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

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

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Terri,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Niriha

      PS I am enjoying your contributions here!


      Understanding the Meaning of Zen Koans

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


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

      What are the purposes of Koans?

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

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

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

      How do Koans function?

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

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

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

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

      The following is an example of a Zen Koan.

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

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

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

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

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

      Written by Gary Smith - © 2002 Pagewise




      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
      <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Niriha,
      >
      > Hmmm....after reading that your mother had an interest in Buddhism
      > and was introducing koans to you as a child, I was about to reply
      > that you were very 'lucky' to have a parent who was so open to
      > eastern spiritual concepts.
      >
      > But I can see how it would be a little too much for a young kid's
      > brain ;-). I have to say I have never really explored Zen or koans.
      > The times when I have come across koans, I get little inspiration
      > from them. Are they sort of like a spiritual brain teaser?
      >
      > I like Martin's explanation of a momentary experience of inner
      > enlightenment. Perhaps a similar inner enlightenment is needed
      > to "get" what is contained in the koan?
      >
      > Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow....
      >
      > Terri
      >
      >
      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
      > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > Dear Terri,
      > >
      > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
      > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
      > > of the mind.
      > >
      > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
      > > saying the full koan:
      > >
      > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
      > > hand clapping?"
      > >
      > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
      > >
      > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
      > > kid's brain. :-)
      > >
      > > Niriha
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
      > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi Martin,
      > > >
      > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
      > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
      > > >
      > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
      > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
      > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or
      > if
      > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
      > > >
      > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
      > > >
      > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
      > Perhaps
      > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
      > during
      > > > such a long event???
      > > >
      > > > Terri
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
      > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
      > moments
      > > > of enlightenment which
      > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
      > when
      > > > time stops and suddenly,
      > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
      > what it
      > > > must look like from the
      > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
      > tho
      > > > the mind´s opinion,
      > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
      > > > everything is so clear and so
      > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
      > second
      > > > you are back, finding yourself
      > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
      > little
      > > > taste of it stays an keeps
      > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
      > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
      > > > impossible for me to retell on
      > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
      > that
      > > > you know what it is like
      > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
      > > > be "clapping with one hand"
      > > > >
      > > > > Martin
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • niriha7
      Dear Richard, I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned the art of
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 1, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Richard,

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

        ^ ^
        6 6
        \_/

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



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • niriha7
        It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through meditation with Guru THAN* having association with eastern spirituality through
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through
          meditation with Guru THAN* having association with eastern
          spirituality through intellectual discussion. However, many things
          entered into my awareness from having this influence in my life and I
          am most grateful for it.

          *By mistake, I wrote *and*.




          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          > Dear Terri,
          >
          > You asked if Koans are spiritual brain teasers. Yes. My
          > understanding is that they are given by a Zen master to his student
          > with the idea that the student will discover that the *riddle* cannot
          > be solved intellectually; it cannot be solved by the mind. Here is an
          > abbreviated form of an answer quoted from Gary Smith:
          >
          > A similar Koan is " What is the sound of one hand?" Of course, in
          > terms of the conventional world there can be no sound from a single
          > hand. Sound logically needs two hands clapping. However, the question
          > presumes that one hand clapping has already created a sound and that
          > it can be heard. The question is not about sound or hands clapping,
          > although this is quite conceivable within the context of Zen. The
          > question is rather about hearing the impossible, which is only termed
          > impossible within the framework of conventional reality. The Zen
          > master is therefore pressing and encouraging the student to critique
          > ordinary reality and to force the mind into other areas of
          understanding.
          >
          > I have included his entire article at the end of this post since I
          > think it is well written and interesting.
          >
          > You said, "Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow. . ." I don't
          > think there is anything obvious about Zen Koans. And who says we
          > should know everything about everything anyway?! ;-) For me
          > personally, I am deeply grateful that by being students on Sri
          > Chinmoy's path, we have a direct, immediate and powerful way to
          > transcend the mind with the emphasis being on the spiritual heart.
          >
          > You are correct that I was very lucky to have a parent who was open to
          > eastern spiritual concepts. You are also correct in saying that
          > sometimes it was too much for a young kid's brain.
          >
          > I clearly remember listening to a discussion between my mother and her
          > brother who had just returned from eight years in India where he
          > studied Sanskrit and studied with a Guru. They were having a
          > discussion about Sri Aurobindo. My uncle was deeply interested in Sri
          > Aurobindo's philosophy and spoke often of it. This particular evening
          > I shall never forget because as I listened to the discussion between
          > my mother and her brother, suddenly I burst into tears and announced,
          > "I NEVER want to grow up because I won't be able to understand
          > anything!" I was furious and scared. To this day, Peter Pan is a
          > favorite of mine and one of the many characters that I identified with
          > as a kid - Zorro and Mighty Mouse being two more but not Superman. I
          > appreciated Superman but did not identify with him. The contradictory
          > aspect of this however is the fact that I secretly believed there was
          > no difference between me and adults and would carry on conversations
          > with them as if this were so...The confusion of trying to sort out
          > life from a child's perspective perhaps should not be underestimated.
          >
          > Now if I had had the opportunity to be in the presence of Sri Chinmoy
          > as a child that would have been an entirely different experience. I
          > am deeply happy both for the children who have grown up with the
          > direct experience of meditating with Guru as well as the children who
          > are now in their young and formative years and having this experience.
          > It is entirely different to have the heart spoken to directly through
          > meditation with Guru and having association with eastern spirituality
          > through intellectual discussion. However, many things entered into my
          > awareness from having this influence in my life and I am most grateful
          > for it.
          >
          > Most intriguing for me was stories I heard of the master and disciple
          > relationship. I recall thinking about how I would like the challenge
          > of being a disciple and the image that often came to mind was being
          > asked to sweep a floor (the same floor) for eight hours a day every
          > day and I just knew I was humble enough to do it! I still laugh when
          > thinking how that was my concept of the spiritual life though
          > symbolically it is correct.
          >
          > Another image of the spiritual life that captured my imagination was
          > that of being a renunciate - I was sure I could do that also! I think
          > I started by giving my record collection to my sister but since we
          > shared a bedroom maybe that was not such an act of renunciation. :-)
          >
          > Once in high school I fasted for five days and was more pleased with
          > losing a couple of pounds than with any benefit to my consciousness.
          > Twiggy had just made the scene as a model from England who was more
          > akin to a twig (hence the name) than to a real person. No girl in
          > high school could be thin enough after she was promoted by the
          > fashion/advertising industry as the ideal - a living Barbie doll.
          >
          > Going back to the original point, I feel that the spiritual influence
          > of both my mother and my uncle was far more positive than confusing.
          > I am so grateful to my mother for her deep influence on my thinking
          > and my reading interests during my adolescent and teen years
          >
          > Most fortunate of all is the fact that all of my brothers and sisters
          > (six) and both my parents have been in Sri Chinmoy's presence at least
          > once. Guru has most compassionately honoured my mother and father in
          > a Lifting Up the World With a Oneness Heart ceremony and one brother,
          > Swapan is a student of Guru's.
          >
          > Niriha
          >
          > PS I am enjoying your contributions here!
          >
          >
          > Understanding the Meaning of Zen Koans
          >
          > This article will analyse and attempt to show how important the Koan
          > method is for the understanding Zen.
          >
          >
          > Zen Buddhism has become popular in the West as a result of the
          > importation of these spiritual ideas by, amongst others, Dr. T.
          > Suzuki. Zen promotes a very different way of understanding and dealing
          > with reality. One of the most baffling aspects of Zen to the Western
          > mind is the practice of Koans. Koans are teaching tool used to break
          > down the barriers to enlightenment.
          >
          > What are the purposes of Koans?
          >
          > Koans are a method of training the mind in order to achieve the state
          > of Satori. Satori is a very difficult concept to describe in a few
          > words. It is essentially the goal of all Zen mediation and can be
          > compared to the term enlightenment or insight into the nature of
          > reality. These two aspects, Koan exercises and Satori are the central
          > aspects of Zen. A further aspect to Zen should also be considered.
          > This is the practice of Zazen. Zazen is the practice of mediation that
          > involves sitting cross-legged in deep contemplation.
          >
          > Another term for Zazen is "Dhyana". This term means to perceive or to
          > reflect upon. Zazen is used to reach the conclusion of a Koan.
          > Therefore the Koan and Zazen methods are essential in Zen training.
          >
          > Koan literarily translated means "A public document". It refers to a
          > statement made by a Master to a student of Zen or a discussion or
          > dialogue between Master and student. The purpose of a Koan is to open
          > the mind and perception to the truth. Koans are questions or riddles
          > designed as instruments by the Zen Master to aid the student in
          > finding the truth behind the everyday images of reality.
          >
          > How do Koans function?
          >
          > Koans are not rational questions with final linear conclusions. They
          > are especially designed for one purpose; this purpose is to open the
          > mind that has been closed by habitual responses to the world and
          reality.
          >
          > The above statement needs a bit of explanation. Our perception of the
          > world is clouded by, firstly, the habitual responses that we are
          > taught by society and secondly, by the habit forming creation of our
          > own selves or ego's. In everyday life and through societal education,
          > we develop ideas about reality and possibilities that our peers
          > verify. We accept these "laws" as immutable on the basis of their
          > habitual occurrence and certification by society. For example,
          > scientific authorities state that there is a law of gravity and that
          > time is linear and proceeds form one second to the next. These
          > "truths" are supported and bolstered by schools, society and our peers
          > until they become unquestionable fact. This also applies to our ideas
          > of human personality and of ourselves. Change then becomes an almost
          > impossible task within the framework of conventional society.
          >
          > However, science has already placed question marks next to the
          > accepted facts of western society. Einstein's theory of relativity and
          > quantum physics are just two examples. The purpose of Zen Koans is to
          > upset or dislocate the mind from these habitual ideas of reality and
          > open the mind to the other possibilities and, eventually, to Satori or
          > knowledge of reality.
          >
          > The Koan works at various levels and on various stages of the
          > student's progress in understanding Zen. At its most elementary stage
          > the Zen Koan is intended to question what the student takes for
          > commonplace reality and to question that which is seen to be logically
          > impossible. It is only in this way that the student can be prepared
          > for spiritual reality that transcends or goes beyond ordinary logical
          > knowledge.
          >
          > The following is an example of a Zen Koan.
          >
          > The Monk Mayo asked this question of the Sixth patriarch: "What is
          > Zen?" the Patriarch replied that, "when your mind is not dwelling on
          > the dualism of good and evil, what is your original face before you
          > were born?"
          >
          > This question seems nonsensical, but this is only so when measured
          > against the linear logical requirements of society. The question is
          > intended to open the initiated mind to possibilities beyond the
          > rational. It is also designed so as to waken the student to the
          > possibility that spiritual answers require a different mode of thought.
          >
          > Zen master Dogen had a saying that is appropriate in the present
          > context. He said that in order to perceive reality we must "drop mind
          > and body". In other words, it is essential to drop all habits of
          > thought and preconceptions in order to understand the truth. The Koan
          > forces the student to face this type of thinking. The answer to the
          > question " what is your original face before you were born?" cannot be
          > answered on the level of rational logic. It points towards the
          > possibility of knowing or understanding without the constructs of
          > reason and habitual response. The question suggests we have to
          > approach spiritual reality as if we had knowledge of things before we
          > were taught the ways of thinking of this world: in other words, "
          > before we were born".
          >
          > In trying to answer the Koan, the student will come to a mental
          > "precipice", as it were, where all the methods and procedures of
          > accepted thinking no longer function. The purpose of the Koan is to
          > shove the student over this precipice into an area of experience that
          > is completely new. This is the spiritual reality that the Zen master
          > is attempting to guide the student towards.
          >
          > A similar Koan is " What is the sound of one hand?" Of course, in
          > terms of the conventional world there can be no sound from a single
          > hand. Sound logically needs two hands clapping. However, the question
          > presumes that one hand clapping has already created a sound and that
          > it can be heard. The question is not about sound or hands clapping,
          > although this is quite conceivable within the context of Zen. The
          > question is rather about hearing the impossible, which is only termed
          > impossible within the framework of conventional reality. The Zen
          > master is therefore pressing and encouraging the student to critique
          > ordinary reality and to force the mind into other areas of
          understanding.
          >
          > Written by Gary Smith - © 2002 Pagewise
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
          > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi Niriha,
          > >
          > > Hmmm....after reading that your mother had an interest in Buddhism
          > > and was introducing koans to you as a child, I was about to reply
          > > that you were very 'lucky' to have a parent who was so open to
          > > eastern spiritual concepts.
          > >
          > > But I can see how it would be a little too much for a young kid's
          > > brain ;-). I have to say I have never really explored Zen or koans.
          > > The times when I have come across koans, I get little inspiration
          > > from them. Are they sort of like a spiritual brain teaser?
          > >
          > > I like Martin's explanation of a momentary experience of inner
          > > enlightenment. Perhaps a similar inner enlightenment is needed
          > > to "get" what is contained in the koan?
          > >
          > > Sorry for asking the obvious but I am slow....
          > >
          > > Terri
          > >
          > >
          > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
          > > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > Dear Terri,
          > > >
          > > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master would
          > > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the confines
          > > > of the mind.
          > > >
          > > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
          > > > saying the full koan:
          > > >
          > > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of one
          > > > hand clapping?"
          > > >
          > > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
          > > >
          > > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my little
          > > > kid's brain. :-)
          > > >
          > > > Niriha
          > > >
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
          > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Hi Martin,
          > > > >
          > > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand" but I
          > > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
          > > > >
          > > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally during
          > > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
          > > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences or
          > > if
          > > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
          > > > >
          > > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
          > > > >
          > > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
          > > Perhaps
          > > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
          > > during
          > > > > such a long event???
          > > > >
          > > > > Terri
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
          > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
          > > moments
          > > > > of enlightenment which
          > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
          > > when
          > > > > time stops and suddenly,
          > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
          > > what it
          > > > > must look like from the
          > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
          > > tho
          > > > > the mind´s opinion,
          > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
          > > > > everything is so clear and so
          > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
          > > second
          > > > > you are back, finding yourself
          > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
          > > little
          > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
          > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
          > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
          > > > > impossible for me to retell on
          > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
          > > that
          > > > > you know what it is like
          > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
          > > > > be "clapping with one hand"
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Martin
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • richard13_oxford
          Dear Prachar and Niriha Thanks for your words of encouragement. Regards, Richard ... http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Prachar and Niriha

