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

Love Is Understanding

Expand Messages
  • arpan_deangelo
    I cannot do anything else at the moment other than try to record my feelings and thoughts on this very emotional day for me. I just meditated for some time on
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 27, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      I cannot do anything else at the moment other than try to record my
      feelings and thoughts on this very emotional day for me. I just
      meditated for some time on trying to understand a death that I just
      experienced. But I realize that since I cannot even understand life to a
      great extent, how am I really going to understand death?

      The dog of a good friend of mine died today. I was quite friendly with
      this dog as I would take care of him when my friend went away for days
      on end. We would run together, play together, relax together and he even
      would sleep at the end of the bed at night. He had a very powerful
      energy which sometimes had to be disciplined, as we all do even as
      humans at times. But he had a heart of gold and a very warm personality
      to those he bonded with.

      In my spiritual life I was taught in many ways how to try and understand
      or at least feel our connection to the inner worlds and the soul's
      reality. The emotions can be very powerful when dealing with the death
      of a loved one, human or otherwise, as we all know. When these emotions
      are at their strongest, it is difficult to think of anything but the
      outer world and the life that has left us.

      Nevertheless, I believe we do have a soul and a spirit beyond the body
      which cannot and should not be denied, especially in times such as
      these. Through all the emotion and sadness, if we calm down and try to
      relax the mind a bit, there appears a powerful presence from another
      dimension which comes to comfort us. Perhaps it is our connection with
      the soul of the person or animal which has just passed away. Or maybe it
      is more than just that, but a direct connection with the Supreme, God,
      or however one wishes to refer to the Highest Truth, to console us and
      strengthen us.

      Speaking for myself, at my point of evolution, I still do not really
      understand where it all comes from, but nonetheless I do feel this quite
      powerfully when I give it a chance. I was going to go out running a few
      hours after the death of our dog friend, but instead all I could do is
      meditate with occasional spurts of tears. I was by myself at the time in
      the home of the dog and his owner. I felt that I was being consoled to
      some extent by something or someone beyond this physical world. It is as
      if whenever a soul finally gets released from this physical realm in the
      form it had in a body, its powerful spiritual reality and energy
      permeates the consciousness of those it had close contact with when on
      earth. Or perhaps it is the Supreme trying to offer yet another lesson
      in life and death and the peace and light which pervades both.

      In the case of an advanced soul or Spiritual Master, they are very
      conscious of what is going on when they leave the body and can be in
      total control of what happens next. Their capacity to console others
      even from higher up in the other planes of consciousness seems like it
      would be endless, and probably is. But in the case of a dog whose
      consciousness is not as evolved as a human, it is their unconscious
      sweetness and friendship that seems to pervade the atmosphere. It is
      more than just the memory of them that stays with us, I am sure. Memory
      is limited to the mind and even limited in the mind. But consciousness
      seems to have a life of its own which in its essence has no limits.

      Meditating after the death of a loved one is a very natural and powerful
      experience. Our meditations can be quite profound even if they are
      interrupted with moments of strong emotion. We experience the emotions
      because we are still alive and in the physical world. But the soul that
      has departed only experiences the light and peace of its separation from
      the physical and seems to want to share this level of reality with its
      loved ones. In this way we can derive some important spiritual benefit
      from the death of a close one even through all the emotion and sadness
      that naturally occurs as well.

      Perhaps this is partially my imagination or just a vague memory of what
      I have learned in my spiritual life over the years. Maybe it is just a
      way to make myself feel a bit more accepting of what has just happened.
      Still meditating on the death of my own spiritual Guru and dealing some
      lingering emotion there as well, I feel it is absolutely necessary to
      try to understand death and its relation to life as our Guru tried to
      teach us in many ways.

      Although most of us may never truly understand the mysteries of life and
      death this time around, I feel that meditation and maintaining a
      peaceful attitude are essential. Our strong love of the individual life
      that has recently departed should take precedence over the intense
      accompanying emotion and attachment. This love will eventually conquer
      all the emotions and intense feelings which cause our sadness and limit
      our understanding of the situation. After all, it has been stated, and
      quite profoundly, that `Love is understanding'.

