Sunday, 15 June 2008

moving accurately

This is one of my favourite quotes of all time; it keeps me going when times seem hard or there's a difficult decision to be made. It also seems to express the idea that the way to move through life is to follow your bliss and act as seems right to you, because no matter how unlikely it seems that your endeavour will have a successful outcome, if it's the right thing to do then it will open doors in unexpected ways.
Only one heart had to find its true position and travel on from there and all the rest would follow, for no matter how isolated the one felt itself to be, in the deeps of all life all were united and no one could move accurately without all ultimately moving with it...

~ A Far-Off Place, p.304, Laurens van der Post
There are many wonderful bits in this book, and I highly recommend it.

Friday, 13 June 2008

you are the hands of the Divine

Today's Poetry Chaikhana has a poem with an excellent message of responsibility for everyday practical compassion and working for justice:
You are Christ's Hands

By Teresa of Avila
(1515 - 1582)

Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ's compassion to the world
Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
doing good;
Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

-- from The Essential Mystics: Selections from the World's Great Wisdom Traditions, Edited by Andrew Harvey

I've liked the message of this poem for a while now. Never mind about what or who you think the Christos is; just think about the message that only we, who have hands to heal and bless and mend, can actually do the practical work of compassion.

As Ivan (the editor of Poetry Chaikhana) remarks:
It is a prayer of supreme spiritual maturity. It is not someone imploring Christ to come and fix everything in the external way imagined by so many fundamentalist sects; rather, it recognizes the presence of the Divine within each of us and our sacred responsibility to embody that compassion and service to the world. Each one of us is the vehicle through which Christ (or Ishwara, or however you name the personal form of the Divine) sends blessings. Our job is to get out of the way and let that sacred current flow through us unhindered.