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Where I wander -- You!

by Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov
English version by Perle Besserman

Where I wander -- You!
Where I ponder -- You!
Only You everywhere, You, always You.
You, You, You.
When I am gladdened -- You!
And when I am saddened -- You!
Only You, everywhere You!
You, You, You.
Sky is You!
Earth is You!
You above! You below!
In every trend, at every end,
Only You, everywhere You!

-- from The Way of the Jewish Mystics, Edited by Perle Besserman

Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World

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Update Update

It has been a while since i updated this journal.  I need to keep betteer track of what is going on in my life.  I can't, right now, dignify those happenings with the word "journey."  Spiritually i am becoming negligent and indifferent, and i don't like that.  I want to lose my self, but i don't want that to happen through negligence.  I need to remind myself that failure to grow spiritual is equal to shrinkage.

Healthwise, i am holding up p[retty good.  I have been getting something that feels like the one day flu about every other day (and Winter is still more than two weeks away.)  One day i am energetic, the next i am dragging my butt (or not.)  Today is a good day.

I wrecked my car a few weeks back by ramming it into the rear of a stalled trailer.  The insurance company totaled it and i bought a new car two days ago, a pretty (grey) little 2015 Fiesta.  There was no drivers manual and i am still trying to figure out the most basic thinks (like how to work the lights, the defroster and the windshield wipers.  I have also learned that with my diminishing eyesight, i should not be driving any car after dark.  So i'm having dinner with about sixty friends on Saturday and at 4pm i excuse myself so i can get home before dark.  But, as is often the case, i was slow on the uptake and i am still five miles from home when it becomes pitch black night.  I cannot see the lane dividers and (i later find out) my lights are not on.  So i am weaving all over the road, being a menace, and scaring the daylights out half the drivers on the road with  me.  So the police catch up with me and revoke my driving license.  Bus servuce in this town is terrible. so i will be taking a lot of taxi rides until i figure out what to do for reliable transportation.  I am not ready to stop living and i live in a place where living includes driving.

I am also assuming a role i never wamted and never thought i  would have -- landlord.  A relative who has a history of homelessness, has been evicted from the house he has been living in for the  last ten years or so,  I have agreed to buy a house and rent it to this relative and a friend at a price they can afford.  I sign the final papers and make the down payment tomorrow afternoon.  I could not believe the amount of red tape one must cut through to buy a house today--less than 20 years after purching the house i live in.

Anyone following the sage of "M" may be happy to learn that we remain in almost daily contact throughj social media and that i am expecting an actual letter from her in the not too distant future.  She has had a more interesting and productive life (in my opinion) than my own.

I am still much involved in my 12 Step program hqwever stagnant i currently am in the spiritual aspects of it.  I am somewhat stuck in the ninth step.  It has been difficult to find people still alive who will acknowledge that i have harmed them.

Love and peace to everybody.

Unison Benediction. By Mary Sarton

Return to the most human,
nothing less will nourish the torn spirit,
the bewildered heart,
the angry mind:
and from the ultimate duress,
pierced with the breath of anguish,
speak of love.

Return, return to the deep sources,
nothing less will teach the stiff hands a new way to serve,
to carve into our lives the forms of tenderness
and still that ancient necessary pain preserve.

Return to the most human,
nothing less will teach the angry spirit,
the bewildered heart;
the torn mind,
to accept the whole of its duress,
and pierced with anguish...
at last, act for love.

-- from May Sarton, Collected Poems, 1930-1993, by
Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World

Yunus Emre - Let's Take Yunus Emre

Let's Take Yunus Emre

by Yunus Emre

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat
Original Language Turkish

Let's be companions, the two of us.
     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's be close intimates, the two of us.
     Lets go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's go before this life is over,
Before our bodies disappear,
Before enemies come between us --

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Come on, let's go. Don't remain alone.
Let's be a chisel in the Friend's hand.
The only stop will be our sheikh's station.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's leave our towns and cities
and gladly suffer for the Friend.
Let's wrap our arms around our Beloved's waist.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's not be bewildered by the world.
Let's not be cheated by its sudden dying.
Let's not sit together never touching.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's give up this transient world
and fly to the lasting land of the Friend.
Let's give up all the playthings of the nafs.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Be a guide to me on this journey.
Let's set our destination at the Friend,
Not thinking where we begin or end.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

This world isn't everlasting.
With eyes half-open it is tempting.
Be a companion of lovers and a lover.

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Before the news of death reaches us,
Before the hour when he grabs us by the collar,
Before Azrail makes his sudden move,

     Let's go to the Friend, my soul.

