Difficult Emotions

emotions

I struggle with anger and difficult emotions at times. When you come close to the Light, it can be confusing to see such strong negative emotions rising up. It’s natural I have found. These emotions, as temperamental children, demand our attention at uncomfortable times. I have been seeking an answer to how to deal with these emotions.

Love is always there, but we are filled with many other things as well. We gain our knowledge from the world. We must live in and experience the world. We need insight and compassion to change ourselves and indeed the world. We ourselves are not the standard, nor is any other person. We can trust our daily experience guided by insight and mindfulness. We need to learn to be mindful enough to let impulses pass.

The Sufi’s have taught me about loving myself. Jesus taught me to love my brother. From The Four Quartets:

Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.

The Buddhists have been helping me learn compassion as well. I have to be mindful of these difficult feelings. I am challenged to not respond to them, if I do, I quickly stand up and brush myself off.

Mindfulness helps you to become aware of these feelings. We can bear these difficult emotions. To stay present in our anger and difficult emotions is difficult, but awareness of these emotions brings change. If I can see this anger and feelings in myself and let them flow away, I can see it in others and learn to not respond to them as well. I can have compassion. Anger hurts you and your target. I am practicing not reacting to these emotions. It goes slowly.

Joy at Sudden Disappointment

iam

If anyone spends any time here, they will know my deep love for Rumi and Jesus. Many in the West are discovering Rumi, who for me channels love directly from the Source of all being. I want to share this amazing poem. It bridges two faiths. There is a lot being said and Rumi gives us hints at how to proceed forward in this most perilous time.

It is my belief that many ways of thinking and living must find bridges between one another if we are to move forward into a more balanced future peacefully. Yes, we must move beyond religion and science separated. We must learn to find our union in the now before we can share the future. We must learn to use our minds and spirits/consciousness together. This is what I live to demonstrate and proclaim now and forever. We all have a piece of something we are responsible for. 

To be embraced and kissed by God is something to experience. Love is the only bridge we need.

Whatever comes, comes from a need,
a sore distress, a hurting want.

Mary’s pain made the baby Jesus.
Her womb opened its lips
and spoke the Word.

Every part of you has a secret language.
Your hands and your feet say what you’ve done.

And every need brings in what’s needed.
Pain bears its cure like a child.

Having nothing produces provisions.
Ask a difficult question,
and the marvelous answer appears.

Build a ship, and there’ll be water
to float it. The tender-throated
infant cries and milk drips
from the mother’s breast.

Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring.

A village woman once was walking by Muhammad.
She thought he was just an ordinary illiterate.
She didn’t believe that he was a prophet.

She was carrying a two-month-old baby.
As she came near Muhammad, the baby turned
and said, “Peace be with you, Messenger of God.

The mother cried out, surprised and angry,
“What are you saying,
and how can you suddenly talk!”

The child replied, “God taught me first,
and then Gabriel.”
“Who is this Gabriel?
I don’t see anyone.”
“He is above your head, Mother. Turn around. He has been telling me many things.”
“Do you really see him?”
“Yes.
He is continually delivering me from this degraded state into sublimity.

Muhammad then asked the child,
“What is your name?”

Abdul Aziz, the servant of God, but this family
thinks I am concerned with world-energies.
I am as free of that as the truth of your prophecy is.

So the little one spoke, and the mother
took in a fragrance that let her surrender
to that state.

When God gives this knowing,
inanimate stones, plants, animals, everything,
fills with unfolding significance.

The fish and the birds become protectors.
Remember the incident of Muhammad and the eagle.

It happened that as he was listening
to this inspired baby, he heard a voice
calling him to prayer. He asked for water
to perform ablutions. He washed his hands
and feet, and just as he reached for his boot,
an eagle snatched it away! The boot turned upsidedown
as it lifted, and a poisonous snake dropped out.

An eagle circled and brought the boot back,
saying, “My helpless reverence for you
made this necessary. Anyone who acts
this presumptuously for a legalistic reason
should be punished!”

Muhammad thanked the eagle,
and said, “What I thought was rudeness
was really love. You took away my grief,
and I was grieved! God has shown me everything,
but at that moment I was preoccupied within myself.”
The eagle, “But chosen one, any clarity I have
comes from you!”

This spreading radiance
of a True Human Being has great importance.

Look carefully around you and recognize
the luminosity of souls. Sit beside those
who draw you to that.

Learn from this eagle story
that when misfortune comes, you must quickly praise.

Others may be saying, Oh no, but you
will be opening out like a rose losing itself petal by petal.

Someone once asked a great sheikh
what sufism was.

“The feeling of joy when sudden disappointment comes.”

The eagle carries off Muhammad’s boot
and saves him from snakebite.

Don’t grieve for what doesn’t come.
Some things that don’t happen
keep disasters from happening.

 

A Dervish Story about Reality

sufism___istanbul

I am continually amazed as I learn about how other cultures view themselves across time and how similar their hopes, fears and dreams are to my own and my generation’s. There is not much new under the sun it seems. Every generation grapples with its mortality and shares its hopes and fears to try to provide some illumination or warning perhaps to the generations to come.

I have hopes and fears too. I set them aside in my life and I have accepted my place in a world and reality much bigger than the one I can sense. Much bigger than myself. I know I am limited in my awareness, so I assume I know nothing fully. I accept and know that my awareness stretches beyond my senses in ways I can not consciously understand. That makes life mysterious and mystical for me, which I need. So I am not totally agnostic, nor do I totally believe or know anything. I am a swirling mix of sense, memory, emotion, mind, heart and something more I can’t put my finger on.

Across the eons I see a golden thread that binds our religions, myths and traditions together. It is a message of hope, love, acceptance and embracing of one another in our difference. It challenges you to look beneath the surface of things and to be ever mindful of the intention you use to manifest these hopes, dreams and fears that can overwhelm us. I have my experience from which to view all of this and I am compelled to seek others’ perspective as well. You can clearly see the forces that sought to separate and those that brought men together across history. I am throwing my lot in with the dreamers and the those that seek to remove the separations and walls between each other. This Dervish story speaks of much respect across religions and an appreciation for the common dreams we all share no matter our race or creed. I know in the end Love is the only thing that is real and the creeds of man will be shown to be the stepping stones that they are.

The People Who Attain

– from Idries Shaw’s Tales of the Dervishes

Imam el-Ghazali relates a tradition from the life of Isa ibn Maryam(Jesus).

Isa one day saw some people sitting miserably on a wall, by the roadside. He asked: ‘What is your affliction?’

They said: ‘We have become like this through our fear of hell.’

He went on his way, and saw a number of people grouped disconsolately in various postures by the wayside. He said: ‘What is your affliction?’

They said: ‘Desire for Paradise has made us like this.’

He went on his way, until he came to a third group of people. They looked like people who had endured much, but their faces shone with joy. Isa asked them: ‘What has made you like this?’

They answered: ‘The Spirit of Truth. We have seen Reality, and this has made us oblivious of lesser goals.’

Isa said: ‘These are the people who attain. On the Day of Accounting these are they who will be in the Presence of God.’

Commentary

Those who believe that spiritual advancement depends upon the cultivation of reward and punishment themes alone have often been surprised by this Sufi tradition about Jesus.

Sufis say that only certain people benefit through powerful dwelling upon gain or loss; and that this, in turn, may constitute only a part of anyone’s experiences. Those who have studied the methods and effects of conditioning and indoctrination may feel themselves inclined to agree with them.