I offer these poems to anyone who is searching to find peace in their lives. The poems by and large explore the still and powerful mind that can be found by anyone in the present moment. They point the way to this stillness and beyond to the absolute truth that can be found inside the stillness itself. These poems can be used as inspiration, or as an aide to your own personal practice. I have named the collection below:
POEMS FROM THE PRESENT
To go to Volume 2 on my home page (Click Here)
Titles in Alphabetical Order
- Awareness to Mindfulness
- Beauty & Truth
- Belief Faith & Knowing
- Emotion & Intellect
- Everyone’s got Fleas
- Form & Emptiness
- Hanging Out
- Ignorance and Clarity
- Just Let Go
- Reflections from the Present Moment.
- Right Now
- Stillness the Healer
- Strange loops
- Such is Life
- The Voice in Your head
- The Worldly Reflection
- What do you know if you measure
- Who Decides Life’s Worth.
by Dennis Sheppard.
What a mystery it is, to wake up each day
And find a world, locking into place around us.
To look up into the sky and see the sun on high
Dancing stars and planets, in lockstep --- but why?
Sleeping consciousness gives way, at the breaking of day
Body energised, with five senses aroused,
Interpreting what is presented, as real and alive,
Working together, as necessary to survive.
When the sun shines strong, we feel awake and belong,
To the world, with all its work and its toil,
Hunger needs to be fed and new life needs to be bred,
Desires energy working to create natures thread.
As the days go by, the questions asking why,
Becomes less prominent, as we settle into our roles.
The mystery loses its power, allowing the ego to flower,
A personal world created, with perception to empower.
Discernment of life, becomes real and transfixed,
Embodying more, to keep up with its demands..
But satisfying what we require, seems to increase our desire,
Becoming a slave, to these worldly commands.
The five senses are always there, with a consciousness to match
To stroke and provide pleasure to this ego,
But any pleasure that is gained, is always balanced with pain,
Reflecting duality in nature, to stay sane.
For us life’s balance and truth, is difficult to see
With loss prejudiced to attach only to gain.
With our ignorance so strong, it all feels so wrong,
Perhaps “I may be insane”.
But what a joy it is, to see the hopelessness of the world,
Existential anguish validated in truth.
With no place left to grow, we can only let go,
Leaving freedom, with an ironic clarity to know.
As the mind starts to relax, it clears and then brightens,
Then knowing without grasping, is beginning to enlighten.
The mind starts to reveal, as a sense on its own,
Five senses subsumed, as it shows our real home.
Gradually awakening from, this contradictory sleep.
Wisdom increases to accept mystery, for life to see deep.
The awesome beauty that mindfulness, brings up to portray
Makes life so much richer, without need to betray.
Time and space is the stage, for this wonderful display,
Space inflating to meet, our conscious desires,
Then consciousness expands, as space in turn make demands,
With time borrowing, from a framework that expires.
The anguish of this demise, the loss of youth and surprise,
Make for a burden, that many would like to shed.
This realisation brings an intention, which leads to a view,
Where wisdom can see, through life’s thread.
Life’s thread has a cause, that brings an effect into being,
Revealing a consciousness, persisting beyond birth and death.
Moulded into space, the universe continues the trace,
A paradox united with beauty and selfless grace.
These eternal cycles, that condition the view of our world,
Are grasped in ignorance, in the belief they are true.
Locking ourselves into a jail, when we could all have bail
The key to the truth hidden, inside me and you.
Wisdom points to the truth, in this present moment of time,
As we awaken with clear eyes, free from this worldly grime.
Reality’s clarity experienced, in the here and now,
Conditioning untangles to leave peace on our brow.
The beauty that can be seen, in the stillness that’s there,
Is a blessing leaving a legacy, so rich and so rare.
Setting us up for ongoing wisdom, with a future balanced and right,
Allowing any conditioning left over, to be lived out in delight.
The stillness starts to permeate, every condition that is known,
It relaxes and allows sanity to be grown.
All known within the present moment, it is of priceless value,
Its beauty so compelling, it goes way beyond telling.
This is what it means to awaken, from the anguish of existence,
To wake from a sleep, that makes life a subsistence.
To awaken in a moment of truth, is really beyond compare,
Even the blissful stillness finishes --- leaving everything nowhere.
To die into such a moment, is a knowing beyond all measure,
A rebirth is not possible, it is a pathway to treasure.
Finally awake to know, the truth of all that can be,
Natures freedom on show, for all who would see.
By Dennis Sheppard
To be aware of the world around, is a knowledge well worth knowing,
It allows sentient beings to feel secure and thrive while they are growing.
A plan for the future, conditioning from the past,
It provides a happy situation --- to allow beings like us to last.
The evolution involved to bring, sentience this glory,
Is --- in itself; a very long and troubled story.
Trial and error sets up, our inevitable loss and gain,
And it never is without, its suffering and its pain.
But pain endured can bring about, an insight and a knowing,
And allow experience to push boundaries, to advantage life while showing,
A way to persist through life’s impermanence and tenuous foothold,
And evolve into a dynasty, through generations untold.
The connectedness of all things, is apparent with perspective,
History built up over time, all drawn from the collective.
Rich strains of existence, that move things to and fro,
Or barren branches of becoming, that never get a go.
Awareness of consciousness provides, a sentient pathway,
With all our lives connected, offering up a grand buffet.
The entire universe is involved, including rock and earth inanimate,
A compounded complex state, built inside everyone’s real estate.
The natural processes involved in wonders, like a sympathetic vibration,
Or in gravity itself, creating individual striation.
Then the other forces involved, including charge and all the parities
Allowing phenomenon to cluster, with their distinct peculiarities.
Complexity and awareness increases, from this movement universal made,
Nested inside the space of mind, sentience grasps because it’s afraid.
To lose the patterns of thought, it’s holding on to develop perception,
As feeling starts to manifest, bringing self-awareness to conception.
Becoming familiar, with these thoughts as mine, builds an ego and a story,
But with desire and bodily needs ongoing, it is not all the time just glory,
A slave trapped inside this body, because it must be clothed and fed.
Meaning time is spent in servitude, with toil and work then-dead.
But as Maslow’s pyramid discovers, self-actualising increases to pay,
Self-awareness builds efficiency; with at least some time for play.
With this leisure time used for reflection, humanity can contemplate facts,
And start to see the bind being lived and allocate time to relax.
Awareness brings some stillness, to open the mind with clarity,
We start to understand ourselves, and see our lives with verity.
We start to build up and store, knowledge of histories past,
And test future propositions, to see if they will pass.
The external world looms, so large and so real,
It seems an obvious place, for answers to reveal,
The mystery of the secrets, creating you and me,
But it spawns only questions, and no chance to be free.
Then train a telescope to look out, at the universe beyond,
Focussing in on the cosmos, bringing it closer to respond.
And interpret the wonder and worlds, and all that we can see,
But it’s on and on with more questions, and no way to set us free.
But what if we look inwards, through the telescopes other end,
To look at who is looking, and try to apprehend.
Where the questions have come from, and what reality really is,
We see that with focus on the physical --- it always remains a quiz.
Then the spiritual mind arises and we can realise what to do,
We see holding on to past and future, will bind us just like glue,
And cause the energy that makes us, to travel around inside a loop,
With questions and answers bringing rebirth, to keep us in the soup.
The middle way becomes important, where we can rest and see our mind,
Where awareness peaks and brings to being, a mindfulness so refined.
Letting go of past and future and opening to the space
Allows pure mind to be a reality, as mindfulness shows its grace.
This refined mind state shows its power, energy one pointed,
Formless ground with clarity and knowing not disappointed.
Once inside this mind-stream of knowing, you cannot go wrong,
Its peace is so compelling, you know where you belong.
Pointing to the pinnacle of sentient evolution, beyond all space and time,
A nirvana where no-thing is held, a place that’s free of grime.
There is peace with not one tension, to cause a rebirth lower down.
An infinite way of knowing, where equanimity wears the crown.
How fortunate is the human being, to have this awareness self reflective,
The ability to recognise oneself in time, and alter our perspective.
It’s a blessing not shared in full, with the rest of the animal kingdom,
Pure truth’s path is awareness to mindfulness, the ultimate in wisdom.
Mindfulness is the path to the deathless;
Heedlessness is the path to death.
The mindful do not die;
But the heedless are as if dead already.
Dhammapada Verse 21
by Dennis Sheppard
Beauty and Truth what a wonderful pair,
To shed light on reality, a state seen so rare,
The two states live together, in a space so refined,
It needs a grounding in purity, to approach with your mind,
Without this grounded awareness,
To help see beauty's truth,
We are beguiled for lifetimes,
Mesmerized --- unable to sleuth.
No motivation to go deeper,
To see the wellspring of desire
Chasing rainbows and unicorns,
To motivate and inspire.
Creating a universe of wonder,
Inside an infinity of chance.
Untold lives in the making,
While beauty does its dance.
How compelling is beauty's charm,
As we grasp and possess.
Unable to note what we are holding,
As we continue to obsess.
Through the years poets and scholars,
Have allowed beauty to take them for a ride.
In the search for what is true,
Beauty has always been the guide.
From the Arts and Literature,
To Mathematics inspired,
The best of it, is rich in beauty,
The ingredient, to make a work desired.
But when a physicist's equation is balanced,
With universal ingredients, clean and tight,
The charm that is present from beauty's glow,
Will shout what we are looking at, is right.
Without beauty's glow we will always know,
That the truth will never be absolute.
Though a lesser delight may still leave things bright,
Leading to truth in a qualified light.
There's hope in relationships, that begin with beauty and love,
Heartfelt and true, a gift from above.
Together united we are better than one,
A truth with contentment and beauty, can be won.
Men and Women right down through the ages,
Have found a beauty in each others form,
We partner and muse and balance, and love
In the hope a perfect offspring is born.
Beauty's charm is indeed beguiling,
Causing romance to grow and blossom,
But when grasped at, we begin to notice,
That what we are holding ends up rotten.
The search for truth is relentless,
But bodily needs give us a point of view,
So any beauty seized on a given day,
Is held in a relative way.
So graduated is beauty's reveal,
With sanity increasing as the view gets real.
Beauty and truth compelling, as we bask in its stillness,
And let go and diminish, and say goodbye to mental illness.
At each stage, in a virtual age,
We realize that the truth is much deeper,
The beauty we require, becomes a refined desire,
And real truth cannot be grasped at that way.
Beauty unadulterated exists with truth,
In a complete and absolute way,
There is no way of holding it,
Because it will just die, and fade away.
When the moment present becomes more important,
To give perspective on what we perceive,
Our minds become more refined and pure,
Leaving wisdom in the wake --- so sure.
In wisdoms light, the sage delights,
To see beauty and truth start merging.
This present moment, is the place to see,
All of life's wonders converging.
So freedoms light shines so bright,
When truth and beauty merge in the moment,
And when we know where that is, it's no longer a quiz,
We know where truth absolute lives.
by Dennis Sheppard.
And they lived happily ever after, goes the nursery rhyme,
That has been recited to children, from the beginning of time.
These moments to discover and realise just how the world works,
To develop strategies for living, so we can get our perks.
Hansel and Gretel’s story, is scary and foreboding,
But allows parents to demonstrate, how to handle fear and loathing,
And not be overwhelmed, when world’s image is too strong.
We learn cooperation and connection, so we can belong.
The confidence and vitality that comes, from this training by others,
Develops conditioning to believe in, set in place by our past mothers.
A tried and tested track, so well worn and complete,
To think, or practice differently, will surely bring defeat.
So a belief comes into existence, from the conditioning we receive,
Its outcomes so consistent, reason says it will not deceive.
So we hold on very tightly, inferring that our viewpoint is a fact.
But eventually find our belief system, is not a binding pact.
To have set answers to life problems, will always bring us trouble,
The intellect may go with it, but our heart will burst the bubble.
Black and white answers may be easy, to pass judgement on,
But when the grey areas appear, life’s richness sings its song.
This richness makes us realise, that our beliefs we do not know
So many different viewpoints, makes confusion bloom and grow.
Even the most tried and tested ideas, that bring the strongest belief,
Will end up causing trouble and eventually bring us grief.
Grief is a natural condition of the world, a dis-ease known to every one,
So we construct our beliefs to justify, then life can continue on.
Belief relies on relative truth, proffering different meanings to us all,
But life’s story set in a certain way, means it can change and then betray.
Inspiration energises interest, bestowing hope and faith in our quest,
To achieve what it is we dream of, and fill our lives with zest.
Belief in our path will follow, but belief can be only a guide,
Until knowing comes into the picture, heralding truth as a place to abide.
By contrast this approach to truth, requires a mind that’s pure and still,
This stillness can be nurtured, to give peace when the heart’s tranquil.
Knowing life without getting lost, or involved in the commentary,
Is a practice that can be refined and balanced, to include ambiguity?
This still consciousness reveals our attachment,
As we hold on tight, to what we believe,
Holding on in delusion, frightened to let go,
The space around us conditioned, to lock us into the flow.
Space is shaped around us, it moves naturally as we require,
It tangles and twists in tension, to fashion our ongoing desire.
Forming a pattern or mould as a shadow, a context for our living and life,
Forming and adjusting continuously, energy using the universes might.
Moment to moment rearrangement, to the vast energy of space,
Ongoing change in focus, of the universes equanimous face.
All allowed, inside nature’s laws, of change and conservation,
With relative truth for us all, inside natures ongoing unification.
Stillness space and consciousness, can be seen as one and the same,
Our consciousness conditions the space, while stillness provides the frame.
It is there to find in the moment, saturating all of life’s quests,
And when known without doubt in the moment, life really does become blessed.
Wisdom grows from experience, with faith growing from inspiration,
Until the present moment comes into sharp relief, inside a still absorption.
A view from such a near perfect mind state, leaves belief in things way behind,
Because knowing unconditionally, means that we are no longer blind.
Then all of our beliefs, views and opinions resolve,
The stillness permeates and reveals their nature convolved,
Beliefs are experienced in context, when seen from this moment present,
Empty conditions ready to devolve, latent as the mind moves to evolve.
This mindfulness of the moment, when known without a doubt,
Is a wonderful place of abiding, the feeling is quite devout.
It gives a perspective complete and direction to live our life,
Pure focus guided by beauty, to avoid most trouble and strife.
Clarity shows us our desire and aversion, is at the root of identities existence.
Tensioning the space that contains us, causing rebirth with universal assistance.
It becomes clear that we need to practice, to let go of our self and relax,
Allowing our space to release its tensions and then unravel in all its dimensions.
This is how we awake from being lost, from wandering in the world of conditions,
The burden all gone the blindfold removed, free from desires and volition,
To have the perspective of light, so we can see across time,
Enlightened perspective, bringing realisation sublime.
So “knowing” is how we approach, the reality of absolute truth,
Using inspiration to practice and stay with a mindful pursuit.
Then even conscious space can come under, our forensic watchful gaze.
With a beauty pure it will collapse and finish, eternal “knowing” ablaze.
by Dennis Sheppard.
Skepticism is a quality that can help uncover truth,
It weighs and uses logic to discover as we sleuth.
Wrinkling out charlatans and tricksters, to help find the right path!
Giving us confidence to believe, our understanding has hit the mark.
Through the many views and opinions, and creeds that give us heart,
Our skeptical enquiry becomes, a refinement that makes us smart.
