Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

clapping with one hand...(Re:Koan)

Expand Messages
  • martin_the_dude
    I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments of enlightenment which are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
    Message 1 of 25 , Jan 3, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments of enlightenment which
      are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when time stops and suddenly,
      and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it must look like from the
      higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho the mind´s opinion,
      "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second everything is so clear and so
      simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second you are back, finding yourself
      playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little taste of it stays an keeps
      reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
      I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be impossible for me to retell on
      of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that you know what it is like
      when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be "clapping with one hand"

      Martin
    • colmbolmcolm
      Hey Martin! I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is hopeless. The mind
      Message 2 of 25 , Jan 6, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Hey Martin!

        I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the
        heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is
        hopeless. The mind needs to go to 'the clapping with one hand,
        school of the heart' and stay there. Although the mind is sneeky, it
        would try to get expelled from this school by clapping with two
        hands! However I hear that the principle of this school of the
        heart, Mr. Soul, is very compassionate and will try every means to
        encourage the student to do his very best, even when the student has
        been mischievous!

        Colm.


        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        >
        > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
        moments of enlightenment which
        > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
        time stops and suddenly,
        > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what
        it must look like from the
        > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
        the mind´s opinion,
        > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
        everything is so clear and so
        > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
        you are back, finding yourself
        > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
        taste of it stays an keeps
        > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
        > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
        impossible for me to retell on
        > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
        that you know what it is like
        > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
        be "clapping with one hand"
        >
        > Martin
        >
      • jan_klaile
        Yo DUDES :0), I m so happy to see you here! I ve been thinking of our time together on the European World Harmony Run and what great times we had, and I ve
        Message 3 of 25 , Jan 9, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Yo DUDES :0),

          I'm so happy to see you here! I've been thinking of our time together
          on the European World Harmony Run and what great times we had, and
          I've developed smiles many times with a good feeling in my heart.


          ...Actually, I just came from a run. I was inspired to run from work,
          our small Madal Bal wholesale in town, home. I thought it would take
          two hours, but to my great surprise it only took a little over an
          hour. That is so encouraging! I think I'll run to work tomorrow.

          Work has been so hectic at times that running long distances fast
          really feels like the most pleasurable rest. As Sri Chinmoy has said
          "Rest is change of activity". And it is so true!

          My running was having heavyweight ups and downs for a month or two,
          but now I feel I'm back on track. And it feels great!

          Thank you Martin for your wonderful (and quite painful) knee stretch
          you showed my in VYBORG, Russia! It has been helping me a lot,
          because my knee is still inflamed, and the stretch helps me go out
          running anyway. Once I did a 4k run and my knee was hurting, and I
          was sooo slow. But, when I came home I did your stretch very
          concentratedly, feeling I was invoking and absorbing grace from above,
          and then just for the fun of it I went out for another 4k lap, and,
          guess what, I was able to do my fastest lap ever on that track! Wow!
          Now there's a mind-breaker for you!!!

          Colm, you are on so many pictures of the WHR slideshow! And it's
          wonderful to look at you! Remembering your cheerfulness and leaping
          enthusiasm (and wonderful Irish accent :0)) gives me these same
          qualities (maybe without the Irish accent :O))

          Martin! I'm happy to see your beautiful koan here for everyone
          tosavour. I remember when you recited it to me so beautifully, and it
          created a very special, sacred atmosphere.

          Well, it's soon getting past my bed-time, so I gotta go!

          A hearty cheer for you both!

          Jan :0) )

          PS. If anybody else had the stamina to read this message, too, I say
          a hearty hello to you! I haven't written in ages (though I've been
          eavesdropping quite often for the past 2 months). I hope to write a
          post for everyone in the next couple of days. I was so thrilled to
          see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila, Niriha...many more)
          and curious and happy to see many new names for me (Sharani, Predrag
          of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated the posts and hope
          to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)






          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          >
          > Hey Martin!
          >
          > I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the
          > heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is
          > hopeless. The mind needs to go to 'the clapping with one hand,
          > school of the heart' and stay there. Although the mind is sneeky, it
          > would try to get expelled from this school by clapping with two
          > hands! However I hear that the principle of this school of the
          > heart, Mr. Soul, is very compassionate and will try every means to
          > encourage the student to do his very best, even when the student has
          > been mischievous!
          >
          > Colm.
          >
          >
          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
          > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
          > moments of enlightenment which
          > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
          > time stops and suddenly,
          > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what
          > it must look like from the
          > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
          > the mind´s opinion,
          > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
          > everything is so clear and so
          > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
          > you are back, finding yourself
          > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
          > taste of it stays an keeps
          > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
          > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
          > impossible for me to retell on
          > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
          > that you know what it is like
          > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
          > be "clapping with one hand"
          > >
          > > Martin
          > >
          >
        • colmbolmcolm
          Hi Jan!, (the chicken dance man with a tan!) It s great to hear from you!! Yes, my running has been practically non existant over the last month. But not to
          Message 4 of 25 , Jan 12, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Jan!,
            (the chicken dance man with a tan!)

            It's great to hear from you!!
            Yes, my running has been practically non existant over the last
            month. But not to fear, it is easily remedied. I too have been
            hoping to start running home from work so one of these days I'll do
            it. Unfortunately it's one the things that gets pushed aside when
            I'm busy. This week is the busiest week I've ever had.... in 2006
            anyway! Newness allwhere!! Looking for a new job, moving into a new
            appartment, preparing a new set of classes. What a dynamic start to
            the year...oh yes, apart from the lack of running!

            The harmony run memories are gold. Long live the N.F.I. gang. Do you
            remember?!

            Colm.


            If you want God,
            open your heart and run.
            If God wants you,
            open your eyes,
            close your ears and run.

            -Sri Chinmoy

            from

            http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/hundred-years/5.html




            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, jan_klaile
            <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Yo DUDES :0),
            >
            > I'm so happy to see you here! I've been thinking of our time
            together
            > on the European World Harmony Run and what great times we had, and
            > I've developed smiles many times with a good feeling in my heart.
            >
            >
            > ...Actually, I just came from a run. I was inspired to run from
            work,
            > our small Madal Bal wholesale in town, home. I thought it would
            take
            > two hours, but to my great surprise it only took a little over an
            > hour. That is so encouraging! I think I'll run to work tomorrow.
            >
            > Work has been so hectic at times that running long distances fast
            > really feels like the most pleasurable rest. As Sri Chinmoy has
            said
            > "Rest is change of activity". And it is so true!
            >
            > My running was having heavyweight ups and downs for a month or two,
            > but now I feel I'm back on track. And it feels great!
            >
            > Thank you Martin for your wonderful (and quite painful) knee
            stretch
            > you showed my in VYBORG, Russia! It has been helping me a lot,
            > because my knee is still inflamed, and the stretch helps me go out
            > running anyway. Once I did a 4k run and my knee was hurting, and I
            > was sooo slow. But, when I came home I did your stretch very
            > concentratedly, feeling I was invoking and absorbing grace from
            above,
            > and then just for the fun of it I went out for another 4k lap, and,
            > guess what, I was able to do my fastest lap ever on that track!
            Wow!
            > Now there's a mind-breaker for you!!!
            >
            > Colm, you are on so many pictures of the WHR slideshow! And it's
            > wonderful to look at you! Remembering your cheerfulness and
            leaping
            > enthusiasm (and wonderful Irish accent :0)) gives me these same
            > qualities (maybe without the Irish accent :O))
            >
            > Martin! I'm happy to see your beautiful koan here for everyone
            > tosavour. I remember when you recited it to me so beautifully,
            and it
            > created a very special, sacred atmosphere.
            >
            > Well, it's soon getting past my bed-time, so I gotta go!
            >
            > A hearty cheer for you both!
            >
            > Jan :0) )
            >
            > PS. If anybody else had the stamina to read this message, too, I
            say
            > a hearty hello to you! I haven't written in ages (though I've been
            > eavesdropping quite often for the past 2 months). I hope to write
            a
            > post for everyone in the next couple of days. I was so thrilled to
            > see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila, Niriha...many more)
            > and curious and happy to see many new names for me (Sharani,
            Predrag
            > of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated the posts and
            hope
            > to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
            > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hey Martin!
            > >
            > > I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the
            > > heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is
            > > hopeless. The mind needs to go to 'the clapping with one hand,
            > > school of the heart' and stay there. Although the mind is
            sneeky, it
            > > would try to get expelled from this school by clapping with two
            > > hands! However I hear that the principle of this school of the
            > > heart, Mr. Soul, is very compassionate and will try every means
            to
            > > encourage the student to do his very best, even when the student
            has
            > > been mischievous!
            > >
            > > Colm.
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
            > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
            > > moments of enlightenment which
            > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
            when
            > > time stops and suddenly,
            > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
            what
            > > it must look like from the
            > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
            tho
            > > the mind´s opinion,
            > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
            > > everything is so clear and so
            > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
            second
            > > you are back, finding yourself
            > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
            little
            > > taste of it stays an keeps
            > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
            > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
            be
            > > impossible for me to retell on
            > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
            > > that you know what it is like
            > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
            > > be "clapping with one hand"
            > > >
            > > > Martin
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • niriha7
            Hello Jan, Though you may not be reading now, some time ago you wrote: I was so thrilled to see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila, Niriha...many
            Message 5 of 25 , Feb 26, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Hello Jan,

              Though you may not be reading now, some time ago you wrote:

              I was so thrilled to see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila,
              Niriha...many more)and curious and happy to see many new names for me
              (Sharani, Predrag of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated
              the posts and hope to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)

              I meant to respond at the time but internet connections were not
              reliable during our trip and a recurring theme while on the internet
              was *your connection has timed out* and with no warning, puff. . .the
              connection was broken.

              I want to mention that before reading your energetic and enthusiastic
              post I had the thought that we had not heard from you for a while and
              I was actually hoping that you were alright. Then two day later,
              voila, there you were. I was happy to discover that you were just fine.

              Niriha




              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, jan_klaile
              <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > Yo DUDES :0),
              >
              > I'm so happy to see you here! I've been thinking of our time together
              > on the European World Harmony Run and what great times we had, and
              > I've developed smiles many times with a good feeling in my heart.
              >
              >
              > ...Actually, I just came from a run. I was inspired to run from work,
              > our small Madal Bal wholesale in town, home. I thought it would take
              > two hours, but to my great surprise it only took a little over an
              > hour. That is so encouraging! I think I'll run to work tomorrow.
              >
              > Work has been so hectic at times that running long distances fast
              > really feels like the most pleasurable rest. As Sri Chinmoy has said
              > "Rest is change of activity". And it is so true!
              >
              > My running was having heavyweight ups and downs for a month or two,
              > but now I feel I'm back on track. And it feels great!
              >
              > Thank you Martin for your wonderful (and quite painful) knee stretch
              > you showed my in VYBORG, Russia! It has been helping me a lot,
              > because my knee is still inflamed, and the stretch helps me go out
              > running anyway. Once I did a 4k run and my knee was hurting, and I
              > was sooo slow. But, when I came home I did your stretch very
              > concentratedly, feeling I was invoking and absorbing grace from above,
              > and then just for the fun of it I went out for another 4k lap, and,
              > guess what, I was able to do my fastest lap ever on that track! Wow!
              > Now there's a mind-breaker for you!!!
              >
              > Colm, you are on so many pictures of the WHR slideshow! And it's
              > wonderful to look at you! Remembering your cheerfulness and leaping
              > enthusiasm (and wonderful Irish accent :0)) gives me these same
              > qualities (maybe without the Irish accent :O))
              >
              > Martin! I'm happy to see your beautiful koan here for everyone
              > tosavour. I remember when you recited it to me so beautifully, and it
              > created a very special, sacred atmosphere.
              >
              > Well, it's soon getting past my bed-time, so I gotta go!
              >
              > A hearty cheer for you both!
              >
              > Jan :0) )
              >
              > PS. If anybody else had the stamina to read this message, too, I say
              > a hearty hello to you! I haven't written in ages (though I've been
              > eavesdropping quite often for the past 2 months). I hope to write a
              > post for everyone in the next couple of days. I was so thrilled to
              > see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila, Niriha...many more)
              > and curious and happy to see many new names for me (Sharani, Predrag
              > of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated the posts and hope
              > to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
              > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hey Martin!
              > >
              > > I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the
              > > heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is
              > > hopeless. The mind needs to go to 'the clapping with one hand,
              > > school of the heart' and stay there. Although the mind is sneeky, it
              > > would try to get expelled from this school by clapping with two
              > > hands! However I hear that the principle of this school of the
              > > heart, Mr. Soul, is very compassionate and will try every means to
              > > encourage the student to do his very best, even when the student has
              > > been mischievous!
              > >
              > > Colm.
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
              > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
              > > moments of enlightenment which
              > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
              > > time stops and suddenly,
              > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what
              > > it must look like from the
              > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
              > > the mind´s opinion,
              > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
              > > everything is so clear and so
              > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
              > > you are back, finding yourself
              > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
              > > taste of it stays an keeps
              > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
              > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
              > > impossible for me to retell on
              > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
              > > that you know what it is like
              > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
              > > be "clapping with one hand"
              > > >
              > > > Martin
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • carr_terri
              Hi Martin, I do not remember what is meant by clapping with one hand but I really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment. I remember having
              Message 6 of 25 , Feb 27, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Martin,

                I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
                really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.

                I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
                Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or if
                they just come forward when we are ready.

                In any case, I wish they were more frequent!

                I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them. Perhaps
                someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently during
                such a long event???

                Terri


                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                of enlightenment which
                > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                time stops and suddenly,
                > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                must look like from the
                > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
                the mind´s opinion,
                > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                everything is so clear and so
                > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
                you are back, finding yourself
                > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                taste of it stays an keeps
                > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                impossible for me to retell on
                > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                you know what it is like
                > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                be "clapping with one hand"
                >
                > Martin
                >
              • niriha7
                Hi Martin, Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger that I found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan to ask
                Message 7 of 25 , Feb 28, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Martin,

                  Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger that I
                  found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan to
                  ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of my
                  homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                  could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret his
                  poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                  explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it sounds
                  wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily on
                  an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.

                  Goodnight Moon

                  Beloved, tell me —

                  Why do you come
                  only when I
                  orphan my ambitions?

                  Why do you show
                  only when all hope
                  has fled?

                  Why, Honeyed Moon,
                  will you meet me
                  only on my funeral bed?

                  And, tell me —

                  Why won't the dead
                  stay dead?


                  - Ivan Granger
                  - Contemporary Spiritual Poets

                  Commentary By Ivan Granger

                  Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                  blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been dead
                  — though I had been more alive than ever before. This radiant, silent
                  state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
                  being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I die
                  daily."
                  I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                  perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered in
                  and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                  After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I was
                  no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me once
                  again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity had
                  become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                  The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
                  climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                  My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became the
                  dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
                  plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                  It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty Dawn
                  were composed.


                  Beloved, tell me —

                  In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                  externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic device
                  that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love and
                  devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of relationship,
                  and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                  My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self. Even
                  though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                  In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to the
                  Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of profound love.
                  In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                  properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.


                  Why do you come
                  Only when I
                  Orphan my ambitions?

                  I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state only
                  embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all aspirations. It
                  is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my daily
                  work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
                  into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping out
                  the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea of
                  who Ivan was.
                  These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan substance
                  again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and begin
                  to grow.
                  The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the more
                  I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the more
                  Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                  When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of existence,
                  there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
                  ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.


                  Why do you show
                  Only when all hope
                  Has fled?

                  These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope that
                  the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct, will
                  be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                  Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles of
                  the spiritual body can relax for the first time — and the natural
                  bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.


                  Why, Honeyed Moon,
                  Will you meet me
                  Only on my funeral bed?

                  The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is sweet.
                  When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical; bliss
                  takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much more
                  sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                  In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                  during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the Beloved
                  was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
                  time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of spiritual
                  marriage.
                  Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft shining
                  glory once more.


                  And, tell me —

                  Why won't the dead
                  Stay dead?

                  This is the real question. When the little self dies, the rush of
                  joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This "death"
                  is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                  Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of final
                  formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
                  that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had returned.
                  So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                  What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                  experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                  A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with great
                  poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                  More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to the
                  death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless, blissful
                  waters until the final attachments release of their own accord. The
                  ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to call
                  it back from its place of rest.
                  This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard and
                  the birthing room — letting go of Ivan more completely and learning
                  more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the Divine
                  can shine through more and more clearly.


                  On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
                  exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
                  construct or personality to better interact with people and the world.
                  But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it. You
                  constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the needs
                  of the moment.
                  In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real ego.
                  The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer a
                  thing, it is something you do.



                  Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger



                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                  of enlightenment which
                  > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                  time stops and suddenly,
                  > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                  must look like from the
                  > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho the
                  mind´s opinion,
                  > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                  everything is so clear and so
                  > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second you
                  are back, finding yourself
                  > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                  taste of it stays an keeps
                  > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                  > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                  impossible for me to retell on
                  > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                  you know what it is like
                  > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                  "clapping with one hand"
                  >
                  > Martin
                  >
                • richard13_oxford
                  I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger offers a daily poem from
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                    Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger offers
                    a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                    includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                    poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found they
                    help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                    poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less familiar
                    to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)


                    It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                    Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious pleasure
                    in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                    misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                    Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                    religion with loose moral values. Today of course the perception of
                    Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an accurate
                    reflection.)

