Thursday, May 25, 2017

body and soul





Without Contraries is no progression.
 Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, 
are necessary to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good & Evil.
 Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.



All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following Errors.
1. That Man has two real existing principles Viz: a Body & a Soul.
2. That Energy, call'd Evil, is alone from the Body, & that Reason, call'd Good, is alone from the        Soul.
3. That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies.

But the following Contraries to these are True

1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that call'd Body is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age
2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy.
3 Energy is Eternal Delight
~ William Blake 
from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
 with thanks to Love is a Place
 

Monday, May 22, 2017

traveling through







Death is a favour to us,
But our scales have lost their balance.
The impermanence of the body
Should give us great clarity, deepening the wonder in our
Senses and eyes
Of this mysterious existence we share
And surely are just traveling through.

If I were in the tavern tonight,
Hafiz would call for drinks
And as the Master poured, I would be reminded
That all I know of life and myself is that
We are just a mid-air flight of golden wine
Between His Pitcher and His cup.


If I were in the tavern tonight,
I would buy freely for everyone in this world
Because our marriage with the Cruel Beauty
Of time and space cannot endure very long.


Death is a favour to us,
But our minds have lost their balance.
The miraculous existence and impermanence of
Form
Always makes the illumined ones
Laugh and sing.





~ Hafiz
from  The subject tonight is Love –  poems of Hafiz
Versions by Daniel Ladinsky
with thanks to Death Deconstructed
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

though we strain




And yet, though we strain
against the deadening grip
of daily necessity,
I sense there is this mystery:

All life is being lived.

Who is living it then?
Is it the things themselves,
or something waiting inside them,
like an unplayed melody in a flute?
Is it the winds blowing over the waters?
Is it the branches that signal to each other?

Is it flowers
interweaving their fragrances
or streets, as they wind through time?



~ Rainer Maria Rilke
(from: Book of Hours, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

inside the rose


.

.
That camel there with its calf running
behind it, Sutur and Koshek, we're like

them: mothered and nursed by where 
and who we are from, following our fates

where they lead, until we hear a drum
begin, grace entering our lives, a prayer

of gratitude.  We feel the call of God,
and the journey changes, A dry field

of stones turns soft and moist as cheese.
The mountain feels level under us.  Love

becomes agile and quick, and suddenly
we're there!  This traveling's not done

with the body.  God's secret takes form
in your loving.  But there are those in

bodies who are pure soul.  It can happen.
These messengers invite us to walk with 

them.  They say, "You may feel happy
enough where you are, but we can't do

without you any longer!  Please."  So
we walk along inside the rose, being

pulled like the creeks and rivers are,
out from the town onto the plain.  My

guide, my soul, your only sadness is when
I am not walking with you.  In deep silence,

with some exertion to stay in your company,
I could save you a lot of trouble!


.
~ Rumi
from The Glance, Songs of Soul-Meeting
translated by Coleman Barks
art by ramel jasir




the trick of finding what you didn't lose




the trick of finding what you didn't lose
(existing's tricky:but to live's a gift)
the teachable imposture of always
arriving at the place you never left

(and i refer to thinking)rests upon
a dismal misconception;namely that
some neither ape nor angel called a man
is measured by his quote eye cue unquote.

Much better than which, every woman who's
(despite the ultramachinations of
some loveless infraworld)a woman knows;
and certain men quite possibly may have

shall we say guessed?"
"we shall" quoth gifted she:
and played the hostess to my morethanme



~e.e.cummings

.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

sweep aside the dust







A small fish swallowing a big one,
Like a Buddhist priest studying the Confucian classics;
It can penetrate the entanglements of buddhas and demons,
And sweep aside the dust collecting on the Law.




~ Dogen
from the Zen Poetry of Dogen by Steven Heine

 

the entry







Not from saying names, 
or praying to statuary.

Not from holding your breath
till you are blue in the face.

Not from twisting your torso this way, now that,
till you are like a string
striving to become a knot.

Not from reading saints' lives
or fingering a billion beads.

Only this:

The moment between the breaths.
The stillness between the notes.

A firefly extinguishes itself,
bleeds darkness
before its final flare.



 ~ Dorothy Walters
from Marrow of Flame 
(homage to Kabir)

 
 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

child of heaven and earth







As a child of heaven and earth, 
you are a mix of infinite openness and finite limitation.  
This means that you are both wonderful and difficult
 at the same time.  
You are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns, 
you become carried away with yourself.  
Indeed, you are quite impossible in many ways.  

And still, you are beautiful beyond measure. 
 For the core of what you are is fashioned out of love,
 that potent blend of openness, warmth, 
and clear transparent presence. 
 Boundless love always seems to sparkle 
through your limited form.



~ John Welwood
from Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart
with thanks to Love is a Place
 

Monday, May 1, 2017

the broken thread









Once upon a time, there was a Sufi mystic. Like many mystics, he did not hold any formal position or title. He lived completely in the world, and the only way you knew anything was special about him was the sense of sweetness that seemed to cling to everything he touched.
During the day, he functioned as a shopkeeper, carefully sweeping and stacking and dusting the majestic tapestries, which he sold to support his family. There was a gentle buzz about the shop, a calm flow of traffic that never seemed to cease, from early in the morning when the shopkeeper’s wife unlocked the door and switched the sign to read open, until the evening hours, when the last rays of the sun settled across the dusty streets.

