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Elizabeth Reninger

Elizabeth\'s Taoism Blog


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Monday June 2, 2014

in death I lose a body
and He will lose
my phantasies of Him

I go shirtless 
to this lovemaking

my body becomes all soul
every hairtip alive

love, enter this body's house
or I must leave it 
to seek you

my soul is a ship
scudding the waves
in pursuit of love

be drunk on love
for love is all that exists

mother and father played at love
and one such as you
sprang from nothingness

day and night are in love
each has caught the other's foot
and they go around

at the sound of love's flute
even the dead 
tear apart their shrouds
with desire

~ Rumi
(trans. Daniel Liebert)


Snakes: Auspicious & Imaginary

Sunday June 1, 2014

I was walking recently with a friend, along a gravel path following a small stream, with open grassy fields adjacent, when a large snake appeared, on the path in front of us.  Focused mostly on our conversation, neither of us had seen it, until we were, quite literally, almost on top of it -- no more than a couple feet away.

It was definitely the largest snake I had ever chanced upon, in this fashion: stopped, and then rippling slowly across the widish path, it was easily six feet long, with a diameter, I'm guessing (in its thickest places) of four inches or so. Its crosshatch-patterned skin presented a mottled mix of tan and brown and silver-white, with just a hint of forest green ... Read more

Flowing With The Tao ...

Friday May 30, 2014

Do you remember our mahasiddha friends the superfluids and superconductors? If so, you'll recall that their capacity to levitate and walk through walls has to do with their perfection of frictionless flow. What makes a superconductor "super" is its capacity to conduct resistanceless electrical current. Likewise, it's the nonviscous flow of helium atoms in a liquid that defines a superfluid. Might we not say, then, that (in Taoist terms) the superfluids and superconductors are -- by virtue of their mastery of infinitely efficient movement -- practitioners nonpareil of wuwei, of flowing with the Tao?

I for one am hugely inspired by the capacity of a superfluid to transmute angular momentum into a lattice of quantum vortices, and hence remain as a whole unmoving, even as its container rotates. Is this not a near-perfect analog of remaining relatively impervious to mental-emotional turbulence -- to remaining spacious and still in the face of "charged" circumstances, rather than spinning off into emotional reactivity?

In any case, these things come to mind here on the eve of our flowing into a new format, here at About.com -- one which will no longer include blog posts as such. How exactly this new incarnation will affect the messages imparted therein, remains to be seen. In the meantime, the invitation is to simply enjoy the bardo experience: this fluid in-between space, this gap between the dissolution of one form, and the resurrection of the next .....


Endless Epiphany

Tuesday May 27, 2014

Lute Music

The Earth will be going on a long time
Before it finally freezes;
Men will be on it; they will take names,
Give their deeds reasons.
We will be here only
As chemical constituents--
A small franchise indeed.
Right now we have lives,
Corpuscles, Ambitions, Caresses,
Like everybody had once --

Here at the year's end, at the feast
Of birth, let us bring to each other
The gifts brought once west through deserts --
The precious metal of our mingled hair,
The frankincense of enraptured arms and legs,
The myrrh of desperate, invincible kisses --
Let us celebrate the daily
Recurrent nativity of love,
The endless epiphany of our fluent selves,
While the earth rolls away under us
Into unknown snows and summers,
Into untraveled spaces of the stars.

~ Kenneth Rexroth


Projection, Pure Perception, Emanation

Monday May 26, 2014

Within nondual spiritual traditions, the "transmission" of Truth, from teacher to student, is oftentimes described as follows:

The teacher/teaching arises to meet the arising of a student with his/her question.  Or: the teacher/answer arises simultaneously (though playfully extended within a space-time expansion) with the student/question -- similar to how any so-called "effect" is simply the "cause" submitted to space-time expansion. Once the "question" meets and is resolved into its "answer," both the teacher/teaching and the student settle together back into their shared Source, like waves dissolving back into the Body of the Ocean.

In a sense, then, the teacher and the student could be said to be "creating one another" -- or arising in mutual dependence upon one another -- though in Reality their true cause is the Pure Awareness that is their shared Source ... Read more

Every Particle

Sunday May 25, 2014

Now comes the final merging,
Now comes everlasting beauty.
Now comes abundant grace,
Now comes boundless purity.

The infinite treasure is shining,
The mighty ocean is roaring,
The morning of grace has come --
Morning? -- No!
This is the eternal Light of God!

Who occupies this beautiful form?
Who is the ruler and the prince?
Who is the wise man? --
Nothing but a veil.

The wine of love removes these veils.
Drink with your head and your eyes --
Both your eyes,
and both your heads!

Your head of clay is from the earth,
Your pure awareness is from heaven.
O how vast is that treasure
which lies beneath the clay!
Every head you see depends on it!

Behind every atom of this world
hides an infinite universe.

O Saaqi, free us from the facade of this world.
Bring wine -- barrels full!
Our eyes see too straight --
straight past the truth!

The Light of Truth shines from Tabriz.
It is beyond the beyond
yet it is here,
shining through every particle of this world.

~ Rumi
(trans. Jonathan Star)


Birds Of A Feather

Friday May 23, 2014

A true gem of a conversation here with Francis Lucille, exploring the various facets of a relationship with a spiritual friend.

And here teasing out -- via parallels between dream-characters and waking-world-characters, along with the Vedic parable of the two birds (one eating the fruit while the other simply witnesses) -- why it is that "nobody ever wakes up."


Of Related Interest: The Importance Of A Teacher


Creation & Completion

Wednesday May 21, 2014

Is the so-called "external world" something that is discovered, or is it something that is created?  Or, put differently: is perception a passive/receptive or a more active/creative function?  Are we (either as a human bodymind, or as Pure Awareness) a more-or-less passive witness to phenomenal appearances, or are we the creator of them?

These questions all are, in a sense and writ large, simply variations on the realism v. idealism debate -- and I don't know that I could go any further, right now, in addressing the issue, than I did in the essay, Do I Choose My Thoughts?

A related question -- Is spiritual awakening a discovery, or a creation? -- is one I'd like to explore here .... Read more

Sexual Energy & Intimacy

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Some Random and/or Clandestinely Interconnected Thoughts on Sexual Energy & Intimacy in Taoist Practice

The guiding question: Is so-called "romantic love" ever an expression of Truth, or is it always symptomatic of ignorance or, at best, a transactional arrangement or practical necessity?

The provisional hypothesis: In the same way that the essence of Truth, and hence the essential spiritual Transmission, lies beyond all doctrine, scripture and formal religious organizations -- so it is that the essence of Love remains perpetually free of all formal relational structures, whose very definition places them within the terrain of mind.

With the corollary that: there may be certain formal structures which, by design, are created to serve as fertile ground for the unveiling of Truth or Love (whose "instances" themselves lay beyond any formal structure).


Where Is It?

Monday May 19, 2014

An excerpt from Wei Wu Wei's Why Lazarus Laughed:


What "It" Is

Where is the Impersonal Consciousness? No, it is not up there! Nor is it in my head, nor even in my heart or solar plexus.

Regarded spatially and personally it is distributed in every cell of my anatomy.

Regarded psychically it might appear as a radionic aura.

Regarded impersonally it is immanent throughout space.

Regarded non-spatially it is infinity.

Regarded intemporally it is the eternal present.

Regarded temporally it is that which sees, hears, feels, tastes and smells. But "it" is never that which interprets perceptions.

My psyche-soma is the means whereby "it" manifests, and its manifestation is the justification of my psychesoma.

I am it, and it is I.


I find this passage interesting on a number of counts ...


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