                    But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                    Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi Masters
                    like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of the
                    Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell (Hafiz)and
                    Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                    translations of these sacred classics.


                    For example a poem by Hafiz


                    NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                    In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                    There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                    With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                    A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                    One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                    To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.

                    ...

                    Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                    http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17

                    Translated Gertrude Bell 1897

                    A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                    dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                    person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love with
                    God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                    communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for places of
                    divine illumination.

                    Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution from
                    the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt threatened
                    by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own heart
                    and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                    persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                    developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences. For
                    example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an allegory of
                    the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors developed a
                    usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between the
                    lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in essence,
                    the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                    describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems insufficient
                    and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine of the
                    Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual poet
                    faces.

                    Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much more
                    "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized for
                    not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more freedom
                    to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form accessible to
                    modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )

                    ***

                    There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the Day
                    at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri Chinmoy's
                    poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose something
                    happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have been.

                    Ami Sukhere Dharite

                    "I desired to grasp happiness.
                    Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                    All my hopes have grown into
                    fathomless pangs.
                    My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                    The jaws of destruction-night.
                    Yet my perishing life stretches
                    Its arms towards You
                    For Your Protection Feet."

                    Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)


                    At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism but
                    since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                    poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I feel
                    the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the Supreme.
                    When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                    Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                    experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the poem.
                    I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                    There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                    means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                    explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in spirituality.


                    Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about his
                    songs that embody helplessness

                    "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                    forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel helpless;
                    we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that this
                    helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions this
                    helplessness is of great help to us.

                    The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness. Knowing
                    perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                    this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not want to
                    admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a point
                    where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I have
                    tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                    God." At that time helplessness helps us.

                    The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies itself
                    with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the Source,
                    with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive. But the
                    vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                    become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to time
                    if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the idea
                    that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                    pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the mind can
                    recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.

                    The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in front of
                    the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light. The mind
                    has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to accept
                    light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be another way
                    to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That is
                    where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only my
                    songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us tremendously..."

                    http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessness/

                    http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3

                    (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth viewing.
                    His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and splendour
                    of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his failure in
                    attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k



                    Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                    Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful it
                    seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many ways a
                    commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is not
                    really something to be dissected like a science experiment.

                    However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                    sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am grateful to
                    those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                    poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the series "My
                    God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction to Sri
                    Chinmoy's poetry.

                    If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                    recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri Chinmoy. It
                    is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which includes an
                    examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry shares
                    with other great poets.

                    http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis




                    Greetings,

                    Richard

                    http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                    http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures

                    (Still working on the art of a short post)


                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Hi Martin,
                    >
                    > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger that I
                    > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan to
                    > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of my
                    > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                    > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret his
                    > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                    > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it sounds
                    > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily on
                    > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                    >
                    > Goodnight Moon
                    >
                    > Beloved, tell me —
                    >
                    > Why do you come
                    > only when I
                    > orphan my ambitions?
                    >
                    > Why do you show
                    > only when all hope
                    > has fled?
                    >
                    > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                    > will you meet me
                    > only on my funeral bed?
                    >
                    > And, tell me —
                    >
                    > Why won't the dead
                    > stay dead?
                    >
                    >
                    > - Ivan Granger
                    > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                    >
                    > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                    >
                    > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                    > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been dead
                    > — though I had been more alive than ever before. This radiant, silent
                    > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
                    > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I die
                    > daily."
                    > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                    > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered in
                    > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                    > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I was
                    > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me once
                    > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity had
                    > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                    > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
                    > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                    > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became the
                    > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
                    > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                    > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty Dawn
                    > were composed.
                    >
                    >
                    > Beloved, tell me —
                    >
                    > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                    > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic device
                    > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love and
                    > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of relationship,
                    > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                    > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self. Even
                    > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                    > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to the
                    > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of profound
                    love.
                    > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                    > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                    >
                    >
                    > Why do you come
                    > Only when I
                    > Orphan my ambitions?
                    >
                    > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state only
                    > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all aspirations. It
                    > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my daily
                    > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
                    > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping out
                    > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea of
                    > who Ivan was.
                    > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan substance
                    > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and begin
                    > to grow.
                    > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the more
                    > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the more
                    > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                    > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of existence,
                    > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
                    > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                    >
                    >
                    > Why do you show
                    > Only when all hope
                    > Has fled?
                    >
                    > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope that
                    > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct, will
                    > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                    > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles of
                    > the spiritual body can relax for the first time — and the natural
                    > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                    >
                    >
                    > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                    > Will you meet me
                    > Only on my funeral bed?
                    >
                    > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is sweet.
                    > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical; bliss
                    > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much more
                    > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                    > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                    > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the Beloved
                    > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
                    > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of spiritual
                    > marriage.
                    > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft shining
                    > glory once more.
                    >
                    >
                    > And, tell me —
                    >
                    > Why won't the dead
                    > Stay dead?
                    >
                    > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the rush of
                    > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This "death"
                    > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                    > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of final
                    > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
                    > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had returned.
                    > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                    > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                    > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                    > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with great
                    > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                    > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to the
                    > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless, blissful
                    > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord. The
                    > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to call
                    > it back from its place of rest.
                    > This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard and
                    > the birthing room — letting go of Ivan more completely and learning
                    > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the Divine
                    > can shine through more and more clearly.
                    >
                    >
                    > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
                    > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
                    > construct or personality to better interact with people and the world.
                    > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it. You
                    > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the needs
                    > of the moment.
                    > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real ego.
                    > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer a
                    > thing, it is something you do.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                    > <no_reply@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                    > of enlightenment which
                    > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                    > time stops and suddenly,
                    > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                    > must look like from the
                    > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho the
                    > mind´s opinion,
                    > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                    > everything is so clear and so
                    > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second you
                    > are back, finding yourself
                    > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                    > taste of it stays an keeps
                    > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                    > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                    > impossible for me to retell on
                    > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                    > you know what it is like
                    > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                    > "clapping with one hand"
                    > >
                    > > Martin
                    > >
                    >
                  • niriha7
                    Dear Terri, Clapping with one hand is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines of the
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Terri,

                      "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
                      give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
                      of the mind.

                      My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                      saying the full koan:

                      "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
                      hand clapping?"

                      There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.

                      I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
                      kid's brain. :-)

                      Niriha



                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                      <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi Martin,
                      >
                      > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
                      > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                      >
                      > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
                      > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                      > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or if
                      > they just come forward when we are ready.
                      >
                      > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                      >
                      > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them. Perhaps
                      > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently during
                      > such a long event???
                      >
                      > Terri
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                      > <no_reply@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                      > of enlightenment which
                      > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                      > time stops and suddenly,
                      > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                      > must look like from the
                      > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
                      > the mind´s opinion,
                      > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                      > everything is so clear and so
                      > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
                      > you are back, finding yourself
                      > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                      > taste of it stays an keeps
                      > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                      > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                      > impossible for me to retell on
                      > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                      > you know what it is like
                      > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                      > be "clapping with one hand"
                      > >
                      > > Martin
                      > >
                      >
                    • snehashila2
                      Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my path. May all the angels carry you to the
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar

                        Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my path.

                        May all the angels carry you to the highest Heavens!

                        All love and affection,
                        Snehashila


                        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Dear Terri,
                        >
                        > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
                        > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
                        > of the mind.
                        >
                        > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                        > saying the full koan:
                        >
                        > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
                        > hand clapping?"
                        >
                        > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                        >
                        > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
                        > kid's brain. :-)
                        >
                        > Niriha
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                        > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi Martin,
                        > >
                        > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
                        > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                        > >
                        > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
                        > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                        > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or if
                        > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                        > >
                        > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                        > >
                        > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them. Perhaps
                        > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently during
                        > > such a long event???
                        > >
                        > > Terri
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                        > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                        > > of enlightenment which
                        > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                        > > time stops and suddenly,
                        > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                        > > must look like from the
                        > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
                        > > the mind�s opinion,
                        > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                        > > everything is so clear and so
                        > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
                        > > you are back, finding yourself
                        > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                        > > taste of it stays an keeps
                        > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                        > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                        > > impossible for me to retell on
                        > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                        > > you know what it is like
                        > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                        > > be "clapping with one hand"
                        > > >
                        > > > Martin
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • niriha7
                        Richard, I am wondering where to find the commentary on the daily poems that Ivan posts on his site. Also, I might mention, to find Ivan s poems, it is
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Richard, I am wondering where to find the commentary on the daily
                          poems that Ivan posts on his site. Also, I might mention, to find
                          Ivan's poems, it is necessary to scroll down to the very bottom of the
                          home page of http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com until his name - Ivan M.
                          Granger is found. It is highlighted so by clicking on it, it is
                          possible to go to the page with all of his poems. It is hard too find
                          at first since he does not highlight himself.

                          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                          <no_reply@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                          > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger offers
                          > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                          > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                          > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found they
                          > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                          > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less familiar
                          > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                          >
                          >
                          > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                          > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious pleasure
                          > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                          > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                          > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                          > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the perception of
                          > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an accurate
                          > reflection.)
                          >
                          > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                          > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi Masters
                          > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of the
                          > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell (Hafiz)and
                          > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                          > translations of these sacred classics.
                          >
                          >
                          > For example a poem by Hafiz
                          >
                          >
                          > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                          > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                          > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                          > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                          > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                          > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                          > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                          >
                          > ...
                          >
                          > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                          > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                          >
                          > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                          >
                          > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                          > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                          > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love with
                          > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                          > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for places of
                          > divine illumination.
                          >
                          > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution from
                          > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt threatened
                          > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own heart
                          > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                          > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                          > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences. For
                          > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an allegory of
                          > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors developed a
                          > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between the
                          > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in essence,
                          > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                          > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems insufficient
                          > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine of the
                          > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual poet
                          > faces.
                          >
                          > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much more
                          > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized for
                          > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more freedom
                          > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form accessible to
                          > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                          >
                          > ***
                          >
                          > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the Day
                          > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri Chinmoy's
                          > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose something
                          > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have been.
                          >
                          > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                          >
                          > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                          > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                          > All my hopes have grown into
                          > fathomless pangs.
                          > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                          > The jaws of destruction-night.
                          > Yet my perishing life stretches
                          > Its arms towards You
                          > For Your Protection Feet."
                          >
                          > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                          >
                          >
                          > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism but
                          > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                          > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I feel
                          > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the Supreme.
                          > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                          > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                          > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the poem.
                          > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                          > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                          > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                          > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                          spirituality.
                          >
                          >
                          > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about his
                          > songs that embody helplessness
                          >
                          > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                          > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel helpless;
                          > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that this
                          > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions this
                          > helplessness is of great help to us.
                          >
                          > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness. Knowing
                          > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                          > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not want to
                          > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a point
                          > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I have
                          > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                          > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                          >
                          > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies itself
                          > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the Source,
                          > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive. But the
                          > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                          > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to time
                          > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the idea
                          > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                          > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the mind can
                          > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                          >
                          > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in front of
                          > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light. The mind
                          > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to accept
                          > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be another way
                          > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That is
                          > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only my
                          > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us tremendously..."
                          >
                          >
                          http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessness/
                          >
                          > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                          >
                          > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth viewing.
                          > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and splendour
                          > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his failure in
                          > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                          > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful it
                          > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many ways a
                          > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is not
                          > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                          >
                          > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                          > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am grateful to
                          > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                          > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the series "My
                          > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction to Sri
                          > Chinmoy's poetry.
                          >
                          > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                          > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri Chinmoy. It
                          > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which includes an
                          > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry shares
                          > with other great poets.
                          >
                          > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Greetings,
                          >
                          > Richard
                          >
                          > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                          > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                          >
                          > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                          > wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Hi Martin,
                          > >
                          > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger that I
                          > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan to
                          > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of my
                          > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                          > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret his
                          > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                          > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it sounds
                          > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily on
                          > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                          > >
                          > > Goodnight Moon
                          > >
                          > > Beloved, tell me —
                          > >
                          > > Why do you come
                          > > only when I
                          > > orphan my ambitions?
                          > >
                          > > Why do you show
                          > > only when all hope
                          > > has fled?
                          > >
                          > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                          > > will you meet me
                          > > only on my funeral bed?
                          > >
                          > > And, tell me —
                          > >
                          > > Why won't the dead
                          > > stay dead?
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > - Ivan Granger
                          > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                          > >
                          > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                          > >
                          > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                          > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been dead
                          > > — though I had been more alive than ever before. This radiant, silent
                          > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
                          > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I die
                          > > daily."
                          > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                          > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered in
                          > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                          > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I was
                          > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me once
                          > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity had
                          > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                          > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
                          > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                          > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became the
                          > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
                          > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                          > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty Dawn
                          > > were composed.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Beloved, tell me —
                          > >
                          > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                          > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic device
                          > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love and
                          > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of relationship,
                          > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                          > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self. Even
                          > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                          > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to the
                          > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of profound
                          > love.
                          > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                          > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Why do you come
                          > > Only when I
                          > > Orphan my ambitions?
                          > >
                          > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state only
                          > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all aspirations. It
                          > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my daily
                          > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
                          > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping out
                          > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea of
                          > > who Ivan was.
                          > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan substance
                          > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and begin
                          > > to grow.
                          > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the more
                          > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the more
                          > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                          > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of existence,
                          > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
                          > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Why do you show
                          > > Only when all hope
                          > > Has fled?
                          > >
                          > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope that
                          > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct, will
                          > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                          > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles of
                          > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time — and the natural
                          > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                          > > Will you meet me
                          > > Only on my funeral bed?
                          > >
                          > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is sweet.
                          > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical; bliss
                          > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much more
                          > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                          > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                          > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the Beloved
                          > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
                          > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of spiritual
                          > > marriage.
                          > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft shining
                          > > glory once more.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > And, tell me —
                          > >
                          > > Why won't the dead
                          > > Stay dead?
                          > >
                          > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the rush of
                          > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This "death"
                          > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                          > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of final
                          > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
                          > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                          returned.
                          > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                          > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                          > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                          > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with great
                          > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                          > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to the
                          > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless, blissful
                          > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord. The
                          > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to call
                          > > it back from its place of rest.
                          > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard and
                          > > the birthing room — letting go of Ivan more completely and learning
                          > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the Divine
                          > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
                          > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
                          > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the world.
                          > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it. You
                          > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the needs
                          > > of the moment.
                          > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real ego.
                          > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer a
                          > > thing, it is something you do.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                          > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                          > > of enlightenment which
                          > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                          > > time stops and suddenly,
                          > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                          > > must look like from the
                          > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho the
                          > > mind´s opinion,
                          > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                          > > everything is so clear and so
                          > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second you
                          > > are back, finding yourself
                          > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                          > > taste of it stays an keeps
                          > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                          > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                          > > impossible for me to retell on
                          > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                          > > you know what it is like
                          > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                          > > "clapping with one hand"
                          > > >
                          > > > Martin
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • one_prachar
                          Dear Richard Please do not learn the art of the short post! Your art is far more elevating and illumining. Thank you Prachar ... spirituality. ...
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Dear Richard

                            Please do not learn the art of the short post!

                            Your art is far more elevating and illumining.

