Food for the Soul

I woke up this morning to a virtual winter wonderland, even though we had a very lean blanket of snow covering the ground. Still, the sun was rising in a cloudless sky, and tree branches were heavy with glistening snow. And the birds, were chirping their little hearts out!

And so, I decided to make my way down to the river before meditating - which is really a "no, no" for me. But alas, only workers of the park were allowed in, so I turned back. I guess that is what I get for not meditating first!

I taught yoga to a lovely student, working her edge a little more deeply, and then went to see my acupuncturist. She worked on my lungs and my "Earth" element, which she noted, are related to grief. And while I have experienced grief recently on several fronts - involving the loss of friends and so forth, my acupuncturist wisely observed that many of her clients were reacting to the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the others who lost their lives senselessly.

On the way home, I decided to stop at Border's and pick up a few books from which to draw some inspiration. I was specifically looking for Rumi: The Big Red Book, since I was too impatient to wait for an online delivery - which of course, would have saved me lots of money. I also found myself browsing the Catholic spirituality section, picking up new translations of classics I devoured and which fed my soul decades ago - such as Treatise on the Love of God, by St. Francis de Sales, and the Cloud of Unknowing. These I purchased. I also considered selections by Anthony de Mello, Henri Nouwen, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Hildegard of Bingen, and Therese of Lisieux among others. On the way out, I picked up a book that caught my eye, a daybook, with the catchy title, The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo.

I came home, made myself some tea, and armed with my books, came upstairs to settle down for a couple of hours of reading.

The Yogi Tea I was imbibing had this quote:

"Where there is love, there is no question."

I pretty much stopped dead in my tracks, because this was the third time or so that I had come across this quote in the last couple of days. I think I may have seen it first on Twitter. I guess I needed to hear that...

What is food for your soul? What nourishes you deeply? Certainly, reading is that for me. For others, it may be something completely different...

In today's entry in The Book of Awakening, I found this quote and suggested practice:

"To know God
without being God-like
is like trying to swim
without entering water."
~ Orest Bedrij

"Close your eyes and be still.
Feel the air on your closed lids.
Let your love wash through your heart and chest.
Let your love breeze up your throat and behind your eyes...
Rise with a simple belief in what you feel and see,
and touch what is before you,
giving your love a way out."

I open the Treatise to chapter 6 and read these words:

"Our love of God is experienced in two ways:
emotional and active, affective and effective.
By the first we conceive.
With the second we give birth."

And then I crack the Cloud, and it opened to this passage:

"The goodness and love of God transcend imperfect motivation.

And then Rumi:

"What is deep listening?
Sema is a greeting from the secret ones
inside the heart, a letter.

The branches of your intelligence
grow new leaves in the wind of this listening..."

And Ramana Maharishi:

"I am not this. Your beauty closes my eyes,
and I am falling into that..."

Yes - and other passages reveal themselves to me, as words and as food for the soul. I chewed them, like a Bordeaux, in the depth of my soul, and though they satiate my spirit, they leave me wanting more...


okei said…
Beautiful! Love the synchronicity.

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