      Lovingly,

      Arpan
    • assistantmummer
      Dear Arpan, I m so sorry you lost a canine pal. You are sad for your friend and the dog; and maybe there is some spillover from Guru s passing. It could be
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 29, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear Arpan,

        I'm so sorry you lost a canine pal. You are sad for your friend and
        the dog; and maybe there is some spillover from Guru's passing. It
        could be another case of Sharani's Law.

        Many of us still have a "grief mass" which we're trying to gradually
        reduce with Guru's help. But it does not go away all at once.

        Our hearts are still tender, so the loss of a sweeet four-legged
        friend hits us much harder than it ordinarily would - and in the same
        spot.

        When I was a tiny tot, dogs were like God to me; especially Irish
        setters. My parents had owned an ill-tempered American Toy for some
        years before I was born. It died of old age by the time I was four, so
        my mother would always tell me to "ring the bell" (our front buzzer)
        "for little Joe." She used to like to read me Albert Payson Terhune
        stories - like Lad: A Dog - and get all teary-eyed.

        You wrote:

        > But in the case of a dog whose consciousness is not
        > as evolved as a human, it is their unconscious
        > sweetness and friendship that seems to pervade the
        > atmosphere.

        That evokes a vivid picture of what you felt. If you'd like to
        identify with the good qualities of dogs - their loyalty and
        faithfulness - try borrowing Lad: A Dog from the local library.

        http://www.amazon.com/Lad-Dog-Albert-Payson-Terhune/dp/0140364749

        Anyway, our tender-heartedness is not all bad. Grief purifies us to
        some extent, and helps us identify with the sufferings of others. But
        sometimes too many losses at once are too much for the human in us to
        bear - unless we shift our vision. I can say it better in poem:


        The New Heart

        My Lord,
        It seems you have broken
        My old heart
        And given me
        A new heart.
        What is this new heart?
        How shall I use it?

        My child,
        It is the Universal Heart.
        You must use it to identify
        With human suffering.

        My Lord,
        Have you cursed me or blessed me?
        This new heart is precious beyond compare,
        And is very close to Your own Soul;
        But whenever I use it,
        I feel nothing but suffering.

        My child,
        This heart works a little differently
        Than your old stone-heart.
        To use this Universal Heart,
        With each breath you must inhale Peace
        And exhale Compassion.

        * * *

        Michael


        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, arpan_deangelo
        <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > I cannot do anything else at the moment other than try to record my
        > feelings and thoughts on this very emotional day for me. I just
        > meditated for some time on trying to understand a death that I just
        > experienced. But I realize that since I cannot even understand life to a
        > great extent, how am I really going to understand death?
        >
        > The dog of a good friend of mine died today. I was quite friendly with
        > this dog as I would take care of him when my friend went away for days
        > on end. We would run together, play together, relax together and he even
        > would sleep at the end of the bed at night. He had a very powerful
        > energy which sometimes had to be disciplined, as we all do even as
        > humans at times. But he had a heart of gold and a very warm personality
        > to those he bonded with.

        ...
      • sarah_inseattle
        Dear Arpan, I am so sorry your dog-friend passed away. It must be such a sad loss to lose such a joyful and loving companion, and it is so hard to describe the
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 29, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Arpan,

          I am so sorry your dog-friend passed away. It must be such a sad loss
          to lose such a joyful and loving companion, and it is so hard to
          describe the bonds we form. Dogs are so forgiving, and they love so
          unconditionally. They are perpetually cheerful and they have so much
          enthusiasm! They never give up, despite great physical challenges.

          I also like cats, but I have always felt, "Cats have no enthusiasm!"

          I hope you will forgive my "human nature" in wanting to tell a story
          in response to yours.