                            Thank you

                            Prachar

                            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                            <no_reply@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                            > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger offers
                            > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                            > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                            > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found they
                            > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                            > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less familiar
                            > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                            >
                            >
                            > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                            > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious pleasure
                            > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                            > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                            > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                            > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the perception of
                            > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an accurate
                            > reflection.)
                            >
                            > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                            > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi Masters
                            > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of the
                            > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell (Hafiz)and
                            > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                            > translations of these sacred classics.
                            >
                            >
                            > For example a poem by Hafiz
                            >
                            >
                            > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                            > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                            > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                            > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                            > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                            > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                            > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                            >
                            > ...
                            >
                            > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                            > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                            >
                            > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                            >
                            > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                            > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                            > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love with
                            > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                            > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for places of
                            > divine illumination.
                            >
                            > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution from
                            > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt threatened
                            > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own heart
                            > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                            > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                            > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences. For
                            > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an allegory of
                            > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors developed a
                            > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between the
                            > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in essence,
                            > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                            > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems insufficient
                            > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine of the
                            > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual poet
                            > faces.
                            >
                            > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much more
                            > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized for
                            > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more freedom
                            > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form accessible to
                            > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                            >
                            > ***
                            >
                            > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the Day
                            > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri Chinmoy's
                            > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose something
                            > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have been.
                            >
                            > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                            >
                            > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                            > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                            > All my hopes have grown into
                            > fathomless pangs.
                            > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                            > The jaws of destruction-night.
                            > Yet my perishing life stretches
                            > Its arms towards You
                            > For Your Protection Feet."
                            >
                            > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                            >
                            >
                            > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism but
                            > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                            > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I feel
                            > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the Supreme.
                            > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                            > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                            > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the poem.
                            > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                            > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                            > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                            > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                            spirituality.
                            >
                            >
                            > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about his
                            > songs that embody helplessness
                            >
                            > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                            > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel helpless;
                            > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that this
                            > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions this
                            > helplessness is of great help to us.
                            >
                            > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness. Knowing
                            > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                            > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not want to
                            > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a point
                            > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I have
                            > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                            > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                            >
                            > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies itself
                            > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the Source,
                            > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive. But the
                            > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                            > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to time
                            > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the idea
                            > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                            > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the mind can
                            > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                            >
                            > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in front of
                            > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light. The mind
                            > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to accept
                            > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be another way
                            > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That is
                            > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only my
                            > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us tremendously..."
                            >
                            >
                            http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessness/
                            >
                            > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                            >
                            > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth viewing.
                            > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and splendour
                            > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his failure in
                            > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                            > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful it
                            > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many ways a
                            > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is not
                            > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                            >
                            > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                            > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am grateful to
                            > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                            > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the series "My
                            > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction to Sri
                            > Chinmoy's poetry.
                            >
                            > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                            > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri Chinmoy. It
                            > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which includes an
                            > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry shares
                            > with other great poets.
                            >
                            > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Greetings,
                            >
                            > Richard
                            >
                            > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                            > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                            >
                            > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                            > wrote:
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Hi Martin,
                            > >
                            > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger that I
                            > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan to
                            > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of my
                            > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                            > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret his
                            > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                            > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it sounds
                            > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily on
                            > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                            > >
                            > > Goodnight Moon
                            > >
                            > > Beloved, tell me �
                            > >
                            > > Why do you come
                            > > only when I
                            > > orphan my ambitions?
                            > >
                            > > Why do you show
                            > > only when all hope
                            > > has fled?
                            > >
                            > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                            > > will you meet me
                            > > only on my funeral bed?
                            > >
                            > > And, tell me �
                            > >
                            > > Why won't the dead
                            > > stay dead?
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > - Ivan Granger
                            > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                            > >
                            > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                            > >
                            > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                            > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been dead
                            > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This radiant, silent
                            > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
                            > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I die
                            > > daily."
                            > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                            > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered in
                            > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                            > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I was
                            > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me once
                            > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity had
                            > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                            > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
                            > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                            > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became the
                            > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
                            > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                            > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty Dawn
                            > > were composed.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Beloved, tell me �
                            > >
                            > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                            > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic device
                            > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love and
                            > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of relationship,
                            > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                            > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self. Even
                            > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                            > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to the
                            > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of profound
                            > love.
                            > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                            > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Why do you come
                            > > Only when I
                            > > Orphan my ambitions?
                            > >
                            > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state only
                            > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all aspirations. It
                            > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my daily
                            > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
                            > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping out
                            > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea of
                            > > who Ivan was.
                            > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan substance
                            > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and begin
                            > > to grow.
                            > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the more
                            > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the more
                            > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                            > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of existence,
                            > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
                            > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Why do you show
                            > > Only when all hope
                            > > Has fled?
                            > >
                            > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope that
                            > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct, will
                            > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                            > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles of
                            > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the natural
                            > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                            > > Will you meet me
                            > > Only on my funeral bed?
                            > >
                            > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is sweet.
                            > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical; bliss
                            > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much more
                            > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                            > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                            > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the Beloved
                            > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
                            > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of spiritual
                            > > marriage.
                            > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft shining
                            > > glory once more.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > And, tell me �
                            > >
                            > > Why won't the dead
                            > > Stay dead?
                            > >
                            > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the rush of
                            > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This "death"
                            > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                            > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of final
                            > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
                            > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                            returned.
                            > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                            > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                            > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                            > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with great
                            > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                            > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to the
                            > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless, blissful
                            > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord. The
                            > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to call
                            > > it back from its place of rest.
                            > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard and
                            > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and learning
                            > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the Divine
                            > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
                            > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
                            > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the world.
                            > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it. You
                            > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the needs
                            > > of the moment.
                            > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real ego.
                            > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer a
                            > > thing, it is something you do.
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                            > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking moments
                            > > of enlightenment which
                            > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                            > > time stops and suddenly,
                            > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what it
                            > > must look like from the
                            > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho the
                            > > mind�s opinion,
                            > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                            > > everything is so clear and so
                            > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second you
                            > > are back, finding yourself
                            > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a little
                            > > taste of it stays an keeps
                            > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                            > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                            > > impossible for me to retell on
                            > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know that
                            > > you know what it is like
                            > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                            > > "clapping with one hand"
                            > > >
                            > > > Martin
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • carr_terri
                            Hi Niriha, Hmmm....after reading that your mother had an interest in Buddhism and was introducing koans to you as a child, I was about to reply that you were
                            Message 13 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hi Niriha,

                              Hmmm....after reading that your mother had an interest in Buddhism
                              and was introducing koans to you as a child, I was about to reply
                              that you were very 'lucky' to have a parent who was so open to
                              eastern spiritual concepts.

                              But I can see how it would be a little too much for a young kid's
                              brain ;-). I have to say I have never really explored Zen or koans.
                              The times when I have come across koans, I get little inspiration
                              from them. Are they sort of like a spiritual brain teaser?

                              I like Martin's explanation of a momentary experience of inner
                              enlightenment. Perhaps a similar inner enlightenment is needed
                              to "get" what is contained in the koan?

                              Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow....

                              Terri


                              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                              <no_reply@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Dear Terri,
                              >
                              > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
                              > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
                              > of the mind.
                              >
                              > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                              > saying the full koan:
                              >
                              > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
                              > hand clapping?"
                              >
                              > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                              >
                              > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
                              > kid's brain. :-)
                              >
                              > Niriha
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                              > <no_reply@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Hi Martin,
                              > >
                              > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
                              > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                              > >
                              > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
                              > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                              > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or
                              if
                              > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                              > >
                              > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                              > >
                              > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                              Perhaps
                              > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                              during
                              > > such a long event???
                              > >
                              > > Terri
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                              > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                              moments
                              > > of enlightenment which
                              > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                              when
                              > > time stops and suddenly,
                              > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                              what it
                              > > must look like from the
                              > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                              tho
                              > > the mind´s opinion,
                              > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                              > > everything is so clear and so
                              > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                              second
                              > > you are back, finding yourself
                              > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                              little
                              > > taste of it stays an keeps
                              > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                              > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                              > > impossible for me to retell on
                              > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                              that
                              > > you know what it is like
                              > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                              > > be "clapping with one hand"
                              > > >
                              > > > Martin
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • niriha7
                              Dear Terri, You asked if Koans are spiritual brain teasers. Yes. My understanding is that they are given by a Zen master to his student with the idea that
                              Message 14 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Dear Terri,

                                You asked if Koans are spiritual brain teasers. Yes. My
                                understanding is that they are given by a Zen master to his student
                                with the idea that the student will discover that the *riddle* cannot
                                be solved intellectually; it cannot be solved by the mind. Here is an
                                abbreviated form of an answer quoted from Gary Smith:

                                A similar Koan is " What is the sound of one hand?" Of course, in
                                terms of the conventional world there can be no sound from a single
                                hand. Sound logically needs two hands clapping. However, the question
                                presumes that one hand clapping has already created a sound and that
                                it can be heard. The question is not about sound or hands clapping,
                                although this is quite conceivable within the context of Zen. The
                                question is rather about hearing the impossible, which is only termed
                                impossible within the framework of conventional reality. The Zen
                                master is therefore pressing and encouraging the student to critique
                                ordinary reality and to force the mind into other areas of understanding.

                                I have included his entire article at the end of this post since I
                                think it is well written and interesting.

                                You said, "Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow. . ." I don't
                                think there is anything obvious about Zen Koans. And who says we
                                should know everything about everything anyway?! ;-) For me
                                personally, I am deeply grateful that by being students on Sri
                                Chinmoy's path, we have a direct, immediate and powerful way to
                                transcend the mind with the emphasis being on the spiritual heart.

                                You are correct that I was very lucky to have a parent who was open to
                                eastern spiritual concepts. You are also correct in saying that
                                sometimes it was too much for a young kid's brain.

                                I clearly remember listening to a discussion between my mother and her
                                brother who had just returned from eight years in India where he
                                studied Sanskrit and studied with a Guru. They were having a
                                discussion about Sri Aurobindo. My uncle was deeply interested in Sri
                                Aurobindo's philosophy and spoke often of it. This particular evening
                                I shall never forget because as I listened to the discussion between
                                my mother and her brother, suddenly I burst into tears and announced,
                                "I NEVER want to grow up because I won't be able to understand
                                anything!" I was furious and scared. To this day, Peter Pan is a
                                favorite of mine and one of the many characters that I identified with
                                as a kid - Zorro and Mighty Mouse being two more but not Superman. I
                                appreciated Superman but did not identify with him. The contradictory
                                aspect of this however is the fact that I secretly believed there was
                                no difference between me and adults and would carry on conversations
                                with them as if this were so...The confusion of trying to sort out
                                life from a child's perspective perhaps should not be underestimated.

                                Now if I had had the opportunity to be in the presence of Sri Chinmoy
                                as a child that would have been an entirely different experience. I
                                am deeply happy both for the children who have grown up with the
                                direct experience of meditating with Guru as well as the children who
                                are now in their young and formative years and having this experience.
                                It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through
                                meditation with Guru and having association with eastern spirituality
                                through intellectual discussion. However, many things entered into my
                                awareness from having this influence in my life and I am most grateful
                                for it.

                                Most intriguing for me was stories I heard of the master and disciple
                                relationship. I recall thinking about how I would like the challenge
                                of being a disciple and the image that often came to mind was being
                                asked to sweep a floor (the same floor) for eight hours a day every
                                day and I just knew I was humble enough to do it! I still laugh when
                                thinking how that was my concept of the spiritual life though
                                symbolically it is correct.

                                Another image of the spiritual life that captured my imagination was
                                that of being a renunciate - I was sure I could do that also! I think
                                I started by giving my record collection to my sister but since we
                                shared a bedroom maybe that was not such an act of renunciation. :-)

                                Once in high school I fasted for five days and was more pleased with
                                losing a couple of pounds than with any benefit to my consciousness.
                                Twiggy had just made the scene as a model from England who was more
                                akin to a twig (hence the name) than to a real person. No girl in
                                high school could be thin enough after she was promoted by the
                                fashion/advertising industry as the ideal - a living Barbie doll.

                                Going back to the original point, I feel that the spiritual influence
                                of both my mother and my uncle was far more positive than confusing.
                                I am so grateful to my mother for her deep influence on my thinking
                                and my reading interests during my adolescent and teen years

                                Most fortunate of all is the fact that all of my brothers and sisters
                                (six) and both my parents have been in Sri Chinmoy's presence at least
                                once. Guru has most compassionately honoured my mother and father in
                                a Lifting Up the World With a Oneness Heart ceremony and one brother,
                                Swapan is a student of Guru's.

                                Niriha

                                PS I am enjoying your contributions here!


                                Understanding the Meaning of Zen Koans

                                This article will analyse and attempt to show how important the Koan
                                method is for the understanding Zen.


                                Zen Buddhism has become popular in the West as a result of the
                                importation of these spiritual ideas by, amongst others, Dr. T.
                                Suzuki. Zen promotes a very different way of understanding and dealing
                                with reality. One of the most baffling aspects of Zen to the Western
                                mind is the practice of Koans. Koans are teaching tool used to break
                                down the barriers to enlightenment.

                                What are the purposes of Koans?

                                Koans are a method of training the mind in order to achieve the state
                                of Satori. Satori is a very difficult concept to describe in a few
                                words. It is essentially the goal of all Zen mediation and can be
                                compared to the term enlightenment or insight into the nature of
                                reality. These two aspects, Koan exercises and Satori are the central
                                aspects of Zen. A further aspect to Zen should also be considered.
                                This is the practice of Zazen. Zazen is the practice of mediation that
                                involves sitting cross-legged in deep contemplation.

                                Another term for Zazen is "Dhyana". This term means to perceive or to
                                reflect upon. Zazen is used to reach the conclusion of a Koan.
                                Therefore the Koan and Zazen methods are essential in Zen training.

                                Koan literarily translated means "A public document". It refers to a
                                statement made by a Master to a student of Zen or a discussion or
                                dialogue between Master and student. The purpose of a Koan is to open
                                the mind and perception to the truth. Koans are questions or riddles
                                designed as instruments by the Zen Master to aid the student in
                                finding the truth behind the everyday images of reality.

                                How do Koans function?

                                Koans are not rational questions with final linear conclusions. They
                                are especially designed for one purpose; this purpose is to open the
                                mind that has been closed by habitual responses to the world and reality.

                                The above statement needs a bit of explanation. Our perception of the
                                world is clouded by, firstly, the habitual responses that we are
                                taught by society and secondly, by the habit forming creation of our
                                own selves or ego's. In everyday life and through societal education,
                                we develop ideas about reality and possibilities that our peers
                                verify. We accept these "laws" as immutable on the basis of their
                                habitual occurrence and certification by society. For example,
                                scientific authorities state that there is a law of gravity and that
                                time is linear and proceeds form one second to the next. These
                                "truths" are supported and bolstered by schools, society and our peers
                                until they become unquestionable fact. This also applies to our ideas
                                of human personality and of ourselves. Change then becomes an almost
                                impossible task within the framework of conventional society.

                                However, science has already placed question marks next to the
                                accepted facts of western society. Einstein's theory of relativity and
                                quantum physics are just two examples. The purpose of Zen Koans is to
                                upset or dislocate the mind from these habitual ideas of reality and
                                open the mind to the other possibilities and, eventually, to Satori or
                                knowledge of reality.

                                The Koan works at various levels and on various stages of the
                                student's progress in understanding Zen. At its most elementary stage
                                the Zen Koan is intended to question what the student takes for
                                commonplace reality and to question that which is seen to be logically
                                impossible. It is only in this way that the student can be prepared
                                for spiritual reality that transcends or goes beyond ordinary logical
                                knowledge.

                                The following is an example of a Zen Koan.

                                The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth patriarch: "What is
                                Zen?" the Patriarch replied that, "when your mind is not dwelling on
                                the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you
                                were born?"

                                This question seems nonsensical, but this is only so when measured
                                against the linear logical requirements of society. The question is
                                intended to open the initiated mind to possibilities beyond the
                                rational. It is also designed so as to waken the student to the
                                possibility that spiritual answers require a different mode of thought.

                                Zen master Dogen had a saying that is appropriate in the present
                                context. He said that in order to perceive reality we must "drop mind
                                and body". In other words, it is essential to drop all habits of
                                thought and preconceptions in order to understand the truth. The Koan
                                forces the student to face this type of thinking. The answer to the
                                question " what is your original face before you were born?" cannot be
                                answered on the level of rational logic. It points towards the
                                possibility of knowing or understanding without the constructs of
                                reason and habitual response. The question suggests we have to
                                approach spiritual reality as if we had knowledge of things before we
                                were taught the ways of thinking of this world: in other words, "
                                before we were born".

                                In trying to answer the Koan, the student will come to a mental
                                "precipice", as it were, where all the methods and procedures of
                                accepted thinking no longer function. The purpose of the Koan is to
                                shove the student over this precipice into an area of experience that
                                is completely new. This is the spiritual reality that the Zen master
                                is attempting to guide the student towards.

                                A similar Koan is " What is the sound of one hand?" Of course, in
                                terms of the conventional world there can be no sound from a single
                                hand. Sound logically needs two hands clapping. However, the question
                                presumes that one hand clapping has already created a sound and that
                                it can be heard. The question is not about sound or hands clapping,
                                although this is quite conceivable within the context of Zen. The
                                question is rather about hearing the impossible, which is only termed
                                impossible within the framework of conventional reality. The Zen
                                master is therefore pressing and encouraging the student to critique
                                ordinary reality and to force the mind into other areas of understanding.

                                Written by Gary Smith - © 2002 Pagewise




                                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi Niriha,
                                >
                                > Hmmm....after reading that your mother had an interest in Buddhism
                                > and was introducing koans to you as a child, I was about to reply
                                > that you were very 'lucky' to have a parent who was so open to
                                > eastern spiritual concepts.
                                >
                                > But I can see how it would be a little too much for a young kid's
                                > brain ;-). I have to say I have never really explored Zen or koans.
                                > The times when I have come across koans, I get little inspiration
                                > from them. Are they sort of like a spiritual brain teaser?
                                >
                                > I like Martin's explanation of a momentary experience of inner
                                > enlightenment. Perhaps a similar inner enlightenment is needed
                                > to "get" what is contained in the koan?
                                >
                                > Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow....
                                >
                                > Terri
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > Dear Terri,
                                > >
                                > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
                                > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
                                > > of the mind.
                                > >
                                > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                                > > saying the full koan:
                                > >
                                > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
                                > > hand clapping?"
                                > >
                                > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                                > >
                                > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
                                > > kid's brain. :-)
                                > >
                                > > Niriha
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                > > >
                                > > > Hi Martin,
                                > > >
                                > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
                                > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                                > > >
                                > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
                                > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                                > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or
                                > if
                                > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                                > > >
                                > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                                > > >
                                > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                                > Perhaps
                                > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                                > during
                                > > > such a long event???
                                > > >
                                > > > Terri
                                > > >
                                > > >
                                > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                > > > >
                                > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                > moments
                                > > > of enlightenment which
                                > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                                > when
                                > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                                > what it
                                > > > must look like from the
                                > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                                > tho
                                > > > the mind´s opinion,
                                > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                > > > everything is so clear and so
                                > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                > second
                                > > > you are back, finding yourself
                                > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                > little
                                > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                                > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                > that
                                > > > you know what it is like
                                > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                                > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                                > > > >
                                > > > > Martin
                                > > > >
                                > > >
                                > >
                                >
                              • niriha7
                                Dear Richard, I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned the art of
                                Message 15 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Dear Richard,

                                  I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                                  marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
                                  the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a perfect
                                  length as necessity dictates.

