely everything that you could possibly imagine is in this book: conversations that I have had; comments that people have made; books that I have read; films that I have seen; places that I have visited; dreams that I have dreamt; passions that have lifted me up and cast me down; my family; my future, and so on. And some of the pages of course refer also to my doubts, and my anxieties, and my fears. And this is perfectly normal, and also a necessary part of our journey.
(In any case, you love movement; and you embrace change.
Change is your only constant.
Keep faith, then, in your hopes, and dreams.)
And so I open, now, the book and look through the pages of this life, one by one. And when my unconscious shows me a picture of a fear or concern that I may have, or a limiting thought, belief, comment, or experience, or whatever, I pause, look at the page, then see the fear or doubt for what it is, namely someone else’s recollection, or someone else’s fear or doubt or recollection that has simply but mistakenly, and wrongfully, been past on to me. And so I study the thoughts on the page, then take a magnifying glass to my eye, and magnify those thoughts, and make them larger, until I see clearly, at last, how those false thoughts have coloured the truth of my own thinking, so that then, suddenly, I can and do take all the colour out of the image on the page, removing all of the doubt, the anxiety, the fear, and letting the picture instead turn grey, getting lighter, fuzzier, and smaller, until it seems at last to disappear right into the surface of the page, such that all I can see now is the texture of the paper itself … as the paper absorbs all of the emotions surrounding the image, like a sponge … and look, before my very eyes the texture of the page is absorbing and drawing away all of the negative emotion, right now … so that as I look, all I can see is the clear texture of an empty white page … and I realize, then, and I know, then, that that page no longer belongs in the book of my life, of my thoughts, among that which describes or defines me … instead it is entirely out of date, and irrelevant … so that now, at last, I can simply tear out the page of the book completely, removing any tiny, remaining trace of that limiting thought or belief or emotion or memory … and then I crumple up the paper and throw it into the grate, where it swiftly catches fire and is reduced, little by little, to ashes … And all of the unwanted and unneeded thoughts, emotions, and fears that were described there have now gone up in flames, so that I am free of them, finally, and once and for all. And now I move on. In an attitude of calm. And in a state of tranquillity. And freedom. And I return, then, in peace, to my chair, and to looking through my book … the book of this manifestation, of something larger, which is somehow me … and the book of life’s various expressions of “me” … as if this were, in fact, the book of “myself” … to come to express, and to see, and to understand, a little more clearly … “my” … “self” … and this, then, as if the book of my life … Such that, each time an unwanted image comes up, the same process is repeated. First I reject it, then it fades and disappears, then I rip out and then burn up the page, knowing now, understanding completely now, that these pages represent thoughts and emotions that are simply no longer a part of my life, and that simply no longer belong in the book of my life, or in my thoughts, at any time, or in any way. And in fact they are meaningless now. They have no place in my life. And so I reject them, free then to continue my search for the meaningful … and the beautiful … and the noble, and the true … and all the time, meanwhile, releasing old tensions and fears, as I do so … and beginning at once, at the same time, to tell, in their place, another, and a better, and a more beautiful, and a more wonderful story … that opens my mind, and frees my voice, and my soul.
For the caged bird must first learn to sing.
And with its song, to fly …
And to fly far, far away …
And at last to be free.
So let it all go, my friend; simply let it all go.
And travel light.
And go far.
And, at the same time – why not? – repeating after me – saying, with me, that …
I release now, too, all those old memories that are no longer serving me and that are no longer in any way helpful. And I let go, too, of all struggle, all dispute, all disharmony, and all tension. And all the unwanted pages, all those discarded pages, I throw immediately into the fire, which roars in the grate, the smoke billowing up the chimney, disappearing into thin air, as the pages burn to cinders and are reduced to ashes. And such that all that is unwanted now goes up in flames, including all the emotions and fears that were once attached to the thoughts and comments and experiences that I have now rejected. So that now I can move on, and I mean to move on, and I mean really to move on. For I am ready, now, to move on. And I am ready to move forward, and to live my life again with courage and confidence and, little by little, to become all that I can be and, little by little, to fulfil all of my unique potential. And I am calm and free, feeling safe and secure, creative, and inspired.
And my mind returns then, again, to where I sit, still, in my chair, with this, the book of my life. And then I open the book again, to somewhere in the middle, and seemingly at any random page. But what a wonderful scene! It’s me in the future, a picture, so large, so vivid, and so realistic, that I know at once it is true, it is real, and it is all that I have ever wished for, and that all I have ever wished for is now slowly and surely being realized, and that all that I wish to achieve in life I am now achieving, and will achieve, as I see and understand from my future, my understanding of which is now so clear and so vivid, so brilliant, that at last I realize that in fact this future is taking place NOW, and that I am already … NOW … in this, the present moment … the person that in fact I always dreamt of being, and indeed that my life is precisely the life I always dreamt of, and precisely the life I always wanted, so that now … this IS my reality … and I am the writer of this life, this story, this life story … writing out the story of my life … and creating a world …
And so you say to yourself: okay, good; make it so.
My blue-eyed boy.
And you, you speak the language of the gods: did you know that?
You speak the language of the gods: the divine Word …
And blessed is he who hears the word of God, and keeps it …
… which gives me an idea, in fact …
Let me reflect for a second.
(A great blue lake, serene).
Let me think.
The sky, the mountains, the streams, the lakes, the rivers, the hills, the forests, the woods, the fields, the land, the sea, the sky, saying:
And, humming a little to myself, as I think …
Humming, Ommmmm …
The divine sound.
The one (uni)verse, repeated over and over.
Humming Ommmmmmm …
Humming, hummmmm …
Oh, man …
Oh, mmmmmmhhh … and all this, a …
… of life itself …
And so saying, then, to myself, I say: imagine it so, for it may be true, and in this way I’ll swallow it, taking it all in, accepting it all, digesting it all, and making of it all a most marvellous and magnificent meal, as if a succulent, scrumptious, sacrifice, of life, giving life.
And how beautiful it all is, how extraordinary, and magnificent, and wonderful, to be under these blissful blue skies, your eyes.
And you have a good eye, too; I see that.
You have an eye for beauty.
And you see beauty everywhere.
So take heart, my friend; take heart.
For indeed, there is so much beauty in the world that you feel often as if you simply cannot take it anymore, and as if your heart were at the point of simply caving in from the sheer weight of so much beauty, and all of it such as if to make your heart simply burst, and die.
And the die then cast.
Spilling ink …
In beauty, bliss.
And then there’s you, too, you for whom absolutely nothing is ordinary; and everything, really absolutely everything, is, in fact, really, rather, extraordinary.
And, all you see – in each and every moment – is amazing.
Experience suggests that we make nothing of that which we keep for ourselves. We don’t make anything of that which we set aside either. Instead of understanding this, why then are we so reluctant to offer, to give, to ask, and to receive?
And so I say to you:
If you are looking for answers, ask questions.
And when, in turn, you are asked a question, do your utmost to give an answer, even if that answer is incomplete or unsatisfactory and no more than an essay, and a poor attempt at understanding.
And give of yourself, too.
Give of yourself totally, in fact.
And let your heart bleed out in ink, in which, bleeding your heart out, you write a poetry of blood and sweat and fire.
And still you let the words flow freely …
Breathing in, inhaling, with all the stillness of the unstirred waters of a lake.
And breathing out, exhaling, as you observe your breath moving across the waters in ever expanding circles, sending out ripples, vibrations, waves, in sounds …
And so of course you make the most of each and every moment of your life, asking yourself: why not enjoy life from now on, and to the full? And then: life is for living, so enjoy life, and enjoy it thoroughly. For being alive is so exciting. And there is simply so much to experience and to enjoy; and there is so much to see, to hear, to smell, to touch, to taste; and there is so much to feel and to experience; and I should like to experience and to enjoy every good thing on earth, shouldn’t you?
And so you simply love all this experience of life, throwing yourself into it with all the passion and joy and abandon of which you are capable. And you simply love life, so much. And you love all the people on the planet, pretty much, and all the oceans, and the earth, you love, too, saying simply that the sky’s the limit, and living, always, as if this day were perhaps your very last, and saying to yourself: let go, then, of this day, and make room, make room for, and live, then, hopefully, perhaps, another.
And don’t cling; just let it go.
Just let it go.
And just let go.
And just go!
For the traveller soon reaches the end of the journey. And then, in the freedom of the Infinite, he finds himself free from all sorrows, and the fetters that bound him are thrown away now, and the burning fever of life is no more.
For the time is always now.
For love is life that lasts forever.
