Category Archives: mind

this day

this day

this day begins thick-eyed
poems stripped sleep
at midnight, slipped into
bed at two—writing hours
where’d they go?
fruitful with not much on
the page—exercised the
muscle, stretched and feinted
words and phrases deleted
added moved deleted again—
in the morning
a homemade mocha
jumpstarts the engine
thank heavens I don’t have to
explain myself, but if I did
a shrug of the shoulders
this is how it is
expand and pare, expand and
pare until finally, it can rest—
until tomorrow

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.

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Filed under feelings, memoir, mind, Musings, Poetry, writing

fissures

fissures
note to self

look for them—
fractures where
the light pours in
you need that light
like lentil soup and
seeded bread on
a savage day
light to warm the
bones, tune the
heart and clarify
the mind, that light
the pure light—
look for fissures inside

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Kashmiri Shaivism, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality

pilgrim

pilgrim

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,
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.

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Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, Dzogchen, feelings, Kashmiri Shaivism, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

dripping in the night

dripping in the night

after bedtime
water drips from the
cedar onto the roof
rolls into the gutter,
the plunks a consolation
to my desiccated heart.
blessed rain!

thirty-three years lived
off and on in California—
now, in one June downfall,
almost an inch?

I long to stay awake
soak in the rare and
fleeting melody, a denser
song on the shingles
hollow in the pipes

the rainfall, the cedar,
the shingled roof—
my very own self and
the friend in another guise

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.

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Filed under Daily reminders, feelings, Love, memoir, mind, treasure

all you can do

all you can do

note to self

nothing’s “under control”
you may think it is, but
it’s a wild mess, wholly
pandemonium,
all happening, happening
redolent and rampant
spilling out in endless
variety—us included—
and brought into play

so relax.

there’s no stopping it
squalling newborn
assault rifles for sale
your first, tentative kiss
tender lips caress yours
friend’s death diagnosis,
and then your own,
sunrise aflame—apricot on cobalt,
sour milk and moldy tortillas,
puppy snoring in your lap
all of it, erupting at once

relax.

forget the mind
the craving to name,
to nail down something,
anything, and
give it meaning.
troublesome thoughts—
oh, suffering ensues,
that’s guaranteed.
meet it, whatever it is,
not slantwise, straight on

and relax

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, thoughts, Truth

way of the heart

way of the heart
note to self

the way of the heart
is sacred ground
tread with love, tend
with regard
with kindness
with care

dismissed from work,
life-threatening diagnosis,
loss of a friend or child or mate,
the way is the light that
perforates desolation
forgo the urge to bolt
distress is not infectious
this blaze of the heart
is meant to be shared

foremost, listen.
just that.
anguish cannot be “fixed”
heed the plight
of your companion
or your very own self.
your words aren’t needed
attendance is required to
honeycomb grief and
make openings for light
spacious
aware
clear

with thanks to Margaret Rooney for the phrase “ the light that perforates”

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Love, memoir, mind, Musings, notes to self, pain, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Truth

time is on fire

time is on fire

note to self

watch out!
here in the declared world
time is on fire
the more you rush the
higher the flames claim

slow your steps
breathe through your
thoughts. the moment you notice,
they’re in the past anyway.
finished.
thought can not be immediate
how shocking to glimpse this

sniff the purple iris
allow its bouquet
redolent of grape to
sweep through you
be one with you
before naming it and
fixing it in place
giving it distinction

step out of time
let the world burn
that is its nature. rest
in the cool of the big field
you can’t touch it
but it’s there—
steadfast and reliable

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
.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, thoughts, Truth

the weight of impotence

the weight of impotence

note to self

stopped watching
TV world news
clicked off NPR
but on the iPad
catch myself roving
through BBC, CNN
and The Guardian
impelled to know

crushed by agony
in our world, I ponder
my own actions,
minuscule movements
of love, one in 7.9 billion
7.9 billion!
impotence weighs me down

and yet,
the eye of the heart flames—
see, over there,
the mare licks her foal
still amniotic wet
long, slow strokes to
ground him into life

with tender fierceness
watch the red-tailed hawk
feed snake to
squawking fluff balls
or the hospice nurse plump
pillows for the failing elder,
offering gentle words

oh please! dear self
faced with global turmoil
even though you
lie awake and quail,
remember—
thought is ineffectual
it holds no other sway

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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, Kashmiri Shaivism, Love, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, thoughts, Truth

memory’s wavering echo*

memory’s wavering echo*

note to self

now is the eternal when—
nod to memory’s wavering
echo echo echo
it merits quiet notice

what happened then
is not now
set it down with care
here is what is happening

rejoin the present
(you cannot leave it anyway)
memories occur now
back then doesn’t exist
not any more

oh yes, that happened
and cannot be denied
it flavored who you are
the backstory to now

stand tall
in this moment
rise up open wide
trust if you can
most of all—love

*phrase from Jon Jackson’s second presentation, from Rilke’s 3rd Letter To A Young Poet (Stephen Mitchell’s translation)

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

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, Kashmiri Shaivism, Love, memoir, mind, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, Truth

mind game – update

Ripple-EffectLast evening, Caverly Morgan and I talked about anxiety and self-love. She is an introspective, thoughtful woman with a Zen monastic background, and works with teens in the Portland, Oregon schools. Check out her website onehouseofpeace.org. She had some suggestions about working with the overactive nighttime mind which I decided to try out, along with the self-reminders I posted yesterday.

When I went to bed and relaxed my body, as usual, the mind fired up. I worked with sensing the feelings that underlie and precipitate thought, and while doing this, noticed just how strident the mind was. With curiosity, I queried, “Why are you so loud?” The answer: “I don’t feel heard.”

One of my companions over the last nine years has been a volume of daily readings called The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. In one entry, he describes how Aboriginal Australian people pay their respects when they come upon each other in the bush. Their greeting is, “I see you.” In this vein of deep love, understanding, and union, I responded to the mind by saying, “I hear you.” I repeated this, with love, a number of times. The mind chatter volume immediately dropped. Now I could rest in being, aware of, but not engaged with, the ongoing commentary.

I went on to sense the feelings beneath the chatter, and then, prior even to feelings, bodily sensations, which I invited to soften, and permeated with knowing presence. At some point, filled with gratitude, I dropped off to sleep.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
image credit

 

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Filed under Daily reminders, insomnia, mind, Musings, thoughts