Let's arrive at the Divine Truth
and inquire there about Reality.
     Let's take Yunus Emre with us --

          and go to the Friend, my soul.

-- from Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, Translated by Jennifer Ferraro / Translated by Latif Bolat

Poetry Chaikhana | Yunus Emre - Let's Take Yunus Emre

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Return within

by Abhishiktananda, Swami (Henri Le Saux)
English version by H. Sandeman (?)

Return within,
to the place where there is nothing,
and take care that nothing comes in.
Penetrate to the depths of yourself,
to the place where thought no longer exists,
and take care that no thought arises there!
There where nothing exists,
There where nothing is seen,
the Vision of Being!
There where nothing appears any longer,
the sudden appearing of the Self!
Dhyana is this!

-- from Guru and Disciple: An Encounter with Sri Gnanananda, a Contemporary Spiritual Master, by Swami Abhishiktananda / Translated by H. Sandeman

/ Image by MikkoLagerstedt /

View All Poems by Abhishiktananda, Swami (Henri Le Saux)

Return within...

A powerful description of deep meditation. (The word dhyana in the last line means meditation.)

There where nothing exists,
Poetry Chaikhana | Sacred Poetry from Around the World
Inner Wakefulness

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks
Original Language Persian/Farsi & Turkish

This place is a dream
only a sleeper considers it real
then death comes like dawn
and you wake up laughing
at what you thought
was your grief

A man goes to sleep in the town
where he has always lived
and he dreams
he's living in another town
in the dream he doesn't remember
the town he's sleeping in his bed in
he believes the reality
of the dream town
the world is that kind of sleep

Humankind is being led
along an evolving course,
through this migration
of intelligences
and though we seem
to be sleeping
there is an inner wakefulness,
that directs the dream
and that will eventually
startle us back
to the truth of
who we are

-- from The Essential Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks
<Poetry Chaikhana | Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi - Inner Wakefulness

This world is a dream and nearly all of us are aslseep, dreaming.
I am patiently waiting to wake up.

Niyazi Misri - Now No Trace Remains

Now No Trace Remains

by Niyazi Misri

English version by Jennifer Ferraro & Latif Bolat
Original Language Turkish

I thought that in this whole world
     no beloved for me remained.

Then I left myself.
     Now no stranger in the world remains.

I used to see in every object a thorn
     but never a rose--

the universe became a rose garden.
     Not a single thorn remains.

Day and night my heart
     was moaning "Ahhh!"

I don't know how it happened--
     now no "Ahhh" remains.

Duality went, Unity came.
     I met with the Friend in private;

The multitude left, the One came.
     Only the One remains.

Religion, piety, custom, reputation--
     these used to matter greatly to me.

O Niyazi -- what has happened to you?
     No trace of religion now remains.

-- from Quarreling with God: Mystic Rebel Poems of the Dervishes of Turkey, Translated by Jennifer Ferraro / Translated by Latif Bolat
<Poetry Chaikhana | Niyazi Misri - Now No Trace Remains

On Becoming "The Change I Want To See"

The following was in the Church bulletin tonight at Risen Christ.

Inner strength, as the work of grace, prevents us from becoming carried away by the violence that is so much a part of life today, because grace defuses vanity and makes possible meekness of heart.  The saints do not waste energy complaining about the failings of others; they can hold their tongues before the faults of their brothers and sisters, and avoid the verbal violence that demeans and mistreats others.  Saints hesitate to treat others harshly, they consider others better than themselves.

The Call to Holiness, Pope Francis, Rome, March 18, 2018

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When the secret of emptiness is revealed,
though empty, it is the unsurpassed,
devoid of every contingent stain,
and free from every deception.
                          --Karma Trinley

This was something that tripped me up for a long time. The constant refrain in Buddhism about emptiness, nirvana, the void can sound bleak. As a younger seeker I had a love-hate relationship with the teachings of Buddhism. There was clearly something uplifting, insightful, and compassionate there, an expression of profound truth. But it could also sound rather depressing.

It took my own sense of opening to finally see beyond my own mental block and recognize that that “emptiness” is actually filled with life and delight amidst vast spaciousness. It is not empty as in a suffocating vacuum, but rather it is free from the idea of separate and distinct things and beings. Within this blissful nondual space of being, there is only a living wholeness and, therefore, nothing (no objectified thing) exist there. It is empty, yet it is the unsurpassed.
                              --Ivan M. Granger
Poetry Chaikhana Blog
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Love, peace, joy ... and Emptiness to all.



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