Excerpts from shownotes Episode Be still and know…
So let us start with one of the most beloved poets in India still today.His name is Kabir born as a Muslim in 1440. Yet he is loved by Muslims, Hindu and Sikhs.
There is a story is told how Kabir found his teacher who was a Hindu saint.
There was one particular day of the year, anyone can become a disciple by having a master speak the name of God over him. The saint Ramananda took his bath as he did and all lived near the holy river Ganges every day, by arising before dawn. On this special day, Ramananda as he was walking down the steps to the sacred waters of the river Ganges, a little hand reached out and grabbed the saint’s big toe. Ramananda was taken by surprise and he expressed his shock by calling out the name of God. Looking down he saw in the early morning light the hand of the young Kabir. After his bath in the early light he noticed that on the back of the little one’s hand was written in Arabic the name Kabir. He adopted him as son and disciple and brought him back to his ashram, much to the disturbance of his Hindu students, some of whom left in protest.
It is said that what really made this meeting the most special is that in this case it, was only after Kabir’s enlightenment that Ramananda, his teacher, became enlightened.
Kabir never abandoned worldly life, choosing instead to live the balanced life of a householder and mystic, tradesman . Kabir was married, had children, and lived the simple life of a weaver.
Kabir worked on bringing peace to the often clashing religious cultures of Islam and Hinduism. He was known for not liking any form of professional piety. Nearing age 60, he was persecuted by the religious authorities and denounced before the king. He had to leave his hometown and lived a life of exile, traveling through northern India with a group of disciples and passed over In 1518.
Kabir’s disciples disputed over his body, the Muslims wanting to claim the body for burial, the Hindus wanting to cremate the body. Kabir appeared to the arguing disciples and told them to lift the burial shroud. When they did so, they found fragrant flowers where the body had rested. The flowers were divided, and the Muslims buried the flowers while the Hindus committed them to fire.
hiding in this cage
of visible matter
is the invisible lifebird
pay attention to her
she is singing your song
lift the veil
that obscures the heart
and there you will find
what you are looking for
Beloved May I Enter: Kabir dohas and other poems, Translated by Sushil Rao
Hey brother, why do you want me to talk?
Talk and talk and the real things get lost.
Talk and talk and things get out of hand.
Why not stop talking and think?
If you meet someone good, listen a little, speak;
If you meet someone bad, clench up like a fist.
Talking with a wise man is a great reward.
Talking with a fool? A waste.
Kabir says: A pot makes noise if it’s half full,
But fill it to the brim — no sound.
The Guest is inside you, and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.
The blue sky opens out further and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.
I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,
inside “love” there is more joy than we know of,
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds,
there are whole rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.
How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!
Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word “reason” you already feel miles away.
How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his own little boat.
His poems amount to one soul meeting another.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.
from The Kabir Book: Forty-Four fo the Ecstatic Poems of Kabir, Translated by Robert Bly
Now I like to introduce to a woman who finally in 1970 was the first women being recognized by the catholic church as a teacher of the church. She was born in Avila in Spain in 1515. Her name is Saint Teresa of Avila. After her mother had died she secretly left her father in the age of 21 and went to the order of the Carmelites. During a period of intense pain caused by a servere malaria she had the first divine visions. Despite the severe illness she experienced an inner peace which transcended the physical pain. .And in the following you can hear the excstacy which resulted from her union with the Divine:
Of course Certain clergy felt her visions were just delusions of the devil. So for many years Teresa spiritual pursuit was almost on a hold. When Teresa was 41, a Priest convinced her to go back to her prayers. She became so absorbed in deep contemplation that at times she felt overwhelmed with divine love. She was so filled and connected with the pure Inner Beeing and the Divine
t is said at times her body would spontaneously levitate. When Teresa felt it was happening she would ask other nuns to sit on her to prevent her floating away.
Unfortunately she was born into the period of the Spanish inquisition. On one occasion Teresa complained to God about her mistreatment from so many different people. God replied to her saying “That is how I always treat my friends” with good humour St Teresa replied “That must be why you have so few friends”
Only who could understand her inner ecstasies. Yet she felt these experiences to be more real than ordinary events.
