Resting on the Present

comments 42
Reflections

It is hard to grasp the mind’s power.

In this regard I would say I have largely attempted to judge the mountain based on how fast it can run.  It rather misses the point.  But lately it feels like there is power in the quiet.  The patterns of fence mending and worthy-making want back in from time to time, but somehow I’ve unsheathed the knife that cuts through the web.  It’s kind of fun.

I should really blankety-blank blank.  Hiiiiiiii-ya!

If I was a better such or such, my life would be more like that one.  BANG!

(Blows the smoke off the barrel, twirls the piece on the end of a finger and slides it into the holster in one fluid movement.)

The things that provide for me now are eroding and one day will be gone.  It’s never too early to prepare for a potential disaster.  Ooaooww-fuh-fuh-HA!

Eventually we all find the way to breath into something deeper.  It’s kind of like breaking a habit.

My assessment is that in order to know life without fear, we must be willing to be ambushed by glory.  It’s weird to be crossing the desert and allow oneself to be offered a recliner, a foot stool, a potted shade tree and a glass bottle of sparkling water.  It doesn’t compute.  By rights, we should be high-tailing it.  Peace doesn’t feel right when the smoke of the battlefield is still massing in the sky.  But I think that’s precisely when we should settle into that quiet.

We don’t really grasp the mind’s power, and we have no clue how deeply we are loved.  These are intensely related phenomena I think.  It’s one thing to accept we are loved by God, or Jesus, or Hafiz, or our partner, or our best friend, or Love itself.  It’s quite another to discover we are loved by every single person we encounter.  It would take a certain madness to go there.  Oh.  Shit.  We’re not prepared for it.  Say what!?  It’s easier to let the past prove otherwise.  Then we can go back to taking pot shots at reality.

But there’s a physics to Love that insists upon the fact that we are loved by every being.  Otherwise Love would be a conjecture subject to proof, a contingent reality, and I’m convinced that cannot be.  If you’ve felt Love even once, you may agree the notion that it is a contingent reality does not seem at all rational.  Love is not built up out of particles; nor is Love the integral of particular thoughts over time.  Love is not a commodity.  The heart of the world’s problem is the insistence that Love is complicated somehow, that it has properties, that it’s not quite here yet, or there’s more of it over there.  That there’s something between us and it.  A better time.  A holier place.  And it really feels that way nearly all the time when we have our stopwatches out and we’re keeping an eye on that mountain.  When we’re gasping for air.

Sitting-still often helps.  Or something like it.  I don’t think the benefit of sitting-still is that we stop thinking, because thought itself is beautiful.  But an instant without thinking will do us a world of good– as a means and an end perhaps.  It’s like the point at the end of the pendulum swing.  Sitting as quiet as possible reveals the nature of our relationship to thought.

It’s a lovely insight that we have a relationship to thought.  That relationship is Love, and thought itself is never-ending.  When we sit quietly we can encounter our relationship to thought, and open up an honest conversation.  Of course it’s awkward being in conversation without the use of words, but if we don’t try we’ll never understand how everything has a relationship to thought.  And I think once we discover we have a wordless relationship to thought, grains of sand and entire mountains begin to make sense.  We start to grasp the power of the mind.  We start to see how like to everything we are.

That we think and we have a relationship to thought makes our situation unique in some respects, but not fundamentally so.  It is our relationship to thought that is fundamental.  Love is fundamental.  How strange, how compelling, how beautiful to watch the full moon rise and realize we have a relationship to that which has a relationship with all that is.

To realize we are in Love.

42 Comments

  1. You got me here:
    Love is fundamental. How strange, how compelling, how beautiful to watch the full moon rise and realize we have a relationship to that which has a relationship with all that is.

    To realize we are in Love.

    I agree that love is simple and we complicate it unnecessarily. I also think at some level love exists between all aspects of consciousness. And at another level, not so much,

    Happy Scorpio Full Moon ( even without Prince here to share its glow)

    peace, Linda

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Linda,

      There are certainly “levels” which appear to express Truth to only varying degrees. And I think we all respond to the moment, to one another, to Life– from the particular level we are occupying and relating to/from, in a sense. When I write here I tend to focus– as much as I am able– on the level of the heart where that Truth abides. That quiet place within that we eventually find returned from the world around us. And from there these statements make some sense, but on another level, and in light of particular difficulties perhaps, clearly they do not! Healing for me has often involved reinterpreting experience through the lens of a deeper/higher level, for lack of a better term. Only then do I discover how greatly we have all been, and are, Loved…

      Peace to you, too!
      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  2. ….” to be ambushed by glory ” I love that Michael ! And to be ” in love ” with life , well , that’s just so beautiful . Your writing is like the full moon to me , awe inspiring and quiet in your brightness ….thank you my friend , love , megxxx

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, Meg! What a lovely description of the moon you give here, and of our writing hearts… I have just discovered I missed a post of yours a week or so ago, so look forward to that very soon. Have a glorious day, my friend!