Measuring life as it is moves, from one viewpoint to the next,
Searching for the truth in what is presented, in a world so complex.
For lifetimes we continue searching, for a truth to make us free,
Perceiving through our senses, to interpret and provide a key,
But seeing with conditioning, born into us from the start
Making it difficult to see past self interest, beguiled by life as art.
As we search to find the answers, in our personal and relative way,
We find the past conditioning the future, in a loop that brings dismay.
With all our ideas and beliefs, trapped inside this cycle of time,
Truth is always a relative event, and never absolute or prime.
The skeptic in us works and brings up tension to levels high,
Making it difficult to believe in anything, causing a great big sigh,
That releases all the tension, leaving the mind relaxed and still
Allowing the clarity of the moment, to see past our time bound will.
As stillness grows in the moment it gives a perspective on who we are,
The bubble of self is pricked, exposing our grasping so bizarre,
Grasping a desire for life, with fear and ignorance to boot,
Caught in a cycle of birth and death, in an endless pursuit.
Wisdom starts to grow, when we see the pickle we are in.
We practice stillness to give perspective and let go where we have been.
The present moment becomes the place, where we prefer to reside,
Letting go to bring on stillness, with wisdom as our guide.
As wisdom grows, stillness is easier and our moral base expands.
Seeing points of view from external eyes --- empathy on demand.
Compassion comes with sympathetic joy and love starts filling our heart,
Happiness and bliss start loading us up, with joy and kindness to impart.
The head and the heart come together, as our will starts giving way,
To let go of who we think we are, to be focused and not led astray.
The stillness starts healing life's scars, bringing beauty to the fore,
The pathway forward becomes clear to see, impossible to ignore.
Contentment becomes a natural state, in which our mind can exist,
Not overwhelmed by all our wants, our needs just seem to get fixed,
Then the conditions that promote aversion, start affecting us less and less
We find ourselves remaining calm and not so much in a mess.
Then our energy starts to find a balance, in ways not seen before,
Our restless mind has settled, leaving clarity free to explore.
To the depths of our existence, searching truth right to the core,
Energetic bright and happy, without sloth to make us snore.
With all the conditions in place, to know enlightenment is just there,
There can be one last thing to come along, to trap and then ensnare.
It's doubt that rears its head, to rob our poise and make us stay,
Enmeshed in life's conditions, our skepticism will have its say.
Our will with its ally of doubt, form a powerful and united team
Standing like a colossus so daunting, and yet can be unseen.
Guarding the door of enlightenment, with such tenacity and force,
Deluded duty at its heart, but fearful of the source.
After lifetimes of good service,
Doubt becomes an obstacle, cloaked in a guise.
A skeptical fetter,
That stops you taking the prize.
So how to relax and release the hold on,
The "me" --- that doubt is trying to protect,
This becomes the focus of the work,
That we are trying to effect.
It's the beauty that is present, that will relax doubts tight hold,
And make it happy to release, and allow us into the fold,
This beauty once seen, leaves no doubt in your mind,
So the door can then be opened, to enlightenments truth refined.
Compassion love and kindness, along with joy across the board
Will then be our constant companions and is a fitting just reward.
Reciprocal in its flow between, us and all that we know,
Equanimity there mediating, maintaining an unbroken flow.
To know the truth beyond ourselves and the vastness of space,
Is a quest for all beings, who reflect upon their fate.
Doubt is definitely an asset, to help find the pathway to truth,
But in the end is a condition of fear, needing to be removed from the loop.
True love will sing its song, when fear is taken away,
To relax into the moment, where absolute truth has its sway.
Mindful and aware, to watch the mind-stream break up
A subtle bliss beyond creation, ushers true peace in --- enough!
By Dennis Sheppard.
I yelled and screamed, getting out of control,
Until I noticed my anger, was taking its toll,
It was my intellect that brought my emotion in check,
And saved me from becoming, a physical wreck.
Then my brain had worked out and set the task,
But when the fallout hit home, it was too big an ask,
I could not follow through, because my heart said no
Emotions ruling my head, making it so.
The head and the heart, is what makes up a man,
An unusual combination, developed since time began,
Starting out an animal nature, with instinct the driver,
Moving to an inclusive perspective, to stay a survivor.
My head is the intellect, very matter of fact
Calculating yet precise, a very helpful device.
The heart is my emotion, delivering a spectrum of feeling,
Subtle and intense, capable of leaving me reeling.
What a wonderful combination, for humans to possess,
A mixture of feeling and thought, with a brain to explain.
Five senses to gather information, inside a mind to create,
A coherent story, of my life to relate.
The mind is the sixth sense where consciousness animates,
It contains both intellect and emotion for self-reflection to illustrate.
Enlivening my sense doors bringing sentience and craving,
Conditioning my ego while creating, self centered behaving
My five senses are nested inside the container of my mind,
Delivering sensation then feeling, when perception has refined,
My interpretation of the conditions, as I experience living,
Creating a thirst for my story, without need for misgiving.
My being is enhanced as time plays its part,
With patterns of behavior to let my desire grow and last.
A magic of creation establishes a future and past,
Making a burden for me to carry in a universe so vast.
Creating myself within a universe, inside my mind nested supreme,
Conditions rebirth to replay patterns, of old regimes,
Because the mind stream is reflected and shaped into the universal matrix,
Providing a mould for my rebirth, as if marked with an asterix.
So engaged with my story, as I grasp and savour more,
With my intellect on side, making patterns galore.
Feeding back and borrowing energy, to build a complex world in hock,
Without noticing the price I pay, with suffering and dis-ease my stock.
With duality built in, to the experience of my life,
I see good times and bad times, bringing me equal strife.
Rough and smooth, day and night, they all naturally begin and end,
But once grasped as a load something is owed,
And I see these conditions are not my friend.
But intellect and emotion, can see a coin both sides defined,
That allows maturity to bring subtlety, inclusive with wisdom refined.
Because an infinity of lifetimes will, eventually sour and pall,
Our mind will long for true peace, even if we have it all.
Intellect and emotion can then waken me from my dream,
And help me get off the “merry go round”, as sanity blooms serene,
Leaving childlike grasping behind, I eventually come to see,
The peace within the moment present is what I want to be.
Grasping on to the past and future, is what weighs me down in life,
I learn to let go and let my mind settle, into the moment light and bright.
It’s the path of wisdom taught, by sages over time,
Allowing my mind to glimpse its truth, and head in a direction so sublime.
Both my intellect and emotion, show the good karma of a human being,
When mature growth and self-reflection, “let’s go” to see the freeing.
As the mind wants to stay, around the emptiness of the moment,
My perspective broadens as stillness penetrates, transforming and so potent.
How fortunate is the human being, to have both intellect and emotion,
To balance views of the created world, along with freedom and the notion.
That it is possible to know the present moment, with its truth and beauty defined,
And leave the world of instinctual burden, for the moment’s truth refined.
For the moments truth is where sanity lives, with its stillness and it knowing,
When seen without the burden of life, gives wisdom and knowing growing.
Every human being has a view of this truth, when their mind becomes clear and stable,
To let go of this life and the world within, leaves purity that is not disabled.
Intellect knows what to do, as emotion moves through rapture and bliss,
Conditioning stillness to become more refined and real, something not to miss.
The minds pureness increases to infinity, so subtle and restrained,
Until emptiness finishes --- leaving no mind and knowing unrestrained.
(Flea’s --- a metaphor for suffering)
By Dennis Sheppard.
An itch to scratch, is a common thing,
A sensation or flush, a body will bring.
But life’s universal vicissitudes, are hard to please,
The reason is that everyone’s got “fleas”.
Born into a life of grandeur, can make you significant
Very sure of yourself, some may say arrogant.
But no matter how high and mighty, there’s always a squeeze,
The reason is that everyone’s got fleas.
Then a lowly existence, may be what you’re born into,
Forced to beck and call, with fairness well overdue.
You may beg of the world, for a solution to appease,
But stuffs going to happen, because everyone’s got fleas.
Even the most sagely and sanguine person of breeding,
That lives a full life, abundant and forever succeeding,
Will still have to endure dark moments, in spite of there expertise
Because it is fact undeniable, that everybody’s got fleas.
A person who exists instinctually, close to animal cunning,
Without any insight to modify, and give them the running,
To make life easier, change lifestyle and ease disease,
Even if they could do it, they would still have fleas.
So it follows that the refined and uneducated are in the same boat,
Whether living in close quarters, or aloof and remote,
There will still be complaints and trouble by degrees
Because like everyone that’s born, we have all got fleas.
It’s interesting to listen in, when different folk compare their lot,
Empathy and understanding is helpful, and can assist --- to stop the rot,
But one thing is certain, in the mind of each individual perception,
Is the belief that their own fleas, give them the worst reception.
Born into and conditioned, into a particular state of mind,
We spend lifetimes and lifetimes, searching and trying to find,
The perfect situation, where our minds are satisfied and complete,
But it’s not going to happen; the fleas show us our deceit.
Philosophers Physicists and Artisans, along with the Political elite,
Can try to describe perfection, only to find it’s incomplete.
Because a description needs to be described, within space and time,
And perfection is a direct experience, the now --- So sublime!
It’s our fleas that prevent us from abiding, in the now without tension,
These fleas that keep us occupied --- living rough in four dimensions.
But awareness helps us to grow, to practice inside life’s flow,
Then insight begins to see more, beyond the suffering in store.
When we know we have fleas, we can start to see,
What living beyond them, in life can be.
To play with and then visit, the present moment divine,
Understanding it is possible, to be beyond space and time.
Then to notice that it’s our mind, that contains the universe and its dimensions,
And the realization that we have input, into all its conventions.
We can withdraw to the space and the stillness that abounds,
And start to recognize the truth, in our minds so profound.
As insight develops and we gather the confidence to let go,
Of the fleas that torment and befuddle what we know,
Whether it’s a is positive or negative, experience that we grasp,
The grip is riddled with fleas, infected to make it last.
To let go of the world, with its compelling desires,
Becomes the way to practice; it is work that inspires!
Letting go and relaxing into the space between form,
Training the mind to be peaceful, with stillness the norm.
Bit by bit we realise, that the fleas don’t bite as hard.
And life fills up with beauty; because the mind is on guard,
To protect us from grasping, at the tension that causes trouble,
Reconditioning to presence, inside a mindfulness bubble.
Our mind with the universe and our world inside,
Becomes a refined and blissful state to abide,
It has always been thus, but tensions when grasped hide the key,
So it’s a remarkable thing to see; that we always have been free.
Our mind confused and abused, trying to be released from jail,
Trapped inside, asking the world to provide bail,
But mindfulness allows us to see the bars melt away,
And come into the moment where there is no decay.
Goodbye to the fleas with gratitude for showing
That the peace of the moment is well worth knowing.
The fleas have been balanced, no more to ferment,
No tensions to summon them, for the mind is content
The moment present, were sanity prevails,
No tensions to condition rebirth, and all its travails.
An unconditioned place with no time or space,
To be with just knowing, a state full of grace.
by Dennis Sheppard
How simple it is to embrace the extremes,
To find home in thought and simple regimes.
Tapping common thought and energy all around,
It’s easy to fly without touching the ground.
When those about you, create a momentum direction,
Why not? --- follow the slip stream, without any question.
To get with the strength, can be a virtue.
Regardless of whether, the pathway is true.
Monumental ideas and beliefs, can be compelling,
They are often infectious, without need for selling.
Like cultures and customs, born from the beginning.
Are easy to wear and need no underpinning.
Education and learning, can help to discriminate,
Allowing deeper knowledge, without needing to imitate.
But with peer pressure in place, pulling in a certain direction,
Truth can be lost, when we rationalise for protection.
Black and white positions, can be so easy to inhabit,
Allowing heretics to be damned, with no room to cohabit.
The grey area of complexity, means my view can be contested,
Leaving me shaky and fearful, with the position I have vested.
To believe in God the creator, as reason for all things.
Is a simple proposition for the assurance that it brings.
But when questioned it’s possible, to start a world war,
Adherents defending their God, to prove they know more.
The other extreme is to believe in no-thing,
The atheist has science, to explain everything.
A credo of intellect, with equations to explain,
Humanity unbalanced, in a dogma insensitive and vain.
A God in place that can look after, every little thing,
Or hubris building a creed, that ignores why we cling.
Extremes in place to choose, it’s just so easy to go there,
Brains trapping us into thinking, longing hearts to give us prayer.
Beguiled to grasp and hold on to, each conditioned sacred cow,
Until we begin to see the reality, of the stillness present now,
Then beginning less beginnings and a world without end paradigm,
Can show the path between extremes, and the paradox of time.
We see the past as dead and gone, no tangible substance there,
And the future is uncertain, unknown with nothing to compare,
Only the present moments stillness, is real enough for us to see,
It frames consciousness and movement, and the way to be free.
Conditions shaping our minds, for lifetimes of ongoing mores.
Until clarity brings insight, to show truth and freedoms cause,
When consciousness remains conditioned, to follow the death of a life,
So a rebirth will manifest, with all its ongoing strife.
Separating the stillness from the movement, is both simple and it’s hard,
Deep and sustained attention required, with a mind that is on guard.
Stillness feeding back, embedded with conditioned loops,
Truth is near as we focus, on the feedback of the groups.
All these natural energetic feedback loops, that make up you and me,
Are trapped and looping in time, just waiting to be free.
These strange loops can resist our gaze, for only a certain length of time,
Before they begin to melt and thaw, radiating freedom so sublime.
Awareness balanced with this natural perfection,
Allows the fetter of conditions to expire,
Squaring up the universal accounts,
Allowing the tensions to retire.
As we approach this state of purity,
And bring about freedoms embrace,
Karma holds its poise with maturity,
When a being moves to end their race.
When conditions finish, there is no karma left to bring,
Just the present moment, with stillness the only thing,
No shaped energy for a rebirth, to arise and have its way,
The extremes will collapse, and true peace will come to stay.
From this universal view, we can see perfection prime,
We know ignorance and grasping, has created time,
And all the other ideas and views, seen through our conditioned prism,
This is what creates the world, and all the other isms
So all manner of beliefs and dogmas, or faith in a nihilistic end,
Defines an external world that will always have a trend.
But the middle way is balanced, showing a path beyond delusion
A way between extremes, to sanity with no illusion.
By letting go, into the present moment,
We condition, the mind not to roam.
When our conditioning is no more conditions,
We find the right direction, to find our way home.
by Dennis Sheppard.
Form and Emptiness appear, to be opposite extremes,
It’s as if they play, on opposing teams.
My life obsessed, with this form called me,
Enhancing my image, tying to make myself free.
But emptiness is the matrix, that contains myself
Incognito, like a phantom or elf,
Never noticing the background, that my form moves in,
Allowing ignorance to flourish, keeping me in a spin.
Perspectives are useful, to view this dilemma I am in,
That keeps my eyes blind, not knowing where to begin.
An external veiw of matter --- the Universe and the space-time it contains,
Then inside mind and body, to see what remains.
Space-time and matter, like Emptiness and Form, all play a similar game.
Then Einstein came and pointed out, that they all play, in the same frame.
Space-time tells matter, how to move and progress,
Matter shapes space-time, allowing form to express.
Space-time and matter go hand in hand, continuing to romp and play,
Feeding off each other in creation, but careful not to betray,
The conservation laws unmeasured, inside the present moment’s godhead,
With tensioned energy in space-time, to gauge the present moment spread.
