Category Archives: Non-duality

predicament of being alive

predicament of being alive

note to self

it isn’t easy on planet earth.
losses carve our hearts
staggering low-back pain
your family business fails
a parent’s sudden demise
empty craters of loss

a monarch flickers by
the mockingbird’s serenade
a dog’s cold nose in greeting
jasmine scents the air
chocolate melts on your tongue
the scent of a baby’s neck
enough joy to keep us here. just.

the predicament is this:
how to welcome paradox:
are you vast enough?
open? willing?
can your heart spread wide?
that is what is asked for
the courage to breathe it all

thank you to Margaret Rooney for the title phrase

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, dogs, feelings, loss, Love, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, Truth

a Pantoum on grief

The Pantoum is a poetry form originating in 15th century Malaysia.
It uses a pattern of repetition; the second and fourth lines serve as
the first and third lines of the stanza that follows.

grief

a pantoum in practice
(with thanks to Emily Dickinson for “dwindled dawn”)

every grief is a true grief
a different flavor of love
if we do not love
we cannot grieve

a different flavor of love
without heart opening
we cannot grieve
what if we welcome it?

without heart opening
life is a dwindled dawn
what if we welcome it?
sorrow and joy, one song

life is a dwindled dawn
strangled without love
sorrow and joy, one song
we’re asked to hold them both

we cannot grieve
if we do not 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.

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Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, loss, Love, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality, Surrender, 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

off my wrist they sailed

off my wrist they sailed

note to self 1993

olive wood, worn pecan and
buttery from my touch—
fingering love, gratitude, peace,
and prayers upon prayers upon prayers

ninety-nine beads, each an aroma
of the beloved, plus two carved ones
that divide each thirty-three
a gift from my Sufi teacher—
bestowed from his murshid to him
the indelible chain of hearts

three wraps around my wrist,
always there. for thirty years,
I’d passed the tasbih beads
through thumb and forefinger
marking a sacred word or phrase

precious, old friends.

on a ten-day island retreat
I found a cockle 500 feet
above the sea—a shell, up here?
Did the land upheave
three-hundred-million years ago?

my intention: throw it back
from whence it came,
return it home to the Maui gods.
I made the cast and the shell took flight

as though in pursuit,
my treasured beads sailed off my wrist
aghast, I watched them fly
a long, asymmetrical
arc toward the woods

a chilla, a test, so very clear.
suspended, frozen,
my heart lurched at the loss
they’re well and truly gone

let them go!

did I pinpoint their likely
grave in forest duff, spongy
and deep? oh, I searched!
frantic, desperate, digging, pawing
they must be there.
why had I not replaced aging string?

never found.

cross-legged on my bed,
sick at heart that I hadn’t
released my claim on them
I pondered the test I’d failed—
how will it come again?

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, chilla/test, Daily reminders, loss, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Surrender, Truth

this, too

this, too

note to self

so tired.
tired of infighting and
hatred. tired of lies.
what is this human
aversion to truth?
we’ve slipped
off the diving board.
let’s cherish the bowl
of our fragile home.
wholeness is no longer
possible in the manifested
world. Kintsugi calls.
we can mend ourselves
with rivulets of goodness.
it takes more juice
to frown than smile.
choose gold.
gold lacquer and rice flour,
a delicate harmony.

start.
sit in silence.
parse what is.
right now. all of it. the lush
air at sunup’s first blush.
hawk nabs gopher.
gunfire.
parents beg.
even DNA required.
weeping, they
comfort each other.
this, too.
with a slender brush,
smooth liquid gold
into the seams.
kindness.
peace.
care.
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.

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Filed under Awakening, children, Daily reminders, death, feelings, insomnia, Love, memoir, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, pain, Poetry, Silence, spirituality, suffering, Truth

stone in a backpack of boulders

stone in a backpack of boulders

note to self

the backpack load
unbearable unwearable
too heavy
digs ruts in our shoulders
yet we must heft it
and now,
another stone
a huge one

a school we never heard of
filled with young children who
have lost buddies they played tag,
hung upside down on bars
and now are forever gone
they’ll face enduring night frights
stained with crimson—
how will they recover?

when will we ken
the fatal disease of
separation? without
the resonance of interbeing,
how linked we are,
every one of us, no exceptions,
this will happen again
and again and again

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.

4 Comments

Filed under Awakening, children, Daily reminders, death, feelings, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, pain, parenting, Poetry, spirituality, suffering, Truth

collateral beauty

collateral beauty

note to self

I look for it everywhere
only way to stay sane
today, it’s apricot aloe vera
the pompous blooms
dot our garden
my friend the squirrel
sleek and springtime fat
keeps me company
dances on the fence
while I write
jasmine! saturating the air
eager children on tiptoe
search books in the
little free library my
husband built
it matches our home
what a playful surprise
it takes daily tending
remove extra books
sometimes it’s stuffed to
overflow
fill empty slots
the neatening grounds me
in collateral beauty
delight erupts
take note
drink it in
let it nourish you

share

thank you Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for the title

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.

4 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, feelings, Love, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, notes to self, Poetry, simple pleasures, spirituality, treasure, 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

broken and beautiful

broken and beautiful

note to self

oh my God, we are
broken and beautiful
every one of us
admit it or not
“we” includes
bright California poppies
filled with sunshine,
thief in broad daylight,
a knee-shaking kiss,
the rooster shagging
hens in the field,
incessant barking dog

how can it be like this?

how can it not?

our world is
kintsugi, broken—
an earthy bowl
lovingly repaired with
rivers of gold
again
again
and again

thank you Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for the title.

4 Comments

Filed under Awakening, Daily reminders, Elias Amidon, feelings, Kashmiri Shaivism, Love, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, Rupert Spira, spirituality, suffering, treasure, Truth

koan

koan

note to self
“This that we speak of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.”—Al Bastami, born 804 CE

it haunted
lived inside my chest—
for two years I
leaned into it
reckoned with
the felt meaning
I knew it spoke truth
but couldn’t tell you why
a patient excavation,
I breathed it
pondered,
but not with thought
lobbed it into
the big field
light splintered
the kernel inside
it opened
tight bud to flower
released its perfume,
the aching aroma of 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.

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