The following poem was written on the day of the 9/11 attacks by Mattie Stepanek, a boy who was 11 years old at the time. Like the Dharma, it seems to speak to both the mind and the heart, and so we thought we’d share it with you on this anniversary of the tragedy.
For Our World
We need to stop.
Stop for a moment.
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Silent for a moment.
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Notice for a moment.
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice.
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Be for a moment.
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.
September 11, 2001
We know what we are but not what we may be.
Perspective creates Perception creates Choice creates Experience.
Neal Donald Walsh: Conversations with God
In the absence of effort is EASE.ALL OF WHO YOU REALLY TRULY ARE, ALREADY IS.
In the absence of heaviness is LIGHTNESS.
In the absence of struggle is PEACE.
In the absence of darkness is LIGHT.
In the absence of doing is BEING.
Experience YOU in the absence of who you are not!
Il semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n'y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n'y a plus rien à retrancher.
(It seems perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.)
Antoine de Saint Exupéry
I will never try to know you, I will forever try to see you.
And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Some words from God
from Neal Donald Walsh's Conversations with God
Life (as you call it) is an opportunity for you to know experientially what you already know conceptually. You need learn nothing to do this. You need merely remember what you already know, and act on it. Your job on Earth, therefore, is not to learn (because you already know), but to remember Who You Are. And to remember who everyone else is.
You are therefore in the process of experiencing yourself by creating yourself anew in every single moment. As am I. Through you.
The way to reduce the pain which you associate with earthly experiences and events—both yours and those of others—is to change the way you behold them.
There is nothing you cannot be, there is nothing you cannot do. There is nothing you cannot have. There is perfection in the process—and all life arises out of choice.
(a way of meeting yourself being yourself in the process of change)
I ask myself this question…
Have I shown up this morning certain of who I am, fully satisfied and comfortable in my knowledge, insight and understanding?
OR…to divest myself of habitual thinking,
Have I shown up with horizon all around, my heart and mind a blank page to write that which I have never thought,
or anticipated I could perceive or understand,
allowing myself to be informed by,
and redefined by my experiences I will surely have.
For change to actualize,
I need to experience that moment of highest tension
between what I hold to be true,
and what truth holds for me
and at that moment, let go of all I feel the need to hold onto,
and merge, meld, fall
and enter completely into the moment surfacing.
Change takes place when I see things for what they truly are,
or seem to be,
and not what I need for them to be.
then I let myself be moved by what I see,
and I am changed.
And I become the man,
and I become the woman
And, when I introduce myself to the next person I meet,
I will introduce myself to them, who I have become
and not who I used to be.
For who I have become is now who I am.
I am present
For now, anyway,
Until I show up again with horizon all around,
eager for the blank page
© Tommy Thompson, Cambridge, MA 2007
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living,
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are,
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon,
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true,
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your life from God’s presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake, and shout to the silver moon “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have,
I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are or how you came here,
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied,
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer, an Indian elder