            Thanks for your words of encouragement.


            Regards,

            Richard



            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Dear Richard,
            >
            > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
            > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
            > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a perfect
            > length as necessity dictates.
            >
            > ^ ^
            > 6 6
            > \_/
            >
            > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
            > <no_reply@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Dear Richard
            > >
            > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
            > >
            > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
            > >
            > > Thank you
            > >
            > > Prachar
            > >
            > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
            > > no_reply@ wrote:
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
            > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
            > offers
            > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
            > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
            > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found they
            > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
            > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less familiar
            > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
            > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
            > pleasure
            > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
            > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
            > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
            > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the perception of
            > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
            > accurate
            > > > reflection.)
            > > >
            > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
            > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
            > Masters
            > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
            > the
            > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell (Hafiz)and
            > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
            > > > translations of these sacred classics.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
            > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
            > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
            > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
            > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
            > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
            > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
            > > >
            > > > ...
            > > >
            > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
            > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
            > > >
            > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
            > > >
            > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
            > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
            > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
            > with
            > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
            > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for places of
            > > > divine illumination.
            > > >
            > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
            > from
            > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt threatened
            > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
            > heart
            > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
            > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
            > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
            > For
            > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an allegory of
            > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors developed
            > a
            > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
            > the
            > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
            > essence,
            > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
            > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
            > insufficient
            > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine of the
            > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
            > poet
            > > > faces.
            > > >
            > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
            > more
            > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
            > for
            > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more freedom
            > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form accessible to
            > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
            > > >
            > > > ***
            > > >
            > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
            > Day
            > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
            > Chinmoy's
            > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
            > something
            > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have been.
            > > >
            > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
            > > >
            > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
            > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
            > > > All my hopes have grown into
            > > > fathomless pangs.
            > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
            > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
            > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
            > > > Its arms towards You
            > > > For Your Protection Feet."
            > > >
            > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
            > but
            > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
            > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I feel
            > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the Supreme.
            > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
            > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
            > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
            > poem.
            > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
            > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
            > > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
            > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
            > > spirituality.
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
            > his
            > > > songs that embody helplessness
            > > >
            > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
            > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
            > helpless;
            > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
            > this
            > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
            > this
            > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
            > > >
            > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
            > Knowing
            > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
            > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not want
            > to
            > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
            > point
            > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
            > have
            > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
            > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
            > > >
            > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies itself
            > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
            > Source,
            > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive. But the
            > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
            > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
            > time
            > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the idea
            > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
            > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the mind can
            > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
            > > >
            > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in front
            > of
            > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light. The mind
            > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to accept
            > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be another way
            > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
            > is
            > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
            > my
            > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
            > tremendously..."
            > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
            http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
            > ss/
            > > >
            > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
            > > >
            > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth viewing.
            > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
            > splendour
            > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his failure
            > in
            > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
            > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
            > it
            > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many ways a
            > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
            > not
            > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
            > > >
            > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
            > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am grateful to
            > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
            > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the series "My
            > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction to Sri
            > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
            > > >
            > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
            > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri Chinmoy. It
            > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which includes an
            > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry shares
            > > > with other great poets.
            > > >
            > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > Greetings,
            > > >
            > > > Richard
            > > >
            > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
            > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
            > > >
            > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
            > > >
            > > >
            > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
            > > > wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Hi Martin,
            > > > >
            > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
            > that I
            > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted Ivan
            > to
            > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a section of
            > my
            > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
            > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
            > his
            > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
            > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
            > sounds
            > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood easily
            > on
            > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
            > > > >
            > > > > Goodnight Moon
            > > > >
            > > > > Beloved, tell me �
            > > > >
            > > > > Why do you come
            > > > > only when I
            > > > > orphan my ambitions?
            > > > >
            > > > > Why do you show
            > > > > only when all hope
            > > > > has fled?
            > > > >
            > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
            > > > > will you meet me
            > > > > only on my funeral bed?
            > > > >
            > > > > And, tell me �
            > > > >
            > > > > Why won't the dead
            > > > > stay dead?
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > - Ivan Granger
            > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
            > > > >
            > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
            > > > >
            > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
            > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
            > dead
            > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
            > radiant, silent
            > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic poetry as
            > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he wrote, "I
            > die
            > > > > daily."
            > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
            > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan flickered
            > in
            > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
            > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
            > was
            > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real to me
            > once
            > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my identity
            > had
            > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
            > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took effort to
            > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
            > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self became
            > the
            > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took on the
            > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
            > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
            > Dawn
            > > > > were composed.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Beloved, tell me �
            > > > >
            > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
            > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
            > device
            > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of love
            > and
            > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
            > relationship,
            > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
            > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is Self.
            > Even
            > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
            > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
            > the
            > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
            > profound
            > > > love.
            > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
            > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Why do you come
            > > > > Only when I
            > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
            > > > >
            > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful state
            > only
            > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
            > aspirations. It
            > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
            > daily
            > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had slipped back
            > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously mapping
            > out
            > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced the idea
            > of
            > > > > who Ivan was.
            > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
            > substance
            > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
            > begin
            > > > > to grow.
            > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down plans, the
            > more
            > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
            > more
            > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
            > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
            > existence,
            > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to. When the
            > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Why do you show
            > > > > Only when all hope
            > > > > Has fled?
            > > > >
            > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the hope
            > that
            > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
            > will
            > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
            > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the muscles
            > of
            > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
            > natural
            > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
            > > > > Will you meet me
            > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
            > > > >
            > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
            > sweet.
            > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
            > bliss
            > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is much
            > more
            > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
            > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
            > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
            > Beloved
            > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely for a
            > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
            > spiritual
            > > > > marriage.
            > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
            > shining
            > > > > glory once more.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > And, tell me �
            > > > >
            > > > > Why won't the dead
            > > > > Stay dead?
            > > > >
            > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
            > rush of
            > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
            > "death"
            > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
            > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
            > final
            > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I could say
            > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
            > > returned.
            > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
            > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
            > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
            > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
            > great
            > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
            > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
            > the
            > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
            > blissful
            > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
            > The
            > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more desire to
            > call
            > > > > it back from its place of rest.
            > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the graveyard
            > and
            > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
            > learning
            > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
            > Divine
            > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not cease to
            > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a social
            > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
            > world.
            > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
            > You
            > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
            > needs
            > > > > of the moment.
            > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
            > ego.
            > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no longer
            > a
            > > > > thing, it is something you do.
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
            > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
            > moments
            > > > > of enlightenment which
            > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds when
            > > > > time stops and suddenly,
            > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to what
            > it
            > > > > must look like from the
            > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according tho
            > the
            > > > > mind�s opinion,
            > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
            > > > > everything is so clear and so
            > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next second
            > you
            > > > > are back, finding yourself
            > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
            > little
            > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
            > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
            > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to be
            > > > > impossible for me to retell on
            > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
            > that
            > > > > you know what it is like
            > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
            > > > > "clapping with one hand"
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Martin
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • jan_klaile
            Hello Niriha! I must admit I was not reading at that time. But Martanda just showed me your greeting. Thank you very much :0)! I really must shape up with
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Hello Niriha!

