Saturday, November 24, 2007

Amazing Grace

Originally uploaded by LunaSol
This wonderful image is by a woman here in Georgia.

To me it is the path.
The yellow brick road come to earth
is a bit grittier,
and also softer
than Dorothy's.

But after all we are in Georgia
and not Oz
or even Kansas, Bennie.

This was Thanksgiving.

and not...

And today Mom turns 82.
She sent me this link a few minutes ago.

Amazing Grace.

Treat yourself to this blessing.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Manifesting 101

Originally uploaded by Lemon2

All my life I have been contemplating a question of Heidegger’s that has always struck me as strangely profound: why is there something, why not rather nothing?

Have you ever thought about that? We take our life, we take life, we take existence, for granted. We take it as a given, and then we complain that it isn't working out as we wanted it to. But why should we be here in the first place? Why should we exist at all? Why should anything exist at all? Really there’s no reason for it. Why not nothing rather than something? Nothing would be simpler.

Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Gratitude

The next entry, "Thanksgiving Vibhuti" is about a "miracle" - something coming out of nothing.

I've had a few hours to think about what more I could have said by way of explanation. These words are as good as any additional. And take the discussion in yet another direction.

Basically, we create It. Or, God creates It.

Or, probably more accurately (for Non-dualists): It creates It.

Thanksgiving Vibhuti

Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

One reason for this blog is to share what I have come to understand about meditation and consciousness.

HA! Well, anyway.
That’s the hoop I’m shooting at.

What I’m about to post I cannot explain at all.
Not scientifically.
But, sanely putting it out there may be useful
simply because science cannot explain this.
What a huge and wonderful lesson that is for many of us.

So, as Mom and I planned a very quiet, just the two of us Thanksgiving,
I resolved to take my camera along and take a picture,
finally, (after what, five plus years?)
of the “miracle” she keeps in her kitchen.

Mom is a devotee of the Indian avatar, Sathya Sai Baba.
When younger (in her 60's and 70’s), she kept an apartment in his ashram
and would spend the happiest month of her year there.

Too frail to make that trip anymore, Mom still keeps busy locally with the Sai devotees. It was to one of their local celebrations that Mom took three picture of Baba
to set upon the large altar they were creating.
Afterwards, Mom took the pictures home,
only to discover the next day that vibhuti,
a gray sacred ash
that Baba manifests was materializing on the photos.

Well, Mom’s non-English speaking cleaning crew a couple days later, dusted off two of the “dirty” things.
After that, they no longer produced any ash.
But, Mom, now forewarned, sequestered the third and final photo.

It was several months after that,
after hearing Mom’s stories about the vibhuti
and dismissing them with a, “Yeah. Yeah,”
that I finally laid eyes on the picture.

I was blown away.
“She’s not making this up! The picture has vibhuti coming out of it,”
I started telling other family members.
They had to go see this!
What a miracle – if you want to define "miracle" as an event for which science has no explanation …

(this seems a rather inadequate definition,
“but anyway” could be the theme here).

I bought Mom a display case
and hung the photo in it for protection.
Didn’t miracles deserve better than how the Bralley’s had been treating this one?
But anyway…

as you can see from the post here, I didn’t do such an elegant job. I couldn't get it to hang any way but scewed.
But at least the cleaning crew leaves it alone.
No dust from the kitchen gets to it,
and Mom can harvest excess vibhuti from the bottom of the case.

So, this thing, this miracle, has sat
year after year,
in Mom’s kitchen between the stove and refrigerator.
We cleaned away vitamin bottles and clutter so I could snap some pictures.

And I am a bit amazed that in all these years,
I have felt no urge to analyze the vibhuti more scientifically.
It seems almost to have quietly silenced my natural impulses,
that cynical intellect that would dissect to better understand and really "prove" it.

And, I’ve asked my brother, Andy, if he’s not interested in seeing what it’s made of.
He owns the largest array of mass spectrometers in the U.S. and thus probably the world – who better to analyze elements and content?
But, he too seems afflicted with the same complacency
that has descended upon me.
And I have to wonder if this is not part of the miracle.
Something says – go with your eyes – let that suffice – let your mind stop struggling.

