Sunday, July 22, 2018

our essential nature -








~ Rupert Spira

Saturday, July 21, 2018

be ready








Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life --

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?




~ William Stafford
from The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems



Friday, July 20, 2018

I see my beauty in you










~ Rumi
version by Coleman Barks

be helpless and completely poor








Being humble is right for you now.
Don't thrash around showing your strength.

You're naked in the bee-house!
It doesn't matter how powerful
your arms and legs are.

To God, that is more of a lie
than your weakness is.

In his doorway your prestige
and your physical energy are just dust
on your face. Be helpless
and completely poor.

And don't try to meet his eye!
That's like signing a paper
that honors yourself.

If you can take care of things, do so!
But when you're living at home with God,
you neither sew the world together
with desires nor tear it apart
with disappointments.

In that place existence itself
is illusion. All that is, is one.



~ Hakim Sanai
English version by Coleman Barks
shoes by Van Gogh
 with thanks to Poetry Chaikhana


the blind old man








I don't know why so much sweetness hovers around us.
Nor why the wind blows the curtains in the afternoons,
Nor why the earth mutters so much about its children.

We'll never know why the snow falls through the night,
Nor how the heron stretches her long legs,
Nor why we feel so abandoned in the morning.

We have never understood how birds manage to fly,
Nor who the genius is who makes up dreams,
Nor how heaven and earth can appear in a poem.

We don't know why the rain falls so long.
The ditchdigger turns up one shovel after another.
The herons go on stitching the heavens together.

We've never heard about the day we were conceived
Nor the doctor who helped us to be born,
Nor that blind old man who decides when we will die.

It's hard to understand why the sun rises,
And why our children are mostly fond of us,
And why the wind blows the curtains in the afternoon.



~  Robert Bly
 from Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey




Saturday, July 14, 2018

on good and evil


.





And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil.
And he answered:
Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.
Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.
And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, "Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance."
For the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,
Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.
And even stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.
Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.
Even those who limp go not backward.
But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,
You are only loitering and sluggard.
Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.
But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.
And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.
But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, "Wherefore are you slow and halting?"
For the truly good ask not the naked, "Where is your garment?" nor the houseless, "What has befallen your house?"



~ Kahlil Gibran
(excerpt from: The Prophet )
.

troubled thoughts







Instead of conditioning the next moment with troubled thoughts, you surrender your investment in them; now the next moment is open, untroubled, and free.  There is no need to judge the world around you; you simply allow it to be what it is.  If the situation calls for a response from you, fine; you respond, not from defensiveness or judgment, but from the natural ease of your presence.  In the quiet mystery of surrendering your thoughts, you have released any fixity of belief or position-taking, and you are welcomed by openness, quiet, and a most subtle joy - a lightness of being.  In surrendering something of no real value, you have gained the world.  In the openness of unknowing, you are completely safe and innocent.



~ Pir Elias Amidon
from Free Medicine 
art by Dali

Thursday, July 12, 2018

creating enmity




.


Surely that thing which you fight you become. If I am angry and you meet me with anger what is the result? More anger. You have become that which I am. If I am evil and you fight me with evil means then you also become evil, however righteous you may feel. If I am brutal and you use brutal methods to overcome me, then you become brutal like me. And this we have done for thousands of years. Surely there is a different approach than to meet hate by hate. If I use violent methods to quell anger in myself then I am using wrong means for a right end, and thereby the right end ceases to be. In this there is no understanding; there is no transcending anger. Anger is to be studied tolerantly and understood; it is not to be overcome through violent means. Anger may be the result of many causes and without comprehending them there is no escape from anger.

We have created the enemy, the bandit, and becoming ourselves the enemy in no way brings about an end to enmity. We have to understand the cause of enmity and cease to feed it by our thought, feeling, and action. This is an arduous task demanding constant self-awareness and intelligent pliability, for what we are the society, the state is. The enemy and the friend are the outcome of our thought and action. We are responsible for creating enmity and so it is more important to be aware of our own thought and action than to be concerned with the foe and the friend, for right thinking puts an end to division. Love transcends the friend and the enemy.



~ J. Krishnamurti
from The Book of Life
art by Picasso










beauty and ugliness






When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created.

Being and non-being produce each other.
Difficult and easy complement each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low oppose each other.
Fore and aft follow each other.

Therefore the Master
can act without doing anything
and teach without saying a word.
Things come her way and she does not stop them;
things leave and she lets them go.
She has without possessing,
and acts without any expectations.
When her work is done, she takes no credit.
That is why it will last forever.





~ Lao Tzu
from the Tao Te Ching
translation by j.h.mcdonald




Monday, July 9, 2018

what draws you?







There are two types on the path, those
who come against their will, the blindly religious,
and those who obey out of love.

The former have ulterior motives.
they want the midwife near because she gives them milk.
The others love the beauty of the nurse.

The former memorize the prooftexts of conformity
and repeat them. The latter disappear
into whatever draws them to God.

Both are drawn from the source.
Any motion is from the mover.
Any love from the beloved.



~ Rumi
from Rumi - The Book of Love
translations by Coleman Barks


 

sacrificed





Not until a person dissolves, can
he or she know what union is

There is a descent into emptiness.
A lie will not change to truth

with just talking about it.

***

Longing is the core of mystery
Longing itself brings the cure.
The only rule is, Suffer the pain.

Your desire must be disciplined,
and what you want to happen
in time, sacrificed.



~ Rumi
from The Soul of Rumi
translations by Coleman Barks



Saturday, July 7, 2018

forget







Forget the suffering
You caused others.
Forget the suffering
Others caused you.

The waters run and run,
Springs sparkle and are done,
You walk the earth you are forgetting.

Sometimes you hear a distant refrain.
What does it mean, you ask, who is singing?
A childlike sun grows warm.
A grandson and a great-grandson are born.
You are led by the hand once again.

The names of the rivers remain with you.
How endless those rivers seem!
Your fields lie fallow,
The city towers are not as they were.
You stand at the threshold mute. 


By Czeslaw Milosz
version by Robert Hass