Feast On Your Life

September 15, 2011

Derek Walcott says:

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott’s wise words remind me of Byron Katie’s wisdom when she says  that if she still believed her thoughts, she’d pray to be spared a hunger for love. Why? Katie says it’s because a preoccupation with longing for what we think we don’t have prevents us from experiencing and cherishing what we do have.

When Rumi says that “….everything is soul and flowering,” I think he’s offering us the same lesson. Love and grace are all around us, always available in some way. If we are fortunate enough to have children or animals, unconditional love may be as near as the moment when we open our hearts to receive or give it. The wise ones teach us that receiving and giving love are two sides of the same coin; the hunger for the receiving can be fulfilled by the giving.

These lessons are so valuable for couples to explore together. Please visit www.coupleswisdom.com to learn about many opportunities to grow your relationship.

Blessings to you dear visitor!

 


Celebrate Your Precious Life

May 30, 2010

A visitor has asked to view my comments on Walcott’s lovely poem once again. I’m happy to oblige, since I feel this poem expresses the essence of the growth available to all of us through inner work, through therapy, and through spiritual practice.

Derek  Walcott says:

=====
LOVE AFTER LOVE
The day will come when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s  welcome, and say,
sit here, eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine, give bread.
Give back your heart t
o itself,
to the stranger who has loved you all your life,
whom you ignored for another,
who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

======
Whether we’re reading Rumi, Oliver or Walcott, it’s so easy to forget the great poetic lesson: our own lives are worthy of joyful celebration. To learn to love the stranger within is our life’s challenge. The more profound compassion, empathy and heartfelt appreciation we can feel for the beloved in the mirror, the more we have to give each human being we encounter.
When I lead workshops on Sacred Sexuality, I delight in the open-heartedness of men and women from mid-life through their 80′s. Both the straight and gay participants come seeking an expansion of their awareness of the pivotal role of the sacred in their intimate lives.
For all couples–and for singles who may be expressing their sensuality through celibacy right now, the poet’s message is key. Give back your heart  to itself,  and love will flow in more abundance than ever.
=============================
Please respond here, or email drvlee1234@aol.com.

Blessings to all!


Feast on Your Life!

March 31, 2010

Derek  Walcott says:

LOVE AFTER LOVE

The day will come when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other’s  welcome, and say,

sit here, eat.

You will love again the stranger who was yourself.

Give wine, give bread.

Give back your heart to itself,

to the stranger who has loved you all your life,

whom you ignored for another,

who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Whether we’re reading Rumi, Oliver or Walcott, it’s so easy to forget the great poetic lesson: our own lives are worthy of joyful celebration. To learn to love the stranger within is our life’s challenge. The more profound compassion, empathy and heartfelt appreciation we can feel for the beloved in the mirror, the more we have to give each human being we encounter.

Last weekend, I had the privilege of leading a workshop on Sacred Sexuality in the Berkeley area. We experienced the open-heartedness of men and women from mid-life through their 80’s. Both the straight and gay participants came seeking an expansion of their awareness of the pivotal role of the sacred in their intimate lives.

For all couples–and for singles who may be expressing their sensuality through celibacy right now, the poet’s message is key. Give back your heart  to itself,  and love will flow in more abundance than ever.

=============================

Please watch for lifedoctor.org. It’s coming soon, and will offer you many valuable  gifts, products, services and much information. If you have questions you’d like to see answered, please begin to email them now to drvlee1234@aol.com.

Blessings, dear visitor!


The True Love In the Mirror

November 19, 2009

Recently, a dear friend and colleague told me about an experience she’d just had with a trusted spiritual teacher. “I’d been telling her about my marriage and its frustrations,” my friend said. “It’s a good marriage in many ways. My husband’s a good friend, good lover, and good father.”

When the teacher said “that’s a lot!” she had agreed. “But, as I told her, we have an insane amount of petty conflict. We have such different styles. I worry that my fate is to go all the way to old age without ever having the deep, true love I’ve always wanted.”

