Spirit Buddies 10-4-2017
In exploring for prayer ideas for this week in Spirit Buddies, I keyed off the announcement by Chet Meyers that September 30, 1207 was Rumi’s birthday.
I decided to look at Rumi and the only book I have with Rumi poems is Love Poems from God by Daniel Ladinsky. In there I found a poem entitled “That Lives in Us.”
That Lives in Us
If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.
If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land –
that sacred earth that is
If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.
Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.
Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.
Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.
If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving
every creature, our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm
and we will be, we will be
Notice the sacred earth that is your body.
Notice: the power that made the universe will enter your sinew from a source not outside your limbs
Notice: When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space (the now cracks open)
Notice: serving every creature
Notice: our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm.
After spending time studying Rumi’s thought, I was drawn to explore the poems of Meister Eckhart. He was born in Germany in 1260 when Rumi, living in Turkey, was 53. In his introduction to Eckhart’s poetry, the compiler of the poems, Ladinsky, writes that it is easy to see how Eckhart raised many a brow when he spouted passages like the following:
“Is this not a holy trinity: the firmament, the earth, our bodies. And is it not an act of worship to hold a child, and till the soil, and lift a cup. And Communion, first seek that from your lover’s soul before anything offered by a priest.”
So, in the first Eckhart poem presented, “When I Was The Forest,” I noticed the three elements of the “holy trinity” standing out. I also noted that this poem mirrors the tempo, if not the content, of the Rumi poem by first pointing to the precious creation that surrounds us, then coping with the distractions from that creation, and then moving back to where we are back in the sacred creation and aware of the internal and ever-present God within us.
When I Was The Forest
When I was the stream, when I was the
forest, when I was still the field,
when I was every hoof, foot,
fin and wing, when I
was the sky
no one ever asked me did I have a purpose, no one ever
wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing
I could not
It was when I left all we once were that
the agony began, the fear and the questions came,
and I wept, I wept. And tears
I had never known
So I returned to the river, I returned to
the mountains. I asked for their hand in marriage again,
I begged – I begged to wed every object
and when they accepted,
God was ever present in my arms.
And He did not say,
“Where have you
For then I knew my soul – every soul –
Has always held
Though these are not really prayers, I believe their content is so mystical that all one would have to do is append an "Amen." Contemplating these poems is another act of worship of the Creator.