LOTUS OF THE HEART
Everyone is Welcome Here
Living in Love beyond Beliefs
Today's Saying: Joy is our nature. So, we do not have to discover joy, we rediscover joy.
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A man walked deep into a forest and came upon a little hut. In the hut a hermit was praying before a simple, wooden cross. His face was shining with gladness.
"Good afternoon, Brother," said the stranger. "May God bless us with a good afternoon. You appear full of joy."
"Yes," replied the hermit, "I am always filled with joy."
The stranger continued, "You are joyful just living in this little, lonely hut worshipping? Where did you find this joy?"
"Right here," said the hermit. And pointing to a small opening in the wall of the hut, he directed, "Look through that hole, and you will see a glimpse of what brings me this joy."
The man, having looked, said, "All I can see are some branches of a tree."
"Look again," instructed the hermit.
Having looked again, the stranger turned to the hermit. He said, "All I see are some branches and sky."
"That," said the hermit, "is the reason for my joy – just a little bit of heaven."
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We eat, sleep, and drink fluids daily... this is wise self-care. Yet, how many do not daily take care of themselves spiritually? Without nourishing the body, it loses its capacity to feel the aliveness, even though aliveness is all around.
By daily spiritual nurture, we nourish our true selves - our heart -, so remaining sensitive to the heaven - grace, beauty, mystery, love - all about us. One brief taste of this heaven replenishes the spirit of a pilgrim of the Way.
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A Sufi image of this spiritual self-care is of polishing. One polishes the mirror of the heart. We polish our eyes, the eyes of our heart, to see sacredness everywhere and to reflect that back to others. The heart is the only organ that perceives Spirit in the world of matter. And the heart never lacks the capacity of seeing, yet dust and debris settles over it. Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew 6.22-23, says it this way -
The eye is the body’s lamp. If your eye is sound, then the whole of your body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, the whole of your body will be in darkness. If, then, the light in you is the same as darkness, what a great darkness that must be!
*The Gospels. Trans. Sarah Ruden.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.