Tag Archives: emptiness

Just Let Go


I shared with a group of spiritual sisters
the woes of my housing situation,
facing eviction, facing uncertainty,
not knowing what the next step is…
And they suggested that I simply let go.
Can I just let go?
The idea of moving
strikes terror in my heart,
even after paring my possessions down
as I have been doing the last couple of months.
What am I afraid of?
Why is letting go so hard?
They told me
so much good waits for me
on the other side of my fear.
When I move through my fear,
I’ll see even more clearly
the path ahead.
God, grant me faith
to surrender into this process of letting go,
allowing the old to pass away,
making space to embrace the new.

Let Go All The Way


Afraid for what awaits
in the emptiness
of my once shared space.
Grieving still what was…
wondering when I’ll be set free
from this self-imposed prison.
What do I need to do to let go
all the way?
The way this works,
if there is one shred of holding on,
the whole thing takes root again
and grows stronger than ever before.
I need grace
to help me let go all the way.

My Greatest Triumph


And I suddenly realized
I was trying to feel ok
with some part of myself
that I thought wasn’t ok,
and it struck me
that everything I was doing
was just a distraction
to try to forget that part
or cover it up
or suppress it
or suffocate it
or pretend it’s not there
or drown out its voice
or just get away from it.
Then I discovered
that if I could sit with it,
talk with it,
get curious about it,
ask it some questions
and listen to the answers,
I might discover that this part
has something important to share,
something that might help me
understand myself and the world,
something that could help me grow.
So that’s what I did.
I spoke with that “not okay” part.
I asked questions and I listened.
At first I grieved
when I heard the answers,
but then I rejoiced…
because what I had been
trying to reject all this time
held all of the love,
all of the abundance
and all of the success
that I had been so
deeply wanting
over the course of my life.
I finally thanked this part.
It taught me how to overcome doubt
and trust in love.
It taught me
that that which I most fear
holds the key
to my greatest triumph.
And in the fullness of
this self-knowing and self-loving
I finally hold the emptiness
to welcome the whole Universe
as my lover.

True Fulfillment


Just when I thought I had no more energy left,
there it is, rising up in me to get something done.
How does this work? Is it motivation alone?
To take a full breath in, you must first exhale to emptiness.
To live a full life, you must die to empty expectations.
It’s simple really. What do you have to give?
Give all of yourself, and quickly.
Empty yourself of everything you have.
Life will come rushing in to fill you again.
Giving of yourself completely
and feeling the pull of contraction
only means you’re ready to receive
what life has been longing to give you.
Embracing the necessity of emptiness
as it blossoms into gracious receptivity.
This is true fulfillment.

An Opportunity


When life is falling apart
it can be terrifying
as you realize that nothing
you have built around you
is stable, permanent.
It is in this groundless place
where true, clear presence can emerge.
It is in this vast, overwhelming emptiness
that freedom from fixed mind
can blossom into a state of pure being.
If your life is falling apart,
take a deep breath and take heart–
this doesn’t have to be a tragedy,
it can be an opportunity.

Form and Emptiness


The world of form is always changing…
holding on to anything
becomes holding on to nothing,
because nothing can be held for long–
it all must change.
Form is therefore emptiness.
What we call one thing
quickly becomes another
in the blink of an eye.
What we perceive as emptiness,
becomes form
as we assign to it qualities:
good, bad, right, wrong,
male, female, night, day.
If we could befriend the emptiness
we wouldn’t need to tell stories about it.
Can you define the undefinable?
Luckily you don’t need to.
Just take a few deep breaths
and feel your aliveness coursing through,
form and formlessness holding hands
on the shores of eternity.

Sit at Night


When the last shred of energy is gone
and it’s time to surrender to the relief of sleep
Let the mind empty itself
and make space,
become buoyant,
as a ship that crossed the sea
with heavy cargo
and has reached the other side
finds itself suddenly empty and light.

Sit at night.
Let the cares of the day slip away.
Make space.
Make space for the new day to come.

Dervishes, Meditation, Metta

Dervishes, Meditation, Metta


You have heard of the ocean of nonexistence.
Try continually to give yourself to that ocean.

Every workshop has its foundations
set on that emptiness.

The master of all masters works with nothing.
The more such nothing comes into your work,
The more the presence will be there.

Dervishes gamble everything.
They lose and win the other,
The emptiness which animates this.

We have talked so much.
Remember what we have not said.

And keep working.  Laziness and disdain
Are not devotions.  Your effort
Will bring a result.

As dawn lightens, blow out the candle.
Dawn in in your eyes now.

–Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks, A Year With Rumi, p 75)

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I was barely able to stay awake through my evening meditation.  My body and my mind are tired, so tired.  It is 10:30 pm, and soon I will close my eyes on this day.  I look forward to the sweet surrender of sleep, grateful for a comfortable bed in a safe home with a family that I treasure beyond words.

Day by day I feel my self returning to me.  I didn’t know when I had lost it, but as it comes back, I realize how much I’ve been missing, how much I’ve been suffering in its absence. Any number of things could be contributing to this shift…but… I think the antidepressant medication is working.  I’ll keep taking it.

When I open my eyes in the now of tomorrow, I hope that my body and mind will feel refreshed, so that I may teach a yoga class that meets the needs of my students.  I hope that I will carry peace with me back to my children, and enough inner lightness and space that I might appreciate their beauty, their glowing innocence, their spontaneity.  More than the things I can give them, what I want most to give to them is my presence, just being…I want them to see that it is possible to just be.  To appreciate the nothing pregnant with everything.  But maybe this is what they are teaching me?

And now for a little metta, lovingkindness, sent out into the world in all directions:

May all beings be free from danger.
May all beings have mental happiness.
May all beings have physical happiness.
May all beings have ease of wellbeing.

Nighty night!

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