For time and space exist not, inside the present moment temple,
But in past and future conditioning, as an extended timed example.
A smeared view of the moment, using space and time to balance,
A space-time and mass symbiosis, all acting as a valance.
Then reflective mind and body appear, to act in a similar way,
Separate but same in balance, feasting on nature’s sumptuous buffet.
Mind driving the Universe, with infinite energy at its disposal,
Ready to form and shape, all manner of proposal.
With an infinity of chance and energy to drive,
Complex patterns, are bound to arrive.
Natural energy loops feeding back, eating themselves in a swallow,
Iteration travelling around and around, creating pathways to follow.
Complexity deepens, forming ingrained patterns,
Sympathetic vibrations, knitting together desirable actions.
As the feedback continues, to ingrain and grow,
Recognition is born, into something I know.
Simple at first, with instinct the driver
Processes persisting in time, a natural survivor.
Self recognition, eventually comes along,
Forming deluded beings, developing beliefs to belong.
Feedback loops, start to make a continuous picture,
Past and future construction, making my life appear richer.
Burdened without knowing, with weighted space-time energy,
Trying to balance my life, without seeing the frameworks synergy.
The conditioning of life’s structure, is concealed and remains unseen,
It’s so easy to believe and then hold on to the old routine.
Grasping to hold on to a life, that promises to bring togetherness,
Lost in the form of it all, never seeing the emptiness.
Beliefs and opinions, start to dominate and hold sway,
Adding extra meaning to my life, bringing hope as I pray.
Being the top of the food chain, gives a deluded perspective,
Hiding the natural processes, making my self view defective.
But when the patterns of life, have been around many times,
There is a time to be tired of continuing life’s mimes.
Attention deeply focused on birth and death and the plight of ego’s bind,
A subtle journey of insight begins, to understand my body and mind.
The natural ‘dis’-‘ease’ that results, from grasping at energy that is weighted,
Brings a search and a journey, to find energy uncreated.
Training the mind to be still, gives stability to view from,
A truthful standpoint for insight, to view life’s passing swansong.
Without grasping and clinging, trying to hold who I am,
Life becomes more peaceful and simple without sham.
The present moment becomes important, for the truth that it holds,
Past and future seen with perspective, inside the present moments fold.
Body becomes the form and the minds emptiness contains it,
Both conditioning each other, to make rebirth the remit.
As I let go of the form and allow the minds emptiness to be still,
All the patterns that are conditioned there, start dissolving back to nil.
The sensations that accompany, this peaceful retreat,
Ensures contentment with mindfulness to make my life complete.
The patterns all relax and finish, leaving stillness so heightened,
My aspiration at death is to become enlightened.
By Dennis Sheppard with acknowledgements to Ajahn Brahm.
(The story in the box on the side will give context for the poem)
Free, is how we desire to be,
Unconstrained unhindered, with hearts set free.
Doing what we wish, to make our life seem rich,
Fulfilled and complete, before we cash in our chips.
Such is the importance, of freedoms flow,
To leave no stone unturned, for free will to grow
Flying high, and scaling heights unseen,
Making our mark, to claim we have been.
We fight untold wars, to stamp out tyranny
To allow free thinking, and bring on democracy
With what you believe, I might not agree,
But I will fight to the death for you to be free.
Such noble thought and action, in freedoms name
Methinks is the answer, to play life's game.
Moving barriers away, to let creativity flow
Opening up vistas, to tread where angels fear to go.
But how wise are we, to follow desire,
To smote our enemy, when we require,
Blake's purple tyrant, was "crush'd" in his bed,
Do we become the tyrant, in his stead?
When we see that ones view, is relative and learned,
Trapped by conditions, to live as we earn.
Knowing not what is really, the other's learning,
We act without realizing, what they are yearning.
One persons desire, can be another's misery,
So how can we act, to make everyone free?
Learning to live, and use our life sensitively
And develop a path that's harmless, with gentility.
Life's needs can be satisfied, the Mahatma has said,
But greed goes on endless, and latent after we're dead.
Conditioned and waiting, for another creation to ensnare,
Infecting new life with fear, to cloud a future aware.
Sages say that love is the absence of fear,
Bringing beings together, as we struggle to get near,
The truth of the moment, as we learn to let go.
With true freedom the standard, and peace what we know.
What is it that can make, us really free?
Where peace can prosper, and happy we can be.
When there are so many pathways, to confuse and befuddle,
Leaving us for lifetimes, in a continual muddle.
The wishing games riddle, is a rhyme worth to study
Where wishes are one upped, to show desire is no buddy.
Freedom of desires is shown to be,
A poisoned chalice, a trap for you and me.
So what is this wish that makes the winner so right?
That leaves them on a path fruitful, and full of delight.
Freedom from desire, is what the winner asked for,
And confirmed future happiness, without asking for more.
Freedom from desire chosen, over freedom of desire,
Leaves our heart bathed in space, not bogged down in mire.
With the heart filled with freedom, loves purity can soar,
Leaving fear far behind, as truth starts to roar.
Freedom we know, can give us so much pleasure,
But the happiness that follows, is always the measure,
The moment free from desire, with balanced energy to inspire,
Will allow lifetimes of doubt, to retire.
With doubt on its way, and contentment replete,
And energy united, with resistance defeat,
The hindrance's all gone, allows purity to take hold,
What's left to know is complete.
With these conditions in place, it's the end of the race,
Freedoms work will be completed and done.
When we die in the moment, with surroundings so pure,
Peace, unconditioned is won.
by Dennis Sheppard.
Hanging out with our friends, can be a reassuring thing,
For the camaraderie and confidence, friendship can bring.
It’s a chance to show, who we are and speak our own truth,
To determine what is acceptable and what is uncouth.
Modeling our behavior, on what we observe,
Pushing our boundaries further, testing out our nerve.
Using the feedback to modify and develop new ways of being,
Craving acceptance from our peers --- will they endorse what they are seeing?
Are we a follower or a leader, out to change the world?
Raising our flag of ideas, to be the greatest thing unfurled.
Like building a better mousetrap, we find nothing new under the sun,
It’s hard to become a legend, when life remains a pun.
Hanging out all our prejudice, can often bear fruit,
To find like minded people, to build up our repute,
Building our perceptions into beliefs, can make us feel right,
But will antagonize our opponents and cause trouble to ignite.
Finding a balanced way of being, to bring contentment of mind,
Is something to aspire to, but difficult to find.
With an infinity of life paths, to test out and try,
We can be interested for lifetimes, without learning to fly.
Hanging out in the world, is a never ending pursuit,
To find happiness and joy, with a direction towards truth.
Desire is beguiling and tricky, when ignorance is strong,
And even good feedback from friends, can turn out to be wrong.
When the suffering is seen, in the dis-ease of our lot,
And the insanity is glimpsed, as we grasp what is hot.
Without seeing desires hold, is a double edged sword,
Satisfying but embedding, more desire for reward.
As we grasp and hold onto, the conditions that life brings,
Eventually awareness will notice, this will not give us wings.
To fly with freedoms truth, we need to lighten our load,
To let go of what we are holding and walk a less traveled road.
To find freedom and joy, inside the constraints of our life,
Seeking experience and pleasure, that is acceptable and right.
To find a pathway to freedom, without getting lost in desires,
Being sensitive to seek truth without making us liars.
Feedback from the world external, is always useful to receive,
To live in harmony with each other --- helping, without being naïve.
Noble living can be achieved, from just this much,
But to go deeper into freedom, requires a more sensitive touch.
To go past all our desires and the aversion that we hold,
To balance our life’s energy and get out of our mould.
To move on past the doubts and worries in our mind,
Letting the past and future go, where it is making us blind.
But living in the present, requires presence and knowing,
To be mindful and sensitive, to keep our awareness growing,
Practice wholehearted, to keep ourselves on the path,
Wisdom expanding, to direct what we grasp.
Then along comes a doubt, to question what we are doing,
So we decide to hang out, for some external reviewing.
With our buttons exposed, displayed ready to be pressed,
Reactions can follow, old pathways keep us enmeshed.
Sometimes it’s best to keep our feelings, under internal review,
Along with our perceptions and thoughts for they may be askew.
Then the stillness of pure consciousness, will give a perspective,
Allowing the mind deeper wisdom, for a better directive.
When we are pulled out of ourselves, into the world beyond,
To rely on our peers and comrades, to guide right and wrong.
The lowest common denominator, is often at play,
So it is possible the direction shown, will go on to betray.
The peacefulness of stillness, is always the best aid,
To give the mind some perspective, on the conditions it has made.
With stillness all around, tension will begin to unravel,
Then clarity and wisdom, will guide all of our travel.
In the end it is our own mind, that will set us free,
When we see the connections apparent, between you and me.
The way we expand the present moment, into a world for us to play,
To grasp the untold wonders, displayed in natures buffet.
We see that hanging out in the world, gives both pleasure and pain,
Both sides bringing suffering, the addiction hard to restrain.
It’s the peace of the moment inherent, in the spaciousness of the mind,
That brings us back to sanity, to let the tensions relax and unwind.
No need to hang out longer, because truth has come to stay,
The moments reflection is sanity, with peace on display.
This conditioning will now take us, beyond all space and time,
Leaving an enlightened view inside us, never ending --- so sublime.
by Dennis Sheppard
Difficult it is, for the present moment to see
When this life’s story, is compelling us to be
We grasp and hold on to, this idea of me,
And preen, as we build up our identity.
Nature is there, even before the beginning,
Moulding and forming, as we begin living.
Conditioning in place, energy shaped from the past,
That has been left over, from our prior death mask.
New birth and life starting, with mind swept clean,
Should leave life unique and new, when we wean,
But with the container of mind, already karmically formed,
The direction we go in will follow a norm.
Our new mind blank, just waiting for formation,
And there’s kin and culture, ready to build relation.
But minds matrix energy, is still in place first,
Making a compounded creation, for us there at our birth.
Birth is a new start, or so we expect it to be,
The hope is that life will give, the truth that is me,
Protected and guided, we learn what to do,
We follow a story, that makes me and you.
The life we are born into always follows a pattern
Which layers the moment, as we change life’s batten.
Bare awareness of moment, is harder to see,
As we build up life layers and believe we are free.
With our commentary on life, built in with our talk,
The past and the future, becomes real as we walk.
Believing what’s been, and what is to become,
We lose sight of present, where the universe is one.
We struggle and wonder, what our life’s all about,
With delusion and ignorance, there is always doubt.
But how to break through, to the present moment and see,
When the burden of life, is weighing heavily in me.
Sages say life is suffering, for those who can’t see.
Freedom they say, is when you let your life be.
Let go of the past, and leave the future alone.
Live in the moment, and truth will be shown.
The smear of our image, spreads over the present,
Dulling our senses and occulting the truths essence.
With precedents embedded, and habits well trained,
It makes life pathways predictable and heavily ingrained.
Past and future energy, move across the moment present,
Creating the illusion of time,
Befuddling minds potential, and hiding what’s real,
Trapping us for lifetimes, inside a great steal.
As we recognize the burden, that life surely will bring,
We understand the wisdom, that says life is suffering,
We start to notice that beginnings and ends can unravel,
Leaving a path in the middle, as the way we should travel.
With the middle way established, and awareness a practiced fact,
Our life becomes less burdened, as we learn, to avoid life’s trap.
We let unhelpful conditions go, and condition new paths to peace,
Knowing that where we are going, is where all wise beings meet.
The view along this pathway, brings happiness and delight,
With exquisite beauty un-encountered, the pathway is just right.
The direction of travel, will refine rapture to bliss.
Then the minds herald will beckon, and this is too much to miss.
With fear and doubt now conquered, we are ready to let go,
To transform to a level higher, a place we can just know.
As we empty out of our body, into a pure state of mind,
We know the truth of what it’s like, to leave past and future behind.
Moving closer to the moment, with clarity sharp and pure,
Where stillness is all that can be known.
With nothing blocking the flow, of mindfulness increasing,
Movement to the truth, has balanced energy peaking.
Clarity pure knows, the emptiness rush,
And can accept, the vastness of space,
The minds matrix teeters, showing the universe sublime,
And then collapses, to end at its prime.
Unstable and finishing with unity’s yen,
And energies all locked in line.
No Karma is left to begin a universe afresh,
So it’s an end to all space and time,
The peace of the finish is there to know,
As the unconditioned, takes place.
Coming together to balance and cancel out,
Knowing the unified mind with time and space.
This last condition blends and the mould of mind ends,
With no self or thing left to grow.
A pure situation, sane and complete,
Leaving peace unconditioned, to know.
by Dennis Sheppard.
What is the right path, for absolute truth to arise?
To develop the right view and be sensitive and wise.
Our knowledge and information store, is vast and expanding,
Are we heading the right way, or are we lost with no standing?
Sentient beings have senses, that are habituated to suit,
Our conditioned world, providing a never ending pursuit.
To offer up individual beliefs, and validate infinities of truth,
Is it possible for our senses, to comprehend truth absolute?
Each viewer may believe, that their perception is right,
Without seeing the data limited --- is our knowledge base lite?
“Superior” views may be fought over and argued out in wars,
Grasping dearly held positions, to justify ongoing mores?
Acquiring knowledge and information, may seem to be the way,
To find the truth and all the answers, that creation can convey.
If only our intellect, could balance all the universal accounts,
Surely truth would be in the answer, complete with no discounts.
However intellectual possession alone, seems only to increase our load,
Our emotional side weighed down, we operate in just one mode.
Even if the answers found, are clever and make sense,
If the mind is unbalanced, it will show up our pretense.
To let the mind come into balance and allow it to be content,
It is peace we have to find, by letting go of intent.
Releasing intention creates energy latent, to come into the now,
And give a clearer view, of what nature will allow.
When peaceful, still and not driven,
With awareness sharp in the mind,
A clarity and stillness catharsis,
Will allow stresses to gracefully unwind.
Universal truth visions, can then start shining through,
With a perspective from stillness, that show how conditions accrue.
Bringing on rapture and happiness and powerful bliss.
To empower and start removing, our fear of the abyss.
The right view that takes us, to the source of this knowing,
Allows insight that sees the “connection of all things” growing.
From the perspective of stillness, conditions coming and going,
Aware of beginnings and ends, dependent and flowing.
For beginnings and ends are time bound features,
That depend on an end to begin,
And to end, a beginning is always required,
So beginnings and ends are like twins.
Interconnection is seen exquisite, so complete and subtle
But it is easy to stay ignorant, and mount a spirited rebuttal,
Then the stillness that enfolds and links up every conditioned thing,
Can provide a cause to let go, to let the present moment be king.
The whole time-bound universe, is tied up in the moment,
From beginning less beginnings, to everlasting life.
The present moment contains it all, irrespective of our view,
And practice helps to let go, to relax and enjoy what is true.
The present moment holds our past and our future expectant,
It will purify and sterilise our view, like disinfectant.
Allowing the past and future conditions, to be used wisely in truth,
Bringing blessed sanity into existence and a life that is couth.
The present moment is a place, that always rings with stillness,
It penetrates all conditions to show, how we grasp at mental illness.
When we let go and relax, into the purity of now,
Enlightenment becomes possible, confirming truth that will avow.
When the stillness is in place, to view the conditions from,
They will dissolve and unravel, as truth sings its song.
Once enlightened the whole universe, will come along for the ride,
No matter if others beings, do not share our guide.