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

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

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

              Warm greetings to all!

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



              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@...>
              wrote:
              >
              >
              > Hello Jan,
              >
              > Though you may not be reading now, some time ago you wrote:
              >
              > I was so thrilled to see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila,
              > Niriha...many more)and curious and happy to see many new names for
              me
              > (Sharani, Predrag of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated
              > the posts and hope to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)
              >
              > I meant to respond at the time but internet connections were not
              > reliable during our trip and a recurring theme while on the internet
              > was *your connection has timed out* and with no warning, puff. . .
              the
              > connection was broken.
              >
              > I want to mention that before reading your energetic and
              enthusiastic
              > post I had the thought that we had not heard from you for a while
              and
              > I was actually hoping that you were alright. Then two day later,
              > voila, there you were. I was happy to discover that you were just
              fine.
              >
              > Niriha
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, jan_klaile
              > <no_reply@> wrote:
              > >
              > > Yo DUDES :0),
              > >
              > > I'm so happy to see you here! I've been thinking of our time
              together
              > > on the European World Harmony Run and what great times we had, and
              > > I've developed smiles many times with a good feeling in my heart.
              > >
              > >
              > > ...Actually, I just came from a run. I was inspired to run from
              work,
              > > our small Madal Bal wholesale in town, home. I thought it would
              take
              > > two hours, but to my great surprise it only took a little over an
              > > hour. That is so encouraging! I think I'll run to work tomorrow.
              > >
              > > Work has been so hectic at times that running long distances fast
              > > really feels like the most pleasurable rest. As Sri Chinmoy has
              said
              > > "Rest is change of activity". And it is so true!
              > >
              > > My running was having heavyweight ups and downs for a month or
              two,
              > > but now I feel I'm back on track. And it feels great!
              > >
              > > Thank you Martin for your wonderful (and quite painful) knee
              stretch
              > > you showed my in VYBORG, Russia! It has been helping me a lot,
              > > because my knee is still inflamed, and the stretch helps me go out
              > > running anyway. Once I did a 4k run and my knee was hurting, and
              I
              > > was sooo slow. But, when I came home I did your stretch very
              > > concentratedly, feeling I was invoking and absorbing grace from
              above,
              > > and then just for the fun of it I went out for another 4k lap,
              and,
              > > guess what, I was able to do my fastest lap ever on that track!
              Wow!
              > > Now there's a mind-breaker for you!!!
              > >
              > > Colm, you are on so many pictures of the WHR slideshow! And it's
              > > wonderful to look at you! Remembering your cheerfulness and
              leaping
              > > enthusiasm (and wonderful Irish accent :0)) gives me these same
              > > qualities (maybe without the Irish accent :O))
              > >
              > > Martin! I'm happy to see your beautiful koan here for everyone
              > > tosavour. I remember when you recited it to me so beautifully,
              and it
              > > created a very special, sacred atmosphere.
              > >
              > > Well, it's soon getting past my bed-time, so I gotta go!
              > >
              > > A hearty cheer for you both!
              > >
              > > Jan :0) )
              > >
              > > PS. If anybody else had the stamina to read this message, too, I
              say
              > > a hearty hello to you! I haven't written in ages (though I've
              been
              > > eavesdropping quite often for the past 2 months). I hope to write
              a
              > > post for everyone in the next couple of days. I was so thrilled
              to
              > > see many familiar names (Purnakama, Snehashila, Niriha...many
              more)
              > > and curious and happy to see many new names for me (Sharani,
              Predrag
              > > of the Heart...many more. I've really appreciated the posts and
              hope
              > > to come with a contribution soon. Cheers! :0)
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, colmbolmcolm
              > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Hey Martin!
              > > >
              > > > I certainly agree, those few seconds are priceless. I reckon the
              > > > heart is a champion at claping with one hand, but the mind is
              > > > hopeless. The mind needs to go to 'the clapping with one hand,
              > > > school of the heart' and stay there. Although the mind is
              sneeky, it
              > > > would try to get expelled from this school by clapping with two
              > > > hands! However I hear that the principle of this school of the
              > > > heart, Mr. Soul, is very compassionate and will try every means
              to
              > > > encourage the student to do his very best, even when the student
              has
              > > > been mischievous!
              > > >
              > > > Colm.
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
              > > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
              > > > moments of enlightenment which
              > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
              when
              > > > time stops and suddenly,
              > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
              what
              > > > it must look like from the
              > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
              tho
              > > > the mind´s opinion,
              > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
              > > > everything is so clear and so
              > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
              second
              > > > you are back, finding yourself
              > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
              little
              > > > taste of it stays an keeps
              > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
              > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
              be
              > > > impossible for me to retell on
              > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
              > > > that you know what it is like
              > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
              > > > be "clapping with one hand"
              > > > >
              > > > > Martin
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
            • sharani_sharani
              And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard s new gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at Oxford - Misty
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 2, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard's new
                gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at
                Oxford - Misty Path in particular. How appropriate to have pictures of
                fog included in shots of England (or at least so I hear). I don't
                recall you announcing this new addition of photographs to your
                repertoire here on the Inspiration Group. Since it's been a little
                while and you're feeling shy(?) then I'm here to say "by all means,
                check them out!" Just visit
                http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/gallery/members/richard_pettinger

                Sharani

                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                >
                > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                >
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Richard
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > Dear Richard,
                > >
                > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
                > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                perfect
                > > length as necessity dictates.
                > >
                > > ^ ^
                > > 6 6
                > > \_/
                > >
                > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Dear Richard
                > > >
                > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                > > >
                > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                > > >
                > > > Thank you
                > > >
                > > > Prachar
                > > >
                > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                > > offers
                > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                they
                > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                familiar
                > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                > > pleasure
                > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                perception of
                > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                > > accurate
                > > > > reflection.)
                > > > >
                > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                > > Masters
                > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
                > > the
                > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                (Hafiz)and
                > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                > > > >
                > > > > ...
                > > > >
                > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                > > > >
                > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                > > > >
                > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
                > > with
                > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                places of
                > > > > divine illumination.
                > > > >
                > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                > > from
                > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                threatened
                > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                > > heart
                > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
                > > For
                > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                allegory of
                > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                developed
                > > a
                > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
                > > the
                > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                > > essence,
                > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                > > insufficient
                > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                of the
                > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
                > > poet
                > > > > faces.
                > > > >
                > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
                > > more
                > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
                > > for
                > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                freedom
                > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                accessible to
                > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                > > > >
                > > > > ***
                > > > >
                > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
                > > Day
                > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                > > Chinmoy's
                > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                > > something
                > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                been.
                > > > >
                > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                > > > >
                > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                > > > > fathomless pangs.
                > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                > > > > Its arms towards You
                > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                > > > >
                > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
                > > but
                > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                feel
                > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                Supreme.
                > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                > > poem.
                > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                > > > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                > > > spirituality.
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
                > > his
                > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                > > > >
                > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                > > helpless;
                > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                > > this
                > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
                > > this
                > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                > > > >
                > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                > > Knowing
                > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                want
                > > to
                > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                > > point
                > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
                > > have
                > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                > > > >
                > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                itself
                > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                > > Source,
                > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                But the
                > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                > > time
                > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                idea
                > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                mind can
                > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                > > > >
                > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                front
                > > of
                > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                The mind
                > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                accept
                > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                another way
                > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
                > > is
                > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
                > > my
                > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                > > tremendously..."
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >
                http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                > > ss/
                > > > >
                > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                > > > >
                > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                viewing.
                > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                > > splendour
                > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                failure
                > > in
                > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
                > > it
                > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                ways a
                > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
                > > not
                > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                > > > >
                > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                grateful to
                > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                series "My
                > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                to Sri
                > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                > > > >
                > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                Chinmoy. It
                > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                includes an
                > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                shares
                > > > > with other great poets.
                > > > >
                > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > Greetings,
                > > > >
                > > > > Richard
                > > > >
                > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                > > > >
                > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                <no_reply@>
                > > > > wrote:
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Hi Martin,
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                > > that I
                > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                Ivan
                > > to
                > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                section of
                > > my
                > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
                > > his
                > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                > > sounds
                > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                easily
                > > on
                > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why do you come
                > > > > > only when I
                > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why do you show
                > > > > > only when all hope
                > > > > > has fled?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                > > > > > will you meet me
                > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > And, tell me �
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why won't the dead
                > > > > > stay dead?
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
                > > dead
                > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                > > radiant, silent
                > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                poetry as
                > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                wrote, "I
                > > die
                > > > > > daily."
                > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                flickered
                > > in
                > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
                > > was
                > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                to me
                > > once
                > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                identity
                > > had
                > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                effort to
                > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                became
                > > the
                > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                on the
                > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
                > > Dawn
                > > > > > were composed.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                > > > > >
                > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                > > device
                > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                love
                > > and
                > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                > > relationship,
                > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                Self.
                > > Even
                > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
                > > the
                > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                > > profound
                > > > > love.
                > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why do you come
                > > > > > Only when I
                > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                state
                > > only
                > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                > > aspirations. It
                > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                > > daily
                > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                slipped back
                > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                mapping
                > > out
                > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                the idea
                > > of
                > > > > > who Ivan was.
                > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                > > substance
                > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
                > > begin
                > > > > > to grow.
                > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                plans, the
                > > more
                > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                > > more
                > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                > > existence,
                > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                When the
                > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why do you show
                > > > > > Only when all hope
                > > > > > Has fled?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                hope
                > > that
                > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
                > > will
                > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                muscles
                > > of
                > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                > > natural
                > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                > > > > > Will you meet me
                > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                > > sweet.
                > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                > > bliss
                > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                much
                > > more
                > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                > > Beloved
                > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                for a
                > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                > > spiritual
                > > > > > marriage.
                > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                > > shining
                > > > > > glory once more.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > And, tell me �
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Why won't the dead
                > > > > > Stay dead?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                > > rush of
                > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                > > "death"
                > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                > > final
                > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                could say
                > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                > > > returned.
                > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                > > great
                > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
                > > the
                > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                > > blissful
                > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
                > > The
                > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                desire to
                > > call
                > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                graveyard
                > > and
                > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                > > learning
                > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                > > Divine
                > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                cease to
                > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                social
                > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
                > > world.
                > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
                > > You
                > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
                > > needs
                > > > > > of the moment.
                > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
                > > ego.
                > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                longer
                > > a
                > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                > > moments
                > > > > > of enlightenment which
                > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                seconds when
                > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                to what
                > > it
                > > > > > must look like from the
                > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                according tho
                > > the
                > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                second
                > > you
                > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                > > little
                > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                to be
                > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                > > that
                > > > > > you know what it is like
                > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Martin
                > > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
              • niriha7
                As I was saying, Let s just say that your messages are a perfect length as necessity dictates. ^ ^ & & _/ ... perfect ... they ... familiar ... perception
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
                • 0 Attachment
                  As I was saying, "Let's just say that your messages are a perfect
                  length as necessity dictates."

