John Siddique

Upturned Open Hand

John Siddique

Enslaving chain Upturned Open Hand by John Siddique Click image for a larger view

Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter
Accession number: E321

I saw this day, this era
that morning under the peepal tree
as I looked from the heart of awareness,
in the dawning light.

I saw this time when the teachings become
theses, debates, and identities.
Mere heaps of knowledge leading you
further from the truth of existence.

The wheel turns into the again of unknowing.
All truth falls and fails becoming religion,
turning paths of freedom to beliefs.
The Dharma is not the Dharma
unless you allow it to illuminate your heart.

You might know the journey of this Rupa,
a thing you call a Buddha. Taken out of context,
out of meaning, out of life. Reduced
to an object on display.

You may read its history, its story,
through colonisation’s trails of blood.
Meet it all in opinion or absence,
or vasana, or as a gateway.

This era when the teachings have faded.
Not to all, but falling outside
of greater meaning for the world.

Who is there to hear?
Who is there to receive the ever profound
transmission of the Sambogokaya.

I touch the Earth,
    she is the witness of realisation.
I touch the Earth in the eternal dawn.
I touch the Earth.
    Is there anyone else here?

I touch the Earth,
    and Brahma asks me to look again.
A pond of weeds and darkness,
there are some who are closer to the light,
closer to realisation, with less mud
in their eyes.

There is always suffering in life.
There are the conditions that lead to suffering.
There is a way out of suffering.
A path that leads to the awakened life,
hidden within the ordinariness of this day.

I cannot share my realisation with you
unless to allow your heart to see.


Listen with your heart
to the space between these words.

Listen now
to the space between your heartbeats.

This is the ground on which everything stands.
    - The axis.
        The eternal sacred heart of life.

Here is your true heart, your true face.
Here is the truth of all Jnanis and Buddhas

This upturned open hand is your own.
The open hand of life
    - holding the truth of darkness and light.
The open hand of your Karma, your Dharma.
The open hand of true meditation.

The open hand of this moment.
The open hand of your deepest heart.
The open hand of space.
Let the Earth be your witness.

In the emptiness of all forms
shines the rising sun of stillness.

In the wholeness of emptiness
- the wisdom of what is.

Unfolding, unfolding, unfolding.
Always, always becoming
        - one with all of life.