At its heart the universe, is both empty and its pure,
It is our ignorance and grasping, blinding to make things obscure.
So that interconnection can build, and hold our worlds in trust,
For the next generation to inhabit, with the same grasping and lust.
Once trapped in life’s cycle, the view is from conditions,
This stillness that permeates, cannot be seen from this position
Trapped vitalized energy, will always seek out its niche,
Assuring rebirth and its intentions, to evolve and bewitch.
To see clearly interconnection holding, our universe in place,
Is a rare opportunity, for wisdom to show us its grace.
The truth that is there, is never really hidden from view,
But our grasping causes blindness, and a view that is askew.
The right view is so important, to condition us to let go,
Only then our intention, comes right with the flow.
Letting go and relaxing, shows who we are in stark relief
Allowing beliefs to be abandoned, as the unconditioned becomes chief.
by Dennis Sheppard
Can you see a perfect and beautiful world?
Is it possible to accept and love all things?
Sages through ages have pointed the way,
Just let go...
We who cling and grasp onto our lives,
With ignorance of death blinding our eyes,
How do we know the way to be?
Just let go...
Those who know, who have found the way ...
Say that true love is the way to go home.
To accept and give with a loving heart
Just let go...
But how do we know what true love is.
When all around us is evil and sin,
With practice and skill we develop the way,
Just let go...
What price sanity?
Where is the reality?
The one who knows, says
Just let go...
What sort of practice makes the mind so clear,
That forgiveness and love can cast away fear?
There are wise people who have shown the way;
Just let go...
When is our view the right one to see?
How can we know when our intention is free?
It's only with a pure and loving heart,
Just let go...
With the light of our minds trimmed and burning;
Concentration and mindfulness peaceful and yearning.
With beautiful energy balanced and content,
Just let go...
The beautiful mind that has conquered fear,
Infinite and whole, a pleasure to be near;
The moment present, truthful and sane,
Just let go.
What price sanity?
Where is the reality?
The one who knows, says
Just let go...
So where do we go when our work is done?
When karma is finished and the universe is one;
Empty and unified, potential unbounded
Life's work finished, whole and rounded
Emptiness and space so clearly seen
A containment for conditions subtle and keen;
A fragile state, filled full with Jhana;
Ready to finish in the state of Nibbana.
So what is this peace that Nibbana brings;
Complete cessation from all things?
Peace everlasting not born again;
The one who knows has broken the chain.
The bliss of Nibbana, an end of all things,
Suffering of conditions turned all the way in,
Unified and blended into the moment within;
The peace of truth never lost again
What price sanity?
Where is the reality?
The one who knows, says
Just let go...
by Dennis Sheppard.
It is said intention and action, forge who we are,
Outcomes can be expected, but are sometimes bizarre.
Dreaming up mind-states, to meet our every desire,
With habits forming, to give us what we require.
Emerson’s Destiny tells us of thought sown, to reap an action,
Then an act to reap a habit, before a character reaction,
A character once formed, will then bring on a destiny,
The question then becomes, how can we be free?
Action has a cause and effect to make Karma,
It is there in a thought, to create a mental drama.
Strong action with intention, makes the deepest rut,
Building a pathway to follow, a habit to strut.
However intention can be, a double edged sword,
That can smite our dreams to give an opposing reward.
A spectrum of duality, is built into each dream,
So the complete opposite can manifest, if we grasp the extreme.
Such is the playground, conditioned to makes up the world
Capricious and erratic, where conditions are swirled.
Some predictability may live near, the middle of a spectrum,
Because movement to extremes, is limited at a fulcrum.
Non-the-less extremes are exhilarating, and compelling to behold,
When they reward our cravings, we fly to new heights untold.
We don’t always see, the chances we are taking,
Going for gold without knowing, what is there in the making.
The conditioned matrix that we live in, provides a grounding to begin,
Every person sees differently, to grow traits in their skin.
Each one changing the matrix, while taking from it what they need,
Leaving it shaped a little differently, as they plant their own seed.
The result of the action, gives an effect to the cause,
And makes personal Karma, inside nature’s laws.
Leaving a balanced position behind, in the matrix conditioned,
For other players to immerse in, as their Karma is reconditioned.
Driven by desire and aversion, to find contentment of mind,
It’s a process that happens, while we are mostly blind.
A mind can be restless or slothful, its energy unbalanced,
But everything seems normal because nature is valenced.
So Karma is personal and bound up with our actions,
Shaping our future and destiny, as we look for distractions,
Reaping what we sow, trying to make happiness grow.
The anguish of existence, is what we come to know.
This suffering once seen, sets us on a new path that’s key,
To investigate our purpose and find who we might be.
This new Karma made, points us in the direction of now,
To relax and make use of, the moments clarity endowed.
The contentment that arises, as we make peace with the moment
Allows the energy to balance, with natures full on enjoyment.
This karmic pathway is simple, as stillness heals all the scars,
Allowing wisdom to vibrate sweetly, like a thousand guitars.
When the mind is made simple, moral laws are easy to see
The mind focused and still, ready to be set free.
The wisdom of the moment, ripe ready to pluck,
Peaceful Karma built, with no question of luck.
Peace can be developed, by each person for them self,
Even within a world of trouble, because our mind redeems by itself,
No matter the force of nature pull, self-reflection can have its say,
And create a karmic path, to peace that will not betray.
Because when one is lost, inside the realm of natures games,
One can be pulled into living, inside all sorts of frames.
Trapped energy of self, inside a movement that compels,
To beguile and believe in, and keep us under its spells.
Karma made does not care, if we are sane or if we are mad.
It delivers what nature requires, whether we are sad or glad.
Suffering comes from the conditions, that begin and then end,
It’s wisdom that knows endings, to stop beginnings again.
This Karmic path, that travels to peace,
Is a joy to see developed, to feel its release.
It’s subtle and gentle, filled with rapture and bliss,
But even so, can easily be missed.
It’s a pathway inside and out, to the stillness that abounds,
And practices to leave passion, for the wonders that astound.
The creations that we grasp on to, and live our lives to see,
Are let go of using wisdom and will allow us to be free.
One sees the world as a perfect place, balanced and completely free,
Except when we grasp and try to be, the conditions that make you and me.
A Karmic pathway to the stillness, will ensure sanity is not far.
So in death we can let go and finish, this life --- that is so bizarre.
by Dennis Sheppard.
The universe sings such an exquisite song,
Resounding with purity, subtle and strong.
From the beginning of time, right through the ages
The beauty of its truth, is on all life’s pages
We live our lives without seeing, or knowing the score,
Trapped in existence, without looking for more.
Life’s perspective is limited and tied into our ego
With our life’s reflection, making up our credo.
Emptiness is the truth, of what the universe sings,
Resounding its essence about and through every thing.
A natural cycle born, in the space the universe makes,
With compounding escalation nested, in the form it creates.
Deep penetration unseen, because life’s perspective is narrow,
Noticing selfish desires only, intelligent but fallow.
Deluded beings feigning, greater than their parts,
Lost in birth and death, without guidance from the heart.
Falling from refined stillness, into coarseness corporal,
Grasping at life without noticing, time borrowed --- amoral.
No longer at peace, or into natures presence tuned,
Conditioning dis-ease and suffering and a rebirth wound.
Listening in the moment, both inside and out,
Is the way to understand, what complexity has brought about.
Listening without comment, to the experience right now
Accepting the moment that is given, with intent to avow.
As listening gets better, without need for commentary
We start to see past ourselves, and into the space that contains me.
Developing perspective from the space, as it resounds with clarity,
We can appreciate our shadow side, and give it parity.
We notice the motivation, conditioned from our past,
Turning intention to the future, building our ego up to last,
Developing insight into the moment, watching the mind-stream go its way,
The truth of the cosmos song, starts to have much more cache’.
This truth the universe sings us, through its infinite creation,
Is clear in the moment present, to bring wise but still elation.
Listening with purity, allowing frozen thought loops to thaw,
Getting closer to the moment, our life begins to soar.
How rare is the occasion, when we can listen to our plight,
Without confusing the moment, with commentary and flight.
Listening closely to our enemies and our friends alike,
Relaxing into the moment, without indifference and fright.
To let ourselves listen and be with the tensions, inside and out,
Allowing the reflection we are seeing, to be truthful and bring about,
A wise framework to view our story, and the chance to let be,
And see deeper into the picture, providing the insight to be free.
In our relationships with the planet, and other beings,
We can impose our beliefs, on what it is we are seeing.
The deeper picture not seen, we can begin to fight and panic
And reshuffle the deckchairs, on the sinking Titanic.
But as we relax and listen, past our emotional noise,
Insight and understanding arises, with maturity and poise.
Then acceptance will arise, within this introspection,
Gifting to oneself, the widom of deep reflection.
When we listen to another and accept the words they say,
Without preparing a rebuttal, to contest or have our way,
We are offering the biggest prize possible, to ourselves and to the other,
The gift of true love and the realization, that everyone’s a brother.
For the universe is nothing but a reflection of oneself,
A creation of the mind made, with energy borrowed from itself.
The warp and weft woven into the tapestry of our lives,
Making complex and extravagant patterns, to cover up the lies.
To understand the moment and listen closely to its truth
And move away from beliefs and stories, that by comparison are uncouth
To the stillness of the moment, which allows the universal truth to sing,
And let wisdom fruit with clarity, making contentment the thing.
When contentment comes it is not long, for happiness to reside,
Delusion and fear balanced with clarity, conditioning stillness to override.
Hindrances dissolve leaving stillness, listening completes and clears,
Blissful truth shows its harmony and power, as we listen past our ears.
The universal song is all that there is, it is empty, full and complete,
To know past all the conditions, means equanimity will leaves us replete.
So with all accounts squared and balanced, Truths beauty is full and austere,
Grasped conditions left to finish, allowing the unconditioned to appear.
by Dennis Sheppard
What does it mean to love?
Is it something that comes from above?
Is it a feeling that's true, or has it shades and hue?
Or does it go with marriage and the words "I do?"
There is no doubt, that unity can bring about,
Feelings of warmth and strength so true,
But when dealing with the other, when not your brother,
Can leave us with doubts, and fear to construe.
It's true that love, can unite warring clans,
Like the Capulet's and Montague's.
But even Romeo and Juliet, had to wait until death.
To be united in their cause so true.
For two people can, combine their energy flow,
With feelings intense, to make their awareness grow.
Accommodating their views, entwining and accepting,
Seeking out the other, and purposely intercepting.
Then arrangements can be made, by friends and family,
To engage two hearts, in an arrangement vicariously.
With goodwill it is possible, for these hearts to combine,
And end up with a marriage, oh so sublime.
For others it's a marriage, of love at first sight,
When two people meet and they know it's just right.
Unconscious energy, pulling them together,
To combine and enhance, deriving intimate pleasure.
Romance is the love, most commonly dreamed,
When senses are jangled, rose tinted glasses steamed.
A fixated attention, mad compulsive desire,
To overcome any obstacle, passion on fire.
Underneath all these connections, there is a force unknown.
That pulls us together, as our wild oats are sown.
As we move out to conquer, new worlds unknown
The universe keeps account, as if it's a loan.
As desire takes over and drives us to greed,
With hatred and ignorance, to make up our creed.
We are never lost, because it's all in our mind.
And there is always loves redemption, for us to find.
The conditioning of life's journey, can be restricting,
To be selfish, and see just you and me.
But connectedness is there, and it binds all things,
Minds together --- united, universally.
Loves unity will find us, wherever we go,
It will be there to comfort, even if we don't know,
Unseen --- loves force, will move and flow
Even into places that we would prefer not to know.
Love's Karmic threads, that weave life's tapestry,
Can be pulled to account, in the moments registry.
So no matter where we are, or who we may be,
The present moments knowing, is the key to be free.
The more insight we have, into the moment present,
The more sensitive, to the universe we can be,
As we develop acceptance, of ourselves and the other,
Loves power grows and starts to set us free.
So loves quest turns out, to be much greater,
Than love of a partner or family, or clan or country,
It is bound up in the way, we can learn to accept,
Whatever the moment, presents to affect.
The moments presentation, depends on our karma,
And works with the way, we make our lives into drama.
Letting go and accepting, the scene that we see,
Is the only way, we learn to be free.
The more we can accept, the greater our love can be,
Pure motivation and intention, means seeing less of me.
Leaving much more space, to welcome the universe in,
As our hearts open up, to the peace it can bring.
With peace in our heart, love will continue to expand,
With nothing to slow output, loves compassion understands,
Looping around the moment, with mindfulness increasing,
Relaxing the conditions, allowing a blessed releasing.
When the knowing of loves energy, increases to infinity,
The space that contains us, reaches divinity,
With Karma released, leaving love in it place.
Peace unconditioned, will fruit beyond the space.
by Dennis Sheppard
Law and order is valued, as a civilising device,
Providing a measure of concord, but always at a price.
A chance to promote harmony, to work miracles as a team,
But a takeover is always possible, from a disgruntled regime.
With all our eggs in the civilized basket diversity takes a blow,
We can win like a well bred racehorse, but can be vulnerable down below.
A society well honed and successful, will always try to improve its lot,
But with seeds of decay in the foundations, it can fall because of the rot
Such is the nature of a dualistic world, brought about with a time bound mind.
Conditions created from desire, to leave aversion behind.
Energy then becomes unbalanced, that leaves doubts to come about,
Conditioning a new desire for change, even if we are devout.
By contrast the law of the jungle, can be a fearful place to live,
Kill or be killed is part of the game, with little certainty to give.
But a natural equilibrium can resonate, and stabilise at a certain level,
Nature’s kingdom sets up nested frames, in a partnership with the Devil.
This duality always present, when blind nature is in charge,
Nature attends its universe with diligence, fixing any surcharge.
Without having a vested interest, it adjusts and culls at will,
Without regard for our trapped egos, it doesn’t see a bitter pill.
We are all natures beings, with our egos conditioned in time,
Out of step with natures remit, it can put us all on the line.
The anguish of existence is felt, as we work to fix things up,
But without a wider view of nature’s realm, our demise can be abrupt.
Moral rules and laws can help us, feel a little more in command,
Working toward what we think is right, can make us feel so grand,
We can rationalize hierarchy and put people in their place,
And work to make the population happy, even if there is loss of face.
But a society’s moral rules and laws can only civilize to a point,
The happiness and contentment they bring, will eventually disappoint.
Even if the population is cared for and have nothing more to want,
The devil’s side of duality will eventually come and taunt.
Each of us individually, are responsible for who we are,
We contribute to the overall, but it is our personal lives we mar.
By being ignorant of our deeper quest and being all to ready to grasp,
At an instant gratification, that may satisfy but will not last.
For the bigger picture to become clear, we need a moral guide,
To find a way to peace of mind, that the world cannot provide.
The world with its dualistic core, can never really satisfy,
It tantalizes and promises, until we see it is a lie.
In moments of stillness that come, to fill us from time to time,
The world collapses to the present moment, a state just so sublime.
To reproduce these states we start to see, the system that is required,
A code of morality to stabilize, from first principles derived.
The stillness of the present moment, needs a contented frame of mind,
Then mindfulness can stay in place, when right energy is fully entwined.
A moral code reveals itself, to keep peace of mind to the fore,
Right thought, speech and actions, on a pathway to explore.
To value another beings peace of mind, as highly as our own,
And our own as high as another, is the right practice to be grown.