                  ^ ^
                  & &
                  \_/


                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                  >
                  > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                  >
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > Richard
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear Richard,
                  > >
                  > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                  > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have learned
                  > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                  perfect
                  > > length as necessity dictates.
                  > >
                  > > ^ ^
                  > > 6 6
                  > > \_/
                  > >
                  > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                  > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Dear Richard
                  > > >
                  > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                  > > >
                  > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                  > > >
                  > > > Thank you
                  > > >
                  > > > Prachar
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                  > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable commentary. At
                  > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                  > > offers
                  > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                  > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning of the
                  > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                  they
                  > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of sacred
                  > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                  familiar
                  > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer Poets.
                  > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                  > > pleasure
                  > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but mostly,
                  > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                  > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal, permissive
                  > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                  perception of
                  > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                  > > accurate
                  > > > > reflection.)
                  > > > >
                  > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous conclusion on
                  > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                  > > Masters
                  > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the attention of
                  > > the
                  > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                  (Hafiz)and
                  > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                  > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                  > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                  > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                  > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                  > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                  > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                  > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > ...
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                  > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                  > > > >
                  > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                  > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an insane
                  > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in love
                  > > with
                  > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating ecstasy of
                  > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                  places of
                  > > > > divine illumination.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                  > > from
                  > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                  threatened
                  > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                  > > heart
                  > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to avoid
                  > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi mystics
                  > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine experiences.
                  > > For
                  > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                  allegory of
                  > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                  developed
                  > > a
                  > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read between
                  > > the
                  > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                  > > essence,
                  > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                  > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                  > > insufficient
                  > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                  of the
                  > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a spiritual
                  > > poet
                  > > > > faces.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered much
                  > > more
                  > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be criticized
                  > > for
                  > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                  freedom
                  > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                  accessible to
                  > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                  > > > >
                  > > > > ***
                  > > > >
                  > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem of the
                  > > Day
                  > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                  > > Chinmoy's
                  > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                  > > something
                  > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                  been.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                  > > > >
                  > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                  > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                  > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                  > > > > fathomless pangs.
                  > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                  > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                  > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                  > > > > Its arms towards You
                  > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and pessimism
                  > > but
                  > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                  > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                  feel
                  > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                  Supreme.
                  > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the Divine
                  > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                  > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                  > > poem.
                  > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                  > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word "surrender"
                  > > > > means different things to different people. It can be difficult to
                  > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                  > > > spirituality.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question about
                  > > his
                  > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                  > > > >
                  > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I say, "Go
                  > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                  > > helpless;
                  > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                  > > this
                  > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare occasions
                  > > this
                  > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                  > > Knowing
                  > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind runs to
                  > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                  want
                  > > to
                  > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                  > > point
                  > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it says, "I
                  > > have
                  > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to invoke
                  > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                  itself
                  > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                  > > Source,
                  > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                  But the
                  > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and mind
                  > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                  > > time
                  > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                  idea
                  > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very painful, even
                  > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                  mind can
                  > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                  front
                  > > of
                  > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                  The mind
                  > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                  accept
                  > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                  another way
                  > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are hopeless. That
                  > > is
                  > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being expressed-not only
                  > > my
                  > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                  > > tremendously..."
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >
                  http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                  > > ss/
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                  > > > >
                  > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                  viewing.
                  > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                  > > splendour
                  > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                  failure
                  > > in
                  > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                  > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and powerful
                  > > it
                  > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                  ways a
                  > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all poetry is
                  > > not
                  > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come across
                  > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                  grateful to
                  > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                  > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                  series "My
                  > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                  to Sri
                  > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                  > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                  Chinmoy. It
                  > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                  includes an
                  > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                  shares
                  > > > > with other great poets.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Greetings,
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Richard
                  > > > >
                  > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                  > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                  > > > >
                  > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                  <no_reply@>
                  > > > > wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Hi Martin,
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                  > > that I
                  > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                  Ivan
                  > > to
                  > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                  section of
                  > > my
                  > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he said I
                  > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not interpret
                  > > his
                  > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                  > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                  > > sounds
                  > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                  easily
                  > > on
                  > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why do you come
                  > > > > > only when I
                  > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why do you show
                  > > > > > only when all hope
                  > > > > > has fled?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                  > > > > > will you meet me
                  > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > And, tell me �
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why won't the dead
                  > > > > > stay dead?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                  > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                  > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan had been
                  > > dead
                  > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                  > > radiant, silent
                  > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                  poetry as
                  > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                  wrote, "I
                  > > die
                  > > > > > daily."
                  > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                  > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                  flickered
                  > > in
                  > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                  > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized that I
                  > > was
                  > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                  to me
                  > > once
                  > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                  identity
                  > > had
                  > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                  > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                  effort to
                  > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                  > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                  became
                  > > the
                  > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                  on the
                  > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                  > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and Empty
                  > > Dawn
                  > > > > > were composed.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                  > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                  > > device
                  > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                  love
                  > > and
                  > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                  > > relationship,
                  > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                  > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                  Self.
                  > > Even
                  > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                  > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often refer to
                  > > the
                  > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                  > > profound
                  > > > > love.
                  > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to is more
                  > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why do you come
                  > > > > > Only when I
                  > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                  state
                  > > only
                  > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                  > > aspirations. It
                  > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                  > > daily
                  > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                  slipped back
                  > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                  mapping
                  > > out
                  > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                  the idea
                  > > of
                  > > > > > who Ivan was.
                  > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                  > > substance
                  > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root again and
                  > > begin
                  > > > > > to grow.
                  > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                  plans, the
                  > > more
                  > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                  > > more
                  > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                  > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                  > > existence,
                  > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                  When the
                  > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why do you show
                  > > > > > Only when all hope
                  > > > > > Has fled?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                  hope
                  > > that
                  > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental construct,
                  > > will
                  > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                  > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                  muscles
                  > > of
                  > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                  > > natural
                  > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                  > > > > > Will you meet me
                  > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                  > > sweet.
                  > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                  > > bliss
                  > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                  much
                  > > more
                  > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                  > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my experience
                  > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                  > > Beloved
                  > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                  for a
                  > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                  > > spiritual
                  > > > > > marriage.
                  > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                  > > shining
                  > > > > > glory once more.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > And, tell me �
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Why won't the dead
                  > > > > > Stay dead?
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                  > > rush of
                  > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                  > > "death"
                  > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                  > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                  > > final
                  > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                  could say
                  > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                  > > > returned.
                  > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                  > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                  > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                  > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                  > > great
                  > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                  > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes accustomed to
                  > > the
                  > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                  > > blissful
                  > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own accord.
                  > > The
                  > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                  desire to
                  > > call
                  > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                  > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                  graveyard
                  > > and
                  > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                  > > learning
                  > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                  > > Divine
                  > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                  cease to
                  > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                  social
                  > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people and the
                  > > world.
                  > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck within it.
                  > > You
                  > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to suit the
                  > > needs
                  > > > > > of the moment.
                  > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but no real
                  > > ego.
                  > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                  longer
                  > > a
                  > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, martin_the_dude
                  > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                  > > moments
                  > > > > > of enlightenment which
                  > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                  seconds when
                  > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                  > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                  to what
                  > > it
                  > > > > > must look like from the
                  > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                  according tho
                  > > the
                  > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                  > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a second
                  > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                  > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                  second
                  > > you
                  > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                  > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                  > > little
                  > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                  > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                  > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                  to be
                  > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                  > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway know
                  > > that
                  > > > > > you know what it is like
                  > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                  > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Martin
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >
                • vasanti_hd
                  What words to choose for a loss that is felt so deeply by many of us. When someone dear leaves, it is as if a part of oneself is taken away. Prefering Sri
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 3, 2006
                  • 0 Attachment
                    What words to choose for a loss that is felt so deeply by many of
                    us. When someone dear leaves, it is as if a part of oneself is taken
                    away. Prefering Sri Chinmoy's words to my own, I just want to post
                    this excerpt of the Buddha-play here:

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

                    (Gautami returns to the Buddha.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    Excerpt from Siddhartha Becomes The Buddha by Sri Chinmoy.

