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To Touch the Hem
by Chris Hart

"All words are finally only interpretations and representations. But when the Self whispers them to me, I hastily scribble them down, as unfiltered as I can manage, for passing on to you! I leave them here, knowing they will find the perfect place in the perfect time to be spilling from this wave, being me, to the next wave, being you, all here together on our One Ocean…"

This is from the Preface of Chris Hart's latest book of poems that made it's way from Brisbane to our office a short while ago. For those of you who are part of the Gangaji Forum, you will know that Chris has been sharing his poems on the forum now for some years. We are very happy to offer you a short selection of poems here.

OUR LIFEFORM AND OUR ESSENCE

Our lifeform

Is like a wildflower

Sprouted in rocky ground

Delicate, fragile, resilient

Here to bless the world

For a few days

Then to disappear

 

Our essence

Is like the sacred ground

From where the wildflower sprouts

Mysterious dark

Latent

Full of life

Full of itself

 

WHY WE HAD TO MEET

To be utterly quiet and totally open to what we find

This is where we may meet

Intuit why we feel so close

Why we had to meet

Why deep and abiding love for all beings

Is so inherent in the manifesting of this life

My life, your life

That it all makes perfect sense

That to look to the sunrise, the sunset or the ocean

Or into your lover’s eyes

Can elicit such a response?

It is all a mirror

One heart

One life

One consciousness

One Being

Who you Are

Who I am

Beingness Itself

 

BEINGNESS

Beingness is like the ocean residing in a drop of rain

Like Divine radiance pouring out of me in all directions

Ten thousand lives are dissolved in this instant

There is no other presence but my own

I cannot explain why I would want to speak to my self

In this instant, when you are present here

This heart flows to whomsoever seems to be you

And you are here in me, and me in you

It cannot be otherwise

Our separation is just a little story

And our union is for ever

And that forever is now.

 

 

THE OCEAN RECOGNIZING ITSELF

A moment of stillness is its own reward

Takes no effort, only the laying down of all effort

Relaxing from the effort to carry around this idea of me or of you

To be like the wave that notices itself falling

Back into the ocean of itself

With just the awareness of the homecoming in that

Where the terms “my” and “our” fall away

Where only the singular presence and the living of that exists

All that is non essential to that dies in this moment

“My” dies in this moment

You and me die in this moment

There is only the vast “Welcome!” still here

The ocean recognizing itself.

 

A NONDESCRIPT MORNING

A nondescript morning

Everything is as normal

The birds calling the same

And yet it isn’t the same

A soft rain begins falling as if it’s a blessing

I am in this, fully

My small self and larger Self both here

Includes all that is perceivable

All that appears in the endlessness of now

This moment where I surrender all I have been

Accept who it is I Am

Without fanfare or ecstasy

Just quiet acceptance

Whatever is not needed or not worthy of who I am

I find even that is included, accepted

That Who I Am has no separation

Has no boundaries

Can witness the humanity of the great ones

As well as the seemingly lesser ones

Love does not discriminate,

Loves me and loves you equally,

No matter what we have done,

Or what we have been

All for inclusion and acceptance

Gratitude and the bestowing of gratitude

The Being that you are and that I Am

Can express this Being-ness

In every undertaking, small and large

In this breath and this moment

Call it Love if you like,

Call it the Self or Who I Am

Call it the drop of rain

Or a teardrop running down my face

Amid the endless blessing of this moment

My moment with who I Am

Your moment with who you Are

This moment contains it All

 

TO TOUCH THE HEM

To touch the hem of who I am

To understand nothing of this

To be speechless

Left with a lingering fragrance

Of that, Presence,

That which exists!

 

I RING THE GREAT BELL

How to speak of the heart bursting

I pray it may continually be burst asunder

That who I am somehow loves this

Pours itself into itself

Pours itself into that one with your eyes

You drink this deeply and allow me to drink from you

You shouldn’t really be surprised

It’s so freshly felt, is it not?

You always suspected you were not separate

That you somehow included everything,

That every experience was somehow inside you

Experiencing and being experienced by?

I grab the rope, swing the massive block of wood

Hit the great bell

We are both filled with its resonance

Being fully alive in this moment

This is a meeting – our meeting

This is our Satsang!

 

OCEAN OF ME

Ocean of me

The great encloser and unifier

Allowing all wave forms to express

To take names and labels for a time

And then to fall back into the vastness of themselves

One here and there intensely desires to express the vastness of who they are

Consciously seeks the vastness, ask questions of their oceanic self

Struggles with the vast unexpressed silence of the reply

That silent answerless depth is also who they are

One vast oceanic beingness holds it all

All the expressions, all the turbulence, agitation and storms

All the capricious play at the shoreline

All the tonal songs, the sibilant sounds, expressions of the many moods

Revealing who you are to yourself is such a strange business

There are glimpses with great clarity like waking from a dream

And then there is the return to believing the waking dream

And who you are is almost but not quite supressed

But there it is – subtly but consistently always present

“Come home, remember who you are, Come home…”

Until it becomes the single one reality of your life

The dream disappears, every thought of who you are disappears

Your name disappears

You are That

You notice suddenly and surprisingly that you are happy

The you have given away everything of who you are

And what remains, what was always here

Says that was a very good trade!