Do nothing to harm another and do nothing to harm yourself,
Then the world will shape accordingly, with harmony a real result.
With harmony and peace the goal, the pathway then becomes clear,
Reflecting each moment from the present, we can start to work out our fear.
Letting go and doing things that are right, brings a causal loop into play,
That shows us clearly what we need to do, our life no longer a cliché.
Respect for life with agreeable speech, and being considerate of others property,
Relationships full with sensitivity and care, keeps our life from being a lottery.
Keeping our minds clear and free from intoxicants, is our best way to know,
And have the best chance of seeing the way, to deep peace and letting go.
This simple morality when set in place, makes the conditions just right to learn,
The path to find peace of mind, and have happiness left to burn.
We can share our lives in harmony, working to make our minds pure and free,
Not weighed down or tangled in conditions of the world, we can ask “who is this me”?
The more the present moment is uncovered, the deeper into life we see,
Into the truth of the self we are holding, and the question of who we might be.
This morality provides protection, from the heat in the dual nature of life,
To go past God and the Devil, to a place of beauty --- with a sense of delight.
It is here that the burden of life can be shed, with a mind that is clear and pure,
Where beauty and peace are compelling and insight received so sure.
Mindfulness starts to focus on stillness, as a condition it starts to quake,
The mindful gaze becomes so clear, stillness collapses and we are finally awake.
So this moral protection serves very well, to see deep into the conditions of life,
To go past them all into the purity of now, where there is no ongoing strife,
No more births and deaths when this life is complete, living no longer frightened.
When my last breath is expelled, conditions will cease, leaving a state known as enlightened.
by Dennis Sheppard.
A passion gives one a purpose in life.
An excitement and fervor, to both hate and delight.
A strong motivation, to win and succeed,
A desire to conquer and never concede.
Right down through the ages, the passionate hold their ground,
Even in defeat, they are bound to rebound.
A passion held contains energy, such that it is unlikely to be quelled
It will eventually find an outlet, as if it is compelled.
Passion charges our energy, giving a direction and motive,
To grasp what is desired powered like a locomotive.
Continually building up, with a head of steam,
To stop at nothing, to fulfill our dream.
Passion is so well regarded and required to progress.
The world delights in its charm, though it may obsess.
Grasping with passion is so strong, ingrained and embedded,
It creates a life of its own, even if beheaded.
Passions vitalised energy, is not neutral or even,
It’s a charged energetic movement, that gives something to believe in.
But it leaves a shadow energy trail, potent in its wake,
An opposition that can grow, with its own passion to stake.
It’s a recipe to continue, to bounce between the extremes,
The dualities of life, will attract populations to each team
Ensuring a tension to flow, from one side to the other,
Creating trouble and wars, to protect the spoils from another.
The momentum locked into passions, built up from the past,
Grow blindly into the future, with karmic seeds to last.
Conditioning us all to judge, with potential to grasp and agree.
The chances are in this life, we will never be free.
When we are trapped inside, this energetic movement,
That loops and feeds back, expecting a pattern improvement.
Our view is only, from what can be seen from inside,
Making instinctual behavior, with insight denied.
Most compelling of all, is the passion of love,
To couple with someone, it’s a gift from above.
The energy charged, feeds back into children and life
To continue on, with ongoing strife.
It’s a paradox that love, can switch over to hate,
When shadow passions bare fruit, and go on to negate,
They say there is no wrath greater than a woman scorned,
When passions involved, we had better be warned.
But there will be times when awareness, gives a perspective,
With insight into blind instinct, we can be more introspective.
A journey inside, will eventually find the stillness of mind,
To mirror the space of the universe, stable with latent potential entwined.
To realise that the mind’s stillness and its conditions within,
Is a view nested within space, and its complex worlds that spin.
Around and around the systems travel, taking us all on an endless ride,
Giving all manner of creation, a niche for passion to hide.
Throughout the hierarchy of creation, windows of awareness may arrive,
When all the perfections of the universe, meet and unify to contrive.
A deep view into the moment, with past and future completely purged,
To see the bare truth of our existence and life’s mime that passion urged.
This experience of awakening, creates a pathway of release
It is clear how life’s passion, blinds and buffers us from peace.
But once the pathway is seen, it is only a matter of time,
To let go all captured tension and release a state so sublime.
Passion can be so beguiling, so compelling and so sweet,
It feeds itself back, into all manner of deceit,
Blinding and befuddling our consciousness, making us feel so real,
Our birth and death to repay time, for the life moments that we steal.
But the moment is just the moment; it’s our ignorance that creates time,
Using passion as a foil, causing us to believe in our own mime.
But once ignorance is abandoned and the truth of the moment seen,
We can wake up into reality and peacefulness so serene.
The human condition is a wonderful thing, with its pleasure and its pain,
A mixture to seduce and charm, along with an opposing shadow bane.
The suffering and dis - ease that comes, will encourage us to let go,
Then passion is seen for what it is, a teacher to help us grow
The subtle joy of the moment’s stillness makes passions comparison pale,
This happiness is exponential, despite the differences in scale.
The stillness then starts to permeate and show conditions in stark relief,
We see the beauty of the unconditioned path, with no requirements from belief.
Delightful are the forests
Where the worldlings find no joy,
There the passionless rejoice
For they seek no sensual pleasure
Dharmapada Verse 99
by Dennis Sheppard
with acknowledgement to Ayya Khema
What four qualities, mark out a man,
Or a woman who knows, all that she can.
A being of virtue, ripe to let go,
The world of delusion, with all of its woe.
A man with compassion, will feel with his heart
And use intellect to qualify, making life an art.
Like a women looking out, for her only child,
With empathy and care, as if she is beguiled.
Opposing cruelty, compassion opens our mind,
To be sensitive and receptive, caring and kind.
Sometimes we can fall short and deliver just pity,
When ego is involved, to separate and stay prissy.
Then there is kindness and loving, that the Buddhists call Metta,
When practiced it brings harmony and a world that is better.
Softening hard attitudes to open, the channels of true love,
Enemy or friend the same, seeing the connection thereof.
Hate is Metta's far enemy and is easy to separate,
But affection can confuse, because it's not so easy to isolate.
But pure Metta is a condition, that can truly transform,
And make a saint out of someone, with a quest to reform.
Sharing the good fortune of others joyfully, is a superb trait
Sympathetic joy unfettered, puts mind in a wonderful state.
When a quality like this, is conditioned into a heart.
Fear will always be weakened, because we are never apart.
The near enemy of sympathetic joy, is an affectation display,
That always misses the mark, because it will always betray,
The congruence required, for someone to act in truth,
Unlike envy when on show, that is opposing and uncouth.
Then finally equanimity is a measure, of balance in our hearts
It points to peace and understanding, of life and all its parts.
The crowning glory of a life, that has been lived the right way,
Befitting a person steeped in wisdom, whose life is never a cliché.
Equanimity opposes agitation, and a mind that cannot find home,
It speaks of knowing where the truth lies, without need to further roam.
It always has an eye on indifference, that can be close but will leak away,
Any energy that has been built up, for enlightenment to have sway.
Compassion and Loving Kindness, express a being aware,
Along with Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity, a beautiful pair
These four qualities demonstrate wisdom, of the highest order,
Not contained in any mould, or within any border.
These four Divine abidings keep the hindrances of life at bay,
Their owner will live a sweet pure life, feasting on truths buffet.
A life of contentment, balanced energy and not a doubt in the world,
Pointing at the banner of peace, to make real once unfurled.
A life lived with this purity, cannot help finding and knowing truth.
A blessing to all who come in contact, whether old or a youth.
Impeccable speech and right actions, when called on to inform,
Living life as an example --- harmless, without trying to perform.
The mind stream seen in stillness, with a concentration strong,
A heart fearless and mindful, because you know where to belong,
Energy just right to face, the circumstances that prevail,
Letting go into the peace, with wisdom guiding the detail.
Your view keeps getting clearer, with intention formed just right,
To handle all conditions, that the mind stream can ignite.
Conditions dormant or active, just waiting to be born.
In response to our Karma, made to befuddle or adorn.
When stillness and purity of mind,
Become a practice that's second nature.
Karma made, allows the mind to know,
Beyond itself - transnature.
The mind stream then moves, in a direction to finish,
Simplicity in the present moment, with energy undiminished,
Uncluttered, pure and simple, unable to carry conditions
Beauty experienced everywhere, but no room for definitions.
The unconditioned is there to know,
Beyond the form and its conditions,
Mindfulness, can know past the empty mind,
Along with movement and its ambitions.
Ignorance now gone, perfection is complete,
Absolute peace is the reward; its knowing is replete,
An end, finished, nothing more to do,
Only peace absolute will renew.
What joy to know the unconditioned,
That goes beyond all consciousness and time,
No stage or space for players to reflect upon,
No lives caught up in mime.
Balanced and fulfilled, no Karma can be made,
To propel the mind stream on, nature's cards have all been played.
No more birth or death, this cessation means our work is done,
Truth Absolute beyond space and time, as peace unconditional is won.
By Dennis Sheppard.
A placebo dispensed can be a wondrous thing,
Effecting a cure without changing a thing.
Illness made well when we think we have been treated,
Not knowing the score, have we really been cheated?
So what has gone wrong, to make us feel that we are poorly?
For the body to produce symptoms, it can change so surely.
The placebo in place, can summon the forces of the mind,
To fix all the problems, even when doubly blind.
The sub conscious mind knows not, that it's tricked from outside,
It just thinks the right medicine, will cause trouble to subside.
Showing that mind over matter, is the hierarchy in place,
At least for those individuals open, for mind to dispense grace
It's a powerful process, for healers to call on,
To set right corporal form, with a compatible thought con.
As long as the mind thinks a cure, is in place subconsciously,
It can alter the material and create this reality.
Understanding the mind, leads to knowing who we are,
But which end do we look from, because it is quite bizarre.
Does the body form first and then create the mind?
Or does the mind come first, before the body is combined?
The placebo effect shows us, that the mind is in charge,
Developing all told belief systems, to create and discharge.
Making all manner of things, right out of thin air,
Giving us things to believe in, and reasons for despair.
So mind with its thoughts can control sickness and illness,
It can mediate wellbeing and can give a sense of wellness.
It can also bring forth, an incredible stillness
To allow tensions to unravel and dissolve without willingness
When left by itself, the mind falls into balance,
It is our desire alone, that moves it away from equivalence,
Our ignorance of the minds working, means we drive it so hard,
We can push it to extremes and make our corporeal life retard.
The placebo is an input, that is neutral and benign
It tricks the mind into relaxing and arrests the bodies ailing decline.
In the same way the right medication, will balance what is wrong,
The placebo allows the mind to balance and leaves the body to respond.
When the mind can relax and bring stillness to the fore,
And keep the present moment in view, with a mindful rapport,
The same conditions are in place, that gives the placebo its power,
Allowing wisdom to flourish, with a knowledge to empower.
With the stillness in place the present moment is there,
A very powerful state that is sensitive and aware.
A chance to see what is real, when not lost in the form,
And gain a balanced perspective, not usually the norm.
It is not normal for people, to view life from this perspective
Because it is too simple and seems, not very effective,
Methinks its better to live, inside all the conditions of the mind,
But beliefs from this view, will ever keep us blind.
The stillness once seen, is like the background to the mind,
The perspective shows, how to untangle the entwined.
Dissolving and simplifying, the tensions that make our lives,
Giving an enlightened view, that shows how life's rebirth survives.
But are we yet ready, to have such a powerful placebo working?
When there are desires for experiences, still waiting and lurking,
It's wisdom that will tell us, that this conditioning causes dis-ease,
Desire --- with its shadow of aversion, conditioning ignorance as a squeeze.
The more suffering that we experience, will eventually bring us to our knees,
Its insight will allow us to recognize, the wood from the trees.
To let go of conditions, that inevitably drive us insane,
To follow a graduated path, that gives us a present moment campaign.
This neutral placebo, supports letting go,
Giving a build up of wisdom, fueled with insight to bestow,
A mindful life, that develops peace as a result,
Clearing a pathway to enlightenment, as a natural default.
A simple mind is the canvas, for enlightenment to flourish,
A fertilizer of restraint, along with goodness to nourish.
A mixture that brings balance, with joy and beauty to our lives,
Will assure wisdom and contentment, balanced with energy to thrive.
Nature's placebo is right here, for us to work with and guide,
To set against all our troubles and suffering to provide,
Sanity to heal and equilibrium never to languish.
Once and for all a pathway, to cure our existential anguish.
This present moment provides, the path with all that we need,
To use this natural placebo, to make enlightenment succeed,
To see past the conditions and all the fetters that are attached,
To the peace of the unconditioned, a state that cannot be matched.
by Dennis Sheppard.
To be born again, what does it mean?
Should we always remember, where it is we have been?
Whether from day to day, or year to year,
Even moment to moment, we cross a frontier.
Is life to life different, from our familiar beginnings and ends?
Where we can have direct perspective, on our day to day trends.
Allowing the daily energetic changes, to blend in without much note,
Unlike deaths fearful passage, when we completely change our coat.
The daily recognition, of the way we live our lives,
Our passions and obsessions, are familiar motivation drives.
But when the familiarity is reborn, into an unfamiliar skin,
Do we assume a new identity, without recognising what is within?
Lost with our identity, with only surface features to compare,
Never investigating deep enough to really be aware.
Of the modulations on our mind-stream, that carry on a theme,
Taking us from lifetime to lifetime, to continue on our dreams.
The energy of life is compounded and drops out of the purity of now,
Clustered and weighted with tension, for aliveness and verve to wow.
Ignoring the peacefulness of truth, for the garish carnival of desire.
Emptiness becomes loaded, into movement --- growing as we require
The individual lumps and bumps, on the stream of the minds energy.
Identify the Karma we hold, as our independent story,
The mind-stream flows making time, smearing the present with allegory,
Creating birth and death and life in between, with nature keeping inventory.
Thus the mind-stream has been flowing, from the very beginning of time,
Supporting a universe with stories grand, since we evolved out of the slime.
Gradually developing consciousness, making a self right out of the space,
Going forward to develop the future, from a shaky impermanent base.
Life and death attaches to the flow and follows along with the stream,
But self attachment is so complete, at death we forget where we have been.
Because we have lost sight of the moment and the flow of the mind within,
And the conditions that give rise to birth and death, that show we are all kin.
The mind-stream is like a carrier wave, with our lives modulating the flow,
The surface conditions we grasp and own, are too coarse to let us know.
That the mind streams flow is there to see, in the moment present,
A stream itself impermanent, but a coherent compound event.
From moment to moment a frontier is crossed, where energy is loaned,
To build a house of cards with desire, leaving right now postponed.
The cost of the loan is a burden, where its duality builds tensions,
Applied by nature to make time and space, with multiple dimensions.
So the mind-stream has evolved, the paradox of infinity at its heart,
Conditions growing from the source, worlds evolving to make life smart.
Unable to reflect inwards, because of the obstacles of mind,
That prefers life to flourish outwards, into a space and time that binds.
So as life and death happens, it is very hard to see,
Where we have just come from and who we might really be.
Because the conditions of mind are too coarse, to penetrate and expose,
The subtle emptiness that flows, through a still clear mind that knows.
The mind-stream builds a continuum, that traps the conditions of our life,
Ready to be reborn with Karma that fits, and bring ongoing strife.
