We Don’t “Cook” Easily – Spirituality

There is a story about an old Zen monk who was dying, who had finished everything and was about to get off the wheel. He was just floating away, free and in his pure Buddha-mind, when a thought passed by of a beautiful deer he had once seen in a field. And he held on to that thought for just a second because of its beauty, and immediately he took birth again as a deer. It’s as subtle as that. It’s like when we begin to see the work that is to be done, and we go to an ashram or a monastery, or we hang out with satsang. We surround ourselves with a community of beings who think the way we think. And then none of the stuff, the really hairy stuff inside ourselves, comes up. It all gets pushed underground.
We can sit in a temple or a cave in India and get so holy, so clear and radiant, the light is pouring out of us. But when we come out of that cave, when we leave that supportive structure that worked with our strengths but seldom confronted us with our weaknesses, our old habit-patterns tend to reappear, and we come back into the same old games – the games we were sure we had finished with. Why? Because there were uncooked seeds, seeds of desires that sprout again the minute they are stimulated. We can stay in very holy places, and the seeds sit there dormant and uncooked. But there is fear in such individuals, because they know they’re still vulnerable.
Nothing goes under the rug. We can’t hide in our highness any more than we’ve hidden in our unworthiness. If we’ve finally decided we want God, we’ve got to give it all up. The process is one of keeping the ground as we go up, so we always have ground, so that we’re high and low at the same moment – that’s a tough game to learn, but it’s a very important one. So at the same moment that if I could, I would like to take us all up higher and higher, so we can see that the game isn’t to get high – the game is to get balanced and liberated.
– Ram Dass – excerpt from Grist for the Mill.

Flowers In The Garden – Rumi


Beauty Of The Arts
Beauty Of The Arts

Imam Ali once said, “be like the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it.”

 

We humans are like seeds. We belong to the garden. ‘But of what garden?’ we ask. ‘From what planting?’

We admit to pondering little about the matter of our growth in this Earthly garden. We barely discern the seed-like nature of ourselves; that the outer-life is a flower or husk, protecting or concealing our fragile inner life, an embryo of a new being-ness. Both pod and flower have a part to play if the whole self is ever to be born.

We search for ways to harmonize these often quarrelsome aspects. Will we ever succeed? If not, the difficult task of bearing new life onto the planet, life and vision and will, is bound to fail, with seeds falling on fallow ground.

Traditions also speak of the calamitous consequences of ignoring this enormous human responsibility. All this knowledge, the good gardener knows, and probably more. Doesn’t the gardener remember where control over conditions ends?  Nature is far more powerful than us. A good gardener is well-practiced in sprouting seeds, and getting them to grow. But the ‘Garden of the Heart’ needs cultivation, to bring forth the blossoming of spirit and of a new consciousness.  

 


Here’s a short story about ‘The Wisdom of  Rumi’.

 

One day Sirajuddin, a Khalifa of high initiate of Rumi, went to the garden of Husamuddin and picked a bunch of flowers for Rumi. When he again entered the house, he saw that many important and learned people were sitting and listening to Rumi give a spiritual discourse. Sirajuddin was taken by the talk and forgot about the flowers. Rumi turned to him and said that whoever comes from a garden should bring flowers with him, as whoever comes from the shop of the sweet-seller is expected to bring back some sweets.

Rumi once said in such a discourse that God had a collyrium that, when applied to one’s eyes, opens the inner vision, and  allows one to see the mystery of existence and know the meaning of hidden things. One also can be illuminated by the gaze of a Sheikh. Rumi reminds us that when the inward eye is opened, one sees that the flowers that grow from Earthy plants live only for a day or two, while the flowers that grow from reason and wisdom are ever fresh. The flowers that bloom from the earth become faded while the flowers that bloom from the heart produce joy. All the delightful sciences  known to us are only like two or three bunches of flowers from God’s Garden. We are devoted to these two or three  bouquets because we have shut the Garden-door on ourselves.

“Behold our words!” Rumi said. “They are the fragrance of those Roses, while we are the Rosebush of certainty’s  Rose Garden.”

The fragrance of the Rose can lead one to the Rose itself and even the Rose-seller. But somethings Rumi was anxious about – that time should not be wasted, as he indicates in this poem:

 

My poetry resembles Egyptian bread;

When a night passes over it you cannot eat it anymore.

Eat it at this point when it is fresh,

Before dust settles upon it.

 

photo source - Beauty Of The Arts