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Showing posts with label Other Mystics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Other Mystics. Show all posts

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Parmahansa Yogananda: Staying Motivated on the Spiritual Path

After we find our spiritual path and start walking it, we feel exuberant, lighthearted, relieved to finally be on our way home. But after a mile or two we may become tired or discouraged.
We look around us, and it seems that the landscape has not changed; we are still the same unimproved, uninspired person we always were. And we wonder why we are not doing as well as we had expected and why we have not moved closer to our spiritual goal.
The great guru, Parmahansa Yogananda, knew that such let-downs would from time to time overcome the students of his teachings, so in addition to his Lessons containing the meditation and yoga techniques, he offered many other forms of writing such as poems in which he declared in dramatic ways that no matter how bogged down one may feel, there is no reason to become discouraged.
The great guru-poet insisted that the soul is on its way to God, no matter many times the thought occurs to one that life is just slowing down.
The great guru prefaces his poem from Songs of the Soul titled “My Soul Is Marching On” with the following words of solace:
Never be discouraged by this motion picture of life. Salvation is for all. Just remember that no matter what happens to you, still your soul is marching on. No matter where you go, your wandering footsteps will lead you back to God. There is no other way to go.
The poem creates a drama featuring life's dual nature. Stars are bright, yet are set in a contrast of darkness. As bright as the light of the sun is, yet the bright sunshine is not apparent during the nighttime.
Even the moon wanes as well as waxes. All of these natural phenomena keep their bright nature even when surrounded with darkness. Thus they exemplify the dual nature of light and dark.
The metaphor of time as a “grinding wheel” dramatizes the act of life fading from planets and even the lives of people. Flowers bloom and die; trees grow stately then are toppled; heroic figures are triumphant but for a short while. Time flies by, and each person’s life energies fade.
Yet as all of these dualities are in motion because we exist in physical and mental bodies, we falsely identify with the dying. The purpose of the spiritual path is to correct our vision, to help us understand that only on the physical level are these life-fading events occurring.
The soul is not affected by any of these changes: not the stars, the moon, the flowers, the trees, the demise of heroic men, nor the passing of aeons of time—nothing diminishes the soul.
It is always so uplifting to remember that the soul is ever new joy, ever new bliss, ever one with the Divine Beloved. After a dip in that memory, we look around and start walking our path again knowing we are, in fact, headed home. And once again we feel exuberant, lighthearted, and relieved to be traveling our spiritual path.

Reference~ Yogananda

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Radical Living

Acquire the courage to believe in yourself.  Many of the things that you have been taught were at one time the radical ideas of individuals who had the courage to believe what their own hearts and minds told them was true, rather than accept the common beliefs of their day.

Reference~ Ching Ning Chu

Sunday, February 11, 2018

St. Francis of Assisi: A Powerful Prayer

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, union.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.
Divine Master, grant that I may not seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Reference~ St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Lover and The Beloved- Part 6

~ 'Say, O Fool, hast thou riches?'  He answered: 'I have my Beloved.'  'Hast thou villas, castles or cities, provinces or kingdoms?' He answered: 'I have thoughts of love, tears, desires, trials, griefs, which are better than kingdoms or empires.'

~ 'Say, O Fool, which of these knows the more of love- he that has joys or he that has trials and griefs?'  He answered: 'There can be no knowledge of love without both the one and the other.'

~ 'Say, O Fool, why defendest thou Love when it thus tries and torments thy body and thy soul?'  He answered: 'Because it increases my worth and my happiness.'

~ For one day the Lover ceased to remember his Beloved, and on the next day he remembered that he had forgotten Him.  On the day when it came to the Lover that he had forgotten his Beloved, he was in sorrow and pain, and yet in glory and bliss,- the one for having forgotten Him, and the other for the joy of the remembrance.

~ The Lover was like to die of joy, and he lived by grief.  And his joys and torments were mingled and united, and became one and the same thing in the Lover's will.  And for this cause the Lover seemed to be living and dying at one and the same time.

~ They asked the Lover: 'What thing is farthest from thy heart?' He answered: 'Indifference.' 'And why so?'  'Because nearest to my heart is love, which is the contrary of indifference.'

