Friday, December 30, 2011

Atom Glow

O traveler, traveler along the way,
there is not a single soul
who lacks a pathway to God.
There is not a stone or a flower -—
not a single piece of straw
lacking the divine essence.
In every particle of the world
the sun of love
causes the heart of each atom to shine.

—- Muhammad Shirin Maghribi

Monday, December 26, 2011


Every midwife knows
that not until a mother’s womb
softens in the pain of labor
will a way unfold and the infant
find that opening through which it can be born.
O my friend, there is treasure in your heart,
and it is heavy with child.
All the awakened ones, like trusted midwives
are saying to you, “Welcome this pain.
Let it open the dark passageway of grace."

-- from Rumi

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hopeless Desire

I had such a hopelessly desperate desire for You
till I saw how your light
had always yearned for me.
I pushed and I pulled till I saw that it was You
who had already drawn me to every good
that I have ever known.

—arranged from Rumi

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Living signs

Your names reflect your boundless essence.
This world displays your living signs.
The stars trace out
the beauties of your perfection.
If you are not enraptured by these wonders
then the eye of wisdom is truly blind.

Maftun Hamadani

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fire of Love

That fire, that light whose name is love
burns away both belief and unbelief.
Religious belief is one thing —
but the way of love
is something entirely different.
Love’s Prophet, Love’s messenger, Love’s angel
is beyond creeds, beyond petty distinctions
and leads us out beyond ourselves
into the fields of infinite compassion.

— Abu Sa’id abi-l Khayr

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Morning of Friendship

When the morning of friendship with God
begins to dawn,
the soul grows distant from
the landscapes of this world,
and you reach a place inside yourself where
without any hindrance from your external eyes
you can catch a glimpse
of the face of the Friend.
And you ask: “With your overwhelming beauty,
what are you?
And who are you like, O God?”
And God replies:
I am love, I am lover,
I am (the) Beloved One.
And I am the beauty reflected
in the mirror of creation around you.
And I am the deep longing
of your eyes to see it.
For you see, the imprint of the divine beauty
already exists inside of you.
The Mirror of the divine face
is already reflecting out through you.
In truth, there is not a thing in this world
separate from you.
Whatever you are seeking is already waiting there
inside of you.
For in the end, we are all images
you stitch with gold thread
into a tapestry you are weaving.
Even the least figure in that tapestry
is a playful addition.
Nothing you ever work on is ever dull.
Each of us is a manifestation
of your divine beauty.

—Sayfal-Din Bakharzi, , Baba Afdal Kashani, Abu Sa’id Abil Khayr

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love's Currency

Reason said,
“We live in a world of only six directions,
and that’s it!”
But Love replied, “There is a field
beyond all of that,
and I have traveled its path many times.”
Reason saw a marketplace in this world
and immediately set up shop,
But love trades in another kind of currency altogether—
a consciousness that flows
through the arteries of the universe.

 -- Rumi

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bubble of Foam

Pass away — even from your self:
Then you’ll find
the infinite and eternal shore.

To reach the Friend,
you have to go beyond yourself.
One day a bubble of foam
was wondering about its own existence,
when suddenly it popped
and rejoined the sea.

—Fekri Khurasani

Friday, November 11, 2011

Gospel of Thomas: Logion 21

Miriam said,
"Then tell us, Master, what your students are like.
How would you describe them?"

He answered,
"They are like small children
living in a field not their own.
When the landlords return and demand,
'Give us back our field!'
the children return it by simply stripping themselves
and standing naked before them.

So then, I must also tell you this:
If a householder knows for sure
that thieves are coming to steal his goods,
he will keep careful watch before they get there
to prevent them from tunneling in and taking his possessions.

You too, from your beginnings,
must keep a watchful eye on the cosmos,
binding great power to yourselves
so that thieves cannot find a way to get to you.
Pay attention then.
Any outside help you look for they will try to seize first.

May there be someone among you who truly understands this.

So listen carefully, if you have an ear for this!
When the fruit was ripe, ready to burst,
the harvester came quickly, sickle in hand, and took it.

Gospel of Thomas: Logion 20

His students said to him,
"Tell us about this kingdom of yours in the heavens.
What is it like?"