And happily there is still time, for time is infinite, time is eternal.
Although I refuse, still, for now, to bring this journey to its end.
In any case, I can feel that I have so much life left inside me, still; and I am so alive; and I love life; and I love life, that lasts, as if, forever, knowing that love itself, is life, itself, somehow, that lasts, forever.
And I have no need, then, to think of death, or dying. Indeed, I have no intention, right now, of dying. I’m going to put that off. And in fact, dying will be the very last thing that I do! And, before that, I shall live perhaps to be 100, fit and active, alert and very much alive, happy, and well. And you? And what about you? You too?
For you, my friend, are human being.
And all that is human, familiar to me, close to me, is of interest to me, and shall be dear to me, saying:
Oh man, thou art, that …
To think, therefore …
And that …
Being, and being …
And aware, simply, of an idea; and of an idea, floating up, from the obscure depths of your dream, to the clear, still, surface of your mind.
And an idea; and then another idea; and then another, and another, and another …
Stirring the secrets of the soul, to share …
As in a well, a fountain, a stream …
… and quickly, then, give me paper, a pen, for I must write it all down …
… and let me write it all down now, immediately, straight away, right now, this minute …
First, God as Being.
For in the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.
And God said: “May I be many … may I be propagated”.
And by his divine will, expressed through subtle speech, he united himself with that speech and became pregnant, saying:
From Being, Mind.
From Mind, Desire.
From Desire, Will.
From Will, the Word.
And from the Word, every splendid, marvellous thing.
And I name you, then …
(The infinite Blue of Bliss.)
For we are like the spider: you, me, the others, and all of us. We weave our little web of life then move around upon it.
And we are like the dreamer who first dreams, then steps into that dream, and lives it.
Come, then, step into my ink boat, and let’s sail away, together, to distant shores …
To paint a picture.
Tell a story.
(For every picture tells a different story).
And open your mind, in any case.
For what you think, you create.
And what you feel, you attract.
And what you imagine, you become.
For … You … are … That …
That Blue, for which you seek …
Your house may feel comfortable, my friend, but to feel the sun on your back and the wind in your face, you must first step outside.
And to be an astronaut of the void, first leave the comfortable house that imprisons you with reassurance. To be going and to have are not eternal. Fight, then, the fear that engenders the beginning, the middle, and the end.
(Dear Derek Jarman).
For you are bigger than that; and you are better than that; and you know that …
And indeed, your true home is here and now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, gender, or race. And your true home is not an abstract idea. It is something that you can touch and live in every moment, in mindfulness; for with mindfulness and concentration you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment. And no one can take that away from you. Other people can occupy your country, they can even put you in prison, but they can never take away your true home and freedom.
And the prophet Muhammad said, “What have I to do with worldly things? My connection with the world is like that of a traveller resting for a while underneath the shade of a tree, then moving on.”
And for Blue there are no boundaries or solutions.
Be boundless, then, Blue.
And know, too, and repeat the thought, again, that you are, that, that you seek.
Saying Yes. And Yes. And Yes.
My path; my journey; my way.
And asking: what, then, is important to you?
What is your heart’s desire?
What are your goals?
What do you hope to achieve with your life?
What are your values and aspirations?
What are your dreams?
What, your element?
And what, your contribution?
And do reflect now, carefully, upon these questions – and then reflect upon them some more, and then over, and over, again – for your answers to these questions shall eventually give you the meaning of your life.
For what, then, do you seek?
For what are you seeking?
And I tell you, I am seeking:
The fathomless Blue of Bliss …
And so listen: listen to me, my friend. And try to live your life, as it were, as if on purpose, with intention, so that you shall be then at one and the same time both the arrow and the archer. And, being then a little like a master in the art of Kyudo, you release your bow, you let the arrow fly, and then, and only then, do you quickly draw your target, hitting it dead centre every time. And I repeat: first you loose the arrow, and then you dream of your target. And you always just say what you’ve got to say. And you always just write what you’ve got to write. And you always get directly down to business. And, as you appreciate time, you always go directly, too, to the point. And you see the point. For life, time, energy, these are, after all, all precious, and all infinitely precious, and this the very point now; bullseye!
For, as you know full well, and again, repeating after me:
My look – my gaze – is bold, firm, and steady.
And, at the same time, it is gentle, softened by feelings of love, and warmth, and compassion.
My fixed gaze, then, is at once relentless – piercing, insightful – and relenting – forgiving. For forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is, in the words of Martin Luther King, a permanent attitude.
(And so, from an already great depth now, let’s go deeper. And in that great seeming darkness, and seeming quietness, seeming silence, apparent stillness, search now for your most profound understanding. And when at last it is dark enough, then at last you shall no longer know fear, and only then shall you see the full brilliance of the canopy of stars above your head. For truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, such that it’s often when we are most deeply in a state of sorrow that this light comes nearest to us. And the deeper the sorrow that comes into your being, the more joy, too, you shall eventually live, and experience, and carry, and share, for joy and sorrow are inseparable, as we come to know.)
And so I see now so clearly. I have clear vision and intuition. And I am so intuitive and insightful. And this is because I am connected to my feelings, which guide me always in the right direction. And I am connected to my intuition. And my intuition always guides me well. And I take good decisions and I make wise choices. For I enjoy an abundance of wisdom and knowledge. And I have so much wisdom and knowledge inside of me. And so I trust always in my own judgement, for I am deeply tuned in to my intuition and to my inner self. And I am connected to my inner, and my higher, self. And I am deeply, deeply connected to my creative self. And I find it easy always to be raising my consciousness. And I connect so easily and naturally to the infinite creativity inside of me. For I enjoy abundant creative energy. And I am always so creative and resourceful. And I am constantly expressing my creativity in new and exciting ways. And, at the same time, I express my thoughts and feelings with extraordinary freedom and great ease. And I clearly and concisely articulate my thoughts and feelings. And I always articulate my thoughts and feelings very clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing. And I speak and write and live from the heart and mind. And I follow my intuition. And at the same time, I speak my mind. I speak with courage and conviction. I speak with authority. I speak from the heart. And I am always powerfully persuasive, my words always passionate, heartful, transformative, entrancing, mesmerizing, and magical.
And, although solitude is my natural state, and my dearest friend, and although I love to be alone, where I am always quiet, calm, and at peace with myself and the world around me, I love also, sometimes, to be in company, for I love people, too, and in every way.
And when I am alone, I conduct myself as if I were in the presence of others. And when I am in the presence of others, I conduct myself, quietly and naturally, as if I were alone.
And people perhaps respond to that, very gently, as if in gratitude, and with love.
And just be yourself, in other words; this is the take-away.
And be true … to your … gentle … kind … loving … self … knowing … that …
And knowing, too, now, that … you, too, are someone also so very sociable, and someone who enjoys to be around other people, and who loves to be surrounded by others. And at such times you give of yourself always so generously, like a fountain of good energy and ideas, flowing forth in abundance, effortlessly, and unceasingly. And in such ways you reach out, and you communicate, and you listen, and you love.
And if sometimes you appear contradictory, so what?
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes).
And you are not scared of contradiction and paradox.
For you are creative and free.
You are spontaneous, and alive.
And you easily take risks, even if you also, when necessary, know, too, how to weigh your words, with care.
And you easily and always turn tension into attention.
And you know, too, that, ultimately, simplicity is the glory of expression.
And so you always talk slowly, but think quickly.
“Why do you want to know? Why do you ask?”
“What is your purpose?”
“What is your point?”
And: “What am I to understand by that?”
“What do you wish me to understand by that?”
“What are you trying to say?”
“What are you saying?”
“And what do you mean by that?”
“What do you mean?”
And: “Do you know what you are saying?”
“Do you fully understand what you are saying?”
“What do you understand?”
“I’m very sorry. I think that I must have misheard you. I think that I must have misunderstood you. And could you please repeat that last comment? I see … Thank you.”
