I’m still reflecting on sweetness and light, and the longing to merge into this luminous honey of the heart. As yogis we want to swim, dare I say, drown there. So I thought we’d open class with the Krsna Govinda kirtan. Here’s a clip of that. The sound quality is not great. I’m including it here because everyone loves this chant. [I’m happy to report I’m getting closer to returning to the studio. I need a few more months for the non-stop drama of my last two years to resolve. Once that happens, I’m looking forward to drowning in this music of my heart.]
And here’s this week’s dharma talk, which runs around 17 minutes. I read from Kabir & Rumi, two drenched souls who knew a thing or two about drowning. All text is posted after the sound clip:
Here’s the Kabir:
The darkness of night is coming along fast, and
the shadows of love close in the body and the mind.
Open the window to the west, and disappear into the air inside you.
Near your breastbone three is an open flower.
Drink the honey that is all around that flower.
Waves are coming in:
there is so much magnificence near the ocean!
Listen: Sound of bells! Sound of immense seashells!
Kabir says, Friend, listen, this is what I have to say:
the One I love is inside of me!
Yes, at the end of the day, it’s all about Love, and our longing, which is actually the connecting thread. Kabir says it far better than I:
Kabir says this: When the Guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work. Look at me and you will see a slave of that intensity.
Here are the Rumi poems:
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and attend them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meetr them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Welcome difficulty. Learn the alchemy True Human Beings know: the moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, the door opens.
Welcome difficulty as a familiar comrade. Joke with torment brought by the Friend.
Sorrows are the rags of old clothes and jackets that serve to cover, and then are taken off.
That undressing, and the beautiful naked body underneath is the sweetness that comes after grief.
One night a man was crying, “Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with the praising, until a cynic said,
“So I have heard you calling out, but have you ever gotten any response?”
The man had no answer to that. He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls, in a thick green foliage.
“Why did you stop praising?”
“Because I’ve never heard anything back.”
“This longing you express is the return message.”
The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness that wants help is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master. The whining is the connection.
There are love-dogs no one knows the names of.
Give your life to be one of them.
And here’s the quote from Lawrence Kushner’s, The River of Light:
There is a realm of being that comes before us and follows after us. Streaming through and uniting all creation. Knowing who we have been and will be. It contaminates our sleep with visions of higher reality and exalts our waking with stories. It is a river of light. “She is a tree of Life to those who hold onto her.” [Prov. 3:18]. Her branches and shoots are the nerves and vessels of this world coursing beneath our surfaces, pulsing through our veins. A blueprint underlying the cosmos. The primary process of being. The inner structure of consciousness. The way of the Tao. “And all her paths are peace.” [Prov. 3:17]. Just behind and beneath everything. If we could but stand it, everything would have meaning. Everything connected to everything else even as they all share a common Root.
This week’s recording of slow mantra had some technical glitches so I won’t post sound clips. Instead, I dug into my archive of not-yet-posted recordings and chose the first one that jumped out at me. Which was July 25, 2011. This was back in the days when Sri Dan was with us each week so we were singing much more kirtan. This class opened with Jaya Shiva Shankara. There were a lot of new people in the room that night so the recording begins with an introduction to this chant. You’ll hear Sri Dan on tabla. Sweet light. Enjoy.
I’m also including the dharma talk from that week. We were deep into Patanjali, swimming around in Book II. I was so struck by the threads between what we were talking about then and what we’re talking about now, I thought I’d leave the entire talk. Think of it as a bonus feature;) I don’t have time for a careful edit so this is one long 50 minute sound clip. Here’s a rough breakdown: Jaya Shiva Shankara, 0-26; dharma talk, 26-43; and there’s an interesting dharana on Om Namah Shivaya, 43-50. Once you click on the sound file, you’ll see the time and you can click around within the file: