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#2278 - Tuesday, October 4, 2005 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

    We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the 
life that is waiting for us.
- E. M. Forster

posted to Morning Zen  

photo of horse by Alan Larus,


Speech needs company, Silence needs solitude.
Speech wants to conquer others, Silence helps conquer oneself.
Speech makes friends or foes, Silence befriends all.
Speech demands respect, Silence commands it.
Speech is earth-bound, Silence is heaven-bound.
Speech educates, Silence exalts.
Speech is subjective, Silence is objective.
Speech has regrets, Silence has none.
Speech has limitations, Silence is boundless.
Speech needs effort, Silence a lot more.
Speech is human, Silence is Divine.
While speaking you are heard by creatures, In silence you hear the creator.
  Silence leads to a stillness of the mind,
  Then to introspection,
  Then to self-cleansing,
  Finally to liberation.


The definite sign of a spiritually minded person is his silent, tolerant attitude. Bees, until they have found the flower and tasted the honey, make a loud, buzzing noise; but the moment they taste the honey, they become absorbed and cease to make a sound. So it is with us. Before we find the truth, we argue and dispute and challenge others who differ from us; but when we come in contact with something deeper, we grow silent and do not try to force it on other minds. We try to live it in our own life inevitably it reaches other lives.


Spiritual qualities are infectious just as evil qualities are. One bad person can drag down many others by his evil propensities; while those who have noble ideals and loving characters uplift others merely by their silent influence.


When we study external conditions, it is sometimes very discouraging to see how slowly this influence works; but it can never fail absolutely. And if we wish to produce a lasting effect on any character, it is better not to have it work too quickly. When we set fire to hay, it makes a tremendous blaze, then in a moment it is all over; while a log fire, which takes a long time to kindle, burns steadily and is dependable. Similarly in spiritual awakening, if the person is over- enthusiastic and emotionally excited, he exhausts his forces and the effect wears off. If, on the contrary, his deeper nature is touched, it may not show outwardly, but the result endures.


Limit yourself to observing. Take in everything that comes to your awareness whether big, small, trite or ordinary. Content of awareness is less important than the quality of awareness. As quality improves, so silence deepens, you will experience. You will discover, to your delight that revelation is not knowledge. It is power: a mysterious power


Are you aware of inner silence even now? You can spend this moment in the temple of silence, acquainting yourself with Devi and becoming peaceful. The power comes from intensifying concentration to visualize the form, hear the sound, feel the touch, taste, and smell of the divine perfume of the goddess manifesting that part of the ever-youthful goddess. She is in deep love with you.


Practice creative silence.

R Ravi Sankar


posted to  "ThePowerOfSilence"

Here's your Daily Poem from the Poetry Chaikhana --


By Elizabeth Reninger
(1963 - )

on its loom of gold, its latticework
of lightning, rain pours
from Heaven into your seeing

weeks, months, lifetimes since
last the sky released
such a fury of Truth

if you were the Buddha you could hear
in thunder a universe
of flowers blooming

might even don this wet
surrender as a robe -- gusts
of wind turning

Love to velvet . . . might walk right into
that holy fire -- lakes
of wisdom forming in

the craters left
by your

steps. . .

-- from And Now the Story Lives Inside You, by Elizabeth Reninger

Thought for the Day:

Real spiritual growth begins with an act of betrayal.
You drop the assumptions that govern the world around you.
Watching the world collapse, you see beauty where others see only a gaping hole.
To the rest of the world, this is a betrayal of the highest order.


Here's your Daily Music selection --

Deva Premal

Love is Space

Listen - Purchase

More Music Selections

A beautiful poem by Elizabeth Reninger to start your week off properly...

of wisdom forming in

the craters left
by your

steps. . .



Recent Poetry Chaikhana Forum Topics

Barks Visits Afghanistan - March 2005 (click here for entire article)

  Coleman Barks - Notes on the State Department Speaker Program Visit to Kabul, Mazar, Balkh, and Herat, Afghanistan
March 16-26, 2005

The most startling observation that comes to me, as a practicing American poet, involves the vital role that poetry plays in the lives of Afghan men. One afternoon in Herat I met at a long table with members of the Herat Literary Association, thirty men who meet every week to read their own poetry to each other. Doctors, lawyers, professors, businessmen, and government officials, strong, active, men-in-the-world who are passionately committed to poetry. They were intensely interested in how I had brought their national poet, Moulana Balkhi (Rumi), over into American English. [..]

Another instance of the place that poetry occupies in the Afghan soul: on my first night of public appearances I found myself under a banner in the Afghan Ministry of Culture in Kabul. Next to a huge picture of Hamid Karzai, the banner read, DEAR COLEMAN BORKS, WELCOME TO KABUL. As I was reading the first poem in English, I realized that everyone in the room was silently saying the poem with me in Persian. Afterward there was animated discussion. I asked Ruhollah what was going on. He said it was a fierce debate about the metaphor of drunkenness (ecstatic love) in this poem of Rumi as compared with the references to wine in the poetry of Hafez. Here were cabinet level men and women arguing poetry, from their deep, and varying, experiences of it. The minister of culture himself, Mr. Raheem, carried the day with a vivid metaphor. "Inside this Balkhi poem there are 16 little drunken Hafezes running around!" His point being that Hafez was engaged in a narrow argument with the imams about Sharia rules of conduct, whereas Rumi's vision of love was wider and more embracing.

These are my people, and I told them so. In radio and television interviews, on the Voice of America, wherever I was asked my impression of Afghan culture, I brought up this enthusiasm for poetry. I had not known that there existed in the world such a poetry culture.

This discovery, of course, is part of a blindness I have, that we have in this country, and in the West in general, to things Islamic. It is a long-standing and pervasive condition. Wherever possible I confessed our ignorance, my personal variety, and our general American species. And yet, it must be stressed, there I was, and for a reason. Their Afghan poet has been the most-read poet in the United States during the last ten years! My translations alone have sold over half a million copies. These facts astonished audiences, who inevitably asked why. No one knows, I said, but it feels like to me that a presence comes through the poetry, even in my American versions, the sense of an enlightened, compassionate, hilarious, very clear and sane, and deeply kind, human being. We have been lonely, I told them, in the United States, for what the Sufis call a true human being. In Rumi and his friend Shams Tabriz we have found two of them.


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