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let the heart be itself

 

 

Abandon this attitude
Of wanting to prolong pleasure
And avoid suffering
Let the heart be itself, and feel
Whatever is there.

Freed from clinging and avoiding,
The heart regains its poise
And revels in creation.

Plunging deep into its center,
Discover that the heart is moved
By a pulse that is everywhere.

by Lorin Roche
in The Radiance Sutras,
Renderings of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra


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you, darkness

You, Darkness
Of whom I am born
I love you more than the flame
That limits the world
To the circle it illumines
And excludes all the rest.

But the dark embraces everything:
shapes and shadows, creatures and me,
people, nations — just as they are.

It lets me imagine
a great presence stirring beside me.

I believe in the night.

By Rainer Maria Rilke
In Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God
translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy


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in a tree house

Light
Will some day split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
is hidden and sown on an ancient fertile plain
You hold the title to

Love will surely bust you wide open into
An unfettered blooming new galaxy
Even if your mind is now
A spoiled mule

A life giving radiance will come,
The friend’s gratuity will come—
Oh, look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.

From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God.
Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing One
From the lunar vantage point of love.
He’s conducting the affairs
Of the whole universe
While throwing wild parties
In a tree house— on a limb,
In your heart.

by Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky
in The Subject Tonight is Love


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Lead

Here is a story
to break your heart.

Are you willing?

This winter
the loons came to our harbor
and died, one by one,
of nothing we could see.

A friend told me
of one on the shore
that lifted its head and opened
the elegant beak and cried out
in the long, sweet savoring of its life
which, if you have heard it,
you know is a sacred thing,
and for which, if you have not heard it,
you had better hurry to where
they still sing.
And, believe me, tell no one
just where that is.

The next morning
this loon, speckled
and iridescent and with a plan
to fly home
to some hidden lake,
was dead on the shore.

I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.

~ Mary Oliver
in New and Selected Poems

 

 

 


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this body is a great ocean

 

Friend, this body is a great ocean,
Concealing reefs and sea-vaults heaped up with jewels.
Enter its secret rooms and light your own lamp.
Within the body are gardens, rare orchids, peacocks, the inner music.
Within the body, a lake; in its cool waters, white swans take their joy.

By Mirabai

In Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems
Translated by Robert Bly and Jane Hirshfield


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I am clearing a space

I am clearing a space
here, where the trees stand back.
I am making a circle so open
the moon will fall in love
and stroke these grasses with her silver.

I am setting stones in the four directions,
stones that have called my name
from mountaintops and riverbeds, canyons and mesas.
Here I will stand with my hands empty,
mind gaping under the moon.

I know there is another way to live.
When I find it, the angels will cry out in rapture,
each cell of my body will be a rose, a star.

If something seized my life tonight,
if a sudden wind swept through me,
changing everything,

I would not resist.
I am ready for whatever comes.

But I think it will be something small, an animal,
padding out from the shadows,
or a word spoken so softly
I hear it inside.

It is dark out here, and cold.
The moon is stone.
I am alone with my longing.
Nothing is happening
but the next breath, and the next
is the new life.

By Morgan Farley


next page

let the heart be itself

    Abandon this attitude Of wanting to prolong pleasure And avoid...
article post

you, darkness

You, Darkness Of whom I am born I love you more than the flame That limits the world To...
article post

in a tree house

Light Will some day split you open Even if your life is now a cage, For a divine seed,...
article post

Lead

Here is a story to break your heart. Are you willing? This winter the loons came to our...
article post

this body is a great ocean

  Friend, this body is a great ocean, Concealing reefs and sea-vaults heaped up...
article post

I am clearing a space

I am clearing a space here, where the trees stand back. I am making a circle so open the...
article post