          As you know, our family had a Golden Retriever, Maya, who lived with
          us for 16 1/2 years until 2002. Already elderly and quite infirm, we
          knew Maya was dying when she stopped eating. It was very sad, but it
          was also a bittersweet. Realizing she was dying, I felt that I wanted
          to prepare her for her passing as best as I could. I bathed her, and
          we made a shrine next to her on the floor where she lay, with a
          beautiful potted narcissus and other flowers (all this in the middle
          of the living room floor!) We played Guru's music softly all day
          long, and offered her comfort in any way we could think of. Even
          though I was sad, the activity of doing these things also made me
          excited for her. I felt as though I was preparing her for Divine
          Summer Camp. There came a point where there wasn't much to be done
          except wait for the bus to come.

          Every time I left the house, I was afraid she might not be there when
          I got back. I'd come home and rush over to check her, and would feel
          such a rush of joy that she was still alive. I told her I would take
          care of her as for long as she wanted to be here in this world, as
          long or short as she would like. For several days, I slept on the
          floor next to her, not wanting her to leave without our knowing.

          She passed around midnight on the 5th or 6th day, after Jake and the
          kids had gone to bed. I was lying next to her on the floor and she
          suddenly gave a start. I sat up and bent over her, petting her in
          time to my chanting, "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme" over and over and
          over and over and over. Her breathing would stop, then start. Stop
          then start, Stop then start... Stop.

          The first Wednesday I went to meditation after her passing, I sat
          down in the meditation room and did my usual settling in, making
          myself comfortable. Then I looked up at the Transcendental - and I
          saw her. I saw Maya, all young and vibrant, smiling over Guru's
          right shoulder.

          She was such a good dog.

          In oneness,
          Sarah
          Seattle
        • arpan_deangelo
          Thank you Michael, for your understanding, oneness and love. Your love for our mutual Spiritual Guide and for your brothers and sisters here and elsewhere are
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 29, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Thank you Michael, for your understanding, oneness and love. Your love
            for our mutual Spiritual Guide and for your brothers and sisters here
            and elsewhere are helping us all to heal gradually. Although it is
            said, and rightly so:"Time heals all wounds", it is certainly aided by
            our prayers, our faith in the Supreme and the compassion and sympathy
            of our friends.

            I am sure others out there who may read these posts about our animal
            friends passing away will also derive much comfort from your
            contribution and concern here.Thank you again for taking the time to
            share this very personal and meaningful experience with us.

            Healingly,
            Arpan

            --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, assistantmummer
            <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > Dear Arpan,
            >
            > I'm so sorry you lost a canine pal. You are sad for your friend and
            > the dog; and maybe there is some spillover from Guru's passing. It
            > could be another case of Sharani's Law.
            >
            > Many of us still have a "grief mass" which we're trying to gradually
            > reduce with Guru's help. But it does not go away all at once.
            >
            > Our hearts are still tender, so the loss of a sweeet four-legged
            > friend hits us much harder than it ordinarily would - and in the same
            > spot.
            >
            > When I was a tiny tot, dogs were like God to me; especially Irish
            > setters. My parents had owned an ill-tempered American Toy for some
            > years before I was born. It died of old age by the time I was four, so
            > my mother would always tell me to "ring the bell" (our front buzzer)
            > "for little Joe." She used to like to read me Albert Payson Terhune
            > stories - like Lad: A Dog - and get all teary-eyed.
            >
            > You wrote:
            >
            > > But in the case of a dog whose consciousness is not
            > > as evolved as a human, it is their unconscious
            > > sweetness and friendship that seems to pervade the
            > > atmosphere.
            >
            > That evokes a vivid picture of what you felt. If you'd like to
            > identify with the good qualities of dogs - their loyalty and
            > faithfulness - try borrowing Lad: A Dog from the local library.
            >
            > http://www.amazon.com/Lad-Dog-Albert-Payson-Terhune/dp/0140364749
            >
            > Anyway, our tender-heartedness is not all bad. Grief purifies us to
            > some extent, and helps us identify with the sufferings of others. But
            > sometimes too many losses at once are too much for the human in us to
            > bear - unless we shift our vision. I can say it better in poem:
            >
            >
            > The New Heart
            >
            > My Lord,
            > It seems you have broken
            > My old heart
            > And given me
            > A new heart.
            > What is this new heart?
            > How shall I use it?
            >
            > My child,
            > It is the Universal Heart.
            > You must use it to identify
            > With human suffering.
            >
            > My Lord,
            > Have you cursed me or blessed me?
            > This new heart is precious beyond compare,
            > And is very close to Your own Soul;
            > But whenever I use it,
            > I feel nothing but suffering.
            >
            > My child,
            > This heart works a little differently
            > Than your old stone-heart.
            > To use this Universal Heart,
            > With each breath you must inhale Peace
            > And exhale Compassion.
            >
            > * * *
            >
            > Michael
            >
            >
            > --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, arpan_deangelo
            > <no_reply@> wrote:
            > >
            > > I cannot do anything else at the moment other than try to record my
            > > feelings and thoughts on this very emotional day for me. I just
            > > meditated for some time on trying to understand a death that I just
            > > experienced. But I realize that since I cannot even understand
            life to a
            > > great extent, how am I really going to understand death?
            > >
            > > The dog of a good friend of mine died today. I was quite friendly with
            > > this dog as I would take care of him when my friend went away for days
            > > on end. We would run together, play together, relax together and
            he even
            > > would sleep at the end of the bed at night. He had a very powerful
            > > energy which sometimes had to be disciplined, as we all do even as
            > > humans at times. But he had a heart of gold and a very warm
            personality
            > > to those he bonded with.
            >
            > ...
            >
          • purnakama2000
            What a great story! Out come the tissues again! Purnakama ... loss ... much ... enthusiasm! ... story ... with ... we ... it ... wanted ... and ... middle ...
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 30, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              What a great story!
              Out come the tissues again!