 

“FREE AT LAST!”

I rest in the quietness of who I am

Calmness and serenity attend

Like the calm after the storm

All the striving has gone

I am here with my heart’s longing

Never to be parted again

I recall the moment of stopping

When I saw thoughts, each as a distinct picture

Like still photographs flitting across my mind’s eye

Intriguing as it was to see the sparks and the moving images

I asked them to stop and stop and they did

Leaving me here at home

In the home that had always been here

Here where I speak from

And yet I become strangely speechless

Sitting utterly content in this speechlessness

At peace

“Free at last!” as Doctor King spoke it so well

This freedom is universal

It is not my freedom

Any more than it is your freedom

 

WORDS FAIL ME

Words fail me

The one with my name fails to express who I am

Here in the midst of failure I sit quietly

Accepting my failure

Undiminished by my failure is what is here

In me and in you equally with the saints

That expression fails is okay

What I can’t say needs not my words

Is not confined to words or feelings or names

Is here, nevertheless

What cleaves open my chest must somehow be useful

Must somehow find its way to you

What it is that binds us is irresistible

Finds you in this moment

Envelops us both

 

Chris (Satsara) lives in Mount Nebo near Brisbane, Australia. At 11 years of age, Chris went surfing during a cyclone, and experienced his own drowning. During this traumatic event he knew with certainty that he was not his body, that the body is merely our means of expression. From the moment his body washed up unconscious onto the beach he wanted a life of fulfillment. It was a long time coming! A busy work and family life still left him trying to fill a gaping hole in his life. This hole was really the unanswered question “Who Am I?” This question energizes his poems, his life and his heart’s urgings. He is eternally grateful to his teacher Gangaji for pointing him to this very here and now where the answer could be found.

In 2022 Chris traveled to Ashland, OR to sit with Gangaji for the first time in person. He shared his story in this video clip.

“This is your resting place, your watering hole. Find what supports you, what includes you, and drink it in. Be nourished. Be enlivened. And when you feel thirsty again, drink some more.” —Gangaji

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"All words are finally only interpretations and representations. But when the Self whispers them to me, I hastily scribble them down, as unfiltered as I can manage, for passing on to you! I leave them here, knowing they will find the perfect place in the perfect time to be spilling from this wave, being me, to the next wave, being you, all here together on our One Ocean…"

This is from the Preface of Chris Hart's latest book of poems that made it's way from Brisbane to our office a short while ago. For those of you who are part of the Gangaji Forum, you will know that Chris has been sharing his poems on the forum now for some years. We are very happy to offer you a short selection of poems here.

OUR LIFEFORM AND OUR ESSENCE

Our lifeform

Is like a wildflower

Sprouted in rocky ground

Delicate, fragile, resilient

Here to bless the world

For a few days

Then to disappear

 

Our essence

Is like the sacred ground

From where the wildflower sprouts

Mysterious dark

Latent

Full of life

Full of itself

 

WHY WE HAD TO MEET

To be utterly quiet and totally open to what we find

This is where we may meet

Intuit why we feel so close

Why we had to meet

Why deep and abiding love for all beings

Is so inherent in the manifesting of this life

My life, your life

That it all makes perfect sense

That to look to the sunrise, the sunset or the ocean

Or into your lover’s eyes

Can elicit such a response?

It is all a mirror

One heart

One life

One consciousness

One Being

Who you Are

Who I am

Beingness Itself

 

BEINGNESS

Beingness is like the ocean residing in a drop of rain

Like Divine radiance pouring out of me in all directions

Ten thousand lives are dissolved in this instant

There is no other presence but my own

I cannot explain why I would want to speak to my self

In this instant, when you are present here

This heart flows to whomsoever seems to be you

And you are here in me, and me in you

It cannot be otherwise

Our separation is just a little story

And our union is for ever

And that forever is now.

 

 

THE OCEAN RECOGNIZING ITSELF

A moment of stillness is its own reward

Takes no effort, only the laying down of all effort

Relaxing from the effort to carry around this idea of me or of you

To be like the wave that notices itself falling

Back into the ocean of itself

With just the awareness of the homecoming in that

Where the terms “my” and “our” fall away

Where only the singular presence and the living of that exists

All that is non essential to that dies in this moment

“My” dies in this moment

You and me die in this moment

There is only the vast “Welcome!” still here

The ocean recognizing itself.