Complex patterns evolving and playing out to natures plan,
Our ignorance keeping us grasping, for a better and longer life span.
The tensions that flow and come, from life's continual cycle,
Means suffering stays with us, to maintain and recycle,
Until the awareness grows, taking us on a journey within,
Where wisdom will help us finish, before we again begin.
The dance of life fueled by our desire, making a bill on natures accounts.
The more we play, the more we pay, in suffering unit amounts.
With attention on the future and past, the present moment is unattended.
Until awareness grows allowing the fog to clear, where truth is apprehended.
So the present moment laws, will take us back to tors,
The stillness behind impermanence, give enlightenment a cause.
Where peace of mind resounds and rings with beauty left unbound,
Sufferings end on a pathway pure, clear and profound.
Mindfulness reveals the unconditioned, in the stillness of the moment,
Behind our lives and dreams it can be seen, translucent and omnipotent
The very heart of the moment, with nested emptiness and form above.
A cosmology of structure, built with ignorance in search of love.
The more we let go it takes us, closer to the moment right now,
Into the stillness that heals and develops, a peace that will avow.
The contentment and the balance, that removes all hindrances and doubt.
And leaves peace unconditioned, then we know what it's all about.
So rebirth is a condition we grasp at, because we are ignorant of what is inside,
A life lived in ideas of the future, with the past coming along for the ride.
When insight of the moment develops, and allows us to be free from our bind,
Rebirth will no longer happen, because we are awake and no longer blind.
by Dennis Sheppard
The present moment is such a powerful place,
Where entire worlds and dynasties, are held in state.
Moving and evolving, replenished by our desire,
Reframing our personal views, refining what we require.
Our individual view enmeshed, extracted energy from the whole,
Following a karmic pathway, that some religions call soul.
Adding and discarding to suit, what our craving needs.
Creating an identity as we preen, and sow our seeds.
The identity sown and gripped so tightly,
Keeping our view fixated on self,
The horizon withdrawing from the mystery,
To leave a conceited view as our only history.
Perspective withdrawing from the purity of mind,
Into the corporality of the body.
A phase transition that compounds the parts,
To grasp and own, then embody.
The compounded form, becoming as we choose,
It fills up the space of our mind.
Allowing desire more coarse, to compel and fuse,
Loading tension unkind --- to leave our mind in a bind.
The compounded view, has a beginning and end,
A birth and death that only hope can transcend.
Producing a story in time, to take over and blind,
Making a history with hope, entwined and combined with mankind.
Then the opposite of hope comes into the mixture,
Adding a fearful ingredient to become a fixture.
Hope! for the self becomes badly informed,
As we get lost in our limited picture.
But the mind is still there, just filled up with form,
With energy compounded and confused.
Ignorance is rife causing all sorts of strife,
Fascination and power leave the populace bemused.
Grasping the conditioned form of this body called me,
And the world that beguiles and informs by decree.
Holding us hostage in a Stockholm embrace,
Unable to let go in case we lose face.
But yet the mind with its space, is still there in the picture,
Grasping coarseness of form, leaving the mind with a stricture.
Not subtle enough to see the space between form,
Leaves us holding the baby, each time we are born.
The tension that comes, from holding onto conditions,
Eventually gives rise, to us setting out on a mission.
To understand why we suffer, when grasping just one side,
Of the duality inherent, in any conditions that abide.
Realising that balance is so important to achieve,
Interconnection universal, more than something to believe.
Then we can start to let go and allow the shadow-side parity,
And relax with life’s troubles, generosity without charity.
As the space that’s under tension starts to relax and unwind.
The comprehension forms that the universe is in the mind,
Along with all of its creations including you and me,
We gradually start to understand the right way to see.
As the mind becomes more focused and stillness comes to the fore.
The patterns are in perspective, allowing our awareness to soar.
Now the stillness is close to reality and will dissolve compounded form,
So patterns hosting our ignorance, become transparent and transform.
This transformation is simply letting go,
Of our ignorance to know what is real,
The present moment starts to show its face,
With a clarity that can no longer conceal.
A mind-stream of trapped energy, carrying it’s force along
To be reborn into a new life and continue its song
Paradoxical self and the world seen, unifying into a whole,
Awareness now knows beyond any doubt, that there is no permanent soul.
The stillness increases and all the conditions break up,
Leaving beauty exquisite and pure.
The stillness and clarity, leave the mind rich and prone,
As it sings out the Sirens song, to come home
With stillness complete and mindfulness so keen
Energy is balanced and satisfied in between.
The last instability appears as beauty penetrates the space,
Collapsing the mind and its potential, into knowing and grace.
Once experienced and processed, one can never retreat,
At death, enlightenment will come to the fore,
No more births and conditions, destiny complete,
Unification moving beauty and knowing beyond lore.
by Dennis Sheppard.
Where can we find a refuge that is truthful, wise and safe?
That won't exploit or leave us destitute, in the decisions that we make.
That will nurture and accept us, through all of life's mystery,
And will love us unconditionally, no matter who we may be.
A good refuge gives a reflection, stable with some sanity,
Where beings born into life, can reflect upon their vanity,
It's a blessing to be born into a family, that supports and gives direction,
To face up to life's vicissitudes, learning to give and receive affection,
Learning to value each member's contribution, forming relationships of trust,
Seeing our connection to each being, as our needs show we must.
Leaving out no one relation, we learn compassion joy and love,
Sympathetic energy flowing, in a virtuous circle thereof.
This is the ideal basic refuge, for us to thrive and understand the way,
Using this sanctuary to develop life, without feeling too much dismay.
Its starts with a loving couple, forming a marriage of love and faith,
Providing a nest for resulting children, to learn and mature with grace.
From the grass roots of the nuclear family, we can expand our view of the world,
And include the wider population, into this refuge now unfurled.
Reflecting on what life is and how our birthday comes about,
Refining all of life's choices, to create a truthful path beyond doubt.
Born as a result of yearning, we are fertilised by natures plan,
Destiny plays its part in the union, and with luck a loving clan.
Nurturing depends on our circumstance, and how we can use what we have learned.
The result may be a bit hit or miss, as we reap what is sown and earned.
Evolution goes on and does its job, as we settle in to natures plan.
Refining our natural environment, having adapted since life began.
Physical form adjusting, to blend with natures design,
Rising to the top of the food chain, using reflection to refine.
Reflection can give a perspective, to allow an overall purview,
To include a wider picture, and avoid dead ends that may accrue.
We can plan to make our lives richer, comfortable and safe,
Even if we are somewhat deluded, in the decisions that we make.
Building a refuge with life's dreams, using relationships to grow.
Gives confidence to continue, head combining with heart to know.
Until knowing starts to waiver and doubts begin to creep in,
Is this what life is all about, or is satisfaction beyond our skin?
When these deeper questions arise, our old refuge cannot cope,
We keep trying to find peace in the world, but eventually give up hope.
When hopelessness is known, with no direction in the world to turn,
The pathway then becomes inwards, with a more refined refuge to learn.
The path inward is more subtle, the present moment is the goal,
A journey with many twists and turns as we try to find our soul.
But with practice we begin to see, the most effective way to be,
To let go of all our desires and doubts, is the way to set us free.
To balance desire with right energy, and feel the rapture of the result,
Uncovering the layers of the moment, is like having a key to the vault.
The riches keep on coming, as letting go is practiced more.
With a refuge so apparent, allowing more room to explore.
Knowing that the truth absolute, is a part of all that we are,
Hidden beneath all the confusion in a life, it can be so bizarre
This refuge of faith in a truth, where we know that we can stand,
Allows us to work toward this knowing and finally understand.
A pathway that's real with truth, that can be explained and taught,
Adds another layer to this refuge, to contemplate with thought.
With this direction of thinking creating, a pathway beyond belief,
Creating peace as part of the refuge, which is really such a relief.
Seeing this truth inside others, who have already made their way,
Or those noble beings still traveling, giving a wonderful display.
Providing another component, to this refuge so sure,
We can be confident that we will end, with a truth that is so pure.
These three refuges are like a jewel, that offers a brilliant display
Truth --- with a defined path to it, and the travelers on their way.
Developing the wisdom to understand, what it is that truth sees,
With a practice of how to get there, unlocking closed doors with its keys.
At the still heart of the moment, truth lies naked and bare,
The precious soul of our life, can be found nowhere.
What a relief it is to know, that there is no one inside.
With all the tensions unraveled and no one to take for a ride.
Wisdoms view then conditions, the intention it wants to make,
What it needs to be involved in and what will be the stake.
With this refuge all around, life can be lived for others in grace,
Until this life's conditioning finishes, leaving perfection in its place.
To live in such a refuge can turn, a timid squeak into a lions roar.
Broadcasting the truth so compelling, to be heard for evermore.
Such is the very nature, of this truth so absolute,
It is there for mankind to discover and have true peace beyond dispute.
By Dennis Sheppard.
Right now is so important, because of what it brings,
Whenever I am there, I find truth to make it sing.
Accepting this present moment, brings reality I cannot live without,
There is sanity, contentment and balance, and peace beyond a doubt.
For peace is a rare state of mind, in our world so fast and loose,
With a momentum to make your head spin, to blind and then seduce.
Caught in the thrust of an energy, that excites and robs your poise,
I can end up crazy lost and scared, engulfed inside the noise.
Once caught within the noise of life, I become trapped between extremes.
The duality of the conditioned world, brings choices which make for dreams.
To fulfill my desire by grasping, to get what I require,
Or to reject what I am averse to, believing it will free me from the mire.
Then I become agitated and restless, trying to strive for more,
Or fall flat into depression, requiring sleep for my torpor.
So hard to find contentment, or see energies balance in my life,
When I loose sight of the present moment, all I see is strife.
But the subtlety of the moment, with its richness hard to discern,
When my senses are bombarded, causing desire to make me yearn.
A constant movement across the moment, of conditions from the past,
Choosing a desire for the future, with an intention to make it last.
Desire though has its shadow, that follows and wants to fruit,
And will in time find a way, to issue forth and demand salute.
It’s a mixed blessing to follow desire, with its preference and its hate,
One without the other is not possible, and will always be our fate.
Life lived in ignorance, lost in the conditions of the mind,
Cannot deliver peace for long, because it is too coarse and unrefined.
Each moment flows through to days, then lives without us knowing,
Rebirth will be a companion, until this ignorance stops growing.
To see my fate with clarity,
Is not easy when I am resolved,
To make my life the very best it can be,
Without seeing what’s involved.
Because the entire universe, with its creation so surreal,
Is interacting in every way, to make me feel alive and real,
Forming up my ego, to display who I am to be,
Stealing from my shadow side, to make me feel I am free.
It is an ignorance of life’s interconnection,
That makes me both, a blessing and a curse.
I use the suffering of other beings, exploiting nature so diverse,
So living life on top of the food chain, really can be quite perverse.
But I count up my lucky stars, because things could always be worse.
Round and round in the circle of life,
Each moment conditioning the next.
The minds energy linked to universal power,
Networked and evolving lineage, driven with entropy to devour.
But whether it’s right or wrong, rough or smooth,
Or even happy, playing against sad,
Nature’s duality will always bind me up,
And keep me continually and literally mad.
Suffering is always present,
Meaning lifes problems can never be resolved,
Without letting go of all conditions,
To cause a balanced perfection to evolve.
Mindfulness is the remedy,
To achieve this perfect bliss,
To be in tune with the present moment
And fully embrace, the still abyss.
The present moment is right now,
A place of stillness truth and beauty I avow,
To know the stillness in the space, between the tension of life’s form,
It is the pathway to freedom, beyond death and being born.
What a joy to know, where enlightenment is,
While I am locked inside, this world that I live,
Right now in the mindfulness, I see my Karma transcending,
Practice is ongoing, forgiving, letting-go, attending!
To the extent that I am lost, in the conditions each side,
Of the present moment, that I use as my guide,
Graduates my blindness, from partial to complete,
Hindering my progress, to a perfect retreat.
But stillness is a healer,
It dissolves tensions and unravels form.
It allows sensitivity to manifest,
And provides insight to transform.
Balanced energy being mindful of stillness, is the path to the middle way,
It illuminates the difference between, conditioned form and a nihilistic cliché,
Between the extremes of an all knowing creator God, and the atheist’s pantry bare,
Knowing the stillness of the moment, is the way to enlightenment aware.
By Dennis Sheppard
By Dennis Sheppard
Can you keep a secret?
I wonder if you can,
It is important for you to hide it,
So you won’t be damned.
On an oath that we have given,
We can not renege,
Even into our death if necessary,
We are bound to take our pledge.
From the time that words took over,
To explain what’s on our mind.
Covert experience has been possible,
To lie and spin a line.
At a time before words were spoken,
To explain what is the go,
Communication was in the moment,
So people had to know.
With interactive contact direct,
And no commentary in place.
Secrets were very hard to have,
When your life was on your face.
As civilization developed,
And language found its place,
It wasn’t really necessary,
To look at someone’s face.
With greed and competition,
Giving advantage here and there
To engage a little with deceit,
Becomes quite a common affair.
It takes very little time indeed,
For a successful path to rut,
And it will not be, very long indeed,
For the commentary, to be believed.
As the language builds and ideas thrill,
How quickly they become beliefs,
Entangling us in all manner of things.
Making truth a very relative brief.
So easy to leave the moments truth,
With its clarity still, and full of ease.
Into ideas and views that overlay the present,
And confuse our mind with dis-ease.
It’s the start of discontent, with our minds so fully rent
And access to the moment covered over.
Comparisons to be made, will decide who makes the grade,
Duality forming tensions and choices to be afraid.
With the conditions of life set,
It’s fair to make a bet that advantage can be made of a story.
We can represent one line, and hide what’s genuine,
Creating a deceit for us to protect and enshrine.
So secrets are created, to mislead and obfuscate,
Creating tension and trouble along the way.
This is a state, to which we all can relate,
With shame lurking in the future as our fate.
But the resilience of life can contain the covert state,
And blend it well into our story.
As long as the torque set up can maintain the lie,
It will maintain a coherent allegory.
Secrets once embodied, change the structure of our mind,
It closes over the covert with tension,
While pretending to be fine, mental trouble can arise,
Showing illness and dis-ease in disguise.
Depression and anxiety are certain to appear,
When the weight of secrets dump you to the mire.
With life so far away, from the truth that presence brings,
Confusion reigns, and choices can be dire.
No system is immune, from the resonance of lies,
Even countries can pretend the clandestine, is not there,
Nothing can escape, from the trouble secrets bring,
War and suffering often resounding as offspring.
Truth and trust can never win, when honesty is lost,
So it is wise to stay congruent, and avoid the secrets impost.
To see the bigger picture, that includes what is real,
In the present moment, with stillness included in the deal.
When tension in the mind unravel and relax,
To include the vastness of space, without tensions tax,
We commune and come together, in unity complete,
Exposing life’s conditioning without the need to cheat.
Trusting the stillness of the presence,
As the balm to heal our mind, we can let go and come to sanity,
Then we know there is no mime, and the path is so sublime,
Life’s universal secret will collapse with space and time.
by Dennis Sheppard
The still mind can be taken for granted,
Or be boring, compared with excitement enchanted.
For excitement can surely keep you alive and engaged,
Leaving stillness as a condition, that is completely upstaged.
Excitement can condition, a desire for pleasure,
Filling the mind up with energy, without any measure.
Potential for creation, goes hand in hand,
Minds movement ongoing, “strike up the band”!
