Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation

"In the Beginning," The Magdalene Mystique: Songs from Within, c2005 Anita Kruse, track 6

"In the beginning was the word...and the world was...God"
word...logos...light of the world...creative presence...ordering principle...underlying harmonic pattern of creation...universal vibration sound?
Is everything connected by the threads of sound
Intertwining interweaving here and now?
Is every cell and every pulse
Every heart in each of us
Vibrantly connected by the waves of sound?
Is everything connected in the here and now
Intertwining interweaving threads of sound?
Is every breath and every thought
Every found and every lost
Perfectly connected by the light of sound?
Is everything connected some way some how
Intertwining interweaving here and now?
Is every spark and every beam
All the dark and all the dreams
Vividly connected by the ways of sound?
Is everything connected in the here and now
Intertwining interweaving lost and found
Is every tear and every being
Every single living thing
Harmonically connected by the God of sound?
"In the beginning was the world..and the world was...God"
word...logos...light of the world...creative presence...ordering principle...underlying harmonica pattern of creation...universal vibration sound?


A Reading from I Remember Union

In the beginning was the word. And the word was god. And all was one.
And all of the knowledge of all time was held within the core of the source, called god.
And there were no people
The people were but a vision of a time which had no dimension and no form.
And god brought forth the vision, and the people rose to bring the word to the land and to
the generation of people which would follow.
And so the journey into form began.
The form became separate from the vision and from the source of the word, called god.
With the separation fear was born. And the separation was the breaking apart
of the vision into soul: male and female.
The separation created the need to reunite--to return to the vision and to the source.
So the people traveled through time and space to approach a land where
the form could be used to bring forth the link to the source and to their
essence, called "soul."
Planted into the memory of man and woman was the knowledge of the source called spirit,
called, in a word, GOD.
God planted within the souls of men and women a seed,
which housed the memory of their divinity and of their birth into form.
And within the seed is the image of God, and man and woman, and all manner of life
belonging to the same family, and to the same soul, and to the same way of the word.
And there was instilled a memory of a time when all were one and when all would be one again.
When all is one, there is a marriage of God and man and woman and the word
and the people and the vision and the form and the essence and the spirit.
And there is order created from this marriage within and without which reflects the same
reality, and is called "the truth."
Now is the time for the calling to be remembered.
Now is the time for the truth to be remembered.
And in the remembering is the vision accomplished.
The form and the source are then one again.
And the journey is finished.
The vision and the form and the people and god are again
Now is the time.

"The Word," I remember Union: The Story of Mary Magdalena, Flo Aeveia Magdalena, All Words Publishing, Putney, VT, 2005, pp21-25

A Reading from The Dialogue of the Savior

He took Judas, Matthews, and Mary to show them the final consummation of heaven and earth, and when he placed his hand on them, they hoped they might see it. Judas gazed up and saw a region of great height, and he saw the abyss below.
Judas said to Matthew, "Brother, who can ascend to such a height or descend to the abyss below? For there is great fire there, and great terror.
At that moment a word issued from the height. As Judas was standing there, he saw how the word came down. He asked the word, "Why have you come down?" The child of humanity greeted them and said to them, "A seed from a power was deficient, and ti descended to the earth's abyss. The majesty remembered it, and sent the word to it. The word brought the seed up into the presence of the majesty, so that the first work might not be lost."
His disciples marveled at everything he told them, and they accepted all of it in faith. And they understood that there is no need to keep wickedness before one's eyes.

"The Dialogue of the Savior," The Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene
the Companion of Jesus, Marvin Meyer, HarperCollins, 2004, pg.57

A Reading from Pistis Sophia

When Jesus finished saying these things, Mary Magdalene stepped forward and said, "My master, my enlightened person has ears, and I accept all the words you speak. Now, my master, this is what you said: 'All souls of the human race who will receive the mysteries of the light will be first in the inheritance of the light, before all the rulers who have repented, before the entire place on the right, before the entire place of the treasury of light.' Concerning this saying, my Master, you once said to us, 'The first will be last and the last will be first.' That is to say, the last is the whole human race that will be first within the kingdom of light, before the inhabitants of the places on high, which are first. For this reason, my master, you have said to us, 'Whoever has ears to her should hear.' In other words, you wanted to know whether we have grasped all the sayings you spoke. My master, this is the word."
When Mary finished saying these things, the savior marveled greatly at the answers she gave, for she had become entirely pure spirit. Jesus answered and said to her, "Well done, Mary, pure spiritual woman. This is the interpretation of the world."

