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#2903 - Friday, August 17, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee

 

This is Always Enough
John Astin

 

Just released... August 3rd

[Editor's Note: Information on ordering appears at the end of book excerpts.]

 

Clear and Still

     A review by Gloria Lee

Silent Retreat

 

 

The nametag

says it all:

 

"I am

observing

silence"

 

How true.

 

This is indeed

what I am -

the observing silence,

and everything

that is observed.

 

 

John Astin

 

 

To see fish at the bottom of a pond, the water needs to be both clear and still. So does the observer. John Astin renders his precise observations with the artistry of a Zen master's ink drawing. Simplicity and naturalness characterize both his poems and prose. This book is a work of art that will stop you in your tracks. Will you see the vision of reality pointed to by the words? It would be hard to miss, presented in a way that goes so directly to the heart of the matter. Indeed, why complicate it? Few writers can paint a picture of essential truths so succinctly and with such loving grace. Like a hologram, each poem somehow contains the whole.

 

There is also a familiarity with the ways life can slip by us, how the moment may elude us. Reading the section "Our Argument with What Is" provides invaluable insights that question our habitual ways of thinking and our unexamined assumptions. The way "All Strategies Eventually Fail" is actually good news! So what if we are going from one unknown to the next unknown? Hasn't it ever been thus, whether we realized it or not?

 

"There is no escaping the truth of this impermanence, is there? But who would ever want to?"

~   ~   ~

 

The mystery that is aware of this moment has already

accepted it, as it is. We cannot create this radical acceptance

and we are powerless to make it go away, for the very nature

of awareness is to accept, without conditions, what is.

 

~   ~   ~

 

To not-know is to be free, free from the prison of your own ideas.

 

~   ~   ~

 

Awareness is free -- free from knowing what will

happen next, free from knowing what should happen next, free

from knowing what anything really is, free from knowing the

reason for anything, free from knowing what freedom is.

 

~   ~   ~

 

The Story

Rest here and watch.
See how long it takes for
the story to reappear –
that ancient legend that tells us
this is not enough.

Keep watching.

Can you see it happening?
Nothing is missing, is there,
until the mind comes back
to tell us there is,
no problem
until the storyteller returns
to tell us something is wrong.

Can you see?

The whole thing
is made up –
the destination
and the path
to get there.
Every story,
even the one
that tells you to stop
telling stories,
is a lie, a tale of lack
where none
has ever been.

 

(From Chapter I: This Constant Lover)

~   ~   ~

 

Only the mind seeks confirmation, validation and approval.

What is awake is simply awake. It is not dependent on

or conditioned by anything or anybody. It requires no

validation, no approval. It needs no outside authority to

confirm or support it. It is its own confirmation.

 

~   ~   ~

 

"It is impossible to lose the only thing there is."

 

~   ~   ~

 

All the spiritual prescriptions and practices -- be

non-attached, accept what is, be open to experience, do not cling,

be compassionate -- these are all descriptions of awareness

itself, descriptions of what you have always been.

 

~   ~   ~

 

The awareness that you are has never believed a single

thought the mind has produced. Only thought has ever

believed thought. "That's true." "That's false," thought

believing thought -- the wheel of suffering...

 

~   ~   ~

 

This Human Heart

 

 

Everything

I have belongs

to You.

Everything

I am

is You.

And yet still,

there is

something

in this very

human heart

that keeps

saying:

 

 

"Here,

take this

too."

 

~   ~   ~

 

What is being pointed to here is not "yes" as opposed to "no,"

not a surrender that is in opposition to resistance.

This is the yes that has no opposite,

the yes that has room in it for both yes and no,

the openness that has space even for the closing.

 

~   ~   ~

 

Every Argument

Every argument
the mind
can conjure up,
every belief
and feeling
that cries out,
"This could
not be God,"
is met by
the sheer force
of this mystery
that welcomes
everything.

We are forever
drowning
in that Love...

 

2007 John Astin

 

~   ~   ~

 

In August of 2007, Non-Duality Press - http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/ 
released "This Is Always Enough," John Astin's latest collection of poetic and prose reflections on the non-dual nature of reality.

Ordering information:  http://www.non-dualitybooks.com/Astin_Always_Enough.htm 

 

John Astin's website:  http://www.integrativearts.com/

To see more of John's most recent writings, please visit his blog at Out Beyond Ideas 

 

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