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Poem for the day

adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
edited March 14 in Arts & Writings

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

— ‘Among School Children’, W. B. Yeats (1933)

Aristotle said the purpose of a pen is to write, the purpose of a human is “eudaimonia”. Translation: “blossoming”.

Line by line, I take the sentiment of this stanza, which is the last in the poem, to be:

1) and 2) Perform your work in this world with body and soul as one. (“Mind” does just as well as “soul” for those who prefer.)

3) Beauty is your nature, it doesn’t require any alteration.

4) Rest in your inherent wisdom, no need to stay up all night studying.

5) and 6) Just as no single part of the tree is the tree, so the self cannot be found in any single part of our experience, nor indeed in any convenient package of those parts. Thich Nhat Hanh has also used trees to teach this truth.

7) and 8) Yeats uses the perfect image to show just how inseperable person and action really are. When you do your work, be your work. This is mindfulness to me.

JeffreyfedericaShoshinmisecmisc1lobsterAlexDavid

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    The Small Boy and the Mouse by D H Maitreyabandhu
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/oct/28/keats-shelley-buddhist-poet

    federica
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    “I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in.
    I am lost... I am helpless.
    It isn't my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don't see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can't believe I am in the same place.
    But, it isn't my fault.
    It still takes me a long time to get out.

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in. It's a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault. I get out immediately.

    walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    I walk down another street.”

    Portia Nelson. Quoted in, among other places, TTBOLAD.

    lobsterBunksadamcrossleyDavid
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I am the slave of passion and the slave of the Beloved.
    The fire of passion burns my heart
    And the One I love is in my mind.
    Passion has seized hold of the reins of my heart
    So wherever I turn my gaze
    Passion is facing me.

    http://www.ibnarabisociety.org/articles/addas1.html

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Melt yourself down in this search:
    venture your life and your soul
    in the path of sincerity;
    strive to pass from nothingness to being,
    and make yourself drunk with the wine of God.

    — Hakim Sanai, the Hadiqa: The Walled Garden of Truth

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Cheers @Kerome

    My legacy -
    What will it be?
    Flowers in spring,
    The cuckoo in summer,
    And the crimson maples
    Of autumn ...
    http://gardendigest.com/zen/quotes.htm

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I love the Persian Sufi poets, especially Rumi, Attar and Hakim Sanai. They just have a particular flavour which calls to me.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    BREATH OF LIFE
    By Danna Faulds

    I breathe in All That Is-
    Awareness expanding
    to take everything in,
    as if my heart beats
    the world into being.
    From the unnamed vastness beneath the mind,
    I breathe my way into wholeness and healing.
    Inhalation. Exhalation.
    Each Breath a “yes,”
    and a letting go, a journey, and a coming home.

    adamcrossley
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Abou Ben Adhem

    Leigh Hunt

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:—
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    "What writest thou?"—The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

    Gets me every time.

    adamcrossleyJeffrey
  • Thanks all! I’ve really appreciated these contributions. Would anyone care to offer a poem with some of their own commentary?

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    In all my daze
    I have wondered through cymbals
    Clanged past sleeping
    Until the Light came

    Silent, Empty, Dark

    And I swam with stilled currents
    Electrified and static
    Who New
    My days are All

    ?

    Kerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    “When your mother has grown older,
    When her dear, faithful eyes
    no longer see life as they once did,
    When her feet, grown tired,
    No longer want to carry her as she walks -

    Then lend her your arm in support,
    Escort her with happy pleasure.
    The hour will come when, weeping, you
    Must accompany her on her final walk.

    And if she asks you something,
    Then give her an answer.
    And if she asks again, then speak!
    And if she asks yet again, respond to her,
    Not impatiently, but with gentle calm.

    And if she cannot understand you properly
    Explain all to her happily.
    The hour will come, the bitter hour,
    When her mouth asks for nothing more.”
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/16874/the-mother-a-poem

    <3

    KundoKeromeJeffrey
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    SELF-KNOWLEDGE
    AND a man said, Speak to us of Self–Knowledge.
    And he answered, saying:
    Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
    But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
    You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
    You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
    AND it is well you should.
    The hidden well–spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
    And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes. But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
    And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line. For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
    SAY not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
    Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
    For the soul walks upon all paths.
    The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

    — Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

    federicaadamcrossleylobsterJeffrey
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    L-O-V-E 'The Prophet'...!

  • Well, @Kerome, I think you win the prize for best offering so far ? ?

    Glad that this thread has borne fruit.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The Guest House
    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 entertain 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,
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whoever comes,
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    ~Rumi~

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:
    L-O-V-E 'The Prophet'...!

    It’s out of copyright now, you can download a pdf for free...

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Thank you, but I have the book! Good to know though...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks all!
    I’ve really appreciated
    these contributions.

    Would anyone care
    to offer
    a poem with some
    of their own

    commentary?

    We are The Poem. B)

    federica
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    The Brain is just the weight of God-
    For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
    And they will differ - if they do -
    As Syllable from Sound -
    ~Emily Dickinson

    adamcrossley
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    Before, it was, then it wasn't.
    Before, it wasn't, then it was.
    It wasn't, won't be,
    & now isn't to be found.

    • Ahu Sutta: It Was
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    In your light I learned how to love.
    In your beauty how to compose.
    You dance within my heart,
    Where no-one can see.

    Yet sometimes I catch a glimpse.
    From that glimpse comes my art.

    — Rumi

    paulyso
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