Yellow Crystal Seeds

Today – July 26 – is New Year’s Day in the Mayan calendar.   The coming year is designated as a Yellow Crystal Seed year.   Whether or not you choose to pay this any mind is up to you.

I like the symbolism and the idea that the next twelve months are a fertile time in which to plant seeds for future growth.

Apparent November 8, 2016 – the day of the US election was a Yellow Crystal Seed Day.   This would appear to indicate that what grows from yellow crystal seeds depends entirely on what kind of seeds are planted.

Luckily, on a personal level, we don’t need to hold a nation wide election to determine what  seeds we plant as individuals over the coming months.   In this matter we have complete free will.  What seeds we plant, nurture and let grow is up to us.

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prompt:  Colleen Chesebro poetry challenge – heat, confuse

 

Time is relative

My response to this week’s “On The Road” prompt – https://ontheroadprompts.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/following-the-heart/

Grey winter weather closes in.  Memories of the road and journeys taken fade to shadows.  The fireside, music playing, a good book and the view of misty gums beyond the room is enough for now.

Yet, even as I sit, the book falls to my lap as the music carries me away. Through the mist I catch glimpses of the road out – another journey yet to be taken.

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A moment

Here’s my response to my latest On the Road prompt here  .  ___________________________________________________________________________________

A hipster girl walked past me in a busy shop, a mobile phone pressed to her ear. “That’s so hectic,” she said.

Good word for it, I thought.   It is so hectic down here right now.  The place is overrun with international tourists and kids on school holidays.  Parking has become a competitive sport.

Part of the hectic feeling comes from my sense that time is going faster than usual.   How can be July already?  Another factor is the weird sense of unreality that comes over me sometimes.   I feel like I am in glitch and that I am out phase with other people.  Conversations seem to happen across a gulf of miscommunication and missed connections. “Have a nice day,” people say in voices that sound robotic, pre-programmed.  I wonder if I have strayed into The Truman Show.

Yesterday it all got too much and I drove to a bush reserve out of town.  Avoiding the tourists I parked away from the main picnic areas and walked back into the hills.

There I entered another world.  I followed narrow animal trails of damp, dark earth into a clearing of bright green winter grasses growing low to the ground.  Trees protected me on all sides.   Wattle was already bursting into flower on some.   The sight of it took me by surprise.   Somehow in town I’d overlooked these markers of the year’s passage.   Here the natural order of things reasserted itself.

I stood stock still and let the sounds and colours of nature wash over me – through me.   The black trunks of the wattle trees around me became my temple walls.   A soft wind blew through the tree tops.    Birds twittered.   Frogs croaked in the wetlands. Something shifted in my heart and mind.   For the first time in days I felt real, alive.

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The Call of the Road

I think it was in the 90s when people used the term serial monogamy to talk about someone who had a series of long term sexual relationships.   I’m not discussing my sex life here.   Rather I am using a similar term to describe my pattern of settling in an area for a few years then wandering around for a while before settling in a completely different local and doing the same thing – serial homemaking perhaps or serial occupancy.

I’ve been in this area for 5 years now.   In that time I’ve rented four different places.  This place I’m in now works the best of any of them. I’m comfortable here and am even making plans for next year.  Always though I hear the road calling.
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My response to this week’s “On the Road” Prompt https://ontheroadprompts.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/the-call-of-the-road/ 

“As we turn every corner of the Narrow Road to the Deep North, we sometimes stand up unawares to applaud and we sometimes fall flat to resist the agonizing pains we feel in the depths of our hearts.  There are also times when we feel like taking to the roads ourselves, seizing the raincoat lying near by, or times when we feel like sitting down till our legs take root, enjoying the scene we picture before our eyes.”  –  Soruyo

 

 

 

An Irish Blessing

Here’s my own response to the first prompt on my new haiku/haibun prompt site “On the Road”  Prompt – ‘May the Road rise up to meet you’

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When I was in Ireland I followed a winding road that led me to the Hill of Tara.  There I sat upon a fairy mound.   All around me the light danced and distances disappeared in a gold haze.   It seemed to me then that I heard the wild, jubilant refrain of the Tuatha de Danann partying in the hollow Earth beneath me.

In my mind’s eye I saw these mythical folk were proud and tall   Their faces had an elvish cast and raiment of silver and ice blue hung around their bodies in shimmering veils. As they appeared before me I felt an energy and power far outside of my normal frames of reference.