And then, when confronted by someone of a momentarily poor energy, or limited expression of intelligence, or temporarily closed heart, be kind and patient, be compassionate. And, if necessary, echo the words and mimic the actions of the person in the hope that, their own words and actions echoed and mimicked back to them, they will better be able to reconsider them and begin again, afresh. And when you are asked a stupid or insensitive question, simply repeat it, then be silent, wait. And if a person persists in their stupidity to the point of aggression, still you remain calm, and remain quiet, and simply ignore them, initially. And if still they persist, then, and only then, you act. And you ask them: Is it your conscious wish to waste my time? Do you think to annoy me? Do you mean to irritate me? And is it really your intention to anger me? But then, to their surprise, you overwhelm and overcome such a person with the power of your empathy, compassion, pity, understanding, and love. And failing that, and if all else fails, you know in any case that such a person has no place in your world. So do not overreact, but simply ask them to be silent or to leave. Say to them: “We live in different worlds, you and I. And there can clearly be no understanding between us. And being together is a waste of my time, for you are as nothing to me. And I am glad that now you shall again be far from me, as is right. Now out of my sight!” And then see this person clearly, as they are: a momentary illustration of stupidity or insensitivity; and a mere triviality; and finally, nothing at all; nothing at all, of any importance. And if still they continue to irritate, like a gadfly, you must yourself leave; so turn first your cheek and, failing that, turn your whole back upon such a person so that their own energy rebounds upon them, then simply move on, and go. And such a person you shall instantly forget. You shall make no further reference to them. They are immediately forgotten, and as if they never existed for you. And for you they shall be now as nothing and as no one.
And so I am always calm and confident, and completely relaxed, in the company of others, regardless of whether I am in the presence of a small or a large group of people, and regardless of whether they be friends or strangers, And I remain always calm and relaxed in the company of others. For I always pitch myself perfectly: I always hit the right note. And I am always in tune, in harmony, with those around me. And I communicate with confidence, easily conveying my positive thoughts and feelings to others. In fact, I am completely comfortable and confident when speaking to other people, both individually and when there are many people gathered together before and around me. For I am always relaxed whenever I am in the presence of other people. And people are attracted to my likeable, easy-going personality. And so I am confident about my social skills. And I am confident about my ability to engage meaningfully and pleasurably with others. And in such ways I refine my social skills ever more and more. And I develop my inner strength and calm. And so I appreciate, now, that I always express myself clearly and succinctly, verbally and in writing, whether alone or in company. For I always express myself easily and with confidence. And I always speak freely and easily with, as appropriate, great insight, imagination, intelligence, and humour. And I become so deeply interested, and so deeply absorbed, either in what I am saying myself or else, far more interestingly, in what the person before me is telling me, such that I become completely focused on this conversation to the complete exclusion of all else even as, at the same time, I remain perfectly relaxed, perfectly calm and self-confident, whenever I am speaking to other people, whether that’s one to one, or to a small or large group, and whether it’s business or pleasure, I am not at all conscious of myself, and of my feelings, and so I talk in a way that is completely free and natural, and if in conversation I find myself feeling ever so slightly self-conscious, my focus and attention is immediately renewed and reabsorbed in the conversation, and I remain at all times calm, confident, and self-assured. And I easily and always turn tension into attention, at once. And for these reasons I find that I get on better with people. And I gain the respect of others easily. For I am an excellent listener. And I like to laugh with those around me, to make them laugh, in turn, and then to laugh with them, for laughter is a wonderful way to communicate. And I feel happy and content knowing that I can communicate easily with people from all walks of life, drawing always upon my great experience of life so as to make my conversation lively and interesting, and so that my conversation flows always so easily and so naturally. And I enjoy so much to be around other people, and to talk to people, regardless of the subject of conversation. I enjoy talking to people. And I always meet people on equal terms. And I am completely relaxed in the presence of other people, be they friends or strangers, and that’s to say, people who at first may seem a little strange to me, but people who are, in fact, friends to be, friends for the future. For I always meet the right people at the right time. And I am calm and confident in company. And, on the basis of the energy that I receive from the people around me, and on the basis of the subconscious signals and body language that I receive from others, I consciously select those individuals from a larger group that I wish to speak to, and then I go directly to those people, one at a time, saying “Hello. I have a question. Who are you, by the way? And how do people see you, do you think? Very nice to meet you, in any case. And could you help me more clearly to understand? And how may I help you? And have we met before? Have we had the pleasure? And have you a minute? Shall we talk? What, for example, have you been thinking about today? How do you like to spend your spare time? How have you been feeling? How is your health? Are you often here? And what do you like to do with your time? What are your interests? What do you feel passionate about? Who do you love? Who drives you wild? And do you really think … ?” And then: “Let me repeat to you what I think I’ve heard.” And: “Okay, forgive me; I think it’s time now to let go, to move on, to circulate. Let me thank you, though. That was a pleasure. And it has been a real pleasure to meet you. And I hope to see you again soon. And I look forward to continuing our conversation.” And so they speak to me, all these different people, telling me the stories of their lives, so that suddenly it’s as if we’ve known each other forever, for always. And I speak, too, a little, for I make small talk easily, and words come easily to me. And I am never at a loss for words, I am never lost for words. Indeed, I work with words; and from my work, I word worlds. Wyrd, no? I study languages, too, not only my own mother tongue, English, that I use and appreciate daily, trying always to deepen my understanding of this extraordinarily rich and beautiful language, but also many other languages, too. And as I learn a new language, I read aloud in that language for 15 or 30 minutes each day. And the words come easily to me. And I am never at a loss for words. And I learn languages. And I study hard. Indeed, I love languages and words, knowing that to learn a foreign language is to enter into a love affair with a people and a culture. And it is to become a different person, too, in a way, and also to begin to think in a different way. And it is to see the world from another perspective or point of view. And it is eventually to recognize and to know oneself as at home in the world, where all feels strangely familiar, and where all strangers are recognized, and greeted, in fact, as family (even if family life itself seems often so strange!).
And I dance, too, to the music of language. And I am always dancing, in some sense or another; dancing thoughts, dancing mind; dancing energy. And I move easily and fluidly to the flow of all the words that sound in my hearing, and that flow easily into my ears and into my consciousness, and that flow out easily from my heart and tongue, in song. And I go with this stream of sound, this stream of consciousness. And I go with the flow.
And it is through my words that I reach out to the world: I read and I write, I learn and I teach, I am inspired and sometimes, too, I inspire, perhaps; and I am motivated, and sometimes, too, I motivate others, perhaps; and very often, in any case, I find myself delighted, simply marvellously delighted, and entertained, by it all; this great theatre of life …
And while writing out these words I, too, feel again … inspired … and … motivated … and again NOW, as ALWAYS …
For I always feel inspired and motivated.
And I always feel so creative and inspired.
And I am, in fact, so often so very creative, and inspired.
And truly I am an inspiration, sometimes – if only to myself, my smiling little me: and there again an unexpected, exciting thought – as if a flash of inspiration! You see?
And yes, I see.
(Seeing the light; becoming the light; being the light. Inspiration. Illumination. Enlightenment.)
(Seeking again, and again.)
And so, immediately, this moment, at once, you pick up your fountain pen, dipping its nib in ink, and letting the words flow freely, and letting the words from my fountain pen flow freely forth, once more, and again, to write, again, obsessively, and obsessively, to write, again, and more …
(And what a great pleasure it is to balance again this pen in my hand, as if it were a fountain of ink, and of thoughts, and of ideas, and of words, all written out, in longhand. And still now it’s as if I can recall once writing with a quill, and as if all these words were flowing out from me, flying out, from my hand, as light as a feather. And in such a way my thoughts themselves seem sometimes, then, to fly, as if settling for a moment first here, then there, then traveling backwards, and forwards, in time, and traveling far and wide so that, in the most positive of senses, pure spirit, I am all over the place, and I am at once everywhere, and nowhere.)
And all of a sudden I recall something important, suddenly remembering what it is that I needed to remember, so that suddenly, I do remember that, then, and not only what it is that I needed to remember, and need to remember, but also the sensation, the recollection, the memory, too, not only of that immediate thing that I needed to remember, and need to remember, but also the feeling, too, of always remembering, so that suddenly it’s as if I remember everything; absolutely everything; so that I recall it all and, recalling it all, I remind myself, gently, that that’s just fine. And that that’s just right. And I remember.
And every day, in this way, without fail, whatever time it is, and wherever I am, and regardless of whoever else may be with me, and whatever else I may think I need to do, I write. And I write obsessively. And on many days I even start early and write from 3.30 in the morning. And on top of that, I am forever freeing up time, say 5, 10, 15 and 30 minute slots during the day, to write. For I easily clear time and space to write. And I say to myself: “Now I shall write”. Day thinks, thoughts. Morning pages. Noon thinks, thoughts. Afternoon pages. And evening pages. Night thinks, thoughts. Night pages. Dawn thinks, thoughts. Dawn pages. And I write obsessively. And for at least three hours every day, I write; and for at least three hours every day, I read. And in this way I write at least five pages, and 1,000 new words a day, every single day. And every single week, and without fail, I write … And every single year, without fail, I complete … I fill out, and complete, my days, and nights; I fill out, and complete, my time.