I may not have the ambition to streak this ash out across a petri plate,
I can at least take a picture.

So, here it is.
And I will make these observations:

Something about consciousness, either Baba’s or Mom’s, Avatar’s or devotee’s,
causes ash to materialize
and be deposited upon the glass covering the picture.

This looks to me to be a “point event,"
the ash growing up like a bacterial colony
from one single solitary cell.

But, I do not think that this stuff is alive – it’s ash.
It seems dry and inanimate.
Not at all like the spores formed by the bacteria I work with.

To me, it seems as if the ash materializes out of “Nothingness” at one point, and from there it grows, not unlike a volcano spewing out its lava.
In this case, the depths of the earth are the depths of Consciousness,

And, since the picture is hung, approximately perpendicular,
the ash will fall down.
If you look closely at the photo, it appears that some ash when it falls
sticks to a lower part of the glass
and starts yet another “colony.”

Does this mean that the power to materialize more ash resides within the ash itself
rather than at some specific spot on the glass?
That would be like saying
a piece of lava removed from the volcano’s flow
has the ability to create another lava flow, or a second volcano cone.
That’s not how volcano’s work.
But, is that what’s going on here? I don't know.

And that is all I have to offer.

Except to say, that when I Googled for a vibhuti link,
I found pictures of the exact same phenomenon
posted from Chile and Bali

That impressed me.

The scientist in me loves replication,
the experiment repeated.
That’s how we know what’s real.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In the Midst of a Hard Day

This Morning....
Originally uploaded by shesnuckinfuts
All I can say is:

Go here,
Read this

Try to rest and know

In & Outs of November

Augie in Machu
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

I miss Jeanette Winterson!
She has not written her monthly column since last September.
So, I went to November, 2005 and took these snippets.
Both wise and cooky.
I love that.

Then, I came across this picture from my nephew
traveling in Peru.
Thus, the lama and the sacred site.

I will let you connect the dots…
Like: November is springtime in Peru…
(unless - they only have two seasons)… but still, it’s all about opposites.

Or, Why is it so many of the world’s sacred sites
seem to be deserted? Dot. Dot. Dot…

Is this really what Jeanette is trying to tell us?
A warning,
Global warning…
Deep inside us…
… and wasn’t Machu Picchu big on keeping guinea pigs?...
And what’s that say about eating one’s experiment…

I am sure you’d prefer to listen to Jeanette, rather than my be-dotted brain…

I long for emptiness and silence.
From November 7th I am hiding away, disappearing into the woods, because
there is a book I have to write,
and one of the many things that can’t be done in public is to write a book.
Though I expect some one will try it soon as an installation.

And I am so tired that I dream about sleeping when I am asleep.

It is difficult to get a balance between the public and the private.

I am sure that the time we live in right now needs us all to be more public than we might like.
We have to speak out, make our voices heard.
I can’t believe that our home-grown lunatic Tony Blair is planning to spend 20 BILLION on a new generation of nuclear weapons.
Of course we have to speak out…

We aren’t living in a quiet time.
We aren’t going to lie easy in our beds.
I would like to be a hermit, but I can’t be.

At the same time it must be said that living more publicly- that is speaking out, raising our hands, getting in the way of the power mongers, needs a balance on the other side.
Private lives can easily shatter under public responsibilities, and,
what is less talked about
and just as dangerous,
is that the public cause can lose touch with its real values,
if we don’t have a private life to sustain those values….

I watch Tony Blair running from crisis to crisis,
and know that as he gets more and more out of touch
with the real things in life,
he is less and less able to make sane decisions.
Sanity is found in so many inconsequential things,
the small and sustaining pleasures of life,
like kids and dogs and a walk and a steaming cup of coffee in the back yard,
and a poem you want to learn,
and picking up twigs for the fire,
and spending all day cooking for your friends,
and letting your mind play and swim and leap and jump,
instead of forcing it endlessly down the same routes.

Peace is not optional,
and I wonder if we find world peace so difficult because our own peace is so hard to find?

So I am sitting here with a pulled muscle. Me! Atlas!
With a pulled muscle.
I am furious and have to give in.
My body is not stupid,
but I am….