Sometimes, even now, I feel the presence of these beings.   They whisper to me in my dreams.   All is not as it seems, they say.   The time of the prophecies draws near.*

Magical light
holding me spellbound
– anything’s possible

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*Irish legends say that the Tuatha de Danann are magical beings that inhabited Ireland before the invasion of the Milesian people (the Celts).    At that time the Tuatha de Danann retired to the inner realms within the Earth.  Many prophecies say they will return at a time of great strife to engage with the forces of darkness in one last battle – a battle they will win.

In Jungian psychology the supernatural Tuatha de Danann can be seen as representing the elements in our psyche or unconscious imagination that are currently in hiding because our relationship to the magic of life is damaged.  Following on that idea perhaps it is now when climate changes threatens our very existence that those elements are beginning to emerge from deep within us.  One of the great battles of our age is the battle with the forces of greed, power and the heedless destruction of our planet.  It is battle that takes place both in the outer world and in our own hearts and minds.

While my rational mind feels an affinity with those ideas there is a part of me that holds the feeling that one great day the magical beings in hiding across the Earth will walk among us openly.   In my imagination the Tuatha de Danann lead the way.

Detonated blogs

I detonated my old blog ‘Art and Life’ this morning.  https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/detonate/

The subscription was due in a few days and I didn’t want to renew it.    I’d left posts saying I’d moved blogging addresses but people still kept following.   The easiest thing to do was click the Delete button and detonate the whole thing.   It’s gone now.  Just like that.   Years of work, aspirations, ambitions, musings, whining  and creative outpourings gone in a moment.   It was amazing how much energy I had tied up in that blog. Deleting it was liberating.

As for this one – well I’m not sure it’s going anywhere, or at least, not going where I intended it go.   My last post was about the spiritual process of ascension.   I’ve been writing about this process obliquely for at least 5 years but apparently no one noticed.   When I wrote about it directly the author of the challenge prompt expressed amazement that I was even thinking about this subject.   Not sure where that leaves me – am I that bad a writer that no one noticed I was interested in spiritual growth?    While I ponder that and wonder whether in fact I should detonate all my blogs and go and meditate in cave I will post some haiga and haibun I have written that go some way towards mapping the spiritual journey I’ve been taking.

No one says much to me on this blog.  Half the time I feel like I’m pissing in the wind.   That detonation button and the inner cave are looking very appealing.

 

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inner peaceliminality

Some years ago I studied Indian Philosophy at university. It was a hard subject and I can’t remember much about it except for a strange debate we studied.

Sometime around 200BC a Hindu and Buddhist had an argument about the nature of the eternal soul. The Hindu said that the eternal soul is fixed and continues unchanged through time and space. The same soul stays with an individual through every incarnation. The Buddhist argued otherwise.

‘No,’ he said. ‘The soul changes and evolves as we do. Its nature is not fixed.’ He argued the soul is fluid and changes from moment to moment. What we do and think in the present impacts our soul. In every moment we are faced with a choice – to stay fixed in our current state or to grow and evolve.

In my essays I took the side of Buddhist. The lecturer favoured the Hindu point of view. ‘If my soul changes from moment to moment,’ she giggled, ‘I would wake up the morning as someone else. My husband wouldn’t recognise me.’ I found it hard to discuss the matter with her. She was convinced her view was the right one.

I find many people have hostile reactions to the idea. Maybe it is that, in this changing world, they like to think they are solid and dependable, fixed and reliable.

To me it seems they misunderstand what the Buddhist was getting at. I find it liberating to think that in every moment there is the possibility of redemption – of forward movement – of personal evolution.

Nothing is fixed

forever set in concrete

– healing can occur

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One day I asked Google a question. ‘What was before the Big Bang?’

I received a number of answers. The one that intrigued me the most was the idea that the big bang emerged from a singularity. This singularity was the last remaining trace of a previous universe. The previous universe had gone through a period of expansion after being created in its own big bang, After eons of time the energy released during this big bang dissipated and the universe that preceded ours began to implode back in upon itself.

Eventually all that remained was a singularity.
This singularity exploded in a big bang which released the energy from which our universe is created. In time this energy will expend itself and our universe will implode. Eventually it too will become a singularity that will, at some point, explode in another big bang. A new universe will come into being.

This cyclic procession of universes reminds me of a story from Hindu cosmology. When the God Brahma breathes out, all life comes into being. When Brahma breathes in all life ceases to be until the God breathes out again. All existence is Brahma breathing in and out, in and out, in vast cycles of time and no time.