(And in reality all reality begins in a dream, in a thought, and in an intention, does it not? Or not?)
And, in addition, I keep a journal that I work on for at least 30 minutes every evening before going to bed. And there I record everything that I have seen, smelt, and heard, touched, and tasted, felt, and experienced, on that day. And I also take careful note, and note down there, there, on these pages, with care, all of my thoughts and my ideas, my fantasies and my imaginings, my wishes and my dreams. And every time that I have an idea for a story, or dream up some extraordinary tale in my imagination, or think simply of some text, perhaps a dialogue, or a character, or a situation, or a scene, that captures my attention, and interests me, I immediately write it down. And on top of that I write letters, to my friends, and loved ones, “my” (smiling) “people”, with all my love.
(I live a life of letters.)
(And of words.)
(And as if myself but a passing word, ordered by someone, at some time, then quietly worded into life.)
I am inspired now to write to you.
For you have been in my thoughts a lot lately.
And you are in my thoughts now.
And my thoughts go out to you.
And you are in my prayers.
And listen, I’ve been thinking …
And yesterday, this happened …
And today, that happened …
And tomorrow …
Can you believe it?
And what about you?
And what do you think … ?
And I love you, by the way.
And I’m sorry.
Please forgive me.
And anyway …
That’s about it for now; that’s all there is for the moment; that’s all there is for now; that’s all for today.
And one day soon, in any case, we shall meet again, no doubt, and see each other once more, and speak, in person, face to face, I hope, I’m sure.
Indeed, I know it to be true.
And I look forward to sipping some tea with you, then, or perhaps some coffee – liquid friendship – and to hearing what you’ve to say for yourself.
And I look forward to continuing our conversation.
And so, until then, I picture your warm smile and lovely face in my mind, and hold you dear; holding you infinitely dear.
(Holding everything, everyone, dear, your tender eye.)
So work hard and, above all, play hard; don’t forget to have fun!
And be happy, and be well.
And be blessed, my friend, in love.
Yours, ever … “
And through my letters I find ways quietly to reach out to the world, and to make new friends, and to draw old friends nearer, and closer, and dearer, still, and to share a few thoughts, and experiences with them, and to give a little more of myself, perhaps, if I can, and perhaps also to receive a little back, in return, and to communicate, and to connect, and to enjoy, in short, your good company, my friend. For everyone loves a letter.
And so every single day I write at least one special card or email or letter. And I write to my friends and family, of course. And I write also to other writers, artists, musicians, philosophers, intellectuals, so as to reach out to people, and to give, and to receive, and to exchange ideas, and to learn, and all for understanding, and company. And I write, too, to agents, editors, publishers, literary magazines, newspapers, because … why not? (And I never take “no” for an answer, in fact. I never give up.) And all, after all, is currency, exchange, movement, circulation, and flow. And I perfectly well know that what goes around, comes around. And that, as you sow, so shall you reap. And so I try to share any good karma I may have, if any. And all these good vibrations … ; well, may they mind how they go …
And all this, and more, I express in words: I write things down. And I am always writing things down: in letters, poems, story fragments, ideas, dreams, short stories, long stories, plays, dramas, and even novels, sometimes, too. And I write obsessively, for this, after all, is the vocation of a writer, and that’s simply what I do: I write.
And am I then a writer?
Perhaps yes, for words flow from me, and I write.
And perhaps, no; who knows? And who’s to say?
Although I have realized, and I do know, that in my reality, I do know, and I do really know, I know it, in my gut, and feel it, profoundly, that I do wish, and want, and must, now, right now, again, as all the time, as always, again, to write.
And I simply want to write, right now.
And I will write.
For I am a writer; I write.
And that’s who I am, quite simply: and mine a life in writing, and in words, that’s all.
And just go, then, with the flow, the flow of ink …
For that’s who I am.
That’s what I do.
And you too, it seems to me.
You, too, work with words: you, too, are a writer.
You are worded, profoundly.
(As I believe we all are, in time, written out.)
(And all of us, the writers, then, in some sense, of the stories of our own lives, and of our own times; and these stories written out not only in lines upon a page, or across a screen, but in lines written out also, and most profoundly, upon our faces, and upon our loved ones’ faces, and in our obituaries, and upon our graves.)
And is it not so?
And then again, you are reading these words now, and I guess that this makes you already a reader, doesn’t it? Well done!
And then, as you are already a reader, you are also already, in some sense, a word specialist, too!
And, as you read, your reading language, already, is wording you, and making you, and willing you, in turn, to speak, and perhaps also to write.
For you, too, are a writer.
And I am confident that you are rewriting this text as you read it, and as you absorb each thought, one by one, word by word. And I am also confident that this text, too, in turn, is writing you. And in this way we are all of us writers, after all. We work alone, at times, for sure; and at other times we work together. And our writing may be good or bad; of great and universal, or of only limited and local interest, no matter. And we all know, now, and understand now completely, that we are simply writing out the stories of our lives, as best we can. This is what I am doing. And this is what you are doing. And, my friend, I love and respect and admire you for that. And writing out the story of my life, I try to copy now your good example, and do the same, saying: this is it, then, this is my story, this is me: the best that I can be.
And how extraordinary it all is, when you think about it.
And how extraordinary it all is, when you think about it, that so many writers have been prepared to accept a kind of martyrdom in the writing life, this being the best tribute that flesh can pay to the living spirit of man as expressed in his literature. And one cannot doubt that the martyrdom will continue to be gladly embraced. For to some of us, the wrestling of beauty out of language is almost the only thing in the world that really matters. And I think that it was Anthony Burgess who first articulated this thought in more or less this way. And clearly it resonates very strongly with me. And does it resonate also with you?
And [so] I belong, then, in fact, to an ancient, idle, wild and useless tribe, perhaps I am even one of the last members of it who, for many thousands of years, in all countries and parts of the world, has, now and again, stayed for a time among the hard-working honest people in real life, and sometimes has thus been fortunate enough to create another sort of reality for them, which in some way or another, has satisfied them. And I am a storyteller, then, a teller of tall tales, drawing water from the deep, deep well of our culture. And these words, this time, are those of Karen Blixen.
And by the power of my written word I shall make you hear, I shall make you feel, and before all else, I shall make you see – That – and no more, and it is everything. And if I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm – all you demand – and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask. Joseph Conrad.
And E M Forster, famously:
And naturally one finds, in human nature, both the best, and the worst.
And do try not to be deceived by either of these appearances.
[And] let’s hunt [then] for a third tiger now, but like the others this one too will be a form of what I dream, a structure of words, and not the flesh and bone tiger that, beyond all myths, paces the earth. And I know these things quite well, yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me in this vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest, and I go on pursuing through the hours another tiger, the beast not found in verse. And these words are those of Jorge Borges, in “The Other Tiger”.
And again now, as I write, I lose myself completely in the story of life that slowly unfolds before me. And I float down ever more deeply into my inner world, my inner reality, going deeper and deeper now, until I am deeply, deeply, deeply absorbed in my own inner, creative world, from where I am finding myself responding effortlessly, automatically, to an inner awareness, and an inner knowing. And I remain permanently connected to the mystery of this powerful, creative source inside of myself. And I do so sometimes consciously, and often unconsciously. For as I write out this life story I lose all sense of time, and place, and I lose also all sense of myself, even, for I become wholly absorbed in the telling of my story.
And recall now the words of Raymond Chandler: “A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled. I always regard the first draft as raw material. What seems to be alive in it is what belongs in the story.”
And so let’s clear away first the weeds and prepare the ground; then sow the seeds; and then, finally, watch as the shoots grow tall and then blossom into flower, reaching up, for the sky.
And I think now of a crag in the rock, a fissure, an opening.
And from the earth, energy, reaching upwards towards the sky, and flowering beneath the infinite heavens, the sky, in light.
And what inspires you to write?
That’s easy: EVERYTHING!
EVERYTHING INSPIRES ME TO WRITE!
And then, in our writing – why not? – perhaps we can work together towards a clearer and perhaps also a deeper understanding of this, our world.
And I use writing, then, seeking understanding, as a form of meditation upon the world.
And, as such, I consider the work of a committed writer to be of the utmost importance: it ups the ante, it raises the stakes. And, in general, as Andrew O’Hagan once commented, and I quote: “[I] have a bit of a trades union attitude when it comes to writers. I admire their individual expertise and I support their collective influence. So when I see authors in the world who are silenced or punished or rubbished it feels to me like a personal insult.”
More frivolously, writing, too, can be an addictive pleasure, such that the more one writes the more one wants to write and the more one wants to write the more …
I MUST WRITE NOW.
