Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Non-Dual Matthew: 10:9-10

10: 9-10

“Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.”


It’s about balance-
what do we need and why?
And about that word
need.
I gaze around me,
from earrings to crucifix to calendar,
and when I start sifting it all,
need becomes a lot
thinner.   
We do not labor for God—
we merely share
out of a different

economy.

KBN

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 10:8

10:8

“You received without paying; give without pay.

The greatest gift we are given,
we will never be asked to change
into coin.
The greatest gift we can give,
cannot be measured.
The economy of the healer
is not based on knowledge
but rather
the intimate relationship,
 simply reminding
all the members of their shared wholeness.
How can you take a part from what is whole?
Only wholeness forever remains.


The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 10:7-8

 10: 7-8

And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.

If you can hear this,
everything that follows is just so much
smoke and show—
why are you anything other than perfect?
who dies?
what needs cleansed?
where is the energy is left to feed demons?

This now, this moment,
is perfect,
unified.
Incline your ear to this Kingdom
and all will be
made whole.


KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 10:5-6

10:3-4

“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

We begin closest to home—
our own culture giving us
a secondary kind of authority,
boundaries and
social etiquette--
the lost sheep still in the shadowed corners of the fold
we know best.

If we can speak and stand up here,
then perhaps will come the skills to do so everywhere;
close to our roots,
snuggled tight with the mirror,
we have the courage to think we know best.

To play as musicians together
sometimes it is easier to read the same notes,
to recall the same stories
and experience
the long, bright days of midsummer
as fingers dance on strings.

We know the songs.
Or think we do.

It is harder to begin with an assumption
of the basic unity of all humankind—
that is the place we know best
in our heart of hearts
but believe in
the

least.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 10:2-4

10:2-4

“The names of the twelve apostles are these:  first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.”

Are gurus measured only by their male disciples?
Only in the histories written down
in a male’s hand.
And yet, in their sparse descriptions
we see a part of our own face,
no matter if we are
male or female—
the brother or sister
the tax collector
the son or daughter
the first (and last)
the zealot
the betrayer-
constellated around their center.
These are the roles of our lives,
the masks,
all the ways
we create distinctions
to cloud
the Son.


KBN

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Non-Dual Matthew: 10:1

10:1 

“And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and heal every disease and every affliction.”

Authority comes from within—
it cannot be given, like a chocolate bar,
 one to another
unless the hand opens,
the eyes meet
the hearts whisper through skin.
It can be awakened.
It can be stirred and breathed upon,
the regard of one human standing tall beside another
and unified in God.
Go forth and heal—
it is not in a name,
not in something outside--
it is in making two into one,
a lover’s embrace
but

endless and without expectation of return.

KBN

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:37-38

9:37-38

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”


What does it mean to be ripe?
Is it just a smell, simply a taste?
Is it only a chemical completion,
genetics waiting to be fed on pure sun dripped sugar?
Glance around you now—
the birdfeeder swaying in the breeze,
the litter of dry sticks scattered around,
cedar and millet, mixing—
is this, too, a harvest?
Perhaps it is an incense blended for no one
except
the One
 Who lays out thin over the land,
that everywhere place of sky and earth meeting
in compassionate regard.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:36

9:36

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

The sheep do not really need a shepherd
when the field is vast and green,
the stone walls stacked solid,
and the sky bright but not burning overhead.
I wander out among them, and they raise their heads
munching, their ears bobbing a little,
the shy ones backing up a step or two,
the bolder stamping a quick warning.

At night when the coyotes sing,
they bunch up, fuzzy butts outward
and share each other’s steaming breath.

We are sometimes less able than sheep,
alone as we are
uncomfortable in our lean pastures
the walls of our surety crumbling
harassed by memory and fear within,
feeling helpless before our inner poverty.

Breathe inward with compassion,
a single shepherd
to the many trembling
and fuzzy
parts of ourselves.


KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:35

9:35

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing very disease and every affliction.

There is one unified word that illumines everything, everywhere,
sinks into flesh
in locations holy and not,
defying such paradoxes.
The question is
by what sense do you discover
enough unbounded receptivity
to give you ears that can

hear?

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:33-34

9:33-34

And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”


Open thy mouth
and it will be echoed for good or ill—
that is the danger and blessing of speech.
Symbols can only go so far,
even the packages of sound that convey meaning,
even His sharp and sad eyes that looked at all those faces
will be heard and remembered differently.
The Pharisees saw correctly,
but their jealously held vantage point
obscured
a greater Truth.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:32-33

9:32-33

As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him.  And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke.

