Random Fragments To Help Along The Way

Lately, I’ve been unable to hold a cohesive thought and bring it to any kind of conclusion, logical or otherwise. Instead, I’ve had a string of thoughts – prompted by a number of isolated quotes – come to my attention. These quotes are fragments I had saved with the thought that I would use them one day to punctuate a longer piece of writing. I hope you find them inspiring or thought-provoking in some small way. Perhaps you will feel urged to seek out more writings by their authors, who have been fortunate enough to reach the end of their searching and attain true wisdom through Enlightenment.

These first are by the Sufi poet Hafiz (given name Shams-ud-din Muhammad, c.1320-1389) – (taken from “the Gift” Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master – translations by Daniel Ladinsky- published by Penguin, 1999) I love the dedication page. It reads, “ To God’s magnificent masquerade ~~as us!”

The Sun Never Says

Even

After

All this time

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe

Me.”

Look

What happens

With a love like that,

It lights the

Whole

Sky.

And there is this fragment from another of his poems:

“…..I saw two birds this morning

Laughing with the sun.

They reminded me of how

We will one day exist….”

And now a couple of quotes by another great Sufi poet, Rumi (Jalaluddin Rumi – 1207-1273):

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

~

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.”

And finally, a quote I came across when I was in the 5th grade while reading a book, Step to the Music, by Phyllis A. Whitney. It is a quote by Henry David Thoreau – (Transcendentalist, 1817-1862 from his book, “Walden”)  –  Even then I knew it would sum up my life:

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Namaste.

Advertisements

Your Inner Life

In my Catch-22 post of June28th, I suggested a couple of ways one can begin to experience non-dualism. Cultivating tolerance and compassion along with a desire to serve others, without seeking recognition or compensation, are all ways that will help break down the wall of separation (duality) that is threatening our world today.  These suggestions will help in changing perceptions, but there is another piece to this I’d like to address.

This may be a kind of ‘chicken and the egg’ scenario, but some people will need to connect to themselves before seeing their connection to everyone and everything else.  This is where meditation comes in. Spending time in quiet contemplation or meditation helps us to better understand ourselves; not in terms of the external world, which is shallow and ultimately meaningless, but in terms of who we really are – at our core.  Meditation cultivates our inner life and it’s important to remember that the outer is the reflection of the inner.  The only focus in the world today is on our outer life. We go to school to learn science, math, history etc., so we can get a good job, compete in the world, make money, and enjoy the material comforts of life.  We learn and assimilate what society deems important and useful, so all of our energy is projected outside of ourselves.  We live in fear and anxiety over protecting what we have.  Consequently, we become lost in our lives, remaining blind and ignorant to the truth about who we really are and our connection to everyone and everything in the universe. We are lost as a society and we need to find ourselves again.  Cultivating our inner lives through meditation can be an important first step to accomplishing this.

The physical and emotional benefits of meditation are many: lowered blood pressure, reduced stress and anxiety, better concentration, management of chronic pain, to name a few. The spiritual benefits include the discovery of one’s true self beyond the ego and the body.  All these benefits (and there are more of them) will naturally lead to a more compassionate worldview.  Fear will be replaced with tolerance, compassion and love. The outer is the reflection of the inner.

I remember a time when science debated the mind-body connection, if you can imagine.  Well, at least we’ve come this far. Now it’s time to take a greater leap. Times are changing and whether we like it or not we are facing a crisis of perception. We are seeing the old societal structures being challenged and broken down. Unable to sustain the old forms, we are being given a unique opportunity to move into a more unified perception of our world. Whether it starts with cultivating our inner life through a meditation practice, or it starts with looking for ways to be of service through changing our mindset (which can lead to the cultivation of a richer inner life) it doesn’t matter. It just needs to start.

“….I saw two birds on a limb this morning laughing with the sun. They reminded me of how we will one day exist….” Hafiz