              Purnakama
              --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sarah_inseattle
              <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Arpan,
              >
              > I am so sorry your dog-friend passed away. It must be such a sad
              loss
              > to lose such a joyful and loving companion, and it is so hard to
              > describe the bonds we form. Dogs are so forgiving, and they love so
              > unconditionally. They are perpetually cheerful and they have so
              much
              > enthusiasm! They never give up, despite great physical challenges.
              >
              > I also like cats, but I have always felt, "Cats have no
              enthusiasm!"
              >
              > I hope you will forgive my "human nature" in wanting to tell a
              story
              > in response to yours.
              >
              > As you know, our family had a Golden Retriever, Maya, who lived
              with
              > us for 16 1/2 years until 2002. Already elderly and quite infirm,
              we
              > knew Maya was dying when she stopped eating. It was very sad, but
              it
              > was also a bittersweet. Realizing she was dying, I felt that I
              wanted
              > to prepare her for her passing as best as I could. I bathed her,
              and
              > we made a shrine next to her on the floor where she lay, with a
              > beautiful potted narcissus and other flowers (all this in the
              middle
              > of the living room floor!) We played Guru's music softly all day
              > long, and offered her comfort in any way we could think of. Even
              > though I was sad, the activity of doing these things also made me
              > excited for her. I felt as though I was preparing her for Divine
              > Summer Camp. There came a point where there wasn't much to be done
              > except wait for the bus to come.
              >
              > Every time I left the house, I was afraid she might not be there
              when
              > I got back. I'd come home and rush over to check her, and would
              feel
              > such a rush of joy that she was still alive. I told her I would
              take
              > care of her as for long as she wanted to be here in this world, as
              > long or short as she would like. For several days, I slept on the
              > floor next to her, not wanting her to leave without our knowing.
              >
              > She passed around midnight on the 5th or 6th day, after Jake and
              the
              > kids had gone to bed. I was lying next to her on the floor and she
              > suddenly gave a start. I sat up and bent over her, petting her in
              > time to my chanting, "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme" over and over and
              > over and over and over. Her breathing would stop, then start. Stop
              > then start, Stop then start... Stop.
              >
              > The first Wednesday I went to meditation after her passing, I sat
              > down in the meditation room and did my usual settling in, making
              > myself comfortable. Then I looked up at the Transcendental - and I
              > saw her. I saw Maya, all young and vibrant, smiling over Guru's
              > right shoulder.
              >
              > She was such a good dog.
              >
              > In oneness,
              > Sarah
              > Seattle
              >
            • beverly_canada
              Dear Sarah Your love shines through your writing and your actions. Thank-you for the sharing the story of your tender care for Maya in his last days. Beverly
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 30, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear Sarah

                Your love shines through your writing and your actions. Thank-you for
                the sharing the story of your tender care for Maya in his last days.