Yeshua answered them,

"Let me compare it to a mustard seed,
the smallest of all seeds.
When it falls into prepared ground,
it grows into a great tree
capable of sheltering the birds of the sky."

Gospel of Thomas: Logion 19

Yeshua says...

Blessed are all who come to live
at the point of arising--
their "genesis,"
before they came into temporality.

If you become my students,
listening deeply to my words,
even these stones will serve you.

And in paradise five evergreen trees await you.
They do not change in summer
nor shed their leaves in winter.
If you come to know them,
you will not know the taste of death.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 18

His students said to him,

So, tell us, then,
what our end
and destiny will be?

Yeshua answered,

“Have you already discovered your origin
so that you are now free to seek after your end?
It is only at your source
that you will find your destiny.
Blessed are those who come to stand
in their place of origination,
for it is there that they will know their end—
never tasting death.”

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gospel of Thomas: Logion 17

Yeshua says,

What your own eyes cannot see,
your human ears do not hear,
your physical hands cannot touch,
and what is inconceivable to the human mind—
that I will give to you!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Psalm 17

God As Judge

1. O God, as judge of everything and all,
hear my plea of innocence, this cry, this prayer;
it does not come to you from lips that lie.

2. You be the judge
and let what vindication there is to be,
Come from your presence,
O you whose eyes discern the right and wrong.

3. You visit me at night in search of truth,
you assess the heart, so test me for impurities.

4. My mouth speaks no offence as others do,
for I follow only what falls from your own lips.

5. I walk in truth and beauty on your smooth path,
I walk before you and all your ways are mine,
O God.

6. I call to you and hear the answer of your voice,
for your ear is ever near my lips to hear my words.

7. You show to me the wonder of your love,
and grasp me in your strong hands to hide me safe.

8. O guard me ever there in you,
and keep me as the apple of your eye,
protect me in the shadow of your outstretched wings,

9. Safe from the assaults of evil foes
surrounding me.

10. You know how they have closed their hearts to mercy, Lord,
their words so full of pride and arrogance.

11. They come close and pressing in on every side,
watching carefully to capture me.

12. Like lions, greedy for the prey,
they lie low and hidden in the grass.

13. Rise up, O God, and from your hiding place,
confront them all and bring them down,
Release me from this evil
by your swift, sharp sword of truth.

14. Let your strong hand deliver me
from those whose only goal in life
is to seize and own this world of yours;

15. Who fill their bellies and gorge their souls,
with goods of earth,
or pass it to their children.

16. But I, when I awaken,
shall see your face my God.
I shall gaze upon your image and be satisfied.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 16

Yeshua says,

Some of you are thinking perhaps
that I have come into the cosmos
to bring it peace.

No! You do not yet realize that I have come
to throw it into utter chaos
through burning, blade, and battle.

Five will be living in one household.
Three will face off against two, and two against three.
Parents will rise up against children,
and children against their parents,
until at last they shall stand as one on their own feet.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Psalm 16

1. Protect me, Lord, for I have taken residence,
as refugee in you.

2. I said, “You are my Lord and Master,
and my God;
what gifts of life I have all came from you.”

3. I take delight in all who trust in you,
who have settled in your land,
and made your good their every gain,
their livelihood.

4. But those who sport with other gods,
the ones they own,
will only multiply their troubles here.

5. I will not offer self or sacrifice to these,
nor take their empty names upon my lips.

6. Lord you are for me all that I truly need,
and all that’s good.
I raise the cup of life you give and drink,
and live in full what you have cast for me as lot.

7. Inside the boundaries of my life
there is a land so broad, so good,
I never earned it all, nor was it ever “mine,”
but sent as gift, inherited from you.

8. And there you teach me all I need to know.
So I thank you for these instructions of the heart.

9. I keep your face before me as I walk;
with your strong presence at my side I never fall.

10. My inner life is filled with you, my heart is glad,
my soul is ever satisfied,
my body rests along the way in peace.

11. And when it comes, you will not abandon me in death,
nor allow your beloved ones to vanish
and be no more.

12. You lead and guide along a path called Life,
and there your presence is the source of joy,
For from your hands there flows
a never-ending stream of bliss.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Love's fire

The day love’s fire was lit,
lovers learned the way of burning.
This burning and melting is all the Friend’s doing.
If the candle were never lit,
the moth would never burn.

