St. Therese the Little Flower Goes to Confession

(A Word-Play by Mazie & Bob, 2003)

Therese: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Confessor: If you wish to make a good confession, observe and recognize that the only “sin” is in clinging to the mistaken belief that you are somehow divided from your own Source. Bless yourself by directly awakening to the truth that you have never been nor could ever be truly separate from That.

T: Then there is only a Great Perfection, appearing as everyone and everything!

C: True, or more belief?

T: My Love, my Sin!

C: We love the Sin too, eh?

T: The Sin, the Dream.

C: We tell ourselves such stories!

T: But what of my desires?

C: God is full of desires.

T: There is a desire within all desires.

C: The closer to the source it hums the more transparent it becomes.

T: I am an empty cup.

C: Placed upon the table of the Lord.

T: Before time.

C: You Are.

T: There are moments when I forget — this is my Sin!

C: Who is this great sinner now before me?

T: I would renounce even Heaven for one glance from Beloved’s Eyes!

C: And when it is seen that there is nothing to renounce?

T: Then I shall renounce renouncing.

C: Ah, the music begins, an opening step . . .

T: It never ends.

C: Steps become dances.

T: Without moving, I am swept into my Beloved’s Arms.

C: God can do such things – and who then is renouncing?

T: In the moments when I feel His absence, what penance, then, for the sin of wanting life to be other than it is?

C: The usual, Dear Heart — alone in Love, as Love Itself, turn and bow simultaneously in all directions to the Beloved you Are. In that way, you may tacitly forgive the dream of separation. No muttered words or ritual signs could ever be sufficient, true wisdom must awaken to itself.

T: The Beloved — any moment lived even a hairsbreadth outside of Him is penance enough for this heart!

C: Just so, and where might be this imaginary place outside of Beloved?

T: Any time my mind wanders from the thought of Him, I feel as though I am standing outside looking in. He acts as if He does not Hear me, and to feel this for even an infinitesimal amount of time, is pain beyond endurance. That Beloved One! Inside the thought of Him, there, there shall I remain, “in the dim dungeon of Death with worms that are Thy chambermaids . . .”

C: Even now, we wander in His Garden, believing we are elsewhere.

T: The cypresses shoot to the Sky of Infinity. Roses climb one another for the delight of twining. The fig tree holds out its fruited children – an offering for the Master Gardener. “My Peace is to remain small.” The Pomegranate blossom hides the blush on my cheeks as I Gaze through the wild white lilies and See the Face of my Beloved. The Fragrance of that Moment wafts throughout Eternity. The Scent of our Love, the Love of this little flower and her Adorable Blessed Lord will stain the Hearts of Lovers till time burns itself out again.

C: The Original Face, Face in the Fire, Fire in the Heart, Heart of Peace, Peace of the Pomegranate — all is blooming as the blush on your cheeks, while you gaze through the wild white lilies at that Adorable One. That same One is gazing at you with your own eyes, the eyes of a little flower – so pleased with this perfumed offering! Her Lord is a Gardener of Delight, twined with His Garden of innocent Light!

T: I trace the motion of light in the air. Innocence springs from that action alone, like a child running naked along some beach, oblivious to any thought of shame or guilt. Inside this Heart-Cup, a still Pool of Awe reflects the Face of the Beloved One. What Face Is This that cannot be seen directly, but must be gazed upon in Reflection? It is the Fire, the Blazing Torch, or the Cinder? Until one is Sacred Ash streaked across the forehead of Love, they will not see the Beautiful One. Many are His mirrors marking time, making faces appear and disappear, the waves lifting from the Sea, slowly sinking back again into That Depthless OneHeart.

C: Shapes shift, facades fade as Spirit plays the Masquerade of light and darkness, fire and ash. In ocean’s depth a dream of waves arises in disguises worn of water – all drops on the wet mirror of itself. At the feet of a child the wild tide tumbles in, only to slip out again. What’s drawn out in that turning returns as the smile of spontaneity, of soulfulness without guile.

T: The waves wash over me, trailing streams of radiant light, sweeping in, taking everything I once considered me and mine, then flow back out to sea, accepting the offering of my smallness. The sound echoes back to me from the depths of Silence, the HeartSong I hear inside is Christ calling me, calling me from the slumber of many lives. He tells me to Listen.

