October 24th, 2012

Poetry Chaikhana | Mirabai - All I Was Doing Was Breathing

All I Was Doing Was Breathing

by Mirabai

English version by Robert Bly


Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.
There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.
All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came by my house.
His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.
My family says: "Don't ever see him again!" And they imply things in a low voice.
But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules, and know whose they are.
I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.
Mira says: Without the energy that lifts mountains, how am I to live?


-- from Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems, Translated by Robert Bly
Poetry Chaikhana | Mirabai - All I Was Doing Was Breathing


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Hildegard of Bingen: A Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church.

Hildegard’s mysticism offers a synthesis, rather than a separation and a subordination. Her sense perceptions and emotional delight in the natural world are so suffused with spiritual joy and religious confidence that we sense no psychic tension, no conflict between competing demands of the human personality. Hence, there’s a wonderful sense of human unity in her writing—an emotional, even an erotic ,sense of arousal at the physical details of the world feeds her spirituality, her devotion to God, and vice versa. Her works strikes the reader as a glorious celebration precisely because there is in it no sense of contradiction between the physical and the spiritual. And this celebration is not based on the authority of anyone’s teaching or on philosophical argument or traditional doctrine: it emerges from the clarity of her perceptions and the purity of her heart.
Hildegard of Bingen: A Lecture by Ian Johnston |

Thanks to cathy_edge for this link.  Good stuff on Hildegard and on mysticism generally.