Gradually, the people who came to visit the shop began to linger, to breathe in the fragrance of the mystic, and upon their request, he began to teach. One of his students asked one day if he could begin to spend the afternoons as his assistant. He had no need of pay; he wanted to learn, and the mystic simply smiled, and so it began.

The boy was very polite, and so when he saw his master doing a very peculiar thing one afternoon after a new shipment arrived, he stared only for a moment and did not ask a question. Two days later, when he saw his master doing the same very odd thing, again he politely turned his eyes aside. And so again the third and the fourth and the fifth time. But finally, his curiosity could be contained no more.“Master,” he said, addressing his teacher.
The mystic turned and gazed with soft, deep eyes.
“Master. Why is it that every time you get a shipment of new tapestries, you grab a pin and loosen a thread in the center of each? I’ve seen you do this five times. I know how you love the tapestries, how you teach to always care for what we have here on earth.” He turned his palms up. “Why?”
The Mystic’s soft eyes did not change their expression. “That is the secret,” he said.
The boy’s face grew red and flushed. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…”
His teacher continued. “The secret of the love. In the broken thread, the place of the flaw, is where you find your way to God.” 


 ~ Sufi story
art from  the Dome of a Sufi Saint by majhul
with thanks to noornalini

Friday, April 28, 2017

your way of knowing






Your way of knowing is a private herb garden.
Enclose it with a hedge of meditation,
and self-discipline, and helpfulness to others.

Then everything you've done before
will be brought as a sacrifice
to the mother goddess.

And each day, as you eat the herbs,
the garden grows more bare and empty.



~ Lalla
translation by Coleman Barks
 from The Soul is here for its own Joy, Sacred Poems from Many Cultures
edited by Robert Bly
  
 

we phantom figures





46

For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

47

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press,
End in the Nothing all Things end in - Yes -
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what
Thou shalt be - Nothing - Thou shalt not be less.

49

'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and Thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

51

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

52

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help - for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

2

Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

7

Come , fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
 The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly - and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

20

Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of past Regrets and future Fears -
To-morrow? - Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

32

There was a Door to which I found no Key:
There was a Veil past which I could not see:
Some little Talk awhile of Me and Thee
There seemed - and then no more of Thee and Me.

55

The Vine had struck a Fibre; which about
If clings my Being - let the Sufi flout;
Of my Base Metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without

56

And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrathconsume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.




~ Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
First Edition, 1859
translation into English quatrains by Edward FitzGerald 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

a mighty kindness







Be helpless and dumbfounded,
unable to say yes or no.

Then a stretcher will come
from grace to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see the beauty.
If we say "Yes we can," we'll be lying.

If we say "No, we don't see it,"
that "No" will behead us
and shut tight our window into spirit.

So let us not be sure of anything,
beside ourselves, and only that, so
miraculous beings come running to help.

Crazed, lying in a zero-circle, mute,
we will be saying finally,
with tremendous eloquence, "Lead us."

When we've totally surrendered to that beauty,
we'll become a mighty kindness.



~ Rumi
translation by Coleman Barks 
 art by Picasso

Saturday, April 22, 2017

together in a tapestry









We are all bound together in a tapestry that like the sea gives the impression of movement towards something but is actually just a maternal body of material...

The flowers buzz when the vibration of the bees stimulates their pistons and their molecules swell and their petals hum like cellos. Rocks are alive, the firstborn of the natural world, somber without will.

There is no freedom from this universe we were born into, because it is our vague source of sensation, our soul, the container of our guilt.

Skins liquefy in heat. And when a bald baby swallow dies on your palm, you feel warmth pouring over your skin, a kind of burning fountain that scalds you like pepper spray.

Do you think this is a sign of the spirit ripping its energy into you to carry to the other side? I do. There are no actual objects over there, no materials but unformed steaming clouds, colors that harmonize musically, no gravity exists but elasticity composed of invisible images.

 
~ Fanny Howe
from 'The Child's Child'
The Needle's Eye: Passing through Youth

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

people like us







There are more like us. All over the world
There are confused people, who can't remember
The name of their dog when they wake up, and people
Who love God but can't remember where

He was when they went to sleep. It's
All right. The world cleanses itself this way.
A wrong number occurs to you in the middle
Of the night, you dial it, it rings just in time

To save the house. And the second-story man
Gets the wrong address, where the insomniac lives,
And he's lonely, and they talk, and the thief
Goes back to college. Even in graduate school,

You can wander into the wrong classroom,
And hear great poems lovingly spoken 
By the wrong professor. And you find your soul,
And greatness has a defender, and even in death you're safe.




~ Robert Bly
from Morning Poems



.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our hearts irrigate this earth





.


How is it they live for eons in such harmony -
the billions of stars -

when most men can barely go a minute
without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.

There are wars where no one marches with a flag,
though that does not keep casualties
from mounting.

Our hearts irrigate this earth.
We are fields before
each other.

How can we live in harmony?
First we need to
know

we are all madly in love
with the same
God.



~ St. Thomas Aquinas
(Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West 
by Daniel Ladinsky)