—Abu Sa’id Abi’l Khayr

Monday, October 17, 2011

Turning with the stars

If you are seeking your true self,
then come out of yourself.
Leave the tributary and flow toward the River.
Why carry the burden of heaven’s millstone on
your back, when you could be turning instead
with the choir of the circling stars?


Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Beloved's Desire

As the Beloved One, 
I want no lordship,
no mastery.
I want astonishment and devastation.
But like monks, you hide away 
in your cloisters of security.
I want you to give up everything 
and roam the world like a free being (dervish).


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 15

Yeshua says,

When the time comes
and you are able
to look upon the Unborn One,
fall prostrate in worship,
for you have found your own true Father,
(your Source and Origin at last).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Psalm 15

Friends of God

1. O God, who of us may approach
the summit of your mountain strong?
Who may come, invited to your presence there?

2. Only those who live their lives devoid of blame,
who do what’s right,
and from whose hearts truth is the only word;

3. Whose mouths are free from hateful words
and hands from wrong,
who treat their neighbors as their own, their kind;

4. Who do not give a place of honor to the evil one,
but only to the friends of God.

5. Whose promise is as good as any word they ever give,
even in the face of loss or gain.

6. They give and give, and ever give again,
without hope of getting in return,
and never take a bribe or speak against the innocent.

7. All these shall come at last to you,
all these, secure and overcomers, all!
All these are ever yours;
they’re proven true as your own friends.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Remember the Truth

The soul is love and affection -—
so grow to know the soul.
But the Truth of forgetting yourself is ecstasy.
When “I” and “you” are present,
you’re thinking from the place of the ego.
So when you hear those two words,
remember this truth and go beyond the ego.

—Saghir Isfahani

Monday, October 3, 2011

Psalm 14

The Seeker and the Atheist

1. Foolishly the heart that says, “There is no God,”
acts out these words in deeds of crime and violence,
forsaking any good.

2. God sees it all from heaven’s height,
and looks to find the good in them,
God hopes to find some seeker there.

3. But these have given up the search,
to follow hard upon their evil ways,
and none of them are doing good at all, not one.

4. Where has their knowledge, their awareness gone,
these folk who eat the people up like bread
without a thought or prayer?

5. Behold, their time of fear shall come,
for God has taken sides, not theirs,
To care for all the lowly ones
who seek the right and serve the good,

6. The very ones they’ve mocked for seeking hope
and refuge in their God.

7. O deliver us,
restore our many losses here on earth we pray.
Come from your dwelling place,
Your holy mountain, your eternal city strong, Jerusalem,
and make your people glad and filled,
yes filled with joy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 14

Yeshua says...

If you fast
you will only be giving birth to sin in yourself.
If you pray,
your prayers will come back to haunt you.
If you give to charity,
you will create evil within your own spirit.

If, however, you travel through a region
and they welcome you,
eat whatever is put in front of you,
and heal their sick.
For it is not what goes into your mouth which contaminates you,
but what comes out of it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Steps of Love

The first step in love is losing your head.
After that, the petty ego,
you then give up your life and bear its calamities.
With this behind you, go, go…
polish the residue left upon the mirror of your heart.

—Fakhr al-Din Iraqi

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 13

Yeshua asked his students,

Tell me, then, who am I like?
To whom will you compare me?

Simon Peter said, “You are like a just angel.”

Matthew said, “You are a philosopher of wisdom.”

Thomas said, “Master, I cannot find words
to express who you really are.”

Yeshua said, “Thomas, it is no longer necessary
for me to be your Master, for you are drinking
from the gushing spring I have opened for you,
and you have become intoxicated.”

Then Yeshua took Thomas aside
and spoke three sayings to him in private.
When Thomas returned to the company of his companions
they, of course, asked him,
“What did Yeshua say to you?”
“If I were to tell you
even one of the things he spoke to me,” Thomas replied,
“you would pick up these rocks and stone me,
and then fire would blaze out of them and burn you.”