Then the teacher taught my friend a profound lesson. The teacher looked lovingly at my friend and said, “That question is not about your husband at all. That question is asking you to fall in love with yourself, and to love the person you see in the mirror with your whole heart. The real question is whether you will learn and practice a ‘deep, true love’ for yourself.”

Profound words! This is potentially life-changing advice to anyone longing to find a partner, or to anyone who keeps trying to change the partner they have. “If only he would tell me he loves me more often!” If only she would get a better job!” If only she would lose (or gain) weight!” “If only he would stop complaining about my weight.” “If only she’d want more sex!” “If only he learn about foreplay!” “If only she or he would appreciate me more!” “If only he or she would give me the love I need!”

The wise teacher replies, “If only you would make a spiritual practice of learning to love yourself. Like all learning, that requires commitment and practice.”

I’ve edited Derek Walcott’s beautiful poem Love After Love below. It illuminates the path:

The time will come when, with elation….
you will love again the stranger who was your self….

[the one] who has loved you all your life, and who
who you ignored for another, [the one] who knows you
by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes.

Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life
!
There’s an easy way to know if we’re doing this. As Adyshanti says,

When we start to suffer, it tells us something
very valuable. It means we are not seeing
the truth, and we are not relating from the truth.
It’s a beautiful pointer. It never fails
.

Blessings to you dear visitor. Remember to feast on your life today!

====================================

You may post a response here, or email me at drvlee1234@aol.com.


Opening to Life

October 6, 2009

David Whyte says:

Enough

Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.

This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
until now.
Until now
.

Yesterday I was privileged to share an afternoon with poetry friends who often join together to celebrate the ancient oral tradition of poetry.  Our only rule is that we don’t read–we recite. We’ve learned that taking the time  to commit a poem to memory makes that poem part of  you, and begins to reveal its secrets. When you share it with others through recitation, still more depths are revealed. When we share without hiding our own vulnerability, a powerful exchange occurs.

Kim Rosen was a special guest of the group yesterday. An author and wonderful performer of poetry, she took us on a journey that renewed our joy in Mary Oliver, David Whyte, Walt Whitman, Billy Collins, Rumi and others. In her book, Saved By a Poem, she shares her journey of mastering poem after poem. She shares that mastery along with glimpses of exquisite vulnerability. Learn more about her at http://www.kimrosen.net.

In my work as a psychotherapist, public speaker and author, facing the refusal to open to life is a daily challenge. Sometimes that refusal is my own; sometimes it’s what holds back my patients. When we get out of own way, and allow grief, mourning and confusion to flow, we are rewarded by an equal measure of love, passion and and fulfillment.

Dear visitor, if you are among those who have not yet opened the door to your own magnificence, I offer you these profound words from Derek Walcott:

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Blessings, dear visitor. You may post a reply here or email me at drvlee1234@aol.com.


Love After Love

May 27, 2009

Derek Walcott says:

The time will come when with

elation you will greet yourself

arriving a your own door, in your 

own mirror and each will smile at

the other’s welcome, and say, sit

here. Eat. You will love again the 

stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back 

your heart to itself, to the stranger

who has loved you all your life,

whom you ignored for another,

who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from

the bookshelf, the photographs,

the desperate notes, peel your 

own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life!

Here the 79-year-old Trinidad poet offers us great wisdom: we are in error when we focus all of our longing on the lover, the child, grandchild, friend, lost spouse, passed away friend, or any other human being who is unavailable to us. In part, the true longing is for our own lost selves. Rumi says losing the taste of our own essence is what hurts the soul.

Poets, mystics and great souls join together in trying to teach us that we have been given our own body, heart and mind for instructional purposes: learn to love the “stranger who was yourself.” Love what’s close at hand, and the flow of love will soon wash over those nearby, those farther away, and finally, over the whole, precious world.

There’s a powerful image in Lisa Starr’s beautiful poem about the old dying dog. He lifts his head one last time even though it hurts, one last time to be a part of this unutterably beautiful world with its water and boats, and “so much blue.”

Blessings to you dear visitor. I will be unable to post again right away. You can reply here or contact me at drvlee1234@aol.com.


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