“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
The middle stone reminds me about becoming whole. Qualities within myself that I would rather disown, the shards, can be observed, embraced and studied, then transformed. The broken parts are still me. Disowning these parts would be rejecting myself, leaving big holes in me. The broken parts need to be transformed and glued back into myself with love. Well, it is not easy…requires being mindful and looking deeply, having compassion and following the path of transformation.
“Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,
what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.
In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.
And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke, “Sonnets to Orpheus”
iris bud reminds me of a candle
that the body will perish at some point
but few like to think about this
the awareness burns more brightly as one ages
as the iris of the eye opens
birth and death come as a pair
dying to certain things means birthing something new
fully living allows one to die well
the iris has to die to the bud
in order to bloom
the bloom has to die
to create seeds
so new life is possible
so it may continue in some way again
but the iris doesn’t seem to have any worries or fears
about each stage
it just seems to live happily
in whatever stage it happens to be
letting each stage unfold naturally
by looking deeply
into our sorrows and challenges
as a witness, as from above
it is possible
to transform our weaknesses into strengths
our wounds into jewels
by God’s grace
by God’s mercy
through Holy Spirit
“Don’t go away, come near.
Don’t be faithless, be faithful.
Find the antidote in the venom.
Come to the root of the root of yourself.”
—Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, from “Love is a Stranger”, translated by Kabir Helminsky
“The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not obtained by sudden flight
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes,
We may discern – unseen before,
A path to higher destinies.”
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
the frame of the present moment
is free from worries,
a place where your heart is undivided
and free to live life fully in all its richness and glory
a place of stillness, as the mind
stops running into the past and future
a place of growing wisdom,
as mindfulness and breath awareness is practiced
a place of healing,
a final destination for your burdens of the past
it is your kingdom, queendom,
a place where the powers of
love, peace, beauty and understanding reign
a place where you can breathe with ease and be nourished
it is a gift for you every moment
I had been walking up this mountain for two consecutive days seeing a collection of white pieces of cement or stone on the path. It looked as if the pieces belonged to each other, but they were all broken apart. On the third day, I saw that some unknown person had re-arranged the stones into a shrine of a sort. It reminds me of what Thich Nhat Hanh says that we must be like organic gardeners, not throwing any of our unpleasant emotions or thoughts away, but work on transforming them. I put a red stone in the middle of this shrine of wholeness. It was one that my LivingTreeHeart sangha held at our last gathering after our meditation. I wanted to leave something of our sangha at Deer Park Monastery. I placed the red stone in the middle here for a moment.