                Beverly

                --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sarah_inseattle
                <no_reply@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Arpan,
                >
                > I am so sorry your dog-friend passed away. It must be such a sad loss
                > to lose such a joyful and loving companion, and it is so hard to
                > describe the bonds we form. Dogs are so forgiving, and they love so
                > unconditionally. They are perpetually cheerful and they have so much
                > enthusiasm! They never give up, despite great physical challenges.
                >
                > I also like cats, but I have always felt, "Cats have no enthusiasm!"
                >
                > I hope you will forgive my "human nature" in wanting to tell a story
                > in response to yours.
                >
                > As you know, our family had a Golden Retriever, Maya, who lived with
                > us for 16 1/2 years until 2002. Already elderly and quite infirm, we
                > knew Maya was dying when she stopped eating. It was very sad, but it
                > was also a bittersweet. Realizing she was dying, I felt that I wanted
                > to prepare her for her passing as best as I could. I bathed her, and
                > we made a shrine next to her on the floor where she lay, with a
                > beautiful potted narcissus and other flowers (all this in the middle
                > of the living room floor!) We played Guru's music softly all day
                > long, and offered her comfort in any way we could think of. Even
                > though I was sad, the activity of doing these things also made me
                > excited for her. I felt as though I was preparing her for Divine
                > Summer Camp. There came a point where there wasn't much to be done
                > except wait for the bus to come.
                >
                > Every time I left the house, I was afraid she might not be there when
                > I got back. I'd come home and rush over to check her, and would feel
                > such a rush of joy that she was still alive. I told her I would take
                > care of her as for long as she wanted to be here in this world, as
                > long or short as she would like. For several days, I slept on the
                > floor next to her, not wanting her to leave without our knowing.
                >
                > She passed around midnight on the 5th or 6th day, after Jake and the
                > kids had gone to bed. I was lying next to her on the floor and she
                > suddenly gave a start. I sat up and bent over her, petting her in
                > time to my chanting, "Supreme, Supreme, Supreme" over and over and
                > over and over and over. Her breathing would stop, then start. Stop
                > then start, Stop then start... Stop.
                >
                > The first Wednesday I went to meditation after her passing, I sat
                > down in the meditation room and did my usual settling in, making
                > myself comfortable. Then I looked up at the Transcendental - and I
                > saw her. I saw Maya, all young and vibrant, smiling over Guru's
                > right shoulder.
                >
                > She was such a good dog.
                >
                > In oneness,
                > Sarah
                > Seattle
                >
              • sharani_sharani
                Dear Michael, I am belatedly replying to your message to Arpan consoling him in the loss of his dog. I am intrigued about the book Lad a dog by Albert Payson
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear Michael,

                  I am belatedly replying to your message to Arpan consoling him in the
                  loss of his dog. I am intrigued about the book "Lad a dog" by Albert
                  Payson Terhune. Is it like Lassie at all? I used to watch that
                  television show as a child and enjoyed it. Since our family had more
                  cats than dogs during my growing up years, I share a minority status
                  within the centre of someone who does not have oodles of poodle
                  memories. :-)

                  Just from reading the touching tributes many have shared here has
                  deepened my canine appreciation - recently by Sarah as well in the
                  story of the final days of her dog Maya's life.
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration/message/21340

                  I just searched "Lad a Dog" in the library catalog for the town where
                  I live and they have this book in the children's department so I do
                  plan to peruse its pages.

                  I also want to draw attention to the poem "The New Heart" written by
                  you at the bottom of this message from you to Arpan. The universal
                  heart aspect of Sri Chinmoy's teachings and guidance in our lives is
                  especially precious for me. In the end of the poem you write:

                  To use this Universal Heart,
                  With each breath you must inhale Peace
                  And exhale Compassion.

