October 16, 2004

Our Light

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves. Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people will not feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Nelson Mandela
Inaugural Speech, 1994

5 comments:

james said...

Beautiful. This is one of my favorite poems. Thank-you for posting it.

MarkInEugene said...

The Last Desire

The desire to win is strong in America this election year.
We're feeling it intensely because the stakes are high, the divide is deep, and the consequences of inaction dire.

We can understand that desire keeps us in misery.
Desire keeps us in the past and in the future.
It keeps us from experiencing the present.
There's nothing other-worldly about this.

The allure of desire is strong, perhaps innate, and always unreal because only the present is real.
We know this, but we are reluctant to let go of our desire whatever it may be.
That reluctance is a reflection of our fear. A fear that if we don't fight for our perceived justice, we will have been apathetic and derelict in our duty as conscious beings to act according to our thoughts.

But it is those thoughts that are merely assumptions attempting to define reality. Rarely, if ever, are our thoughts a pure reflection of reality.

We can understand all of this.
We can see the folly of desire.
But how do we stop desire?

That is the last desire, the last question, so I've heard.

Meredith said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meredith said...

James, this one is for you:

Those tender words we said to one another
Are stored in the secret heart of heaven.
One day, like the rain they will fall and spread
And their mystery will grow green over the world.

Rumi

Thank you, my friend.

Meredith said...

Dear Mark-in-Eugene,

Thank you for your thoughtful post here. I agree with you that our thoughts are rarely a pure reflection of reality, though we think they are. For me, desire is longing. Longing to see or feel or experience something that isn’t happening right now. Noticing the longing is naming it; once named, it is easier for me to loosen my grip on what I long for, thereby coming back to the present moment. In the present moment I recognize the folly of desire. Here is some wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche to illuminate this notion:


Having no mind, with out desires
Self quieted, self existing
It is like a wave of water
Luminosity is veiled only by the rising of desire.

If you neither dwell, perceive, nor stray
from the ultimate,
Then you are the holy practitioner, the torch
which illuminates darkness.


Thank you again, Mark-in-Eugene!
Meredith