"If God invited you to a party and said,
“Everyone in the ballroom tonight will
be my special guest,”
how would you then treat them when you arrived?
And Hafiz knows that there is no one in
this world who is not standing upon
His jeweled dance floor." ~ Hafiz
This is truly one of my continued challenges: recognizing each and every one as the One, as the Self, and not like a robot accepting my sad and instant judgements which are, after all, all of me....
"Language has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone." ~ Paul Tillich
The pain of being alone comes from the hatred for the one I am alone with. The glory of being alone comes from Knowing the One.
“This is what is hardest: to close the open hand because one loves.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
I find there can be a confusion with the notion of ‘extending love’, believing that one must always embrace the other--regardless of the situation at hand. I find this to be a level confusion, where these acts of tolerant ‘kindness’ are hiding insecurities of unworthiness and fear of being alone. My only job is to see the truth in the other, and akin to observing a three-year old playing with a knife, there are times when being witness to self-destructive behaviors requires more proactive measures. It may be perceived as a retreat, but is really an invitation--for both parties--to reconnect within.
“Don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
How do I develop that faith? By asking: how would it feel if what Rilke says here so eloquently were True. It would feel absolutely amazing, beyond words amazing. That feeling, that anticipation, merits unequivocal Faith. Carried by that Faith, what is taught here becomes an experience. Piece of cake...
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”~ Jonathan Safran Foer
This is exactly why running away from my feelings will never work. I can try to sprinkle all the magic fairy dust of positive affirmations till the cows come home, but that will never bring me back to a state of grounded awareness. Invite and embrace the uncomfortable, because it is the desire for comfort--of clinging to that which is familiar--which keeps me rooted in the past and the cause of suffering.
“How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being, otherwise, we all remain too frightened.” Hafiz
What an astoundingly simple way of describing what happens in our work.
“All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.” ~ Spinoza
Hmm, I would think that the ‘quality of the object’ is purely determined by the quality of my love. If the love which guides my attraction is actually just ego preference the ‘quality of any object’ will never satisfy. If, however, that Love comes from the essence of my being any object is of infinite quality. “How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God's Son!" (ACIM)
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” ~ Erich Fromm
Every time I am willing to let go of ‘present’ judgments and “see things differently” is a creative act--having the courage to experience life anew, without the constrictions and formalities of past associations.
“When your fear touches someone’s pain, it becomes pity, when your love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion.” ~ Stephen Levine
Very interesting perspective. If I take pity on someone, I am actually not focussing my attention on them but myself--ie. “I’m glad that’s not me”. No attempt at connection is made. But what happens when I am willing to be with another person and bear witness to their struggle, while also recognizing the person beyond the pain?
“Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.” ~ Viktor Frankl
Namaste. “Love finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being.” Now, watch how the ego rushes in and urges me to take this purely spiritual experience and tries to convince me that this experience can, no must, become physical, must find a physical expression. Love and sex are not mutually exclusive, nor are Love and working in the garden, nor are Love and doing the dishes mutually exclusive. Everything I do with the body is either and extension of Love or a cry for Love.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again