      Peace
      Michael

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  3. Beautiful perspective you offer Michael- that love could be the connector to thoughts. I hope to experience that bridge. Currently, it seems my head and heart don’t communicate or synch very well. Any tips?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Somersaults.

      Ha!

      Ok in all seriousness, Brad, I think it boils down to the fact that our minds are filled with patterns and ideas that aren’t quite true, and our hearts are cut-off to a greater or lesser degree because they refuse to accept all that. Our hearts are sort of caged by it. I think there’s a certain amount of faith involved in healing this rift because while it exists our experiences continually come back to us as images of the conflict we have within ourselves. Some days great! Some days we’re on the floor. How to make sense of it? Faith for me comes in because we have to stop judging our days, and ourselves– and events and moments and developments– as good or bad, which is kind of like the bomb squad undoing the old patterns in our minds. It takes a lot of concentration. We actively deny our minds the right to always leap into the middle of things and say who is who and what is what. (Not that we can always control it perfectly, so the next best thing is to let it say what it needs to say, but don’t believe it…) Takes faith to take our hands “off the wheel” like that, and of course I think it helps to have a clear intention– like unifying one’s heart and mind. So then this faith makes room to have a different type of experience, and when we do, it is my experience that it is one that leads reconciliation of these rifts within us.

      That is the simplest I could describe it. Plan B = somersaults. 🙂

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Power in the quiet. Eventually, some of us *are* blessed to revel in this majestic state.
    From within your referenced stillness, connections find nurturing, relationships grow stronger, and untethered love emerges. Simply to flourish naturally.
    I love your words.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Eric. I hope one day we all revel in this majestic state. I like what you wrote about the simplicity of flourishing naturally, and resonate with that. We have a “ground” of being inside us that we carry wherever we go, and once we discover how to put down roots, we flourish… It is natural…

      Peace!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Peace doesn’t feel right when the smoke of the battlefield is still massing in the sky.” I can relate to that. It feels odd, inhuman almost, when awful things happen and everyone else is upset then to just be at peace. I remember that ACOL also addresses this weird feeling. I also think, as you wrote, that this is precisely the time when we should settle there.
    With wordless peace,
    Karin

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Karin,

      I think this is one way we keep getting pulled back into the world’s timeless argument– we see the smoke rising and hear the cries of pain and we are compelled to respond. But a key point of both Courses for me is that if we respond from the vantage point that what is happening is more real than what peace offers us, we will quickly find ourselves conflicted again. Fractured. Attempting to navigate an experience where brokenness can be as final and complete as Love, which is what cannot be… It is hard to choose peace sometimes when we’re in the midst of it!

      Wordlessness helps I find!
      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    “And I think once we discover we have a wordless relationship to thought, grains of sand and entire mountains begin to make sense.” This is such a great sentence. Sometimes, my thoughts get too deep for my brain and I have to just be part of everything. It’s like in those moments, I “realize we have a relationship to that which has a relationship with all that is. In those moments, I know I’m in Love. Thank you, Michael. This is beautiful.
    Love,
    Mary

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mary! We all can get mired down in thoughts too deep for our brains… I might even venture to say the most intelligent among us have shown historically to have had quite a difficult time with this… Sometimes we just have to let go and settle into it… Reminds me of this poem from Kabir:

      I played for ten years with the girls my own age,
      but now I am suddenly in fear.

      I am on the way up some stairs– they are high.
      Yet I have to give up my fears
      if I want to take part in this love.

      I have to let go the protective clothes
      and meet him with the whole length of my body.
      My eyes will have to be the love-candles this time.

      It is the idea of meeting another with the whole length of the body, of carrying an inner light, that gives me the feeling of Love encompassing our entire being, and this feeling spills over the mind’s edges I think… And we know, we are in Love.

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

        Hey Michael,
        Thank you for the poem, and your lovely comment. I used the wrong word in my comment. I guess I meant my heart was too deep for my brain…like beyond words, just being part of all that is in a deep state of Love. It wasn’t a feeling of being mired down, but very expanded. I was thinking that’s sort of what you meant by a relationship to our thoughts. I was in relationship to them, but they disappeared fast into the expansiveness. My brain couldn’t keep up, and finally stopped trying. Does that make any sense at all? Sometimes it’s hard to think of the right words. 🙂
        Much love to you,
        Mary

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oddly I think I understand even if it didn’t seem so Mary. Because while you may have meant to say that your heart was too big for your brain, I felt that’s what you were trying to say. And I remembered that line from Kabir, and the feeling it always gives me of needing to meet Love with the whole of our being, which is for me beyond the words and the thinking… So yes, it makes sense!