Meanwhile – for everyone worrying about bird flu, let’s start by treating chickens properly…
I am very fond of fowls myself, and keep them very well
and they reward me with eggs and cause no trouble,
and why would I want to put them in cages, feed them steroids,
cut off their beaks and let their feet weld to the floor because they can’t move?

Would you do that to a chicken?

Then never ever eat any chicken product where that could have happened.

Simple stuff, changing the world.
It starts in your mouth.

. . . Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble, Gobble.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When I Am Only A Dream

Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao

Today I want to share the words of Yogananda,
from his poem,
When I Am Only A Dream.”

Autobiography of a Yogi was one of the first “spiritual” books I ever read.
I pulled out my battered copy just last week, when I read that Adyashanti had Bell’s palsy.
Yogananda taught kriya yoga, a system that involved bodily purification.
Upon his death in 1952, his body did not decay.

There is so much I do not understand regarding the effects of spiritual practice upon the body.
It seems so easy to simply say, “I don’t know a thing.”
But, that’s not really true.

It's just that sometimes it's really hard to keep your perspective.

I found these words comforting.

When no earthly call will ever reveal
My whereabouts in unplumbed space,
When no shallow entreaty or stern stentorian command will bring from me an answer—
I will smile in your mind when you are right,
And when you are wrong I will weep through my eyes,
Dimly peering at you in the dark,
And weep through your eyes, perchance;
And I will whisper to you through your conscience,
And I will reason with you through your reason,
And I will love all through your love.
When you are able no longer to talk with me,
Read my Whispers from Eternity;
Eternally through it I will talk to you.
Unknown I will walk by your side
And guard you with invisible arms.
And as soon as you know my Beloved
And hear His voice in silence,
You will know me again more tangibly than you knew me on this earth plane.

Paramashansa Yogananda

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Originally uploaded by LunaSol

I found this image stunning, perhaps because I once had just such a kitty, Kitty Carlisle.

My brain still not working - tends to just such a stare as this cat displays.
Rather suspended.
Best not to say a thing. ...except

... why were we ever given "Think and Do" books in grade school? Sets up this whole ethic.

So, I am trying to "Do" something with eyes that don't want to focus. Came up with some pictures in the kitchen: Sumi Landscape and Knife.

Now having "Do, Did, Done," I can switch to talking books and closed eyes. (And the stare becomes internal.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Going On

Originally uploaded by ...*melissa*...
That clear brain only lasted for about an hour.

So, I am kind of just staggering on, seeing the Doc, laughing at the surreal communication, the surreal American medical system.

I want a neurologist to check out my brain - show me the hoops I have to go through.

So, until I am my chatty self again, I found a poem:

Nobody Makes It Up that Mountain

The truth is nobody
makes it up that mountain,
no matter what the guidebooks
and signposts say,
and each time you slip
it seems such a simple thing
that brought you down:
your shoelaces need tightening,
the load adjusting,
you must not let that thought
come to distract you again.

But if you really want to reach
the promised land, fall back.
It lies behind you;
it is where you go in the afternoon
when you lean away from the world
and watch the sun sink
behind the trees.

It is the meadow you left
in your childhood, just to see
if you could find it again.

Prartho Sereno

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Originally uploaded by *CA*

So, let's see.

It's Saturday night and for the first time in a long week, I am beginning to feel like my self again.
Though a bit scraggly, like this here ole bird.

I am getting my brain back. And will return ...soon?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Through My Window

Thru my window 5
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
I took this picture the other morning. Pretty fall days here. The cold fogged the window and I couldn't see out clearly. Take it as a metaphor.

My mom has been in and out, in and out of the hospital for the past couple weeks. Somehow with "all that" I found myself online early this morning searching for I don't know what... something to hold onto.

I found this poem by Dorothy Hunt.
It says enough for now.

Look how this nakedness shows its vast wardrobe!
Here it dresses as a rose;
there it dresses as a car;
here the suit is Mother;
there the suit is Daughter.
Spirit does not inhabit these things.
Nothingness does not climb in and out.
The rose grows thorns
and does not bloom in winter;
the mother will one day sleep without waking
and her daughter will weep.