But pleasures perception can be fickle with mixed feeling,
With a mind bent on taking, without knowing its dealing.
Sensitivity can be blunted, feeding the future from the past,
Without seeing events in the present, because we are moving so fast.
The conditions of the mind, are infinite and varied,
From attachments to beauty and things quite scary.
However the pleasures we derive, even if seen hilariously,
If not seen from the moment, are seen vicariously.
As the conditions build up, in our mind as we grow,
Starting to mould who we are, giving us an ego to know.
Yet the ego is formed, from self-reflecting the past,
Grabbing all the power it can muster, to make itself last.
Energy from the past, is channeled into who we might be,
Skipping over the moment, in a quest to be free.
Energy looping around, with us grasping to hold on to its meaning,
A cycle of ignorance, that leaves us bewildered and dreaming.
While all this is happening, stillness is there in the moment.
In the space that contains us, its truth remains congruent.
Just waiting to be noticed, for the truth of its being,
An invitation to let go of, the fixed viewpoint we are seeing.
Bit by bit we can notice, the freedom of the stillness charm,
As it soothes and relaxes the tensions built, gently like a balm.
Learning to concentrate our focus, more closely to its truth,
We can change our perspective, to see a world much more couth.
Sensitivity is heightened, as we move closer to the core,
Enlightenment becomes possible, as we start to explore,
A life far more meaningful, than just thought or commentary,
Where knowing in the moment, provides a key to be free.
If wisdom is present, when life’s traumas come to visit,
Transition can be noticed, as energy juxtaposits.
In the stillness of the moment, with interest diligently honed
We can let go the trauma because we see it’s not owned.
It is stillness that allows for a dramatic revision,
Past loops to the future can be quelled, to leave no division.
The feedback is relaxed and allowed to finish with time,
And come into the moment and stay in peace so sublime.
Whether letting go is dramatic, or graduated and even
It is stillness and its power, that is worthwhile to believe in.
Patterns of problems and tensions, brought to the moments attention,
Allows stillness to release them, with mindfulness intervention.
Cultivating stillness, gives life a purpose and meaning,
It takes us to truths reality, instead of just dreaming.
Ignorance of reality, means birth and death ongoing,
Lost in the cycle of becoming and not knowing.
The energy derived, from letting go to the moment,
Is powerful and coherent, very subtle and potent.
The stillness of the moment, uses the energy efficiently
To break up trapped patterns, and set our minds free.
Then our lives can be viewed, from the perspective of stillness
And life can be known, without this mental illness.
The ongoing patterns, that make up our lives,
Are ready to finish, when this life’s Karma expires.
Knowledge of stillness, is the path for enlightenment and healing,
To live life to the fullest and know your not stealing,
Or grasping in ignorance, trying to hold on,
To an apparition of life, that we know is all wrong.
So stillness is a condition that is worthwhile pursuing,
It’s the present moment’s herald, that starts wisdom brewing.
Accessed by letting go, and tuning into the now,
Life’s meaning and process opens up I and thou.
As the energetic patterns, that make you and me,
Are held in the stillness, they relax to become free,
No longer trapped in times structure, our minds energize,
Allowing access to truth, and the chance to be wise.
The truth beyond all conditions including stillness itself,
Is now open to access, with mindfulness help.
Relaxing the stillness until the mind disappears,
To allow peace unconditioned a state without peers.
by Dennis Sheppard
The symmetry of the universe is beyond belief,
It flows and grows putting us into relief.
From past to future it creates for us time,
Making a coherent existence for us to mime.
The conditioning from the past, flows into now and tomorrow,
Bringing motivation and desire, to create time borrowed,
Flowing into the future, with intention to grasp and be,
Creating ego and shadow, and the thought we are free.
The habituation grows, leaving our perspective restricted,
Creating ignorance and doubt, as energy is enlisted.
But the symmetry is complete, inside these worldly loops,
With desire and chance, to teach nature’s dance.
The energy flows, creating us as time-bound beings,
Solidifying to atoms and bodies, pseudo but not freeing.
Each movement creating the next, in a causation of effect,
A movement that is empty, but reaping form so complex.
As complexity creates, from the space that it makes,
And space expands to do, what form demands.
The loops around time, all continue to rhyme,
Staying in sync with each other, all at the same time.
This time and the moment, are one and the same,
With infinite reactions, the universe plays its game.
Complexity increasing, until we find
A remembered process and the birth of a mind.
The mind keeps on playing, with a build up complex,
Building a tension, then release, to ease all the stress,
It’s not long at all, for feedback to take hold
Trapping an idea of self, in a strange loop mould.
As the universal frenzy, becomes more chaotic,
And the energy loops, in a form so exotic.
Wonders in the midst allowing stable areas to flourish,
Giving mind time to reflect an identity to nourish
As this mind stream plays, and energy dances away,
Forming and releasing, then forming again,
Patterns begin to abide, with energy loops locked inside,
Alliteration is seen, in this iterative dream.
Locked inside and out, of this massive creation,
The minds movement is running away,
A still array creating emptiness and space,
A matrix for strange loops to romp and chase.
At some point in this happening, as form moves with the abyss,
The strange loops start remembering their pattern.
Then consciousness is born, right into their form,
Mind-stream enlivened, with intent to transform.
Once consciousness is born, into these magical loops,
It’s not long before ego resides.
Then reality is lost, as we grasp to steal time,
Ignorance and delusion is now prime.
As thoughts come along and add to the mixture,
Giving another dimension to add to our picture.
So complete are we trapped into this web of desire,
For lifetimes trapped in the mire
With each reaction that takes place, a cascade shows its face,
Resonance from the beginning then to the end of time.
At the very same moment, a wave flows opposite but true,
A conjugate shadow that gives us our fixed point of view.
So complete are we bound up, with the natural world,
That every happening, forms part of the picture,
Interacting and shaping, the world that we see
With ego molding the thoughts, of who we may be.
Self-reflection is hard, when we are lost in our mind,
With no way to get perspective, life can be unkind.
But this dis-ease is a blessing, because it can allow us to see,
The truth of the moment, and the opportunity to be free.
It is truly a blessing, to see the mind in the raw
It allows us to settle and let fixed patterns thaw.
When we can see past the conditions, and constructions of mind,
We will see the stillness and emptiness, and we are no longer blind.
The mind is the background and matrix of who we might be,
That contains the whole universe that we look out and see.
A construction conditioned from the beginning of time,
That will go on forever, until the truth we can find.
Stillness bare is the healer that brings about sanity,
It brings us to peace, as we let go of our vanity.
Mindfulness pure, is the way we should go
Uncovering the moment, and then we can know.
by Dennis Sheppard.
What is this strange thing called life?
With its impressions that condition, leaving feelings rife.
Perceptions that make it precious, seem only to grow,
Grasping it with ignorance, because we do not know.
Fear rises out of ignorance, when we realise our fragility,
Confabulating stories, to explain our reality.
Customs and traditions are born, leading to rites and rituality,
Helping to comfort and secure, as we cope with our mortality.
Nature is all around us, performing miracles that make us stare,
Like a veritable magician, pulling things right out of the air.
“How does nature do all this”, our inner voices cry,
As if we are separate from our world and in league with God on high.
The stream of consciousness that flows through us,
Seems to anchor us in our place,
With an energy flow that gives direction,
To create both time and space.
Objectivity is difficult, when conditioning shapes our view,
Learning things from others, as if the knowledge gleaned is new.
Energy flows in the universal scheme, before our birthday arrives,
Then separates into you and me, discrete and personal lives.
The aggregates of our lives seem set, when the struggle for life is won.
Corporal body formed in a physical world, but energies work is not done.
Mental movement conditions perceptions and feelings, with beliefs to fuse our view,
All arising from the conscious mind, that we take to be so true.
So where does consciousness come from, can we trace it back in time,
Can we project it into the future, to balance and keep in line?
But consciousness can only be found, in this present moment meant,
It has died in the past and is yet to be born, for any future event.
With consciousness bound up in the moment, reflecting this moment time,
It leaves energies flow through the universe playing with space and time.
The complex loops that energy makes create meaning from their disorder,
Feeding back and borrowing energy from itself, in prison without a warder.
Round and round borrowing time, allowing present past and no border,
Repayments made in the nick of time, to keep conservation laws in order.
Energy patterns develop a familiar feel, as their complexity increases,
Recognition conditions a deepening rut as creative desire releases.
As the creative force is released, it starts to condition our point of view,
Pulling us out into the forms we create, as ideas of our universe accrue.
It’s not long before the present moment, is lost in a kaleidoscope of form,
That solidifies out of the empty space, and becomes for us the norm.
As the feedback looping continues, taking complexity to new heights,
The idea grows that we are separate beings, as self reflection ignites.
With a busy mind increasing, filling up and grasping at more,
Satisfaction becomes an elusive dream, and we find ourselves at war.
Highs and lows can start to cycle through, as we search for peace of mind,
Gratifying the smallest of whims, causing trouble that makes us blind.
Then dis-ease becomes an issue, as the tensions grow and roam,
Gradually realising that we have lost the way, and cannot find our way home.
Home is where the moment is, where the mind is still and pure.
With consciousness reflecting boundless space, in a universe so sure.
As stillness grows and knows, it frames our lives in the moments lent,
Allowing the complex loops to still and thaw, mind brightening and content.
When the present moment is known, sensitivity comes to stay,
With tension released and contentment in place, it time for mind to play.
Instead of holding on and grasping, carrying life’s burden as a weight,
The paradox of letting go, gives you the universe on a plate.
For mind, the universe and consciousness itself, come together in this moment time,
Incoherent energy coming to focus, bringing sanity and feeling sublime.
As stillness keeps increasing, in such a mindful state,
Energy trapped in feedback loops, become unstable and cannot create.
For feed back loops cannot self reflect, without an ignorant condition,
A mindful gaze will allow it to relax and thaw, leaving energy free of volition,
Powerful mindfulness with stillness, will see a pattern quake --- unstable,
In an instant beauty can swap the view, for blissful reality --- unlabeled.
A mental phase transition will bring about, a reality beyond our mankind,
With coherent energy focused in line, displaying pure consciousness as mind.
As energy balances further, consciousness will drop away,
Leaving nothing to hang our hat on, true peace will come to stay.
So this is the sum total of life, from yesterday today and tomorrow,
A conditioned experience inside ignorance, and life’s ability to borrow.
How sweet it is that awareness, can reflect and bring about,
An enlightened path for us to follow, to find peace without any doubt.
By Dennis Sheppard
That noisy little voice, that lives in my head,
Where has it come from? How is it fed?
A comment to affect, setting up a moral choice,
Giving my life a perspective, while shaping my voice.
The world that I live in, so compelling and so real,
Gives me-thinks what I want, without my knowing the deal.
Its physical attraction, mirroring the ego I grow,
But leaves me separated and lost, from what allows me know.
Feeling estranged and alone, from this world that I see,
Makes me fearful and panicked, as I search for the key.
To be in control and have the world do my bidding,
With my ego flying high, who am I kidding?
The little voice in my head, laughs and makes me feel guilty,
What are you doing? Where is the reality?
But the needs of my ego, have grown strong and require,
Action and doing, to fulfill my desire.
Instinct from nature protects my ego and its needs,
It drives me on to improve, and to sow better seeds.
But nature’s competition is fierce; it weeds out the losers,
Making the tension so tight, conditioning a cult of abusers.
Then the voice in my head tells me the story from both sides,
Bringing feelings of compassion --- can we heal the divides
Can my mind open up to my nemesis in paradox,
Even though the world may judge, this action unorthodox?
It becomes clear this little voice, that is inside my head,
Has been around for a very long time.
It’s as if it knows, something that my ego does not,
And can guide to a truth so sublime.
But the noise of my ego, is so loud and so strong,
It has control of my life, driving instinct along,
Lost in desire with ignorance in place,
Pursuit of the truth can be, lost in the race.
It takes effort and awareness, to listen deep in my mind,
To hear the whisper of conscience, subtle and refined.
It’s as if it knows my story, from beyond space and time.
Ensuring a fall back position, never totally blind.
When I practice to listen to this little voice in my head,
I see a deeper story, that connects like a thread.
A mind-stream of desire, that connects this life to the past,
With rebirths going back, in a mind that is vast.
As each life is examined, it is very plain to see,
An ego that drowns any chance to be free,
From the desire that is so compelling, in each life that is aped,
Or the balance of wholeness, in the space that is shaped.
The space that is shaped, from the form of my ego,
Is filled with a stillness, giving life to a credo.
That allows the tensions of form and its reflection in space,
To relax and unwind leaving stillness in place.
The voice in my head has a perspective from this stillness,
Giving a direction to go in, that avoids mental illness.
It is a moral direction, aware of life’s presentation,
Seeing past motivation, bring future inclination.
It’s clear this conscience, that gives rise to the voice in my head,
Is interconnected through the Universe and into my mind with its spread.
Its connections and threads, following wherever I roam,
So like Hansel and Gretel, I can find my way home.
The stillness always natural, in this present moment of time,
Allowing a peaceful bloom, a mind refuge sublime.
All the stresses of conditioning, are allowed to relax,
Leaving peace in its place, as stillness fills in the tracks.
The little voice in my head knows the mind-stream of desire
It can show me the way when I am bogged, deep in the mire.
It follows the mind-stream over lifetimes, through all manner of conditions,
It leads me back to the stillness, though it has no mission.
How this conscience began, in my mind is a question,
It coincides with the time I took my mind as a possession.
When looked at to establish when this might be.
No answer can be seen because the stillness is free.
So beginnings without a start and endings without finish,
Are paradoxes acceptable, and never diminish.
The exquisite beauty of the moment, with its rapture and bliss
Making practice to be there something not to miss.
When examined one can see, that this stillness is also a condition,
It mirrors a perfection balanced, where there is no volition
With just enough subtle conditioning to bring my mind to its door,
Allowing the opportunity to access and have rebirth no more.
by Dennis Sheppard.
A mirror reflects an image of light, that impacts upon its facade,
The apparent reflection then mimics, lights radiance --- just like a bard.
A gallery of mirrors can trick, not knowing which is real
Can leave deception and confusion, with the source now concealed.
The side show carnival players, use the trick to good effect,
Using smoke and mirrors skillfully, it is nigh impossible to detect,
A half man and half lady, so real it must be true,
Except you know it not possible, there is something gone askew.
The world and how we see it, is a similar case in point,
Our view is always conditioned, to make of it what we want.
The senses contact the field and feed back as perception,
Conditioning then makes a concept, completing the deception.
The feedback loop that sets, the conditions of who are,
Goes around so very quickly, creating our stories so bizarre.
With no chance for us to realise, the structure creating you and me,
Trapped into believing what we see, without knowing we are free.
Just where is the source that creates our world, universes and me?
Is it lost in a gallery of smoke and mirrors, hidden by decree?
Because we end up not knowing, who is affecting what!
The energy travels round in loops, once created unable to stop.
This problem is compounded, when we learn the concept of time,
Locking away stored views to call on, to embellish and imbibe.
Developing intentions for the future, based on happenings from the past,
The world's reflection keep on changing, creating a thread to go on and last.
Fearful to let go, of the story we believe,
The energy lives on, creating the patterns that we weave,
Looping around and adjusting, to make a place in which to belong,
Never considering the whole thing may be, an illusion or just all wrong.