Reference~ Book of the Lover and the Beloved, Ramon Lull

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Taoist Mystics

~If the spirit is overused it gets exhausted, while if the body is overworked it wears out.  When the body and spirit separate, then you die.   ~ Sima Tan

~What increases our possessions diminishes our spirit.  What gives birth to our fame deals death to our bodies.     Yan Cun

~Stillness and silence are the house to safeguard virtue; purity and calm are the garden where the spirit may roam.   ~Yang Xiong

~Spirit is the font of intelligence; when spirit is pure, intelligence is clear.  Intelligence is the capital of mind; when intelligence is impartial, the mind is even.   ~Wen-tzu

~Higher learning is heard by spirit, middle learning is heard by mind, lower learning is heard by ear.   ~Wen-tzu

~Human nature wants peace, but indulgence in desire spoils this.   ~Wen-tzu

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Lover and The Beloved- Part 5

~They asked the Lover: 'Whereof is Love born, whereon does it live, and wherefore does it die?'  The Lover answered: 'Love is born of remembrance, it lives on understanding, it dies through forgetfulness.'

~The Lover forgot all that was beneath the high heavens that his understanding might soar the higher towards a knowledge of the Beloved, whom his will desired to comprehend, to contemplate, praise, and preach.

~The Lover desired to attain to the farthest goal of his love for the Beloved; and other objects blocked his path.  For this cause his longing desires and thoughts gave the Lover sorrow and grief.

~The Lover was glad, and rejoiced in the greatness of his Beloved.  But afterwards the Lover was sad because of overmuch thought and reflection.  And he knew not which he felt the more deeply- the joys or the sorrows.

~Imprisoned was the Lover in the prison of Love.  Thoughts, desires and memories held and enchained him lest he might flee from his Beloved.  Griefs tormented him; patience and hope consoled him.  And the Lover was dying, but the Beloved revealed to him His presence, and the Lover revived.

~The Lover was wiping away the tears which for Love's sake he had shed, that none should see the sufferings which the Beloved sent him.  But the Beloved said: 'Why wouldst thou hide from others these marks of thy love? Behold, I have given them to thee that others may love and honour Me also.'

Reference~Book of the Lover and the Beloved, Ramon Lull

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Lover and the Beloved, Part 4

105. They asked the Lover: 'In what consists honour?' He answered: 'In comprehending and loving my Beloved.' And they asked him also: 'In what consists dishonour?' He answered: 'In forgetting and ceasing to love Him.'

115. The Lover loved all who feared his Beloved, and he feared all who feared Him not.  And there arose this doubt: Had the Lover more of love or of fear?

119. They asked the Lover: 'What is the greatest darkness?' He replied: 'The absence of my Beloved.'  'And what is the greatest light?'  'The presence of my Beloved.'

124. The Beloved drew near to the Lover, to comfort and console him for the grief which he suffered and the tears which he shed.  And the nearer was the Lover to the Beloved, the more he grieved and wept, crying out upon the dishonour which his Beloved endured.

125. With the pen of love, with the water of his tears, and on paper of suffering, the Lover wrote letters to his Beloved.  And in these he told how devotion tarried, how love was dying, and how falsehood and error were increasing the number of His enemies.

126. The Lover and the Beloved were bound in love with the bonds of memory, understanding and will, that they might never be parted; and the cord with which these two loves were bound was woven of thoughts and griefs, sighs and tears.

Reference~ The Book of the Lover and the Beloved

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Two Water-Sellers

A man who lived by selling water found
He'd very little left; he looked around
And saw another water-seller there-
"Have you got any water you could spare?"
He asked.  "No fool, I certainly have not,"
The other snapped; "make do with what you've got!"
"O give me some," the man began to plead;
"I'm sick of what I have; it's yours I need."
When Adam's heart grew tired of all he knew,
He yearned for wheat, a substance strange and new-
And naked suffered love's relentless pain;
He disappeared in love's intensity-
The old and new were gone and so was he;
He was annihilated, lost, made naught-
Nothingness swallowed all his hands had sought.
To turn from what we are, to yearn and die
Is not for us to choose or to deny.'

Reference~ The Conference of the Birds, Farid Ud-Din Attar

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Lover and the Beloved, Part 3

69.  The paths of love are both long and short.  For Love is clear, pure and bright, subtle yet simple, strong, diligent, brilliant, and abounding both in fresh thoughts and in old memories.

75.  They asked the Fool: 'Where did thy love have its birth: in the secrets of the Beloved, or in the revelation of them?'  He replied: 'Love in its fullness makes no such distinction as this; for secretly the Lover hides the secrets of his Beloved; secretly also he reveals them, and yet when they are revealed he keeps them secret still.'

76.  The secrets of love, unrevealed, cause anguish and grief; revelation of love brings fervor and fear.  And for this cause The Lover must ever be suffering.

86.  The Lover was sorrowful, and wearied with overmuch thought.  And therefore he begged his Beloved to send him a book, in which he might thereby be relieved.  So the Beloved sent that book to the Lover, and his trials and griefs were doubled.

93.  The Beloved planted in the heart of the Lover sighs and longings, virtue and love.  The Lover watered the seed with his tears.  In the body of the Lover the Beloved planted trials, tribulations and griefs.  And the Lover tended his body with hope and devotion, consolation and patience.