                    In deepest oneness
                    Vasanti




                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, snehashila2
                    <no_reply@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar
                    >
                    > Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my
                    path.
                    >
                    > May all the angels carry you to the highest Heavens!
                    >
                    > All love and affection,
                    > Snehashila
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                    <no_reply@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Dear Terri,
                    > >
                    > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master
                    would
                    > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the
                    confines
                    > > of the mind.
                    > >
                    > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                    > > saying the full koan:
                    > >
                    > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of
                    one
                    > > hand clapping?"
                    > >
                    > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                    > >
                    > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my
                    little
                    > > kid's brain. :-)
                    > >
                    > > Niriha
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                    > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Hi Martin,
                    > > >
                    > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand"
                    but I
                    > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                    > > >
                    > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally
                    during
                    > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                    > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences
                    or if
                    > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                    > > >
                    > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                    > > >
                    > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                    Perhaps
                    > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                    during
                    > > > such a long event???
                    > > >
                    > > > Terri
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                    martin_the_dude
                    > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                    moments
                    > > > of enlightenment which
                    > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                    when
                    > > > time stops and suddenly,
                    > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                    what it
                    > > > must look like from the
                    > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                    tho
                    > > > the mind�s opinion,
                    > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                    second
                    > > > everything is so clear and so
                    > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                    second
                    > > > you are back, finding yourself
                    > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                    little
                    > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                    > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                    > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
                    be
                    > > > impossible for me to retell on
                    > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway
                    know that
                    > > > you know what it is like
                    > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                    > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Martin
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • richard13_oxford
                    Hi Sharani, Thanks for review. We have plenty of opportunity for foggy pictures in England, you can see some more at Pavitrata s Gallery:
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Sharani,

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

                      http://tinyurl.com/msmgo

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


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

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


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

                      http://tinyurl.com/owlu5

                      and
                      http://tinyurl.com/mpnnj



                      Regards,

                      Richard





                      --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                      <no_reply@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard's new
                      > gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at
                      > Oxford - Misty Path in particular. How appropriate to have pictures of
                      > fog included in shots of England (or at least so I hear). I don't
                      > recall you announcing this new addition of photographs to your
                      > repertoire here on the Inspiration Group. Since it's been a little
                      > while and you're feeling shy(?) then I'm here to say "by all means,
                      > check them out!" Just visit
                      > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/gallery/members/richard_pettinger
                      >
                      > Sharani
                      >
                      > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                      > <no_reply@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                      > >
                      > > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Regards,
                      > >
                      > > Richard
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Dear Richard,
                      > > >
                      > > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                      > > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have
                      learned
                      > > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                      > perfect
                      > > > length as necessity dictates.
                      > > >
                      > > > ^ ^
                      > > > 6 6
                      > > > \_/
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                      > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Dear Richard
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Thank you
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Prachar
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                      > > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable
                      commentary. At
                      > > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan Granger
                      > > > offers
                      > > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                      > > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning
                      of the
                      > > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                      > they
                      > > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of
                      sacred
                      > > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                      > familiar
                      > > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer
                      Poets.
                      > > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                      > > > pleasure
                      > > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but
                      mostly,
                      > > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                      > > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal,
                      permissive
                      > > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                      > perception of
                      > > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                      > > > accurate
                      > > > > > reflection.)
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous
                      conclusion on
                      > > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                      > > > Masters
                      > > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the
                      attention of
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                      > (Hafiz)and
                      > > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                      > > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                      > > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                      > > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                      > > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                      > > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                      > > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                      > > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > ...
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                      > > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                      > > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an
                      insane
                      > > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in
                      love
                      > > > with
                      > > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating
                      ecstasy of
                      > > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                      > places of
                      > > > > > divine illumination.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much persecution
                      > > > from
                      > > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                      > threatened
                      > > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within your own
                      > > > heart
                      > > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to
                      avoid
                      > > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi
                      mystics
                      > > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine
                      experiences.
                      > > > For
                      > > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                      > allegory of
                      > > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                      > developed
                      > > > a
                      > > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read
                      between
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                      > > > essence,
                      > > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                      > > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                      > > > insufficient
                      > > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                      > of the
                      > > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a
                      spiritual
                      > > > poet
                      > > > > > faces.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered
                      much
                      > > > more
                      > > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be
                      criticized
                      > > > for
                      > > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                      > freedom
                      > > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                      > accessible to
                      > > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > ***
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem
                      of the
                      > > > Day
                      > > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                      > > > Chinmoy's
                      > > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                      > > > something
                      > > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                      > been.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                      > > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                      > > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                      > > > > > fathomless pangs.
                      > > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                      > > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                      > > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                      > > > > > Its arms towards You
                      > > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and
                      pessimism
                      > > > but
                      > > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry and the
                      > > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                      > feel
                      > > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                      > Supreme.
                      > > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the
                      Divine
                      > > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                      > > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect with the
                      > > > poem.
                      > > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round to it.
                      > > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word
                      "surrender"
                      > > > > > means different things to different people. It can be
                      difficult to
                      > > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                      > > > > spirituality.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question
                      about
                      > > > his
                      > > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I
                      say, "Go
                      > > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                      > > > helpless;
                      > > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to say that
                      > > > this
                      > > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare
                      occasions
                      > > > this
                      > > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                      > > > Knowing
                      > > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind
                      runs to
                      > > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                      > want
                      > > > to
                      > > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to come to a
                      > > > point
                      > > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it
                      says, "I
                      > > > have
                      > > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to
                      invoke
                      > > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                      > itself
                      > > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                      > > > Source,
                      > > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                      > But the
                      > > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and
                      mind
                      > > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from time to
                      > > > time
                      > > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                      > idea
                      > > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very
                      painful, even
                      > > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                      > mind can
                      > > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                      > front
                      > > > of
                      > > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                      > The mind
                      > > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                      > accept
                      > > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                      > another way
                      > > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are
                      hopeless. That
                      > > > is
                      > > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being
                      expressed-not only
                      > > > my
                      > > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                      > > > tremendously..."
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                      http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                      > > > ss/
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                      > viewing.
                      > > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                      > > > splendour
                      > > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                      > failure
                      > > > in
                      > > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like "The
                      > > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and
                      powerful
                      > > > it
                      > > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                      > ways a
                      > > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all
                      poetry is
                      > > > not
                      > > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come
                      across
                      > > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                      > grateful to
                      > > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the significance of
                      > > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                      > series "My
                      > > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                      > to Sri
                      > > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would also
                      > > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                      > Chinmoy. It
                      > > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                      > includes an
                      > > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                      > shares
                      > > > > > with other great poets.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Greetings,
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Richard
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                      > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                      > <no_reply@>
                      > > > > > wrote:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Hi Martin,
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan Granger
                      > > > that I
                      > > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                      > Ivan
                      > > > to
                      > > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                      > section of
                      > > > my
                      > > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he
                      said I
                      > > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not
                      interpret
                      > > > his
                      > > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                      > > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                      > > > sounds
                      > > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                      > easily
                      > > > on
                      > > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you speak of.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why do you come
                      > > > > > > only when I
                      > > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why do you show
                      > > > > > > only when all hope
                      > > > > > > has fled?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                      > > > > > > will you meet me
                      > > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > And, tell me �
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                      > > > > > > stay dead?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                      > > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously in a
                      > > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan
                      had been
                      > > > dead
                      > > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                      > > > radiant, silent
                      > > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                      > poetry as
                      > > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                      > wrote, "I
                      > > > die
                      > > > > > > daily."
                      > > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I remained
                      > > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                      > flickered
                      > > > in
                      > > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent experience.
                      > > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized
                      that I
                      > > > was
                      > > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                      > to me
                      > > > once
                      > > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                      > identity
                      > > > had
                      > > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                      > > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                      > effort to
                      > > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                      > > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                      > became
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                      > on the
                      > > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                      > > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and
                      Empty
                      > > > Dawn
                      > > > > > > were composed.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a distinct,
                      > > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an artistic
                      > > > device
                      > > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                      > love
                      > > > and
                      > > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                      > > > relationship,
                      > > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                      > > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                      > Self.
                      > > > Even
                      > > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                      > > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often
                      refer to
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                      > > > profound
                      > > > > > love.
                      > > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to
                      is more
                      > > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why do you come
                      > > > > > > Only when I
                      > > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                      > state
                      > > > only
                      > > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                      > > > aspirations. It
                      > > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day, organize my
                      > > > daily
                      > > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                      > slipped back
                      > > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                      > mapping
                      > > > out
                      > > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                      > the idea
                      > > > of
                      > > > > > > who Ivan was.
                      > > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                      > > > substance
                      > > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root
                      again and
                      > > > begin
                      > > > > > > to grow.
                      > > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                      > plans, the
                      > > > more
                      > > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of life, the
                      > > > more
                      > > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                      > > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                      > > > existence,
                      > > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                      > When the
                      > > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why do you show
                      > > > > > > Only when all hope
                      > > > > > > Has fled?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                      > hope
                      > > > that
                      > > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental
                      construct,
                      > > > will
                      > > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                      > > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                      > muscles
                      > > > of
                      > > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                      > > > natural
                      > > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                      > > > > > > Will you meet me
                      > > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of bliss is
                      > > > sweet.
                      > > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost physical;
                      > > > bliss
                      > > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                      > much
                      > > > more
                      > > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                      > > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my
                      experience
                      > > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union with the
                      > > > Beloved
                      > > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                      > for a
                      > > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                      > > > spiritual
                      > > > > > > marriage.
                      > > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                      > > > shining
                      > > > > > > glory once more.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > And, tell me �
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                      > > > > > > Stay dead?
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self dies, the
                      > > > rush of
                      > > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                      > > > "death"
                      > > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                      > > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the blessing of
                      > > > final
                      > > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                      > could say
                      > > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead. Ivan had
                      > > > > returned.
                      > > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                      > > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are typically two
                      > > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                      > > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state and, with
                      > > > great
                      > > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                      > > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes
                      accustomed to
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                      > > > blissful
                      > > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own
                      accord.
                      > > > The
                      > > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                      > desire to
                      > > > call
                      > > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                      > > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                      > graveyard
                      > > > and
                      > > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                      > > > learning
                      > > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                      > > > Divine
                      > > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                      > cease to
                      > > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                      > social
                      > > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people
                      and the
                      > > > world.
                      > > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck
                      within it.
                      > > > You
                      > > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to
                      suit the
                      > > > needs
                      > > > > > > of the moment.
                      > > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but
                      no real
                      > > > ego.
                      > > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                      > longer
                      > > > a
                      > > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                      martin_the_dude
                      > > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                      > > > moments
                      > > > > > > of enlightenment which
                      > > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                      > seconds when
                      > > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                      > > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                      > to what
                      > > > it
                      > > > > > > must look like from the
                      > > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                      > according tho
                      > > > the
                      > > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                      > > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                      second
                      > > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                      > > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                      > second
                      > > > you
                      > > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                      > > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                      > > > little
                      > > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                      > > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                      > > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                      > to be
                      > > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                      > > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I
                      anyway know
                      > > > that
                      > > > > > > you know what it is like
                      > > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to be
                      > > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Martin
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • pavitrata27
                      Hi Richard, Congrats on a great set of Gallery photos, very impressive. Also, thanks for the bespeak re my pix! Indeed you have a great little camera, even
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hi Richard,

