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Tag Archives: conversational journey

The Guest House

I know I have posted this poem before, but it has a beautiful message. Rumi reminds me I cannot accept only the good that comes into my life. When the darker emotions show themselves at the door of my life, I should welcome them and accept them as a guide from beyond.

Like my delightful emotions, the darker ones are fleeting and temporary. While they are with me, the metaphor of a guesthouse allows me to experience them more fully and be mindful to what they mean at that point in my life.

In those moments, those closest to me help me understand what each arrival may mean. We can ask questions without presuming the answers in advance.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

My head is…

**Image via Wallpapers App; text added by Natalie

Source: My head is…

Natalie’s post is a wonderful quote from Rumi. What I do not know is far more than what I know. Even what I think I know, is less than what I can actually know.

Even two people standing side-by-side experience the world differently. As they each look back, they recall what imprinted itself on them, but not the other.

As I live and exit each moment, I forget good portions of what I experienced. As I move on, I forget more and more. All that is left is a fainter and fainter impression of what I thought I knew.

The best I can do is to experience each moment as mind(fully) as possible and to enjoy the company of the other in that moment.

When Death Comes

Although the title sounds eerie, Mary Oliver‘s poem is about how we can live life. To live a life as fully as she describes, we can seek to be mindful and attentive to each moment as we live through it.d

Several years ago, Kathy and I drove out to pick up her mother who had a form of non-verbal dementia. It was about 5:30 AM and the sun was just peeking up over the horizon as we drove into it on the way home. As I drove, I felt a movement beside me and turned to see my mother-in-law smiling and pointing at the fields with freshly cut hay laying on the fields. Even thought she did not speak, the moment somehow spoke to her as it reminded her of days on the farm during haying season.

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we find the extraordinary in the ordinary. That experienced reminded me of what I might otherwise take-for-granted: a beautiful morning in the company of others.

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Poems on Love

Rabindranath Tagore‘s poem echoes the words of Thomas Merton: humans fall in love and falling is painful. If rejected, the rejection is painful. When accepted by another, it is true gift that speaks through acceptance and the other’s reciprocity.

Love is an endless mystery is a perfect line. There is no full explanation of what love is and why people love one another. When two people find each other and find love, it just is and is freely given and accepted. There are no conditions attached and its beauty radiates from an internal place.

When we are in love, we express a presence and attentiveness to the other person and objects that move beyond words. Mindfulness is a silent expression of love.

Love adorns itself;
it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty.

Love does not claim possession,
but gives freedom.

Love is an endless mystery,
for it has nothing else to explain it.

Love’s gift cannot be given,
it waits to be accepted.

How Poetry Comes to Me

Much like poetry, living comes to each of us and it blunders along just out of view from us. It is like sitting around a campfire and knowing there is something outside the ring of light the fire casts.

Within the ring of light, there is a warmth, perhaps a certainty. We think we know what is happening next. In truth, the living happens just outside our reach. Wendell Berry describes it as happening, but, once it happens, we cannot be fully describe it.

Gary Snyder wrote about his poetry writing as having to go meet the poetry just outside the range of his campfire. When we are attentive and mindful of each moment and what is just beyond our reach and vision, life dances at the edge of the light, like poetry.

Instead of certain answers, we encounter questions that cannot be fully answered, but help form the conversation and poetry that is our living.

It comes blundering over the

 Boulders at night, it stays

 Frightened outside the

 Range of my campfire

 I go to meet it at the

 Edge of the light

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Solitude has soft, silky hands, but with strong fingers it grasps the heart and makes it ache with sorrow. /Kahlil Gibran/ Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

Source: Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude

This is a short and powerful quote by Khalil Gibran accompanied by a glowing flame. It is in those moments of true solitude we find ourselves and who we are lights the path ahead.

Solitude embraces us in its questions without pre-known answers. We we engage the deepest parts of our self in conversation. Engage means to pledge and in solitude we can pledge to make a difference in the world.

Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, and it is commonly more than that, sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolu…

Source: Solitude. A Photographic Journey.

The photographs are wonderful and a quote accompanies each speaking to the essential nature of spending time with our self. It is in reflective moments that we spend in solitude that we rediscover who we are in trying to make our self whole.

The Hasidic scholar, educator, political activist, and philosopher Martin Buber said “solitude is the place of purification.” Through dialogue with our self, others, and the world, we grow to understand who we are and our place in the world in relationship to others.

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