Tag Archives: gratitude

start right here

laughing horse and girlStart right here, fresh. As often as you can. This moment is unique, unrepeatable, and gone in a flash. Enjoy it now! We could be dead tomorrow.

Your mind will grab you away–I guarantee it; that’s the mind’s nature. Not to worry. Each time you notice, simply come back here where life actually happens.

The texture of the steering wheel while driving, the pressure of my foot on the pedals. When I’m swinging, the breeze whishing from the back of my head past my ears to the front when I swing backward; the air kissing my face and my ears as I swing backward. I surely do not want to miss those sensations.

Anything in the imagined future can wait. All that happened in the past is gone. This precious moment–quiet house, computer hum, after midnight, ears ringing, keyboard clicking, eyelids heavy.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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effort and effortlessness, take three

Maggie and me restingThis is a time–purchasing and remodeling a home–that would seem to require a lot of effort. Certainly there are lists to write and check off, there are many details to keep track of, and apparent decisions to be made. Not to mention eventually packing…

But I’ve been discovering if I remain here, right now, there is only one task to attend at a time. The mind wants to whine about the hundreds of tasks to follow, but that’s its job; I don’t have to listen. All that is required is that I attend now. And now.

I’m perfectly capable of falling into effort and overwhelm. But lately–as soon as I notice the strain–I remember that effort and overwhelm are not required. They are layered over the simplicity of the moment. One clean breath, and I’m back here.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013


Filed under Advaita, Daily reminders, Non-duality


touchstone 1A touchstone is something that reminds me that I’m always home. It might be the particular shape of a rock, blossom’s scent, feeling-response, my husband’s touch, a chance comment, or an animal’s glance–and a recognition spontaneously opens.

Each touchstone–always an unexpected gift–brings a flush of gratitude, and often I find my hand makes its way to my heart. Apparent time and space fall away.


© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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unbridled joy

chalk art streamI’m staying at Mercy Center, a Catholic retreat in Burlingame, California. They are very ecumenical and host all kinds of groups. I just sat for three hours in a spacious room filled with like-hearted apparent others.

Rupert, in his own pristine and precise style, led us directly into the heart of direct experience.

We dissected the direct experience of thoughts, objects, time, and space to discover at the root only knowing–which has no objective qualities–and is hence both undeniable and unfindable.

I am filled with unbridled joy that I get to rest in this field of love, with radiance shining everywhere.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: chalk art–drawn on a FLAT SURFACE. That’s how real illusion can seem.

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wild dark sunsetWe can see nothing on this planet without the sun’s radiance. The sun announces itself* first, before seeing happens–whether we notice that or not. It is the same with consciousness–no thought or object or perception can arise without the radiance of consciousness preceding them.

Today, we spent the day with Rupert Spira. He gave a short talk as an introduction to those who have not been with him before, and then answered questions with endless patience for the other four-and-a-half hours. His talk, his answers, his presence with each person shone with the radiance that pours through him with seeming unending abundance. He just arrived from England, so must be experiencing some jet-lag. There was no sign of it at all…

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit thanks to Jeffrey Foltice

*thanks to Rupert for the expression “announces itself”

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is it a barren nothing?

black eye galaxyIs it a barren nothing? So fun when deconstruction has to begin with the first five words: “It” is not an it, but we call it that in order to use words at all. Otherwise, it would be necessary to remain silent.

Both my husband and I went through a period we now call “the bardos.” In 2008, meaning in our lives fell away, and life felt very flat. Barren. Even unappealing. I no longer understood how to live, and was afraid that life would be boring, or uninteresting.

Ha! Not the case, and the bardos turned out to be a phase that lasted a couple of months. Life’s vitality returned–on its own terms! Now life lives–and it’s engaging, challenging–all that it was before, except it has no meaning, and I’m absolutely clear that I have no control at all. It’s all one big life unfolding–beautifully, horribly, confusingly, touchingly.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: NASA’s incredible archives

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Filed under Advaita, Dzogchen, Musings, Non-duality, Silence, spirituality, stories, thoughts, Truth

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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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
photo credit

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Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, simple pleasures, spirituality, stories, thoughts, Truth

Ripeness, by Jane Hirshfield

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


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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no more escaping

no more escapingMost peoples’ waking hours are spent trying to escape what is going on right now.

She’s impatient with her husband’s snoring; he wishes she wouldn’t leave water on the bathroom floor. We’re irritated because the boss walks by too often to check what’s on our monitor, or the weather is too chilly, or too humid. Or perhaps we are simply wishing that our vacation would begin, that our back would stop hurting, or that our bellies were flatter.

If we’re human, we’ve wished for life to be other than it is. Sometimes our desire to escape what is happening is subtle, but often, it is blatantly obvious.

Notice that what is happening right now is the unstoppable birthing of life, and because it is here–already–it is not escapeable. Wishing it were otherwise is the main way that we torture ourselves. Perhaps what is opening in our lives is painful. Welcome it–because it is what it is–and if the pull is there to make change, and change is possible, do so.

I remember right after my father collapsed and died of a massive heart attack, I had the urgent desire for time to stop–to somehow honor the moment, and give us a breath to adjust. But the next moment descended, and the next… and soon it had been two days since his death, and then two weeks, two years, two decades. A vast coming and going, this journey, all within the spacious aliveness of awaring.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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