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

                        Also, thanks for the bespeak re my pix!

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

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

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

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

                        Happy visioning!
                        Pavitrata

                        -- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                        <no_reply@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi Sharani,
                        >
                        > Thanks for review. We have plenty of opportunity for foggy pictures in
                        > England, you can see some more at Pavitrata's Gallery:
                        >
                        > http://tinyurl.com/msmgo
                        >
                        > I particularly like
                        > http://tinyurl.com/n6kjc - The Morning Run
                        >
                        >
                        > For those interested in digiloka I bought an Olympus X-705 5 million
                        > pixels 3* optical zoom
                        >
                        > from Amazon.co.uk
                        > http://tinyurl.com/mhoe3 It now only costs £89.99. Pavitrata reliably
                        > informs me its very good value. Its very easy to use, the only slight
                        > downside is it uses batteries fairly quick, but their standard AAA so
                        > easy to replace.
                        >
                        >
                        > I took some more pics today. Prizes if you can spot which photos are
                        > not of Oxford Colleges.
                        >
                        > http://tinyurl.com/owlu5
                        >
                        > and
                        > http://tinyurl.com/mpnnj
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        >
                        > Richard
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                        > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > And we have to add words of encouragement and praise for Richard's new
                        > > gallery album as well. I especially like the photos of the gardens at
                        > > Oxford - Misty Path in particular. How appropriate to have pictures of
                        > > fog included in shots of England (or at least so I hear). I don't
                        > > recall you announcing this new addition of photographs to your
                        > > repertoire here on the Inspiration Group. Since it's been a little
                        > > while and you're feeling shy(?) then I'm here to say "by all means,
                        > > check them out!" Just visit
                        > > http://www.srichinmoycentre.org/gallery/members/richard_pettinger
                        > >
                        > > Sharani
                        > >
                        > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                        > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Dear Prachar and Niriha
                        > > >
                        > > > Thanks for your words of encouragement.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > Regards,
                        > > >
                        > > > Richard
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7 <no_reply@>
                        > > > wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Dear Richard,
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I agree wholeheartedly with Prachar! In addition, I have often
                        > > > > marvelled at how concisely you say things so you actually have
                        > learned
                        > > > > the art of short posts. Let's just say that your messages are a
                        > > perfect
                        > > > > length as necessity dictates.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > ^ ^
                        > > > > 6 6
                        > > > > \_/
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, one_prachar
                        > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Dear Richard
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Please do not learn the art of the short post!
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Your art is far more elevating and illumining.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Thank you
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Prachar
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, richard13_oxford
                        > > > > > no_reply@ wrote:
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > I agree this is an excellent poem with a remarkable
                        > commentary. At
                        > > > > > > Poetry Chaikhana http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/ Ivan
                        Granger
                        > > > > offers
                        > > > > > > a daily poem from many different spiritual traditions, he also
                        > > > > > > includes a daily commentary on the significance and meaning
                        > of the
                        > > > > > > poem. I always enjoy reading these commentaries and have found
                        > > they
                        > > > > > > help me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of
                        > sacred
                        > > > > > > poetry, especially from spiritual traditions which are less
                        > > familiar
                        > > > > > > to me (Like Taoism and Zen Buddhism)
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > It is easy for people to misinterpret spirituality and Seer
                        > Poets.
                        > > > > > > Unfortunately there are even some people who take a malicious
                        > > > > pleasure
                        > > > > > > in distorting Sacred Texts to pursue their own agenda, but
                        > mostly,
                        > > > > > > misunderstanding stems from unfamiliarity. For example in the
                        > > > > > > Victorian age Islam was viewed (wrongly) as a liberal,
                        > permissive
                        > > > > > > religion with loose moral values. Today of course the
                        > > perception of
                        > > > > > > Islam has swung to the other extreme, (neither views being an
                        > > > > accurate
                        > > > > > > reflection.)
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > But how did the Victorians come to such an erroneous
                        > conclusion on
                        > > > > > > Islam? In the nineteenth Century the poetry of the great Sufi
                        > > > > Masters
                        > > > > > > like Rumi, Hafiz and Omar Khayyam were brought to the
                        > attention of
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > > Western world through commentators such as Gertrude Bell
                        > > (Hafiz)and
                        > > > > > > Edward J. Fitzgerald (Khayyam) they offered (broadly) literal
                        > > > > > > translations of these sacred classics.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > For example a poem by Hafiz
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > NOT one is filled with madness like to mine
                        > > > > > > In all the taverns! my soiled robe lies here,
                        > > > > > > There my neglected book, both pledged for wine.
                        > > > > > > With dust my heart is thick, that should be clear,
                        > > > > > > A glass to mirror forth the Great King's face;
                        > > > > > > One ray of light from out Thy dwelling-place
                        > > > > > > To pierce my night, oh God! and draw me near.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > ...
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Excerpt from: With Madness Like to Mine:
                        > > > > > > http://www.poetseers.org/the_poetseers/hafiz/bell/17
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Translated Gertrude Bell 1897
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > A literal interpretation of this poem would miss the mystical
                        > > > > > > dimension of Hafiz's poetry. His madness is not that of an
                        > insane
                        > > > > > > person. His madness is that of a bhakti yogi passionately in
                        > love
                        > > > > with
                        > > > > > > God. The term "wine" is a metaphor for the inebriating
                        > ecstasy of
                        > > > > > > communion with God. The tavern is similarly a metaphor for
                        > > places of
                        > > > > > > divine illumination.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Unfortunately in the time of Hafiz, he suffered much
                        persecution
                        > > > > from
                        > > > > > > the religious orthodoxy. Those in positions of power felt
                        > > threatened
                        > > > > > > by saints who exclaimed God could be experienced within
                        your own
                        > > > > heart
                        > > > > > > and not just through conventional power structures. Thus to
                        > avoid
                        > > > > > > persecution and protect his own life, Hafiz like many Sufi
                        > mystics
                        > > > > > > developed a language or code of metaphors for Divine
                        > experiences.
                        > > > > For
                        > > > > > > example wine, taverns and "Romantic Love" (which was an
                        > > allegory of
                        > > > > > > the real "Divine Romance" with God). Also these metaphors
                        > > developed
                        > > > > a
                        > > > > > > usefulness of their own, it encourages the reader to read
                        > between
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > > lines and consider the inner meaning of the poem, which is in
                        > > > > essence,
                        > > > > > > the effect of good poetry. Also, it is so hard for a mystic to
                        > > > > > > describe the ecstasy and love of God, that any word seems
                        > > > > insufficient
                        > > > > > > and inadequate. Thus using terms such as "drunk with the wine
                        > > of the
                        > > > > > > Beloved" indicates the severe limitations of language a
                        > spiritual
                        > > > > poet
                        > > > > > > faces.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Many modern translators such as Daniel Ladinsky have offered
                        > much
                        > > > > more
                        > > > > > > "liberal" translations of the Sufi Poets. They could be
                        > criticized
                        > > > > for
                        > > > > > > not sticking rigidly to the original but it allows them more
                        > > freedom
                        > > > > > > to convey the mystical essence of the poetry in a form
                        > > accessible to
                        > > > > > > modern readers. (http://tinyurl.com/ns3k6 )
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > ***
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > There is a kind lady who often writes to me about the poem
                        > of the
                        > > > > Day
                        > > > > > > at Poetseers. Once she made the observation that one of Sri
                        > > > > Chinmoy's
                        > > > > > > poems was so downbeat and depressing, could I not put choose
                        > > > > something
                        > > > > > > happier? I can't remember which poem it was, but it could have
                        > > been.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Ami Sukhere Dharite
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > "I desired to grasp happiness.
                        > > > > > > Alas, all I have grasped is a sky of sorrow.
                        > > > > > > All my hopes have grown into
                        > > > > > > fathomless pangs.
                        > > > > > > My aspiration-heart is thrown into
                        > > > > > > The jaws of destruction-night.
                        > > > > > > Yet my perishing life stretches
                        > > > > > > Its arms towards You
                        > > > > > > For Your Protection Feet."
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Translation of Ami Sukhere Dharite. (unofficial)
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > At first glance this does embody great hopelessness and
                        > pessimism
                        > > > > but
                        > > > > > > since I have a little experience of Sri Chinmoy's poetry
                        and the
                        > > > > > > poetry of Bhakti poets like Ramprasad Sen. I love it because I
                        > > feel
                        > > > > > > the helplessness embodies a real hope for the grace of the
                        > > Supreme.
                        > > > > > > When we become aware of our weaknesses and surrender to the
                        > Divine
                        > > > > > > Grace it is actually a beautiful moment, but if you have not
                        > > > > > > experienced such a spiritual state you may not connect
                        with the
                        > > > > poem.
                        > > > > > > I thought about writing a commentary but never got round
                        to it.
                        > > > > > > There's a lot to explain, even the meaning of the word
                        > "surrender"
                        > > > > > > means different things to different people. It can be
                        > difficult to
                        > > > > > > explain spiritual poetry to those who have no background in
                        > > > > > spirituality.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Sri Chinmoy has written an interesting answer to a question
                        > about
                        > > > > his
                        > > > > > > songs that embody helplessness
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > "...Most of the time I say to take the positive aspect. I
                        > say, "Go
                        > > > > > > forward, go forward!" But there comes a time when we do feel
                        > > > > helpless;
                        > > > > > > we feel that we are like a babe in the woods. I wish to
                        say that
                        > > > > this
                        > > > > > > helplessness is not a negative aspect. In fact, on rare
                        > occasions
                        > > > > this
                        > > > > > > helplessness is of great help to us.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > The mind very often does not want to accept our helplessness.
                        > > > > Knowing
                        > > > > > > perfectly well that it is doing everything wrong, the mind
                        > runs to
                        > > > > > > this side and that side like a mad elephant. The mind does not
                        > > want
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > > admit that it can make any mistake. So the mind has to
                        come to a
                        > > > > point
                        > > > > > > where it is totally tired, completely exhausted. Then it
                        > says, "I
                        > > > > have
                        > > > > > > tried in every other way. I am helpless. Now let me try to
                        > invoke
                        > > > > > > God." At that time helplessness helps us.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > The heart can never be helpless because it always identifies
                        > > itself
                        > > > > > > with divinity. It has the capacity to identify itself with the
                        > > > > Source,
                        > > > > > > with the Supreme. That is why the heart is always positive.
                        > > But the
                        > > > > > > vital and mind sometimes become helpless. When the vital and
                        > mind
                        > > > > > > become sincerely helpless, we can make progress. So from
                        time to
                        > > > > time
                        > > > > > > if you can sing Bedanai bhara and other songs that express the
                        > > idea
                        > > > > > > that life is full of suffering, songs which are very
                        > painful, even
                        > > > > > > pathetic, then it will help you. On rare occasions, if the
                        > > mind can
                        > > > > > > recognise its helplessness, then you will go forward.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > The mind never wants to surrender. Even if you bring light in
                        > > front
                        > > > > of
                        > > > > > > the mind, the mind does not want to surrender to the light.
                        > > The mind
                        > > > > > > has to be dealt with in various ways. If it does not want to
                        > > accept
                        > > > > > > light the way the heart accepts it, then there should be
                        > > another way
                        > > > > > > to make the mind feel that you are useless, you are
                        > hopeless. That
                        > > > > is
                        > > > > > > where some songs in which helplessness is being
                        > expressed-not only
                        > > > > my
                        > > > > > > songs, but songs by Ramprasad and others'can help us
                        > > > > tremendously..."
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                        http://www.srichinmoysongs.com/on-music/on-songs-which-embody-helplessne\
                        > > > > ss/
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/f8wm3
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > (The poetry and songs of Ramprasad Sen are definitely worth
                        > > viewing.
                        > > > > > > His poetry alternates between exalting the divine power and
                        > > > > splendour
                        > > > > > > of his beloved Kali with complaining like a child about his
                        > > failure
                        > > > > in
                        > > > > > > attaining union with the Divine.) http://tinyurl.com/fnj3k
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Having said all that with some of Sri Chinmoy's poems like
                        "The
                        > > > > > > Absolute" and "Immortality" every word is so perfect and
                        > powerful
                        > > > > it
                        > > > > > > seems superfluous to add ones own limited judgement. In many
                        > > ways a