Listen … Listen.

Tell me Dear Father, if you hear Him now, what does He say?

C: He whispers:

“Don’t stop at my Image – go further. Find out how it could be that a barren womb becomes pregnant in a thought, by a thought. When your desire becomes as urgent as that of a drowning man gasping for air, or like one whose hair has caught fire, the soul becomes a fertility irresistible to That Lover.

The fruit of such union is Love, for it cannot be any other way, there being Only Love, yet this Love is not what any fantasize Love might be, in mere fascinated flashes of chameleon belief. Love is an impotent, useless word for those who are yet strangers to the mysterious transmission of their own Heart Core.

Most who come this way stop at the Image, worshipping an Icon, carved by conditions, sanded by time, polished by devotion to a yet tyrant mind.

Whatever is seen, known, or spoken is not it, so be silent, even in your song. Let the Silence be seen by your ears, heard by your eyes. Even thunder can’t compare. Fall into this little death, die back into your life.

Let that seed of Mystery bury itself deeper, burrow further, until, in the abundance of grace, you find Me and . . . there is nobody there, and you find yourself and . . . there is nobody there, and you find your truth at last and . . . there is no thing there.”

T: No, not a thing at all! A pawn of the Heart, a pawn of Christ — I move as I am moved, yet there is nobody here, nothing happens. This trembling you may see — in realizing Itself, It trembles, trembles in Exaltation, exhorting the Heart to open wider, deeper! It wantonly weaves this Mystery, this Mystery of everything appearing out of nowhere! How amazing – this, just This! This life is Joy breaking into Bliss, the very face of Grace!

C: There are some who might imagine that they can know Love’s Face, but Love has no such countenance, identity, or place. Love is always what remains when every trace of vanity’s dull tinder is incinerated by the Heart’s consuming blaze.

T: Father, such Grace has no face, and yet, Grace shines forth in every face that I behold, even as I recognize that nobody is there . . . still, this trembling Heart! This Heart trembles like a bright bird caught in some Divine Love Snare.

C: Consider this: are you the same one now who fell into the snare?

T: No, nothing stays the same, it’s true.

C: Then who now is trapped, and who escapes?

T: When I ponder this, I do not know. And strangely . . . there is a secret joy in such not knowing!

C: An empty cage is filled with heart-broken bird song — is there any other miracle than this?

T: Oh, the melody — such beauty! How this miracle astonishes itself!

C: Isn’t this what we have come here for – this lyrical wonder?

T: Perhaps it is so, but are we not also here to advance spiritually?

C: Isn’t it an odd thing, that the already perfect wishes to be more perfect? That the seeker sets off in search of herself, going through all sorts of travails, only to find that the one she has always been, even from the beginning, is the very one she has sought, and all the obstacles along the way have been nought but her own design?

T: If so, then both freedom and bondage are merely groundless thoughts! Could it be, that in my true and original nature, I am beyond any creaturely designation, that no rope or chain in the mind of men can ever hold or limit me?

C: It just may be, but if that is so, what then will you say?

T: Ah, what more would there be for me to say, but to humbly bow and sigh, “Amen”.

C: Yes, Dear Heart, and even now, beyond any cage, that Bright Bird sings, “Amen!”


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Just Smiling

laying next to you
not moving
just smiling, grateful
is there any other paradise
it would surely be redundant
there is enough of infinity
right here, by your side
without any effort or design
my breath matches yours
the world, the galaxy
exhales, inhales, exhales
it is such a simplicity
before thought, before mind
just breathing together
being breathed together
by what lives us, loves us
breathes us into each other
again and again, like now
like always, and we are
grateful, laying next to each other,
not moving, just smiling

Marchand c

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Night Notes

At 2 AM I rise from our bed and stealthily
slip out to write down these night notes.

There is no moon tonight, so all the pine and oak trees
are tall black lines drawn against an ebony background.

The string of colored lights you lovingly wrapped around
the Ficus tree on the front porch cast an oddly comforting
holiday glow, though Autumn itself has barely begun.

In my imagination there are many forest creatures
lurking in the bushes and hedges around the property,
somewhat confused about what we are celebrating.