Monday, September 12, 2011

Psalm 13

How Long?

1. How long will I feel this deep, deep sense of loss,
O God,
that I’m a forgotten one, abandoned and alone?

2. How long must I suffer this deep grief of soul,
this path of pain that fills my days
and all my nights?
How long will my enemies take advantage of my woe?
How long?

3. You, it seems, have turned your face away;
turn back, I pray, and answer me.
Fill up my eyes with light again,
before I fall asleep in death.

4. How long will all my foes prevail, rejoicing in my fate?
Let not my many failings be
their last and final word.

5. I’ve thrown everything I am and have
upon your mercy, Lord,
I’ve put my trust in you and in your loving care,

6. So at the last may my prayer be praise
for a mercy ever sure.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Scent of Non-Being

Today I feel trapped,
tightly bound in the cage of my own existence.
I need the scent of you -—
beyond time,
beyond being --
to set me free.

So just for a moment
lend me the polish of your grace,
your presence,
so I can scour the rust from the mirror of my heart -—
my own deepest Reality.

—Shihab al-Din Yahya Suhrawadi

Friday, September 9, 2011

Psalm 12

1. Help us, Lord!
Where in this world has all the goodness gone?

2. Where are those who speak for truth, not lies?
It’s all flattery, smooth speech,
and double-heartedness.

3. O that you would cut loose these lying lips,
and gag the braggart’s mouth.

4. O that you would stop all those who think or say,
“I’ll take advantage with my tongue!
Who owns these lips but me?”

5. God says, it is for the poor and needy ones I come,
their cries of grief I hear.
I’ll rise for them and make a place of peace,
a place secure.

6. Your words, O God, are pure as silver refined from ore,
as good as gold, tried seven times in refiner’s fire.

7. Watch over us, protect us all,
in this sad world we pray,

8. Where evil rises up on every side,
and prowls the hidden alleys of the heart;
Where worthlessness is highly prized
and made the king of all.

Monday, September 5, 2011


You are the Sovereign, and you have checkmated every beautiful soul.
You are the Light, and all else are the rays of your Sun.
You are the Fire, and every created thing is your burning lamp.
You are the Essence, and this entire world is your living sign.

—Tuti Hamadani

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Psalm 11

Fly, Fly Away Like a Bird

1. Fly, fly away like a bird into the mountains, you said.
But I had already fled for refuge into God.

2. Look at evil, how it takes its bow in hand
and sets an arrow to the string.
It aims to kill the good of heart!

3. See, the foundations of the world are crumbling now,
broken into bits.
So what are the righteous ones to do?

4. Lift up your eyes to the Lord of heaven.
Fix them on the One enthroned forever there.

5. Behold the gaze of God rests on all humankind.
God takes our measure at a glance.

6. Test all of us, O God, the wicked and the good.
You hate our love of violence.

7. Rain fire and burning coals upon all wickedness.
Sweep clean with your hot burning breath.

8. Take delight in justice done, for God is just.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 11

Yeshua says,

The sky and all that lies
in the dimensions above it
will cease to exist.

The dead know nothing of life,
and the living will never die.
When you consume that which is already dead,
you are turning it back into life.

So, then, when you too re-emerge into the Light,
what will you do?
For on the day when you were created one,
you also became two,
but when you come to realize your twoness again,
what will you do?

Friday, September 2, 2011


Let your throat-song be so clear and so strong
that it will make even an emperor
fall full length and prostrate
at the door of the Beloved One.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 12

His students said,

We know we cannot hold on to you
so who will lead us then?

Yeshua said,

“Wherever it is that you find yourselves,
turn to James, one of the Just
for whom heaven and earth
have come into being.”

