Currently, I'm taking a month-long email class with Cheri Huber, the Guide at Zen Monastery Peace Center. The class exercises aim to wake us from the trance of ego-identity's voice in our heads, or what Huber calls egocentric karmic conditioning/self-hate.
As I was practicing one of the exercises last week, I was struck anew by the extent to which my inner wisdom extends compassion and mercy to other people who are struggling with emotional pain, but when I'm in similar pain myself, my ego-identity voice takes charge and administers verbal self-beatings rather than compassion. As a result of that voice's lifelong dictatorship, I suffer almost constantly. The "reign of terror" is in large measure responsible for the chronic depression and anxiety I have struggled with most of my adult life as well as for the physical manifestations of stress now coming to the fore.
Coincidentally this week, I came across Rumi's poem, "Gamble Everything for Love," which urges that we stop being half-hearted in our practice and commit ourselves so that we may awaken from self-imposed suffering and remember that we are awareness, we are Life living itself through unique human forms.
Gamble everything for love.
If you are a true human being.
If not, leave this gathering.
Half-heartedness doesn't reach into majesty.
You set out to find God, but then you keep
stopping for long periods at mean-spirited roadhouses.
Don't wait any longer. Dive in the ocean, leave and let the
sea be you. Silent, absent, walking an empty road, all praise.
What are you noticing about the quality of your practice? Are you more often in the ocean or the mean-spirited roadhouse?
for Mindful Monday
© Feb 23, 2015, post: Donna Pierce
Source: from The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, 1995.
Photo credit: DVD cover for Roadhouse, 2006.