                                  ^ ^
                                  6 6
                                  \_/

                                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dear Richard
                                  >
                                  > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                                  >
                                  > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                                  >
                                  > Thank you
                                  >
                                  > Prachar
                                  >
                                  > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                  > no_reply@ wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                                  > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                                  offers
                                  > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                                  > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                                  > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found they
                                  > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                                  > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less familiar
                                  > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                                  > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                                  pleasure
                                  > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                                  > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                                  > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                                  > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the perception of
                                  > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                                  accurate
                                  > > reflection.)
                                  > >
                                  > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                                  > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                                  Masters
                                  > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
                                  the
                                  > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell (Hafiz)and
                                  > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                                  > > translations of these sacred classics.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                                  > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                                  > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                                  > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                                  > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                                  > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                                  > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                                  > >
                                  > > ...
                                  > >
                                  > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                                  > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                                  > >
                                  > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                                  > >
                                  > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                                  > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                                  > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
                                  with
                                  > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                                  > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for places of
                                  > > divine illumination.
                                  > >
                                  > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                                  from
                                  > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt threatened
                                  > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                                  heart
                                  > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                                  > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                                  > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
                                  For
                                  > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an allegory of
                                  > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors developed
                                  a
                                  > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
                                  the
                                  > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                                  essence,
                                  > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                                  > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                                  insufficient
                                  > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine of the
                                  > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
                                  poet
                                  > > faces.
                                  > >
                                  > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
                                  more
                                  > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
                                  for
                                  > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more freedom
                                  > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form accessible to
                                  > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                                  > >
                                  > > ***
                                  > >
                                  > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
                                  Day
                                  > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                                  Chinmoy's
                                  > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                                  something
                                  > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have been.
                                  > >
                                  > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                                  > >
                                  > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                                  > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                                  > > All my hopes have grown into
                                  > > fathomless pangs.
                                  > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                                  > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                                  > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                                  > > Its arms towards You
                                  > > For Your Protection Feet."
                                  > >
                                  > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
                                  but
                                  > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                                  > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I feel
                                  > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the Supreme.
                                  > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                                  > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                                  > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                                  poem.
                                  > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                                  > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                                  > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                                  > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                                  > spirituality.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
                                  his
                                  > > songs that embody helplessness
                                  > >
                                  > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                                  > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                                  helpless;
                                  > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                                  this
                                  > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
                                  this
                                  > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                                  > >
                                  > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                                  Knowing
                                  > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                                  > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not want
                                  to
                                  > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                                  point
                                  > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
                                  have
                                  > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                                  > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                                  > >
                                  > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies itself
                                  > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                                  Source,
                                  > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive. But the
                                  > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                                  > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                                  time
                                  > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the idea
                                  > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                                  > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the mind can
                                  > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                                  > >
                                  > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in front
                                  of
                                  > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light. The mind
                                  > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to accept
                                  > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be another way
                                  > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
                                  is
                                  > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
                                  my
                                  > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                                  tremendously..."
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                                  ss/
                                  > >
                                  > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                                  > >
                                  > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth viewing.
                                  > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                                  splendour
                                  > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his failure
                                  in
                                  > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                                  > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
                                  it
                                  > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many ways a
                                  > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
                                  not
                                  > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                                  > >
                                  > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                                  > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am grateful to
                                  > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                                  > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the series "My
                                  > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction to Sri
                                  > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                                  > >
                                  > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                                  > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri Chinmoy. It
                                  > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which includes an
                                  > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry shares
                                  > > with other great poets.
                                  > >
                                  > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Greetings,
                                  > >
                                  > > Richard
                                  > >
                                  > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                                  > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                                  > >
                                  > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                                  > > wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Hi Martin,
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                                  that I
                                  > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan
                                  to
                                  > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of
                                  my
                                  > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                                  > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
                                  his
                                  > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                                  > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                                  sounds
                                  > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily
                                  on
                                  > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Goodnight Moon
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why do you come
                                  > > > only when I
                                  > > > orphan my ambitions?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why do you show
                                  > > > only when all hope
                                  > > > has fled?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                  > > > will you meet me
                                  > > > only on my funeral bed?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > And, tell me �
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why won't the dead
                                  > > > stay dead?
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > - Ivan Granger
                                  > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                                  > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
                                  dead
                                  > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                                  radiant, silent
                                  > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
                                  > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I
                                  die
                                  > > > daily."
                                  > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                                  > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered
                                  in
                                  > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                                  > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
                                  was
                                  > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me
                                  once
                                  > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity
                                  had
                                  > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                                  > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
                                  > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                                  > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became
                                  the
                                  > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
                                  > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                                  > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
                                  Dawn
                                  > > > were composed.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                  > > >
                                  > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                                  > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                                  device
                                  > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love
                                  and
                                  > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                                  relationship,
                                  > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                                  > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self.
                                  Even
                                  > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                                  > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
                                  the
                                  > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                                  profound
                                  > > love.
                                  > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                                  > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why do you come
                                  > > > Only when I
                                  > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state
                                  only
                                  > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                                  aspirations. It
                                  > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                                  daily
                                  > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
                                  > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping
                                  out
                                  > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea
                                  of
                                  > > > who Ivan was.
                                  > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                                  substance
                                  > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
                                  begin
                                  > > > to grow.
                                  > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the
                                  more
                                  > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                                  more
                                  > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                                  > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                                  existence,
                                  > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
                                  > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why do you show
                                  > > > Only when all hope
                                  > > > Has fled?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope
                                  that
                                  > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
                                  will
                                  > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                                  > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles
                                  of
                                  > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                                  natural
                                  > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                  > > > Will you meet me
                                  > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                                  sweet.
                                  > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                                  bliss
                                  > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much
                                  more
                                  > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                                  > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                                  > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                                  Beloved
                                  > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
                                  > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                                  spiritual
                                  > > > marriage.
                                  > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                                  shining
                                  > > > glory once more.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > And, tell me �
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Why won't the dead
                                  > > > Stay dead?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                                  rush of
                                  > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                                  "death"
                                  > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                                  > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                                  final
                                  > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
                                  > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                                  > returned.
                                  > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                                  > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                                  > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                                  > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                                  great
                                  > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                                  > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
                                  the
                                  > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                                  blissful
                                  > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
                                  The
                                  > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to
                                  call
                                  > > > it back from its place of rest.
                                  > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard
                                  and
                                  > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                                  learning
                                  > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                                  Divine
                                  > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
                                  > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
                                  > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
                                  world.
                                  > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
                                  You
                                  > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
                                  needs
                                  > > > of the moment.
                                  > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
                                  ego.
                                  > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer
                                  a
                                  > > > thing, it is something you do.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                  > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                  moments
                                  > > > of enlightenment which
                                  > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                                  > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                  > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what
                                  it
                                  > > > must look like from the
                                  > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
                                  the
                                  > > > mind�s opinion,
                                  > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                  > > > everything is so clear and so
                                  > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
                                  you
                                  > > > are back, finding yourself
                                  > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                  little
                                  > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                  > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                  > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                                  > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                  > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                  that
                                  > > > you know what it is like
                                  > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                                  > > > "clapping with one hand"
                                  > > > >
                                  > > > > Martin
                                  > > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • niriha7
                                  It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through meditation with Guru THAN* having association with eastern spirituality through
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through
                                    meditation with Guru THAN* having association with eastern
                                    spirituality through intellectual discussion. However, many things
                                    entered into my awareness from having this influence in my life and I
                                    am most grateful for it.

                                    *By mistake, I wrote *and*.




                                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Dear Terri,
                                    >
                                    > You asked if Koans are spiritual brain teasers. Yes. My
                                    > understanding is that they are given by a Zen master to his student
                                    > with the idea that the student will discover that the *riddle* cannot
                                    > be solved intellectually; it cannot be solved by the mind. Here is an
                                    > abbreviated form of an answer quoted from Gary Smith:
                                    >
                                    > A similar Koan is " What is the sound of one hand?" Of course, in
                                    > terms of the conventional world there can be no sound from a single
                                    > hand. Sound logically needs two hands clapping. However, the question
                                    > presumes that one hand clapping has already created a sound and that
                                    > it can be heard. The question is not about sound or hands clapping,
                                    > although this is quite conceivable within the context of Zen. The
                                    > question is rather about hearing the impossible, which is only termed
                                    > impossible within the framework of conventional reality. The Zen
                                    > master is therefore pressing and encouraging the student to critique
                                    > ordinary reality and to force the mind into other areas of
                                    understanding.
                                    >
                                    > I have included his entire article at the end of this post since I
                                    > think it is well written and interesting.
                                    >
                                    > You said, "Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow. . ." I don't
                                    > think there is anything obvious about Zen Koans. And who says we
                                    > should know everything about everything anyway?! ;-) For me
                                    > personally, I am deeply grateful that by being students on Sri
                                    > Chinmoy's path, we have a direct, immediate and powerful way to
                                    > transcend the mind with the emphasis being on the spiritual heart.
                                    >
                                    > You are correct that I was very lucky to have a parent who was open to
                                    > eastern spiritual concepts. You are also correct in saying that
                                    > sometimes it was too much for a young kid's brain.
                                    >
                                    > I clearly remember listening to a discussion between my mother and her
                                    > brother who had just returned from eight years in India where he
                                    > studied Sanskrit and studied with a Guru. They were having a
                                    > discussion about Sri Aurobindo. My uncle was deeply interested in Sri
                                    > Aurobindo's philosophy and spoke often of it. This particular evening
                                    > I shall never forget because as I listened to the discussion between
                                    > my mother and her brother, suddenly I burst into tears and announced,
                                    > "I NEVER want to grow up because I won't be able to understand
                                    > anything!" I was furious and scared. To this day, Peter Pan is a
                                    > favorite of mine and one of the many characters that I identified with
                                    > as a kid - Zorro and Mighty Mouse being two more but not Superman. I
                                    > appreciated Superman but did not identify with him. The contradictory
                                    > aspect of this however is the fact that I secretly believed there was
                                    > no difference between me and adults and would carry on conversations
                                    > with them as if this were so...The confusion of trying to sort out
                                    > life from a child's perspective perhaps should not be underestimated.
                                    >
                                    > Now if I had had the opportunity to be in the presence of Sri Chinmoy
                                    > as a child that would have been an entirely different experience. I
                                    > am deeply happy both for the children who have grown up with the
                                    > direct experience of meditating with Guru as well as the children who
                                    > are now in their young and formative years and having this experience.
                                    > It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through
                                    > meditation with Guru and having association with eastern spirituality
                                    > through intellectual discussion. However, many things entered into my
                                    > awareness from having this influence in my life and I am most grateful
                                    > for it.
                                    >
                                    > Most intriguing for me was stories I heard of the master and disciple
                                    > relationship. I recall thinking about how I would like the challenge
                                    > of being a disciple and the image that often came to mind was being
                                    > asked to sweep a floor (the same floor) for eight hours a day every
                                    > day and I just knew I was humble enough to do it! I still laugh when
                                    > thinking how that was my concept of the spiritual life though
                                    > symbolically it is correct.
                                    >
                                    > Another image of the spiritual life that captured my imagination was
                                    > that of being a renunciate - I was sure I could do that also! I think
                                    > I started by giving my record collection to my sister but since we
                                    > shared a bedroom maybe that was not such an act of renunciation. :-)
                                    >
                                    > Once in high school I fasted for five days and was more pleased with
                                    > losing a couple of pounds than with any benefit to my consciousness.
                                    > Twiggy had just made the scene as a model from England who was more
                                    > akin to a twig (hence the name) than to a real person. No girl in
                                    > high school could be thin enough after she was promoted by the
                                    > fashion/advertising industry as the ideal - a living Barbie doll.
                                    >
                                    > Going back to the original point, I feel that the spiritual influence
                                    > of both my mother and my uncle was far more positive than confusing.
                                    > I am so grateful to my mother for her deep influence on my thinking
                                    > and my reading interests during my adolescent and teen years
                                    >
                                    > Most fortunate of all is the fact that all of my brothers and sisters
                                    > (six) and both my parents have been in Sri Chinmoy's presence at least
                                    > once. Guru has most compassionately honoured my mother and father in
                                    > a Lifting Up the World With a Oneness Heart ceremony and one brother,
                                    > Swapan is a student of Guru's.
                                    >
                                    > Niriha
                                    >
                                    > PS I am enjoying your contributions here!
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Understanding the Meaning of Zen Koans
                                    >
                                    > This article will analyse and attempt to show how important the Koan
                                    > method is for the understanding Zen.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Zen Buddhism has become popular in the West as a result of the
                                    > importation of these spiritual ideas by, amongst others, Dr. T.
                                    > Suzuki. Zen promotes a very different way of understanding and dealing
                                    > with reality. One of the most baffling aspects of Zen to the Western
                                    > mind is the practice of Koans. Koans are teaching tool used to break
                                    > down the barriers to enlightenment.
                                    >
                                    > What are the purposes of Koans?
                                    >
                                    > Koans are a method of training the mind in order to achieve the state
                                    > of Satori. Satori is a very difficult concept to describe in a few
                                    > words. It is essentially the goal of all Zen mediation and can be
                                    > compared to the term enlightenment or insight into the nature of
                                    > reality. These two aspects, Koan exercises and Satori are the central
                                    > aspects of Zen. A further aspect to Zen should also be considered.
                                    > This is the practice of Zazen. Zazen is the practice of mediation that
                                    > involves sitting cross-legged in deep contemplation.
                                    >
                                    > Another term for Zazen is "Dhyana". This term means to perceive or to
                                    > reflect upon. Zazen is used to reach the conclusion of a Koan.
                                    > Therefore the Koan and Zazen methods are essential in Zen training.
                                    >
                                    > Koan literarily translated means "A public document". It refers to a
                                    > statement made by a Master to a student of Zen or a discussion or
                                    > dialogue between Master and student. The purpose of a Koan is to open
                                    > the mind and perception to the truth. Koans are questions or riddles
                                    > designed as instruments by the Zen Master to aid the student in
                                    > finding the truth behind the everyday images of reality.
                                    >
                                    > How do Koans function?
                                    >
                                    > Koans are not rational questions with final linear conclusions. They
                                    > are especially designed for one purpose; this purpose is to open the
                                    > mind that has been closed by habitual responses to the world and
                                    reality.
                                    >
                                    > The above statement needs a bit of explanation. Our perception of the
                                    > world is clouded by, firstly, the habitual responses that we are
                                    > taught by society and secondly, by the habit forming creation of our
                                    > own selves or ego's. In everyday life and through societal education,
                                    > we develop ideas about reality and possibilities that our peers
                                    > verify. We accept these "laws" as immutable on the basis of their
                                    > habitual occurrence and certification by society. For example,
                                    > scientific authorities state that there is a law of gravity and that
                                    > time is linear and proceeds form one second to the next. These
                                    > "truths" are supported and bolstered by schools, society and our peers
                                    > until they become unquestionable fact. This also applies to our ideas
                                    > of human personality and of ourselves. Change then becomes an almost
                                    > impossible task within the framework of conventional society.
                                    >
                                    > However, science has already placed question marks next to the
                                    > accepted facts of western society. Einstein's theory of relativity and
                                    > quantum physics are just two examples. The purpose of Zen Koans is to
                                    > upset or dislocate the mind from these habitual ideas of reality and
                                    > open the mind to the other possibilities and, eventually, to Satori or
                                    > knowledge of reality.
                                    >
                                    > The Koan works at various levels and on various stages of the
                                    > student's progress in understanding Zen. At its most elementary stage
                                    > the Zen Koan is intended to question what the student takes for
                                    > commonplace reality and to question that which is seen to be logically
                                    > impossible. It is only in this way that the student can be prepared
                                    > for spiritual reality that transcends or goes beyond ordinary logical
                                    > knowledge.
                                    >
                                    > The following is an example of a Zen Koan.
                                    >
                                    > The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth patriarch: "What is
                                    > Zen?" the Patriarch replied that, "when your mind is not dwelling on
                                    > the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you
                                    > were born?"
                                    >
                                    > This question seems nonsensical, but this is only so when measured
                                    > against the linear logical requirements of society. The question is
                                    > intended to open the initiated mind to possibilities beyond the
                                    > rational. It is also designed so as to waken the student to the
                                    > possibility that spiritual answers require a different mode of thought.
                                    >
                                    > Zen master Dogen had a saying that is appropriate in the present
                                    > context. He said that in order to perceive reality we must "drop mind
                                    > and body". In other words, it is essential to drop all habits of
                                    > thought and preconceptions in order to understand the truth. The Koan
                                    > forces the student to face this type of thinking. The answer to the
                                    > question " what is your original face before you were born?" cannot be
                                    > answered on the level of rational logic. It points towards the
                                    > possibility of knowing or understanding without the constructs of
                                    > reason and habitual response. The question suggests we have to
                                    > approach spiritual reality as if we had knowledge of things before we
                                    > were taught the ways of thinking of this world: in other words, "
                                    > before we were born".
                                    >
                                    > In trying to answer the Koan, the student will come to a mental
                                    > "precipice", as it were, where all the methods and procedures of
                                    > accepted thinking no longer function. The purpose of the Koan is to
                                    > shove the student over this precipice into an area of experience that
                                    > is completely new. This is the spiritual reality that the Zen master
                                    > is attempting to guide the student towards.
                                    >
                                    > A similar Koan is " What is the sound of one hand?" Of course, in
                                    > terms of the conventional world there can be no sound from a single
                                    > hand. Sound logically needs two hands clapping. However, the question
                                    > presumes that one hand clapping has already created a sound and that
                                    > it can be heard. The question is not about sound or hands clapping,
                                    > although this is quite conceivable within the context of Zen. The
                                    > question is rather about hearing the impossible, which is only termed
                                    > impossible within the framework of conventional reality. The Zen
                                    > master is therefore pressing and encouraging the student to critique
                                    > ordinary reality and to force the mind into other areas of
                                    understanding.
                                    >
                                    > Written by Gary Smith - © 2002 Pagewise
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                    > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > Hi Niriha,
                                    > >
                                    > > Hmmm....after reading that your mother had an interest in Buddhism
                                    > > and was introducing koans to you as a child, I was about to reply
                                    > > that you were very 'lucky' to have a parent who was so open to
                                    > > eastern spiritual concepts.
                                    > >
                                    > > But I can see how it would be a little too much for a young kid's
                                    > > brain ;-). I have to say I have never really explored Zen or koans.
                                    > > The times when I have come across koans, I get little inspiration
                                    > > from them. Are they sort of like a spiritual brain teaser?
                                    > >
                                    > > I like Martin's explanation of a momentary experience of inner
                                    > > enlightenment. Perhaps a similar inner enlightenment is needed
                                    > > to "get" what is contained in the koan?
                                    > >
                                    > > Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow....
                                    > >
                                    > > Terri
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                    > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Dear Terri,
                                    > > >
                                    > > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
                                    > > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
                                    > > > of the mind.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                                    > > > saying the full koan:
                                    > > >
                                    > > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
                                    > > > hand clapping?"
                                    > > >
                                    > > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                                    > > >
                                    > > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
                                    > > > kid's brain. :-)
                                    > > >
                                    > > > Niriha
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                    > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > Hi Martin,
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
                                    > > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
                                    > > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                                    > > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or
                                    > > if
                                    > > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                                    > > Perhaps
                                    > > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                                    > > during
                                    > > > > such a long event???
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > Terri
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                    > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                    > > moments
                                    > > > > of enlightenment which
                                    > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                                    > > when
                                    > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                    > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                                    > > what it
                                    > > > > must look like from the
                                    > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                                    > > tho
                                    > > > > the mind´s opinion,
                                    > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                    > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                    > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                    > > second
                                    > > > > you are back, finding yourself
                                    > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                    > > little
                                    > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                    > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                    > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                                    > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                    > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                    > > that
                                    > > > > you know what it is like
                                    > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                                    > > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > > > Martin
                                    > > > > >
                                    > > > >
                                    > > >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                  • richard13_oxford
                                    Dear Prachar and Niriha Thanks for your words of encouragement. Regards, Richard ... http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Dear Prachar and Niriha

