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

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  • 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 1 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
      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 2 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
        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 3 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
          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 4 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
            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 5 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
              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 6 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
                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 7 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
                  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 8 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
                    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 9 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
                      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 10 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                        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 11 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                          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 12 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                            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 13 of 25 , Mar 5, 2006
                              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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