 

A NONDESCRIPT MORNING

A nondescript morning

Everything is as normal

The birds calling the same

And yet it isn’t the same

A soft rain begins falling as if it’s a blessing

I am in this, fully

My small self and larger Self both here

Includes all that is perceivable

All that appears in the endlessness of now

This moment where I surrender all I have been

Accept who it is I Am

Without fanfare or ecstasy

Just quiet acceptance

Whatever is not needed or not worthy of who I am

I find even that is included, accepted

That Who I Am has no separation

Has no boundaries

Can witness the humanity of the great ones

As well as the seemingly lesser ones

Love does not discriminate,

Loves me and loves you equally,

No matter what we have done,

Or what we have been

All for inclusion and acceptance

Gratitude and the bestowing of gratitude

The Being that you are and that I Am

Can express this Being-ness

In every undertaking, small and large

In this breath and this moment

Call it Love if you like,

Call it the Self or Who I Am

Call it the drop of rain

Or a teardrop running down my face

Amid the endless blessing of this moment

My moment with who I Am

Your moment with who you Are

This moment contains it All

 

TO TOUCH THE HEM

To touch the hem of who I am

To understand nothing of this

To be speechless

Left with a lingering fragrance

Of that, Presence,

That which exists!

 

I RING THE GREAT BELL

How to speak of the heart bursting

I pray it may continually be burst asunder

That who I am somehow loves this

Pours itself into itself

Pours itself into that one with your eyes

You drink this deeply and allow me to drink from you

You shouldn’t really be surprised

It’s so freshly felt, is it not?

You always suspected you were not separate

That you somehow included everything,

That every experience was somehow inside you

Experiencing and being experienced by?

I grab the rope, swing the massive block of wood

Hit the great bell

We are both filled with its resonance

Being fully alive in this moment

This is a meeting – our meeting

This is our Satsang!

 

OCEAN OF ME

Ocean of me

The great encloser and unifier

Allowing all wave forms to express

To take names and labels for a time

And then to fall back into the vastness of themselves

One here and there intensely desires to express the vastness of who they are

Consciously seeks the vastness, ask questions of their oceanic self

Struggles with the vast unexpressed silence of the reply

That silent answerless depth is also who they are

One vast oceanic beingness holds it all

All the expressions, all the turbulence, agitation and storms

All the capricious play at the shoreline

All the tonal songs, the sibilant sounds, expressions of the many moods

Revealing who you are to yourself is such a strange business

There are glimpses with great clarity like waking from a dream

And then there is the return to believing the waking dream

And who you are is almost but not quite supressed

But there it is – subtly but consistently always present

“Come home, remember who you are, Come home…”

Until it becomes the single one reality of your life

The dream disappears, every thought of who you are disappears

Your name disappears

You are That

You notice suddenly and surprisingly that you are happy

The you have given away everything of who you are

And what remains, what was always here

Says that was a very good trade!

 

“FREE AT LAST!”

I rest in the quietness of who I am

Calmness and serenity attend

Like the calm after the storm

All the striving has gone

I am here with my heart’s longing

Never to be parted again

I recall the moment of stopping

When I saw thoughts, each as a distinct picture

Like still photographs flitting across my mind’s eye

Intriguing as it was to see the sparks and the moving images

I asked them to stop and stop and they did

Leaving me here at home

In the home that had always been here

Here where I speak from

And yet I become strangely speechless

Sitting utterly content in this speechlessness

At peace

“Free at last!” as Doctor King spoke it so well

This freedom is universal

It is not my freedom

Any more than it is your freedom

 

WORDS FAIL ME

Words fail me

The one with my name fails to express who I am

Here in the midst of failure I sit quietly

Accepting my failure

Undiminished by my failure is what is here

In me and in you equally with the saints

That expression fails is okay

What I can’t say needs not my words

Is not confined to words or feelings or names

Is here, nevertheless

What cleaves open my chest must somehow be useful

Must somehow find its way to you

What it is that binds us is irresistible

Finds you in this moment

Envelops us both

 

Chris (Satsara) lives in Mount Nebo near Brisbane, Australia. At 11 years of age, Chris went surfing during a cyclone, and experienced his own drowning. During this traumatic event he knew with certainty that he was not his body, that the body is merely our means of expression. From the moment his body washed up unconscious onto the beach he wanted a life of fulfillment. It was a long time coming! A busy work and family life still left him trying to fill a gaping hole in his life. This hole was really the unanswered question “Who Am I?” This question energizes his poems, his life and his heart’s urgings. He is eternally grateful to his teacher Gangaji for pointing him to this very here and now where the answer could be found.

In 2022 Chris traveled to Ashland, OR to sit with Gangaji for the first time in person. He shared his story in this video clip.

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