What word is worth speaking?
What silence bind us powerless and mute?
There is a space, like a nest,
feathered and still,
and each thought pauses there
fledging multicolored wings on diets
that can both nurture or destroy—
if you wish to fly,

eat lightly for the glory of the open sky.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:30-31

9:30-31

And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

Wear the pearl close to your heart,
silently, beneath your shirt,
and let that gentle pressure remind you
sternly
that your treasure cannot be given to another.
Can you share the sunset of last night
the way the clouds wreathed themselves in flame
and bent down and breathed
on the still ocean?
One word, and you have shattered
experience
into a thousand second-hand
relationships—
they are beautiful
but they are not
the

Real.

KBN

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:27-30

9:27-30

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”  When he entered the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe I am able to do this?”  They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith, be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened.

Healing begins with the asking,
that moment putting in motion countless little actions
and reactions,
consciousness bowed before some sovereignty
and open to miracle.

Never underestimate the placebo—
it creates a crack in the darkened room
so sunlight can spill in.

But the asking,
it moves  us beyond ourselves,
bends the stiffened knee
even
as it raises our eyes.
Even sightless, we see.
Even blind, our eyes water
with the light,
and wholeness.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:23-26

9:23-26

And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.”  And they laughed at him.  But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand and the girl arose.  And the report of this went through all that district.

Would you reign?
Then, from within this ruler’s house,
the crowd must go.
They sing and cry for one who is not dead,
merely sleeping,
but their presence tends to make
such sleep go on and on.

Mourners make the tomb.

Let the divine lift up the child within you,
the one who laughs and cries
and meets life fresh,
who takes your hand
and dances you around the empty home
and reminds you how to breathe again.

If you are lucky, such a thing
will spill out into the world through doors and windows.

If you are lucky,
nobody will throw a stone.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:19-22

9:19-22

And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.  And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.”  And instantly the woman was made well.

Do you think you can sneak up on the divine
and grasp just the fringe of a garment
and not be changed?
The stepping up was the healing,
the reaching out was the moment of
transformation—
but what will really put the chocolate in the cookie batter—

Who reaches to who?



The Non-Dual Matthew: 9:18

9:18

While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him saying, “My daughter has just died but come and lay your hand on her and she will live.” 

What seems like a pain inside of us
makes us reach
for the divine.
It is love straining to love,
even when it feels like death within.
The secret has always been to reach--
for then the Mystery
will hurry toward you,
knowing you need such shows
for an intimacy
that was really

already there.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:17

9:17

“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins.  If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed.  But new wine is put in fresh wineskins and so both are preserved.”

A new way of seeing the world
does not only mean the outer forms cannot be patched—
something alchemical happens within.
We shift and expand and boil a little,
sloshing up against
our leathery insides until
in a small, steady drip
or a tremendous rip and splash
we rush into transformation.
If we have
new skins holding us,
we will grow larger, expand the seams,
but look here, our eyes

pricked with light.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:16

9:16

“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.


The vessel we hold our faith within
can be like an old garment,
comfortable,
so familiar we hardly
look at it when we pull it from the closet.
But
when a new way of seeing begins
to rustle and snag,
sometimes we must burst forth
from those old clothes.
The new way is itchy
and not quite fitted to our forms,
but here we trust--
in time
we will live
into them.



KBN

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Non-Dual Matthew: 9:14-15

9:14-15

“The disciples of John came to him saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guest mourn as long as the bridgegroom is with them?  The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast.’”

Absence
is what we try to fill—
the religious toolbelt
useful
when we feel that aching aloneness
in our bones.

But when our eyes open
and with wholeness
we sit in the midst
of all our empty masks,
how round and full our bellies then,
no need to turn aside in sackcloth
and ashes
for we
see and are seen,
fill others and are full--
the nurturing intimacy

of a unified one.

KBN

The Non-Dual Matthew: 9:11-13

9:11-13

“And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’  But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice.  For I came not to call the righteous, but sinner.”


We will not find our answers
if we ask in the oblique.

Even when we finally hear,
 real knowing will be tempered
with compassion,
and that gnosis
has been bought with our very brokenness,
the thing that allows us to
ask,
the need to speak
“help me”,
also calls us to the table.

The righteous stop looking,
they cease hearing.
Like statues in a graveyard,
they keep exacting watch over
the dead.


The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:10

9:10

“And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples.”