"Pistis Sophia," The Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene the Companion of Jesus, Marvin Meyer, HarperCollins, 2004, pp 68-69

A Reading from the Gospel of Mary (Karen King translation)

When the Blessed One had said these things, he greeted them all. "Peace be with you!" he said. "Acquire my peace arise within yourselves! Be on your guard so that no one deceives you by saying: 'Look over here!' or 'Look over there!' For the child of true humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it.

Call to Conversation

We ask for your thoughts/comments to continue our Sunday conversation. Thank you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation

On Mother's Day, we explored love in many of its facets in honor of the first person from whom we learn love. A father's love is no less important. In order for us to become "fully human," it is important that we embrace the masculine aspect of ourselves, just as we must embrace the feminine, as embodied in father and mother. For some, this also means seeking a more balanced view of the divine, one that is both/neither father-god/mother-god.
The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Spokane, Washington. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Having been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after her mother died, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonor's Father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910.
In 1926, a National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City. Father's Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Father's Day was born in memory and gratitude by a daughter who thought that her father and all good fathers should be honored with a special day just like we honor our mothers on Mother's Day.


What Makes A Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The Patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ...Dad

Author unknown,

Quotations about Fathers

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at h ow much he had learned in seven years. Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi," Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Dad, you're someone to look up to no matter how tall I've grown. -Author unknown

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. -John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leave your groin unprotected. -Red Buttons

Readings from the Gospels

Matthews 5: 16, 45, 48

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 12: 50

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.

John 20: 17, 21

Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father, but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father , to my God, and your God."

Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you."

A Reading from the Gospel of Mary (LeLoup translation)

After saying this, the Blessed One greeted them all, saying: "Peace be with you-may my Peace arise and be fulfilled within you!

Be vigilant, and allow no one to mislead you by saying: "Here it is!' or 'There it is!' For it is within you that the Son of Man dwells. Go to him, for those who seek him, find him. Walk forth, and announce the gospel of the Kingdom."

Call to Conversation

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday June 8, 2008

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation

"There is a spirit that pervades everything, that is capable of powerful song and radiant movement, and that moves in and out of the mind. The colors of this spirit are multitudinous, a glowing, pulsing rainbow...

This spirit, this power of intelligence, has many names and many emblems.

She appears on the plains, in the forests, in the great canyons, on the mesas, beneath the seas."

"Grandmother of the Son" by Paula Gunn Allen


A Reading from the Dalai Lama

To feel true compassion for all beings, we must remove any partiality from our attitude toward them. Our normal view of others is dominated by fluctuating and discriminating emotions. We feel a sense of closeness toward loved ones. Toward strangers or acquaintances we feel distant. And then for those individuals whom we perceive as hostile, unfriendly, or aloof, we feel aversion or contempt. The criterion for our classifying people as friends or enemies seems straightforward. If a person is close to us or has been kind to us, he or she is a friend. If a person has caused us difficulty or harm, he or she is a foe. Mixed with our fondness of our loved ones are emotions such as attachment and desire that inspire passionate intimacy. Similarly, we view those whom we dislike with negative emotions such as anger or hatred. Consequently, our compassion toward others is limited, partial, prejudicial, and conditioned by whether we feel close to them.

Genuine compassion must be unconditional. We must cultivate equanimity in order to transcend any feelings of discrimination and partiality...

