Category Archives: Truth

the voices

mind voicesI still have mind-voices murmuring to me–but not the kind that folks are medicated for. These are not loud, and they don’t order me around. But they are persistent.

I believe we all have voices that talk to us–the specter of our parents and how they raised us, the teacher who shamed us in school. I remember the day that I cried at our neighbor’s home, and Mom busted me, saying, “We don’t take emotions to the neighbors. What will they think? If you want to cry, cry in the privacy of your own room!”

I’m not denying what arises, but not giving it energy, either. So the voices are no longer locked up. What I’ve learned to do is notice, and walk on by. Notice, nod a greeting, and turn my attention elsewhere.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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relative truths

undivided-1Relative truths are like small maps–you see the neighborhood, but not the limitless universe it is part of. We need these little truths. They help us navigate life, prevent us from careening our car into the one in the next lane.

But small maps cannot open us to deep beauty, or dissolve suffering. For that, we need a truth so huge, it is undivided.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013

image credit: Julia Hennock

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private, or not private?

privateWe believe that our thoughts and feelings are private–and are grateful that this is so. Who of us has not had mean, murderous, or lecherous thoughts from time to time? We hold them close, enfolding them in a metaphorical cloak, hiding them away. Perhaps we’re ashamed, or fearful.

But is this privacy really true?

Thoughts, feelings and perceptions to occur to this body-mind, but not the one sitting next to me–that is true.

But the awareness that knows my thoughts, and your thoughts is not private. It is the awareness that knows all experience, and receives that experience without comment or judgment.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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not enough

its_not_enough_buttonMost people live in a world of “not enough.” Not enough love, not enough money, not enough of the right kind of food, not enough time.

How many thoughts do I have a day wanting to change something in my life?

Honestly? Quite a few.

But I believe them less and less–because this moment, this moment right now, is precious, just as it is.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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inquiry, take two

smiling shivaYesterday’s post quickly falls apart under close scrutiny, because in the first half I spoke about the personal, separate “I,” and in the second half, I was referring to the inquiry that brings one to understand there is no personal “I” at all–all there is, is freshly unfolding life.

This is how words continually miss the mark they aim for. And yet, I cannot deny my love affair with them. Words keep me up at night, as I lie in bed honing, mentally wordsmithing, searching for the most subtle,  direct, honest expression I can put forward.

Inquiry is Shiva. It destroys what we believed ourselves to be. What’s left has no ownership–but nothing has been lost. As my friend and teacher Elias Amidon says, “We’re ruined.” Then he can’t help but chuckle.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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inquiry

pointing-fingerMany of us are confused when we first learn about inquiry–the tendency is to turn our inquiry outward, to question about the meaning of life, or our beliefs, in relation to other peoples’. But inquiry really means turning around, and looking at the source of our experience. It takes a while to get the hang of it, because it is completely counter to what society teaches us.

My thirteenth summer, I went to a ranch horse camp in Colorado for two months–delicious fun. Soon after I returned home, my mother called me to her desk, and pointed to the eight letters I had written from camp–a Sunday requirement before we could eat dinner. “Your sentences all begin with ‘I,'” she said. She had circled all the “I”s with dark red pencil. “This is an ugly sign of self-centeredness.”

But how to express the experience I was having at camp without using the personal pronoun? I was dumbfounded–and humiliated–by her judgment.

Fifty years later, when I was introduced to inquiry, the instructions were exactly the opposite from my upbringing. “Look to the source of your experience,” my teacher said. “Stay with yourself. Don’t leave home.”

Really?
Initially this was very uncomfortable. I felt my mother–now dead–shaking her head, and her finger, at me. I smile, thinking of all her social training washing quietly down the drain.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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Ripeness, by Jane Hirshfield

This poem touches me so very deeply that I share it with you.

RipenessRipeness

Ripeness is
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
the pear,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.
To let your body
love this world
that gave itself to your care
in all of its ripeness,
with ease,
and will take itself from you
in equal ripeness and ease,
is also harvest.
And however sharply
you are tested —
this sorrow, that great love —
it too will leave on that clean knife.
–Jane Hirshfield
 from “The October Palace”
credit: the post and photo come from Panhala Poetry

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