That Lives in Us


If you put your hands on this oar with me,
they will never harm another, and they will come to find
they hold everything you want.

If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer
lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land –
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.

Exuberant is existence, time a husk.
When the moment cracks open, ecstasy leaps out and devours space;
love goes mad with the blessings, like my words give.

Why lay yourself on the torturer’s rack of the past and the future?
The mind that tries to shape tomorrow beyond its capacities
will find no rest.

Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies.
Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance.
You will come to see that all evolves us.

~ Rumi ~

(Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West)

2016-10-15T05:21:24+00:00 October 13th, 2016|Tags: , |Comments Off on That Lives in Us

Learning to Trust


The residents of the Institute have chosen Learning to Trust as a practice for the month of February. We specifically discussed the importance of trusting wisely in reliable sources and acknowledged that blind faith is irresponsible. There is great benefit to be gained in trusting in a universal principle, the messages of our own bodies, and the voice of our deep inner Self.

Our culture is so focused on appearances that we often disregard the sensations in our bodies in an effort to create and maintain a self-image that we deem successful, beautiful or in some way worthy of love. We push through moments of fatigue bolstered by caffeine or a determination to prove ourselves. We may override signs of sickness or the physical manifestation of our emotions because we feel we don’t have time for them, or worry that they make us look weak.

Our approach to Hatha Yoga can be a great antidote to this tendency. We can practice moving with non-judgmental awareness and in loving response to the capacity of the body in this moment. A mind that is focused, quiet and open can truly listen to the body as it is without imposing on it how it should be. It is this trust in the body’s natural wisdom that liberates us from cultural conditioning and allows the mind to be guided by the deepest part of our being, the Spiritual Consciousness.

Practicing trust in the body, which is always in the present and doesn’t hide its sensations, can be a good step toward awareness of the mind and its complex mixture of past impressions, emotions and untainted perceptions. Trusting ourselves and our innate wisdom requires that we first discern between the “me-centered” thoughts that define us as separate and focus only on our individual happiness, and the “we-centered” ones grounded in the truth of our oneness.

We can start by sincerely reflecting on whether our thinking considers the well-being of everyone, including ourselves. But for many of us, a reliable connection to our deep inner Self requires a regular, ongoing meditative practice. Such a practice gives us perspective on the mind and the habitual thoughts that repeat like a broken record. With time, we can begin to experience a personal center of peace beneath all the business.

Once we’ve learned to trust this unchanging deeper Selfthis voice that knows our connection to all life-we may find it easier to trust others, since we know that the same inner source of wisdom resides in them. But for many of us, learning to trust someone may also require a conscious choice to release the fears that prevent us from being fully present, listening deeply, and opening our hearts to another point of view.

Another form of this practice is trusting in the events that enter our lives. We all experience numerous situations that are beyond our control and difficult to accept. Our limited minds are often incapable of seeing any benefit from the challenges that sometimes assail us. If we examine these experiences over time, we may see how obstacles compel us to build new strengths, the way a dam impedes a river but also induces it to express its power. It can be a great relief to believe that our lives are unfolding according to a higher or divine plan that is often beyond our ability to understand.

If we have developed a faith that all that comes to us is ultimately for good, we can open our hearts by praying for the guidance and support to accept even that which makes us suffer. Humbling ourselves this way helps us escape the false sense of control that our ego likes to sustain and opens us to learning in new ways. Ultimately, all the difficulties we face teach us to let go of the things that we believe we need to be happy and guide us to find the unchanging source of peace within. If we can see this principle at play in our lives, challenges become easier to accept. We begin to trust, as Rumi put it, that “each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”


2016-10-15T01:44:46+00:00 February 1st, 2016|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Learning to Trust

What does love mean to you?

I came across this provocative poem by Rumi. To him, love is “dissolving the will”. He also believed that freedom, desire, fate, all can be transcended through love. I hope you enjoy it!



A spirit that lives in this world
and does not wear the shirt of love,
such an existence is a deep disgrace. Be foolishly in love,
because love is all there is.

There is no way into presence
except through a love exchange.

If someone asks, But what is love?
answer, Dissolving the will.

True freedom comes to those
who have escaped the questions
of freewill and fate.

Love is an emperor.
The two worlds play across him.
He barely notices their tumbling game.

Love and lover live in eternity.
Other desires are substitutes
for that way of being.

How long do you lay embracing a corpse?
Love rather the soul, which cannot be held.

Anything born in spring dies in the fall,
but love is not seasonal.

With wine pressed from grapes,
expect a hangover.

But this love path has no expectations.
You are uneasy riding the body?
Dismount. Travel lighter.
Wings will be given.

Be clear like a mirror
reflecting nothing.

Be clean of pictures and the worry
that comes with images.

Gaze into what is not ashamed
or afraid of any truth.

Contain all human faces in your own
without any judgment of them.

Be pure emptiness.
What is inside that? you ask.
Silence is all I can say.

Lovers have some secrets
That they keep

by Rumi

2016-10-15T01:45:13+00:00 July 2nd, 2015|Tags: , , |Comments Off on What does love mean to you?