Archive for June, 2012

In every heart there is a coward and a procrastinator.

In every heart there is a god of flowers, just waiting

to stride out of a cloud and lift its wings.

The kookaburras, pressed against the edge of their cage,

asked me to open the door.

Years later I remember how I didn’t do it,

how instead I walked away.

They had the brown eyes of soft-hearted dogs.

They didn’t want to do anything so extraordinary, only to fly

home to their river.

By now I suppose the great darkness has covered them.

As for myself, I am not yet a god of even the palest flowers.

Nothing else has changed either.

Someone tosses their white bones to the dung-heap.

The sun shines on the latch of their cage.

I lie in the dark, my heart pounding.




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Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”

doesn’t make any sense.

(From “Essential Rumi” – Coleman Barks)

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Don’t hide.

The site of your face is a blessing.

Wherever you place your foot there rests a blessing.

Even your shadow passing over me like swift bird, is a blessing.

The great Spring has come.

Your sweet air blowing through the city, the country, the gardens and the desert, is a blessing.

He has come with love to our door, his knock is a blessing.

We go from house to house asking of him, any answer is a blessing.

Caught in this body we look for a sight of the soul.

Remember what the prophet said, one sight is a blessing.

The leaf of every tree brings a message from the unseen world.

Look, every falling leaf is a blessing.

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Your Pilgrimage
A slower pace, a somewhat slower pace will do.

Of a sudden, should it start to rain,

let yourself get soaked.

An old friend, the rain.

One thing alone is beautiful: setting off.

The world’s too vast

to live in a single place,

or three or four.

Walk on and on

until the sun sets,

with your old accomplice,

shadow, late as ever.

If the day clouds over,

go on anyway



(Image: Nicholas Roerich – “Mountain of Five Treasures”)

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How can I tell if love of life is not a delusion?
How can I tell whether a man who fears death
is not like a man who leaves home and dreads returning?
Lady Li was the daughter of a border guard of Ai.
When the Duke of Chin first took her captive,
she wept until her dress was soaked with tears.
But once she was living in the Duke’s palace,
sharing his bed, and eating delicious food,
she wondered why she had ever cried.
How can I tell whether the dead are not amazed that they ever clung to life?

Those who dream of a great feast may weep the next morning.
Those who dream of weeping may enjoy the hunt the next day.
While they dream, they do not know they are dreaming.
They may even interpret their dreams while still dreaming.
Only after they awake do they know it was a dream.

By and by, there will be a great awakening;
then we will know that this is all a great dream.
From Chuang Tsu – Inner Chapters

(translated by Gia-Fu-Feng and Jane English)

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