Saturday, August 18, 2007

I will heal their affliction,
Generously will I take them back in love;
For My anger has turned away from them.
I will be to Israel like dew;
He shall blossom like the lily,
He shall strike root like a Lebanon tree.
His boughs shall spread out far,
His beauty shall be like the olive tree's,
His fragrance like that of Lebanon.
They who sit in his shade shall be revived:
They shall bring to life new grain,
They shall blossom like the vine;
His scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim shall say:
'What more have I to do with idols?
When I respond and look to Him,
I become like a verdant cypress."
Your fruit is provided by Me.
Hosea 14:5 - 9
Sanatkumara said: 'When you can discern the infinite in that which is beautiful, then you can enjoy beauty. Those who do not discern the infinite in that which is beautiful, cannot enjoy beauty. Therefore you must understand the infinite.' The young man said: 'I seek the nature of infinity.' Sanatkumara siad: 'When you understand the indivisible unity of all beings, and see and hear nothing, ou discern the infinite. When you see or hear only separateness and division, you discern only that which is finite. The infinite is beyond death, but the finite cannot escape death.'
Chandogya Upanishad 7:23-24
In the name of God the compassionate, the merciful.
All praise belongs to God, the Lord of all being. He is compassionate and merciful. He is the master of the day of judgement.
We worship only you; in you alone we seek refuge. Guide us along the straight path, the path of those whom you have blessed - not the path of those who have incurred your wrath, nor the path of those who have gone astray.
Quran 1:1 - 7
The Way has reality, and it can be expressed; but it does nothing, and has no form.
The Way can be passed on, but it cannot be received. It can be obtained, but it cannot be seen.
The Way is rooted in itself. It has existed since before heaven and earth were born. It exists for all eternity. Indeed, the Way brought heaven and earth to birth.
The Way is above the atmosphere, but it cannot be called high. It is below the ocean, but it cannot be called deep. It is more ancient than antiquity, but it cannot be called ancient.
The Way brought the sun and the moon into existence; and since that moment they have never rested.
Chuang Tzu, The Book of Chuang Tzu
There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity,
a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me
from the unseen roots of all created being,
welcoming me tenderly,
saluting me with indescribable humility.
This is at once my own being, my own nature,
and the Gift of my Creator's Thought and Art within me,
speaking as Hagia Sophia,
speaking as my sister, Wisdom.
Thomas Merton, The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton
Through the Gospel of John, I have come to see that to pray is above all to dwell in Jesus and to let Jesus dwell in me.
It is not first and foremost to say prayers,
but to live in the now of the present moment, in communion with Jesus.
Prayer is a place of rest and quiet.
When we love someone, don't we delight in being with each other,
being present to one another?
Now and again we may say a word of affection,
we will be attentive to each other and listen to each other,
but it is essentially a place of silence.
The great Spanish mystic John of the Cross once said,
"Silence is the way God speaks to us."
Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John
Rabbi Akiba was walking with his colleagues, Rabbi Gamaliel, Rabbi Eliezer, and Rabbi Joshua, on the Temple mount that was in ruins. All four rabbis saw a little fox run about on the ruins of the Temple mount, on the place where the Holy of Holies once stood. Three of the four began weeping, but Rabbi Akiba laughed. "Why do you weep?" Rabbi Akiba asked his colleagues. The three answered, "Because the place of the Temple is now the place of the fox." Then the three rabbis asked Rabbi Akiba, "Why do you laugh, seeing all the destruction, seeing that the people are gone and only the fox remains?" Rabbi Akiba answered, "Because just as the prophet foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, so the prophet foretold the future restoration of the city. Now that Jerusalem has been destroyed, the first prophecy fulfilled, we know that the second prophecy, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, will also be fulfilled."
Babylonian Talmud Makkot 24b
Thanks to the practice of mindfulness, we come to life again immediately. Being alive is being in the present moment, in the here and now, and that is possible through mindful breathing. In Buddhist meditation, we practice resurrection every moment: "Breathe, you are alive." The Holy Spirit is present with our mindful breath: "Give us this day our daily bread." This is the very practice of living in the present moment, this day. We must not lose ourselves either in the past or in the future; and the only moment in which we can touch life is the present moment. In Christianity, we find the same teaching as in Buddhism.
Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love