I love the sun when it appears,
since it reminds me of the appearance of matchless love
And no star is seen when she comes forth,
either from above or from below
And so, O Maya,
you have appeared in the eye of my heart,
and everything other than you has disappeared
So I see you in whatever is not you,
and I don’t see other than you whenever I see you.
~Shaykh Manna Abba “Shaykhānī” wuld Muḥammad al-Ṭulbā
O Sun, great Oriental, my proud mind’s golden cap,
I love to wear you cocked askew, to play and burst
in song throughout our lives, and so rejoice our hearts.
Good is this earth, it suits us! Like the global grape
it hangs, dear God, in the blue air and sways in the gale,
nibbled by all the birds and spirits of the four winds.
Come, let’s start nibbling too, and so refresh our minds!
Between two throbbing temples in the mind’s great wine vats
I tread on the crisp grapes until the wild must boils
and my mind laughs and steams within the upright day.
Has the earth sprouted wings and sails, has my mind swayed
until black-eyed Necessity got drunk and burst in song?
Above me spreads the raging sky, below me swoops
my belly, a white gull that breasts the cooling waves;
my nostrils fill with salty spray, the billows burst
swiftly against my back, rush on, and I rush after.
Great Sun, who pass on high yet watch all things below,
I see the sun-drenched cap of the great castle-wrecker:
let’s kick and scuff it round to see where it will take us!
Learn, lads, that Time has cycles and that Fate has wheels
and that the mind of man sits high and twirls them round;
come quick, let’s spin the world about and send it tumbling!
O Sun, my quick coquetting eye, my red-haired hound,
sniff out all quarries that I love, give them swift chase,
tell me all that you’ve seen on earth, all that you’ve heard,
and I shall pass them through my entrails’ secret forge
till slowly, with profound caresses, play and laughter,
stones, water, fire, and earth shall be transformed to spirit,
and the mud-winged and heavy soul, freed of its flesh,
shall like a flame serene ascend and fade in sun.
Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor
And all blessing.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather’s moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, lowly, precious, and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful he is, how joyful!
Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits and colored flowers and herbs.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those She finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.
by St. Francis of Assisi, Translation from the original Italian
Shamash was the Sun God of ancient Babylon. The prayer that follows is one of the longest and most beautiful of the hymns that have come down to us in cuneiform. I think this would make an awesome invocation, prayer, or meditation to greet the Sun as morning dawns.
You climb to the mountains surveying the earth,
You suspend from the heavens the circle of the lands.
You care for all the peoples of the lands,
And everything that Ea, king of the counselors, had created is entrusted to you.
Whatever has breath you shepherd without exception,
You are their keeper in upper and lower regions.
Regularly and without cease you traverse the heavens,
Every day you pass over the broad earth. . . .
Shepherd of that beneath, keeper of that above,
You, Shamash, direct, you are the light of everything.
You never fail to cross the wide expanse of sea,
The depth of which the Igigi know not.
Shamash, your glare reaches down to the abyss
So that monsters of the deep behold your light. . . .
Among all the Igigi there is none who toils but you,
None who is supreme like you in the whole pantheon of gods.
At your rising the gods of the land assemble,
Your fierce glare covers the land.
Of all the lands of varied speech,
You know their plans, you scan their way.
The whole of mankind bows to you,
Shamash, the universe longs for your light. . . .
Every single person is entrusted to your hands;
You manage their omens; that which is perplexing you make plain.
You observe, Shamash, prayer, supplication, and benediction,
Obeisance, kneeling, ritual murmurs, and prostration.
The feeble man calls you from the hollow of his mouth,
The humble, the weak, the afflicted, the poor,
She whose son is captive constantly and unceasingly confronts you.
He whose family is remote, whose city is distant,
The shepherd [amid) the terror of the steppe confronts you,
The herdsman in warfare, the keeper of sheep among enemies.
Shamash, there confronts you the caravan, those journeying in fear,
The travelling merchant, the agent who is carrying capital.
Shamash, there confronts you the fisherman with his net,
The hunter, the bowman who drives the game,
With his bird net the Fowler confronts You.
The prowling thief, the enemy of Shamash,
The marauder along the tracks of the steppe confronts you.
The roving dead, the vagrant soul,
They confront you, Shamash, and you hear all.
You do not obstruct those that confront you. . . .
For my sake, Shamash, do not curse them!
You grant revelations, Shamash, to the families of men,
Your harsh face and fierce light you give to them. . . .
The heavens are not enough as the vessel into which you gaze,
The sum of the lands is inadequate as a seer’s bowl…….
You deliver people surrounded by mighty waves,
In return you receive their pure, clear libations. . . .
They in their reverence laud the mention of you,
And worship your majesty for ever. . . .
Which are the mountains not clothed with your beams?
Which are the regions not warmed by the brightness of your light?
Brightener of gloom, illuminator of darkness,
Dispeller of darkness, illuminator of the broad earth.
A message about why Attitudes Are More Important than Circumstance. This little video includes a nice talk by Astarius along with a poem he wrote about attitudes and uncomfortable circumstances. The poem is shared below, but I did not transcribe the talk. So we’ll have to watch it to learn what he has to say.
Hear ye oh seeker
Play not a game of chance
Maintain a lofty attitude
To conquer lowly circumstance
Some circumstances seem so bad
Though goodness in disquise
It’s up to us to see the good
Or else be victimized
Perfect circumstance seems down
And we reject it with a frown
That circumstance is then compelled
To pull us down in mental hell
But if we keep our mind on high
Despite the pain of circumstance
Up with our attitude our circumstance rises
And beyond its pain we then advance
Bitter circumstance is as a medicine
To bring the wellness of a learned lesson
But we must swallow this medicine down
To receive the healing and achieve the blessing
For if we spit this medicine out
Life gives another dose without a doubt
Then we become victim of circumstance
A tyrant from which we can’t advance
Until we learn to face it with a smile
Drink that bitter cup and go the extra mile
So that all things may be enhanced
Because your attitude is more important than circumstance
For those of us who prefer to simply listen, here’s an audio only version of the above video.
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.
I was surfing the links yesterday, and I found this little poem. I thought, “Wow, I do this all the time even when I know better.” So, here it is.
GOD SPEAK TO ME
The man whispered, “God speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang, but the man did not hear.
Then the man yelled, “God speak to me.”
And thunder rolled across the sky, but the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God let me see you.”
And the stars shined brightly, but the man did not notice.
And the man shouted, “God show me a miracle!”
And a life was born, but the man did not know.
So the man cried out in despair, “Touch me God and let me know you are here.”
Whereupon, God reached down and touched the man. but the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
So remember, don’t miss out on a blessing just because it isn’t packaged the way you expect.
Take notice of the things around you.
This beautiful photo is by Don Paulson, I found it at Webshots.
I found this incredible poem by Hafiz. It may, or may not have much to do with our project, but I love it so much that I am wanting to share it with you guys.
Has sprouted beneath a golden leaf
In a dark forest.
This seed is seriously contemplating
Seriously wondering about
The moseying habits
Of the Elephant.
In this lucid, wine-drenched tale
The Elephant is really —
Who has His big foot upon us,
Upon the golden leaf under which lies
We are all a little concerned
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