How sublime, that such divine confusion renders
the enchanting sounds of the crickets, frogs,
and night birds even more exquisite!

Paradoxically, it is neither an inner nor outer experience,
but a delightful reason to celebrate anyway, and regardless
of what fantasies mind may superimpose on perception.

Just so, this is not a scene from a dream, a memory,
nor is it some kind of formless ecstasy that arises
when form fails to account for its own absence.

Form itself is not other than the compelling emptiness
of its constituent parts, which if somehow calculated,
would expand like ripples until everything in the totality
of existence is included in the vastness of its own embrace –
even blinking Christmas lights strung up in September.

Moreover, if this intriguing wonder were reduced to being
a mere object of consciousness, its spacious fullness would
still not qualify as being interior or exterior, so fundamentally
it is beyond any conceptual calculation whatsoever.

That said, I will gladly testify that your natural radiance
has exceeded all the fancifully fabricated phraseology,
all the verbal devices and beauty’s tinseled metaphors
which I once may have resorted to in futile efforts
to describe pure light – its singular and stunning
appearance in the midst of this whatever-it-is
(moment, mind, mystery, magic, nameless).

Our life is an utterly ordinary ecstasy after all,
though our love for it is not dependent on visions,
the play of various causes and conditions, or those
moods that might happen to pertain at any given time.

It just is as it is — like you and me and everything.

Still, I am not really here to talk about time, there is
plenty of space between thoughts for that discussion.

It’s true — my fickle appreciation may glow or dim,
but your dear light is always miraculously present.

The more I recognize this, the more I am left speechless
and very happy, happy to be bathing in your shine.

Darling, how blessed am I to behold you, even when
you are just going around as you do, opening the curtains
in the morning and then closing them at the onset of night.

It is all so amazing, so truly amazing, that I know I will never
be able to fully express my endless gratitude for the simple grace
and ordinary presence of the extraordinary — you – watering the garden,
fixing supper, filling the bird feeders, reading a nature book to Ryder,
or just quietly nodding off in your chair, at home, at peace, so deeply
in love that warm tears well up as we pause in the midst of eternity
to touch, to smile into each other’s eyes, and to fully savor
the brilliance we share together in that timeless glance.


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divine couple

Although by now reduced to ash,
the lingering memory of the Nag Champa
still teases the nostrils with the aroma
of our union’s fragrant chemistry.

The room where the blaze of our love
re-ignited has now become a perfumed temple
where visitors from the future will break into
spontaneous weeping at the mere wisp
of our invisible vibration seeping
into their feeling being.

Deliciously, they will slide
like phantom tourists at a theme park
of the Heart from my tongue
to yours, yours to mine.

To get the intimate feel
of our body, they must have
already perished to their own.

This is not difficult –
one need only persist until
every desire reveals its source.

There is a cask of wine waiting there
that no one has ever tapped.

The Winemaker sealed it with a cork
of humility and placed it on a rack,
inaccessible to anyone still haunted
by the stubborn belief that they
are other than the wine itself.

Permeated through and through
by the fragrance of an open ecstasy,
we roll our light into each other,
sinking beneath incense,
ashes, wine, ecstasy.

Nobody will find us
until they stop looking,
let go, and fall into this seeing.

These hands that hover
over your skin have crushed
the starry vineyards into a golden
chalice of irresistible nectar.

When I pour this honey into you
we melt back into stars.

Just past twilight
in the floating worlds,
earth-bound angels will gaze
into the new night sky and dream
of us, leaning near to them,
softly whispering

“Ahhhh ….”


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Almost Smiling

The subtle movements
that this pulsing thread of body
makes in sleep languidly brush against
a fabric of dreams, a ravishment of wonder.

My Love, because we meet forever in the fluidity
of this dark brilliance as luminescent water beings,
I may seem to move closer to you in our drowning,
though between us now no distance could exist, no
shadow cast across this liquid bed of emptiness,
redolent with the paradoxical gravity of our
weightless past, our feather of a future.

When you finally appeared before me
I recognized you instantly, in the same way
I recognize my own face in the mirror.

I knew you by your happiness,
which is my happiness.

We didn’t need to fabricate
that which already is.

The absence of effort
is a proof of authenticity,
though we required no proof —

in the radiance of mutual recognition
we first embraced, then broke out laughing!