                        > > > > > > commentary would only distract from the poem. After all
                        > poetry is
                        > > > > not
                        > > > > > > really something to be dissected like a science experiment.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > However, everything has its place, many people rarely come
                        > across
                        > > > > > > sacred poetry and thus can easily misunderstand it. I am
                        > > grateful to
                        > > > > > > those who are able to elucidate and illumine the
                        significance of
                        > > > > > > poetry. I enjoyed Arpan's thoughtful commentaries on the
                        > > series "My
                        > > > > > > God Hunger Cry" I think they were a very useful introduction
                        > > to Sri
                        > > > > > > Chinmoy's poetry.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > If you are interested in the poetry of Sri Chinmoy I would
                        also
                        > > > > > > recommend viewing Vidagdha's thesis on the Poetry of Sri
                        > > Chinmoy. It
                        > > > > > > is a scholarly discussion of Sri Chinmoy's poetry which
                        > > includes an
                        > > > > > > examination of the similarities and common themes his poetry
                        > > shares
                        > > > > > > with other great poets.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > http://www.srichinmoypoetry.com/sri_chinmoy_poetry/thesis
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Greetings,
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Richard
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/oqe5r - My Blog
                        > > > > > > http://tinyurl.com/qq2ll - My Pictures
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > (Still working on the art of a short post)
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                        > > <no_reply@>
                        > > > > > > wrote:
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Hi Martin,
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Your post reminded me of a poem and commentary by Ivan
                        Granger
                        > > > > that I
                        > > > > > > > found on www.Poetseers.org. Since I have actually contacted
                        > > Ivan
                        > > > > to
                        > > > > > > > ask permission to reprint his poem and explanation on a
                        > > section of
                        > > > > my
                        > > > > > > > homepage (the section is still under construction) and he
                        > said I
                        > > > > > > > could, I am also copying it here. Though he does not
                        > interpret
                        > > > > his
                        > > > > > > > poems, in this case he did and I found both the poem and his
                        > > > > > > > explanation to be intriguing and inspiring - no, actually it
                        > > > > sounds
                        > > > > > > > wonderful and is certainly something that can be understood
                        > > easily
                        > > > > on
                        > > > > > > > an intuitive level and through the glimpses that you
                        speak of.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Goodnight Moon
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why do you come
                        > > > > > > > only when I
                        > > > > > > > orphan my ambitions?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why do you show
                        > > > > > > > only when all hope
                        > > > > > > > has fled?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                        > > > > > > > will you meet me
                        > > > > > > > only on my funeral bed?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > And, tell me �
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                        > > > > > > > stay dead?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > - Ivan Granger
                        > > > > > > > - Contemporary Spiritual Poets
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Commentary By Ivan Granger
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Early in 2002, I spent several weeks almost continuously
                        in a
                        > > > > > > > blissful, egoless state. I had been dead; that is, Ivan
                        > had been
                        > > > > dead
                        > > > > > > > � though I had been more alive than ever before. This
                        > > > > radiant, silent
                        > > > > > > > state of no self is what is often referred to in mystic
                        > > poetry as
                        > > > > > > > being dead. This is what Paul the Apostle meant when he
                        > > wrote, "I
                        > > > > die
                        > > > > > > > daily."
                        > > > > > > > I don't want to suggest that during that time I
                        remained
                        > > > > > > > perfectly seated in that egoless state. Some days, Ivan
                        > > flickered
                        > > > > in
                        > > > > > > > and out. But, in general, it remained a consistent
                        experience.
                        > > > > > > > After perhaps two months in that state, I recognized
                        > that I
                        > > > > was
                        > > > > > > > no longer consistently in it. Ivan was back. He seemed real
                        > > to me
                        > > > > once
                        > > > > > > > again. He seemed to be me again. For various reasons, my
                        > > identity
                        > > > > had
                        > > > > > > > become stuck in the idea of Ivan again.
                        > > > > > > > The seat I had reclined in so comfortably now took
                        > > effort to
                        > > > > > > > climb into. Some days I couldn't even reach it.
                        > > > > > > > My normal non-dualistic perception of the shining Self
                        > > became
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > > > dualistic perspective of devotee once again. My poetry took
                        > > on the
                        > > > > > > > plaintive tone of a jilted and desperate lover.
                        > > > > > > > It was during this time that poems like Goodnight Moon and
                        > Empty
                        > > > > Dawn
                        > > > > > > > were composed.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Beloved, tell me �
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > In many of my poems I refer to the Divine as a
                        distinct,
                        > > > > > > > externalized Person or Presence. Often it issimply an
                        artistic
                        > > > > device
                        > > > > > > > that acknowledges the limitations of language in speaking of
                        > > love
                        > > > > and
                        > > > > > > > devotion. Language tends to conceive of love in terms of
                        > > > > relationship,
                        > > > > > > > and relationship implies something outside of oneself.
                        > > > > > > > My experience is that the Divine is One, the Divine is
                        > > Self.
                        > > > > Even
                        > > > > > > > though there is no "other," there is overwhelming love.
                        > > > > > > > In order to communicate this immense love, I often
                        > refer to
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > > > Divine as Mother or Beloved or some "other" relationship of
                        > > > > profound
                        > > > > > > love.
                        > > > > > > > In Goodnight Moon, however, the Beloved referred to
                        > is more
                        > > > > > > > properly perceived as separate, a distant, missed lover.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why do you come
                        > > > > > > > Only when I
                        > > > > > > > Orphan my ambitions?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > I found during this time of struggle that the blissful
                        > > state
                        > > > > only
                        > > > > > > > embraced me when I let go of all plans, all goals, all
                        > > > > aspirations. It
                        > > > > > > > is not that I couldn't make some plan for the day,
                        organize my
                        > > > > daily
                        > > > > > > > work, that sort of thing. What I found was that I had
                        > > slipped back
                        > > > > > > > into a reflexive pattern of consciously and unconsciously
                        > > mapping
                        > > > > out
                        > > > > > > > the activities of my life in ways that quietly reinforced
                        > > the idea
                        > > > > of
                        > > > > > > > who Ivan was.
                        > > > > > > > These ambitions were the things that slowly gave Ivan
                        > > > > substance
                        > > > > > > > again, allowing that false sense of self to take root
                        > again and
                        > > > > begin
                        > > > > > > > to grow.
                        > > > > > > > The more I let go, the more I stopped laying down
                        > > plans, the
                        > > > > more
                        > > > > > > > I refrained from anticipating every possible turn of
                        life, the
                        > > > > more
                        > > > > > > > Ivan would fade and the bliss would once more shine through.
                        > > > > > > > When Ivan completely, though temporarily winked out of
                        > > > > existence,
                        > > > > > > > there was nothing for this gridwork of ideas to cling to.
                        > > When the
                        > > > > > > > ambitions are orphaned, and the Beloved comes.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why do you show
                        > > > > > > > Only when all hope
                        > > > > > > > Has fled?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > These ambitions are rooted in a self-deluding hope, the
                        > > hope
                        > > > > that
                        > > > > > > > the ego self, which is fundamentally unreal, a mental
                        > construct,
                        > > > > will
                        > > > > > > > be able to prove itself to be real through some action.
                        > > > > > > > Once this false hope has fled, it is as if all of the
                        > > muscles
                        > > > > of
                        > > > > > > > the spiritual body can relax for the first time � and the
                        > > > > natural
                        > > > > > > > bliss can finally flow unhindered throughout the awareness.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why, Honeyed Moon,
                        > > > > > > > Will you meet me
                        > > > > > > > Only on my funeral bed?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > The Beloved is honeyed because the experience of
                        bliss is
                        > > > > sweet.
                        > > > > > > > When you relax deeply into bliss, it becomes almost
                        physical;
                        > > > > bliss
                        > > > > > > > takes on a taste that can be compared to honey, though it is
                        > > much
                        > > > > more
                        > > > > > > > sublime and expansive than any sensory experience.
                        > > > > > > > In this poem, the Beloved is the moon because my
                        > experience
                        > > > > > > > during this difficult time waxed and waned. My union
                        with the
                        > > > > Beloved
                        > > > > > > > was, at times full, but sometimes thin or hidden completely
                        > > for a
                        > > > > > > > time. And all I wanted was to return to the blissful bed of
                        > > > > spiritual
                        > > > > > > > marriage.
                        > > > > > > > Yet, I found when Ivan "died," the Beloved rose in soft
                        > > > > shining
                        > > > > > > > glory once more.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > And, tell me �
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Why won't the dead
                        > > > > > > > Stay dead?
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > This is the real question. When the little self
                        dies, the
                        > > > > rush of
                        > > > > > > > joy is so complete that nothing else can compare to it. This
                        > > > > "death"
                        > > > > > > > is the highest good, you only want to remain that way.
                        > > > > > > > Yet I had to admit that I hadn't received the
                        blessing of
                        > > > > final
                        > > > > > > > formless freedom from the ego self. On a certain level I
                        > > could say
                        > > > > > > > that Ivan had died. Yet the ego hadn't remained dead.
                        Ivan had
                        > > > > > returned.
                        > > > > > > > So, why won't the dead stay dead?
                        > > > > > > > What I am now discovering is that there are
                        typically two
                        > > > > > > > experiences of the liberating spiritual death.
                        > > > > > > > A few radiant ones step into the blissful state
                        and, with
                        > > > > great
                        > > > > > > > poise, completely let the ego fall away.
                        > > > > > > > More typically, though, one gradually becomes
                        > accustomed to
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > > > death of the ego through repeated dips into these selfless,
                        > > > > blissful
                        > > > > > > > waters until the final attachments release of their own
                        > accord.
                        > > > > The
                        > > > > > > > ghost of the little self returns until you have no more
                        > > desire to
                        > > > > call
                        > > > > > > > it back from its place of rest.
                        > > > > > > > This is where my practice currently resides, in the
                        > > graveyard
                        > > > > and
                        > > > > > > > the birthing room � letting go of Ivan more completely and
                        > > > > learning
                        > > > > > > > more and more not to reflexively call him back. This way the
                        > > > > Divine
                        > > > > > > > can shine through more and more clearly.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > On a certain level you can say that the ego does not
                        > > cease to
                        > > > > > > > exist when it "dies." There is still value in cultivating a
                        > > social
                        > > > > > > > construct or personality to better interact with people
                        > and the
                        > > > > world.
                        > > > > > > > But you no longer identify with it. You aren't stuck
                        > within it.
                        > > > > You
                        > > > > > > > constantly and intentionally create and recreate it to
                        > suit the
                        > > > > needs
                        > > > > > > > of the moment.
                        > > > > > > > In other words, there is still an ego function, but
                        > no real
                        > > > > ego.
                        > > > > > > > The ego switches from being a noun to a verb. It is no
                        > > longer
                        > > > > a
                        > > > > > > > thing, it is something you do.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Reproduced with Permission Ivan Granger
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                        > martin_the_dude
                        > > > > > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short,
                        breathtaking
                        > > > > moments
                        > > > > > > > of enlightenment which
                        > > > > > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting
                        > > seconds when
                        > > > > > > > time stops and suddenly,
                        > > > > > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in
                        > > to what
                        > > > > it
                        > > > > > > > must look like from the
                        > > > > > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly,
                        > > according tho
                        > > > > the
                        > > > > > > > mind�s opinion,
                        > > > > > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                        > second
                        > > > > > > > everything is so clear and so
                        > > > > > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                        > > second
                        > > > > you
                        > > > > > > > are back, finding yourself
                        > > > > > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And
                        still a
                        > > > > little
                        > > > > > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                        > > > > > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                        > > > > > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out
                        > > to be
                        > > > > > > > impossible for me to retell on
                        > > > > > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I
                        > anyway know
                        > > > > that
                        > > > > > > > you know what it is like
                        > > > > > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like
                        to be
                        > > > > > > > "clapping with one hand"
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Martin
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • purnakama2000
                        Dear Snehashila, I read your post at school yesterday, and it was the first I had heard the very sad news. I did not have a class at the time, so I was able to
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 4, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Dear Snehashila,

