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Mystic Poets

What I said to the wanting-creature

PoetryGuest WriterComment
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I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river you want to cross?
There are no travelers on the river-road, and no road.
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or resting?

There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman.
There is no tow rope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

And there is no body, and no mind!
Do you believe there is some place that will make the
soul less thirsty?
In that great absence you will find nothing.

Be strong then, and enter into your own body;
there you have a solid place for your feet.
Think about it carefully!
Don't go off somewhere else!

Kabir says this: just throw away all thoughts of
imaginary things,
and stand firm in that which you are.

—Kabir

 

Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement.

She has had the pleasure of mentoring women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to their own guidance, and experience greater love and fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and joy in their lives.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose

Soul-Friend | ANAM ĊARA

John O'DonohueComment
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In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas is the idea of soul-love; the old Gaelic term for this is anam cara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and cara is the word for friend. So anam cara in the Celtic world was the “soul friend.” In the early Celtic church, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an anam cara. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed, revealing the hidden intimacies of your life. With the anam cara you could share your inner-most self, your mind and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the “friend of your soul.”

The Celtic understanding did not set limitations of space or time on the soul. There is no cage for the soul. The soul is a divine light that flows into you and into your Other.

This art of belonging awakened and fostered a deep and special companionship.

In everyone's life, there is great need for an anam cara, a soul friend. In this love, you are understood as you are without mask or pretension. The superficial and functional lies and half-truths of social acquaintance fall away, you can be as you really are. Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious.

Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul. This recognition is described in a beautiful line from Pablo Neruda: "You are like nobody since I love you."

This art of love discloses the special and sacred identity of the other person. Love is the only light that can truly read the secret signature of the other person's individuality and soul. Love alone is literate in the world of origin; it can decipher identity and destiny.

The Celtic tradition recognized that anam-ċara friendships were graced with affection. Friendship awakens affection. The heart learns a new art of feeling. Such friendship is neither cerebral nor abstract. In Celtic tradition the anam ċara was not merely a metaphor or ideal. It was a soul bond which existed as a recognized and admired social construct. It altered the meaning of identity and perception. When your affection is kindled, the world of your intellect takes on a new tenderness and compassion. The anam ċara brings epistemological integration and healing. You look and see and understand differently. Initially this can be disruptive and awkward, but it gradually refines your sensibility and transforms your way of being in the world. Most fundamentalism, greed, violence and oppression can be traced back to the separation of idea and affection.

When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered. Your are completely at one in the house of your own longing and belonging.

— John O’Donohue


Excerpt from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by the late, Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue (January 1, 1956–January 4, 2008)

The Mystery of Friendship
Light Is Generous

If you have ever had occasion to be out early in the morning before the dawn breaks, you will have noticed that the darkest time of night is immediately before dawn. The darkness deepens and becomes more anonymous. If you had never been to the world and never known what a day was, you couldn't possibly imagine how the darkness breaks, how the mystery and color of a new day arrive. Light is incredibly generous, but also gentle. When you attend to the way the dawn comes, you learn how light can coax the dark.

The first fingers of light appear on the horizon, and ever so deftly and gradually, they pull the mantle of darkness away from the world. Quietly before you is the mystery of a new dawn, the new day. Emerson said, "No one suspects the days to be Gods." It is one of the tragedies of modern culture that we have lost touch with these primal thresholds of nature. The urbanization of modern life has succeeded in exiling us from this fecund kinship with our mother earth. Fashioned from the earth, we are souls in clay form. We need to remain in rhythm with our inner clay voice and longing. Yet this voice is no longer audible in the modern world. We are not even aware of our loss, consequently, the pain of our spiritual exile is more intense in being largely unintelligible. The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields, and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark.

Darkness is the ancient womb. Nighttime is womb-time. Our souls come out to play. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression falls away. We rest in the night.

The dawn is a refreshing time, a time of possibility and promise. All the elements of nature—stones, fields, rivers, and animals—are suddenly there anew in the fresh dawn light. Just as darkness brings rest and release, so the dawn brings awakening and renewal. In our mediocrity and distraction, we forget that we are privileged to live in a wondrous universe. Each day, the dawn unveils the mystery of this universe. Dawn is the ultimate surprise; it awakens us to the immense "thereness" of nature.

The wonderful subtle color of the universe arises to clothe everything. This is captured in a phrase from William Blake: "Colours are the wounds of light."

Colors bring out the depth of secret presence at the heart of nature.

The Celtic Circle of Belonging

All through Celtic poetry you find the color, power, and intensity of nature. How beautifully it recognizes the wind, the flowers, the breaking of the waves on the land. Celtic spirituality hallows the moon and adores the life force of the sun. Many of the ancient Celtic gods were close to the sources of fertility and belonging. Since the Celts were a nature people, the world of nature was both a presence and a companion. Nature nourished them; it was here that they felt their deepest belonging and affinity. Celtic nature poetry is suffused with this warmth, wonder, and belonging.

One of the oldest Celtic prayers is a prayer called "St. Patrick's Breastplate"; its deeper name is "The Deer's Cry."