And so writing, then, is also, for me, an obsession.
(And perhaps it could be described as a kind of “possession”, too, as if one were in some way possessed by the different voices, and the different spirits, of the living, and the dead, to which or to whom one listens).
Mind, body, spirit.
What, when, how.
And to know without knowing.
And to hear without hearing.
And to see without seeing …
And so I am completely aware now of everything that is happening around me.
And yet, at the same time, I am deeply in trance.
And I am moving easily between worlds.
And I am in touch with my dreams.
And I follow my dreams.
And I follow my inspiration.
And I go with the breath.
And I go with the flow.
For I find it now very easy to bypass my ego and to draw out the true genius inside of me, expressing my talents free from fear. For my inner voice goes into trance, and speaks for me, speaks, and writes, writing everything down. And all the time I find that I am watching, and I am observing. And I notice even the smallest detail. And I see and I feel everything. And perhaps for this reason, then, I am all the time creating sounds, and making connections, from words, in words, and singing songs, and spinning sense, and weaving words from the winds, and making music, from language.
And, as in life itself, a sense, and a story, reaches me in a broken mosaic of tiny fragments; and from these I look for patterns from which I forge connections and meaning, as if assembling the scattered pieces of a puzzle from which a picture may eventually emerge, and the story come together.
And, still so sweetly, mid the gloom, the invisible bird sang to itself, that there I could have made my dwelling place, and lived forever there, to hear such music.
And, in this way, my pen, as if by magic, gives voice to the songs of my soul; songs sung freely, in strength and energy, power and feeling, love and life, in words pouring out from me in such abundance, freely, fluidly, dreamily, joyfully, ecstatically, eternally. And so I write, then, as a man in trance; as a man possessed by his ideas; as a man obsessed with giving vivid life to the creatures of his imagination. And it’s such a source of joy, this process. For I love words. And I love working with words. Indeed, I have often the feeling that I am dancing with words, playing with words, delighting in words. And certainly I delight in writing stories. And the words for these stories come so easily to me. For words always come so easily to me. And my writing flows without effort: it is fluid … And always I let myself go, and go with the flow of my spontaneous thoughts and ideas. And always I go with the flow of my inspiration. And always I go with the flow. I go with the flow of the ink. And in this way I am always writing. I am always, always, always, always writing. For write I must. Write. Indeed, I absolutely must write, right now. Right. And five pages a day, more or less, at least. 10 words; 100; 500; 1,000; 10,000. No matter. For I absolutely must get all these words down on paper. I must write, right now. And I shall write, right now. And I will, write now. Write!
And yes, I can, and I must.
And I must write, right now.
Five pages a day, every single day.
And it’s simply a habit for me to write these five pages a day; I cannot help but do so.
A writing ritual … rites of passage, writes of passing … time.
And the time is always now …
For, while action without vision is a nightmare, vision without action is a daydream …
And you: you move easily, effortlessly, intuitively, now, from thought, to action.
And you have the courage of your convictions.
And you look always to real goals; goals that you are actively in the process of achieving, right now.
And in this way I simply love to set myself new goals.
And I love then to achieve these goals.
And, as all your goals are immediate and achievable, you shall achieve them all, immediately, or as good as immediately, because …
NOW is the time …
To move easily, effortlessly, intuitively …
From thought, to action.
And you know now that you are fulfilling your dreams.
And you know now, too, that these dreams are like your passport to the world, and with them you shall travel as far as they may take you.
And these dreams are like my passport to the world, and with them I shall travel as far as they may take me.
For I wish simply to go as far as I can, and shall …
Becoming more and more deeply relaxed with every word.
And more and more deeply relaxed.
And I have the courage of my convictions.
The power of belief.
And my self-esteem is strong.
And I love and respect myself.
And I know, too, that the thoughts and images that I project out into the world shall soon become my reality.
And I express my true potential.
And I love being successful.
And I deserve to be successful.
And being successful is just a habit to me: it’s a positive state of mind that comes to me easily and naturally. And it’s something that I expect and know that I deserve.
And I am in charge of my life.
And am fully in control of my life now.
And I know, too, that I deserve to be happy and successful in every part of my life. And I always enjoy the present moment. And I always enjoy the moment NOW; for the time is always NOW, for transforming thoughts, into actions, and making it all come true …
And for finding, discovering, revealing, and sounding your voice;
And for using your voice, and for expressing yourself;
And for knowing your own mind;
And for showing strength of mind;
And for demonstrating great character;
And for always speaking your mind, very clearly, and very directly, and very simply, and straightforwardly, saying …
Be quiet, then, be still, and listen: hear what I have to say.
For this, after all, is my vocation.
To learn to read and to write.
And to understand, that …
I have the right to speak my mind.
And I enjoy, too, the right to write, and to write, right now.
Speaking my mind, and writing out and describing my views of the world, and my world’s (and world) view.
For I am a writer: I write.
I write: that’s what I do.
That’s what I am.
That’s who I am.
As well I know.
And do now begin, then, now, to start freeing up all of your energy, my friend, and to start freeing up, too, all of your thoughts and ideas, your words, and your language, so as simply to let the writing begin again, and to let the ink just flow.
And so let’s just get the words down on the page now, shall we; all right?
And simply write it all down.
And with every word that you write you find that you are leaping higher and higher into the clear blue sky of your boundless imagination. And in this way you set your imagination completely free; you let your imagination fly; and you fly with it, happy and free; for you love the feeling of freedom that flying gives you; and you simply love to fly; and you love to fly so high that at last your ears “pop”, and are open, completely open, as you are, boundless, eternal, and free. And you shall listen to me carefully now: for here you will hear the movement of the mind in music, the songs of the soul, the hymns of the heavens, the great harmony, and the great symphony, of celestial revelation. And you are completely absorbed in this music, singing: I am a feather on the breath of God! I can walk behind the sky!
(And in sky’s river, I sometimes swim.)
And for what, then, are you seeking?
The infinite, fathomless blue of bliss …
And all these thoughts, so many thoughts, like soft white clouds, drifting gently across a beautiful clear blue summer sky …
And your thoughts, too, drifting by, like dreams …
Your thoughts, your feelings, your offerings, your sufferings, your impulses, your intuitions, your gifts.
And I am so free now: I am so absolutely fearless and free.
And my breath flows so easily. I breathe so easily. And inspiration flows into me, and out from me, so effortlessly, and easily …
And the body … opens … and the mind … opens … like a flower that moves towards the light …
And you are the dawn above the ocean.
A radiant aura, a play of light, a sunbeam, asking:
What, then, do you have, that you did not first receive?
And relax then, now, my friend, let go; and receive again, and in gratitude, know joy …
For every second, every moment, in your life, you are accruing new experience, new knowledge, and new wisdom.
Yes; I know that.
And yes, I’m looking forward to that. And I’m excited about that. And I am feeling so very open and receptive now. And I am curious and questioning. And I want to learn.
And remember, too – yes, I remember, too – that this is not only how you think, this is really how you are, how you exist. This playful openness and curiosity form your very identity. For remember, too – and yes, I remember, too – that you have learnt and experienced something new in every moment of your life.
And yes, that’s true: yes of course, that’s true. And yes, I remember.
And I easily remember everything that I have ever experienced …
I remember when …
I remember with whom …
I remember how …
I remember why …
I remember in what way …
And I remember with what feeling …
And I remember everything.
And I remember everything up to and including this present moment, where I am, right now.
And in your mind, then, you will always be clear, above all, that the time is always now …
And in that now, then … this moment, now … I want you slowly to retrace your steps … coming back along the same journey you took to come to this place … and with every step that you take … on this journey back … mentally counting up from 1 to 10 … you will feel ever more and more energized … and you will feel light and positive … and you will feel alert and clear … and you will listen to the sound of my voice … saying, follow me, then … for I am the sound of your voice … and I am your vocation, your genius, your inspiration, your spirit, your soul … and listen to me sing, and sing, so beautifully … and be transported by that music … the song of your soul, singing … saying … singing … come with me, follow me … for I am the sound of your voice, the song of your soul … and you shall always follow me, for I am your guide, your life breath … and I shall always go with you … taking you to the very ends of the earth … and listen to me now … for the sound of my voice shall always be with you … distinct among all the many sounds and other voices that naturally you will hear … and that include, of course, the other sounds that you are hearing now … the sounds that you can hear around you now, in this present moment … as you are more and more aware of where you are now … in this present moment … and this present moment becoming now clearer … sharper … and the light becoming brighter … as you return from your trance … and as you become so aware of your body, now … and your hands, just lightly in contact … and your world … so vivid … and real … and the slight breeze that breathes gently on your skin … your face … and every breath you take bringing you back to … this time … this room … this place … here and now … and to be ready, then, now, either for your dreaming night or, as the case may be, for the rest of your day … so that, as the case may be, either you count down from ten, so that on one you drift into a deep, blissful sleep, from which you will wake in the morning, at 3, feeling extraordinarily positive, and refreshed, and creative, and inspired, or else you will count up from one, at once, so that on ten, your eyes will open wide and you will be wide awake, enjoying a feeling of blissful well-being all over … and the future simply opening up, in either case, like a path, before you … and it’s so exciting, and so extraordinary … and it’s your path, my friend … this is your path, too … in beauty … bliss … and blue …
Blue, the universal love in which man bathes – the terrestrial paradise.
