Autumn Reflections

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Deep in the mountains–

                                       falling into my heart

            autumn streams

~Shinkei

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More than last year

                                            it is lonely–

the autumn dusk

~Buson

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Sweeping

and then not sweeping

the fallen leaves

~Taigi    

I Will Never Die

undercurrents

Do I have the courage

To allow the undercurrents

Of pain to rise in my life

There is healing and then…

Something simple like 

The sound of a piano

Breaks me wide open

A stream of pain…

Running waters

Yet these are waters 

That can gurgle

With the mirth 

Of laughter

water death

But I am haunted by fear

Fear that these waters

Will begin to rage 

Flooding my existence

That I will be surged under

To my death

pines cradle the sky

Then I look to see 

How the tips of swaying pine

Cradle the sky with love

I remember how deep their roots 

Reach into the Earth

How she holds them to her bosom

I wonder…

I wonder whether this is my pain

Or the pain of my ancestors

I can still be grounded

Even when the waters are rising

I can allow this fear

To have as much space as it needs

To breathe

naked before my own eyes

I find that I can allow the pain 

To mingle with mistakes I have made

Over the years…

I can allow the pain to flow freely

I can unlearn behaviors that bring despair

I can let the underclothes of judgement fall

Once again I am naked and vulnerable

Before my own eyes

leaflets and buds

Again I breathe

This time the running waters

Aren’t undercurrents of pain

But a cleansing rain

Cascading down upon 

The leaflets and buds of my heart

Nurturing the spring within me

That will awaken new life

Delicate and tender

I am flower fresh

jutting granite

Inwardly, jutting granite speaks

Of the solid strength

That we all bear together

In state of Oneness

Running waters grow still

As they collect in a natural basin

Of Love…

Reflecting what is true

Until the sun and moon

Sing of boundless freedoms

Ever expanding…

through the clouds

I know that I have arrived home

I have my place in the cosmos

I will never die…

I will return again and again

To kiss the earth through the clouds.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photos (in order of appearence) by:

Adam Taylor,

https://fstoppers.com/nature/photos-adam-taylor-captures-captivating-landscapes-5925

Brooke Shaden,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/brookeshaden/4916539764/

Luke Gram,

http://man-and-camera.com

Greta Tu,

http://www.gretatu.com/about-me

Droplets from Tumblr:

http://mariplopis.tumblr.com/post/29797090845

Alan Howell,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashcroft8/3128393783/

Silouhette of girl on swing from Tumblr:

http://valscrapbook.tumblr.com/post/23284163399

***this poem was inspired by a dear friend on Twitter @stillnesspeakin

Be Relentless

Drops

Water cleanses,

Gathers in the earth.

Tender. Invasive. Subtle.

Emerges a shining river.

When small, it is weak.

When great, it tumbles mountains.

Rendering great cliffs

Sand.

drops

Classic wisdom says there is nothing weaker than water, yet when united, it can become a titanic force. Like a tidal wave. Or a river that cuts through gorges. This is called yielding overcoming the hard.

Let’s look at it another way. Water does not overcome because it yields. It overcomes because it is relentless. It perseveres and does not give up. It is constant. Rock can block water. Rock can even hold water in a lake for thousands of years. Why can’t the yielding overcome the hard then? Because it cannot move. It cannot work its magic of being relentless.

Just as water must be able to express its true nature in a relentless way, so too must we simultaneously and relentlessly express our true natures if we are to be successful in life. Otherwise, we will find ourselves hemmed in by the hard walls of reality, and we will never be able to break through.

But how we we acquire such perseverance? We start small. As drops.

~Deng Ming-Dao~

*photo from: http://adropofpleasure.tumblr.com/post/19445857748/there-are-no-facts-only

Impermanence

Image

When mountains

Crumble down from tremors

Within the core.

When waves rise

Plunging faith to the depths

As hope gasps for breath.

Eruptions of perception

And awareness emerge

Into an inextricable unit.

Creation of experience,

The pearl of great price

As victory’s dust settles.

When heart and mind trust,

Anything is possible,

Impermanence,

within Divine Source.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2007

Photo found on

 http://cocoaaaaa.tumblr.com/post/32011875894/b

 

The Peal of Laughter

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The mountains were laughing. The kind of laughter that rolled off the shoulders of Earth, herself. Her face faint with a slight rosy blush as she slipped on her dusty lavender nightgown touching down with a dark hem of embroidered tree lace…yes the mountains were laughing from sheer bliss.

Chidananda (sung by Deva Premal from her album Love is Space)

Lyrics (translated): I am eternal bliss, I am shiva.

I am not the mind, intellect, ego nor consciousness.

I am not the ears, tongue, nose or eyes.

I am not space, earth, fire or wind.

I am eternal bliss, I am shiva.

I am not breathing power, the seven metals,

nor the five coverings.

I am not speech, hands, feet nor rectum

I am eternal bliss, I am shiva.

I am not envy, anger, nor craving nor attraction.

I am not arrogance nor pride nor religion, wealth, 

lust nor liberation.

I am eternal bliss, I am shiva.

I am not virtue, sin, joy nor sorrow

I am not mantra, pilgrimage,

offering, nor ritual fire.

I am not food, the eating, nor the one who eats.

I am eternal bliss, I am shiva.

I am beyond concepts, beyond form.

I am all-pervading in all the senses.

I see equality in all things, I am neither liberated 

nor in bondage.

I am eternal bliss, I am shiva.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayxmdd35tqk