Category Archives: spirituality



We’re made local for a time
each of us a point of view—
on this sphere
of billions
and growing

No number’s large enough
to count all manifest things
A cosmos full
of jewels in Indra’s net
opal garnet tourmaline
Each reflecting the whole

Caught by panic
when I forget
I feel diminished
on this fevered slab of stardust
we call earth

then remind myself—
being local
feels intimate
but it’s not personal
Life is birthing itself
right out of itself
again again and again


© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2020



Filed under Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Poetry, spirituality

checking the news

Here’s a form of perseverating–I can’t stop the urge to check the news for fire and air quality updates. Even during retreat meetings I’m aware of the pull, which I resist. My phone is turned off during our gatherings.

Of course, when I do check at meal times, it’s frustrating because there is no new news, only rehashing what we already know, although air quality shifts rapidly when wind direction changes.

My job: remain centered here and now, notice when the mind wants to leap into a nonexistent future. There’s no way to know, and “what might happen” isn’t a healthy place for me to spend time.

I’m grateful to be with 170 like-hearted souls, exploring the margins of human understanding and noticing our direct experience.


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Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, memoir, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, spirituality

the implications

When pointing out is kind, patient–and skillful–and, if the student* is mature, understanding one’s true nature can be readily seen. Many people think this is the “goal,” the end of story. That’s a mistaken belief.

As Rupert says, upon seeing our true nature, we begin living the implications of this understanding—an unending revelation. For some people this is a gentle, gradual process, for others, a hellava’ ride.

There is no “I’ve arrived” or “I’m done.” The tap root of the “i” has been severed; the breakdown of old patterns and tendencies unfolds in its own (put favorite expletive here) good time. This unraveling cannot be hurried, but it can be attended to. Willingness helps, resistance does not. The process deserves respect and certainly demands courage.

*I have never heard Rupert refer to retreatants as “students.” He calls us friends.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
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our mother tongue

Last evening before dinner, I sat in a common area and spoke with a man attending his first retreat with Rupert Spira. During an abrupt transition in this retreatant’s life, he found a YouTube clip of  Rupert teaching. He said, “I didn’t understand all of what Rupert spoke about that first time I listened to him, but I did recognize it as my mother tongue.”

Yes! Tears filled my eyes.

If you, like I, explored countless pathways and discovered that none of them have fulfilled what your heart yearns for, when you are introduced to this understanding something may flutter in–or batter–your chest: an apprehending, a knowing, an avowal even, that you have come home. This is the beginning of a lifelong integration.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2017
image credit: By Mokkie – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0


Filed under Advaita, Awakening, Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, nonduality, Rupert Spira, spirituality

empty-minded and open-hearted

doorwayEmpty-minded and open-hearted–what a lovely way to live.

After harvesting, fields are planted with crops intended for nourishing the ground. The vegetation is turned under and replenishes the soil. The field lies fallow and rests until replanting.

When the mental task at hand is done, we can allow the mind to lie fallow while we rest in the metaphorical heart–in our native state of being.

Leave the mind alone until it is needed for a fresh batch of practical matters. Its allure is very, very strong. I remind myself: leave it alone.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
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NoMindI used to live in the mind–there I worried, imagined, invented, played, and explored.

I went to the mind because that is what I was taught as a child: my parents revered the mind’s capacity and honored little else, including the heart, where I natively lived. Dutifully–in order to earn parental acceptance–I closed off my feeling capacity and took up residence in thought. As a survival tactic, it worked, although I didn’t grasp the price. Mind is so very, very small, and  always lags behind the present–the placeless place of reality.

I entered my sixth decade before seeing that I spent 99% of my time in the mind world. It took time to understand the addictive allure and, in loosening its shackles, to uncover delicious, ever-present abidance in that which is. Here and now. No mind required.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
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Filed under Daily reminders, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality

deer consciousness

Velvet_Buck_1The buck with four-point velvet antlers paused to peer in the window. His limpid eyes met mine; I met myself in his gaze.

Pure awaring.

For long moments, union.

Then, cautious and watchful, ever aware of his surroundings, he moved on.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit

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it all shines with awareness

birch losing its skinThe discarded carton by the side of the road; my irritable son; the pine cone-laden trees gusting in the wind; the car gunning ahead as two lanes squeeze to one; birches losing their skin–all of it radiates bright, clear awareness.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit: Barnstorming blog

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slantwise seeing

bridge and bright skyI only dropped acid once, over forty years ago. I spent the clear August afternoon in a lush Connecticut garden, breathing in the piquant scent of ripe tomatoes, and eating sun-warmed raspberries from the vine without the use of hands. The brilliant sunlight seemed dim in the face of the unmanifest light–Nur in Arabic–that clearly birthed the plants, the space, my body. From this unseen, bright capacity erupted everpresent, unnameable isness.

When the drug wore off, so did the slantwise seeing. That day echoed earlier childhood experiences, and the remembering and longing ignited a potent search.

Thirty-six years later, I finally admitted to a precious and trustworthy friend that my quest had failed. I had not found the peace or the clarity I sought. In his wisdom and generosity, he pointed me home. That was seven years ago in August. I took his suggestions to heart. Over time, beliefs fell away. Patterns strained, screamed, and eventually crumbled. My understanding of love expanded. On the outside, much appears the same. On the inside, life as I knew it upended. Searching screeched to a halt. Longing dissolved.

Today, no longer slantwise, the light returned.

Although I still hang out with pointing friends, direct experience is the only reliable touchstone.

It does not fail.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014
photo credit, with gratitude: Barnstorming blog

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the gift

GiftTruth is what I have wanted most in my life; that desire has been the driving, propelling force.

Convinced I lacked something, and in the only way our culture directs us, I looked for that something outside of myself–for the missing key I knew was needed for fulfillment.

Some gifts are so small, so simple, and yet have huge ramifications. The first gift came as a quote from Al-Bistami, a Sufi who lived 1200 years ago. It is reported that he said, “This thing we tell of can never be found by seeking, yet only seekers find it.” These words haunted me. I sensed truth, but couldn’t figure out what he meant. The words lived inside in a wordless place, like a little burning coal, and served as a constant irritant. When the meaning finally opened–that seeking is the problem, not the solution, but the drive to seek is generally required–I was ready for the experience of unlearning all that I believed to be true.

Welcome to the non-dual teaching. This is referred to as the direct path, and described as radical. I might add a cautionary beware–if you open fully to this teaching, life as you understand it will change in unexpected and even dramatic ways.

None of the beliefs I held before remain. The whole crazy, knotted mess simply fell apart. This has been the biggest gift of all.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: the gift

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