Ignorance works to keep us from looking in too deep,
We crave for our pleasure and are then, lulled to fall asleep.
Thinking our makeup is contained, inside our own skin.
With the universe separate, having its own way to spin.
How the universe works, is a study we make.
Trying to see an advantage, we can personally take.
Sure that our consciousness, ends inside our brain,
Allowing us to do what we want, even if it's insane.
However doing what we want without an overall discern,
Ends up with us suffering, the mirror reflecting our concern.
The suffering brings on awareness, forcing us to look beyond our skin,
To see the way everything is connected, and the pathway we have been.
We see that feedback takes in input from, the world and away beyond,
The universe is part of our being, no matter how we respond.
Shared mental energy tied up in, the universe and how it works.
Supports the cause for our existence and gives us all of our perks.
Consciousness lives in the universe and not just in our head,
It shapes the space and form that interacts, complete within its spread.
The minds matrix with space and consciousness, work together one and the same,
To give us stillness to reflect upon, to give insight to life's game.
The stillness illuminates consciousness spread, over the vastness of space,
With personal lives playing piggy back, borrowing energy to give a face.
Beginnings and endings playing nature's accounts, each birth conditioning a death.
Then around again on the merry go round, rebirth happening with greedy zest.
Caught inside the universe's mirrors, craving a reflection to make us free,
Endless creation and more to do, to give an image of how we might be.
Until awareness starts to see stillness and give a perspective from a still place,
Then we know that we have found the right path, to give us wisdom along with grace.
This perspective will build up the wisdom,
To let go of the world more and more.
The universal mirror, starts reflecting peace of mind,
With a beautiful contentment at its core.
The energy comes to balance
And happiness sings its song,
We have found the right path to let go and laugh,
Finally knowing where we belong.
Uncovering the truth of the present moment, in the reflection of life's still heart,
Allows awareness to penetrate deeper, into the mind-stream that life built on so smart.
This universal stream of energy, so impenetrable from the conditions of self,
Opens up its impermanence and conditioning, as the last structure of self to melt.
So what is the source of the universe, that has mirrored and reflected lifes age?
There is nothing there at its centre, to control and manipulate so sage.
The universe comes about from conditions, that we grasp and hold on to so tight,
But when we relax, let go of the reflection, the whole thing comes together just right.
By Dennis Sheppard
When the days of our life are depleted,
And we know, we will soon be deleted.
What do we know, as we consider the blow,
That life’s end is now, really on show.
With the last few days of life arriving,
It’s clear that your future is not thriving,
No choice but to reflect, on the coming prospect
Of death -- will it be cruel, or inviting.
What awareness, can we bring to the experience?
Will we be clear, unconscious, fuzzy or wrong?
It is natures laws that take us back to our tors,
And the best we can do is look on.
Will our view be fragmented and fearful?
As we struggle to hold on for dear life,
Or be clear and relaxed, as we enter the fray,
To let nature come forth, and have its way.
I’ll tell you a story, about a woman that I loved,
Her giving, and joy was worn like a glove,
Her life was well lived with all she could give,
But illness came and interrupted her play.
It was very unpleasant, to hear the Doctor say,
You may be coming up --- to your last day,
But with some help, we perhaps can extend your lot,
And give you some time, if you give your best shot.
With all of life’s verve and considerable nerve,
She embraced life with all the energy she could muster,
As the years rolled along, life seemed like a song,
For her friends, and significant other.
But a few short years on, nature interrupted our song,
And raised the stakes of our lives to new heights.
The Doctors tried hard, and Dianne --- she starred,
But the truth of our circumstance had jarred.
The disease had its way and to everyone’s dismay,
It become clear that her life was near over,
But preparations for transition, allowed conscious cognition
To flower and fruit, in a most remarkable way.
Her body became weaker and the picture appeared bleaker,
As her body and organs --- unremittingly, faded away,
She felt like she was drowning in an abyss resounding,
It was a fitful grace from her reflected space.
But natural goodness and joy, ensured her love was not blind,
It brought clarity to mind, to see her life selfless and kind.
Then her perspective suddenly expanded, and she started to see,
Stillness replace fear – causing the abyss to become dear,
Conditioned with peace to be free.
It was the grasping at life that put her mind in a stricture,
That had prevented healing from this unified picture,
But from that moment on, her life returned to song,
Embracing us all in her world --- she knew how to belong.
Then along came the Nun, to comfort and brighten,
A being of peace and stillness, with wisdom to enlighten,
She said, “I’ve heard of your love”, that made Dianne think back,
And she had no choice but to react to the fact.
Sister Vay-ama helped shape Dianne’s karma,
With these simple words did she say.
“Take all of your love with you”, to comfort and guide,
And drove all Dianne’s fears away.
She died in the evening at the end of a day,
That was rainy and noted with joy
With clear eyes wide open --- dancing, and smiling delight,
She breathed her last breath, glazed and faded away.
Where did she go, with her energy so bright?
When life’s batten was changed to go on.
Her body was empty, and we tried to be strong,
Knowing “Toots”, would no more sing her song.
The last thought conditions the next, is a universal rule
That’s why wise beings, make their thoughts sweet and pure.
So with what comes along next, it is always the best,
To be mindful and cultivate wise deeds mature.
The space that contains us is conditioned,
And at Dianne’s end it was sweet and pure,
This will no doubt cause her mind stream to cluster,
With a stillness and peace, perspective to muster.
Karma will dance and mix all that she was,
To find an exquisite niche in the worlds infinite song,
Her awareness will ensure, that her mind is mature and growing
Allowing a rebirth that includes, wisdom and knowing.
Were the conditions in place, for the mind stream to flow?
In a direction that conditions, no more conditions.
We cannot know, but judging her awareness on show.
Her conditions will soon give her the unconditioned to know.
By Dennis Sheppard.
When we know someone or something,
And remember it clear in our mind,
Have we measured empirically with a perspective?
Or do we know universally as if blind
When we build a relationship, what is happening?
Are we open, or is there an axe to grind
To be able to discriminate, between this and that,
Or pick and choose friends, after a nice long chat.
A habit or impediment or a striking feature,
Or a tendency, an emotion or a smell as our teacher.
A remembered fact, or perhaps a given name,
Can help us remember, a past encounter again.
To know what something does and will do again,
Is a knowledge built up, over lifetimes to attain.
Repeated observation, to deduce this will do that,
We can have confidence that, our trust will make it a fact.
Drilling down into natures layers, to understand and deduce.
Clever brains acquiring knowledge, so we can harness and produce.
Wonderful results, to heal the sick and feed the poor,
The spoils maybe uneven, but the trickle down does provide more.
Measuring nature to differentiate, what it is that we observe,
With clever mathematics invented, to approximate the complex curve.
Inventing all manner of devices, to handle vast transitions in scale
To renormalise infinities and understand the detail.
The more that we measure nature, with good results continuing to come,
The more confident is our trust, in the wizards that we have become.
We can speculate and design, even manipulate nature to our will,
Building a science that becomes so important, without seeing the bitter pill.
Because there is always an opening, into a space angels fear to tread,
Where manipulation is inappropriate, where words are better left unsaid.
Where the cure for the particular condition, gives a result much worse than before.
If only we could have our time again, we could seek a better rapport.
Such is the problem with discrimination,
When we are separate from what we observe,
This perspective can delude and beget manipulation,
Twisting energy to get, what we think we deserve.
But every now and then with a twist, something odd will happen,
Where a result not expected, will arrive.
A mutant, a difference, something not before discerned,
Will bring us trouble, or a mixed blessing returned.
It may be a new beginning, a boon to mankind,
Or the end of the line, like a Neanderthal unwind.
When we separate and measure, it will always be the same,
In the end it will become, like a great big casino game.
With brains and awareness, that can come from reflection,
We are likely to choose, a positive direction,
And create lives for ourselves, that enhance our preference,
While the shadow side truth, is passed over in deference.
The tension that in is place, from the shadow deferred,
Will no doubt bear fruit, in the suffering it refers.
Creating existential anguish and a desire to make right,
With another round of preferences to continue the blight.
Cherry picking life's plums, without noticing duality in its seed,
Means positive or negative fruit, may be decreed,
Our ignorance is likely, to keep us in the dark,
As we try very hard, to win and make our mark.
When life is measured, we are always one step removed,
From the truth of the moment, as we decide what to choose.
Living in the commentary, around what we observe,
Creating the conditions, for what we think we deserve.
The complexity of conditions, keeps us far from the truth,
A veritable playground keeping us distracted, fixated on youth,
Like children playing with toys, trying hard to assure,
Preoccupied and diverted, from the pathway to be mature.
For maturity exists in the moment, along with the truth absolute,
A place of total sanity, pure with no chance to pollute.
Unqualified contentment with balanced energy and no doubt,
A place of stillness sublime, you know what it is all about.
So moving past the rules of life's measure, into a space so sane,
Into the truthfulness of the moment, where peace of mind has reign.
Where the considerations of ones life, is measured universally,
Opening the path to the unconditioned, the pathway to be free.
by Dennis Sheppard.
A high IQ, will bring a lot of regard,
Compared to what may be expected, if born a retard.
But does intelligence alone, mark out humanities great beings,
Or is the story more complex, then what we are seeing.
A beautiful face, with a stature that compels,
Will more likely lead and be the one that tells,
Out in front of the pack, when the decisions are made,
Leaving the lesser lights to follow, if they are to make the grade.
Nature marks out the winners, that it wants to have a stake
It culls other beings, that may present as mistakes.
The law of the jungle, can be part of natures plan.
Survival of the fittest and perhaps a few "also rans".
The farmer with his animals, wants only the best,
To build up his herd and get rid of the rest.
The prize winners are stars, celebrated with backers,
The losers make fertilizer, when shipped off to the knackers.
When the intellect stands alone, it's a decision easy to make,
It develops power to control and do what it takes,
To make things efficient and work with what's seen as the best,
Above average can stay, but the others are not to be blessed.
To be above average, is a nice place to be,
But half the population, is below by decree.
So what is the purpose, for nature's apparent redundancy?
When we think universal evolution, is about efficiency.
But this universal balance, is so refined and complete,
There is never one thing wasted, its equations don't cheat.
Then human evolution develops, a built in reflection,
To see ourselves in the picture and help shape our direction.
The picture shows living beings akin, all on a parallel course
Grasping for life with ignorance, desire driving the force.
Sensitive beings with dignity and the ability to thrive,
We are attached to our identities and holding on for our lives.
This view allows for empathy, to feel what others feel,
And have compassion for their trouble, when they are down at heel.
Instead of taking advantage, we can help with some input,
Then expect similar treatment, when the shoe changes its foot.
Reflection introduces balance, as the heart takes its place,
To even up with the intellect and give kindness a face.
Morality along with ethics, come to the fore,
And start guiding our actions, as we continue to explore.
This balance opens nobility, for the human race to aspire
Where generosity and sacrifice, can be seen and admired.
The dog eat dog world, that refuses to see the other,
Is replaced with a civilization, where we look out for our brother.
Being sensitive to beings and creatures, that grasp on to their life,
We learn to live with them, wholesome without vice.
Seeing the value in each other, no matter our place on the scale,
We can be helpful and harmonious, even when we fail.
We learn not to steal from each other, or deceive by telling lies,
We use our speech productively, to help and not despise.
Looking after each other, by being faithful and aware,
Keeping the mind clear and sharp, without intoxicants to ensnare.
The view from the mind, that is conditioned this way,
Will see the interconnection of all things and that will convey,
That the mind inside and out, is one and the same,
And its still centre in the present, can be known when it's tamed.
Because the still centre of the mind, is where truth can be known,
Everything coming together --- balancing, to repay times loan.
Where the past and the future, cease to be,
Leaving stillness space and knowing, with a path to be free.
This pathway opens up, when our grasp on the universe subsides
More wisdom evolves, as the head and heart balance to guide.
And we realise life's true worth, is to make us peaceful and free,
With this reflection that has evolved with us, providing the key.
The right way to live, then becomes apparent,
To be generous kind and loving, making everything transparent,
Living in this harmony, allows transforming wisdom,
Then our life's vicissitudes, will not be so random.
With this wisdom on board, death will have no sting,
As we move into pure consciousness that the stillness will bring.
With mindfulness strong and no movement to partake,
The universe collapses to finish and we are really awake.
So life's worth and purpose, is decided by me and you,
It includes every being caught up, trying to pursue,
A foothold into existence, that's what grasping is about,
Letting go is liberation, there can be no doubt.
by Dennis Sheppard
Conditioned is our view of the world,
A state that keeps us in continual swirl.
From day to day, from year to year,
Lifetime to lifetime, we live in ignorance and fear.
When fear takes hold, and energies unfold
Nature takes over, creating lives untold.
Karma will continue, to dance and grow,
Forming all told stories, in minds that do not know.
Left unchecked, our future is rife,
Samsara goes round, creating the circle of life.
On and on thinking, ignorance is bliss,
Unaware of our fate, as we dice with abyss.
We reap what we sow,
And live life in the dark.
Our identity seems fixed,
As we dotingly make our mark.
Hungry for life, fearful of death.
The past and the future, dead in our breath.
Lives of distraction, with presence unknown,
Unwilling to notice, the truth that we’re shown.
There comes a time, when we have had our fill,
When we see life unnoticed, is making us ill.
A life lived distracted from present to past,
Clutching and grasping, trying to make all things last.
Then all of a sudden, the present moment we see,
With a glimpse of riches in store, if we let our life be.
The truth of all things, begins to show us its face
As we uncover the moment and bask in its grace.
Then wisdom develops, conditioning goodness and giving,
Allowing deep concentration, and a mind full, and living.
A happiness mine, with riches untold,
To plunder and savour, as wisdom takes hold
It’s wisdom that reduces, our ego and shadow.
That allows mind freedom, to fly like an arrow.
Our view becomes clear and intention unbounded,
With truth now the goal and life bright and unfounded.
The beautiful breath, going in and then out,
We notice the space and the stillness about.
Sinking our selves deeper, into this moment of rhyme,
Knowing the truth that is there, beyond space and time.
When beauty is peaking, with the mind fully rapt,
We are pulled in much closer, where bliss is a fact.
Moving into the light, down the tunnel of love,
We leave ourselves empty, as mind comes to one.
The universe of unity, is a guarantee,
And there for the taking, for those who would see.
But with perfection so close, is it really for me?
A doubt seed once sown can stop us to be.
Reinforcing our worthiness, with morals perfect and sane
Contentment and energy, balanced sharp and urbane.
We seek once again beauty, in this moment of time.
And fall through the barriers, that keep the universe in line.
Having left our bodies, with only mind we can see.
Compelled to go on, to see who we may be.
With mind full of moment, the conditions break down,
Even space that contains us, is shaky and unsound.
So what does one find in this moment of time?
Beyond all conditions that include space and time.
The view is now, something that never can be.
No thing or self, a mystery and paradox, so let it be.
What a wonderful thing to see, the truth of all things.
Delusions with grandeur masking who we may be.
A universe so pregnant with potential unbounded,
Ends up in the eye, a possession unfounded.
So who are these people, who claim that they know?
Beings of peace, who let their strong presence grow,
Buddha’s and beings, that are entering the stream,
An end to delusion, on a path so serene.
So lets hear it for wisdom, and peace everlasting,
With practice the virtues, are there for the asking.
An end to all suffering, is promised in noise,
Peace unconditioned, gives presence, infinite poise.