A way of cultivating equanimity and transcending our feelings of partiality and discrimination is to reflect upon how we are all equal in our aspiration to be happy and overcome suffering. Additionally, we all feel that we have a basic right to fulfill this aspiration. Who do we justify this right? Very simply, it is part of our fundamental nature. aspiration to be happy and overcome suffering is part of my fundamental nature, as is it part of yours. If this is so, then just as we do, all others have the right to be happy and overcome suffering simply because they share this fundamental nature. It is on the basis of this equality that we develop equanimity toward all. In our meditation we must work at cultivating the attitude that "just as I myself have the desire to be happy and overcome suffering, so do all others, and just as I have the natural right to fulfill this aspiration, so do all others. We should repeat this thought as we meditate and as we go about our lives, until it sinks deep into our awareness.

It is best to cultivate the feeling of equanimity by first focusing on relative strangers or acquaintances, those for whom you have no strong feeling one way or other. From there you should meditate impartially, moving onto friends and then enemies. Upon achieving an impartial attitude toward all sentient beings, you should meditate on love, the wish that they find the happiness they seek. The seed of compassion will grow if you plant it in fertile soil, a consciousness moistened with love. When you have watered your mind with love, you can begin to meditate upon compassion. Compassion, here, is simply the wish that all sentient beings be free of suffering.

from An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life. (109-114)

A Reading from Alice Walker's The Color Purple

Here's the thing, say Shug. The thing I believe. God is inside you and inside everybody else. You come into the world with God. But only them that search for it inside find it. And some times it just manifest itself even if you are not looking, or don't know what you looking for. Trouble do it for most folks, I think.

A Reading from Matthews 9: 9-13, 18-26

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this mean, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughters, your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult, he said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.

A Reading from the Gospel of Mary

Peter said to him: "Since you have become the interpreter of the elements and the events of the world, tell us: What is the sin of the world?" The Teacher answered: "There is no sin. It is you who make sin exist, when you act according to the habits of your corrupted nature; this is where sin lies. This is why the Good has come into your midst. It acts together with the elements of your nature so as to reunite it with its roots." Then he continued: "This is why you become sick, and why you die: it is the result of your actions; what you do takes you further away. Those who have ears, let them hear."

Call to Conversation"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation

“Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”
Carl Jung, as quoted by Glynda-Lee Hoffmann, page 7
The Secret Dowry of Eve: Women’s Role in the Development of Consciousness


Mythologically, Genesis is about our neurology, not our history, and its depiction of human neurology can now be verified by solid scientific fact. Rather than depicting outer events, the imagery of Genesis depicts the inner realm of neurological structure and function. What is more, it may be telling us that the power of our own awareness can affect, alter, and even enlarge our neurology.
This is the power of personal transformation. It is determined not by events observed in a laboratory, but by events observed within one’s own mind. It is quantum mechanics at the personal level, because it involves observing the behavior of light – inner light – in the processing of information. “Man, know thyself: were the words chiseled into the Delphic Oracle. How can we know ourselves if we do not observe our inner world? Ironically, for “man,” the inner world is the realm of the feminine, and it is the woman in Genesis who imitates the journey into this inner world. On our own journeys we must not allow ourselves to be put off, diverted, or deluded by interpretations from various authorities. Remember: There is no better authority on your inner world than you.

The Secret Dowry of Eve, page 26

A reading from Genesis, 1:1-3

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void;
and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light –
and there was light,
And God saw the light, that it was good:
and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
And the evening and the morning were the first day.

As quoted in The Secret Dowry of Eve, page 36

A Reading from Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

The woman and the man ate of the tree: While the man is passive, the woman actively seeks knowledge and tests the limits.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it you shall die.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

As quoted in Remembering the Women, page 33

A Reading form the Gospel of Mary – (Karen King translation, as quoted in The Magdalene Mystique)

When the Blessed One had said these things, he greeted them all, “Peace be with you!” he said. “Acquire my peace within yourselves! Be on your guard so that no one deceives you by saying, ‘Look over here!’ or ‘Look over there!’ for the child of true humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it.

A Reading form the Gospel of Mary – (Esther de Boer translation, as quoted in The Magdalene Mystique)

Mary answered and said, “What is hidden from you I shall tell you.” And she began to say to them these words: “I”, she said, “I have seen the Lord in a vision and I said to him, ‘Lord, I have seen you today in a vision.’ He answered, he said to me, ‘Blessed are you, because you are not wavering when you see me. For where the mind is, there is the treasure.’

