Here is an expression called “Council of Being”, about knowing within and without and neither within nor without in a dynamic and moving way. The light in the center of the void has a pull and curious illumination. The black and white coloring represents the dualistic universe of expression we often live with. The monochromatic nature of this picture made the piece especially meditative because there was little color selection, making the process continuous as I worked my way around a spiral.
The beads appear alive with the movement of entering each bead on the in-breath, and on the out-breath pulling the thread out the other end. I enjoy this process, it is one of the most pleasant processes and my favorite art form. Since each bead is tiny, about one millimeter, concentration needs to be steady in picking up each one and sewing it down one or two at a time. Each bead is a void, and not a void, and neither a void or not a void. I reflected on this piece during the recent eclipse and thought I would share it with you. I also made a maple frame for the piece as the maple seemed right for its plain expression.
The other day I opened a book from the neighborhood library, which I frequent, and it said:
“The atomic proposal that the most energy arises from the smallest bit of substance was a logical offense, but quantum physics held even bigger offenses in store. Truly big energy, the evidence from quantum mechanics suggested, comes not from matter at all, but from empty spaces between the particles of matter. Break up an atom, our littlest item, and we get our biggest bang (to date). But within the spaces of an atom, or in spaces without atoms, quantum physicists said, lie far larger fields of energy. The most comes not from the least, but from nothing at all.” *
There certainly seems to be a lot of nothing, and it is helpful to see how much nothing there is and how freeing it is and how few people see this, actually see it, and then it seems that is also nothing too, so the something’s are such flashes and in between the spaces of some things there is more no things than what we can comprehend, it has to be a total bodily Knowing of all-ness in no thing, sort of.
I suddenly remembered a little drawing I did years ago, pictured here. It came along as I was looking at thoughts, and in between thoughts.
I felt delighted to be kind of understood for a moment, how simple this is, how quantum physicists are looking into this. I already know this, and liked reading it again. Hmm, he implies there is nothing there. The Buddha also knew that that wasn’t the end; that he had to go further. He was even offered a position as a teacher from the teacher he was working with but he knew nothingness was not going to satisfy. I closed the book and put it back gently.
The absolute truth is the only satisfaction as it arises moment by moment.
And, it ain’t nothing, and it ain’t some thing, and it ain’t really something and nothing, so that makes it hard to write about. It ain’t even it.
*from, Magical Child Matures, Joseph Chilton Pearce, page 94
by Constance Casey 12-23-2009
Left side of the neck and throat area plays some intense rhythm,
strumming down the ear, in and around the tonsils
then deep base strings in the heart area,
clenching with grief,
and tension releasing through vibrating sensations of pulling,
inner re-organization…of dreams — what sings this?
whatever – willing – being with
“selfing” brings along undoing, being with unknowing
each day brings less and less of any “me”
look inside and see scattered bones,
some cleaned out archaeological dig site long ago trampled and forgotten.
The trauma of selfing,
of building some-such-thing
is remembered deeply.
Unwinding this pattern tunes attention at every key moment,
singing chords of spine and vertebrae and marrow,
seeing the sun rise to melt any frozen limbs of innuendo.
Listen up! It’s open season on ideas.
Right in the center.
It has its own agenda,
“do not seek answers” is what Rilke said.
A tentacle arm softly unfolds,
It can’t help Its wise molecular muscles made for touch
and all along, feels and knows, and understands and sees through and through,
again and again,
with all the more clarity and gratitude
and no direction, friend.
By Constance Casey 11-12-09
Cleaning, moving, smoothly, mindfully.
All is expression
Keep it simple
Less is more
Less to remember is best
Less to do is best
Fewer places to go is best
Needing less is best
Smooth flowing relinquishment
Then all flow
Focus on being, let mind be
Big thoughts are trouble
Little hidden thoughts need air
Big thoughts clamor for attention
Little thoughts get none
Big thoughts eat up little thoughts
Little thoughts hide
Big thoughts have big disguises
Little thoughts are alone and naked
Big thoughts push and shove
Little thoughts sit quietly wondering
While walking with a friend yesterday, she asked me if I believe in karma. I immediately replied, “Yes”. And I knew that it wasn’t a belief, it’s a presence or knowing within that in each moment there are new births taking place, and I need to be aware of the degree of wholesomeness or unwholesomeness, the leaning in or away with intention.
My personality generally prefers to stay in the background and operate independently. In fact, it was probably this aloneness that brought me in and through knowing the dharma on an ultimate level.
But now that I know the seamless connection with all beings there is a strong tendency to back away from any possibility that I might be involved in harm. Not wanting to create or cause harm is an even bigger motivation for my doing things and/or not doing them more than ever before.
Any unfinished business is here for review and to be seen. These meditative reviews happen all the time. Some listen and participate and some don’t.
Even the Buddha was continually concerned with karma. There is a story I heard about how the Buddha had headaches and felt it was due to an event that happened in a past life. There are levels of learning that continue after enlightenment that involve all kinds of karma.
Wisdom comes along in the most serendipitous ways if we are open to it.
Being more aware of this happening, I felt grateful for being with Steve Armstrong last month when he talked about this. He outlined eight different kinds of karma:
- weighty karma
- proximate karma
- habitual karma
- reserve karma
- reproductive karma
- supportive karma
- obstructive karma
- destructive karma
Here is a link to the talk on karma:
(He outlines the different kinds of karma during the second half of this talk).
This dharma really points out the necessity for mindfulness always, no matter what, no matter how enlightened you are or not! I need to look closely at my participation in each and every moment, each and every relationship. It can be beneficial to back away and review with compassion and patience so we can understand more about what is going on.
It seems to me that monastics who have gone through the stages of enlightenment continue to practice diligently for the rest of their lives because they know that the human condition is a condition of variable intensity and that awareness will pull one to greater and greater clarity all the way to the moment of death.
I’m not an expert on this. I just want to include this dharma talk as a gift to you to help you in your process. Allow this knowing of karma to lift you up with awareness and pull you toward knowing your true nature, and so that you can find gentler and more sane ways to be and operate in an insane world.
By Constance Casey October 15, 2009
I can not help anyone.
No one wants any help
They are we and
We can not be helped
Because It can’t help it
What arises just is
What is here always knows
That we are well
So who needs help?
*This is an understanding in the ultimate sense. Along the path, we can and do appear to “help” each other, but if we knew how much we are already well, maybe we’d be a little more intimate and honest in a more facilitative way.