Maarten Turkstra








Has the blue white light of the etheric

body been apprehended within the vision

of that third, the mind's, eye.

No, No! Not this, not incarnation,

Not dream consciousness, not manifestation.

Leave me in the Tushita Heaven of the Buddhas.

No Nirvana, and no absence of Nirvana.

No, No! No name, no place, no face,

No fame, no harsh words, no power,

No absence of not having and

No absence of having in abundance.

No lies, no whys, no wherefores, no whatnot.

Instant cool tingling light in the marrow,

the frame structured of inner light

with eyes in every corner of the vision.

Seen from within, a bridge across seasons,

A melody to dance the years into motion,

Even a song to give voice to the blessing.

Let our words be music,

let our thoughts be songs, cast upon

the water like bread for the swans.

Blue is the river whose source is a crystal.

Clear is the lake, where the swan pairs swim,

Pure as the fountain that rises within.


We call the Original Emptiness to witness our act of prayer

And we call on the Great Spirit, the first movement within

Original Emptiness, to be with us here.


We call on the Milky Way our stellar family in the Galaxies

To witness our coming together.

And we call on the Sun and the Moon, the Heavenly Bodies

To witness our prayer.


We call on the Powers of the Four Directions,

The East and the West, the North and the South,

To bless our intentions.


We call on the Elements of Earth and Sky,

Of Fire and Water and Ether to be present with us

Here as we pray together.


We call on the Spirit of all the Two Legged Beings

To be present with us here, the Yellow Races and the Black,

And the White, and the Red Man from America.


We call on the spirit of all the Four Legged Creatures

To be with us here in our prayer, the Elephant and the Mouse

The lowly dog and the Endangered Rhinoceros.


And we call on the Winged Beings, all species of birds,

And their bird songs, and also the Angels and the Bee,

To sing in our hearts this day.


And all creeping things, all lowly beetles and worms,

And even the snakes, we invite you to be with us this day.

The Kingdom of Plants, all Trees and Flowers and Grasses

Be with us in our hearts as we pray.


And the Rock People, and the Living Earth, and the Dust,

And the Space between the dust, and to the tiniest Atom,

And the Emptiness at the Heart of the Atom

We call on you all to be present here with us today.


And to that Great Mystery that is between the Emptiness

At the Beginning and the Emptiness at the Heart of the Atom

We call upon You, Oh Great Mystery, in our common prayer.


May all of us look into our hearts,

Beyond the Words and the Idea,

Beyond the Beliefs and the Ideologies,

May we look into our hearts and be aware

Of the Mystery of our Being.

And May the presence of that Great Mystery

Quiet our minds and our words, for a moment,

And allow us to be here silently together

Honouring that which is at the Source of

Our Being, and of our religions and beliefs.

And may we recognise, Oh Great Spirit,

How much we have in common, and how simple it is,

At the deepest levels, to love one another.




 Not past a second cup of tea in the morning light

 did the idea reveal: Shabbat, and do nothing.

 What kind of nothing shall we do?

 Go to the Temple!


Shall we go South to the temple of trees

 where the river chatters at the foot of yellow-wood,

 As the thoughts of the mind scurry along

 within the realms of the inner eye?


Shall we go to the temple at the keyhole

 of the canyon where golden sandstone rises in awe?

Northern rays of sun, catching the lily pond,

have flooded our hearts with blessings.


In the West there’s a spot by a low shade tree

where the cattle love to lounge and munch,

Farther from the water but closer to the view

of the morning star rising that the soul longs for.


Above there’s the One, a small cave in the hilltop.

Here we see the high mountains north and south.

Here the spirit soars while the body sits in yoga.

Each deep breath leaps across the hills and the stars.


Alone for the fist time, this is the third day,

the first time in years, fire and a tent, rice and tea.

Baron von Skrikke, and his children, have gone to the

ninetieth birthday of Grandmother Wessels the Erudite.


Can I stand these simple conditions? fire and river,

forest and hilltop, Indian Summer upon us.

God knows the inner man is undecided, undisciplined,

afraid of the path and reluctant to go!!


It was the Temple at the Keyhole Canyon that gave

the Benediction: down on a knee to kiss the stones.

Tall grasses, like fairy dusters, touch me with tingling,

wiping thoughts off my face, there are rainbows everywhere.

Sat. 31, May, 2003

                                                                        Lower Kouga Valley



 May we find a path that leads beyond the infinite darkness surrounding imagination.

Into that darkness like firecrackers flung do we offer the visual and imaginative excesses

of a life spent in the dark and bright corners of culture and credence, passion and hypocrisy

Give only a little of what you have not to fill up the pot of worthless ambitions and pride

How many summers have we waited in vain for your coming and the dazzle and the glitter

Is it easy on a backstage of africa to simulate a coup-de-grace to the mind forged manacles

Muscle in take over do not be timorous or tame or reasonable even, be daring and go for it

Even at this late hour of the turning of the wheel where some noble note may yet be struck

Strike back before you are struck off sucked up impaled like peter in the sun to wither away

Away are we from the teasing cycle of the seasons cinemas and sidewalk cafes of eternity

Roll the dice go on the ride spin the wheel of incarnation in my favour in the lap of fortune



No short circuit nor psychic intervention will curtail the whiplash of having dreamed it

Take the back way into the woods follow the frog to a hollow place watch for the mouse

follow the butterfly when she beckons you and open the door of the toad stool that leads

up a long flight of stairs to a place amongst the branches where carpets have been spread

cushions are placed seated maidens pluck melodies from their lyres and our heart strings