                                      Thanks for your words of encouragement.


                                      Regards,

                                      Richard



                                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Dear Richard,
                                      >
                                      > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                                      > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
                                      > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a perfect
                                      > length as necessity dictates.
                                      >
                                      > ^ ^
                                      > 6 6
                                      > \_/
                                      >
                                      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                                      > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Dear Richard
                                      > >
                                      > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                                      > >
                                      > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                                      > >
                                      > > Thank you
                                      > >
                                      > > Prachar
                                      > >
                                      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                      > > no_reply@ wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                                      > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                                      > offers
                                      > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                                      > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                                      > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found they
                                      > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                                      > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less familiar
                                      > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                                      > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                                      > pleasure
                                      > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                                      > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                                      > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                                      > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the perception of
                                      > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                                      > accurate
                                      > > > reflection.)
                                      > > >
                                      > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                                      > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                                      > Masters
                                      > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
                                      > the
                                      > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell (Hafiz)and
                                      > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                                      > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                                      > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                                      > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                                      > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                                      > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                                      > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                                      > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > ...
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                                      > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                                      > > >
                                      > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                                      > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                                      > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
                                      > with
                                      > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                                      > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for places of
                                      > > > divine illumination.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                                      > from
                                      > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt threatened
                                      > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                                      > heart
                                      > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                                      > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                                      > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
                                      > For
                                      > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an allegory of
                                      > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors developed
                                      > a
                                      > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
                                      > the
                                      > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                                      > essence,
                                      > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                                      > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                                      > insufficient
                                      > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine of the
                                      > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
                                      > poet
                                      > > > faces.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
                                      > more
                                      > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
                                      > for
                                      > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more freedom
                                      > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form accessible to
                                      > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                                      > > >
                                      > > > ***
                                      > > >
                                      > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
                                      > Day
                                      > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                                      > Chinmoy's
                                      > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                                      > something
                                      > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have been.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                                      > > >
                                      > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                                      > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                                      > > > All my hopes have grown into
                                      > > > fathomless pangs.
                                      > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                                      > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                                      > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                                      > > > Its arms towards You
                                      > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
                                      > but
                                      > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                                      > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I feel
                                      > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the Supreme.
                                      > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                                      > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                                      > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                                      > poem.
                                      > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                                      > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                                      > > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                                      > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                                      > > spirituality.
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
                                      > his
                                      > > > songs that embody helplessness
                                      > > >
                                      > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                                      > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                                      > helpless;
                                      > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                                      > this
                                      > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
                                      > this
                                      > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                                      > Knowing
                                      > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                                      > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not want
                                      > to
                                      > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                                      > point
                                      > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
                                      > have
                                      > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                                      > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies itself
                                      > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                                      > Source,
                                      > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive. But the
                                      > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                                      > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                                      > time
                                      > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the idea
                                      > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                                      > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the mind can
                                      > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in front
                                      > of
                                      > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light. The mind
                                      > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to accept
                                      > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be another way
                                      > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
                                      > is
                                      > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
                                      > my
                                      > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                                      > tremendously..."
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                                      > ss/
                                      > > >
                                      > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                                      > > >
                                      > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth viewing.
                                      > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                                      > splendour
                                      > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his failure
                                      > in
                                      > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                                      > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
                                      > it
                                      > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many ways a
                                      > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
                                      > not
                                      > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                                      > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am grateful to
                                      > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                                      > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the series "My
                                      > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction to Sri
                                      > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                                      > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri Chinmoy. It
                                      > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which includes an
                                      > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry shares
                                      > > > with other great poets.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Greetings,
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Richard
                                      > > >
                                      > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                                      > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                                      > > >
                                      > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                                      > > > wrote:
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Hi Martin,
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                                      > that I
                                      > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan
                                      > to
                                      > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of
                                      > my
                                      > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                                      > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
                                      > his
                                      > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                                      > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                                      > sounds
                                      > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily
                                      > on
                                      > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Goodnight Moon
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why do you come
                                      > > > > only when I
                                      > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why do you show
                                      > > > > only when all hope
                                      > > > > has fled?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                      > > > > will you meet me
                                      > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > And, tell me �
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why won't the dead
                                      > > > > stay dead?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > - Ivan Granger
                                      > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                                      > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
                                      > dead
                                      > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                                      > radiant, silent
                                      > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
                                      > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I
                                      > die
                                      > > > > daily."
                                      > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                                      > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered
                                      > in
                                      > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                                      > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
                                      > was
                                      > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me
                                      > once
                                      > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity
                                      > had
                                      > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                                      > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
                                      > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                                      > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became
                                      > the
                                      > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
                                      > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                                      > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
                                      > Dawn
                                      > > > > were composed.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                                      > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                                      > device
                                      > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love
                                      > and
                                      > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                                      > relationship,
                                      > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                                      > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self.
                                      > Even
                                      > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                                      > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
                                      > the
                                      > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                                      > profound
                                      > > > love.
                                      > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                                      > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why do you come
                                      > > > > Only when I
                                      > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state
                                      > only
                                      > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                                      > aspirations. It
                                      > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                                      > daily
                                      > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
                                      > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping
                                      > out
                                      > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea
                                      > of
                                      > > > > who Ivan was.
                                      > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                                      > substance
                                      > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
                                      > begin
                                      > > > > to grow.
                                      > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the
                                      > more
                                      > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                                      > more
                                      > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                                      > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                                      > existence,
                                      > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
                                      > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why do you show
                                      > > > > Only when all hope
                                      > > > > Has fled?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope
                                      > that
                                      > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
                                      > will
                                      > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                                      > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles
                                      > of
                                      > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                                      > natural
                                      > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                      > > > > Will you meet me
                                      > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                                      > sweet.
                                      > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                                      > bliss
                                      > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much
                                      > more
                                      > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                                      > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                                      > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                                      > Beloved
                                      > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
                                      > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                                      > spiritual
                                      > > > > marriage.
                                      > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                                      > shining
                                      > > > > glory once more.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > And, tell me �
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Why won't the dead
                                      > > > > Stay dead?
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                                      > rush of
                                      > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                                      > "death"
                                      > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                                      > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                                      > final
                                      > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
                                      > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                                      > > returned.
                                      > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                                      > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                                      > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                                      > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                                      > great
                                      > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                                      > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
                                      > the
                                      > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                                      > blissful
                                      > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
                                      > The
                                      > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to
                                      > call
                                      > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                                      > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard
                                      > and
                                      > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                                      > learning
                                      > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                                      > Divine
                                      > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
                                      > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
                                      > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
                                      > world.
                                      > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
                                      > You
                                      > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
                                      > needs
                                      > > > > of the moment.
                                      > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
                                      > ego.
                                      > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer
                                      > a
                                      > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                      > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                      > moments
                                      > > > > of enlightenment which
                                      > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
                                      > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                      > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what
                                      > it
                                      > > > > must look like from the
                                      > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
                                      > the
                                      > > > > mind�s opinion,
                                      > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                      > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                      > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
                                      > you
                                      > > > > are back, finding yourself
                                      > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                      > little
                                      > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                      > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                      > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
                                      > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                      > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                      > that
                                      > > > > you know what it is like
                                      > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                                      > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > > > Martin
                                      > > > > >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                    • jan_klaile
                                      Hello Niriha! I must admit I was not reading at that time. But Martanda just showed me your greeting. Thank you very much :0)! I really must shape up with
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hello Niriha!

                                        I must admit I was not reading at that time. But Martanda just showed
                                        me your greeting. Thank you very much :0)!

                                        I really must shape up with picking up the good habit of being more
                                        active in the inspiration group! Just now while running, poems and
                                        stories were playing in my head and I thought I could share these with
                                        the inspiration group, because they were quite nice. I just have to
                                        recall them...

                                        Oh well...Now I must get going...

                                        Warm greetings to all!

                                        Jan in Oslo :0) : 0 ) : o ) : 0 )



                                        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Hello Jan,
                                        >
                                        > Though you may not be reading now, some time ago you wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I was so thrilled to see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila,
                                        > Niriha...many more)and curious and happy to see many new names for
                                        me
                                        > (Sharani, Predrag of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated
                                        > the posts and hope to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)
                                        >
                                        > I meant to respond at the time but internet connections were not
                                        > reliable during our trip and a recurring theme while on the internet
                                        > was *your connection has timed out* and with no warning, puff. . .
                                        the
                                        > connection was broken.
                                        >
                                        > I want to mention that before reading your energetic and
                                        enthusiastic
                                        > post I had the thought that we had not heard from you for a while
                                        and
                                        > I was actually hoping that you were alright. Then two day later,
                                        > voila, there you were. I was happy to discover that you were just
                                        fine.
                                        >
                                        > Niriha
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, jan_klaile
                                        > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > Yo DUDES :0),
                                        > >
                                        > > I'm so happy to see you here! I've been thinking of our time
                                        together
                                        > > on the European World Harmony Run and what great times we had, and
                                        > > I've developed smiles many times with a good feeling in my heart.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > ...Actually, I just came from a run. I was inspired to run from
                                        work,
                                        > > our small Madal Bal wholesale in town, home. I thought it would
                                        take
                                        > > two hours, but to my great surprise it only took a little over an
                                        > > hour. That is so encouraging! I think I'll run to work tomorrow.
                                        > >
                                        > > Work has been so hectic at times that running long distances fast
                                        > > really feels like the most pleasurable rest. As Sri Chinmoy has
                                        said
                                        > > "Rest is change of activity". And it is so true!
                                        > >
                                        > > My running was having heavyweight ups and downs for a month or
                                        two,
                                        > > but now I feel I'm back on track. And it feels great!
                                        > >
                                        > > Thank you Martin for your wonderful (and quite painful) knee
                                        stretch
                                        > > you showed my in VYBORG, Russia! It has been helping me a lot,
                                        > > because my knee is still inflamed, and the stretch helps me go out
                                        > > running anyway. Once I did a 4k run and my knee was hurting, and
                                        I
                                        > > was sooo slow. But, when I came home I did your stretch very
                                        > > concentratedly, feeling I was invoking and absorbing grace from
                                        above,
                                        > > and then just for the fun of it I went out for another 4k lap,
                                        and,
                                        > > guess what, I was able to do my fastest lap ever on that track!
                                        Wow!
                                        > > Now there's a mind-breaker for you!!!
                                        > >
                                        > > Colm, you are on so many pictures of the WHR slideshow! And it's
                                        > > wonderful to look at you! Remembering your cheerfulness and
                                        leaping
                                        > > enthusiasm (and wonderful Irish accent :0)) gives me these same
                                        > > qualities (maybe without the Irish accent :O))
                                        > >
                                        > > Martin! I'm happy to see your beautiful koan here for everyone
                                        > > tosavour. I remember when you recited it to me so beautifully,
                                        and it
                                        > > created a very special, sacred atmosphere.
                                        > >
                                        > > Well, it's soon getting past my bed-time, so I gotta go!
                                        > >
                                        > > A hearty cheer for you both!
                                        > >
                                        > > Jan :0) )
                                        > >
                                        > > PS. If anybody else had the stamina to read this message, too, I
                                        say
                                        > > a hearty hello to you! I haven't written in ages (though I've
                                        been
                                        > > eavesdropping quite often for the past 2 months). I hope to write
                                        a
                                        > > post for everyone in the next couple of days. I was so thrilled
                                        to
                                        > > see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila, Niriha...many
                                        more)
                                        > > and curious and happy to see many new names for me (Sharani,
                                        Predrag
                                        > > of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated the posts and
                                        hope
                                        > > to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
                                        > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Hey Martin!
                                        > > >
                                        > > > I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the
                                        > > > heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is
                                        > > > hopeless. The mind needs to go to 'the clapping with one hand,
                                        > > > school of the heart' and stay there. Although the mind is
                                        sneeky, it
                                        > > > would try to get expelled from this school by clapping with two
                                        > > > hands! However I hear that the principle of this school of the
                                        > > > heart, Mr. Soul, is very compassionate and will try every means
                                        to
                                        > > > encourage the student to do his very best, even when the student
                                        has
                                        > > > been mischievous!
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Colm.
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                        > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                        > > > moments of enlightenment which
                                        > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                                        when
                                        > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                        > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                                        what
                                        > > > it must look like from the
                                        > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                                        tho
                                        > > > the mind´s opinion,
                                        > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                        > > > everything is so clear and so
                                        > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                        second
                                        > > > you are back, finding yourself
                                        > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                        little
                                        > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                        > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                        > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
                                        be
                                        > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                        > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                        > > > that you know what it is like
                                        > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                                        > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                                        > > > >
                                        > > > > Martin
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                      • sharani_sharani
                                        And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard s new gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at Oxford - Misty
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard's new
                                          gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at
                                          Oxford - Misty Path in particular. How appropriate to have pictures of
                                          fog included in shots of England (or at least so I hear). I don't
                                          recall you announcing this new addition of photographs to your
                                          repertoire here on the Inspiration Group. Since it's been a little
                                          while and you're feeling shy(?) then I'm here to say "by all means,
                                          check them out!" Just visit
                                          http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/gallery/members/richard_pettinger