In her mid fourties she was finally allowed to to set up her first convent. St Teresa proved to be an influential leader and a reformist. . She guided the nuns not just through strict disciplines, but she stressed the importance of experiencing God’s love.
She died at the the age of 67. A fellow sister describes the hours just before the death of St Teresa.
“She remained in this position in prayer full of deep peace and great repose. Occasionally she gave some outward sign of surprise or amazement. But everything proceeded in great repose. It seemed as if she were hearing a voice which she answered. Her facial expression was so wondrously changed that it looked like a celestial body to us. Thus immersed in prayer, happy and smiling, she went out of this world into eternal life.” (2) END OF QUOTE..
I WILL JUST SAY THIS TERESA VON AVILA
We bloomed in Spring.
Our bodies are the leaves of God.
The apparent seasons of life and death our eyes can suffer;
but our souls, dear, I will just say this forthright: they are God Himself,
we will never perish unless He does.
LAUGHTER CAME FROM EVERY BRICK
Just these two words He spoke
changed my life,
What a burden I thought I was to carry –
a crucifix, as did He.
Love once said to me, “I know a song, would you like to hear it?”
And laughter came from every brick in the street
and from every pore in the sky.
After a night of prayer, He changed my life when He sang, “Enjoy Me.”
I WOULD CEASE TO BE
my mind – my separation.
I cannot describe my intimacy with Him.
How dependent is your body’s life on water and food and air?
I said to God, “ I will always be unless you cease to Be,”
And my Beloved replied, “And I would cease to Be if you died.”
Let me now come to the most loved mystical poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi. Rumi was a Sufi master and founder of the Dervish order of the Sufis . He was born 800 years ago and died in what is now known Easter Turkey in 1273.
Sufism is the mystical school of the Islam. A school of self-knowledge, a way, hat teaches each person the science of exploring his or her being, Sufism considers the human being is as the perfect image of existence—the macrocosm and the microcosm—from the physical and magnetic, to the metaphysical and spiritual, his or her Inner being manifests the absolute knowledge of existence.
Inayat Khan an Indian Sufi master says “ The original words (in Persian) of Rumi are so deep, so perfect, so touching, that when one man repeats them hundreds and thousands of people are moved to tears. They cannot help penetrating the heart. This shows how much Rumi himself was moved to have been able to pour out such living words”.
Mevlana Rumi’s work called Mathnavi is a collection of teaching stories about tolerance, love of the Divine and the remembrance of the Divine. The Mathnavi is about such personalities such as Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and Sufis and consists of 26.000 verses. Mevlana Rumi also wrote 36.000 verses in poetry.. Besides poetry he was very fond of music and dance.. The orthodox school of Islam did not like this in his time and he had to discuss in length and writing why music and the whirling dance of the dervishes, meaning ecstasy was a way to connect with the One.
in the Mathnavi,the teaching stories of Rumi
God says to Moses
“Ways of worship are not to be ranked as better or worse than on another
Its all Praise its all right
Its not me who is glorified in acts of worship
It’s the worshippers! …
I want burning, burning…”
The following verse is from: ‘Hush Don’t Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi’
Translated by Sharam Shiva
Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.
There is a candle in your heart ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise that
Love comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it
cannot be learned in any school.
The following two poems are from the book “Rumi ..”Translator Coleman Barks
The Gift of Water
Someone who does not know the Tigris River exists
Brings the caliph who lives near the river
a jar of fresh water. The caliph accepts, thanks him
and gives in return a jar filled with gold coins.
“Since this man has come through the desert,
he should return by water” Taken out by another door,
the man steps into a waiting boat.
and sees the wide freshwater of the Tigris.
He bows his head: What wonderful kindness
that he took my gift”
Evry object and being in the universe is
a jar overfilled with wisdom and beauty
a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained.
by any skin. Every jarful spills and makes the earth
more shining, as though covered in satin,
If the man had seen even atributary
of the great river, he would have brought
the innocence of this gift.
Those that stay and live by the Tigris
grow so ecstatic that they throw rocks at the jugs
and the jugs become perfect
The pieces dance and water
Do you see?
Neither jar, nor water , nor stone, nothing
You knock at the door of reality,
shake your thought , wings, loosen
your shoulders, and open.
Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.
A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don’t try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it’s too late for all you could become.
Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?
Ode 2865 Trans. Coleman Barks