NO LONGER UGLY

NO LONGER UGLY

Once upon a time there was a boy who had a dog. The boy and the dog loved each other and played happily as dear friends. But one day the dog did something the boy’s parents didn’t like. To appease his parents, the boy had to send the dog away. Years passed, and the boy forgot there had ever been a dog . But inside him there was still a place where something was missing. When he was a man, the missing place called him so strongly that he had to go in search of what he needed. His search brought him to the edge of a forest.

Not knowing why, he found himself sitting, waiting. Slowly, gradually, two burning eyes appeared in the darkness of the forest. The young man waited. Slowly, gradually, a long pointed nose emerged. The young man waited. Finally, out of the forest, slinking, there came an animal: thin, scarred, muddy, matted with burrs. You would hardly know it had ever been a dog.

The young man greeted it softly: Hello. The ugly dog stopped, untrusting. The young man felt in his body the memory stirring of the good and happy times with his friend. He said to the animal before him: I want to know how it has been for you, all these years in exile. And in his own way the dog told him, this, and this. Sad, lonely, scared, bitter. The young man told the dog that he had heard it. He heard all that he had gone through.

And with this hearing, the dog visibly softened, became warmer and more trusting. After some time, it came close enough to be touched. When the young man touched the dog, he could feel the missing place inside him begin to fill in. And soon after he took the dog home, and gave it a bath and a warm place by the fire – after it felt loved again – it was no longer ugly. It was beautiful.

Source: Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin
The Radical Acceptance of Everything
Calluna Press, 2005

CONSIDER THIS

“I have long been persuaded that desire is not an emptiness needing to be filled but a fullness needing to be in relation.  Desire is love trying to happen.”  – Sebastian Moore, Jesus and the Liberator of Desire (Crossroad, 1989)

 

ARE YOU SEARCHING IN THE WRONG PLACE?

A famous Sufi mystic, Rabiya, was searching for something on the street outside her small hut. The sun was setting and darkness was descending, as few people gathered around her. “What have you lost? What are you searching for?  Perhaps we can help,” they said to Rabiya.

Rabiya said, “I have lost my needle.”

One amongst the people said, “Well, the sun is setting now and it will be very difficult to find the needle.  Where has it fallen?  That’ll help us narrow down the area on this big road.  If we know the exact place, it will be easier to find it.”

Rabiya told them, “It is better not to ask me that question — because, actually, it has not fallen on the road at all.  It has fallen inside my house.”

Everyone started giggling as if she was joking.  Then a skeptic says out loud, “We always knew that you were a little insane!  If the needle has fallen inside the house, then why are you searching for it on the road?”

“For a very simple reason: inside the house there is no light and on the outside a little light is still there,” Rabiya replied.

The people laughed and started dispersing.  Rabiya called them back and said, “Listen! That’s exactly what you are doing: I was just following your example. You go on seeking bliss in the outside world without asking the most fundamental question: where exactly have I lost it?”

After a pause, she continues, “You have lost it inside, and yet you are looking for it on the outside for the very same reason — your senses are outward bound, your ears hear sounds on the outside, your hands touch things on the outside.  That’s the reason why you are searching outside. For a very long time, I was also just searching on the outside.  But the day I searched inwards, I was surprised.  That is where I lost it and that is the only place it can be found.”

Source | Osho, Joy: The Happiness that Comes from Within
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 2008) pages 10-11
CONSIDER THIS
Distracted by fleeting, external excitements we forget to tap into the fresh, secret waters deep within, where the Source of life and love and joy is waiting to be found.
Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. | Matthew 6:6 (nrsv)
Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. | Matthew 6:6 (the message)

RESTING IN THE PEACE THAT YOU ARE

Long ago lived a young man in Istanbul, Turkey. Because he was poor, he had only a single room, sparsely furnished with a few books and a small cot for a bed. One night the young man had a dream — a vision, really.

In it, he saw himself walking on a street in what he came to realize was the city of Cairo in Egypt, a place he had never been. He could clearly see the name of the street and the houses that lined the road.

In the vision, he walked up to one particular house, noting the address. He entered into a tiled courtyard and then into the main house. An open door drew him to a particular room within the house. In this room sat an old man surrounded by treasures beyond anything the young man had ever imagined.

Diamonds, emeralds, and rubies were piled high in pyramid shapes. Gold and silver bars lined the walls. Exquisite carpets and artifacts from around the world lay at his feet. The young man stared at the treasures and then at the old man in amazement, for in that moment he somehow knew that these treasures belonged to himself. He didn’t know how he knew (it was a vision, after all), but he was certain that all of it was rightfully his.

The young man bolted awake from the dream. So confident was he in its veracity that he set off that very day on the long journey from Istanbul to Cairo in order to claim his treasure. In those days, travel was slow and the young man, being poor, had to work along the way to pay for food and lodging. After several months, he eventually arrived in Cairo. Upon making the inquiries he found the very street he had seen in his dream.

As he set foot upon it, everything seemed completely familiar. The houses were exactly as he had seen them in his vision. And sure enough, the house that in the dream had contained the old man and his treasure was precisely where the young man expected it to be. Knowing his way, he entered into the tiled courtyard and then into the room of treasures where he planned to make his claim.

There sat the old man, but there were no jewels, no gold or silver, no carpets or artifacts. The young man, undeterred by the absence of the treasures recounted his vision to the old man and concluded by saying, “Since everything else in my vision has been accurate, I assume that the riches are hidden here somewhere. Please hand them over to me.”

The old man was silent for some time, looking intently at the young man, his eyes glistening. After a while, he spoke. “It’s strange,” he said. “I, too, had a dream. I dreamed of a young man in Istanbul who looked exactly like you.”

“Yes, go on,” implored the young man, certain that this information would lead to his treasure.

The old man proceeded to describe the street on which the young man lived in Istanbul. He described the young man’s mother and father, his siblings, his friends at work, and the books on the wall of his simple room. “In my vision,” said the old man, “the greatest treasure, more precious than all the shiny rocks and metals of the world, was there on a small cot in that room.”

The young man suddenly realized what the old man meant. In that moment, he saw that his existence, his very being, was all the treasure he would ever want or need.  A profound peace overcame him. He bowed to the wise man, and taking his leave, returned home to Istanbul where he lived out his quiet days.

Source | Catherine Ingram, Passionate Presence,
(Diamond Books, 2008) pages 20-22

CONSIDER THIS

Is it possible that our hunger for finding treasures or any other circumstances that we think will bring us peace inhibits our resting in the peace that we are?