Thursday, January 31, 2019

our broken love

One of the great powers of love is balance;
it helps us move toward transfiguration.
When two people come together, an ancient circle closes between them.
They also come to each other not with empty hands,
but with hands full of gifts for each other.
Often these are wounded gifts;
this awakens the dimension of healing within love.
When you really love someone,
you shine the light of your soul on the beloved.
We know from nature that sunlight brings everything to growth.
It you look at flowers early on a spring morning,
they are all closed.
When the light of the sun catches them,
they trustingly open out and give themselves to the new light.

A person should always offer a prayer of graciousness 
for the love that has awakened in them. When you feel love for your beloved 
and the beloved’s love for you, now and again you should offer the warmth 
of your love as a blessing for those who are damaged and unloved. 
Send that love out into the world to people who are desperate, 
to those who are starving, to those who are trapped in prison,
 in hospitals, and into all the brutal terrains of bleak and tormented lives. 
When you send that love out from the bountifulness of your own love, 
it reaches other people. This love is the deepest power of prayer. . . .
 When there is love in your life, you should share it spiritually 
with those who are pushed to the very edge of life. 
There is a lovely idea in the Celtic tradition that if you send out goodness
 from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, 
it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times.

~ John O'Donohue
from Anam Cara 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

the work of happiness

I thought of happiness, how it is woven
Out of the silence in the empty house each day
And how it is not sudden and it is not given
But is creation itself like the growth of a tree.
No one has seen it happen, but inside the bark
Another circle is growing in the expanding ring.
No one has heard the root go deeper in the dark,
But the tree is lifted by this inward work
And its plumes shine, and its leaves are glittering.

So happiness is woven out of the peace of hours
And strikes its roots deep in the house alone:
The old chest in the corner, cool waxed floors,
White curtains softly and continually blown
As the free air moves quietly about the room;
A shelf of books, a table, and the white-washed wall --
These are the dear familiar gods of home,
And here the work of faith can best be done,
The growing tree is green and musical.

For what is happiness but growth in peace,
The timeless sense of time when furniture
Has stood a life's span in a single place,
And as the air moves, so the old dreams stir
The shining leaves of present happiness?
No one has heard thought or listened to a mind,
But where people have lived in inwardness
The air is charged with blessing and does bless;
Windows look out on mountains and the walls are kind.
May Sarton
from May Sarton, Collected Poems, 1930-1993
 with thanks to poetry chaikhana


Friday, January 25, 2019

one winter afternoon

one winter afternoon

(at the magical hour
when is becomes if) 

a bespangled clown
standing on eighth street
handed me a flower. 

Nobody,it’s safe
to say,observed him but 

myself,and why?because 

without any doubt he was
whatever(first and last) 

mostpeople fear most:
a mystery for which i’ve
no word except alive 

—that is,completely alert
and miraculously whole; 

with not merely a mind and a heart 

but unquestionably a soul-
by no means funereally hilarious 

(or otherwise democratic)
but essentially poetic
or ethereally serious: 

a fine not a coarse clown
(no mob, but a person) 

and while never saying a word 

who was anything but dumb;
since the silence of him 

self sang like a bird.
Mostpeople have been heard
screaming for international 

measures that render hell rational
—i thank heaven somebody’s crazy 

enough to give me a daisy 

~ E. E. Cummings
 art by Chagall

Thursday, January 24, 2019

"love me."

Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the cops.

Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a
full moon in each eye that is 
always saying,

With that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in 
this world is
dying to 

~  Hafiz

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

finding out what love is


Love is the unknowable. It can be realized only when the known is understood and transcended. Only when the mind is free of the known, then only there will be love. 

So, we must approach love negatively, not positively.
What is love to most of us? With us, when we love, in it there is possessiveness, dominance, or subservience. From this possession arises jealously and fear of loss, and we legalize this possessive instinct. From possessiveness arise jealousy and the innumerable conflicts with which each one is familiar. Possessiveness, then, is not love. Nor is love sentimental. To be sentimental, to be emotional, excludes love.Sensitivity and emotions are merely sensations.

. . . Love alone can transform insanity, confusion, and strife. No system, no theory of the left or of the right can bring peace and happiness to man. Where there is love, there is no possessiveness, no envy; there is mercy and compassion, not in theory, but actually for your wife and for your children, for your neighbor and for your servant. . . . Love alone can bring about mercy and beauty, order and peace. There is love with its blessing when "you" cease to be.

~ J. Krishnamurti
from The Book of Life

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

love and emptiness

Love and emptiness cannot abide together, when there is the feeling of loneliness, love is not.  You may hide emptiness under the word love, but when the object of your love is no longer there or does not respond, then you are aware of emptiness, you are frustrated.  We use the word love as a means of escaping from ourselves, from our own insufficiency.  We cling to the one we love, we are jealous, we miss him when he is not there and are utterly lost when he dies; and then we seek comfort in some other form, in some belief, in some substitute.  Is all this love?  Love is not an idea, the result of association; love is not something to be used as an escape from our own wretchedness, and when we do so use it, we make problems which have no solutions.  Love is not an abstraction, but its reality can be experienced only when idea, mind, is no longer the supreme factor.

So I see this emptiness, I see how it has come into being, I am aware that will or any other activity exerted to dispel the creator of this emptiness is only another form of self-centered activity.  So I realize that I cannot do anything, that the more I try to do something about it, the more I am creating and building walls of isolation.  Before, I used energy to fill this emptiness, wandered all over the place, and now I see the absurdity of it -  Thought becomes quiet; the mind becomes completely still; there is silence.  In that silence there is no loneliness.  When there is that silence, that complete silence of the mind, there is beauty and love.  


J. Krishnamurti  
from On Love and Loneliness
art by Van Gogh