When Our Hearts Break – Inspirational Quotations

the dark Iris

The Zen of an Aching Heart

“Your days pass like rainbows, like a flash of lightning, like a star at dawn. Your life is short. How can you quarrel?”

~The Buddha

~Buddha 

In the Jewish mystical tradition, one great Rabbi taught his disciples to memorize and contemplate the teachings and place the prayers and holy words on their heart. One day a student asked the Rabbi why he always used the phrase “on your heart” and not “in your heart,” and the master replied, “Only time and grace can put the essence of these stories in your heart. Here we recite and learn them and put them on our hearts hoping that some day when our heart breaks they will fall in.”

But when our heart breaks—in love, in friendship, in partnership—it is always a very difficult experience. Modern neuroscience has even discovered that the emotional suffering we experience registers in the same areas of the brain as physical pain. So when we’re feeling abandoned and rejected, we don’t want to eat, we can’t sleep, we have difficulty breathing, our bodies feel as if we have the flu or we’ve been run over by a truck.

So, what can we do when we have to accept the loss of a friend, a lover, or a loved one? What truth can we find beyond the stories we tell ourselves about how they’re wrong and we’re right, or that we’re wrong and they’re right? What can we do besides spending fruitless hours trying decipher everything they said or did? Can we do something more useful than justifying to ourselves what we said or did, or wishing that we had said or done something else? And what can we do when the story spreads to nearly drown us in despair over feelings that there’s something wrong with us, that we’re unlovable, that we’re the reason things didn’t work out?

Like a sandcastle, all is temporary.

Build it, tend it, enjoy it.

And when the time comes

let it go.

The first thing you need to do when you’ve suffered loss or betrayal is to find a way to regain your wise heart so that you can let it hold the aching of your heart. The Zen teacher Karlfried Von Durckheim speaks of the importance of the need to go through our difficulties in a conscious and clear way.

The person who, already being on the way, falls upon hard times in the world, will not as a consequence turn to those friends who offered them refuge and comfort and encourage their old self to survive. Rather, they will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help them to risk themselves, so they may endure the difficulty and pass courageously through it. Only to the extent that a person exposes themselves over and over again to annihilation and loss can that which is indestructible be found within them. In this daring lie dignity and the spirit of true awakening.

….

Sometimes suffering the losses and the unexpected betrayals and break-ups that befall each of us becomes the places where we grow deepest in our capacity to lead an authentic and free life. Here is where the heart grows in dignity and care. By grieving honorably and tenderly and working our way through our difficulties, our ability to love and feel compassion for ourselves and others deepens, along with the trust that will help us through similar problems in the future.

Breathe. Remember, there are countless others who have suffered in this way and gotten through it. We are not alone. Learning how to survive our present difficulties is one of the few things that will help us to know the right things to say and do when others whom we love suffer as well.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times“ Jack Kornfield

Mystical Poets and Seers – Rumi & St. Augustine -Rumi

photo from the Internet

Jalalud’Din Rumi, the 13th century Persian lawyer-divine and Sufi, widely considered literature’s greatest mystical poets, understood very well the uncontrollable and idiosyncratic impact of poetry. Yet one wonders if even he, for all his intuitive grasp of language, humanity and the cosmos foresaw the deep and diverse influence his own work would have on readers throughout the world seven centuries after his death-or the myriad meanings enthusiasts would draw from his sprawling and contradictory poems. In the Islamic world today, Rumi is read for much the same reasons he was revered during his life: for his excellence as a poet; for his rare ability to empathize with humans, animals and plants; for his personal refinement; and, above all else, for his flawless moral center and ability to direct others towards good conduct and union with Allah.


I went crazy last night, love ran into me and said:
‘I am coming, do not shout, do not tear your clothes, speak no more.’
‘O love!’ I said: ‘I am afraid of other things.’
‘There is nothing else’ it said: ‘speak no more.
I shall whisper hidden words into your ear;
You just nod in approval! except in secret speak no more!’

(Divan 2219:1-5)

Translated by Fatemeh Keshavarz,  ‘Reading Mystical Lyric.’
University of South Carolina Press, 1998.




St. Augustine’s, out-pouring of love and separation from Christ is equal to the longing of Rumi for Shams. Although, St. Augustine is well known within Christian circles, his writings are not as universally known or as appreciated as those of Rumi.  Both wrote with  intensity about their love, separation, suffering and  longing for union with their spiritual masters.

The Confessions – St. Augustine

“Seek for yourself, O man; search for your true self. He who seeks shall find himself in God.”

In The Confessions, Saint Augustine addressed himself eloquently and passionately to the enduring spiritual questions that have stirred the minds and hearts of thoughtful men since time began. Written A.D. 397, The Confessions are a history of the young Augustine’s fierce struggle to overcome his profligate ways and achieve a life of spiritual grace.

The first ten books of the work relate the story of Augustine’s childhood in Numidia; his licentious and riotous youth and early manhood in Carthage, Rome, and Milan; his continuous struggle with evil; his attempts to find an anchor for his faith among the Manicheans and the Neoplatonists; the untiring efforts of his mother, Saint Monnica, to save him from self-destruction; and his ultimate conversion to the Christian faith at the age of thirty-two.

The last three books of The Confessions, unrelated to the preceding account of Saint Augustine’s early life, are an allegorical explanation of the Mosaic account of Creation. Throughout the work, the narrative, addressed to God, is interspersed with prayers, meditations, and instructions, many of which today are to be found in the liturgies of all sects of the Christian Church.

The Confessions constitutes perhaps the most moving diary ever recorded of of a soul’s journey to grace. Appearing midway in Saint Augustine’s prodigious body of theological writings, they stand among the most persuasive works of the sinner-turned-priest who was to exercise a greater influence on Christian thought than any of the other Church fathers.

— From the Collier Books edition

 

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Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

from The Confessions of Saint Augustine