At an elevation of 30 metres, my heart looks out towards the sea.
It is the English Channel. It is home to fish I cannot see, crustaceans, microorganisms. Their hearts are beating at depths I cannot see.
I am aware of the entire planet, the continuation to where I cannot see, over the horizon. More sea, more living heart beating life forms. And they are all in one vast interconnected body of salt water called seas and oceans covering the planet.
I turn round to face away from this extravagance of elemental water. I look instead to where my home is, the homes of my friends, family, those I think of as individuals who form part of the crowds of people.
As I live and breathe, the living breathing lives of land, sea and air breathe with me and to me.
Sleepy heads are hidden under feathered wings, cold-blooded vertebrates that do float, insects numbersome as the stars in the crevices of the sky.
All and each are trending small lives of supreme value.
The inside is the outside. The outside is the inside. In darkest night, nothing changes from the inside to the outside.
The sun rises over me.
In the light I see the outside as identical to the inside. Glory, huge hugging glory, expands and I know the inside is bigger than the outside
I have been shaken to my depths since the war began in Ukraine. I have been trying to rebalance, to rediscover my equanimity. Why do I feel the pain so of these sufferers? Where is safety now? What is lit now on my path, where I used to need nothing to light my way?
It is hard work this cleaning of the heart’s wounds. It is good to light one by one the guttering candles on my way, my patient way to remember. My heart waits for me in the Middle Way. I know exactly where to look
I packed a few pine tree wood discs, sandpapered for this trip, along with my lenses.
I choose a quiet spot to set up ‘shop’ on Ipanema beach. I seat myself on my folding camp stool on the sand with my back turned three-quarters to the Sun. Polished wood in my left hand, a smallish lens in my right.
Now I have arrived. I’m in shorts, peaked cap on my head. I’m wearing glasses that protect me from 85 per cent of sunlight and from all harmful rays.
I am here at one of the most famous beauty spots on the planet. After the relative greyness of Northern Europe, I should be hyper aware of the privilege of being on Ipanema Beach. Normally my senses would be opened and scanning. I’d be drinking, seeing, hearing and loving these moments in paradise on earth.
As always, the meditative buzz of Solar Pyrography welcomes me. Soon my breathing slows, my mind empties, and what I am doing takes all of my focus. Smoke and occasionally sweet resin-scented flames rise from my wood disc, as if from a sacrificial offering.
When people see me, they nudge each other, pause and say, “Look what that man’s doing!” It’s easy to leave them on the edge of my vision.
The kids are not so shy. They barge in close. Thankfully they accept me with my monosyllabic noises. Some notice their shadows block my work. My lens moves on. Who will go home and try for themselves this trick of fire with a lens and sunlight? I am always amazed that Solar Burning is such an unknown activity in hot countries.
The Rio sun hurts. I’m in a race to finish my commission before the thirst and the pain drive me away. I’m not sunning myself, swimming, surfing, strolling along admiring the sea, the surf or the mountains. I am not drinking Brahma beer or ice-cold fresh juice from coconut stalls.
I am here, but I am not here! I am in an altogether other place.
It is as heavenly as this fabulous Brazilian holiday destination. This heavenly place is entirely contained inside of me by the precisely controlled actions of my body as I focus Sun energy through a glass onto pine wood
The engaged couple’s initials, B and D, woven into a heart made of hearts above the Lover’s Knot, looks ready to me. I hope they like it back home in Dorset.
A portal to life’s glory opened and engulfed me in 2013. I journaled to bring order into the unfolding inexplicable goodness. At first I lacked even the words in English.
My intense daily journaling and my high intensity search for the meaning of this new condition of heightened awareness morphed into this blog: http://www.everynow.blog
In my EveryNow blog, I write everyday stories of love, compassion and praise for the glories of living from the heart.
During the five or six decades of my life prior to 2013, I had contented myself with “Living to Love”, which is pretty, beautiful even, but superficial.
As my heart awakes from a long slumber in hiding, it greets me, and here is where “Loving to Live” begins!
Today I am at peace and at ease with my experience of being alive in this completeness of sentience, though it still feels as surprising and as brand new as it did at its inception.
Much of what I have become aware of as I negotiate these orchards of newness, is well described in the book I recently discovered, much to my surprise, by Raymond Carl Sigrist called “In love with everything – Apophatic Mysticism”. It’s published by Infinity.com
The most effective way to write about the constantly exploding sensations of this post-traumatic Heavenly Bliss event is to connect to its source — the heart.
Forty or fifty years of verbal doldrums, when I neglected to hold communion with my heart, have left me, even after these last nine years, in a place where I have to learn to speak from and to my heart in baby steps.
I have to learn how to speak the language of heart. This will take up all my remaining years. It is the sweetest of all possible challenges!
A friend said to me… “Only by letting go of your past self can you take yourself to unimagined places.”
