Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
— Khalil Gibran – Joy and Sorrow (excerpt) – The Prophet
(image source: wikipedia)
Is it possible to hear criticism, even insult, and find deep acceptance in any response that emerges in the moment – grounded in the unshakeable knowing that what you really are doesn’t need defending? And then, being radically open, is it possible to find a nugget of truth in what they are saying, even if it results in momentary humiliation, and destruction of the image of the one you thought you were? This doesn’t mean you become passive and weak. Quite the opposite. You stop identifying as ‘victim’ or ‘hurt one’, and stop seeing the other as ‘enemy’, and you remain open and vast, the infinite capacity for all life, for all thought and sensation and feeling. And here, in the midst of conflict, you discover the place where conflict ceases to be conflict at all – and wake up to a love beyond reason. Yes, every human relationship is a constant invitation to let go. Your mother, your father, your friends, your lovers, your co-workers, everyone you meet – here are your final gurus, your ultimate teachers. Listen to them.
— Jeff Foster
Do not live in the world,
In distraction and false dreams.
Outside the dharma.
Arise and watch.
Follow the way joyfully
Through this world and beyond.
Follow the way of virtue.
Follow the way joyfully
Through this world and on beyond!
For consider the world –
A bubble, a mirage.
See the world as it is,
And death shall overlook you.
Come, consider the world,
A painted chariot for kings,
A trap for fools.
But he who sees goes free.
As the moon slips from behind a cloud And shines,
So the master comes out from behind his ignorance And shines.
The world is in darkness.
How few have eyes to see!
How few the birds
Who escape the net and fly to heaven!
Swans rise and fly toward the sun.
So do the pure conquer the armies of illusion
And rise and fly.
If you scoff at heaven
And violate the dharma,
If your words are lies,
Where will your mischief end?
The fool laughs at generosity.
The miser cannot enter heaven.
But the master finds joy in giving
And happiness is his reward.
And more – For greater than all the joys
Of heaven and earth,
Greater still and than dominion
Over all the worlds,
Is the joy of reaching the stream.
— Siddharta Gautama (The Buddha) – Dhammapada
Be ye lamps unto yourselves,
be a refuge to yourselves.
Hold fast to Truth as a lamp;
hold fast to the Truth as a refuge.
Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves.
And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves,
shall betake themselves to no external refuge,
but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp,
and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge,
they shall reach the topmost height.
— Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) – Buddha’s last words to Ananda
You have learnt so much
And read a thousand books.
Have you ever read your Self?
You have gone to mosque and temple.
Have you ever visited your soul?
You are busy fighting Satan.
Have you ever fought your
You have reached into the skies,
But you have failed to reach
What’s in your heart!
— Baba Bulleh Shah – Look into Yourself (Islamic Mystical Poetry: Sufi Verse from the early Mystics to Rumi…)
Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds; which means really that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change which comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.
— Jiddu Krishnamurti – The Book of Life
In my travels I spent time with a great yogi.
Once he said to me.
“Become so still you hear the blood
flowing through your veins.”
One night as I sat in quiet,
I seemed on the verge
of entering a world inside so vast
I know it is the source of all of us.
— Mirabai – Love Poems from God – The Great Yogi