The Source is full

Everything you see has its roots
    in the unseen world.
The forms may change,
    yet the essence remains the same.

Every wondrous sight will vanish,
every sweet word will fade.
    But do not be disheartened,
The Source they come from is eternal–
growing, branching out,
    giving new life and new joy.

Why do you weep?–
That Source is within you,
and this whole world
    is springing up from it.

The Source is full,
its waters are ever-flowing;
    Do not grieve,
    drink your fill!
Don’t think it will ever run dry —
This is the endless Ocean!

Rumi, A Garden beyond Paradise

A seed

Almost all cultures have the notion that there is a judgment when we die. Some kind of accounting has to be made of one’s life. I believe God — and to me “God” is just shorthand for the ineffable divine presence — has only one question for us at the end: “Did you become yourself?” We have a seeded self that begins to germinate at birth. Our true goal in life is to become that self.

There’s an African proverb: “When death finds you, may it find you alive.” Alive means living your own damn life, not the life that your parents wanted, or the life some cultural group or political party wanted, but the life that your own soul wants to live. That’s the way to evaluate whether you are an authentic person or not.

Michael Meade, Your Own Damn Life

 

Entrusting oneself to heaven

When one has given up chasing after happiness…

Traveling through this world
I have entrusted myself to Heaven.
In my sack, three quarts of rice;
By the hearth, a bundle of firewood.

If someone asks what is the mark of enlightenment or illusion
I cannot say – wealth and honor are nothing but dust.
As the evening rain falls,  I sit in my hermitage. 
And stretch out both feet in answer

Ryoken, 1758–1831, Zen Buddhist monk and poet

Each moment is precious

One day we’ll lie down and not get up.
One day, all we guard will be surrendered.

Until then, we’ll go on learning to recognize
what we love, and what it takes
to tend what isn’t for our having.
So often, fear has led me
to abandon what I know I must relinquish
in time. But for the moment,
I’ll listen to her dream,
and she to mine, our mutual hearing calling
more and more detail into the light
of a joint and fragile keeping.

 Li-Young Lee, To Hold (extract)