I cannot let go of my entire self with all of my past thoughts, words and deeds, when I hurt so much from their heavy weight on my back.
There’s much more to the action of letting go than an effort of will.
Massive changes can take place when my heart reveals itself and I take notice of its childlike purity, and I act to navigate the grand tides of new understanding my own heart offers to me.
These changes present my mind with a view of my original innocence. They begin when I listen to the positive appreciative comments from my family and friends, and I make the effort to believe what I hear.
What have I done up till now to prevent myself from believing in my goodness? And why do I turn a deaf ear to compliments and a blind eye to the anxiety in my face in the mirror which asks only to be loved?
There are answers to be found by examination of the causes of fear that I cling to. Among other places, answers in past trauma revisited, and in timid acceptance of outside pressures from social conditioning.
What naturally follows little by little is my understanding of my entirely needless attachment to my fear and self-loathing that spring from shame and my guilt about former deeds, words and thoughts engaged in out of ignorance of my true value to myself and others.
I begin to make closures for years of misdirected and wasted effort to merely content myself with survival, by forgiveness through self love and self validation.
I forgive my younger self for what I did out of ignorance fuelled by self doubt while wading along underlying streams of fear.
In this new condition of redemption for my past behaviours I can be freed of past guilt and shame, forgive, love, and let go of my past self and take myself to previously unimagined places illuminated by the peace and love from which all beings arise and to which we are all walking each other home 💫
Discrete entities, ideas, constructs are never separate, they are part of all other such ‘manifestations’.
Seeming to be singular at first, all things display a self-similarity on a simple level. They are included in the same ‘set’ of inclusivity in their totality.
More than that, all things are subtly interleaved, because all causes affect. That which is affected [by the existence of another] cannot have its origin traced, because its antecedents go back to the ‘beginning of time’ itself.
The futility of trying to ‘know’ what a singular thing ‘is’ directs me, like a prisoner is directed towards freedom, to salute the unending riches in not knowing.
The tiny wisdom of accepting not knowing is bigger than a mountain of pure gold.
Nothing excludes anything.
One of the certainties on which I can build my life is that my body, mind, heart and soul are included in the universe.
At times I might veer off and begin to wonder if Life is This or That.
Then I remember that neither one thing nor the other came first.
My consciousness arises from both.
In the moment I exist, I am both alive and an ineffable part of life. I am both alive and I am being lived by life.
Who cannot be brimming with excitement at the unfolding potential of discovery ?
This excitement is endless in the way of fractal endlessness. It is the acknowledgement of, and the gratitude for the enjoyment of this very endlessness which is both entirely sufficient and delightfully finite in the embodiment of its expression in me. This is one of the things which give rise to the chuckle of the enlightened.
I am as appreciative of this as it is humanly within my power. And I try to act accordingly.
Passionately therefore, I say I should act with compassion and respect, for the valid reason that my thoughts, my words and my deeds contain all the force of the flap of the beat of that proverbial butterfly wing
~ Love is present EveryNow
… … …The appreciation of the pure and mathematical fundamental principles which underlie the way living beings assume their form and ‘operate’ is one essential bridge towards a deeper understanding of my place in this experience of being alive.
At times I might veer off and begin to wonder if Life is Math. Then I remember that neither one thing nor the other came first. My consciousness arises from both.
In the moment I exist, I am both alive and an ineffable part of life. I am both alive and I am being lived by life.
Who can retain their passionate overflood at the unfolding potential of discovery ? This excitement is endless in the way of fractal endlessness. It is the acknowledgement of, and the gratitude for the enjoyment of this very endlessness which is both entirely sufficient and delightfully finite. Is this what gives rise to the chuckle of the enlightened?
Where perfection is in play, encountered, and witnessed, it becomes a springboard.
Perfection, when noticed, becomes a jumping off point like a springboard for an immediate journey of travel. This journey takes us spontaneously both upwards, outwards and downwards, inwards.
In the presence of such qualities of perfection we can connect with the innate beauty of ourselves. I see that we who walk, talk and play are the product of aeons of natural selection and myriad cycles of survival and regeneration.
The way of the oyster allows time to pass, nacreous secretion to form, and a harmless pearl of great value to form. All living things, sentient or not, have arrived at material form through a similar, sacred, delicate process.
The Accretion of Time is the hallmark of the Gentleness of Being.
When beauty, as seen in this seascape, triggers our response, it sidelines our notion of who we are and it reaches straight into what we are. This is an awareness of the Gentleness of Being fashioned naturally over periods of time too huge to comprehend.
Our human time frame may be overwhelmed when we are moved by art and real life entering our awareness, to the extent that our regular analytical faculties falter and blur out.
The most memorable photos, poems, paintings, sculptures, musical compositions are ones which make this unique appeal to our core original being — our sense of our own connection to the timelessness of our innate beauty.