Looking westward at sunrise,
we found colour on the far horizon
and in our disorientation
drew back to watch the rising sun
whisper to cushion-clouds
as it briefly held a painter’s blend
of feathered flames and fustian greys.
And all this, where it was not supposed to be.
The promise of daybreak had broken westward
and we could no longer, on that morning,
gaze softly to the east in daily reverence,
prayerful and obeisant
in the still and forming light.
We were, by some irregular enchantment,
called to reorder expectation.
And then, upon reflection,
knew the natural world as teacher,
and in a moment’s realisation,
found our selves awoken
and completely rearranged.
Martin @ 2021
May I be ready and willing to listen to you,
you are the first and truest way of knowing.
May I receive your guidance,
you are the first and truest guide.
You are at the centre and you are the centre:
of my being, becoming, and belonging.
You are the still and immediate self.
The knowing, ever present presence.
You are the inner guiding voice before and beyond all other voices.
The inner sense before and beyond all other senses.
You are irreducible as spontaneous light.
You are in truth, the voice of truth.
Yours is the guiding hand
in the filament and firmament of now.
The grace of the living soul,
your word is Good and your word is Truth.
May I remain with you, un-distracted and un-afraid,
resolute and always ready to listen.
Martin © 2021
With love & acknowledgment to Jim Finley
At meditation this morning a prayer emerged.
Dear Life, grant me the way:
- To see what can be seen and needs to be seen, within and beyond the sense of sight.
- To hear what can be heard and needs to be heard, within and beyond the sense of hearing.
- To touch what can and needs to be touched within and beyond the sense of touching.
- To taste what can and needs to be tasted within and beyond the sense of taste.
- To smell and breath in what can be and needs to be breathed in within and beyond the sense of smell.
To be with this Life as it flows through that which is temporal to that which is spirit. To that which is.
And so may I:
Be still and know that I am Life
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Martin © 2021 🙏
Recurring difficulty and the way I react to that difficulty is the signature of opportunity for learning and healing.
The inherent intelligence of the recurring difficulty points to the part of me in reaction that needs my attention.
The part of me that requires space, love and understanding.
The part of me that I need to sit with in relationship.
Just as I would sit quietly with a troubled child who is struggling to wake from a disturbing dream.
And on peaceful awakening, finding, the space I hold, holds me.
Martin © 2021
For Thomas & For Dean
Be with what is
To find lapping at the shoreline of imperceptibility
A delicate ocean of sensation
And beyond gratitude
To touch subtlety
In the filament
And the firmament
Martin © 2021
For Jan, Nick and all our children
Speak through me
Truest voice of compassion
In words and forms that begin
the centre of being
In shapes and sounds forged by soul’s intent
In colours and waves that in understanding become sweet invitations to be understood
That call upon the universal ear
To be still
You are needed most
Suffocation pretends itself protection
When voracious doubt
When judgment rends whole fabrics
In healing and in light
To speak boldly
To utter bodily your voice
Unconditional living love
Ever present at the centre of all
Martin © 23/01/2021
I check the motivation for an action such as writing a poem, or preparing a meal and recognise that I’m already considering the possibility of a favourable response from others. In some cases I’m midstream in the act of comparison.
To explore the characteristics of the subtle tug of ego that looks for and seeks out recognition prior to, during and post an action. The social brain wired to the social field already considering the opinion of others – is a feature of being human. It asks: How will I compare?
In this, subtly ever subtly I lose my power and self worth to some imagined external force.
The ego’s narrative runs along.
If you like what I’m doing I’m ok.
If you do it better I’m not ok.
My prayer is to work with this awareness. To seek not to reject the instinctual but to incorporate the intuitive. To find and anchor into a motivation that is a cause for action in and of itself.
A motivation that is connected to source and not ego. A motivation that flows from the desire inherent in that which wants to come through. That which wants to be born.
🙏 Martin © 2020
Friends: in dialogue recently with two great souls this reflection emerged. I wanted to share this and trust that it might speak to you.
Giving constructive feedback to one another in our social ecosystems is essential to the ultimate health of our friendship groups, families, teams and communities.
Setting and communicating one’s boundaries are not only a form of self preservation they are a way of letting others know of their impact on us. Without this type of communication, folk are excluded from the opportunity to understand their impact and are deprived of the possibility of seeing the world through a fresh perspective.
The social self residing in us, is often responsible for this lack of feedback. The social self preserving face offers us safety from judgement or recrimination of others.
The damaging ripple effect to the social ecosystem arising from not giving feedback (constructively) is mostly caused by talking to others about the person in question in the form of judgement, complaint, blame or accusation. In the very least, talking about them and not to them, disables a feedback loop from being established.
When we complain about one another with judgement we are complicit in cocreating ill social health. We are blind to our own part in firstly not setting our boundaries and secondly in not giving the feedback that, although uncomfortable, will, if done well, become one of the greatest gifts we can ever give one another.
To this day I am immensely grateful to those in my life, who have with strength and kindness given me the feedback of my impact on them. Humbled with fresh perspective and understanding, they have enabled me to learn and grow toward becoming a more conscious contributor to the social field.
If I may ask you some encouraging questions: What is the boundary you need to set in relationship to a person in your life who comes to mind? What feedback do you need to give to this person? How might this help them see what they have not yet seen? And, how might this ultimately enrich the health of your social ecosystem?
Acutely aware of how often I’ve given it away or lost access to it in the past I’ve been contemplating the subject of personal power, both it’s source and how to tap into it.
This contemplation has led me to really understand that the source of personal power is connected and related to the part of me that is intuitive, still and quietly knowing; centered and grounded.
I think of it as the Intuitive Knowing Voice that is always speaking to me when I’m ready and able to listen.
It has a certain quality. You might recognise something similar for yourself. For me, it’s clear, immediate and visceral. It sits right at the centre of my solar plexus: a quiet loving gravity. If I get out of my own way sufficiently, it’s always there and ready to guide me.
I believe this to be vital in maintaining a strong sense of self in connection to the whole, to the greater Self.
And so I ask, what beliefs, behaviours and choices do I make that disconnect me from my personal power?
One clue is that I notice the ability to listen diminishes when my ego becomes crusty and shell like. When this happens I see judgmentalism creep in – separateness and otherness often turn to dislike, distrust or distaste. When I catch it I become critically aware of how disconnected and out of sorts I’ve become. Grounded and centred I am not.
When I’m open, malleable, soft, attentive and curious I see my listening attune to that source and what comes with it curiously is a greater sense of personal power.
As this practice deepens it becomes the most potent reference point for me in any given circumstance. Thoughts, choices, behaviours and beliefs can all be guided by pausing to reference the Intuitive Knowing Voice.
From small examples such as undoing unhealthy eating habits or abstaining from alcohol for the time being, to making life choice decisions, or setting personal boundaries and expectations. The opportunities to practice continue daily.
And as this steadily becomes a daily practice I’m increasingly grateful and comforted by the fact that softening has become the way of strengthening and listening a way of knowing.