                                          Sharani

                                          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                          <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                                          >
                                          > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Regards,
                                          >
                                          > Richard
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                                          > wrote:
                                          > >
                                          > > Dear Richard,
                                          > >
                                          > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                                          > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
                                          > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                                          perfect
                                          > > length as necessity dictates.
                                          > >
                                          > > ^ ^
                                          > > 6 6
                                          > > \_/
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                                          > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Dear Richard
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Thank you
                                          > > >
                                          > > > Prachar
                                          > > >
                                          > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                          > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                                          > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                                          > > offers
                                          > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                                          > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                                          > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                                          they
                                          > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                                          > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                                          familiar
                                          > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                                          > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                                          > > pleasure
                                          > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                                          > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                                          > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                                          > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                                          perception of
                                          > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                                          > > accurate
                                          > > > > reflection.)
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                                          > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                                          > > Masters
                                          > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                                          (Hafiz)and
                                          > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                                          > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                                          > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                                          > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                                          > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                                          > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                                          > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                                          > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > ...
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                                          > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                                          > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                                          > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
                                          > > with
                                          > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                                          > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                                          places of
                                          > > > > divine illumination.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                                          > > from
                                          > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                                          threatened
                                          > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                                          > > heart
                                          > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                                          > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                                          > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
                                          > > For
                                          > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                                          allegory of
                                          > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                                          developed
                                          > > a
                                          > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                                          > > essence,
                                          > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                                          > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                                          > > insufficient
                                          > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                                          of the
                                          > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
                                          > > poet
                                          > > > > faces.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
                                          > > more
                                          > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
                                          > > for
                                          > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                                          freedom
                                          > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                                          accessible to
                                          > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > ***
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
                                          > > Day
                                          > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                                          > > Chinmoy's
                                          > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                                          > > something
                                          > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                                          been.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                                          > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                                          > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                                          > > > > fathomless pangs.
                                          > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                                          > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                                          > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                                          > > > > Its arms towards You
                                          > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
                                          > > but
                                          > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                                          > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                                          feel
                                          > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                                          Supreme.
                                          > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                                          > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                                          > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                                          > > poem.
                                          > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                                          > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                                          > > > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                                          > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                                          > > > spirituality.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
                                          > > his
                                          > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                                          > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                                          > > helpless;
                                          > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                                          > > this
                                          > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
                                          > > this
                                          > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                                          > > Knowing
                                          > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                                          > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                                          want
                                          > > to
                                          > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                                          > > point
                                          > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
                                          > > have
                                          > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                                          > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                                          itself
                                          > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                                          > > Source,
                                          > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                                          But the
                                          > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                                          > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                                          > > time
                                          > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                                          idea
                                          > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                                          > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                                          mind can
                                          > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                                          front
                                          > > of
                                          > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                                          The mind
                                          > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                                          accept
                                          > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                                          another way
                                          > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
                                          > > is
                                          > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
                                          > > my
                                          > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                                          > > tremendously..."
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                                          > > ss/
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                                          viewing.
                                          > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                                          > > splendour
                                          > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                                          failure
                                          > > in
                                          > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                                          > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
                                          > > it
                                          > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                                          ways a
                                          > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
                                          > > not
                                          > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                                          > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                                          grateful to
                                          > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                                          > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                                          series "My
                                          > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                                          to Sri
                                          > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                                          > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                                          Chinmoy. It
                                          > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                                          includes an
                                          > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                                          shares
                                          > > > > with other great poets.
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Greetings,
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > Richard
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                                          > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                          <no_reply@>
                                          > > > > wrote:
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Hi Martin,
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                                          > > that I
                                          > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                                          Ivan
                                          > > to
                                          > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                                          section of
                                          > > my
                                          > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                                          > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
                                          > > his
                                          > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                                          > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                                          > > sounds
                                          > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                                          easily
                                          > > on
                                          > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why do you come
                                          > > > > > only when I
                                          > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why do you show
                                          > > > > > only when all hope
                                          > > > > > has fled?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                          > > > > > will you meet me
                                          > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > And, tell me �
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                          > > > > > stay dead?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                                          > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                                          > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
                                          > > dead
                                          > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                                          > > radiant, silent
                                          > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                                          poetry as
                                          > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                                          wrote, "I
                                          > > die
                                          > > > > > daily."
                                          > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                                          > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                                          flickered
                                          > > in
                                          > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                                          > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
                                          > > was
                                          > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                                          to me
                                          > > once
                                          > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                                          identity
                                          > > had
                                          > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                                          > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                                          effort to
                                          > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                                          > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                                          became
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                                          on the
                                          > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                                          > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
                                          > > Dawn
                                          > > > > > were composed.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                                          > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                                          > > device
                                          > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                                          love
                                          > > and
                                          > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                                          > > relationship,
                                          > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                                          > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                                          Self.
                                          > > Even
                                          > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                                          > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                                          > > profound
                                          > > > > love.
                                          > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                                          > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why do you come
                                          > > > > > Only when I
                                          > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                                          state
                                          > > only
                                          > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                                          > > aspirations. It
                                          > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                                          > > daily
                                          > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                                          slipped back
                                          > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                                          mapping
                                          > > out
                                          > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                                          the idea
                                          > > of
                                          > > > > > who Ivan was.
                                          > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                                          > > substance
                                          > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
                                          > > begin
                                          > > > > > to grow.
                                          > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                                          plans, the
                                          > > more
                                          > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                                          > > more
                                          > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                                          > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                                          > > existence,
                                          > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                                          When the
                                          > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why do you show
                                          > > > > > Only when all hope
                                          > > > > > Has fled?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                                          hope
                                          > > that
                                          > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
                                          > > will
                                          > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                                          > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                                          muscles
                                          > > of
                                          > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                                          > > natural
                                          > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                          > > > > > Will you meet me
                                          > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                                          > > sweet.
                                          > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                                          > > bliss
                                          > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                                          much
                                          > > more
                                          > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                                          > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                                          > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                                          > > Beloved
                                          > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                                          for a
                                          > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                                          > > spiritual
                                          > > > > > marriage.
                                          > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                                          > > shining
                                          > > > > > glory once more.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > And, tell me �
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                          > > > > > Stay dead?
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                                          > > rush of
                                          > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                                          > > "death"
                                          > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                                          > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                                          > > final
                                          > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                                          could say
                                          > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                                          > > > returned.
                                          > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                                          > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                                          > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                                          > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                                          > > great
                                          > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                                          > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                                          > > blissful
                                          > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
                                          > > The
                                          > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                                          desire to
                                          > > call
                                          > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                                          > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                                          graveyard
                                          > > and
                                          > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                                          > > learning
                                          > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                                          > > Divine
                                          > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                                          cease to
                                          > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                                          social
                                          > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
                                          > > world.
                                          > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
                                          > > You
                                          > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
                                          > > needs
                                          > > > > > of the moment.
                                          > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
                                          > > ego.
                                          > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                                          longer
                                          > > a
                                          > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                          > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                          > > moments
                                          > > > > > of enlightenment which
                                          > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                                          seconds when
                                          > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                          > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                                          to what
                                          > > it
                                          > > > > > must look like from the
                                          > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                                          according tho
                                          > > the
                                          > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                                          > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                          > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                          > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                          second
                                          > > you
                                          > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                                          > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                          > > little
                                          > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                          > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                          > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                                          to be
                                          > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                          > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                          > > that
                                          > > > > > you know what it is like
                                          > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                                          > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > > > Martin
                                          > > > > > >
                                          > > > > >
                                          > > > >
                                          > > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          > >
                                          >
                                        • niriha7
                                          As I was saying, Let s just say that your messages are a perfect length as necessity dictates. ^ ^ & & _/ ... perfect ... they ... familiar ... perception
                                          Message 20 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            As I was saying, "Let's just say that your messages are a perfect
                                            length as necessity dictates."

                                            ^ ^
                                            & &
                                            \_/


                                            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                            <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                                            >
                                            > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Regards,
                                            >
                                            > Richard
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                                            > wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > Dear Richard,
                                            > >
                                            > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                                            > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
                                            > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                                            perfect
                                            > > length as necessity dictates.
                                            > >
                                            > > ^ ^
                                            > > 6 6
                                            > > \_/
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                                            > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Dear Richard
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Thank you
                                            > > >
                                            > > > Prachar
                                            > > >
                                            > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                            > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                                            > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                                            > > offers
                                            > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                                            > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                                            > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                                            they
                                            > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                                            > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                                            familiar
                                            > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                                            > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                                            > > pleasure
                                            > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                                            > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                                            > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                                            > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                                            perception of
                                            > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                                            > > accurate
                                            > > > > reflection.)
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                                            > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                                            > > Masters
                                            > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
                                            > > the
                                            > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                                            (Hafiz)and
                                            > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                                            > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                                            > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                                            > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                                            > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                                            > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                                            > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                                            > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > ...
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                                            > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                                            > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                                            > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
                                            > > with
                                            > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                                            > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                                            places of
                                            > > > > divine illumination.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                                            > > from
                                            > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                                            threatened
                                            > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                                            > > heart
                                            > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                                            > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                                            > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
                                            > > For
                                            > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                                            allegory of
                                            > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                                            developed
                                            > > a
                                            > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
                                            > > the
                                            > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                                            > > essence,
                                            > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                                            > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                                            > > insufficient
                                            > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                                            of the
                                            > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
                                            > > poet
                                            > > > > faces.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
                                            > > more
                                            > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
                                            > > for
                                            > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                                            freedom
                                            > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                                            accessible to
                                            > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > ***
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
                                            > > Day
                                            > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                                            > > Chinmoy's
                                            > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                                            > > something
                                            > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                                            been.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                                            > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                                            > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                                            > > > > fathomless pangs.
                                            > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                                            > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                                            > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                                            > > > > Its arms towards You
                                            > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
                                            > > but
                                            > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                                            > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                                            feel
                                            > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                                            Supreme.
                                            > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                                            > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                                            > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                                            > > poem.
                                            > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                                            > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                                            > > > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                                            > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                                            > > > spirituality.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
                                            > > his
                                            > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                                            > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                                            > > helpless;
                                            > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                                            > > this
                                            > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
                                            > > this
                                            > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                                            > > Knowing
                                            > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                                            > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                                            want
                                            > > to
                                            > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                                            > > point
                                            > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
                                            > > have
                                            > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                                            > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                                            itself
                                            > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                                            > > Source,
                                            > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                                            But the
                                            > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                                            > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                                            > > time
                                            > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                                            idea
                                            > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                                            > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                                            mind can
                                            > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                                            front
                                            > > of
                                            > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                                            The mind
                                            > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                                            accept
                                            > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                                            another way
                                            > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
                                            > > is
                                            > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
                                            > > my
                                            > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                                            > > tremendously..."
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                                            > > ss/
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                                            viewing.
                                            > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                                            > > splendour
                                            > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                                            failure
                                            > > in
                                            > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                                            > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
                                            > > it
                                            > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                                            ways a
                                            > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
                                            > > not
                                            > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                                            > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                                            grateful to
                                            > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                                            > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                                            series "My
                                            > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                                            to Sri
                                            > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                                            > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                                            Chinmoy. It
                                            > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                                            includes an
                                            > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                                            shares
                                            > > > > with other great poets.
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Greetings,
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > Richard
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                                            > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                            <no_reply@>
                                            > > > > wrote:
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Hi Martin,
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                                            > > that I
                                            > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                                            Ivan
                                            > > to
                                            > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                                            section of
                                            > > my
                                            > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                                            > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
                                            > > his
                                            > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                                            > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                                            > > sounds
                                            > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                                            easily
                                            > > on
                                            > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why do you come
                                            > > > > > only when I
                                            > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why do you show
                                            > > > > > only when all hope
                                            > > > > > has fled?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                            > > > > > will you meet me
                                            > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > And, tell me �
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                            > > > > > stay dead?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                                            > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                                            > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
                                            > > dead
                                            > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                                            > > radiant, silent
                                            > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                                            poetry as
                                            > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                                            wrote, "I
                                            > > die
                                            > > > > > daily."
                                            > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                                            > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                                            flickered
                                            > > in
                                            > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                                            > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
                                            > > was
                                            > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                                            to me
                                            > > once
                                            > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                                            identity
                                            > > had
                                            > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                                            > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                                            effort to
                                            > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                                            > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                                            became
                                            > > the
                                            > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                                            on the
                                            > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                                            > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
                                            > > Dawn
                                            > > > > > were composed.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                                            > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                                            > > device
                                            > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                                            love
                                            > > and
                                            > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                                            > > relationship,
                                            > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                                            > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                                            Self.
                                            > > Even
                                            > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                                            > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
                                            > > the
                                            > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                                            > > profound
                                            > > > > love.
                                            > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                                            > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why do you come
                                            > > > > > Only when I
                                            > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                                            state
                                            > > only
                                            > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                                            > > aspirations. It
                                            > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                                            > > daily
                                            > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                                            slipped back
                                            > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                                            mapping
                                            > > out
                                            > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                                            the idea
                                            > > of
                                            > > > > > who Ivan was.
                                            > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                                            > > substance
                                            > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
                                            > > begin
                                            > > > > > to grow.
                                            > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                                            plans, the
                                            > > more
                                            > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                                            > > more
                                            > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                                            > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                                            > > existence,
                                            > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                                            When the
                                            > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why do you show
                                            > > > > > Only when all hope
                                            > > > > > Has fled?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                                            hope
                                            > > that
                                            > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
                                            > > will
                                            > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                                            > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                                            muscles
                                            > > of
                                            > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                                            > > natural
                                            > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                            > > > > > Will you meet me
                                            > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                                            > > sweet.
                                            > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                                            > > bliss
                                            > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                                            much
                                            > > more
                                            > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                                            > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                                            > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                                            > > Beloved
                                            > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                                            for a
                                            > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                                            > > spiritual
                                            > > > > > marriage.
                                            > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                                            > > shining
                                            > > > > > glory once more.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > And, tell me �
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                            > > > > > Stay dead?
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                                            > > rush of
                                            > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                                            > > "death"
                                            > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                                            > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                                            > > final
                                            > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                                            could say
                                            > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                                            > > > returned.
                                            > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                                            > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                                            > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                                            > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                                            > > great
                                            > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                                            > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
                                            > > the
                                            > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                                            > > blissful
                                            > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
                                            > > The
                                            > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                                            desire to
                                            > > call
                                            > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                                            > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                                            graveyard
                                            > > and
                                            > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                                            > > learning
                                            > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                                            > > Divine
                                            > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                                            cease to
                                            > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                                            social
                                            > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
                                            > > world.
                                            > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
                                            > > You
                                            > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
                                            > > needs
                                            > > > > > of the moment.
                                            > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
                                            > > ego.
                                            > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                                            longer
                                            > > a
                                            > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                                            > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                            > > > > > >
                                            > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                            > > moments
                                            > > > > > of enlightenment which
                                            > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                                            seconds when
                                            > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                            > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                                            to what
                                            > > it
                                            > > > > > must look like from the
                                            > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                                            according tho
                                            > > the
                                            > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                                            > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                                            > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                            > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                            second
                                            > > you
                                            > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                                            > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                            > > little
                                            > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                            > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                            > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                                            to be
                                            > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                            > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                                            > > that
                                            > > > > > you know what it is like
                                            > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                                            > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                                            > > > > > >
                                            > > > > > > Martin
                                            > > > > > >
                                            > > > > >
                                            > > > >
                                            > > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            > >
                                            >
                                          • vasanti_hd
                                            What words to choose for a loss that is felt so deeply by many of us. When someone dear leaves, it is as if a part of oneself is taken away. Prefering Sri
                                            Message 21 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              What words to choose for a loss that is felt so deeply by many of
                                              us. When someone dear leaves, it is as if a part of oneself is taken
                                              away. Prefering Sri Chinmoy's words to my own, I just want to post
                                              this excerpt of the Buddha-play here:

                                              The Buddha Needs A Few Mustard Seeds (act I, Scene Iii)
                                              from
                                              http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/siddhartha-becomes-buddha/16.html

                                              (Gautami returns to the Buddha.)

                                              GAUTAMI: O Master, I have been to many places. Each family has lost
                                              someone. It seems that there is no family that has not suffered from
                                              death.

                                              BUDDHA: Gautami, you are right. No family on earth can say that
                                              death has not visited it. You are suffering, and like you many, many
                                              others are suffering. Many have suffered and many will suffer. Not
                                              just many, Gautami-all. Everyone has to suffer from death. We came
                                              from Light and we shall go back to Light.

                                              GAUTAMI: But, Father, he was my only child. How can I be consoled?
                                              Who will console me?

                                              BUDDHA: Who will console you, Gautami? I will console you.

                                              GAUTAMI: Please console me, Father. You are the only one who can do
                                              it.

                                              BUDDHA: Gautami, as long as there is life there will also be death.
                                              Birth is bound to be followed by death, and death is bound to be
                                              followed by birth. Now, Gautami, I shall tell you the cause of
                                              sorrow. You have lost your only child. Your life is overwhelmed with
                                              sorrow. But the cause of your sorrow is not death. The cause of
                                              sorrow is desire. The day you conquer desire you conquer sorrow,
                                              too. Pray and meditate. You will conquer desire, and at that moment
                                              you will see that Light and Delight have become your constant
                                              friends.

                                              GAUTAMI: O Sage, you are my Master. Today I know you. I have nobody
                                              on earth, nobody. I have no husband, I have no child-nobody but you.
                                              You are my All. You have consoled me. Now what I need from you is
                                              inner illumination. I shall dedicate my entire life to you
                                              unconditionally, wholeheartedly. It is through my dedicated service
                                              to you, Master, that I shall achieve my illumination.

                                              BUDDHA: Gautami, you are right, absolutely right. My child, your
                                              life is destined to enter into the realm of eternal Bliss. Meditate
                                              on God. Meditate on Truth. You will attain Peace, Joy and Bliss.

                                              Excerpt from Siddhartha Becomes The Buddha by Sri Chinmoy.

