Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lectio Divina - One hundred and Thirty-one

Jane Hirshfield, “Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining into the World” from The Lives of the Heart. New York: HarperPerennial, 1997, p. 71.

If the gods bring to you

a strange and frightening creature,

accept the gift

as if it were one you had chosen.

Say the accustomed prayers,

oil the hooves well,

caress the small ears with praise.

Have the new halter of woven silver

embedded with jewels.

Spare no expense, pay what is asked,

when a gift arrives from the sea.

Treat it as you yourself

would be treated,

brought speechless and naked

into the court of a king.

And when the request finally comes,

do not hesitate even an instant --

Stroke the white throat,

the heavy, trembling dewlaps

you’d come to believe were yours,

and plunge in the knife.

Not once

did you enter the pasture

without pause,

without yourself trembling.

That you came to love it, that was the gift.

Let the envious gods take back what they can.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lectio Divina - One hundred and Thirty

Ram Dass, “Promises and Pitfalls of the Spiritual Path,” in Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis, ed. Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof, New York: Tarcher, 1989, p. 184.
One of our expectations was that the spiritual path would get us healthy psychologically. I was trained as a psychologist. I was in analysis for many years. I taught Freudian theory. I was a therapist. I took psychedelic drugs for six years intensively. I have a guru. I have meditated since 1970 regularly. I have taught Yoga and studied Sufism, plus many kinds of Buddhism. In all that time I have not gotten rid of one neurosis--not one. The only thing that has changed is that, whereas previously my neuroses were huge monsters, now they are like these little shmoos. “Oh, sexual perversity, I haven’t seen you in days, come and have some tea.” To me the product of the spiritual path is that I now have another contextual framework that makes me much less identified with my known neurosis, and with my own desires. If I do not get what I want, that is as interesting as when I get it. When you begin to recognize that suffering is grace, you cannot believe it. You think you are cheating.