Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
The Winged Deer (tapestry detail), French School, (15th century), Musee des Antiquities, Rouen, France, Peter Willi, The Bridgeman Art Library.
The Winged Deer (tapestry detail), French School (15th century), Musee des Antiquities,    
Rouen, France, Peter Willi, The Bridgeman Art Library.
Myth, Art, and Poetry
Poetry as Gateway               
Friday, October 2, 2015
In a recent webcast here, Mirabai Starr said, "Poetry is a gateway into unitive consciousness. It knocks on the doors of the heart and the heart opens. Poets speak truth in a very naked way that bypasses the rational mind. Poetry evokes, rather than describes." [1]
I believe poetry can help us connect with our True Self, uninhibited by ego's needs for certitude and security. A good poem can open us to experience Reality and let it shatter the walls that protect our falsity. Kabir (c. 1440-1580) was a religious reformer who "achieved a remarkable synthesis of Hindu, Muslim, and even Christian belief." [2] He was an artist and musician, and his poems were probably originally songs. Sit with Kabir's metaphor of unitive consciousness: "All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop."
Now let your heart open as you read this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). It may be worth learning German, just to read this poem in its original form!
            I'm too alone in the world, yet not alone enough
            to make each hour holy.
            I'm too small in the world, yet not small enough
            to be simply in your presence, like a thing--
            just as it is.
            I want to know my own will
            and to move with it.
            And I want, in the hushed moments
            when the nameless draws near,
            to be among the wise ones--
            or alone.
            I want to mirror your immensity.
            I want never to be too weak or too old
            to bear the heavy, lurching image of you.
            I want to unfold.
            Let no place in me hold itself closed,
            for where I am closed, I am false.
            I want to stay clear in your sight.
            I would describe myself
            like a landscape I've studied
            at length, in detail;
            like a word I'm coming to understand;
            like a pitcher I pour from at mealtime;
            like my mother's face;
            like a ship that carried me
            when the waters raged. [3]
Gateway to Silence
"To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower."
--William Blake
[1] Mirabai Starr, Unitive Consciousness: An Eastern Perspective, an unpublished webcast (Center for Actionand Contemplation: 2015).
[2] Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, (Penguin Compass: 2002), 209.
[3] Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, trans., Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God (Riverhead Books: 1996), 67-68. Used with permission.
Last chance to register!
Breathing Under Water: A Spiritual Study of the Twelve Steps
A self-paced, online course
October 21-December 16, 2015
Registration closes October 7 or when the course is full. Note that financial assistance may be available if you are unable to pay the full course fee. Please apply for financial assistance before registering for the course.
2015 Daily Meditation Theme

Richard Rohr's meditations this year explore his "Wisdom Lineage," the teachers, texts, and traditions that have most influenced his spirituality. Read an introduction to the year's theme and view a list of the elements of Fr. Richard's lineage in CAC's January newsletter, the Mendicant.  

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