Sunday, September 25, 2016

beautiful





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You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it

It’s too bad that you want to be someone else

You don’t see your own face, your own beauty
Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.


—Rumi


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dear one





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Your cure is in you, but you are unaware,
And your illness is from you, but you do not see.


And you consider yourself to be a small mass
While within you lies the greatest world.


And you are the clear book
Whose letters make manifest the hidden.



–Amīr al-Mu’mineen, Imam Ali (ع)




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you are that





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Both anatomy and astronomy describe you.

–Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj



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you are beautiful





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You are flawed, you are stuck in old patterns,
you become carried away with yourself.
Indeed you are quite impossible in many ways.

And still, you are beautiful beyond measure.


–John Welwood


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dropping keys





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The small person
Builds cages for everyone
She
Sees.

Instead, the sage,
Who needs to duck her head,
When the moon is low,
Can be found dropping keys, all night long
For the beautiful,
Rowdy,
Prisoners.


–Hafiz



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beautiful creature






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There is a beautiful creature
Living in a hole you have dug.
So at night
I set fruit and grains
And little pots of wine and milk
Beside your soft earthen Mounds

And I often sing.

But still, my dear,
You do not come out.

I have fallen in love with Someone
Who hides inside you.

We should talk about this problem--

Otherwise,
I will never leave you alone.


–Hafiz



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blessed ones


nluh:

Celine Clanet
 



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I always gaze at you in wonder, you blessed ones,
at your composure, –you who know
how to bear and delight in our transience,
your perfect demeanor in the face
of our vanishing beauty.

If only we knew how to truly blossom
we would race out beyond all lesser dangers
to be safe in that single great one.


–Rainer Maria Rilke


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

keeping things whole






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In a field
I am the absence
of field.

This is
always the case.

Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.

We all have reasons
for moving.

I move
to keep things whole.


–Mark Strand




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this cloud is learning

 







A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long at this moment to be older, or younger, nor born in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not talking. Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.

The man sees the way his fingers move; he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.

They obey a third body they have in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.

Age may come, parting may come, death will come.

A man and woman sit near each other; as they breathe they feed someone we do not know, someone we know of, whom we have never seen.


–Robert Bly



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image, this cloud is learning,
Jean Marc Caimi

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your catfish friend





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If I were to live my life
in catfish forms
in scaffolds of skin and whiskers
at the bottom of a pond
 

and you were to come by
one evening
when the moon was shining
down into my dark home

and stand there at the edge
of my affection
and think, "It's beautiful
here by this pond. I wish
somebody loved me,"

I'd love you and be your catfish
friend and drive such lonely
thoughts from your mind
and suddenly you would be
at peace,

and ask yourself, "I wonder
if there are any catfish
in this pond? It seems like
a perfect place for them."



–Richard Brautigan




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Saturday, September 17, 2016

the gift





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You have no idea how hard I've looked
for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
 

What's the point of bringing gold
to the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like
taking spices to the Orient.
 

It's no good giving my heart and my soul
because you already have these.
 

So I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.



–Jalal al-Din Rumi



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the rose





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I dreamt I came to a magnificent city
whose palace was the rose, rose.
The crown and throne of the great sultan,
his garden and chambers
were the rose, rose.
Here they buy and sell but roses
and the roses are the scales they use,
Weighing roses with more roses,
the marketplace and bazaar
are all roses, rose.

The white rose and the red rose
grew coupled in one garden.
Their faces turn as one toward the thorn.
Both thorn and blossom
are the rose, rose.

Soil is the rose and stone is the rose,
withered is the rose, fresh is the rose.
Within the Lord's private gardens
both slender cypress and old maple
are the rose, rose.
The rose is turning the waterwheel
and gets ground between the stones.
The wheel turns round as the water flows.
Its power and its stillness
are the rose, rose.

From the rose a tent appears
filled with an offering of everything.
Its gatekeepers are the holy prophets.
The bread and the wine they pour
are the rose, rose.

Oh Ummi Sinan, heed the mystery
of the sorrow of nightingale and rose.
Every cry of the forlorn nightingale
is for the rose, the rose.


–Ummi Sinan
(16th Century)
Jennifer Ferraro and Latif Bolat version




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I have come into this world to see this






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I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men's hands even at the height of their arc of anger because we have finally realized there is just one flesh to wound and it is the Beloved's.