(Note: This image originally published as Psalm 6)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Psalm 10

The Cry for Justice

1. Lord, when there is such deep need
and I am in distress,
why do you remove yourself and stand so far away

2. While evil roams this world, hunting down the poor?
Catch the prideful, wicked ones
in all their evil ways.

3. Just listen to their boasts and schemes,
their terrible desires.
For they deride your name in scorn,

4. They care nothing for you at all.
They even say, “There is no God,”
you’ve vanished out-of-sight.

5. Yet still they prosper in their ways,
contemptuous of all that’s good.

6. They boast of vast securities,
protecting them from you.

7. Deceit and cursing fills their mouths,
crooked their every word.

8. They hide among the innocent,
seeking for their prey.

9. They seize upon the helpless ones,
and drag them to their lair.

10. They hold them in captivity,
waiting for the feed.

11. You see, O God, these innocent,
how weak ones cannot stand.

12. You also hear the wicked say,
“God has forgotten them.”

13. Rise up, O God, do not forget,
in this our hour of need.

14. Let not these wicked ones
deride or trample on the good,
Or say, “God does not care at all,
we’ll never have to pay,”

15. You’ve seen it all by now, O God,
our troubles to you are clear.

16. You know these tired, these tortured ones,
they cling to you in fear.

17. So break the power of evil,
lay bare what hides to harm,

18. And we shall live forever
where evil is no more.

19. O helper of the helpless ones,
hear this our great lament,
Lean close to touch the needy and the poor,
and make them strong again.

20. Then all across this world of ours,
the orphaned and oppressed
Will see at last true justice done,
that terror reigns no more.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 10

Yeshua says,

See, I have sown fire into the cosmos,
and I shall guard it carefully
until it blazes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Psalm 9

Great, Good News

1. Everything within me wants to cry out “thanks,” and “praise!”
Everything wants to tell the great good news of what you’ve done.

2. So full of song am I, O God, so full of joy,
the mention of your holy name sets my soul to singing.

3. My enemies are gone,
you’ve driven them stumbling and far away,
and as they fled in fear they vanished out of sight.

4. For you upheld my right, my cause,
you’ve rendered justice from your throne.

5. You’ve brought the many nations low,
and wiped the slate of evil clean.
You’ve destroyed the very heart of wickedness,
with its list of many names.

6. Gone these dreadful enemies of ours,
Gone their habitation, their memories fading fast.

7. But you remain forever
as a good and righteous judge.

8. Your rulings are based in justice,
you judgments, balanced, fair.

9. You are for us a place secure,
to whom we turn in faith, and unafraid.

10. We’ve come to love your sacred name,
and trust your loving care.

11. So now I offer praise to you,
I proclaim what you have done.

12. The true avenger of the blood of innocents
did not forget the lost and little ones.

13. So save me from my enemies,
close the yawning gates of death.

14. Then I too shall enter your city,
proclaiming your praise with joy on my lips.

15. For my foes have fallen deep into the pit,
they’ve entangled their feet in their own nets.

16. And you have revealed yourself, unhidden,
the schemers are caught in the plots of their hands.

17. The heedless have sunk low in oblivion.
The wicked go down to the dead.

18. But the needy and poor, they’re remembered forever,
their hopes and their dreams do not fade.

19. So rise up, O God, again judge the nations,
let all that’s eternal prevail.

20. Put fear at last in the hearts of the peoples,
make us know that our life is but days.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 9

Yeshua says,

A farmer went out to plant,
scattering seed everywhere.

Some fell on the surface of the road.
Birds came and ate it.

Other seeds fell on rocky ground
and could not take root in the earth,
or send grain heavenward,
and so never germinated.

Still other seed fell among weeds and brambles
which choked it out, and insects devoured it.

Some, however, fell onto fertile soil
which produced fruit of high quality
yielding as much as sixty and
one-hundred and twenty percent.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Psalm 6

I’m Weak, Be Merciful

1. Lord, I feel your anger aimed against me,
do not reject or punish me, I pray.

2. I’m weak, O Lord, be merciful.
Heal this racking pain I feel to my very bones.

3. I’m shaken to my core, depressed and all alone.
How long can I go on in judgment and despair?

4. Turn back to me, O God,
in kindness set me free,

5. For who remembers you when they are gone?
What tongue can praise you from the grave?

6. I’m tired of my groaning and this aching pain.
I’m weary of lying in this tear-soaked bed.

7. My eyes grow dim with weeping, grief, and agony,
all my troubles have worn me thin.

8. Go away, all you who seek to do me harm.
God feels my pain and hears the storming of my grief.

9. Yes, it is God who gathers up my tears.
My prayers are never ever turned away.

10. But the day will come
when my foes shall stand astounded, Lord;
they shall turn and see what you have done.
then it is they who shall be confused.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 6

His students asked him,

Do you want us to fast?
How shall we pray?
Should we give offerings?
From what foods must we abstain?