                  I love this image of inhaling peace and exhaling compassion in order
                  to operate from a place of the divine heart of God. It reminds me of
                  some of Sri Chinmoy's heartbeat imagery in his poems as well. A quick
                  search of the online library of Sri Chinmoy's writings offered the
                  following two poems thematically resonant with yours but including my
                  spin-off image of the heartbeat. :-)

                  Today
                  God is showing me two things.
                  He is showing me
                  How I can feel the heartbeat
                  Of every human being.
                  He is also showing me
                  How He is the Heartbeat
                  Of every human being.
                  -Sri Chinmoy
                  http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/today/275.html


                  I am proceeding towards
                  My Lord Supreme
                  Breath by breath
                  And
                  Heartbeat by heartbeat.
                  -Sri Chinmoy
                  http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/sri-chinmoy-service-trees/part19/1000.html

                  Thanks so much for sharing your poems here - the continuing ripples of
                  appreciation for "The Soul's Voice" are hopefully another boost to
                  change the moniker "crazy poet" permanently to "soulful poet."

                  Sharani

                  --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, assistantmummer
                  <no_reply@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Arpan,
                  >
                  > I'm so sorry you lost a canine pal. You are sad for your friend and
                  > the dog; and maybe there is some spillover from Guru's passing. It
                  > could be another case of Sharani's Law.
                  >
                  > Many of us still have a "grief mass" which we're trying to gradually
                  > reduce with Guru's help. But it does not go away all at once.
                  >
                  > Our hearts are still tender, so the loss of a sweeet four-legged
                  > friend hits us much harder than it ordinarily would - and in the same
                  > spot.
                  >
                  > When I was a tiny tot, dogs were like God to me; especially Irish
                  > setters. My parents had owned an ill-tempered American Toy for some
                  > years before I was born. It died of old age by the time I was four, so
                  > my mother would always tell me to "ring the bell" (our front buzzer)
                  > "for little Joe." She used to like to read me Albert Payson Terhune
                  > stories - like Lad: A Dog - and get all teary-eyed.
                  >
                  > You wrote:
                  >
                  > > But in the case of a dog whose consciousness is not
                  > > as evolved as a human, it is their unconscious
                  > > sweetness and friendship that seems to pervade the
                  > > atmosphere.
                  >
                  > That evokes a vivid picture of what you felt. If you'd like to
                  > identify with the good qualities of dogs - their loyalty and
                  > faithfulness - try borrowing Lad: A Dog from the local library.
                  >
                  > http://www.amazon.com/Lad-Dog-Albert-Payson-Terhune/dp/0140364749
                  >
                  > Anyway, our tender-heartedness is not all bad. Grief purifies us to
                  > some extent, and helps us identify with the sufferings of others. But
                  > sometimes too many losses at once are too much for the human in us to
                  > bear - unless we shift our vision. I can say it better in poem:
                  >
                  >
                  > The New Heart
                  >
                  > My Lord,
                  > It seems you have broken
                  > My old heart
                  > And given me
                  > A new heart.
                  > What is this new heart?
                  > How shall I use it?
                  >
                  > My child,
                  > It is the Universal Heart.
                  > You must use it to identify
                  > With human suffering.
                  >
                  > My Lord,
                  > Have you cursed me or blessed me?
                  > This new heart is precious beyond compare,
                  > And is very close to Your own Soul;
                  > But whenever I use it,
                  > I feel nothing but suffering.
                  >
                  > My child,
                  > This heart works a little differently
                  > Than your old stone-heart.
                  > To use this Universal Heart,
                  > With each breath you must inhale Peace
                  > And exhale Compassion.
                  >
                  > * * *
                  >
                  > Michael
                  >
                • assistantmummer
                  ... Dear Sharani, Thank you for commenting on The New Heart and sharing some of Sri Chinmoy s heartbeat poems. I will treasure them. A poem is sometimes like
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 9, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    > The New Heart
                    >
                    > My Lord,
                    > It seems you have broken
                    > My old heart
                    > And given me
                    > A new heart.
                    > What is this new heart?
                    > How shall I use it?
                    >
                    > My child,
                    > It is the Universal Heart.
                    > You must use it to identify
                    > With humanity's suffering.
                    >
                    > My Lord,
                    > Have you cursed me or blessed me?
                    > This new heart is precious beyond compare,
                    > And is very close to Your own Soul;
                    > But whenever I use it,
                    > I feel nothing but suffering.
                    >
                    > My child,
                    > This heart works a little differently
                    > Than your old stone-heart.
                    > To use this Universal Heart,
                    > With each breath you must inhale Peace
                    > And exhale Compassion.
                    >
                    > * * *
                    >
                    > Michael