                                              In deepest oneness
                                              Vasanti




                                              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, snehashila2
                                              <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar
                                              >
                                              > Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my
                                              path.
                                              >
                                              > May all the angels carry you to the highest Heavens!
                                              >
                                              > All love and affection,
                                              > Snehashila
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                              <no_reply@> wrote:
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Dear Terri,
                                              > >
                                              > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master
                                              would
                                              > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the
                                              confines
                                              > > of the mind.
                                              > >
                                              > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                                              > > saying the full koan:
                                              > >
                                              > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of
                                              one
                                              > > hand clapping?"
                                              > >
                                              > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                                              > >
                                              > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my
                                              little
                                              > > kid's brain. :-)
                                              > >
                                              > > Niriha
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                              > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                              > > >
                                              > > > Hi Martin,
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand"
                                              but I
                                              > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally
                                              during
                                              > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                                              > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences
                                              or if
                                              > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                                              > > >
                                              > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                                              > > >
                                              > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                                              Perhaps
                                              > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                                              during
                                              > > > such a long event???
                                              > > >
                                              > > > Terri
                                              > > >
                                              > > >
                                              > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                                              martin_the_dude
                                              > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                              > > > >
                                              > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                              moments
                                              > > > of enlightenment which
                                              > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                                              when
                                              > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                              > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                                              what it
                                              > > > must look like from the
                                              > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                                              tho
                                              > > > the mind�s opinion,
                                              > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                                              second
                                              > > > everything is so clear and so
                                              > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                              second
                                              > > > you are back, finding yourself
                                              > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                              little
                                              > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                              > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                              > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
                                              be
                                              > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                              > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway
                                              know that
                                              > > > you know what it is like
                                              > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                                              > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                                              > > > >
                                              > > > > Martin
                                              > > > >
                                              > > >
                                              > >
                                              >
                                            • richard13_oxford
                                              Hi Sharani, Thanks for review. We have plenty of opportunity for foggy pictures in England, you can see some more at Pavitrata s Gallery:
                                              Message 22 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Hi Sharani,

                                                Thanks for review. We have plenty of opportunity for foggy pictures in
                                                England, you can see some more at Pavitrata's Gallery:

                                                http://tinyurl.com/msmgo

                                                I particularly like
                                                http://tinyurl.com/n6kjc - The Morning Run


                                                For those interested in digiloka I bought an Olympus X-705 5 million
                                                pixels 3* optical zoom

                                                from Amazon.co.uk
                                                http://tinyurl.com/mhoe3 It now only costs £89.99. Pavitrata reliably
                                                informs me its very good value. Its very easy to use, the only slight
                                                downside is it uses batteries fairly quick, but their standard AAA so
                                                easy to replace.


                                                I took some more pics today. Prizes if you can spot which photos are
                                                not of Oxford Colleges.

                                                http://tinyurl.com/owlu5

                                                and
                                                http://tinyurl.com/mpnnj



                                                Regards,

                                                Richard





                                                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                                                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard's new
                                                > gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at
                                                > Oxford - Misty Path in particular. How appropriate to have pictures of
                                                > fog included in shots of England (or at least so I hear). I don't
                                                > recall you announcing this new addition of photographs to your
                                                > repertoire here on the Inspiration Group. Since it's been a little
                                                > while and you're feeling shy(?) then I'm here to say "by all means,
                                                > check them out!" Just visit
                                                > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/gallery/members/richard_pettinger
                                                >
                                                > Sharani
                                                >
                                                > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                                > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                                                > >
                                                > > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > Regards,
                                                > >
                                                > > Richard
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                                                > > wrote:
                                                > > >
                                                > > > Dear Richard,
                                                > > >
                                                > > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                                                > > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have
                                                learned
                                                > > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                                                > perfect
                                                > > > length as necessity dictates.
                                                > > >
                                                > > > ^ ^
                                                > > > 6 6
                                                > > > \_/
                                                > > >
                                                > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                                                > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Dear Richard
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Thank you
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > Prachar
                                                > > > >
                                                > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                                > > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable
                                                commentary. At
                                                > > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                                                > > > offers
                                                > > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                                                > > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning
                                                of the
                                                > > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                                                > they
                                                > > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of
                                                sacred
                                                > > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                                                > familiar
                                                > > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer
                                                Poets.
                                                > > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                                                > > > pleasure
                                                > > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but
                                                mostly,
                                                > > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                                                > > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal,
                                                permissive
                                                > > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                                                > perception of
                                                > > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                                                > > > accurate
                                                > > > > > reflection.)
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous
                                                conclusion on
                                                > > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                                                > > > Masters
                                                > > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the
                                                attention of
                                                > > > the
                                                > > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                                                > (Hafiz)and
                                                > > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                                                > > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                                                > > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                                                > > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                                                > > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                                                > > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                                                > > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                                                > > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > ...
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                                                > > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                                                > > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an
                                                insane
                                                > > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in
                                                love
                                                > > > with
                                                > > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating
                                                ecstasy of
                                                > > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                                                > places of
                                                > > > > > divine illumination.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                                                > > > from
                                                > > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                                                > threatened
                                                > > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                                                > > > heart
                                                > > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to
                                                avoid
                                                > > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi
                                                mystics
                                                > > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine
                                                experiences.
                                                > > > For
                                                > > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                                                > allegory of
                                                > > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                                                > developed
                                                > > > a
                                                > > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read
                                                between
                                                > > > the
                                                > > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                                                > > > essence,
                                                > > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                                                > > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                                                > > > insufficient
                                                > > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                                                > of the
                                                > > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a
                                                spiritual
                                                > > > poet
                                                > > > > > faces.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered
                                                much
                                                > > > more
                                                > > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be
                                                criticized
                                                > > > for
                                                > > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                                                > freedom
                                                > > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                                                > accessible to
                                                > > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > ***
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem
                                                of the
                                                > > > Day
                                                > > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                                                > > > Chinmoy's
                                                > > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                                                > > > something
                                                > > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                                                > been.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                                                > > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                                                > > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                                                > > > > > fathomless pangs.
                                                > > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                                                > > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                                                > > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                                                > > > > > Its arms towards You
                                                > > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and
                                                pessimism
                                                > > > but
                                                > > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                                                > > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                                                > feel
                                                > > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                                                > Supreme.
                                                > > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the
                                                Divine
                                                > > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                                                > > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                                                > > > poem.
                                                > > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                                                > > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word
                                                "surrender"
                                                > > > > > means different things to different people. It can be
                                                difficult to
                                                > > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                                                > > > > spirituality.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question
                                                about
                                                > > > his
                                                > > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I
                                                say, "Go
                                                > > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                                                > > > helpless;
                                                > > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                                                > > > this
                                                > > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare
                                                occasions
                                                > > > this
                                                > > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                                                > > > Knowing
                                                > > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind
                                                runs to
                                                > > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                                                > want
                                                > > > to
                                                > > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                                                > > > point
                                                > > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it
                                                says, "I
                                                > > > have
                                                > > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to
                                                invoke
                                                > > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                                                > itself
                                                > > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                                                > > > Source,
                                                > > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                                                > But the
                                                > > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and
                                                mind
                                                > > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                                                > > > time
                                                > > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                                                > idea
                                                > > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very
                                                painful, even
                                                > > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                                                > mind can
                                                > > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                                                > front
                                                > > > of
                                                > > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                                                > The mind
                                                > > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                                                > accept
                                                > > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                                                > another way
                                                > > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are
                                                hopeless. That
                                                > > > is
                                                > > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being
                                                expressed-not only
                                                > > > my
                                                > > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                                                > > > tremendously..."
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                                                > > > ss/
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                                                > viewing.
                                                > > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                                                > > > splendour
                                                > > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                                                > failure
                                                > > > in
                                                > > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                                                > > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and
                                                powerful
                                                > > > it
                                                > > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                                                > ways a
                                                > > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all
                                                poetry is
                                                > > > not
                                                > > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come
                                                across
                                                > > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                                                > grateful to
                                                > > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                                                > > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                                                > series "My
                                                > > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                                                > to Sri
                                                > > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                                                > > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                                                > Chinmoy. It
                                                > > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                                                > includes an
                                                > > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                                                > shares
                                                > > > > > with other great poets.
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Greetings,
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > Richard
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                                                > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                                > <no_reply@>
                                                > > > > > wrote:
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Hi Martin,
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                                                > > > that I
                                                > > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                                                > Ivan
                                                > > > to
                                                > > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                                                > section of
                                                > > > my
                                                > > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he
                                                said I
                                                > > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not
                                                interpret
                                                > > > his
                                                > > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                                                > > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                                                > > > sounds
                                                > > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                                                > easily
                                                > > > on
                                                > > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why do you come
                                                > > > > > > only when I
                                                > > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why do you show
                                                > > > > > > only when all hope
                                                > > > > > > has fled?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                                > > > > > > will you meet me
                                                > > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > And, tell me �
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                                > > > > > > stay dead?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                                                > > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                                                > > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan
                                                had been
                                                > > > dead
                                                > > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                                                > > > radiant, silent
                                                > > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                                                > poetry as
                                                > > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                                                > wrote, "I
                                                > > > die
                                                > > > > > > daily."
                                                > > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                                                > > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                                                > flickered
                                                > > > in
                                                > > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                                                > > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized
                                                that I
                                                > > > was
                                                > > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                                                > to me
                                                > > > once
                                                > > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                                                > identity
                                                > > > had
                                                > > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                                                > > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                                                > effort to
                                                > > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                                                > > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                                                > became
                                                > > > the
                                                > > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                                                > on the
                                                > > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                                                > > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and
                                                Empty
                                                > > > Dawn
                                                > > > > > > were composed.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                                                > > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                                                > > > device
                                                > > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                                                > love
                                                > > > and
                                                > > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                                                > > > relationship,
                                                > > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                                                > > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                                                > Self.
                                                > > > Even
                                                > > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                                                > > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often
                                                refer to
                                                > > > the
                                                > > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                                                > > > profound
                                                > > > > > love.
                                                > > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to
                                                is more
                                                > > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why do you come
                                                > > > > > > Only when I
                                                > > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                                                > state
                                                > > > only
                                                > > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                                                > > > aspirations. It
                                                > > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                                                > > > daily
                                                > > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                                                > slipped back
                                                > > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                                                > mapping
                                                > > > out
                                                > > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                                                > the idea
                                                > > > of
                                                > > > > > > who Ivan was.
                                                > > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                                                > > > substance
                                                > > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root
                                                again and
                                                > > > begin
                                                > > > > > > to grow.
                                                > > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                                                > plans, the
                                                > > > more
                                                > > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                                                > > > more
                                                > > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                                                > > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                                                > > > existence,
                                                > > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                                                > When the
                                                > > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why do you show
                                                > > > > > > Only when all hope
                                                > > > > > > Has fled?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                                                > hope
                                                > > > that
                                                > > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental
                                                construct,
                                                > > > will
                                                > > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                                                > > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                                                > muscles
                                                > > > of
                                                > > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                                                > > > natural
                                                > > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                                > > > > > > Will you meet me
                                                > > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                                                > > > sweet.
                                                > > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                                                > > > bliss
                                                > > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                                                > much
                                                > > > more
                                                > > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                                                > > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my
                                                experience
                                                > > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                                                > > > Beloved
                                                > > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                                                > for a
                                                > > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                                                > > > spiritual
                                                > > > > > > marriage.
                                                > > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                                                > > > shining
                                                > > > > > > glory once more.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > And, tell me �
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                                > > > > > > Stay dead?
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                                                > > > rush of
                                                > > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                                                > > > "death"
                                                > > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                                                > > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                                                > > > final
                                                > > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                                                > could say
                                                > > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                                                > > > > returned.
                                                > > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                                                > > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                                                > > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                                                > > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                                                > > > great
                                                > > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                                                > > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes
                                                accustomed to
                                                > > > the
                                                > > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                                                > > > blissful
                                                > > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own
                                                accord.
                                                > > > The
                                                > > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                                                > desire to
                                                > > > call
                                                > > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                                                > > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                                                > graveyard
                                                > > > and
                                                > > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                                                > > > learning
                                                > > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                                                > > > Divine
                                                > > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                                                > cease to
                                                > > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                                                > social
                                                > > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people
                                                and the
                                                > > > world.
                                                > > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck
                                                within it.
                                                > > > You
                                                > > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to
                                                suit the
                                                > > > needs
                                                > > > > > > of the moment.
                                                > > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but
                                                no real
                                                > > > ego.
                                                > > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                                                > longer
                                                > > > a
                                                > > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                                                martin_the_dude
                                                > > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                > > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                                > > > moments
                                                > > > > > > of enlightenment which
                                                > > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                                                > seconds when
                                                > > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                                > > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                                                > to what
                                                > > > it
                                                > > > > > > must look like from the
                                                > > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                                                > according tho
                                                > > > the
                                                > > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                                                > > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                                                second
                                                > > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                                > > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                                > second
                                                > > > you
                                                > > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                                                > > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                                > > > little
                                                > > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                                > > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                                > > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                                                > to be
                                                > > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                                > > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I
                                                anyway know
                                                > > > that
                                                > > > > > > you know what it is like
                                                > > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                                                > > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                                                > > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > > > Martin
                                                > > > > > > >
                                                > > > > > >
                                                > > > > >
                                                > > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > >
                                                > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                > > >
                                                > >
                                                >
                                              • pavitrata27
                                                Hi Richard, Congrats on a great set of Gallery photos, very impressive. Also, thanks for the bespeak re my pix! Indeed you have a great little camera, even
                                                Message 23 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Hi Richard,

                                                  Congrats on a great set of Gallery photos, very impressive.

                                                  Also, thanks for the bespeak re my pix!

                                                  Indeed you have a great little camera, even though it is AAA and not
                                                  Lithium-Ion battery based.

                                                  There are several things you can do to maximise battery power with a
                                                  camera using AAAs. 1) Turn the auto-review off, or minimise the amount
                                                  of time the auto review stays on for. There should be an option for
                                                  this in the camera setup-menu. 2) If you really want to conserve
                                                  power, turn the LCD screen off altogether. This is tough, as
                                                  'chimping' (looking at one's pix on the LCD screen!) is half the fun
                                                  of a digi-camera. 3) Don't upload from the camera, if you are
                                                  transferring to a computer. Use a card-reader. 4)Get NiMH (Nickel
                                                  Metal Hydride) rechargeables. Some of the new chargers take only an
                                                  hour to charge.

                                                  If you are using the Camedia Master software that came with the camera
                                                  make sure you have your pictures backed up somewhere. If you ever
                                                  needed to reinstall it, it will wipe out the folder where it stores
                                                  your pix!!

                                                  Also if you want to email your pix, Camedia Master is useless, as you
                                                  have to pay for the full edition for easy emailing. You might want to
                                                  look at Picasa 2, a free editing program from Google. Just Google
                                                  'Picasa 2' and click the Google download link page. It has neat
                                                  editing facilities plus some other great features, and is excellent
                                                  for rapid preparation of pix for emailing.