Hanging from your tree of life, even so, are leaves that appear to yellow.
Life has the name of life, but in reality it is death.
And the messengers of death are waiting.
And you are going to travel far, my friend; but have you made provision for this journey?
For this reason, no need to feel self-satisfaction, for the victory has not yet been won. And it’s not by mere morals or rituals, by much learning or high concentration, or by a bed of solitude, that one can reach that joy of freedom that is rarely reached by those of the world, if ever.
But know, nevertheless, that whoever in this world overcomes his selfish cravings, his sorrows shall surely fall away from him, one by one, like drops of water from a lotus flower.
For sweet it is to enjoy a lifelong virtue; and a pure firm faith is sweet. It is sweet to attain wisdom; and to be free from sin, similarly, is sweet.
Leave, then, the past behind; leave the future behind; and leave the present behind. For then thou art ready to go to the other shore.
And never more shalt thou return to a life that ends in death.
Empty the boat of your life, then, O man; for when empty it will sail so swiftly.
And I say to you this:
People die, and are born –
Whence they come, and where they go, I do not know.
Nor do I understand the transitory homes they build.
For whom do they fret themselves?
And what can be so pleasing to the eye?
A house and its master are like the dew that gathers on the morning glory.
Which will be the first to pass?
Sometimes the dew falls away while the flowers stay.
But they will surely all wilt, in any case, in the morning sun.
And sometimes the flower shrivels while the dew holds on.
But it will not outlive the day.
The flowing river never stops and yet the water never stays the same.
Foam floats upon the pools, scattering, re-forming, and never lingering long.
So it is with man and all his dwelling places here on earth.
And we know, of course, that all things that come into being must also pass away; cut, then, your fetters, and overcome the world.
And look, rather, for the inner path by which to cross the river of time and to lose yourself in the pathless ways of supreme contemplation, discovering in this way, little by little, that joy that is the joy of the everlasting Infinite …
And learn to be a welcome guest in the dwelling of your body, so as to live, and die, with dignity.
For yes, I am ready now. And I am prepared to die. And I am ready to die.
And then a monk asks Master Ummon, “What will happen when the trees wither and the leaves fall?” And Ummon replies, “The Golden Wind will blow”.
And sometimes you too may experience and come to know and feel the storms that beat these rocky cliffs; falling frost fetters the earth, the harbinger of winter; then darkness comes, and night shadows deepen; from the north there comes a rough hailstorm in malice against men. And indeed, all sometimes seem troublesome in this earthly kingdom; and the constant turning of events changes this world beneath the heavens. Here money is fleeting; here friend is fleeting; here man is fleeting; here kinsman is fleeting; and all the foundation of this world, turned to waste!
So spake the wise man in his mind, and from where he sat apart, in counsel.
And good is he who keeps his faith … and a hero must act with courage … this we know.
And life goes better for he who seeks mercy and consolation from the father in heaven – the heavens above – seat of all permanence.
And by day the sun shines, and by night shines the moon. The warrior shines in his armour, and the Brahmin priest in his meditation. And he who is powerful, noble, who lives a life of inner heroism, the all-seer, the all-conqueror, the ever-pure, who has reached the end of the journey, and who is awake – him I call a Brahmin. But the Buddha himself shines by day and by night – in the brightness of his glory shines the man who is awake.
And greed and apathy and an idle bed
Have caused all virtue to fly from the world;
Our deepest natures have been almost killed
By stifling habit, their old ways conquered.
And every light of hope is so extinguished
From heaven, to which our human life we yield,
That who would make a rivulet that swirled
Down Helicon’s side, is laughed at and scorned.
What aching for laurels? Lust for myrtle?
“Naked and poor you go, Philosophy”,
The crowds all say, being bent on sordid gain.
Few friends with you you’ll have along that way;
So much the more I pray to you, gentle
Spirit: do not turn back from this your task’s burden.
And still the tree sways, the breeze blowing through the branches, whispering such sweet songs, of distant, far away places, and people, cherished, and dear, and love’s longing, when suddenly, unexpectedly, I hear, too, the song of the leaves, falling.
And I strove with none, I say, for none was worth my strife.
Nature I loved and, next to nature, art:
I warmed both hands before the fire of life:
It burns now low, and I am ready to depart.
And think of it in this way, then, if you will: but a record of this floating life, this fleeting world; and as you cross a bridge of dreams, to follow the narrow road to the deep north, as if a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream, a dewdrop, a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, the wings of a shadow, a phantom, and a dream, are you, is life.
And a lifetime of experience … of remembering … to let go … and almost as if to abandon yourself … and to fall away … and to forget … as if, entering, now, the zone … entering the end zone … entering the dead zone …
And listen, now.
(Ambrosia, the sweet elixir of life: can you taste it upon your lips?)
And, do you hear?
And yes. And yes. And yes.
And in the words of Albert Einstein: “A human being is a part of a whole, called by us a ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest … a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to 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.”
“And when he sees me in all and sees all in me,
Then I never leave him and he never leaves me.
And he, who in this oneness of love
Loves me in whatever he sees,
Wherever this man may live,
In truth, he lives in me … “
“Place your burden
At the feet of the Lord of the Universe
Who accomplishes everything.
Remain all the time steadfast in the heart,
In the Transcendental Absolute.
God knows the past, present and future.
And He will determine the future for you
And accomplish the work.
And what is to be done will be done.
At the proper time. Don’t worry.
Abide in the heart and surrender all your acts to the divine.”
And the poet never rests, says Borges.
He’s always working, even when he dreams.
Besides, the life of a writer is a lonely one.
You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may discover that you are in fact at the centre of a vast circle of invisible friends who you will never get to know but who love you. And that is an immense reward.
And what, then, is success?
To laugh often, and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better, whether by a happy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life breathed easier because you have lived; this, then, is to have succeeded, or so, at least, thought Ralph Waldo Emerson.
And “Success is to be measured not so much by the position one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which one has overcome in trying to succeed”, says Booker T Washington.
And on quiet nights I recall the faces and warm smiles of friends, it’s true, while looking at the moon, through the window.
And I listen for their voices.
And I hear, too, in time, the voices of all my family and friends, confidantes and lovers, acquaintances, colleagues, companions, passers-by, fellow travellers, wanderers, seekers, and everyone I have ever met, indeed, or spoken to, and everyone I have ever listened to or read, and everyone I have ever known, or will know, some day.
Love is life that lasts forever.
Such that, hoping always to be someone open and generous in spirit, and in love, my heart’s memory turns now to you, and all my thoughts go out to you, my dearly beloved, saying: I love you. And I am sorry. Please forgive me. And thank you.
(This floating life, and this fleeting world; and it’s as if you simply crossed a bridge of dreams to follow the narrow road to the deep north, and once there, you saw, a star at dawn, and a bubble in a stream, and a dewdrop, and a flash of lightning in a summer cloud, and a flickering lamp, and the wings of a shadow, like a phantom, and all this, and you, too, but a beautiful dream, this life.)
Friendship, company, guidance, warmth, love.
Perhaps a husband, or a wife – or several!
Perhaps a daughter.
Perhaps a son.
Perhaps a brother.
Perhaps a sister.
And a mother’s voice …
And another’s voice …
Becoming a murmur, and then a stream, and then at last a great river of voices, to the ocean, flowing: listen …
(Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.)
And do you hear me, now?
And do you see, at last?
And do you understand?
And give, and receive.
All people, in relation, one, to another.
And plants, flowers, trees, in relation, one, to another.
And animals, in relation, one, to another.
And all things, in relation …
And looking always … there, here … for the relation between … the relation … to … and … the … relationship …
Relating one thing to another as if to form again a family bond.
And making connections, in this way.
And making sense, in this way.
And in this way making it all make sense, and seem familiar; and sounds sensible, doesn’t it?
