Friday, September 25, 2015

Wu Hsin - Drinking tea with a fork

You want to use your intellect to understand,
but this is like drinking tea with a fork.
You want to escape your prison,
but haven’t discerned that the thinking
you’re in prison is the prison.

You have failed to realize
that all your running after is,
in fact, running away.

Any reinforcement of the idea of a searching entity
is movement away from what you claim you want.

As a person, your existence is momentary.
In another moment, you might easily become
what amounts to another person.

Remove the attention from what is personal
and what reveals itself is The Source,
without which neither light nor darkness
could be cognized.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

David Haas - In the silence

I will come to you in the silence,
I will lift you from all your fear.
You will hear my voice,
I claim you as my choice,
be still and know I am here.
I am hope for all who are hopeless,
I am eyes for all who long to see.
In the shadows of the night
I will be your light,
come and rest in me.

~ from "You Are Mine," Sheet Music by David Haas, arr. by Mark Hayes, 
Hope Publishing Company 

John O' Donohue - the silence of stone

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mahadevi - O Lord, White as Jasmine!

Locks of shining red hair, a crown of diamonds, 
small beautiful teeth and eyes in a laughing face 
that light up fourteen worlds
—I saw His glory, and seeing, I quell today the famine in my eyes.

I saw the haughty Master for whom men, all men, are but women, wives. 
I saw the Great One who plays at love with Shakti, original to the world. 
I saw His stance and began to live.

The bee that was engaged all along in drinking the nectar 
from the White Jasmine is consumed totally in that very process. 
Not even the Symbol remains!

You are the forest; You are all the great trees in the forest; 
You are bird and beast playing in and out of the trees. 
O Lord White as Jasmine filling and filled by all, 
why don’t You show me Your face?

When I didn’t know myself, where were You? 
Like the color in the gold, You were in me. 
I saw in You, Lord White as Jasmine, 
the paradox of Your being in me without showing a limb.

People, male and female, blush when a cloth covering their shame comes loose.
 When the Lord of lives drowned without a face in the world, 
how can you be modest? 
When all the world is the eye of the Lord, onlooking everywhere, 
what can you cover and conceal?

It was like a stream running into the dry bed of a lake, 
like rain pouring on plants parched to sticks. 
It was like this world’s pleasure and the way to the other, 
both walking towards me. 
Seeing the feet of the master, O Lord White as Jasmine, I was made worthwhile.

Listen, sister, listen. I had a dream. 
I saw rice, betel, palm leaf and coconut. 
I saw an ascetic come to beg, white teeth and small matted curls. 
I followed on his heels and held his hand, 
He who goes breaking all bounds and beyond. 
I saw the Lord, White as Jasmine, and woke wide open.
 Sunlight made visible the whole length of a sky, 
movement of wind, leaf, flower, all six colors on tree, bush and creeper: 
all this is the day’s worship. 
The light of moon, star and fire, lightnings and all things 
that go by the name of light are the night’s worship. 
Night and day in your worship. 
I forget myself, O Lord White as Jasmine.

excerpted from the book Speaking of Siva,  
translated by A. K. Ramanujan

Monday, September 21, 2015

Farid ud-Din Attar - Moths gathering

Moths gathered in a fluttering throng one night
To learn the truth about the candle light,
And they decided one of them should go
To gather news of the elusive glow.
One flew till in the distance he discerned
A palace window where a candle burned —
And went no nearer: back again he flew
To tell the others what he thought he knew.
The mentor of the moths dismissed his claim,
Remarking: “He knows nothing of the flame.”
A moth more eager than the one before
Set out and passed beyond the palace door.
He hovered in the aura of the fire,
A trembling blur of timorous desire,
Then headed back to say how far he’d been,
And how much he had undergone and seen.
The mentor said: “You do not bear the signs
Of one who’s fathomed how the candle shines.”
Another moth flew out — his dizzy flight
Turned to an ardent wooing of the light;
He dipped and soared, and in his frenzied trance
Both self and fire were mingled by his dance —
The flame engulfed his wing-tips, body, head,
His being glowed a fierce translucent red;
And when the mentor saw that sudden blaze,
The moth’s form lost within the glowing rays,
He said: “He knows, he knows the truth we seek,
That hidden truth of which we cannot speak.”
To go beyond all knowledge is to find
That comprehension which eludes the mind,
And you can never gain the longed-for goal
Until you first outsoar both flesh and soul;
But should one part remain, a single hair
Will drag you back and plunge you in despair —
No creature’s self can be admitted here,
Where all identity must disappear.

— Farid ud-Din Attar – The Conference of Birds 
(transl. Afkham Darbandi, Dick Davis)