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#1882 - Friday, August 6, 2004

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  • Gloria Lee
    #1882 - Friday, August 6, 2004 - Editor: Gloria _________ All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2004

      #1882 - Friday, August 6, 2004 - Editor: Gloria
      All truly wise thoughts
      have been thought already thousands of times;
      but to make them truly ours,
      we must think them over again honestly,
      until they take root in our personal experience.
      ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

      All the True Vows
      All the true vows
      are secret vows
      the ones we speak out loud
      are the ones we break.

      There is only one life
      you can call your own
      and a thousand others
      you can call by any name you want.

      Hold to the truth you make
      every day with your own body,
      don't turn your face away.

      Hold to your own truth
      at the center of the the image
      you were born with.

      Those who do not understand
      their destiny will never understand
      the friends they have made
      nor the work they have chosen

      nor the one life that waits
      beyond all the others.

      By the lake in the wood
      in the shadows
      you can
      whisper that truth
      to the quiet reflection
      you see in the water.

      Whatever you hear from
      the water, remember,

      it wants you to carry
      the sound of its truth on your lips.

      in this place
      no one can hear you

      and out of the silence
      you can make a promise
      it will kill you to break,

      that way you'll find
      what is real and what is not.

      I know what I am saying.
      Time almost forsook me
      and I looked again.

      Seeing my reflection
      I broke a promise
      and spoke
      for the first time
      after all these years

      in my own voice,

      before it was too late
      to turn my face again.


      David Whyte

      -- from The House of Belonging

      A man without charity in his heart-what has he to do with ceremonies? A man without charity in his heart-what has he to do with music?

      It is the spirit of charity which makes a locality good to dwell in. He who selects a neighbourhood without regard to this quality cannot be considered wise.


      Lionel Giles, Ed. The Sayings of Confucius. Boston: Charles E. Tuttle, 1993, pp. 55-56.

      The Orphan

      Oh! The dream, the dream!
      My sturdy gilded wagon
      Has broken down
      Its wheels have scattered like gypsies everywhere.
      One night I dream of spring
      And when I woke
      Flowers had covered my pillow.
      I dreamt once of the sea
      And in the morning
      My bed was full of shells and fins of fishes
      But when I dreamt of freedom
      Spears were surrounding my neck
      Like the morning halo.
      From now on you will not find me
      In ports or among trains
      But there … in public libraries
      Falling asleep over the maps of the world
      (As the orphan sleeps on the pavement)
      Where my lips touch more than one river
      And my tears stream
      From continent to continent.

      2boysafr.jpg (7143 bytes)

      Muhammad al Maghut, "The Orphan," translated by May Jayyusi and John Heath-Stubbs, from Modern Arabic Poetry: An Anthology, edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi. Copyright © 1987 by Columbia University Press.

      zhu men jiu rou chou
      lu you dong si gu

      Behind the gates of the wealthy

      food lies rotting from waste
      Outside it's the poor
      who lie frozen to death
      The  8th century Chinese poet Du Fu. 

      Daily Dharma
      This is a true story of a woman who was on a retreat where the
      participants would live on the streets for a week with no money,
      etc. with Bernie Glassman leading.

      "Eve once walked with an empty Styrofoam cup in her hand from coffee
      shop to coffee shop around Tompkins Square Park, but wherever she
      went people said no.
      She was pretty discouraged when she finally went to a run-down store
      selling newspapers and candy, with two burners for coffee. She asked
      for a cup of coffee. He said no. She asked again, and he said no.
      Then she heard a man's voice next to her saying, "I'll buy her a
      cup." She turned to thank him as he put his hand into his pocket for
      the coins she noticed how he was dressed.
      His clothes were shabby and his shoes were torn. He wore no socks.
      But without another word he took out fifty cents and put the money
      on the counter.
      Later she told me, " A poor man, probably someone from the streets,
      bought me a cup of coffee. All the people I asked with money said
      no, but he said yes."

      From the book, "Bearing Witness," published by Bell Tower.


      Mirabai was a famous sixteenth-century poet from northern India. As a passionate devotee of the Hindu god Krishna , she chose a religious life of wandering. In "The Wild Woman of the Forests," she celebrates the love and wisdom of a pious, low-caste woman living alone in the forests.

      The Wild Woman of the Forests

      The wild woman of the forests
      Discovered the sweet plums by tasting,
      And brought them to her Lord –
      She who was neither cultured nor lovely,
      She who was filthy in disarrayed clothes,
      She of the lowest castes.
      But the Lord, seeing her heart,
      Took the ruined plums from her hand.
      She saw no difference between low and high,
      Wanting only the milk of his presence.
      Illiterate, she never studied the Teachings –
      A single turn of the chariot’s wheel
      Brought her to Knowledge.
      Now she is bound to the Storm Bodied One.
      By gold cords of Love, and wanders his woods.
      Servant Mira says:
      Whoever can love like this will be saved.
      My Master lifts all that is fallen,
      And from the beginning I have been the handmaiden
      Herding cows by his side

      Mirabai, "The Wild Woman of the Forests." from Jane Hirshfield, ed., Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994). Copyright (c) 1994 by Jane Hirshfield

      Cry Out in Your Weakness

      A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth.

      A courageous man went and rescued the bear.
      There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save
      anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself,
      they run toward the screaming.

      And they can’t be bought off.
      If you were to ask one of those, "Why did you come
      so quickly?" he or she would say, "Because I heard
      your helplessness."
                Where lowland is,
      that’s where water goes. All medicine wants
      is pain to cure.
                And don’t just ask for one mercy.
      Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet.
      Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton
      of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music.

      Push the hair out of your eyes.
      Blow the phlegm from your nose,
      and from your brain.

      Let the wind breeze through.
      Leave no residue in yourself from that bilious fever.
      Take the cure for impotence,
      that your manhood may shoot forth,
      and a hundred new beings come of your coming.

      Tear the binding from around the foot
      of your soul, and let it race around the track
      in front of the crowd. Loosen the knot of greed
      so tight on your neck. Accept your new good luck.

      Give your weakness
      to one who helps.

      Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
      A nursing mother, all she does
      is wait to hear her child.

      Just a little beginning-whimper,
      and she’s there.

      God created the child, that is your wanting,
      so that it might cry out, so that milk might come.

      Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent
      with your pain. Lament! And let the milk
      of loving flow into you.

      The hard rain and wind
      are ways the cloud has
      to take care of us.

      Be patient.
      Respond to every call
      that excites your spirit.

      Ignore those that make you fearful
      and sad, that degrade you
      back toward disease and death.

      Jelaluddin Rumi, "Cry out in Your Weakness." The Essential Rumi. Trans. Coleman Barks, with John Moyne, A. J. Arberry, and Reynold Nicholson. Edison, New Jersey: Castle, 1997, pp. 156-157.

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