How to find your inner joy

April 22, 2016

Joy Is Your Essence

As translated by Coleman Barks, Rumi says:

In the last hour before morning
lover and beloved awake
and take a drink of water.

She asks, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”

He says, “There’s nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world made of redness?
It has no resistance to sunlight.”

This is how the ancient Sufi sage Hallaj said
“I am God,” and told the truth.

Therefore be courageous and discipline yourself.
Completely become hearing and ear
and wear the sun ruby as an earring.

Work, keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Soul water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice. 
Your loyalty to that is like a ring upon the door.
Eventuallyd, the joy inside will open a window
and look out to see who’s there.

So Rumi teaches us that joy is our essence. Once we have learned that profound lesson, we can return to joy again and again.

Please my website at http://www.coupleswisdom.com for tools that can assist in this journey.]

Blessings to all readers!

–Victoria


Let Me Have One More Day

March 12, 2016
Love Poem by Tim Hicks
Let me have just one more day, 
let me have this day and let it not be my last.
Let me have just one more day to feel the sap in the stems, 
to hear the language of birds and the wind,
one more day of light, one more day of turning,
one more day balanced on the precipice, one more day
to bask and revel, one more day of the exquisite pain,
one more day to risk a bit more, just one more day 
to feel the tide’s pull, to be swept and tossed, 
to fear the loss, one more day to empty and be bereft.
Let me have one more day that I might find you and 
find myself in you, to allow the wonder of the dance, 
one more day to reveal and conceal, one more day 
without words to say what I can not tell you, one more day 
to be willing, to allow time’s victory and defeat,
one more day carried on the upwelling, my body 
salt in the tears, some kind of habitation, some kind of crystallization,
some kind of membrane between. 
I don’t mean to be trite but
I love you like water loves gravity, like lungs love oxygen,
like the grasses with the breeze, like the torrents over the rocks.
I’m serious here. My gaze wants to linger longer on you.
I have not had enough of your demands. I have more of laughter to learn….
This poem reminds me to celebrate my great good fortune in having people I love so very dearly in my life. May I cherish each day, knowing that the number of those days is beyond my control. I learned from Rumi to embrace it all, though, and I truly do. Gratitude flows through me from the first playful wags of my dog’s tail as soon as I open my eyes till the last kiss at night. To make this authentic, I must admit that between those two events, I often slip into my ego’s demands and complaints (“I took out the trash last time!”). I try not to linger there though, and usually I don’t.
Please visit my website at www.coupleswisdom.com.
Thanks to Larry Robinson for sending this poem, and blessings to all!

The Ways of Love Are Hard and Steep

June 26, 2012

The Ways of Love May Be Hard and Steep

June 25, 2012

Gibran says:

When love beckons to you,  follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep….
.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

I first read these words many years ago. They touch me still, but the interpretation I give them now has deepened.

In a most fortunate meeting with a wise person I know, I was reminded yesterday that love’s deeper task is finding the Beloved of the Soul. There is a better choice than the endless search for the perfect partner who inevitably disappoints since there’s no perfection in this life. The wise ones point us toward an ever more profound embrace of life and of what is right now.

Rumi loved all of it–the worship, the failure, the music, the poetry, the silence. When “everything is soul and flowering,” there is no circumstance or loss or confusion we cannot welcome as an unexpected visitor with lessons to teach us.

May you be blessed with the grace to see things this way today, dear visitor. For help with relationships and sexuality, please visit me at www.coupleswisdom.com.

Blessings!


Welcome all that comes!

October 1, 2011

In my book, The Rumi Secret, I begin with the following poem as translated by Coleman Barks.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house
every day a new arrival.

A joy, a depression a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

In the United States, this is Rumi’s most famous poem. Its wisdom is timeless, and it presents a lifelong challenge for us all. Embrace it all, he says–our tragedies, the recurring problems, the failures. Along with these, we can all discover our capacity for joy,  for ecstasy and for peace.

There are no requirements for joy. As Mother Teresa said of love, it is “a fruit in season at all times. Anyone can gather it, and no limit is set….”

By grace, joy is given to us, and it can come under the most unexpected circumstances. May we all take Rumi’s words to heart on this precious day. As Mary Oliver says, while we may not “know exactly how to pray,” we can become skilled at paying attention.

Blessings to you, dear visitor. Please join my email list at drlee@coupleswisdom.com. May you be blessed with new acceptance today.


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!

 


The Ways of Love May Be Hard and Steep

August 9, 2011

Gibran says:

When love beckons to you,  follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep….
.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

I first read these words many years ago. They touch me still, but the interpretation I give them now has deepened.

In a most fortunate meeting with a wise person I know, I was reminded yesterday that love’s deeper task is finding the Beloved of the Soul. There is a better choice than the endless search for the perfect partner who inevitably disappoints since there’s no perfection in this life. The wise ones point us toward an ever more profound embrace of life and of what is right now.

Rumi loved all of it–the worship, the failure, the music, the poetry, the silence. When “everything is soul and flowering,” there is no circumstance or loss or confusion we cannot welcome as an unexpected visitor with lessons to teach us.

May you be blessed with the grace to see things this way today, dear visitor. For help with relationships and sexuality, please visit me at www.coupleswisdom.com.

Blessings!


Risking Delight

April 27, 2011

Jack Gilbert says:
A Brief for the Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

 We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

Jack Gilbert reminds us to “risk delight.” This is possible and desirable no matter what our circumstances, but it’s especially incumbent on those of us who live privileged lives. Why am I privileged to live in safety and comfort while fellow humans on my TV screen suffer all manner of misery?

I don’t know. I cannot know. I bless them all–those who languish in far off prisons, those who don’t know how to feed their children today, those who don’t know if they will live to see tomorrow.

What I can do today is to look deeply into the eyes of every human and animal I see today. I can recognize their preciousness and acknowledge it. I can smile. I can reach out. I can thank those who are priceless in my life. I can inquire about struggles, and express support.

I can–and will–let the budding roses and white calla lilies blazing in my California back yard break my heart with their beauty.

Blessings to you, dear visitor. Please also visit me at http://www.coupleswisdom.com for free offers and to find our about how I’m trying to do good in this world.

Rumi says: Everything is soul and flowering!