note to self

you walk the edge
along paradox
negotiating the rim
with care—watch out!
you can stumble—
canyon on one side
crevasse on the other

you might go adrift in
the dark side of a story
or the bright—
can they both be true?
try this—embrace them

oh yes, it’s uncomfortable
sometimes agonizing
also boundless and free
balance on that

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

head upstream

head upstream
note to self

like a sockeye salmon
returning to her birthplace
head upstream
push against the current
look prior to thought
buck those falls
dive deep when the
grizzly paw swipes
find your original home

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—not final versions.

a prayer

a prayer
note to self

don’t play hide and seek with me
instead, come face to face
split me open
pour me out
so all that’s left is

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

start close in

start close in

note to self

this is the root of
what we have—
most present
most precious
but never rare—
but seldom noticed
by all but a few

is not contained
in our bodies
bodies are held
in consciousness
it pours through
vast, unbounded
infinite and eternal—
start close in
live close in

thank you to David Whyte for the phrase “start close in.”

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

root joy

root joy
note to self

it’s not in ideas or
feelings or things—
primary and prior,
it’s deeper than that
root joy cannot be harmed
or disturbed—it lifts out of
the big field, spreads wide
ignites mercy and love

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.



note to self

since eleven,
a pilgrim, a wayfarer
but not out here
on the inner, instead
what is this?
what am I?
what knows before
anything came to be?

prior to this outrageous
cosmos—and the birthing,
dying, exploding, expanding
delicious, rollicking mess
of a world, stardust everywhere—
prior to thought, what is that?
what sees through these
eyes? those?

it’s lush in here
the big field of knowing
the password is surrender
however, beware—
beliefs fall away
consciousness shines
a relentless taskmistress
it asks for everything

2022 ©Amrita Skye Blaine
I’m writing a poem a day. These are drafts—they may never turn into anything more or they might flower.

what is this?

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 16: Abbey D'Agostino of the United States (R) is assisted by Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand after a collision during the Women's 5000m Round 1 - Heat 2 on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

What is this?
This outrageous, ever-unfolding display:
decapitations, orgasms, bombastic politicians,
premature babies born with everything wrong, struggling to breathe.
Grannies rock them back to life.

Two runners fall, one tears her knee.
The other, a competitor, eases her up–
forgoes the race, and trots beside the hobbling athlete.
They cross the finish line together, dead last.
Now friends for life.

Prior to this erupting chaos,
prior–but not in time–
is the ineffable:
empty of things,
but full of possibility.

Rest there–or better said,
rest here
in this ground of being
and, still resting,
join the show.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
image credit: Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

natural release

natural releaseThere is a term that is used in the Dzogchen teachings called “release at inception.” It took a long time for me to come to a feeling understanding of what it means.

As young children, we built a structure of patterns to cope with the world. Eventually, we may come to see that these patterns no longer serve, and the beliefs that support them fall away. Nonetheless, these patterns are deeply engrained in the body, and long after we see through them with the mind, they can haunt us–literally–in our very cells.

As we repeatedly open to what is, the apparent time between the pattern asserting itself and the release of that pattern shortens.

For example, forty-some years ago, I discovered that when I had a feeling, my ability to identify that feeling might not surface for months. It had not been safe to express feelings in my family of origin. As my skill at allowing feelings developed–and as I learned to welcome them–I came to understand the quality of a particular feeling more and more quickly. The day came that anger or fear would show up, and I knew instantaneously what it was.

I have learned, however, that naming is not necessary. The first scent of the pattern wafts by, and is let go in the same instant. Release at inception.

There is a simpler way to express this that seems easier to understand. Natural release. The most natural thing in the world.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit


ripeningThe ripening that brings one to the non-dual view is not under personal control. People are drawn to the teaching or not. They may be uninterested, but then a few years later, can’t understand what took them so long. This was true of me.

Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now sat on my bookshelf for ten years before I read it. I was drawn to make the purchase–but then, there it sat, unopened.

One day in 2007, I saw the title gleaming on my shelf and pulled the book out out, turning it over in my hand with wonder. I knew that it had been waiting there for a very long time. From the moment I cracked it open on that day, I was drawn into the truth I found there. I instinctively knew that it was true–true for this body-mind, in any case. I read for hours.

The the pull that began that day was unstoppable. It lead to the Open Path training with Elias Amidon; the writings of Jean Klein, the Dzogchen teachings, and Nirmala; sitting with Tom Kurzka, David Waldman, and finally, Rupert Spira. The search ended there in the clarity of the teachings Rupert provides. The unlearning and dissolving of old patterns continues–that is apparently a limitless undoing.

Always a beginner. Eternally grateful.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

I have a plan

planHow many times have we said, “I have a plan” over our lifetime?

When we approach life with a plan, there is always some part of us to improve, to correct, to change.

I remember that I always had an idea of what events, relationships, or even my hair styles would look like, but they never turned out the way the mind envisioned. I had self-improvement schemes, too. For example, if I were kind enough, other people would be kind in return. Not necessarily so…

I no longer live with a plan. However it is, is how it is. This makes this wild experience we call life much simpler and easier. Much less stress, resistance, and drama.

Not having a plan makes life interesting right now, because I’m taking a year-long real estate course where I’m required to make a business plan. Which, of course, I will–because I’ve committed to completing this course. I will put close attention to what they ask of us, and attend to the details. But do I “believe” in it? Do I really believe I have individual control over my life? No longer–because this is so obviously not “my” life. I’ve spent hundreds of hours noticing, and I cannot find a “doer.” And yet doing happens, and life continues to unfold. Occasionally events even turn out in a pleasing way. Just as often, they do not.

I soaked in the hot tub tonight. Abruptly, the body-mind stood, and stepping out of the tub, wrapped up in a towel. There was no plan–or even the premonition of a thought–of leaving the warmth of the tub at that moment. And yet it occurred. I slipped into bed, looking forward to deep rest before an apparently very busy day tomorrow. Forty-five minutes later, I found myself sliding my feet into slippers, wrapping up in a hoodie, and returning to the computer.

Do I have any sense of when writing will stop, and I’ll return to bed? No idea at all. Perhaps writing will go on all night. Perhaps, a couple of minutes from now, the body will put itself back in bed. Whichever occurs, or something else completely unforeseen–I’m sure to be surprised by whatever shows up. That’s part of the delight of living now–it’s all so surprising.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
image credit