                                                  Happy visioning!
                                                  Pavitrata

                                                  -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi Sharani,
                                                  >
                                                  > Thanks for review. We have plenty of opportunity for foggy pictures in
                                                  > England, you can see some more at Pavitrata's Gallery:
                                                  >
                                                  > http://tinyurl.com/msmgo
                                                  >
                                                  > I particularly like
                                                  > http://tinyurl.com/n6kjc - The Morning Run
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > For those interested in digiloka I bought an Olympus X-705 5 million
                                                  > pixels 3* optical zoom
                                                  >
                                                  > from Amazon.co.uk
                                                  > http://tinyurl.com/mhoe3 It now only costs £89.99. Pavitrata reliably
                                                  > informs me its very good value. Its very easy to use, the only slight
                                                  > downside is it uses batteries fairly quick, but their standard AAA so
                                                  > easy to replace.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > I took some more pics today. Prizes if you can spot which photos are
                                                  > not of Oxford Colleges.
                                                  >
                                                  > http://tinyurl.com/owlu5
                                                  >
                                                  > and
                                                  > http://tinyurl.com/mpnnj
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > Regards,
                                                  >
                                                  > Richard
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                                                  > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > > And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard's new
                                                  > > gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at
                                                  > > Oxford - Misty Path in particular. How appropriate to have pictures of
                                                  > > fog included in shots of England (or at least so I hear). I don't
                                                  > > recall you announcing this new addition of photographs to your
                                                  > > repertoire here on the Inspiration Group. Since it's been a little
                                                  > > while and you're feeling shy(?) then I'm here to say "by all means,
                                                  > > check them out!" Just visit
                                                  > > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/gallery/members/richard_pettinger
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Sharani
                                                  > >
                                                  > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                                  > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > Regards,
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > Richard
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                                                  > > > wrote:
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > > Dear Richard,
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                                                  > > > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have
                                                  > learned
                                                  > > > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                                                  > > perfect
                                                  > > > > length as necessity dictates.
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > > ^ ^
                                                  > > > > 6 6
                                                  > > > > \_/
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                                                  > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > Dear Richard
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > Thank you
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > Prachar
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                                                  > > > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable
                                                  > commentary. At
                                                  > > > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan
                                                  Granger
                                                  > > > > offers
                                                  > > > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                                                  > > > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning
                                                  > of the
                                                  > > > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                                                  > > they
                                                  > > > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of
                                                  > sacred
                                                  > > > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                                                  > > familiar
                                                  > > > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer
                                                  > Poets.
                                                  > > > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                                                  > > > > pleasure
                                                  > > > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but
                                                  > mostly,
                                                  > > > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                                                  > > > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal,
                                                  > permissive
                                                  > > > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                                                  > > perception of
                                                  > > > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                                                  > > > > accurate
                                                  > > > > > > reflection.)
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous
                                                  > conclusion on
                                                  > > > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                                                  > > > > Masters
                                                  > > > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the
                                                  > attention of
                                                  > > > > the
                                                  > > > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                                                  > > (Hafiz)and
                                                  > > > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                                                  > > > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                                                  > > > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                                                  > > > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                                                  > > > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                                                  > > > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                                                  > > > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                                                  > > > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > ...
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                                                  > > > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                                                  > > > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an
                                                  > insane
                                                  > > > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in
                                                  > love
                                                  > > > > with
                                                  > > > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating
                                                  > ecstasy of
                                                  > > > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                                                  > > places of
                                                  > > > > > > divine illumination.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much
                                                  persecution
                                                  > > > > from
                                                  > > > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                                                  > > threatened
                                                  > > > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within
                                                  your own
                                                  > > > > heart
                                                  > > > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to
                                                  > avoid
                                                  > > > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi
                                                  > mystics
                                                  > > > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine
                                                  > experiences.
                                                  > > > > For
                                                  > > > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                                                  > > allegory of
                                                  > > > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                                                  > > developed
                                                  > > > > a
                                                  > > > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read
                                                  > between
                                                  > > > > the
                                                  > > > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                                                  > > > > essence,
                                                  > > > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                                                  > > > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                                                  > > > > insufficient
                                                  > > > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                                                  > > of the
                                                  > > > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a
                                                  > spiritual
                                                  > > > > poet
                                                  > > > > > > faces.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered
                                                  > much
                                                  > > > > more
                                                  > > > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be
                                                  > criticized
                                                  > > > > for
                                                  > > > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                                                  > > freedom
                                                  > > > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                                                  > > accessible to
                                                  > > > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > ***
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem
                                                  > of the
                                                  > > > > Day
                                                  > > > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                                                  > > > > Chinmoy's
                                                  > > > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                                                  > > > > something
                                                  > > > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                                                  > > been.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                                                  > > > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                                                  > > > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                                                  > > > > > > fathomless pangs.
                                                  > > > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                                                  > > > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                                                  > > > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                                                  > > > > > > Its arms towards You
                                                  > > > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and
                                                  > pessimism
                                                  > > > > but
                                                  > > > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry
                                                  and the
                                                  > > > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                                                  > > feel
                                                  > > > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                                                  > > Supreme.
                                                  > > > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the
                                                  > Divine
                                                  > > > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                                                  > > > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect
                                                  with the
                                                  > > > > poem.
                                                  > > > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round
                                                  to it.
                                                  > > > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word
                                                  > "surrender"
                                                  > > > > > > means different things to different people. It can be
                                                  > difficult to
                                                  > > > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                                                  > > > > > spirituality.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question
                                                  > about
                                                  > > > > his
                                                  > > > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I
                                                  > say, "Go
                                                  > > > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                                                  > > > > helpless;
                                                  > > > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to
                                                  say that
                                                  > > > > this
                                                  > > > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare
                                                  > occasions
                                                  > > > > this
                                                  > > > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                                                  > > > > Knowing
                                                  > > > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind
                                                  > runs to
                                                  > > > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                                                  > > want
                                                  > > > > to
                                                  > > > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to
                                                  come to a
                                                  > > > > point
                                                  > > > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it
                                                  > says, "I
                                                  > > > > have
                                                  > > > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to
                                                  > invoke
                                                  > > > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                                                  > > itself
                                                  > > > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                                                  > > > > Source,
                                                  > > > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                                                  > > But the
                                                  > > > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and
                                                  > mind
                                                  > > > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from
                                                  time to
                                                  > > > > time
                                                  > > > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                                                  > > idea
                                                  > > > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very
                                                  > painful, even
                                                  > > > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                                                  > > mind can
                                                  > > > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                                                  > > front
                                                  > > > > of
                                                  > > > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                                                  > > The mind
                                                  > > > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                                                  > > accept
                                                  > > > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                                                  > > another way
                                                  > > > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are
                                                  > hopeless. That
                                                  > > > > is
                                                  > > > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being
                                                  > expressed-not only
                                                  > > > > my
                                                  > > > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                                                  > > > > tremendously..."
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                                                  > > > > ss/
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                                                  > > viewing.
                                                  > > > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                                                  > > > > splendour
                                                  > > > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                                                  > > failure
                                                  > > > > in
                                                  > > > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like
                                                  "The
                                                  > > > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and
                                                  > powerful
                                                  > > > > it
                                                  > > > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                                                  > > ways a
                                                  > > > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all
                                                  > poetry is
                                                  > > > > not
                                                  > > > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come
                                                  > across
                                                  > > > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                                                  > > grateful to
                                                  > > > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the
                                                  significance of
                                                  > > > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                                                  > > series "My
                                                  > > > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                                                  > > to Sri
                                                  > > > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would
                                                  also
                                                  > > > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                                                  > > Chinmoy. It
                                                  > > > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                                                  > > includes an
                                                  > > > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                                                  > > shares
                                                  > > > > > > with other great poets.
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Greetings,
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > Richard
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                                                  > > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                                  > > <no_reply@>
                                                  > > > > > > wrote:
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Hi Martin,
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan
                                                  Granger
                                                  > > > > that I
                                                  > > > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                                                  > > Ivan
                                                  > > > > to
                                                  > > > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                                                  > > section of
                                                  > > > > my
                                                  > > > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he
                                                  > said I
                                                  > > > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not
                                                  > interpret
                                                  > > > > his
                                                  > > > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                                                  > > > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                                                  > > > > sounds
                                                  > > > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                                                  > > easily
                                                  > > > > on
                                                  > > > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you
                                                  speak of.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why do you come
                                                  > > > > > > > only when I
                                                  > > > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why do you show
                                                  > > > > > > > only when all hope
                                                  > > > > > > > has fled?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                                  > > > > > > > will you meet me
                                                  > > > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > And, tell me �
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                                  > > > > > > > stay dead?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                                                  > > > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously
                                                  in a
                                                  > > > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan
                                                  > had been
                                                  > > > > dead
                                                  > > > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                                                  > > > > radiant, silent
                                                  > > > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                                                  > > poetry as
                                                  > > > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                                                  > > wrote, "I
                                                  > > > > die
                                                  > > > > > > > daily."
                                                  > > > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I
                                                  remained
                                                  > > > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                                                  > > flickered
                                                  > > > > in
                                                  > > > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent
                                                  experience.
                                                  > > > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized
                                                  > that I
                                                  > > > > was
                                                  > > > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                                                  > > to me
                                                  > > > > once
                                                  > > > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                                                  > > identity
                                                  > > > > had
                                                  > > > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                                                  > > > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                                                  > > effort to
                                                  > > > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                                                  > > > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                                                  > > became
                                                  > > > > the
                                                  > > > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                                                  > > on the
                                                  > > > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                                                  > > > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and
                                                  > Empty
                                                  > > > > Dawn
                                                  > > > > > > > were composed.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a
                                                  distinct,
                                                  > > > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an
                                                  artistic
                                                  > > > > device
                                                  > > > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                                                  > > love
                                                  > > > > and
                                                  > > > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                                                  > > > > relationship,
                                                  > > > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                                                  > > > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                                                  > > Self.
                                                  > > > > Even
                                                  > > > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                                                  > > > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often
                                                  > refer to
                                                  > > > > the
                                                  > > > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                                                  > > > > profound
                                                  > > > > > > love.
                                                  > > > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to
                                                  > is more
                                                  > > > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why do you come
                                                  > > > > > > > Only when I
                                                  > > > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                                                  > > state
                                                  > > > > only
                                                  > > > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                                                  > > > > aspirations. It
                                                  > > > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day,
                                                  organize my
                                                  > > > > daily
                                                  > > > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                                                  > > slipped back
                                                  > > > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                                                  > > mapping
                                                  > > > > out
                                                  > > > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                                                  > > the idea
                                                  > > > > of
                                                  > > > > > > > who Ivan was.
                                                  > > > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                                                  > > > > substance
                                                  > > > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root
                                                  > again and
                                                  > > > > begin
                                                  > > > > > > > to grow.
                                                  > > > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                                                  > > plans, the
                                                  > > > > more
                                                  > > > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of
                                                  life, the
                                                  > > > > more
                                                  > > > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                                                  > > > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                                                  > > > > existence,
                                                  > > > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                                                  > > When the
                                                  > > > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why do you show
                                                  > > > > > > > Only when all hope
                                                  > > > > > > > Has fled?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                                                  > > hope
                                                  > > > > that
                                                  > > > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental
                                                  > construct,
                                                  > > > > will
                                                  > > > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                                                  > > > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                                                  > > muscles
                                                  > > > > of
                                                  > > > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                                                  > > > > natural
                                                  > > > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                                                  > > > > > > > Will you meet me
                                                  > > > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of
                                                  bliss is
                                                  > > > > sweet.
                                                  > > > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost
                                                  physical;
                                                  > > > > bliss
                                                  > > > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                                                  > > much
                                                  > > > > more
                                                  > > > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                                                  > > > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my
                                                  > experience
                                                  > > > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union
                                                  with the
                                                  > > > > Beloved
                                                  > > > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                                                  > > for a
                                                  > > > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                                                  > > > > spiritual
                                                  > > > > > > > marriage.
                                                  > > > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                                                  > > > > shining
                                                  > > > > > > > glory once more.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > And, tell me �
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                                                  > > > > > > > Stay dead?
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self
                                                  dies, the
                                                  > > > > rush of
                                                  > > > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                                                  > > > > "death"
                                                  > > > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                                                  > > > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the
                                                  blessing of
                                                  > > > > final
                                                  > > > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                                                  > > could say
                                                  > > > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead.
                                                  Ivan had
                                                  > > > > > returned.
                                                  > > > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                                                  > > > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are
                                                  typically two
                                                  > > > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                                                  > > > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state
                                                  and, with
                                                  > > > > great
                                                  > > > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                                                  > > > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes
                                                  > accustomed to
                                                  > > > > the
                                                  > > > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                                                  > > > > blissful
                                                  > > > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own
                                                  > accord.
                                                  > > > > The
                                                  > > > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                                                  > > desire to
                                                  > > > > call
                                                  > > > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                                                  > > > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                                                  > > graveyard
                                                  > > > > and
                                                  > > > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                                                  > > > > learning
                                                  > > > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                                                  > > > > Divine
                                                  > > > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                                                  > > cease to
                                                  > > > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                                                  > > social
                                                  > > > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people
                                                  > and the
                                                  > > > > world.
                                                  > > > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck
                                                  > within it.
                                                  > > > > You
                                                  > > > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to
                                                  > suit the
                                                  > > > > needs
                                                  > > > > > > > of the moment.
                                                  > > > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but
                                                  > no real
                                                  > > > > ego.
                                                  > > > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                                                  > > longer
                                                  > > > > a
                                                  > > > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                                                  > martin_the_dude
                                                  > > > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                  > > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short,
                                                  breathtaking
                                                  > > > > moments
                                                  > > > > > > > of enlightenment which
                                                  > > > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                                                  > > seconds when
                                                  > > > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                                  > > > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                                                  > > to what
                                                  > > > > it
                                                  > > > > > > > must look like from the
                                                  > > > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                                                  > > according tho
                                                  > > > > the
                                                  > > > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                                                  > > > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                                                  > second
                                                  > > > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                                  > > > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                                  > > second
                                                  > > > > you
                                                  > > > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                                                  > > > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And
                                                  still a
                                                  > > > > little
                                                  > > > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                                  > > > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                                  > > > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                                                  > > to be
                                                  > > > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                                  > > > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I
                                                  > anyway know
                                                  > > > > that
                                                  > > > > > > > you know what it is like
                                                  > > > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like
                                                  to be
                                                  > > > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                                                  > > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > > > Martin
                                                  > > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > > >
                                                  > > > > >
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  > > > >
                                                  > > >
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                • purnakama2000
                                                  Dear Snehashila, I read your post at school yesterday, and it was the first I had heard the very sad news. I did not have a class at the time, so I was able to
                                                  Message 24 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Dear Snehashila,

                                                    I read your post at school yesterday, and it was the first I had
                                                    heard the very sad news. I did not have a class at the time, so I
                                                    was able to absorb the news in solitude.

                                                    I never spoke to Ongkar personally, but the sadness that I feel is
                                                    as if he was a close friend. I will always remember his powerful and
                                                    cheerful presence, the crazy skits that he would put on at the
                                                    circus with the other British fellows, and his undying love and
                                                    dedication to Guru. He will be sadly missed by all.

                                                    I found this aphorism when I came home yesterday.

                                                    "Souls come into the world
                                                    To fight against ignorance night,
                                                    And they depart from the world
                                                    Carrying God's Victory-Banner
                                                    To Heaven"

                                                    Sri Chinmoy - Seventy Seven Thousand Service Trees #41,649

                                                    What a fitting aphorism for our dear brother Ongkar,who I'm sure
                                                    already has God's Victory-Banner held high.

                                                    Purnakama
                                                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, snehashila2
                                                    <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar
                                                    >
                                                    > Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my
                                                    path.
                                                    >
                                                    > May all the angels carry you to the highest Heavens!
                                                    >
                                                    > All love and affection,
                                                    > Snehashila
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                                    <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Dear Terri,
                                                    > >
                                                    > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master
                                                    would
                                                    > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the
                                                    confines
                                                    > > of the mind.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                                                    > > saying the full koan:
                                                    > >
                                                    > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of
                                                    one
                                                    > > hand clapping?"
                                                    > >
                                                    > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my
                                                    little
                                                    > > kid's brain. :-)
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Niriha
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                                    > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > Hi Martin,
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand"
                                                    but I
                                                    > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally
                                                    during
                                                    > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                                                    > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences
                                                    or if
                                                    > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                                                    Perhaps
                                                    > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                                                    during
                                                    > > > such a long event???
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > Terri
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                                                    martin_the_dude
                                                    > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                    > > > >
                                                    > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                                                    moments
                                                    > > > of enlightenment which
                                                    > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                                                    when
                                                    > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                                    > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                                                    what it
                                                    > > > must look like from the
                                                    > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                                                    tho
                                                    > > > the mind�s opinion,
                                                    > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                                                    second
                                                    > > > everything is so clear and so
                                                    > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                                    second
                                                    > > > you are back, finding yourself
                                                    > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                                                    little
                                                    > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                                    > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                                    > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
                                                    be
                                                    > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                                    > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway
                                                    know that
                                                    > > > you know what it is like
                                                    > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                                                    > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                                                    > > > >
                                                    > > > > Martin
                                                    > > > >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                  • do_slava
                                                    I believe, Sri Chinmoy has written this aphorism inspired by such good souls as Ongkar: I shall leave this world With my life s peace-beauty And my heart s
                                                    Message 25 of 25 , Mar 5, 2006
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      I believe, Sri Chinmoy has written this aphorism inspired by such
                                                      good souls as Ongkar:

                                                      I shall leave this world
                                                      With my life's peace-beauty
                                                      And my heart's bliss-fragrance.

                                                      #17,597
                                                      Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees
                                                      by Sri Chinmoy


                                                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, purnakama2000
                                                      <no_reply@...> wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Dear Snehashila,
                                                      >
                                                      > I read your post at school yesterday, and it was the first I had
                                                      > heard the very sad news. I did not have a class at the time, so I
                                                      > was able to absorb the news in solitude.
                                                      >
                                                      > I never spoke to Ongkar personally, but the sadness that I feel is
                                                      > as if he was a close friend. I will always remember his powerful
                                                      and
                                                      > cheerful presence, the crazy skits that he would put on at the
                                                      > circus with the other British fellows, and his undying love and
                                                      > dedication to Guru. He will be sadly missed by all.
                                                      >
                                                      > I found this aphorism when I came home yesterday.
                                                      >
                                                      > "Souls come into the world
                                                      > To fight against ignorance night,
                                                      > And they depart from the world
                                                      > Carrying God's Victory-Banner
                                                      > To Heaven"
                                                      >
                                                      > Sri Chinmoy - Seventy Seven Thousand Service Trees #41,649
                                                      >
                                                      > What a fitting aphorism for our dear brother Ongkar,who I'm sure
                                                      > already has God's Victory-Banner held high.
                                                      >
                                                      > Purnakama
                                                      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, snehashila2
                                                      > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my
                                                      > path.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > May all the angels carry you to the highest Heavens!
                                                      > >
                                                      > > All love and affection,
                                                      > > Snehashila
                                                      > >
                                                      > >
                                                      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                                                      > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > Dear Terri,
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master
                                                      > would
                                                      > > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the
                                                      > confines
                                                      > > > of the mind.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall
                                                      her
                                                      > > > saying the full koan:
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound
                                                      of
                                                      > one
                                                      > > > hand clapping?"
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my
                                                      > little
                                                      > > > kid's brain. :-)
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > Niriha
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                                                      > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > Hi Martin,
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand"
                                                      > but I
                                                      > > > > really appreciate your description of moments of
                                                      enlightenment.
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally
                                                      > during
                                                      > > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if
                                                      Guru
                                                      > > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these
                                                      experiences
                                                      > or if
                                                      > > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value
                                                      them.
                                                      > Perhaps
                                                      > > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                                                      > during
                                                      > > > > such a long event???
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > Terri
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                                                      > martin_the_dude
                                                      > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                                                      > > > > >
                                                      > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short,
                                                      breathtaking
                                                      > moments
                                                      > > > > of enlightenment which
                                                      > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                                                      seconds
                                                      > when
                                                      > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                                                      > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                                                      to
                                                      > what it
                                                      > > > > must look like from the
                                                      > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                                                      according
                                                      > tho
                                                      > > > > the mind�s opinion,
                                                      > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                                                      > second
                                                      > > > > everything is so clear and so
                                                      > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                                                      > second
                                                      > > > > you are back, finding yourself
                                                      > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still
                                                      a
                                                      > little
                                                      > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                                                      > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                                                      > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                                                      to
                                                      > be
                                                      > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                                                      > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway
                                                      > know that
                                                      > > > > you know what it is like
                                                      > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                                                      > > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                                                      > > > > >
                                                      > > > > > Martin
                                                      > > > > >
                                                      > > > >
                                                      > > >
                                                      > >
                                                      >
                                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.