Today is April Fools Day, and it’s a good occasion for me to consider what a scheming trickster life can be. For instance, it pretends to be solid, like it’s filled with totally separate structures and shapes (called people, animals, things, etc.), when, in truth, it’s a formless, indivisible, ever-shifting blend of newly unfolding moments. Life also continually play-acts at being composed of the past, present, and future, when the truth is that only the endless, ever-shining present is truly real. And finally – perhaps the grandest of all tricks – life is always insisting that I am in charge of ‘my own life’, when, actually, there is only one life, of which I am a part, and this immeasurable, indivisible life knows precisely what to do to take care of itself. All I have to do is go with the amazing, moment-by-moment flow. If evil needs to be conquered, like it always does, life will show me how to assist in the takeover, and if peace is spreading, like it always is, life will lead me to its warmth and luster.
Hey, life! No tricks for me today! At age 80, I’m no fool, and I’m wise to your wiles!
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Saturday, October 2, 2021
Some truths are certain and sure, and today I can live an unshaken life because of those truths. It is beyond question, for instance, that the present moment is the only moment that ever exists. Search where I will, I can never find any moment other than right now, nor any place other than right here. I can think about other times and other places, but it is indisputable that they always exist only in my thoughts, which abide only in the eternal present, right here and now. It is also incontestable that the present moment and everything in it – which is everything – has no boundaries. The present – including me and the desk I’m sitting at and Delycia in the next room and farmers in China and flowers in central Louisiana – goes on and on forever. Right here and right now, forever, there are no boundaries whatsoever, no beginnings or endings. Any boundaries that seem real exist only in my thoughts. This is an unequivocal truth. And so … what all this leads to is the amazing and certain truth that separation and struggle, which seem to exist everywhere I look, actually exist only in my thoughts. In truth, if there are no boundaries anywhere, then there can be no separations, and if there are no separations, there are no struggles or conflicts, and therefore no fears.
These are sure-fire, sovereign truths. If I’m smiling right now, feeling sure and unassailable, that is certainly understandable.
IN CERTAIN, SD, USA
In Certain, South Dakota,
the smallest flowers seem sure of themselves,
and silence is indisputably strong.
unquestionably knows where it's going,
and the gifts of each moment
seem predestined to be great.
In this trustworthy town,
smiles are reliably lovely,
sorrows assuredly bring wisdom,
and each moment
is guaranteed to happen.
Visiting Certain, SD,
is sure to bring certitude and confidence,
and standing still in astonishment occasonally
will be inescapable.
And finally, here’s a slide show of some scenes from our walk this morning in beautiful Elm Grove Cemetery …
WORDS LIKE LIGHT
Saturday, August 28, 2021
This morning, as I write this at 4:26 a.m., I am gratefully receiving, once again, the ultimate truth about life, as well as the ultimate of all gifts.
Filling my thoughts right now is the most basic of all truths – that the present moment is all there ever is. No matter how far or how long I look, I am never able to find any other moment than this one, right here and now. If I say, ‘Of course there’s a past and a future’, that past and future always exists only in my thoughts in this present moment, right here and now. And, amazingly, if the present moment is all there ever is, then it has no boundaries, and therefore is infinite – no beginning and no ending. The most fundamental of all truths is that I live – always – in the completely boundless realm called ‘presence’.
And … in this vast kingdom of presence, I always receive the ultimate gift – eternal newness. Right here and now, as the curtains beside my desk swirl in an early-morning breeze, I am a totally new part of the universe, and so is everything else, including this breeze that’s caressing the curtains in an utterly fresh way. Also – astonishingly – this moment, right here and now, is the best of all moments – the supreme and unsurpassed moment in the entire history of the universe. Of course, the wonderful truth is that every moment is unsurpassed– the absolute epitome of moments, the utmost, the pinnacle and peak. Every single moment.
I’ve used so many italics in these sentences because I’ve wanted to shout out in wonder so many times as I typed the words. Now, at the end, I’m going to stop typing and simply sit in shock and amazement, and realize, again and again, that
I live in paradise, right here and right now!
LAUGHING AND LETTING
“Laughter may well be the ultimate act of letting go and letting be.”
-- Matthew Fox
there was a man who laughed a lot,
which helped whole flocks of worries
fly out of him.
When he was seriously lecturing his students
about some essential principle of sentence punctuation,
laughter sometimes burst from him
like a soft and pleasant explosion,
and all solemnity streamed out of him,
leaving a tranquil mellowness
that allowed his best teaching to begin.
In situations when
he was holding on to his personal safety,
laughter sometimes suddenly shook him,
and thoughts of personal safety
loosened and sailed off
into something like a misty sunrise,
and he swayed with the understanding
that safety is always everywhere.
When he thought he was absolutely right
in an argument,
laughter often softly fluttered up from inside him
and helped him see himself
as simply a star in a sky
full of sextillions of them,
and he smiled and shook hands
with his surprised adversary
because she or he was also a star.