Friday, July 31, 2015

the shiva dance image








~ Aldous Huxley

Monday, July 27, 2015

longing for the perfect






After we had loved each other intently, 
we heard notes tumble together, 
in late winter, and we heard ice 
falling from the ends of twigs. 

The notes abandon so much as they move. 
They are the food not eaten, the comfort 
not taken, the lies not spoken. 
The music is my attention to you. 

And when the music came again, 
late in the day, I saw tears in your eyes. 
I saw you turn your face away 
So that others would not see. 

When men and women come together, 
how much they have to abandon. Wrens 
make their nests of fancy threads 
and string ends, animals 

abandon all their money each year. 
What is it that men and women leave? 
Harder than wren's doing, they have 
to abandon their longing for the perfect. 

The inner nest not made by instinct 
will never be quite round, 
and each has to enter the nest 
made by the other imperfect bird.



~ Robert Bly
from Eating the Honey of Words
art by Rassouli


Sunday, July 26, 2015

nothing ahead






Lovers think they're looking for each other,
but there's only one search: wandering
this world is wandering that,

both inside one
transparent sky.  In here there is
no dogma and no heresy.

The miracle of Jesus is himself, not what he said
or did about the future.  Forget the future.
I'd worship someone who could do that.

On the way you may want to look back, or not.
But if you can say, There's nothing ahead,
there will be nothing there.

Stretch your arms
and take hold the cloth of your clothes
with both hands.  The cure for pain is in the pain.
Good and bad are mixed.  If you don't have both,
you don't belong with us.

When one of us gets lost,
is not here, he must be inside us.  There's no
place like that anywhere in the world.






~ Rumi
from The Book of Love
translations by Coleman Barks

where you love from







Look inside and find where a person loves from.
That's the reality, not what they say.


~ Hypocrities


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

the center of the circle






Forget about knowledge and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times better off.
Throw away charity and righteousness,
and people will return to brotherly love.
Throw away profit and greed,
and there won't be any thieves.

These three are superficial and aren't enough
to keep us at the center of the circle, so we must also:

Embrace simplicity.
Put others first.
Desire little.



~ Lao-tzu
Tao Teh Ching
Mcdonald translation

Friday, July 10, 2015

we have ways within each other








They try to say what you are, spiritual or sexual? 

They wonder about Solomon and all his wives. 


In the body of the world, they say, there is a soul 

and you are that. 


But we have ways within each other 

that will never be said by anyone. 





~ Rumi



Friday, June 26, 2015

who knows what is going on





Who knows what is going on on the other side of each hour?

How many times the sunrise was
there, behind a mountain!

How many times the brilliant cloud piling up far off
was already a golden body full of thunder!

This rose was poison.

That sword gave life.

I was thinking of a flowery meadow
at the end of a road,
and found myself in the slough.

I was thinking of the greatness of what was human,
and found myself in the divine.




~ Juan Ramon Jimenez
English version by Robert Bly
with thanks to Poetry Chaikhana


Sunday, June 21, 2015

the door





One day you’ll see: 
you’ve been knocking on a door 
without a house. 
You’ve been waiting, shivering, yelling 
words of daring and hope.

One day you’ll see:
there is no-one on the other side
except, as ever, the jubilant ocean
that won’t shatter ceramically like a dream
when you and I shatter.

But not yet. Now 
you wait outside, watching
the blue arches of mornings 
that will break but are now perfect.

Underneath on tip-toe 
pass the faces, speaking to you,
saying ‘you’, ‘you’, ‘you’, 
smiling, waving, arriving
in unfailing chronology.

One day you’ll doubt your movements, 
you will shudder
at the accuracy of your sudden age. 
You will ache for slow beauty 
to save you from your quick, quick life.

But not yet. Hope 
fills the yawn of time.
Blue surrounds you. Now let’s say
you see a door and knock, 
and wait for someone to hear. 


~ Kapka Kassabova
with thanks to Love is a Place

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

magnetism








The Self is like a powerful magnet within us. 
It draws us gradually to itself, though we imagine we are going to It of our own accord:
 when we are near enough, It puts an end to our activities, 
makes us still, and then swallows up our personal current,
 thus killing our wrong personality. 
It overwhelms the intellect and over floods the whole being. 

We think we are meditating upon It and developing towards It, 
whereas the truth is that we are iron filings and It is the Atman-magnet 
that is pulling us towards Itself. Thus the process of finding 
the Self is a form of Divine magnetism.




~ Ramana Maharshi


Monday, May 25, 2015

in succession, in division








We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. 
Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence;
 the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; 
the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist, 
and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing
 and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, 
the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. 
We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree;
 but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, is the soul. 




~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
from the essay The Over-Soul
art by gene kloss

Saturday, May 16, 2015

on friendship and love






Such a friendship has no model but itself, and can only be compared to itself. It was not one special consideration, nor two, nor three, nor four, nor a thousand; it was some mysterious quintessence of all this mixture which possessed itself of my will,  and led it to plunge and lose itself in his, which possessed itself of his whole will, and led it, with a similar hunger and a like impulse, to plunge and lose itself in mine.  I may truly say lose, for it left us with nothing that was our own, nothing that was either his or mine.


~ Montaigne
from Essays of Michel de Montaigne



In any true love - a mother's for her child, a husband's for his wife, a friend's for a friend - there is an excess energy that always wants to be in motion.  Moreover, it seems to move not simply from one person to another but through them toward something else.  ("All I know now / is the more he loved me the more I loved the world" - Spencer Reece.) That is why we can be so baffled and overwhelmed by such love (and I don't mean merely when we fall in love; in fact, I'm talking more of other, more durable relationships): it wants to be more than it is; it cries out inside of us to make it more than it is.



~ Christian Wiman
from My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

Friday, May 15, 2015

we say







We say release, and radiance, and roses,
and echo upon everything that's known;
and yet, behind the world our names enclose is
the nameless: our true archetype and home.

The sun seems male, and earth is like a woman,
the field is humble, and the forest proud;
but over everything we say, inhuman,
moves the forever-undetermined god.

We grow up; but the world remains a child.
Star and flower, in silence, watch us go.
And sometimes we appear to be the final
exam they must succeed on. And they do.



~ Rainer Maria Rilke
translation by Stephen Mitchell
photo by Carsten Meyerdierks

Monday, May 11, 2015

well of darkness





If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.

We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
with patience.




~ Pablo Neruda
from The Sea and the Bells
translated by William O'Daly
with thanks to Love is a Place


Thursday, May 7, 2015

lost







Stand still.

The trees ahead and the bushes beside you 
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.

The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.




~ David Wagoner
from Collected Poems 1956-1976



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

that crookedness is straightness itself





They asked al-Hallaj, "To which religious School do you belong?
he answered, "God's own."

He who limned 
a thousand worlds with paint-
you layabout! - do you expect
He'll use your color or mine?
Our paints and tints
are but opinions and fantasy,
He is colorless
and we must adopt His hue.

Look: a shadow lies crooked upon the ground because the very earth is laid rough; but no, 
that crookedness is straightness itself, for the perfection, the "straightness" of the eyebrow is in its 
sinuous curve.

Only because it is bent
is this piece of wood a bow.

Reality is a sphere: wherever you place your finger,
there is its dead center.




~ Fakhruddin Iraqi
from Divine Flashes