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

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

                          I found this aphorism when I came home yesterday.

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

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

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

                          Purnakama
                          --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, snehashila2
                          <no_reply@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Good-bye to our dearest Brother and Friend, Ongkar
                          >
                          > Your undying dedication and enthusiasm will always help light my
                          path.
                          >
                          > May all the angels carry you to the highest Heavens!
                          >
                          > All love and affection,
                          > Snehashila
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, niriha7
                          <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Dear Terri,
                          > >
                          > > "Clapping with one hand" is part of a Zen koan. A Zen master
                          would
                          > > give koans to his students as exercises in going beyond the
                          confines
                          > > of the mind.
                          > >
                          > > My mother had a strong interest in Zen Buddhism and I recall her
                          > > saying the full koan:
                          > >
                          > > "You know the sound of two hands clapping. What is the sound of
                          one
                          > > hand clapping?"
                          > >
                          > > There were many more koans that she mentioned to us kids.
                          > >
                          > > I never really *got* it and found instead that it confused my
                          little
                          > > kid's brain. :-)
                          > >
                          > > Niriha
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, carr_terri
                          > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Hi Martin,
                          > > >
                          > > > I do not remember what is meant by "clapping with one hand"
                          but I
                          > > > really appreciate your description of moments of enlightenment.
                          > > >
                          > > > I remember having experiences like this very occasionally
                          during
                          > > > Christmas trips, or during celebrations. And I wonder if Guru
                          > > > deliberately picks the moment for us to have these experiences
                          or if
                          > > > they just come forward when we are ready.
                          > > >
                          > > > In any case, I wish they were more frequent!
                          > > >
                          > > > I guess these moments are rare so that we really value them.
                          Perhaps
                          > > > someone who runs 3100 miles has such moments more frequently
                          during
                          > > > such a long event???
                          > > >
                          > > > Terri
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com,
                          martin_the_dude
                          > > > <no_reply@> wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > I guess everybody is familiar with this short, breathtaking
                          moments
                          > > > of enlightenment which
                          > > > > are presented to us from time to time. The fleeting seconds
                          when
                          > > > time stops and suddenly,
                          > > > > and absolutely unexpected, you are offered an insight in to
                          what it
                          > > > must look like from the
                          > > > > higher worlds. Somehow you are lifted, and mostly, according
                          tho
                          > > > the mind�s opinion,
                          > > > > "undeserved" you experience something beautiful. For a
                          second
                          > > > everything is so clear and so
                          > > > > simple - "Yeah! I knew it all the time" .... but the next
                          second
                          > > > you are back, finding yourself
                          > > > > playing the same old role in the divine game. And still a
                          little
                          > > > taste of it stays an keeps
                          > > > > reminding you where to go and what to aspire for.
                          > > > > I tried hard to give an written example but it turned out to
                          be
                          > > > impossible for me to retell on
                          > > > > of this blessings i have received - nevertheless I anyway
                          know that
                          > > > you know what it is like
                          > > > > when sometimes we are allowed to feel what it is like to
                          > > > be "clapping with one hand"
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Martin
                          > > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • do_slava
                          I believe, Sri Chinmoy has written this aphorism inspired by such good souls as Ongkar: I shall leave this world With my life s peace-beauty And my heart s
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 5, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I believe, Sri Chinmoy has written this aphorism inspired by such
                            good souls as Ongkar:

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

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


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