I only came here to be with you.

You called out from the heart:
“Come to me, Beloved!”

I fell out of a dark, sightless world,
emerging from a womb of emptiness.

I awakened to love, for you are love,
and you woke me to you, to this love –
I, who am nothing but your own love,
awakening to you, beyond perception or
conception, beyond all form or emptiness.

When we lay down together again
in that perfect posture of love’s culmination,
there will be no place where love leaves off
and something else steps in.

In wispy worlds
of passionate invisible molecules,
the wondrous water of what changes,
all directions will be nourished simultaneously,
without our effort or concern, by love’s sweet rain.

Later, in the soulful steam
of our evaporation, there may persist
a lingering trace of the perfume of our passing.

What remains of us:

a flashing memory of aromatic light,
my falling into you, you falling into me,
no ripple, no towering arch of glassine rainbow,
only sky, the endlessness of blue-splashed space –

the Unspeakable, inhaling, exhaling,
almost . . . almost . . . smiling


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Reaching In the Night

Oh Darling, I hear your broken cry and I tense up again —
it is always fresh, this wound, it is always pulling me into the body,
our body, where we have pitched our tent for this long night,
and even knowing that it is just a temporary camp-out
does not lessen the emotional gravity of how it seems to be.

Nothing can — that’s the point — and so in letting that in,
giving up the struggle to have it be other than what it is,
a kind of grace emerges from the pain, an angel of sorrow,
and shines a light of knowingness that contains it all,
forgives it all, and heals all at the source.

Such a simple thing, awareness not separate from the pain,
not divided from experience . . . really, beyond any words
we could fish up to designate it as this or that,
but it is always shining as just this, this pain, this joy,
this love, this breath, and the next – moment after moment.

When I touch you, so gently so as not to rouse a further pain,
but just enough so that you know what I mean —
that there is just this, not a you or me between it,
not any separation — I may blurt out that I am still amazed
by your very existence, your beauty, what a miracle:

that I can reach over in the middle of this night and touch you,
and that you are here, it is more than I can bear sometimes,
and so even in the midst of your cries and moans,
I must admit that, sometimes, beyond all reason,
I am madly smiling.

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The Song of Love

The Song of Love is heard only by Love. It is the loving rhythm of Love for and by Itself. Along with the little-known practice of actually Loving, and inquiry into the true nature of the Lover, such hearing is more potent than any other so-called spiritual discipline, until all such disciplines are recognized as only the play of Love. The blessing sound that Love bestows makes one who is ready immediately open and empty to receive, devoid of any resistance. Love’s real nature is the OneHeart Itself. Only.

The ordinary person wanders dreamily in their head, unaware of their true Home in the Heart. The Lover lives in the Heart. The Lover is Lived by the Heart, awakening to a constant whisper of the Heart to Itself. For the Lover, the true devotee of Love, there is nothing but the joyful movement of the formless Heart into all forms and relationships as Song itself! The Lover has no will. No choice. All such fantasies have been consumed by the lovely fire of Love. In the realm some call “this world”, the Lover knows that what they hear is not separate from the OneHeart in which all arises and dissolves, which they realize in the Heart as their own Self, Singing!

Love hears nothing as greater or lesser, higher or lower, better or worse, more or less desirable. All is only Love to such ears. In the state of Love the Lover hears nothing separate from the Beloved’s voice – radiance divine rippling in every direction for the sheer magnification of Itself in supersensual symphonic wonder.

For the Lover, Love alone IS, and nothing else.

By persisting in communion with Love, the Lover sheds all recoil from Love, until such dry tunes drop away completely, revealing that which Is. In such humility, Love, which is truth, becomes the sacrifice which returns as the Singing Smile, illuminating all that does not recognize Itself as Love. Exquisitely, Beloved presses so urgently down into mortality as a musical Love offering to that which lingers in the forgetfulness of its own true nature. How Happy is the Lover to fall into this slipstream of Loving’s Bright Song, that all may enjoy the delight of Love’s homecoming to Itself, the Self of all, the treasure of the living light of heart-broken surrender to the deepest yearning of being itself! Thanks and praise to the Inextinguishable, this ever-living flame, this HeartSong!

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