Not even a breath of wind was felt on our cheeks nor any of the gifts of the spirit of love

Her perfumed presence did not pass us and we have no knowledge nor scent of her tracks

It cannot be beauty alone that so beguiles us.  Was beauty not truth revealed and incarnate

Unnameable unthinkable colourless tasteless undesirable, for only by grace is she revealed

Now where shall we pick up a morsel to chew on, a grace or a muse to inspire the nights

Even the stars so distant, would have mercy if they could see the depth of our longing



Not for glory mind nor ambition not for persons or places but for moments and glimpses

The howling at the moon and the sounds of the pounding of the sea beyond the windows

Not the sweetness of inhalation nor the rhythms of the heart will empower me to know thee

Touch a peach run a finger along the smoothness of skin drink a dew drop pick ripe cherries

Bound from rock to rock in the hill country and laugh with your beloved at the waterfall

Join hands with others so fortunate to be lost with us in the labyrinth of flesh and blood

Even blood will not join us as deep as the wind that blows where she wills and we know not

Not even the perfumed breeze of good intentions can reach the doorway that leads within

No more carpets and cushions and maidens on the path that leads to the cave of the heart

Darkness mindless black-light splendour inhabits the depths of the sea and of you and me

Here we begin again spiralling outward glimmering incantations and wistful incarnations

                                                                                                                               hermanus:  winter solstice  00



Within the castle of nine gates at the centre of emptiness there is a space

Within that space there is a shrine, on the altar of that shrine is a lotus

Within the heart of the lotus burns a small flame.  Extinguish that flame.

Blow it out.  Sell the flame down river with grandmother's expectations

Blow out the candle of great grandfather's desires and hopes and dreams

Nirvana, blowing out of any notion of separate identity, disappearance to

nonentity of the light of life that kindles curiosity to discover hidden layers

of the self that dwells in the cave of the heart unattended by sight or sound

or breathing nor remember may we nor ambition not even for seeing god is

my witness there is no one home no salt in the cellar no fire in the chimney


How to find the spiral stairway that leads down the wall of the well of emptiness

Stalking from many sides the space within the heart where there are no words

to lead us into that darkness that escapes even the hope of description


Grandfather Great Spirit Wakan Tanka hear my prayer this day of deep winter

By the great darkness at the bottom of the well of emptiness I implore you

By the wind that moves across the water before the beginning of time

By the swimming creatures that live beneath the water and by the winged

beings that come to listen to the first sound that issues in a moving gyre from

the point through which nothingness enters with music into the limelight of

creation regeneration dissolution nothingness emptiness no breathing no mind

no absence of not having and no absence of having in abundance


Pirouetting even as she blows out sells down river drops into the bottomless well

By all these we call on thee as witness to the circles that surround our destiny

Be near to protect us from forgetfulness and anxiety in the face of vanishing


Ever diminishing is the darkness that surrounds ever growing the emptiness

Hear our call Great Spirit hear our limits and our fears hear our tears of joy

Wheel of time maha-kala devouring your children as they dance upon the stage

that is a circle at the edge of all falls down with no one left to witness our prayers

and our singing, yet we sing on the way down into the cave of the heart

where we dwell in the aloneness of the alone  

                                                                                                                              winter solstice,  00

with tribute to:  Rabindranath Tagore  

Come Holy Spirit 


Let the fortifications be dismantled. Let a flood tide of new age energy surge into the cemeteries of past masters. Transform them into nurseries of fledgling boddhissatvas, laboratories of Aquarian infusion, where the blood of the old dispensation is let. Those bodies now empty shall be offered to the Lord of Life to be filled with Holy Spirit.


Come Holy Spirit thou mother to the presence of the Lord within me.

It is thy subtle feminine power of wonder that seduces this body

And prepares it for thy own wooing wisdom for the coming of the Lord

Thou preparest the bed where my Lord shall lie.


Thou who cleanses the bed sheets of desire,

Thou who folds back the covers from my heart

Thou who smoothes the pillow for my Lord to on.


Who moistens the eyes with tears that soften the heart,

Who offers the soft heart as a dwelling place for the Lord,

Who tends the fires that inflame the heart with his love


Oh Spirit of God! It is thy presence within me

That prepares this body to be the bride of my Lord.

Thou who transforms this body into a temple,

Thou who prepares the living sacrifice on the altar.


Oh mother of my soul, thou wet nurse to my longing,

How hast thou brought my hard heart to thy bidding?

How hast thou transformed my ambition to submission?

How hast thou subverted the masculine pride?


Thou hast wrought within me the disposition of a bride.

Thou hast taught me a woman’s ways.

Thou hast planted within me the longing to give birth

To a humanity so obedient to the Presence of God

That each one shall make much of our womanly virtues.



We shall be courteous and kind and forgiving,

We shall be faithful and true to our Lord

We shall know the fullness of a harvest of plenty.

We shall lie down in the lap of our Lord


There shall be no more weddings for all shall be women

In dancing in singing in plaiting long hair

And the love that we know now as courtship and courage

Shall be as the love of the roses for the rising of the moon.



As a perfume at midnight is that lovely lady

She caresses, redresses and blesses my soul.

With her light hands she lifts off the clothing of mortality.

She leaves me standing naked in the presence of my Lord.


Come Holy Spirit thou art the handmaid of God!


                                                                             brother john

                                                                             24 September, 1975

                                                                             Beach House,

Adyar, Madras.