We are forever more
than what the world calls us—
tax collector, sinner, disciple.
Each name is only
a movement over a still pond,
a whisper that trembles the water lillies.
Our truer selves recline at the common table
and the still, embracing divine
is there
among us

always.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:9

9:9

“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.”

It is given one line.
One. Line.
An entire life changed, everything dropped,
the oar-less boat, picked up by the tide.

I let my eyes travel over the titles surrounding my desk,
the greatest thinkers who ever
put pen to paper,
arrayed like a brick wall.

I don’t follow any of them
although I respect them all.
I have sat for hours,
chin on fist,
the Thinker
in female form
until my back and teeth ached.

Print can never look into your eyes,
the hint of a smile on dry lips,
the faintest dip of the head that says,
“I see you, in your completely amazing fullness.”

No wonder the scribes
with their squinting gazes felt
 so jealous
fearful and

alone.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:7-8

9:7-8

“And he rose and went home.  When the crowds saw it, they were afraid and they glorified God who had given such authority to men.”

Awe,
that God gives us all such authority-
don’t miss it here, in this reading.
Surely some part of you knew it already,
that we always have this innate power
to heal and forgive,
to bring people home again,
to speak truth,
to open the doors of our hearts wide
and give ourselves away
to the other,
made as we are in the participatory
wholeness
of

God.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:4-6

9:4-6

“But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?  For which is easier, to say your sins are forgiven or to say Rise and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’-he then said to the paralytic-‘Rise, pick up your bed and go home.’”


We can think evil into our hearts-
if the heart is that organ of softer perception
that blurs the lines of this and that
true and false,
in and out.
We can override it,
lend passion and certitude to
the very part of us
that can also see the holy
but only in tandem
with compassion.

It is what makes tradition so very powerful.

It is like stuffing our ears, so we never hear
the invitation to rise from this cocktail party
 and
go

home.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:5

9:3

“And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, ‘This man is blaspheming.’”

The law is an echo
of an echo
of an experience.
Like trying to taste last week’s wine
in the washed and dried glass,
like kissing a photograph
fresh out of your digital printer,
Like flipping back through a five year old calendar
to remember what you bought
at the bookstore on some day--
when tradition fences us off from
mercy, from the moment,
from our most honest human reactions,
then it must become a thing of the past,

dust driven and empty.

KBN

The Non-Dual Gospel of Matthew: 9:1-2

9:1-2

 “And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed.  And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.’”


Would you be merciful?
Then you must use this bifocal lens—
we all have it, you know—
the ability to see what is whole
and forever free of any impediment
in each face that comes before us.
What is the forgiveness of sin
but a recognition
of the eternal perfection
that will always trump

the relative, the passing.

KBN

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Non-Dual Matthew: 7:28-29

7:28-29

And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching for he was teaching them as one who had authority and not as their scribes.


We can only offer to unveil what is already within us;
teacher and student
only point out what is within each,
two perceptions try meeting at a single point,
but even then,
how many shattered reflections of truth
try to scramble out,
making meaning?

Words are not the same as
tone, expression,
the other 80% of our embodied communication.

Intimacy unto unity
how do you teach that?
You, 
as Jesus shows us all,
 can
only

Be.

KBN

The Non-Dual Matthew: 7:23-27

7:23-27

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell and great was the fall of it.


Can you show me that which does not change?
What rock does not,
in time,
and wave
and wind
yield softly to the breaking apart
transformation
 creating soil and sand?
We cannot build on name and form
but rather must find
that point where we can hear,
in the finest beach grain
and the largest mountain,
a single note echoing
calling us
 Home.

KBN

The Non-Dual Matthew: 7:21-22

7:21-22

On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty works in your name? And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

We cannot heal in another’s name—
as if it were a talisman,
a fetish
an object to be manipulated
at a distance.

One source runs through us all,
living water,
splashing and forming anew
in each of our unique sinews and cells.
We do violence to ourselves when
we think ourselves merely
empty cups,
open mouths,
crying forever
to be filled.

Would you prophesy and cast out demons?
Then you will need to know and wield 
your own true
Name.


KBN

The Non-Dual Matthew: 7:21

7:21

Not everyone who prays to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.



Would you walk this narrow path?
Then put aside the hero worship,
the starry eyes.
Stop groveling and stand.

It doesn’t mean you cannot look into
the Beloved’s face,
place your foot in each print he made,
only that you cannot cling.

Align yourself
with the Genesis of
your soul,
the same Genesis that
birthed Him
and soon,
behold
who is the Beloved,
who are you?

From the answer you hear
in that rushing stream of Light
you will burst out in
countless living
springs!


KBN