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On Poetry (was re:koan)

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  • 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 1 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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      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 2 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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        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 3 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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          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 4 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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            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 5 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 6 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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                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 7 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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                  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 8 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
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                    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 9 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 10 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 11 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
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                          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 12 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
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                            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 13 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 14 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
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                                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 15 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
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                                  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 16 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 17 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
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                                      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 18 of 25 , Mar 5, 2006
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                                        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
                                        > > > > >
                                        > > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
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