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Archive for May, 2011

What’s In the Temple?

In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring.
It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable.
The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
If she stands still it will catch up with her.
Pause with us here a while.
Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
Love will touch you if you are very still.

If I say the word God, people run away.
They’ve been frightened–sat on ‘till the spirit cried “uncle.”
Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can’t name.
They know he’s out there looking for them, and they want to be found,
But there is all this stuff in the way.

I can’t talk about God and make any sense,
And I can’t not talk about God and make any sense.
So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.

I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God.
Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur,
And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
You see there the consequences of carelessness,
And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived.
The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.

We don’t build many temples anymore.
Maybe we learned that the sacred can’t be contained.
Or maybe it can’t be sustained inside a building.
Buildings crumble.
It’s the spirit that lives on.

If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
What would you worship there?
What would you bring to sacrifice?
What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

Go there now.

Tom Barrett

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“We are already attached, absolutely attached,
fundamentally attached.
If you are willing to just dive into the attachment that is love, not the attachment that is control, you discover yourself.
The pain, the heartbreak of attachment is
actually the call home.
If you are willing to be completely slain in your attachment, wherever it may show up—with a person, with God, with nature, with your own self—just to let it have you, rather than to try have it and manipulate it, then you are free.”
Gangaji, Fallen Leaf Lake, 2011

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What is the soul? Consciousness. The more awareness, the
deeper the soul, and when

such essence overflows, you feel a sacredness around. It’s
so simple to tell one who

puts on a robe and pretends to be a dervish from the real
thing. We know the taste

of pure water. Words can sound like a poem but not have
any juice, no flavor to

relish. How long do you look at pictures on a bathhouse
wall? Soul is what draws

you away from those pictures to talk with the old woman
who sits outside by the door

in the sun. She’s half blind, but she has what soul loves
to flow into. She’s kind; she weeps.

She makes quick personal decisions, and laughs so easily.

(“The Soul of Rumi” – versions of Rumi by Coleman Barks)

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“We live in suc­ces­sion, in divi­sion, in parts, in par­ti­cles. Mean­time within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the uni­ver­sal beauty, to which every part and par­ti­cle is equally related, the eter­nal ONE. The act of see­ing and the thing seen, the seer and the spec­ta­cle, the sub­ject and the object, are one.“
– Ralph Waldo Emer­son

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” Love is the face of God.”  Amma

“The sun shines down, and its image reflects in a thousand different pots filled with water. The reflections are many, but they are each reflecting the same sun. Similarly, when we come to know who we truly are, we will see ourselves in all people.”

Amma

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I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments –
he got so excited

and ran into a hollow in his tree and came
back holding some acorns, an owl feather,
and a ribbon he had found.

And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear,
you understand:

everything imparts
His grace.”

Saint Francis of Assisi

(Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West by Daniel Ladinsky)

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“Heart” is merely another name for the Supreme Spirit,

because He is in all hearts.

The entire Universe is condensed in the body,

and the entire body in the Heart.

Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole Universe.

Sri Ramana Maharshi

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