And I think it sounds good, too.
And I think it sounds true.
And, in any case, it sounds harmonious; and it sounds harmonious, above all; for when each element is in its proper place, each note is a true note.
And so, according to me …
Tout est d’accord.
And I know you agree.
And that, to me; well, that’s music to my ears.
And know, then, too, that all your ancestors, your family, your friends, and everyone you have ever known and loved, are all here, now, in this present moment, present with you, accompanying you, still, and always, these dear voices, the living and the dead. (Shinto.) Only connect, then, for it’s all about love, apparently; love, and understanding; and if I’ve understood only one thing, then, of life, it’s this, it’s only this, and that I’ve understood, saying: I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; and thank you.
And you know, of course, that there are extraordinary people everywhere: go look for them, then, go find them, and learn from them, by example, so as, hopefully, to become, one day, one of them, yourself.
And rejoice, then, for he who knows the Truth
Knows that bliss begets bliss.
And if you can drink of life’s bitterness and laugh in the face of adversity,
In your soul no bitterness will remain.
And arise, then, for the Beloved has arrived.
He who has stolen a thousand hearts.
In drunken ecstasy, he has come with drum in hand,
To lift the veil and reveal to you his song.
Rejoice, then, for he who knows Truth
Knows that bliss begets bliss.
And today arrives as witness to the long journey behind it,
So have mercy, my friend, for a seeker must travel far in search of truth.
But still, what a journey, and what an extraordinary journey!
And the true pilgrim finds the words to express himself, in any case; and his feet follow faithfully his thoughts, and words.
And, as the great Nicolas Bouvier observed, and as you yourself know now full well, a journey does not need reasons. Before long, it proves to be reason enough in itself. One thinks that one is going to make a journey, yet soon it is the journey itself that makes or unmakes you. And keep in mind, of course, that if one does not accord the journey the right to destroy you, at least a little, then you may as well stay at home. For a voyage is like a shipwreck, and those whose boat has never sunk will never know anything about the sea.
And you know, too, that into each life some rain must fall. And some days must be dark and dreary, so that the light, when it comes again, can be fully appreciated, and enjoyed.
And give me a ticket, then, for absolutely as far as I can go.
I am ready.
And henceforth you shall seek another elsewhere, that reveals not its name, and perhaps neither in other whispers, nor on other plains, so that you must, lighter than a thistle, disappear, then, there, into silence, my friend, and in this way return, as if inside, out, once more, to the winds of the road.
And Unsui, you are – like clouds, like water… an itinerant, mendicant monk … constantly on the move, but without any particular or apparent direction … and like clouds, and like water.
And where you go then is simply to wherever your fancy takes you, and to wherever the winds blow …
For you are free, radically free; is it not so?
And you know, too, that your heart cannot, finally, be won … not by me, and not by anyone …
And your soul is restless, but its burden cannot be revealed;
For this reason, alone, I remain silent.
And yet, whenever you are standing there before me
My eyes fill with tears of joy that cannot flow,
Like an ocean that stands still
At the sight of you.
What if this present
Were the world’s last night?
Come, then, Beloved; for today may be our last.
And, like the brief, ephemeral moments of a flower’s bloom, it will fade.
For tomorrow nothing may remain of me, my heart, or this world,
And if your love’s perfect radiance reveals itself, as it does, now, today; well, what more?
And in the setting sun your love now fades
Dies in the moonlight
And fails to rise.
And listen to me, too, or don’t listen, no matter: it may in any case be nonsense … or sound so, at least, to you … “for the spirits of seafarers rarely bring back much in the way of known speech … “
And I am rambling again, it’s true; so typical of such a restless, nervous fellow, with itchy feet; a vagabond, a wayfarer, a wanderer.
For always I had, just alone, to speak of my troubles, each morning, before the dawn.
What hope for me?
(The solitary only finds grace, in any case, in the mercy of the Lord; is it not so?)
And yet still, and yet now – and now above all – I must be clear; for time is of the essence now; and I wish now to be entirely sharp and to the point. And I wish at last to make some sense. And do I, my friend; do I? And can you at last make out some sense of all this nonsense? And can you at last make some sense of it all?
Think about it again, then; take your time.
And Blue transcends the solemn geography of human limits.
And the blood of sensibility, too, is blue.
And I consecrate myself, then, to you …
And to finding your most perfect expression …
Still now …
And still now, as my pen chases these words across the page, tossed this way and that in a storm of feelings, and emotions, and windswept thoughts, and memories, still now, and …
And I have stayed, of course, for as long as I possibly could.
And now I have stayed quite long enough; it’s time to go.
My thinking room.
My reading room.
My writing room.
And I fill this room with the echo of many voices
Who passed time here
Voices unlocked from the blue of the long dried paint
Until the sun comes and floods this empty room
I call it my room
And my room has welcomed many summers
Embraced laughter and tears
And can it fill itself with your laughter?
Each word a sunbeam
Glancing in the light
This is the song of My Room.
And there I have walked behind the sky.
Asking: for what are you seeking?
And the answer I give:
The infinite, fathomless blue of Bliss.
And then again, Blue stretches, yawns, and is awake.
And one can know the whole world
Without stirring abroad
Without looking out of the window
One can see the way of heaven.
And so imagine, then, this: that if only the doors of perception were cleansed … well, then everything would be seen as it is.
And in beauty, bliss.
And so it is, that in the pandemonium of image
I present, you, then, with the universal Blue
Blue, an open door to soul
An infinite possibility
And listen, then, now, to the drip of the tap that ticks out the seconds, the source of a stream along which the minutes flow, to join the river of hours, the sea of years, and the timeless ocean.
And try, then, of course, not to lose or to squander any more of your time.
For old age is coming and youth is slowly slipping away.
And where have the days of our lives now gone?
For tomorrow, others’ lips will recount the very tale
That we ourselves try to tell today.
And the world is but a playhouse.
He who perceives this ranges amongst the most wise.
On the surface we live our lives and go about our way,
But in the depths of our souls still we remain always estranged.
And the darkness, too, like the night, comes in, now, with the tide,
And I can feel it drawing nearer, and getting closer,
As the year slips on the calendar
And your kiss flares
A match struck in the night
Flares and dies
My slumber broken
Kiss me again
Kiss me again
And asking: do you then remember?
(And this dream, once so vivid, so full of life.)
Yes, I remember.
I remember everything.
And I remember, too, that it’s going to be tomorrow, then, perhaps, at sunrise.
Or tonight, even, beneath the warmth, becoming weak, turning pale, of the setting sun.
Or now, indeed, this very minute.
And I remember, too, to make the bed,
And to open the windows to air the place,
And to scrub the floors,
And to do the washing up.
And all this even as the ages and the aeons quit this, my room
Exploding into timelessness
And no more entrances or exits
And no need now for obituaries or final judgements
And even then, and even still then, I remember.
Saying: come on, then; let’s … let’s sing and dance … let’s hold hands, and kiss, and cuddle … and let’s make love, even, for that one last time … and if not that, then let’s sit down and smoke a sublime cigar, perhaps, or drink a fine wine … and share again a smile, and a laugh … and tell again, all over again, these same tall tales …
And saying simply: here I am, then, Death, old chap, old friend; and take me when you will, and do with me as you will; because still I shall have the final satisfaction, at least, of knowing that, for all the tricksy old devil that you are, mine shall be the laughter at the last, and at the end. For I’ve been waiting for you from the outset, you old bastard; and I’ve been waiting for you from the very beginning, more or less. And I’ve known full well, from the beginning, more or less, that life without you is simply bewildering, confusing, directionless, meaningless. And I’ve known, too, of course, from the beginning, more or less, that one fine day my time, too, would come, and come, then, to an end, at the last. And I am at peace, then, with that, and with you, my dear friend. My life, and death.
And so I sit one last time at my desk, turning to my papers and to my pen, to put pen to paper, and to write my final will, and testament, noting down, in brief, fleeting lines, all that has happened to me, here, and all that I saw and felt, and heard and smelt, and all that I touched and savoured, tasted, and enjoyed, discovered, and learnt, loved, and lost, imagined, and created, read, and wrote, and all words that themselves will one day be lost, or erased, or simply forgotten, I suppose, as I shall be too, no doubt; all lost, that is, but for the irony, perhaps, not only of this weak laughter, and dying smile, but of these words themselves that in summary could be read, then, perhaps, quite simply, as follows:
I was here too, you know
Over committed on all fronts
The candle burning always at both ends
Now night, again
And what a night, and day
Of beauty, I saw there …
And simply adored,
And simply adored.