                    Dear Sharani,

                    Thank you for commenting on "The New Heart" and sharing some of Sri
                    Chinmoy's heartbeat poems. I will treasure them.

                    A poem is sometimes like a minimum information problem, and it's up to
                    us to get the information we need to make sense of it.

                    The writer in "The New Heart" begins with a subtle complaint. Does God
                    really break a human heart and replace it with a new one? Doctors,
                    possibly, but not God. Elsewhere in the poem, we learn that the
                    writer's old heart was made of stone. Again, not literally possible.
                    What we're really talking about is someone whose heart was blocked -
                    not responsive enough to higher spiritual emotions.

                    Sometimes people open their hearts gradually through meditation; or
                    some cataclysmic event may open their hearts. If the heart feels
                    broken, we can guess it is due to sudden loss.

                    The loss of a loved one sometimes opens the heart by force, and
                    reveals the human condition more clearly. It feels like a new heart
                    because it is so much more sensitive.

                    A man went to church because he could no longer bear his own life. He
                    prayed, "O Lord, I am in so much pain. Please send down an angel to
                    help me." An angel came down and gave him a special power: he could
                    now hear the prayers of all the other people in the church. To his
                    amazement, all of them were also praying, "O Lord, I am in so much
                    pain. Please send down an angel to help me." But there was only one
                    angel assigned to this particular church. The angel then asked him to
                    pray for something, and the angel would grant it. After a time, the
                    man prayed: "Please make me an angel so that I can relieve some of the
                    suffering I see all around me."

                    That is the kind of growing up I feel Guru is asking all of us to do;
                    but it is difficult to change from being a sufferer to being an angel.
                    There is a paradigm shift.

                    If I am an ordinary human being, I might think being an angel will be
                    a good job promotion. Maybe I can place a personal ad:

                    "Attractive single, plays the harp, tremendous wingspan. Seeks soul mate."

                    But it is not like that. If we become an angel, then we will have the
                    sensitivity of an angel; we will be able to hear and feel all the
                    suffering around us, and we will feel a tremendous sense of
                    responsibility to heal that suffering.

                    How can we bear it? The poem makes a guess: To use this kind of heart,
                    with each breath we will need to inhale Peace and exhale Compassion.

                    Michael


                    P.S. Dog trivia follows...

                    I too remember the TV show "Lassie." It starred June Lockhart (as
                    Timmy's mom, not the dog!). One can picture the backstage
                    machinations, the phone call from the agent: "My client will take the
                    part, but she will *not* play second fiddle to a collie!" (Lassie's
                    agent was apparently less vocal - or perhaps he only yelped when he
                    should have growled.)

                    I also remember the sentimental theme song and the interminable
                    Campbell's soup commercials.

                    I liked Lassie; but I can't remember it being much dramatically or
                    literarily. I think it was *very* loosely based on some Lassie films
                    made in the 1940's with a mostly British cast that included Edmund
                    Gwenn - the nice old gent who played Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th
                    Street.

                    Lad: A Dog and other Albert Payson Terhune books were fairly
                    well-written and had a certain old-world charm. They are collections
                    of short stories which originally appeared in magazines and were very
                    popular. I also remember Lad of Sunnybank.

                    The unspoken question: "Which came first, Lad or Lassie?" is tempting
                    to get into - but of a piece with Star Trek discussions like "Which
                    Romulan would you most like to see paired with a Cardassian?" I know
                    Mahiruha hates that sort of thing. :-) The simple answer is that Lad
                    came first in 1919. But...