Call to Conversation

Closing Meditation

The secret dowry that is buried within each of us is the psyche’s germ that has the potential to grow indefinitely until we discover all of life’s riches, especially happiness, healing love, and wisdom. This germ is the power to see and recognize the integrative pattern of life as the interplay between opposites. Like Adam and Eve, each of us must eat and digest the fruit of the tree of knowledge …, transforming its misbegotten interpretation of good and evil. In that transformation we discover that it is actually the fruit of the tree of knowledge of sacred opposites, the basis of wholeness. This is the truth that opens our eyes and sets us free to view life in a whole new way.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation

“We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.”
from The Talmud, as quoted by Elizabeth Lesser, page 130

“No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”
Albert Einstein, as quoted by Elizabeth Lesser, p 131


“The ego wants to be a ‘Republican’ or a ‘liberal,’ a ‘New Yorker’ or a ‘Midwesterner.’ It wants to judge things as right or wrong. It wants to be ‘for’ something or ‘against’ something. It does not want to delve more deeply into the full picture of reality.” (page 146)

“If we regard spirituality as a fearless investigation of reality, then we’ll find that all of our experiences is within its boundaries.” (43)

“... my meditation practice is simple. While it is surely informed by all of my study and experiences, I would be mocking the real meaning of meditation if I represented it as an exotic journey. Immersion into so many forms of meditation has led me deeper and deeper into the most essential core of all of them: mindfulness – a nondenominational form of practice that teaches moment-to-moment awareness, a kind of falling in love with naked reality.” (93)

“I have found that no matter where my searching has taken me, it always leads me back to my need to face my own true nature, and since I am a human being, my human nature. We may choose a beautiful and moral way to know God, replete with an interesting theology, an engaging community, and a well-conceived set of practices. We may look far from our own culture and adopt a path that includes ancient wisdom, meditation, and foreign mantras and dress. Perhaps we look closer to home, and embrace a religious tradition that teaches more familiar prayers and concepts. It doesn’t matter what path we take toward spiritual realization. If we by pass our humanness, each path leads back to the same question: What are we hiding from in ourselves and in each other?” (37)

“Opening up the secret of our human nature, revealing to ourselves and to each other our deep and soulful longings, our fear and sadness, our joy and wonder, is the critical step on the spiritual path. It is the step that makes the difference between living our own, real spirituality and just acquiring someone else’s beliefs…Thus a critical step on the spiritual path, and one that we will take over and over, is to let ourselves experience spiritual hunger long enough and deep enough to follow it to its source…the Source of our spiritual hunger resides in a place deep within us. It is a quiet and faithful place and if we learn how to access its powerful wisdom, it can become our most dependable friend.” (37-38)

A Reading form the Gospel of Mary – (Karen King translation)

When the Blessed One had said these things, he greeted them all, “Peace be with you!” he said. “Acquire my peace within yourselves! Be on your guard so that no one deceives you by saying, ‘Look over here!’ or ‘Look over there!’ for the child of true humanity exists within you. Follow it! Those who search for it will find it.

Call to Conversation

The Opening Meditation is inspired by Elizabeth Lesser, co founder and senior adviser of the Omega Institue in Rhinebeck, New York.

The Readings are found in Lesser's The Seeker's Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure (New York: Villard) 1999.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation

You must close the eyes and waken in yourself that other power of vision, the birthright of all, but which few turn to use. (a saying from Plotinus)

“I saw my Lord with the eye of my heart, and I said: who art Thou? He said: Thou.” (al-Hallaj, Persian Sufi at Baghdad, d. 922)

The Yogi, whose intellect is perfect, contemplates all things as abiding in himself [herself] and thus, by the eye of Knowledge (Jana-chakshus) s/he perceives that everything is Atma. (Sri Sankaracharya, Hindu metaphysician, leading exponent of the doctrine of non-duality, 800 AD)


Luke 4: 42-43

At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.’ So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea. [Galilee]

Luke 8: 1

Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Johanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

Luke 9: 1-2

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money – not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

Luke 10: 1-9

After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go....Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; cure the sick who are there, and say to them 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

Luke 11: 20

[Jesus said] If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.