Infinite multiverses

expanding and imploding

– no ending in sight.

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In my early 20s I took a lot of acid (LSD) – a lot. My last acid trip took place in a National Park outside of Sydney. I had gone there with some friends to drop acid. While my friends tripped to some place where they giggled and cuddled, I went to a space where the world was made of paper – a place where the environment around me looked a painted backdrop and my friends looked like cartoon characters. I felt like the whole world could just blow away in the wind. It was a freaky feeling but what was even worse was the feeling that there was nothing, absolutely nothing behind the backdrop. Behind this world there was nothing but a vast empty void.

I tried to explain my freak-out to my friends but they were too busy laughing and cuddling to get it, ‘Of course the world is real. You’re just tripping out. You’ll come down,’ they said.

Back in Sydney the next day my friends straightened up and got on with life. I came down enough to know everyone else was no longer tripping but I also knew I still was. I stared out at Sydney harbour willing the paper yachts to become real. It was three days before they did.

The experience affected me deeply and I sought to understand it. Attracted to the Indian idea that all life is an illusion I began reading books on Hinduism and Buddhism. What I wanted to know was– if life is all illusion – what lies behind it? Is there really just nothing – an empty void?

‘Everything that arises and ends as a result of cause and effect is like the landscapes we see in dreams, the illusions, created by a magician, the bubbles on a fast-moving stream, and the unreality of shadows.’ from The Diamond Sutra

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heart haiku

lightness

Whether or not this blog gets detonated remains to be seen.   If it goes on  – it will take a new direction – a more integrated one where I express myself more openly.    A while ago I put a lot of my writing about spiritual matters onto a separate blog.  I then decided I needed to make that blog private while I worked through some deep blocks that were affecting my spiritual growth.   Now I’m thinking I either bring the content on that blog into this one or I detonate both of them and concentrate on my inner growth in private.

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The Narrow Road Within

With strange synchronicity I see that today’s prompt word on WordPress is ‘panicked’.   https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/panicked/  A feeling of panic was precisely what came over me when I attempted to write a blog post this morning.  I have been reading about Basho, haiku and haibun.   These are all complex subjects and I am still decoding what I’ve read.  I want to write a series of blog posts about it all but when I try to do so I am engulfed in panic.   How can I do the subjects justice?   Will I get it right?   How can I dare to offer an opinion when there are so many experts out there?

writing

Writing helps me clarify my thoughts.   Blogging gives me a way of communicating with others and, hopefully, opening up a dialogue.  I’ll let my fear of getting it wrong take a back seat and plunge in.  I’ll begin with some thoughts on haibun writing.   (Haibun is a Japanese form of travelogue that was developed by the poet Basho (1644-1694).    Basho’s classic haibun is titled “Oku no hosomichi” –  (translation) The Narrow Road to the Deep Northor The Narrow Road to the Interior. https://terebess.hu/english/haiku/basho2.html )

In an article by Sam Hamill*  – http://www.kyotojournal.org/the-journal/fiction-poetry/basho%E2%80%99s-ghost/ – I read an explanation of ‘Oku no hosomichi’ –

“Oku means “within” and “farthest” or “dead-end” place; hosomichi means “path” or “narrow road.” The no indicates a possessive. Oku no hosomichi: the narrow road within; the narrow way through the interior.”

Hamill says of The Narrow Road –  “Basho … is not looking outside himself; rather he is seeking that which is most clearly meaningful within, and locating the “meaning” within the context of juxtaposed images, images which are interpenetrating and interdependent. The images arise naturally out of the kokoro or shin — the heart/soul/mind.”

and

“his journey is a pilgrimage;   it is a journey into the interior of the self as much as a travelogue; it is a vision quest which concludes insight.  The means is the end, just as it is the beginning.   Each step is the first step, each step the last.”

The Buddhist concept of the interconnection of all things resonates in Basho’s haibun and haiku.    It is in nature that Basho experiences the intense interpenetration of heart, mind and soul.   While the obvious place to take this blog post now is into a complex dissertation on the ways and means Basho employed in writing both haiku and haibun  I seem to have gone so deeply interior words are eluding me.

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Hopefully I will find the words to express my thoughts in further blog posts but for now I shall ponder the complexities of kokoro in silence.  Each step is the first, each step is last…

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*Sam Hamil is an American writer, peace activist and  Zen Buddhist.