Yeshua answered,

“Stop lying.
Do not do what you hate,
because everything here lies open before heaven.
Nothing hidden will remain secret,
for the veil will be stripped away
from what lies concealed behind it.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 4

Yeshua says,

A person of advanced age must go immediately
and ask an infant born just seven days
about life’s source.

Such asking leads to life
when what is first becomes last.
United they become a single whole.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Psalm 7

Longing for Justice

1. Help me, Lord my God, for I flee for safety into you,
I am looking for a hiding place from all who hunt me down.

2. I fear the lion-like adversaries of my world,
those who tear and rend the soul.
I fear them when no place is sure,
when there is no one near to save.

3. O God, my plea to you is this,
if I have caused this evil or this pain,
if you find blood upon my hands,

4. If I have been the source of harm,
if I have plundered foe or friend,

5. Then let them come and take me, Lord,
let them bring me to the ground.

6. But God, I beg of you to rise
and in your fury stand against my foes.
Awaken to my cause, O God, and be the judge of all.

7. And as you ascend the judge’s seat,
Let all be gathered there,

8. Judge us, judge me, judge everything
and all that’s in your care.

9. Weigh me on the scale of innocence,
according to your law,
and as you establish justice, bring evil to an end.

10. For this I know, you are the source of justice done,
the fairest judge of all,
You know what’s in the human heart,
to the very secrets of the soul.

11. You are also the great protecting one,
you shield the good, defending all that’s true.

12. Your justice moves the many nations
often against their will.

13. But if the peoples of the earth will never turn or change,
then you must sharpen sword and bend your bow.

14. You must make yourself a weapon of our death,
an arrow tipped with fire.

15. Your target, those who deal in sin,
who live out crime and lies.

16. For the life they lead digs for them a pit,
their traps become their graves.

17. And evil is always, in the end, a cheat,
it recoils upon its “friends.”
It descends from nowhere like a crown of fire
and rests upon their heads.

18. O God, I give you thanks for justice done,
I raise your name in praise,
My tongue gives tribute to the name of one,
exalted over all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Inside you

The imprint of the divine Word is upon you.
The mirror of the divine Beauty is shining out through you.
Not a thing in this world is outside of you.
Whatever you are seeking you will find it
already there waiting inside of you.

—Baba Afdal Kashani

Monday, August 15, 2011


Companions on the path were discussing this question: 
What is your experience of God’s presence?
One spoke these words: “I don’t know much, but this is what I do know.
God’s presence is there in front of me, 
a fire on the left, a lovely stream of water on the right.
One group walks toward the fire, and then into the first, 
another toward the sweet flowing water. 
No one knows which are blessed and which are not.
Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream. 
A head goes under the water’s surface, 
and then that head pokes out of the fire.
Most people guard against going into the fire, and so end up in it. 
Those who love the water of pleasure and make it their devotion 
are cheated with this reversal.
The alchemy goes further. 
The voice of the fire tells the truth saying, I am not fire. 
I am fountainhead. Come into me, and don’t mind the flames.
If you are friend of God, fire is your water. 
You should desire to have a thousand set of mothwings 
so you could burn them away, one set a night.
The moth sees light and goes into the fire. 
You should see fire and go toward the light.
The fire of God is world-consuming. Water is world-protecting. 
Somehow each gives the appearance of the other.
To your ordinary eyes what looks like water burns, 
and what looks like fire is a great relief to be inside.
You’ve perhaps seen a magician make a bowl of rice 
seem like a dish full of tiny worms, or with one breath 
make the floor seem to swarm with scorpions.
How much more amazing is God’s alchemy.
Generation after generation lies down in death, defeated, they think, 
but its like when a man and woman 
lie down together encircling each other in love.
Just one split second of God’s mind 
can change the whole nature of comfort or pain.
That splinter of divine Intelligence is the Real Substance.
Fire and water themselves are mere accidents, 
done with temporal smoke and mirrors.
Its all alchemy.”