There is no separation between subjectivity and the elements. Indeed, it is the very elemental forces that inform and elevate subjectivity:

I arise today through the strength of Heaven,
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

The Celtic world is full of immediacy and belonging. The Celtic mind adored the light. This is one of the reasons why Celtic spirituality is emerging as a new constellation in our times. We are lonely and lost in our hungry transparency. We desperately need a new and gentle light where the soul can shelter and reveal its ancient belonging. We need a light that has retained its kinship with the darkness. For we are sons and daughters of the darkness and of the light.

We are always on a journey from darkness into light. At first, we are children of the darkness. Your body and your face were formed first in the kind darkness of your mother's womb. Your birth was a first journey from darkness into light. All your life, your mind lives within the darkness of your body.

Every thought that you have is a flint moment, a spark of light from your inner darkness.

The miracle of thought is its presence in the night side of your soul; the brilliance of thought is born in darkness.

Each day is a journey. We come out of the night into the day. All creativity awakens at this primal threshold where light and darkness test and bless each other. You only discover balance in your life when you learn to trust the flow of this ancient rhythm. The year also is a journey with the same rhythm. The Celtic people had a deep sense of the circular nature of our journey. We come out of the darkness of winter into the possibility and effervescence of springtime.

Ultimately, light is the mother of life. Where there is no light, there can be no life. If the angle of the sun were to turn away from the earth, all human, animal, and vegetative life, as we know it, would disappear. Ice would freeze the earth again. Light is the secret presence of the divine. It keeps life awake. Light is a nurturing presence, which calls forth warmth and color in nature. The soul awakens and lives in light. It helps us to glimpse the sacred depths within us. Once human beings began to search for a meaning to life, light became one of the most powerful metaphors to express the eternity and depth of life. In the Western tradition, and indeed in the Celtic tradition, thought has often been compared to light. In its luminosity, the intellect was deemed to be the place of the divine within us.


Anam Cara A Book of Celtic Wisdom Copyright© by John O'Donohue. Excerpted from All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.


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ANAM ĊARA
Wisdom from the Celtic World

Audio Program narrated by John O’Donohue

An eight-hour journey into the heart of Ireland’s spiritual wisdom and practice. In the oral tradition of the Celts, John O'Donohue shares an intuitive approach to spirituality that takes you beyond spiritual "programs" to a place where your heart can be truly nourished and healed. You will learn authentic Irish prayers and blessings; how to discover your individual nature; awakening the senses as "thresholds of the spirit"; understanding the "secret divinity" in your relationships; how the Irish "hospitality" toward death can help you become more compassionate, generous, and fearless.

*Please note Explore Deeply is not an affiliate of Sounds True, I do not receive any monetary (or other) benefits from recommending this course to you. Only that I sincerely recommend this program, and hope it serves you.

Our bodies know that they belong; it is our minds that make our lives so homeless. Guided by longing, belonging is the wisdom of rhythm. When we are in rhythm with our own nature, things flow and balance naturally. Every fragment does not have to be relocated, reordered; things cohere and fit according to their deeper impulse and instinct.

Our modern hunger to belong is particularly intense. An increasing majority of people feel no belonging. We have fallen out of rhythm with life. The art of belonging is the recovery of the wisdom of rhythm.
— John O'Donohue, Eternal Echoes

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/08/12/anam-cara-john-o-donohue-soul-friend/


Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement.

She has had the pleasure of mentoring women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to their own guidance, and experience greater love and fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and joy in their lives.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose

The Newborn by Attar

PoetryGuest WriterComment
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Muhammed spoke to his friends
about a newborn baby, “This child
may cry out in its helplessness,
but it doesn’t want to go back
to the darkness of the womb.

And so it is with your soul
when it finally leaves the nest
and flies out into the sky
over the wide plain of a new life.
Your soul would not trade that freedom
for the warmth of where it was.

Let loving lead your soul.
Make it a place to retire to,
a kind of monastery cave, a retreat
for the deepest core of being.

Then build a road
from there to God.

Let every action be in harmony with your soul
and its soul-place, but don’t parade
those doings down the street
on the end of a stick!

Keep quiet and secret with soul-work.
Don’t worry so much about your body.
God sewed that robe. Leave it as it is.

Be more deeply courageous.
Change your soul.”

Translated by Coleman Barks

 

Chloë Rain is the Founder of Explore Deeply™ and the Explore Deeply Movement.

She has had the pleasure of mentoring women and men all over the globe to learn to source their inner power, deepen their relationship to their own guidance, and experience greater love and fulfillment, so they can enjoy the happiness they have always wanted, and have confidence and joy in their lives.

Many of her clients find that their relationships and careers shift dramatically in new and exciting ways after doing this work, creating freedom and fulfillment in their personal and professional lives. To find out more about working with Chloë go → here.

Please feel free to share content freely from Explore Deeply™. However, please be courteous and link back to the original post, and credit Explore Deeply as well as the writer where applicable. I hope you find many resources here to serve you as you walk your path of purpose