Notes on a Buddhist path

Killing me softly

October 27, 2013 By | 6 Comments

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ~ Jack Kerouac

Writer's BlockIt’s been a while since I’ve sat down to inhabit the blog realm of words. The last time was nearly a month ago when an epiphany of sorts landed in my lap and spurred a plan for leaving the worldly to step more firmly on the path of a retreatant, a yogi, someone hungry for a deeper practice of meditation and the insights that may await. Each week that has come and gone since that decision has solicited the same quandary: “What is calling me to write today?”

The answer has been an unsettling silence.

For most of my life that silence would clench my heart in a numbing vice of fear. Fear that the words would no longer be born, would no longer comfort me, would no longer sustain my need to be seen, to become some oxidized reflection of illusive brilliance. Now the hush of my writing brings with it a new discomfort, not that words have abandoned me, but that in the clearing of the stillness I can see the master is not the muse but rather the ego, the arrogant self, the I that wants to be read, to be praised, to breathe in the intoxication of becoming some one in this realm of insatiable longing.

When I allow this new awareness to settle from its murky stirrings there is a soft sense of lightness, familiar in its freedom to the slipping away of my carnal appetite. The hunger to write isn’t as ravenous as it once was, its urging not as compulsive. Allowing this space of quietude for words has opened in me a recalibration of purpose, of intention. Now when I write it is for clarity on the path of the Dhamma, thirsting for a way out, a way beyond the cell of barren illusions and seeking instead a universe of emptiness and peace.

Next week I will head off on retreat, away from blogs and websites, burnished phrases and gilded cleverness. With each refocused sighting of the self comes its slow and measured death until one day silence will be my only expression.

Or at least some part of I hopes so.

I lost my world, my fame, my mind

By Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi 

I lost my world, my fame, my mind —
The Sun appeared, and all the shadows ran.
I ran after them, but vanished as I ran —
Light ran after me and hunted me down.

The Way of Passion: A Celebration of Rumi, by Andrew Harvey, published by Tarcher, copyright 2000.

 Image Credit:

Writer’s Block by Elemento Zeca via Flickr Creative Commons


  1. Tess ….

    “What is calling me to write today?”

    If I might …

    It is not ego … it is not self … it is the ‘truth’ of the moment.


    • Gil, thank you for that. Yes, the truth of the moment is an apt definition, and being truthful to my intention as well.

      Much appreciated, my friend.

  2. I Lalla suffered the fire of Love.
    Before death I died without a trace.
    Reborn without colour or creed, and without them,
    I left me. What else could I do?

    -Lalla (14th century Kashmir)

    Have a great retreat!

    Inspiration will come from out of your stillness (and in dreams!) Do share any crazy dreams you have before you go…the nights are drawing in. Any whispers from the dark that you might care or dare to share?

    • Lalla is such a splendid poet, and what a fitting dream of that beyond death. I always appreciate your comments, okei. Thank you for the beautiful send off to my silence. No dreams to report for now. We shall see…

  3. Another layer of the onion peals itself away. Just another signpost on the path to nibanna.

    The useful boat is left behind; the conditions of existence in this moment changed. The boat may become useful again if you encounter another stream to cross, or perhaps it will be a bicycle to span a dessert, or a parachute to leap off a cliff. But it will all be different, for you will be different.

    But I do not tell you anything that you do not already know (my own “want” to be read!).

    Perhaps, along the way, you will drop us all a note-in-a-bottle (to facilitate *our* rescue, not yours). Or perhaps you will take refuge in a cave for a while, your only communication a morning chat with a chickadee, an afternoon conversation with a fir tree, an evening discussion with a thunder storm. It will all be good.

    I rejoice in your path.

    • Your words, dear friend, always seem to find a way to lift my heart and my courage. Thank you for your being, and your gentle wisdom along the path.

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