                    Poking around the trivia bin, I found that the 1949 film Challenge To
                    Lassie is actually a retelling of the story of Greyfriars Bobby, which
                    Sumangali recounted in message #21295.

                    --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, sharani_sharani
                    <no_reply@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear Michael,
                    >
                    > I am belatedly replying to your message to Arpan consoling him in the
                    > loss of his dog. I am intrigued about the book "Lad a dog" by Albert
                    > Payson Terhune. Is it like Lassie at all? I used to watch that
                    > television show as a child and enjoyed it. Since our family had more
                    > cats than dogs during my growing up years, I share a minority status
                    > within the centre of someone who does not have oodles of poodle
                    > memories. :-)
                    >
                    > Just from reading the touching tributes many have shared here has
                    > deepened my canine appreciation - recently by Sarah as well in the
                    > story of the final days of her dog Maya's life.
                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration/message/21340
                    >
                    > I just searched "Lad a Dog" in the library catalog for the town where
                    > I live and they have this book in the children's department so I do
                    > plan to peruse its pages.
                    >
                    > I also want to draw attention to the poem "The New Heart" written by
                    > you at the bottom of this message from you to Arpan. The universal
                    > heart aspect of Sri Chinmoy's teachings and guidance in our lives is
                    > especially precious for me. In the end of the poem you write:
                    >
                    > To use this Universal Heart,
                    > With each breath you must inhale Peace
                    > And exhale Compassion.
                    >
                    > I love this image of inhaling peace and exhaling compassion in order
                    > to operate from a place of the divine heart of God. It reminds me of
                    > some of Sri Chinmoy's heartbeat imagery in his poems as well. A quick
                    > search of the online library of Sri Chinmoy's writings offered the
                    > following two poems thematically resonant with yours but including my
                    > spin-off image of the heartbeat. :-)
                    >
                    > Today
                    > God is showing me two things.
                    > He is showing me
                    > How I can feel the heartbeat
                    > Of every human being.
                    > He is also showing me
                    > How He is the Heartbeat
                    > Of every human being.
                    > -Sri Chinmoy
                    > http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/today/275.html
                    >
                    >
                    > I am proceeding towards
                    > My Lord Supreme
                    > Breath by breath
                    > And
                    > Heartbeat by heartbeat.
                    > -Sri Chinmoy
                    >
                    http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/sri-chinmoy-service-trees/part19/1000.html
                    >
                    > Thanks so much for sharing your poems here - the continuing ripples of
                    > appreciation for "The Soul's Voice" are hopefully another boost to
                    > change the moniker "crazy poet" permanently to "soulful poet."
                    >
                    > Sharani
                  • adhiratha
                    Dear Michael, =================================================== ... ======================================================= Some how in this short piece
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jan 1, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Michael,
                      ===================================================
                      "
                      > My Lord,
                      > Have you cursed me or blessed me?
                      > This new heart is precious beyond compare,
                      > And is very close to Your own Soul;
                      > But whenever I use it,
                      > I feel nothing but suffering.
                      >
                      > My child,
                      > This heart works a little differently
                      > Than your old stone-heart.
                      > To use this Universal Heart,
                      > With each breath you must inhale Peace
                      > And exhale Compassion.
                      >
                      > * * *
                      >
                      > Michael"
                      =======================================================
                      Some how in this short piece you have expressed so simply a powerful
                      understanding that my tired mind can not yet fully comprehend but sees
                      a hope full light flickering -- and at the same time my being
                      resonates with some deep recognition of experience that says YES.

                      For this New Years day can it be that
                      "My Lord..new heart precious beyond compare .
                      ...whenever I use it I feel nothing but suffering"
                      expresses the highest and deepest
                      that up to now has been granted
                      as we leave 2007; and

                      "each breath ...Peace...Compassion"
                      is a responding whisper
                      to our eternal wish
                      and God's promise for 2008 and beyond?

                      with deep Gratitude
                      -Adhiratha
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.