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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Poets As Lifeboats

A note from Carl:

The
Great religions are the
Ships,

Poets the life
Boats.

Every sane person I know has jumped
Overboard.

That is good for business
Isn’t it
Hafiz?

-Hafiz

Poets As Lifeboats
Ah, to start a morning with Hafiz…I remember Michael Meade saying he likes to get up early and read Hafiz first thing before his thinking mind kicks in. It’s always good to let someone like Hafiz take the wheel before thinking mind gets hold, and the poets are good drivers for the soul, good drivers for a life of wonder.

I love this little poem.  I notice the appreciation I have for my time spent in the ships, my time in the life boats, and my time jumping overboard and splashing and swimming in the water. All have had their own value and necessity.  The life boats to me are the poets, the mystics, the teachers who keep reminding us to stay true to what is most alive and essential, whether or not it matches the party line of a particular tradition.  Any tradition can harden into an ideology, any system has the potential to generate fundamentalists who close the heart and distance themselves from others and from life. I’ve seen it in Buddhism, yoga, bodywork, parenting styles, Jungians, Bernie supporters…you name it, it can lead to liberation… or not.

And that is where the life boats are so valuable, the askers of great questions, the rug-puller-outers,  the ones that comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. How miraculous that I can receive a mischievous, loving poke that somehow travels through the centuries and meets me through an early morning Kabir or Hafiz poem, reminding me of what is most important.

One life boat navigator for whom I have great appreciation and respect is our friend and teacher Russell Delman. Russell has such a unique ability to stay true to what is essential, and to support others in their capacity to do so.  We encourage you to come join us tomorrow night for the gathering and free talk he’ll be offering at 7:30 at Avenues Yoga. We have such a beautiful community of people in Salt Lake, and it is a great opportunity for us to come together.

I am Pleased to Tell You

Mr. Death, I am pleased to tell you, there
are rifts in your long black coat. Today
Rumi (obit. 1273) came visiting, and not for
the first time. True he didn’t speak with
his tongue but from memory, and whether
he was short or tall I still don’t know.
But he was as real as the tree I was
under. Just because something’s physical
doesn’t mean it’s the greatest. He
offered a poem or two, then sauntered on.
I sat awhile feeling content and feeling
contentment in the tree also. Isn’t
everything in the world shared? And one
of the poems contained a tree, so of
course the tree felt included. That’s
Rumi, who has no trouble slipping out of
your long coat, oh Mr. Death.

Mary Oliver
Felicity

Wishing you well,
Carl

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