          There is a lovely section in A Course of Love where Jesus distinguishes between the way we typically think, and the way it feels to access thought itself. One is like grace entering us. The other is like reading the newspaper (my words now), which is what we are typically doing. We are missing the fact that thought is an endless field of being that we access in our hearts, which flows into us and brings us life… Not because we have the right words or logic in our conceptual minds, but because we are the logic, the living logic of God (also my words). Jesus says something like he doesn’t think like we do at all. All this thoughts are given, as gifts… I love that!

          Much Love
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

            Yes! It’s like not only the brain thinks, the heart does too. I think that’s why words are so hard for me to find so much of the time. The heart thinks in feelings – deep feelings or insights beyond words.
            I love what you said, “thought is an endless field of being that we access in our hearts, which flows into us and brings us life… ” And the part about grace entering us.

            Words are so funny sometimes. You find them a lot better than I! But when I do get to go to that place where the words are – wow! What a great moment to find the right one!

            Have a wonderful evening.

            Much Love
            Mary

            Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Ka!

      I am delighted to have shared tea with you, and to have communed for this moment in moon-surpassing joy. That’s a pretty good start to the day! We are surfing the waves of Love to new shores…

      Peace!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You know, Michael, there’s a part of me that resists using that word: ‘love’. It’s so loaded a term, and yet still no one ever seems able to define a universal meaning for it. As soon as we attempt to define it, we at once diminish what it is, and it becomes a concept, something partially understood as a mental object but not invoking love itself, not connecting to its actuality in any way. If I say ‘moon’, then in some sense I connect to the planet, or if I say ‘peace’ then a calm descends, but if I say ‘love’, oddly enough, it doesn’t invoke any true sense of its referent. It will invoke a feeling, but love is more than mere palpability. In fact, it seems that focusing on the word narrows down the mind’s expansive capacity to embrace it, or to be embraced by it, more accurately.

    Love sounds like a purely relational aspect, but is far more – yes? Does love care about relationship? I don’t think it does or can; it’s only thought that cares about relationship. So, when you say “that relationship is love”, I think we’re agreeing, in that it’s the thought that cares in the narrow sense and it’s the love that envelops the relational aspect whilst simultaneously transcending it. Perhaps an analogy might be the manner in which sunlight illuminates the observed relational world in which we live our lives – it lights up all phenomena, and makes relationship possible through their visibility, yet is unseen as a phenomenon itself.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hariod,

      I think on the subjects of love, truth, and other descriptors we might use for absolute realities, we are forced to use loaded words and that we must accept that. That one may have a feeling of calm that descends when the word peace is uttered, and another doesn’t, are just peculiarities of relationships within our individual psyches. Another sees a landscape and feels the same. Another smells bread and feels the same… for bread was all we had that night when we hid from the soldiers in the dark and they passed us by. This is why I agree entirely that an attempt to define Love diminishes it in our own experience, should we become attached to the definition. But still for myself, the word does invoke a true sense of the referent. It is surely an artifact of particular cultural, historical and experiential differences that this occurs for me, and not perhaps for another.

      I am not sure we are agreeing on whether or not Love cares about relationship or not, and I’m not sure it matters! Because we are probably using words in ways incongruous to one another’s internal dictionaries. The words light up differently within us. I would tend to say Love does care about relationship, for if Love cannot care about relationship, it cannot care about anything, and Love IS (in part) a profound caring for all that exists. So while I think I understand the distinction between love and thought you propose in your second paragraph, I accept it is a way that gives you an insight– an inner light. I think perhaps I assign to the word “thought” a larger domain than you may be in that sentence. But it is merely again, because of how words activate meanings in our own minds.

      Here’s an interesting quote or two from A Course of Love that use words in a way that light up for me, (and full of many loaded words!):

      “God’s only thought is love. It is a thought without limit, endlessly creating.”

      “All relationship is relationship with God Who Is Love.”

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear Michael, so I am going to cut right to the point – I am having a lousy “pain” day – it’s nothing more than arthritis but it feels aggressive – and it also makes my mind feel foggy on days like this.
    I am not going to come up with a clever comment, best to keep thoughts simple in times like this, other than to say I felt good reading this, your writing is something that I can get lost in – so it’s nice of you to find a pain-free place for me to mingle. The mind’s power, eh? Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 3 people

    • I get it, Harlon. I’ll cut straight to it, too. I don’t want to live in a world of clever comments, but in the exchange of the real. What it feels like when the wooden spoon of life stirs us up and we bubble and season and give witness. Sorry to hear of the tough day. And humbled to know my writing provides a moment of repose in such a day. The power of companionship, communion… mind… of Love…

