if ~ nayyirah waheed.

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There rolls the deep where grew the tree.

      O earth, what changes hast thou seen!
There where the long street roars, hath been
The stillness of the central sea.

The hills are shadows, and they flow
From form to form, and nothing stands;
They melt like mist, the solid lands,
Like clouds they shape themselves and go.

But in my spirit will I dwell,
And dream my dream, and hold it true;
For tho’ my lips may breathe adieu,
I cannot think the thing farewell. ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson.

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The Guest House ~ Rumi.

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A Lemon by Pablo Neruda

LEMON WATERCOLOUR

Out of lemon flowers
loosed
on the moonlight, love’s
lashed and insatiable
essences,
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow
emerges,
the lemons
move down
from the tree’s planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
bazaars
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
brims
into the starry
divisions:
creation’s
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
alive:
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
altars,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
wells
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet. 

~ by Pablo Neruda

 

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

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Metta practice is not about them; it is about us. 

Metta practice is not about them; it is about us. 

We do not love other people because they deserve it or because we want something from them. The practice of lovingkindness is for cleansing our mind stream. 

Being kind is a healthy mental and emotional state to be in, and the more often we can conjure it up and sustain it, the better off we are and the better we feel. 

Whilst radiating lovingkindness in all directions to all beings, the conscious mind is bright and luminous, and our unconscious mind is being subtly transformed, such that we become a kinder person, more disposed to respond with lovingkindness in the future. 

Anger and hatred, on the other hand, are inherently toxic. Anytime they emerge from the depths of the psyche and flow into our active mind, they cause harm and bring about disharmony. Anger and hatred affects us as well as others. Being in a state of anger and hatred causes lasting damage to the quality of our own character. It also hurts others. 

Enacting even low doses of anger such as annoyance or disapproval reinforces a toxic quality of mind and hampers our ability to love and be loved.

There is a lot that is wrong with our world, but attacking the things or the people that we don’t like or feel we have been hurt by, always leads to harm in the long run. The Buddha offers the image of a person thrusting a torch at someone upwind: the intention is to harm the other, but the torchholder is the one who gets burned. 

Lovingkindness is the antidote to anger and hatred. That is why cultivating it is so beneficial. 

Allowing ourselves to feel pain and vulnerability helps us access the pain and vulnerability others feel.  This activates the healthiest parts of ourselves. Why should we allow anyone to obstruct that process. Why should the indisputable fact that someone has hurt us or deprived us drag us down and prevent us from being a better and kinder person? Why shouldn’t the lovingkindness we can experience permeate even the darkest corners of the heart and the world?

Lovingkindness is universal. It is not personal. This is what makes it so powerful as a tool for mental purification and emotional transformation. 

Let us do our best to extend it, especially to those we consider as having hurt us, or denied us what we feel we are owed, and help bring about more love and harmony in the world.

~ Some words on loving kindness edited and adapted from a piece by Andrew Olensdzki.

The barn burnt down…along the roadside…blossoming wild roses…

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by Mizuta Masahide
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by Bashō