Monday, February 23, 2015

If You Love

If you Love being Alive,
Being Alive will Love you back.
This, at least, is my Experience,
And all that I may speak of

Not Loving, necessarily,
The ever-changing content of Life,
But Loving the unchanging Essential,
The fact of Being Alive.

Such Love will not put an end,
To the ebb and flow of sorrow and joy,
But will touch the experience of each,
Will touch the experience of Life.

Untouched by all that arises,
But Touching all that arises,
Love born of Loving…
And being Loved by…
The Mystery of Life that we are.

Photo:  Peter Bowers

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Messenger

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird  — 
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me 
keep my mind on what matters, 
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still  and learning to be
The phoebe, the delphinium. 
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes, 
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy 
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, 
telling them all, over and over, how it is 
that we live forever.

Mary Oliver 
Photos:  Peter Bowers

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

the work itself

Do not depend on the hope of results.
… you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless
and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.

As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.

Thomas Merton
in a letter to Jim Forest dated February 21, 1966,
reproduced in The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters by Thomas Merton
Photo:  Peter Bowers

Saturday, February 14, 2015

a living friend

What does pre-eternity mean to you?  What is your 
The source?  What is spirit?

Spend your life finding out your own state.
Those other mysteries will come clear.

God is depth.  And you, you fool, you are also deep.
The same depth is in you.

Don't worry about terminology, pre-existence, 
the original face, spirit, soul.
Search within yourself.  The great mystery is there.
Everyone talks about gnosticism and dervishes.
Those are just words.

I want someone with a pulse, a living friend, 
who says directly to me, You are a part.  I am the whole.
Come into this awareness.  Get to know me.  

Excerpts from the Sayings of Shams Tabriz
Soul Fury 
Rumi and Shams Tabriz on Friendship
Coleman Barks 
Photo:  Peter Bowers