—arranged from Rumi

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Psalm 5

The Question

1. O God, do you truly listen when I speak to you?
Do you hear the sounds of my distress?

2. Listen to this cry, O sovereign of my life.
It is to you alone I direct my prayer.

3. In the morning, at first-light,
I rise to make my plea to you.
Turn towards me, I pray, as I turn towards you.

4. For this I know,
you do not delight in evil or its schemes,
in you nothing but the good can find a home.

5. You despise the schemers and the cheats, O God.
The proud, inflated ones do not stand a prayer.

6. The liars and destroyers of the truth you hate,
you must end their constant thirst for blood.

7. But you send an invitation of unfailing love,
you invite us to your home,

8. And there at last we’ll surely come to you,
and bow in honor before the God of All.

9. So lead us, God,
our many enemies are strong to bar the way.
Clear out the path before our feet that leads to you.

10. Do not listen to their lies, their heart’s desire.
They mean only to destroy the sacred and the good.

11. Their mouths are hollow like an open grave,
they use their tongues in flattery that only leads to doom.

12. Bring these before your courts, O God, let justice judge.
Sentence all who side against the good.

13. But let all who put their trust in you, rejoice,
for you take us in and give us shelter in your love.
Your name becomes our shielding presence,
our sure defense,

14. In you we find our place secure,
and know your grace as home.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Way of Love

The way of love is not some subtle argument
The doorway leads into devastation.
Birds make great sky-circles out of their freedom.
How do they learn to do that?
They fall, and in falling they’re given wings.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Psalm 8

The Song of Mortal Beings

1. O God, the beauty of your name fills all the earth,
so even from the lips of little ones, the innocent,
the suckling babes, your praise shall rise to overflow the heavens.

2. From there, the center of your household strong,
your enemies are stilled
and our avenger bound in chains and gone.

3.So when I lift my eyes to see you there,
I see the height of heaven itself,
a book of beauty your fingers wrote.
I see through veils of stars and space,
the canopy of sun and moon you set in place.

4. Then who are we to stand before all this and see?
Do you see us, and do you care?

5. Yes, we are mortal beings
set in this world,
below the splendor of transcendent space. 

6. You placed us here, vice-regents of your realm,
and gave the earth into our care.

7. You bid us cherish all this that’s ours,
all beasts and creatures of the wild.

8. The birds of air, the fish of sea, the plants,
and everything that lives and moves
are we to know and love.

9. We sing this song of praise to you;
your name beyond all this we know.
We sing first here so we can learn
to care at all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Divine Abyss

Divine Abyss

The divine mystery is a deep abyss,
of which the present moment is only the entrance.
Plunge into this abyss,
and you will find it infinitely more vast
than all your desires.

— from Jean Pierre de Caussade

Friday, July 22, 2011

Drown in love

Drown in love, and you will taste eternity.
Drink the strangeness of this wine,
for love’s intoxication
is the path to true sobriety.

—Ayn al-Qudat Hamadani

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Psalm 4

The Answering Voice

1. O defender of my cause, I call to you.
Release me from this vice-grip hold life has on me,
have compassion and answer me, I pray.

2. A voice responds, “O mortal ones,
how long will you defame what’s sacred and all that’s good, 
by loving what is worthless and seeking after lies?”

3. I now know this, that it is surely God who answers me.
It is God who astounds the merciful, the chosen ones, the wise.

4. So stand in awe and wonder before this God of yours,
put far from you every evil, every lie.
Commune with God deep within your hearts,
and then in silence wait and listen well
at night upon your beds.

5. Offer God in sacrifice whatever is required of you,
placing all your confidence in God’s care.

6. For there are many who only long for better times,
whose only prayer to God is to ask and ask for more.

7. But you have placed within my heart deep gratitude.
I know more joy than when wine and oil flow.
And when I lie down at night
I fall asleep in your deep peace,
for you keep me in the safe circle of your care.