      Peace, brother!
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Hedy! Rise up to love, indeed. Gather ourselves up completely, and turn ourselves in! I’m so grateful for the interactions here, and thank you for noting that it is the little community here that is the real wonder…!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  9. This is a beautiful piece that really resonated for me, especially the part about having a relationship with thought, and that that relationship is love. I’ve known this for a long time, but somehow this piece brought it into high relief for me. Thank you. It’s been with me for the past few days as I focus more on the relationship, and less on the thoughts, or worse trying to change the thoughts. As I simply become aware of the thoughts (trying to sabotage in whatever way they can – and there is enormous creativity in this) and allow them, without trying to change or end them, but instead give them full freedom to soar, they seem to lose power, and subside in the light of Love. It’s wonderful. Again this is not new, but somehow, now, hearing this again at just the right time, it has more meaning and more power. Thank you.
    Much love
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Alison,

      I see I have missed a comment or two. My apologies! Sometimes I read comments in the morning that came in overnight and then think I responded when really I was just half-awake at the table giving the morning coffee a chance to work.

      It is wonderful to experience the purity of the relationship. For me sometimes that alone makes the delusional thoughts stand out in stark contrast to that felt reality. And then they really do lose that power, because we can see how obviously mistaken they are! Let us slip back into the light of Love!

      I also resonate with the way things that are “not new” can still deepen somehow… I feel that way too as I cycle around sometimes from some bit of confusion back into the light of certainty. It’s like, wow! And when you try to describe it you realize you’ve been saying those things for such a long time!

      Much Love to you, too.
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The deep, dark space between the thoughts is what I focus on when I sit in silence. A bottomless well. Sometimes intimidating, other times comforting. Thank you, as always, for your gentle wisdom, Michael. —Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Julie,

      Thank you for this observation. I had a manager at work once when I was in college who heard I was exploring some alternate paths to knowing… like meditation… (sharp intake of breath!) He told me he would sit still sometimes and feel this tremendous goodness at one end, and pure evil at the other. I don’t think you’re saying that (the evil part), but it reminded me of that feeling. That intimidating feeling. I’ve felt that, too. Thank you for reading and sharing a few words. You write beautifully and I’m still humming along from your Korean post!

      Peace
      Michael

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  11. It’s just beautiful, Michael. Just beautiful! can’t say more because caring for a sick husband who just retired because his body was giving way and I am sick myself. And we are selling our little barn. Life is hard right now which is why I haven’t read all your pieces or written much of a comment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Ellen,

      So nice to see you, and thank you. Sending you some supportive vibes as you face so much of what must be done… I know that you greet such moments with Love, and that will carry you through. Do not worry about reading and commenting, my friend! I know how life contracts. No matter how small it gets, we are all there together in the middle.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Michael, joining you there blowing the smoke off the barrel as I spot the patterns of fence mending and worthy-making, align and shoot them down. With me they’re a bit like those ones you see at a fairground, where even when your aim is true they keep popping back up; but I’m loving the spaces of peace and love in-between, resting there as much as I can.

    Much peace and love to your day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah… a fellow sharp-shooter! It’s a good skill… I’m quite sure there’s no place like the fair to cultivate the skill with nuance and speed. Though I think it’s worth knowing even the fair packs up and leaves town one day… 🙂

      Peace and Love to you, too–
      Michael

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  13. Stop the world, I want to spread love….that’s my thought and I’m sticking to it….that and….I love everyone and you’re next….always a light hearted love threat at best….shakes people up though, they don’t expect it but then that’s the love that’s the best, it’s just there, it just is….and it’s contagious too did you know? Quick, grab the lotion, touch it and then touch everyone with it….Yay….love for everyone 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love for everyone, from the quiet of our shared and radiant center, that is the key. I think I missed one here, Kim! My apologies. And no… no love threats here. It is perhaps an exciting poetic device to contemplate– the threat of Love, but I think in truth Love would not be Love were it threatening in truth. Our perceptions of threat are of course another matter!

      But let’s keep it simple… 🙂
      Love to all,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know me my friend, I don’t keep score, I still have one of yours, a concert with video attached, saving for a rainy day, and the interview with you and Hariod I got a bit lost, I’m simple that way, and make no apologies…but I’m sure on a deep thought night I will revisit. You’re my hero my friend, you always make me smile….I will reply in more detail later, just caught this on my way to back outside…the warmth awaits before bed which will also be soon. Where’s book two…haha, just kidding…good things come to those who wait…just tell me how much and I’m on it…waiting with baited breath….and I named my kayak tonight, Jadis…the white witch from the lion the witch and the wardrobe….it was that or Tilda….I love that book/movie….peace and laughs and all good fun,
        Always,
        Kim

        Liked by 1 person

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