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Archive for September, 2010

like the sun

If you are seeking closeness to the Beloved,
love everyone.
whether in their presence or absence,
see only their good.
if you want to be as clear and refreshing as
the breath of the morning breeze,
like the sun have nothing but warmth and light
for everyone.

Shaikh Abu-Said Abil-Khair

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The giver is greater than the gift.

Bowl of Saki, August 30, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Besides having one’s (own) wish granted, the joy of giving another (person) happiness, that itself is greater than a wish granted, if one has risen to that plane of human evolution when one can enjoy pleasure with the pleasure of another, when one can feel satisfaction in the satisfaction of another, when one can be happy in bringing happiness to another. No one will give another happiness and will not have the same come to him a thousandfold. There comes a stage of evolution in the life of man when he feels more satisfied by seeing another person satisfied with food than by his having eaten it himself, when he feels comfortable in seeing another person comfortable, when he feels richly adorned by seeing another person clothed nicely; for this stage is a stepping-stone to the realization of God.

from http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/XIII/XIII_3.htm

Human beings living in their shells are mostly unaware of the privilege of life and so are unthankful to the Giver of it. In order to see the grace of God man must open his eyes and raise his head from his little world. Then he will see — above and below, to the right and the left, before and behind — the grace of God reaching him from everywhere in abundance.

A person who is loved by everybody in the world, and yet if he has not loved anybody, he has done nothing. A person who has possessed the wealth of the whole world, but if he has given nothing, he has not earned. A person honored by everyone in the world, but if he has not respected, he has not lived.

What does it mean? It only means that what we gain is nothing, it is what we give that counts. It is nothing — what has been done to us — if only we did all we wished to do, that is what counts. Either learning or wisdom, position or power or wealth, all these things gained are very small compared with what one can give to the others.

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He who has spent has used; he who has collected has lost; but he who has given has saved his treasure forever.

Bowl of Saki, August 31, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

The tendency to doubt, to be depressed, the tendency towards fear, suspicion and confusion, the tendency to puzzle — where does it all come from? It all comes from the thought of getting something in return: ‘will another give me back what I have given him? Shall I get the just portion back, or less?’ if that is the thought behind one’s acts there will be fear, doubt, suspicion, puzzle and confusion. For what is doubt? Doubt is a cloud that stands before the sun, keeping it from shining its light. So is doubt: gathering around the soul it keeps its light from shining out, and man becomes confused and perplexed. Once selflessness is developed, it breaks through the cloud saying, ‘What do I care whether anyone appreciates it; I only know to give my service, and that is all my satisfaction. I do not look forward to get it back. I have given and it is finished; this is where my duty ends.’ That person is blessed, because he has conquered, he has won.

Then it is lack of knowledge of the divine justice when man doubts whether he will get his just portion, or whether the other will get the best of him. If he looked up and saw the perfect Judge, God Himself, whose justice is so great that in the end the portions are made equal and even — there is only a question about the beginning, not about the end — if only he saw the justice of God, he would become brave, he would trust and not trouble about a return. God is responsible for returning a thousandfold what man has ever given.

The mystic can see from the point of view of everyone else, as well as from his own, which may be quite the contrary. For instance, in his teachings, Christ says, ‘If anyone asks you for your coat, give him your overcoat, also.’ A worldly man will say, ‘It is not practical; if someone asked this of me every day, I would be continually buying new coats!’ Yet, at the same time, it is more than practical from the point of view of the Master. For, according to his view, we cannot give anything, in whatever form, without getting it back in some way or other. Pure thought, good will, our service, our time, whatever we give, is never lost. It comes back to us according to our willingness to give, it comes back to us a thousandfold. That is why one is never the loser by being generous; one only gains.

The mystic sees the law in all things, and this gives him an insight into life. He begins to see why this misery has come upon him, why that pleasure has come; why one person is prospering and another not, why one is progressing and not another. All these things become clear to him because he sees the law working in all things. The law of the mystic is not the law of the people. It is the law of nature; it is the real law.

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Awakening is when you realize that what you thought you were was nothing more than a dream, and you perceive the reality outside the dream, what’s dreaming the dream of you. It’s not just a mystical experience. It is actually realizing the underlying unity of all things.
Simply because you’ve had an awakening, however, does not mean you stay awake. Enlightenment, in simple terms, is when you stay awake. If the awakening is abiding, that’s enlightenment. And most awakenings are not abiding — at least, not initially.
Enlightenment has nothing to do with the head or the heart. Certainly, the head and the heart tend to open up, but that’s a byproduct. Enlightenment is actually waking up from the head and from the heart. It’s waking up from the dream of “me” and seeing the oneness of all things. That’s what I mean by “reality”: that oneness. The truth is that you are that unity. You are not simply a particular person in a particular body with a particular personality; you are that one reality, which manifests itself as all these seemingly separate things.
Spiritual awakening doesn’t happen because you master some spiritual technique. There are lots of skillful meditators who are not awake. Awakening happens when you stop bullshitting yourself into continual nonawakening. It’s very easy to use disciplines to avoid reality rather than to encounter it. A true spirituality will have you continually facing your illusions and all the ways you avoid reality. Spiritual practice may be an important means of confronting yourself, or it may be a means of avoiding yourself; it all depends on your attitude and intention.
So life became my practice, and mistakes became my teacher. And once again I experienced failure after failure. It was humbling, even humiliating. I put myself in situations where my self-image would get crushed. Looking back I could easily say, “Boy, I made a lot of dumb mistakes.” But I needed to do it that way. I wasn’t going to let go of those identities on the meditation cushion. It would have been nice if it could have been contained in this safe environment — bowing and meditating and meeting with the teacher — but it often doesn’t work that way. Spirituality is much more of a bloody mess than we like to admit.

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