Luke 12: 32

[Jesus said] Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Fathers’ good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Luke 17:20

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact the kingdom of God is among [within] you.

Gospel of Mary

After saying this, the Blessed One greeted them all, saying: “Peace be with you – may my Peace arise and be fulfilled within you! Be vigilant, and allow no one to mislead you by saying: ‘Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For it is within you that the son of Man [child of true humanity] dwells. Go to him, for those who seek him, find him. Walk forth, and announce the gospel of the Kingdom.

Call to Conversation

Closing Meditation

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Opening Music –

Call to Silence & Opening Meditation – Manifesting Love

Last week we explored belonging. It seems that the natural progression is to manifest our belonging with love. For most of us, the first love we learn about … and learn from … is that of our mother. The readings for this Mother’s Day are about love in all its forms.

Opening Prayer – Invocation to the Cosmic Mother, by Judy Sion

Oh, Great Mother, divine feminine, birther of the cosmos, lover unto Spirit, Creatrix of all matter and queen of all worlds within worlds and those without, we call you to us in this hour.

We are your children; hear our call.

We are the daughters and the sons of your divine union, the flesh of your passion for life. You, who lay with Spirit, our Father, in the beginning of time, and brought us forth from the blessed union of Spirit and Matter, we are your children, the sons and daughters of your flesh and your heart, and we remember your touch and the fragrance of your essence, and we long for you.

Come to our hearts and gift us the remembering. Come to our minds and open our genius.

Enlighten us with your presence.

Draw back the veils that we might see, and harken the doors to open, that beauty and ecstasy may live in our homes and hearts more fully.

This is our hour of greatest need. We call you through fire and water, through earth and wind, through all that bears your name. We call all your lineages and all your names. Come unto us. Come into us. So be it.

The Magdalen Manuscript, by Tom Kenyon and Judi Sion.©2002, Sounds True, Inc., Boulder, Co.

Readings on Love

Love by Tagore

Love adorns itself;
it seeks to prove inward joy by outward beauty.
Love does not claim possession,
but gives freedom.
Love is an endless mystery,
for it has nothing else to explain it.

- Rabindranath Tagore
Love by Tagore

The Love Religion, Ibn Arabi

The inner space inside
That we call the heart
Has become many different
Living scenes and stories.

A pasture for sleek gazelles,
A monastery for Christian monks,
A time with Shiva dancing,
A kaaba for pilgrimage.

The tablets of Moses are there,
The Qua’an, the Vedas,
The sutras, and the gospels.

Love is the religion in me.
Whichever way love’s camel goes,
That way becomes my faith,
The source of beauty, and a light
Of sacredness over everything.

Divine Love: Looking For Your Face, Rumi

From the beginning of my life I have been looking for your face but today I have seen it.Today I have seen the charm, the beauty,the unfathomable grace of the face that I was looking for.Today I have found you and those that laughed and scorned me yesterday are sorry that they were not looking as I did.I am bewildered by the magnificence of your beauty and wish to see you with a hundred eyes.My heart has burned with passion and has searched forever for this wondrous beauty that I now behold.

I am ashamed to call this love human and afraid of God to call it divine.
Your fragrant breath like the morning breeze has come to the stillness of the gardenYou have breathed new life into me I have become your sunshine and also your shadow.My soul is screaming in ecstasy. Every fiber of my being is in love with you. Your effulgence has lit a fire in my heart and you have made radiant for me the earth and sky.My arrow of love has arrived at the target I am in the house of mercy and my heart is a place of prayer.

From Rumi, Hidden Music (translated by Azima Melita Kolin & Maryam Mafi, 59.)

With love you cannot bargain
There, the choice is not yours.
Love is a mirror, it reflects
only your essence,
if you have the courage
to look in its face.

A Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love:
for it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.

1 Corinthians, 13

1) If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2) And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3) If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4) Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
5) it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6) it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8) Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
9) For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
10) but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
11) When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
12) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
13) So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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Closing Meditation & Music: