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#1924 - Friday, September 17, 2004 - Editor: Gloria    

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read.
--Mark Twain Unknown Artist, Tile commemorating the pilgrimage to Mecca (Turkish) 17th century  


Hallaj said what he said and went to the origin
through the hole in the scaffold.

I cut a cap's worth of cloth from his robe,
and it swamped over me from head to foot.

Years ago, I broke a bunch of roses
from the top of his wall. A thorn from that
is still in my palm working deeper.

From Hallaj, I learned to hunt lions,
but I became something hungrier than a lion.

I was a frisky colt. He broke me
with a quiet hand on the side of my head.

A person comes to him naked. It's cold.
There's a fur coat floating in the river.

"Jump in and get it," he says.
You dive in. You reach for the coat.
It reaches for you.

It's a live bear that has fallen in upstream,
drifting with the current.

"How long does it take!" Hallaj yells from the bank.
"Don't wait," you answer. "This coat
has decided to wear me home!"

A little part of a story, a hint.
Do you need long sermons on Hallaj!

~ Rumi, "The Essential Rumi," Coleman Barks

posted by Mazie Lane on SufiMystic  

 Shabistari's Gulistan-i Raz (The Secret Rose Garden or The Rose Garden of Mystery). is considered to be one of the greatest works of Persian Sufism. In the Secret Rose Garden, Shabistari expresses a viewpoint of Sufi realization, similar to the perspective of the great Sufi philosopher Ibn Arabi, but within the rich Persian poetic tradition.

The value of Shabistari's work was recognized almost immediately. Many commentaries on the work by other Sufi mystics soon began to appear. The Secret Rose Garden quickly was regarded as one of the central works of Sufism.


Thought for the Day:

Even our masks reveal us.

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana

  One Light

By Mahmud Shabistari

Translated by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut

What are "I" and "You"?
Just lattices
In the niches of a lamp
Through which the One Light radiates.

"I" and "You" are the veil
Between heaven and earth;
Lift this veil and you will see
How all sects and religions are one.

Lift this veil and you will ask --
When "I" and "You" do not exist
What is mosque?
What is synagogue?
What is fire temple?

--from Perfume of the Desert: Inspirations from the Sufi Wisdom, Andrew Harvey / Eryk Hanut

  "There is here no measuring with time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force it's sap and stands confident in the storms of Spring without the fear that after them may come no Summer. It does come. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful."

Rainer Maria Rilke   from AlphaWorld

  Turning the Mind into an Ally
Sakyong Mipham

I once had a student who was in a three-year cabin retreat. At the end
of one year, I went to his cabin to discuss his meditation. He told me
about some of his experiences-various insights and images had come
up-and he had several questions for me. He went into passionate detail
about some of his ideas. He seemed to want me to confirm his
experience. I listened and assured him that I found his revelations
interesting.  Without saying that he was right or wrong, I encouraged
him to keep practicing.

A year later I paid him another visit.  This time he was calmer, more
relaxed.  About the experiences he'd shared with me before, he said
matter-of-factly, "Oh, I dropped all that. I realized it was just a
giant thought. It lasted about a year, and in the past few months I've
just seen it for what it was and let it go.  It felt like dispersing a
cloud."  He seemed much more at ease with himself, as if he'd made an
important and courageous discovery. And he had: thoughts can last for
a long time before we recognize them, but if we keep practicing, we
will see them for what they are.

~  ~  ~
  In Front of Us

    When I returned to my teacher Ajahn Chah after completing a long
period of intensive training in other monasteries, I told him about
the insights and special experiences I had encountered. He listened
kindly and then responded, "It's just something else to let go of,
isn't it?"
    We need to remember that where we are going is here, that any
practice is simply a means to open our heart to what is in front of
us. Where we already are is the path and the goal.

Jack Kornfield 
  from MillionPaths by blueoceantiger

 The middle region of the sky,
wherein the spirit dwelleth,
is radiant with the Music of Light

A million suns are ablaze with Light,
The sea of blue spreads in the sky,
The fever of life is stilled,
and all stains are washed away;
when I sit in the midst of that world.
Hark to the Unstruck Bells and drums!
Take your delight in love!
Rains pour down without water,
and the rivers are Streams of Light.

from SufiMystic by James    


Mechthild of Magdeburg was a German Beguine mystic and poet. At the age of twelve, she had a vision in which she saw "all things in God and God in all things." As Beguine lay sister, she led a life of service to the poor, care for the sick, along with contemplation and spiritual practices.


Thought for the Day:

We aren’t so much individual beings
as individual points of perception
within one immense being.


Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana


By Mechthild of Magdeburg

Translated by Jane Hirshfield

Love flows from God into man,
Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.
Thus we move in His world
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
Humanity sings --
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
Must sound.

  Thought for the Day:

Each one of us does not exist
except as an empty field
in which God meets God.
We are the flash of self-recognition
that lights the face of the Divine.

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana

  The Thousand-Stringed Instrument

By Hafiz

Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

The heart is
The thousand-stringed instrument.

Our sadness and fear come from being
Out of tune with love.

All day long God coaxes my lips
To speak,

So that your tears will not stain
His green dress.

It is not that the Friend is vain,
It is just your life we care about.

Sometimes the Beloved
Takes my pen in hand,
For Hafiz is just a simple man.

The other day the Old One
Wrote on the Tavern wall:

“The heart is
The thousand-stringed instrument

That can only be tuned with

--from The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master, trans. Daniel Ladinsky

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