I have come into this world to see this: all creatures hold hands as we pass through this miraculous existence we share on the way to an even greater being of soul, a being of just ecstatic light, forever entwined and at play with Him.

I have come into this world to hear this: every song the earth has sung since it was conceived in the Divine's womb and began spinning from His wish, every song by wing and fin and hoof, every song by hill and field and tree and woman and child, every song of stream and rock, every song of tool and lyre and flute, every song of gold and emerald and fire, every song the heart should cry with magnificent dignity to know itself as God: for all other knowledge will leave us again in want and aching - only imbibing the glorious Sun will complete us. 

I have come into this world to experience this: men so true to love they would rather die before speaking an unkind word, men so true their lives are His covenant - the promise of hope.

I have come into this world to see this: the sword drop from men's hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound.


–Hafiz



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Friday, September 16, 2016

October







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1

There’s this shape, black as the entrance to a cave.
A longing wells up in its throat
like a blossom
as it breathes slowly.

What does the world
mean to you if you can’t trust it
to go on shining when you’re

not there? and there’s
a tree, long-fallen; once
the bees flew to it, like a procession
of messengers, and filled it
with honey.

2

I said to the chickadee, singing his heart out in the
green pine tree:

little dazzler
little song,
little mouthful.

3

The shape climbs up out of the curled grass. It
grunts into view. There is no measure
for the confidence at the bottom of its eyes—
there is no telling
the suppleness of its shoulders as it turns
and yawns.
Near the fallen tree
something—a leaf snapped loose
from the branch and fluttering down—tries to pull me
into its trap of attention.

4

It pulls me
into its trap of attention.

And when I turn again, the bear is gone.

5

Look, hasn’t my body already felt
like the body of a flower?

6

Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

7

Sometimes in late summer I won’t touch anything, not
the flowers, not the blackberries
brimming in the thickets; I won’t drink
from the pond; I won’t name the birds or the trees;
I won’t whisper my own name.

One morning
the fox came down the hill, glittering and confident,
and didn’t see me—and I thought:

so this is the world.
I’m not in it.
It is beautiful.



–Mary Oliver 













Saturday, September 3, 2016

time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live –Dimitri Marianoff

 



.


 
I, like other searchers, attempt formulation after formulation of the central issues and here present a wider overview, taking for working hypothesis the most effective one that has survived this winnowing: It from Bit. Otherwise put, every it — every particle, every field of force, even the spacetime continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes or no questions, binary choices, bits.

It from Bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — at a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that what we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.


–John Archibald Wheeler




.
from Maria Popova,
the rest is at brainpickings

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

moon





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The moon is full tonight
an illustration for sheet music,
an image in Matthew Arnold
glimmering on the English Channel,
or a ghost over a smoldering battlefield
in one of the history plays.

It's as full as it was
in that poem by Coleridge
where he carries his year-old son
into the orchard behind the cottage
and turns the baby's face to the sky
to see for the first time
the earth's bright companion,
something amazing to make his crying seem small.

And if you wanted to follow this example,
tonight would be the night
to carry some tiny creature outside
and introduce him to the moon.

And if your house has no child,
you can always gather into your arms
the sleeping infant of yourself,
as I have done tonight,
and carry him outdoors,
all limp in his tattered blanket,
making sure to steady his lolling head
with the palm of your hand.

And while the wind ruffles the pear trees
in the corner of the orchard
and dark roses wave against a stone wall,
you can turn him on your shoulder
and walk in circles on the lawn
drunk with the light.
You can lift him up into the sky,
your eyes nearly as wide as his,
as the moon climbs high into the night.


–Billy Collins




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Sunday, August 21, 2016

what




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Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. What we believe is based upon our perceptions. What we perceive depends upon what we look for. What we look for depends upon what we think. What we think depends upon what we perceive. What we perceive determines what we believe. What we believe determines what we take to be true. What we take to be true is our reality.

David Bohm







Monday, August 15, 2016

before the names





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I dream of the silence
the day before Adam came
to name the animals,
The gold skins newly dropped
from God's bright fingers, still
implicit with the light.
A day like this, perhaps:
a winter whiteness
haunting the creation,

as we are sometimes
haunted by the space
we fill, or by the forms

we might have known
before the names,
beyond the gloss of things.

–John Burnside



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utterance





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Sitting over words
very late I have heard a kind of whispered sighing
not far
like a night wind in pines or like the sea in the dark
the echo of everything that has ever
been spoken
still spinning its one syllable
between the earth and silence

–W. S. Merwin


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Silence will carry your voice like the nest that holds the sleeping birds. –Rabindranath Tagore






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Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say: “Be more silent.” 