And see, there, the shadow of the flames flickering upon the cave wall, still.
And in the night, telling stories …
And stories, simply so extraordinary, and so magical, and so transformative.
And what a joy it all was
Or much of it, let’s say.
Or some of it, at least.
You know how it is.
And you know, too, and full well, don’t you, that we all of us begin to die from the very moment that we are born.
And so try simply to relax then, again, quite simply, my friend: and go forward, and do your best, and try simply to enjoy yourself now, again, and still more so, if you can …
And then, and only then, and as if it were the close of a long day of action in the battlefield, take action once again: and go for a walk or a swim, take a bath, make some tea, and relax; letting time simply wash over you, now, if you can, and letting everything go now, if you can and, as the old song goes, letting go of all your troubles, and your strife …
And imagine, then, if you can:
In azure seas
Washing the isle of the dead
In coral harbours
Across the still seabed
And there we all are
Fanned by the billowing sails of forgotten ships
Tossed by the mournful winds
Of the deep
And lost souls
Cheek to cheek
In dear embrace
Salt lips touching
In submarine gardens
Cool marble fingers
Deep love drifting on the tide forever
And bliss in my ghostly eye
So kiss me, then.
Kiss me on the lips
On the eyes
Our names will be forgotten
No one will remember our work
And our life will pass like the traces of a cloud
And be scattered like
Mist that is chased by the rays of the sun
For our time is the passing of a shadow, my friend.
And our lives will run like
Sparks through the stubble.
Nicolas Bouvier again: on that day, he says, I thought that I was in possession of something important and that my life would be changed forever. But nothing of this nature is acquired definitively. Like water, the world traverses you, and for a while, lends you its colours. It then draws back, leaving you once again to face the emptiness that one carries in oneself, and to face that central insufficiency of the spirit that one must learn to live with, to fight, and which, paradoxically, is possibly our surest driving force.
And faith, too, is a myth, and beliefs shift like mists on the shore; thoughts vanish; words, once pronounced, die; and the memory of yesterday is as shadowy as the hope of tomorrow. And in this world, as I have known it, we are made to suffer without the shadow of a reason, or of a cause, or of guilt. There is no morality, no knowledge, and often there is no hope, even; there is only the consciousness of ourselves which drives us about a world that is always but a vain and floating appearance. A moment, a twinkling of an eye, and nothing remains: nothing but a clod of mud, that is, of cold mud, of dead mud cast into black space, rolling around a dead earth and an extinguished sun,.or so it sometimes seems, at least. Nothing. Neither thought, nor sound, nor soul. Only nothing. Quite simply.
And I tell you: may God then bless the magic, and the mystery, of this great journey, this odyssey, this Odysseus, this Ulysses, this no name, nameless one, this one who knows, and knows no idea, anymore, no thing, no one; and letting it all go, then, letting it all fly free, at last, and letting it all fly far, far away, and free as the wind itself, and you along with it, my friend, like a feather on the breath of God, floating upon the starry river of the sky, in the fathomless blue of bliss, and repeating after me, like an echo, that:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on,
And our little life is rounded with a sleep.
And you depart, and set off. Then suddenly you arrive, you reach your destination. And how did you get there? You do not know. A mystery. And then, just as suddenly, you must leave again.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
And so it were, perhaps …
As if death, too, were but a moment, no more real or enduring than the rest of human experience and not an end but rather a beginning again, a starting afresh, and a turning of the page …
Remembering and forgetting.
Birth and rebirth.
And what an extraordinary idea!
So write it down …
Now, straight away, at once, immediately, saying simply:
I love you. I love you. I love you.
And I say it again and again: I love you, life.
For love, surely, is life’s purest and most perfect prayer.
Count it, then, your love; and count it up, and down, your love; like so many beads upon a rosary, upon a mala.
108, let’s say.
And powerful prayers, sound true, or so they say.
So bless the earth you’re standing on.
Complete that which you’ve left undone, and left unsaid.
And begin to look at yourself as if through eyes of an angel; pilgrim soul.
And these, then, are my last words. I articulate them now, in advance, to hear how they may sound and to see them written down, and to see how they look, on the page, and to wonder, of course, if one day, perhaps, I shall live up to them, these, my words, my thoughts, my ideas.
And think of it this way, if you will.
Inspiration; such inspiration!
And listen: what you hear here, now, is the sound of the waves, washing away my tears, and there the sound of the wind, my memory.
And Prospero, again:
To the dread rattling thunder
Have I given fire and rifted Jove’s stout oak
With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory
Have I made shake and by the spurs pluck’d up
The pine and cedar: graves at my command
Have waked their sleepers, oped, and let ‘em forth
By my so potent art. But this rough magic
I here abjure.
I’ll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And, deeper than did ever plummet sound,
I’ll drown my book.
And the end follows on, then, from the beginning, okay; but where, finally, at the last, will it fall?
And still then, and even then, you know perfectly well that nothing is ever fully complete, that nothing ever comes completely to an end, and that nothing is ever definitive, perfectly finished, and final, forever. For all is movement, change, flux, and flow. Relax, then, for now, and let it go, for as you know full well, this moment … is but a drop in the ocean … and as you know full well, you are doing your best … and as you know full well … still now … you are doing your very best, just as you have always done your very best, and just as that very best has always been just great, and that, as you know full well … well, that … that’s it … the end … and how fine.
For my voice goes on with you, still, still now: weak, breathless, at the last, last breath, yes, it’s true; yet all this, all that, is still but a beginning, somehow, as if a new and fresh beginning; fear not.
And time lays now as if suspended. And in this graceful arrangement of echoes, reflections, and coloured, dancing shadows, there is a sovereign, fleeting perfection and a music that at last, again, I recognize. It is the lyre of Orpheus, or perhaps the flute of Krishna, that I hear; and it’s surely the same sound that resonates when the world appears in its original transparency and simplicity. And he who hears it once, as now, recovers from its beauty, never.
Bright eyes, blazing out, turning suddenly pale, fading away, burnt out.
Earth to earth. Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes.
And burn yourself up, then, my friend; do not be afraid but rather be consumed anew, by the great strength and intensity of your passion for life.
(And facing your fears, be free.)
And you know full well, by now, that the night seems most dark, and most desolate, only moments before the dawn, when for a moment the silence sounds total, like the silence at the song’s end. And then, all of a sudden, as if by magic, there is light, again. And so even when the night has overcome you, or so it seems, you may yet rise up to see again the sun, as now, for example, so that, surely, you are rising up again, even now, as a phoenix from the flames, rises up, and takes wing, so that you too shall once more take wing, and fly, and fly away, and flying far, far, far away, forever and a day, be gone.
Death and resurrection.
Or reincarnation, perhaps.
Heaven, hell, or purgatory.
Words, so many words.
“All will pass, money, large estates, even kingdoms are doomed to vanish. But if there is only one grain of true art in our work, it will live on, forever.”
This day’s work, nevertheless, is now done, all done.
And this, then, for today, the final point: the full stop, and the end of the line.
And may this very last thought then put out the light, saying: lights out, please; please extinguish all your lights.
For tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow, another day; and, perhaps, another, another’s day.
And for now, in any case, we must keep watch, and keep awake, and be ready … and … be here now … for as long as we possibly can … until then, at last, we find, our sleep …
So pray, then, one more time.
Say your prayers, giving praise, for this long day, magnificent.
For it’s bedtime, now.
Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, please grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.
And do not feel alone.
Feel all one.
And be still; be still, now.
And rest, in inner peace.
Sound in mind, and body.
And in tune; and in harmony.
Softly spoken, warm hearted, and like a gentle human creature.
And so I say to you:
Abide in: …
And for what, then, still, are you seeking?
For the infinite, fathomless blue, of bliss.
And I too may now seem to you far, far away, it’s true.
So soft, so quiet.
But listen again.
And listen, still.
For still my voice reaches out to you; do you not hear it?
(Yes; yes, I hear you).
And fear not, then, my friend, for my voice will go on with you, wherever you shall find yourself; and surely my voice shall travel on with you, forever.
For my voice shall soon be your voice, just as your voice has now been mine.
And tears of such joy flow forth from my mind’s eye, like flowers in blossom, or glittering diamonds, or so many stars in the night sky …
And shall I be gone long?
Forever and a day.
To whom there belong?
Ask the stone to say.
Ask my song.
And so I place, finally, a delphinium, Blue, upon your grave, saying:
In the end is my beginning.
The infinite, fathomless, Blue of Bliss.
And mind how you go now; fare well.
© Bede Nix, 2018. All rights reserved.