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Re: Love Is Understanding

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Nov 30, 2007
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      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 2 of 9 , Dec 7, 2007
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        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 3 of 9 , Dec 9, 2007
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          > 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 4 of 9 , Jan 1, 2008
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            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
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