Die and be quiet. 

Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. 

Your old life was a frantic running from silence. 
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. 

Live in silence.


–Rumi



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Sunday, August 14, 2016

questions





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Change your ways of feeling and thinking, take stock of them and examine them closely. You are in bondage by inadvertence.

Attention liberates. You are taking so many things for granted.

Begin to question. The most obvious things are the most doubtful.
Ask yourself such questions as:

‘Was I really born?
‘Am I really so-and-so?’
‘How do I know that I exist?
‘Who are my parents?’
‘Have they created me, or have I created them?’
‘Must I believe all I am told about myself?’
‘Who am I, anyhow?’.

You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj




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you contain multitudes




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You are mostly not you,” microbial ecologist Rob Knight wrote in his fascinating exploration of the human microbiome, in which he pointed out that only 1% of the genes in our bodies are human and the remaining 99% are microbial.

–from Maria Popova's review of Tiny Creatureshere.


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Even when we are alone, we are never alone. We exist in symbiosis — a wonderful term that refers to different organisms living together. Some animals are colonised by microbes while they are still unfertilised eggs; others pick up their first partners at the moment of birth. We then proceed through our lives in their presence. When we eat, so do they. When we travel, they come along. When we die, they consume us. Every one of us is a zoo in our own right — a colony enclosed within a single body. A multi-species collective. An entire world.

[…]

All zoology is really ecology. We cannot fully understand the lives of animals without understanding our microbes and our symbioses with them. And we cannot fully appreciate our own microbiome without appreciating how those of our fellow species enrich and influence their lives. We need to zoom out to the entire animal kingdom, while zooming in to see the hidden ecosystems that exist in every creature. When we look at beetles and elephants, sea urchins and earthworms, parents and friends, we see individuals, working their way through life as a bunch of cells in a single body, driven by a single brain, and operating with a single genome. This is a pleasant fiction. In fact, we are legion, each and every one of us. Always a “we” and never a “me.”

–Ed Yong
I Contain Multitudes 




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for the rest of Maria Popova's article see brainpickings
illustration by Emily Sutton,
from Nicola Davies' excellent children's book, Tiny Creatures

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surrender






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Surrender.
Be crumbled, so wild flowers will come up where you are.

You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different -
Surrender.



Rumi 


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without willing






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Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own
and says, “My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.” 

Learn the sources of sorrow, joy, love, hate. 

Learn how it happens that one watches without willing,
rests without willing, becomes angry without willing,
loves without willing.


–Hippolytus of Rome



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interval





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Instantaneous architectures
hanging over a pause,
apparitions neither named
nor thought, wind-forms,
insubstantial as time
and, like time, dissolved.

Made of time, they are not time;
they are the cleft, the interstice,
the brief vertigo of between
where the diaphanous flower opens:
high on its stalk of a reflection
it vanishes as it turns.

Never touched, the clarities
seen with the eyes closed:
transparent birth
and the crystalline fall
in the instant of this instant
that forever is still here.
 

Outside the window, the desolate
rooftops and the hurrying clouds.
The day goes out, the city
lights up, remote and near.
Weightless hour. I breathe
the moment, empty and eternal.


–Octavio Paz
Eliot Weinberger translation
 



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5%





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... We perceive only a negligible portion of the vibrating ocean in which we are immersed.

We fail to detect the infrared and the ultraviolet, infrasound and ultrasound, and in general the very high and very low frequencies; we can’t even detect the X rays, gamma rays, radioactivity, and cosmic rays, which all still affect our bodies. And so many frequencies are still unknown.

The senses are therefore incomplete; our neural circuits can’t process the majority of inputs in order to translate them into images. According to some, our senses comprehend only 5 percent of the signals from the world, which means that we miss 95 percent of our environment.



–Citro Massimo, M.D.
The Basic Code of the Universe:
The Science of the Invisible in Physics, Medicine, and Spirituality



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We lay in the dark, breathing together. The deepest intimacy ... –L.Gluck




Galaxy by Fritz Trautmann 


Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another.

–Thomas Merton


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For this is the truth about our soul…our self, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.

–Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway









Saturday, August 13, 2016

note to self





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Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual. 

Abandon any desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. 

You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.


–Nisargadatta Maharaj


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