96.  The Beloved left the Lover, and the Lover sought Him in his thoughts, and inquired for Him of men in the language of love.  The Lover found his Beloved, who was despised among the people, and he told the Beloved what great wrong was done to His name. The Beloved answered him, and said: 'Lo, I suffer these wrongs for want of fervent and devoted lovers.'  The Lover wept, and his sorrow was increased, but the Beloved comforted him, by revealing to him His presence.

97.  The light of the Beloved's abode came to illumine the Lover's dwelling, which was full of darkness, and to fill it with joy, with grief and with thoughts.  And the Lover cast out all things from his dwelling, that the Beloved might be lodged there.

Reference~ Book of the Lover and the Beloved, Ramon Lull

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Lover and the Beloved, Part 2

44.  There are two fires that warm the love of a true Lover: one is of pleasures, desires and thoughts: the other is of weeping and crying, of fear and grief.

45.  The Lover longed for solitude, and went away to live alone, that he might gain the companionship of his Beloved, for amid many people he was lonely.

49.  Whether Lover and Beloved are near or far is all one; for their love mingles as water mingles with wine.  They are linked as heat with light; they approach and are united as Essence and Being.

56.  The heart of the Lover soared to the heights of the Beloved's abode, so that he might not lose his love for Him in the deep places of this world.  And when he reached his Beloved he contemplated Him with joy and delight.  But the Beloved led him down again to this world to make trial of him with tribulations and adversities.

62.  'Say, Fool of Love, if thy Beloved no longer cared for thee, what wouldst thou do?'  'I should love Him still,' he replied.  'Else must I die; seeing that to cease to love is death and love is life.'

63.  They asked the Lover what he meant by perseverance.  'It is both happiness and sorrow,' he answered, 'in the Lover who ever loves, honours and serves his Beloved with courage, patience, and hope.'

65.  They asked the Lover, what he meant by happiness.  'It is sorrow,' he replied, 'borne for Love's sake.'  'O Fool,' they answered, 'what, then, is sorrow?'  'It is the remembrance of dishonor done to my Beloved, who is worthy of all honour.'  And they asked him again: 'What is misery?'  'To get one's desires in this world,' he replied, 'for such fleeting joys are followed by perpetual torment.'

67.  Said the Lover to his Beloved:  'Thou art all, and through all, and in all, and with all.  I would give Thee all of myself that I may have all of Thee, and Thou all of me.'  The Beloved answered: 'Thou canst not have Me wholly unless thou art wholly Mine.'  And the Lover said: 'Let me be wholly Thine and be Thou wholly mine.'  The Beloved answered: 'If I am wholly Thine, what part in Me will thy son have, thy brother, thy sister and thy father?'  The Lover replied: 'Thou, O my Beloved, art so great Whole, that Thou canst abound, and yet be wholly of each one who gives himself wholly to Thee.'

Reference~ Book of the Lover and the Beloved, Ramon Lull

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Lover and the Beloved, Part 1

17.  There was a contention between the eyes and the memory of the Lover, for the eyes said that it was better to see the Beloved than to remember Him.  But Memory said that remembrance brings tears to the eyes, and makes the heart to burn with love.

18.  The Lover asked the Understanding and the Will which of them was the nearer to his Beloved.  And the two ran, and the Understanding came nearer to the Beloved than did the Will.

20.  Sighs and Tears came to be judged by the Beloved, and asked Him which of them loved Him the more deeply.  And the Beloved gave judgment that sighs were nearer to the seat of love, and tears to the eyes.

22.  The Lover fell sick and thought on the Beloved, who fed him on His merits, quenched his thirst with love, made him to rest in patience, clothed him with humility, and as medicine gave him truth.

27.  The Lover was wearied, for he had labored much in seeking for his Beloved; and he feared lest he should forget Him.  And he wept, that he might not fall asleep, and his Beloved be absent from his remembrance.

28.  The Lover and the Beloved met, and the Beloved said to the Lover: 'Thou needest not to speak to Me,- for thine eyes speak to My heart,- that I may give thee what thou willst.'

29.  The Lover was disobedient to his Beloved; and the Lover wept.  And the Beloved came in the vesture of His Lover, and died, that His Lover might regain what he had lost.  So He gave him a greater gift than that which He had lost.

31.  The Lover said: 'The secrets of my Beloved torture me, for my deeds reveal them not, and my mouth keeps silence and reveals them to none.'

Note to Reader- The Beloved is referred to as a male because in the perfect image of God, the female womb is turned inside out to represent the perfect androgynous being (both female and male).

Reference ~ Book of the Lover and the Beloved, Ramon Lull