Moving Water by Rumi

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling
disappears.

Don’t let others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.

Reach for the rope of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.

Because of willfulness people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied, fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness. You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment.

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Now see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you’ve been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is?

Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.

There is a moving palace that floats in the air with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent.

~ From The Soul of Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

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Opening to Spaciousness

Here is a meditation exercise that helps create the internal conditions for opening to the field of possibilities in your life.

To practice these positive affirmations,  go to a place where you can feel safe and won’t be interrupted by distractions.

The Practice

Sit in a comfortable meditative posture.

Take a few letting-go breaths. Then focus on the ebb and flow of your breathing until you feel relaxed, composed, and alert. Acknowledge thoughts, feelings, moods, and perceptions as they arise, and just let them go.

When you have settled, take up one or several positive affirmations about yourself. Repeat them gently (silently or aloud), allowing the words to sink deeply into your being.

When you feel the time has come to end the session, take a moment to just “be” before rising.

Here are some examples of positive affirmation you can use, or you can choose your own.

  • I am able to achieve anything upon which I set my mind.
  • I am doing work that I find enjoyable and fulfilling.
  • I am capable of achieving the success I desire.
  • I am competent and able to face any challenge this day.
  • I have the wisdom to make the best choices.
  • I feel the love of those who are not able to be physically near me.
  • I take pleasure in my own solitude.
  • I have the power to choose my own path.
  • I love and accept all of who I am.
  • I view my setbacks and losses as a gift.
  • I trust my intuition and my heart to guide me.
  • I am able to draw upon my inner strength and my inner light to guide me.
  • I am more than good enough.
  • I see the perfection in all my flaws.
  • The past has no power over me. The future will not control me.
  • I have a unique contribution and purpose in this world.

— After the work of Joan Borysenko

The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I have heard it all my life,
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.

Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.

But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.
There’s no safety in that!

Remember what you are and let this knowing
take you home to the Beloved with every breath.

Hold tenderly who you are and let a deeper knowing
colour the shape of your humanness.

There is nowhere to go. What you are looking for is right here.
Open the fist clenched in wanting and see what you already hold in your hand.

There is no waiting for something to happen,
no point in the future to get to.
All you have ever longed for is here in this moment, right now.

You are wearing yourself out with all this searching.
Come home and rest.

How much longer can you live like this?
Your hungry spirit is gaunt, your heart stumbles. All this trying.
Give it up!

Let yourself be one of the God-mad,
faithful only to the Beauty you are.

Let the Lover pull you to your feet and hold you close,
dancing even when fear urges you to sit this one out.

Remember, there is one word you are here to say with your whole being.
When it finds you, give your life to it. Don’t be tight-lipped and stingy.

Spend yourself completely on the saying,
Be one word in this great love poem we are writing together.

~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Call, HarperONE, San Francisco 2003

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Just Resting

Word has it that one day some disciples found the elder Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu in front of his house, sitting peacefully on the ground in the sun with his fresh-washed long hair cascading down around him.

The students gathered around him and waited patiently.

“What are you doing, Master?” they finally asked.

“Drying my hair in the sun,” the old sage replied.

“Can we help you?” they wanted to know.

“How can you help me; what is there that needs to be done? My hair is being dried by the sun, and I am resting at the origin of all things.”

The Inner Journey

This enigmatic story concerns the inner journey to the very center of things, beyond the dichotomy of doing and being and yet including both. The Taoist sages exemplify harmony and serenity, oneness, authenticity, and the spontaneous flow of naturalness.

~ Lama Surya Das, Forward to Tao Te Ching (translated by Derek Lin)