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Monday, January 26, 2009 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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My heart has become capable of every
form: it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian
And a temple for idols, and the pilgrims Kaba, and the tables of the Tora and the book of the Koran.
I follow the religion of Love, whichever way his camels take. My religion and my faith is the true religion.
- Ibn Arabi ( 1165
1240, Spain )
English version by Reynold A. Nicholson
Contemplation cannot be taught. It cannot
even be clearly explained. It can only be hinted at, suggested,
pointed to, symbolized. The more objectively and scientifically
one tries to analyze it, the more he empties it of its real
content, for this experience is beyond the reach of verbalization
and of rationalization. Nothing is more repellent that a
pseudo-scientific definition of the contemplative experience. One
reason for this is that he who attempts such a definition is
tempted to proceed psychologically, and there is really no
adequate psychology of contemplation. To describe
"reactions" and "feelings" is to situate
contemplation where it is not to be found, in the superficial
consciousness where it can be observed by reflection. But this
reflection and this consciousness are precisely part of that
external self which "dies" and is cast aside like a
soiled garment in the genuine awakening of contemplation.
New Seeds of Contemplation. 6-7. The only way to get rid of misconceptions about contemplation is to experience it.
New Seeds of Contemplation: 6
"Contemplation is more than a
consideration of abstract truths about God, more even than
affective meditation on the things we believe. It is awakening,
enlightenment and the amazing intuitive grasp by which love gains
certitude of God's creative and dynamic intervention in our daily
life. Hence contemplation does not simply "find" a
clear idea of God and confine Him within the limits of that idea,
and holds Him there as a prisoner to Whom it can always return.
On the contrary, contemplation is carried away by Him into His
own realm, His own mystery and His own freedom. It is a pure and
virginal knowledge, poor in concepts, poorer still in reasoning,
but able, by its very poverty and purity, to follow the Word
"wherever He may go."
Thomas Merton. New Seeds of Contemplation. New York: New Directions Press, 1961: 5.
posted to Wisdom-l by Lenny Silver
Do not be flattered by reason,
reason is only
the child of the mind.
But true friendship
is born out of love and
is the water of life.
The footprints of the Friend
are all over the world.
Follow them and walk into life.
Rumi: Hidden Music
Translated by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
posted to Along The Way
I used to go frequently to the Lady Chapel
(dedicated to Mary, The
Mother of Jesus) in Liverpool Cathedral to pray and meditate, one
time I took a tour of the entire structure from the vaults up into
the great trusses and towers that supported this great Gothic
edifice. Having my binoculars with me I focused in on the roof
structures, (being once a wood worker myself) there I saw tiny stone
and wood carvings of The Great Mothers of the Christian
faith. . . . The Mother of Jesus, Moses, The Mother Saints,
Theresa, Hildegard, The Magdalene, The Mother of The Baptist, all
embedded there as tiny Maquettes hidden out of sight of the public
gaze, all carved by the apprentice craftsmen who would spend their
entire lifetimes at work on The Great Cathedrals.
There is a story told of a rich man who visited to a cathedral
whilst it was being built, and he saw a wood craftsman carving a tiny
bird in flight on the inside of a roof beam high in supporting roof
trusses. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so
much time and effort carving that small bird into a beam that will be
covered by the roof where no one will ever see it" The workman
replied, "Because, God will see it, and all my life's work and
efforts are for His glory, whether the work is seen or not is of no
consequence to me." A mother who was with child heard this exchange.
She whispered to the rich man, "When that workman answered your
question it was as if I heard God speaking to me, saying, "I see you,
Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one
around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've
sewn on your little child's dressess, no meal you've ever cooked for
your family, nothing you do is too small for me to notice. You are
building a great cathedral my child, but you can't see it right now,
nor can you see what your children will become because of your
written by Tom McFerran
This Life is fragile and needs to be
nurtured with loving care.
Each moment we live, think about the air you breathe,
the heart that beats within you, the relationships that are
important to you.
Don't take anything or anyone for granted.
- Merrill Osmond posted to Allspirit Inspiriation by Gill Eardley
Where is the Self?
The way we define and delimit the self is arbitrary. We can place it between our ears and have it looking out from our eyes, or we can widen it to include the air we breathe, or at other moments we can cast its boundaries farther to include the oxygen giving trees and plankton, our external lungs, and beyond them the web of life in which they are sustained.
--Joanna Macy, World As Lover, World As Self
For the Realized mind at one with the Way
all self-centered striving ceases.
Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and the Truth is confirmed in you.
With a single stroke you are freed from bondage;
nothing clings to you and you hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating,
with no need to exert the mind.
Here, thinking, feeling, understanding, and imagination
are of no value.
In this world "as it really is"
there is neither self nor other-than-self.
- Seng-ts'an, Third Zen Patriarch
Hsin Hsin Ming
Translated by Richard B. Clarke
posted to Along The Way
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