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Jerry Katz
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The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

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#5122 - Thursday, December 26, 2013 - Editor: Gloria Lee
WRITING’S SECRET WAY: The Art of Asking for 
Invisible Help.
Too much writing is an attempt to write down what the 
strategic and conscious mind thinks it knows already. 
Real alchemy in poetry or prose occurs at the frontier 
between what we think we are and what we are about 
to become; what we believe of the world and what it is 
about to overwhelm us, often against our will. Good 
writing is a conversation between seemingly immovable 
and movable worlds, and is made real by the writer 
asking beautiful and difficult questions that shape a 
living, breathing identity that is ripe for surprise and 
revelation. The writer’s practice is to cultivate a 
friendship with the unknown, to overhear their own 
voice speaking out of that unknown into the world and 
to ask for help along the way from those elemental 
powers encountered on the pilgrim road to discovery.
Upcoming Workshop With David Whyte: San Miguel 
Writer’s Conference: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. 
February: 17 2014. 

Stare deep into the world before you as if it were the 
void: innumerable holy ghosts, buddhies, and savior 
gods there hide, smiling. All the atoms emitting light 
inside wavehood, there is no personal separation of any 
of it. A hummingbird can come into a house and a hawk 
will not: so rest and be assured. While looking for the 
light, you may suddenly be devoured by the darkness 
and find the true light. 
~ Jack Kerouac
Yaşar Koç Photography

"I have a lot of beliefs and I live by none of 'em. 
That’s just the way I am. They’re just my beliefs. I 
just like believing them. I like that part."
#LouisCK, comedian

Okay. So you feel peaceful, blissed out, in the flow. 
You're manifesting perfectly and life is going to plan. 
You're okay with everything that happens. You can't 
imagine ever suffering again.
Cut to the next scene in the movie of your life. There's 
been some kind of loss, shock, bolt of lightning from 
the blue. You're lying in bed, sick with pain, or grief, 
or despair. This was unexpected, unplanned. You've 
tried everything. Nothing's working.
Where did your awakening go? Weren't you supposed 
to be the one who was okay with everything, who met 
every experience with equanimity and an “effortless 
yes"? Where did all your spiritual progress go?
The spiritual 'me' feels humiliated and beaten up. 
Were you a fake, a fraud, a liar? Were you always 
kidding yourself? How do you get back to where you 
Don't go back. Stay with it. You're awakening from 
another dream. The dream that present experience 
could or should conform to any image or expectation. 
You're discovering your own inner authority.
This scene is not a mistake. The movie of your life is 
not broken. You're rediscovering how vast you are, 
how much you can hold.
You don't have to feel 'okay' all the time. You don't 
have to be free from all resistance all the time. You 
are bigger than that, unlimited in fact. There is no 'all 
the time' for you. You are the space for the okay and 
the not-okay, the acceptance and the resistance. You 
don't need any fixed and unchangeable image of 
yourself. You don't need to be the enlightened guru or 
the spiritual warrior. You don't need to be the 
peaceful one, the awakened one, the strong one, the 
highly evolved one, the one immune to suffering. All 
are false limitations on your limitless nature. Simply 
be what you are, not 'this' one or 'that' one, but The 
One, the space for all of it.
Let life kick you off your pedestal time and time 
again, until you lose all interest in being on pedestals.
This is an extract from Jeff's new book of prose and 
ARE, now available from the publisher's website in 
e-book and paperback versions (below), and also from 

Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.
Beautiful time-lapse photography by Louie 
Schwartzberg accompanied by powerful words from 
Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast.
Taken from (5 min.)
via Tao & Zen on Facebook

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