A while back I had mentioned that I am working on two new books — a new poetry anthology, which I plan to publish in the summer, and also a collection of the ‘thoughts for the day,’ which I hoped to publish even sooner. I will still be publishing both books, but I have decided to focus on the anthology first and complete the book of sayings after. The tentative schedule for the two books now is to release the anthology late summer or early autumn, to be followed by the book of sayings by the end of the year. Although I haven’t been as swift as I hoped with preparing them for publication, I am pleased with how they are coming together… and I hope you will be too.
Also, I forget to mention it, but I have been doing some behind-the-scenes work on the Poetry Chaikhana. I recently updated the database software I use to manage the website along with the extensive library of poetry, biographies, and commentaries. You are not likely to notice any changes as a visitor to the site, but these updates to the software mean that I can avoid several technical issues and I am now in a good position to continue to manage the Poetry Chaikhana well into the future. Some of the humdrum details that only a nerd can appreciate, but they help me to keep the extensive Poetry Chaikhana resources available to everyone.
Religion is not a fixed collection
of beliefs and rituals.
Religion, properly understood,
is a living technology
for experiencing God.
with a fierce eye
and a gentle heart.
‘Blind faith’ is just passive belief.
Find an active faith,
faith that tests itself constantly.
Restore sight to your faith.
The most mundane effort,
when approached with a sense of service
and a questing heart,
becomes an act of beauty.
The solution to religious extremism
is to reawaken that sweet, secret, sacred bliss within,
to gently and generously share it with others,
to create environments that invite
the continuing quest.
This is what the soul craves,
to be seen, to be recognized,
to be truly acknowledged.
This is true not just of the human soul,
but of the world soul.
When you know where the Beloved lives,
you are content,
no need to argue with others over street names.
We are, each of us, just a thin gauze-like veil
delicately draped over the Divine.
The slightest puff of breath
or flaming spark of fire
dispels the illusion that we are a separate substance.
The boundary between self and the world
is bridged by the breath.
All the world
is an altar.
We all feel it, a gentle prodding
to let the heart open,
to know ourselves truly, to be present
and radiate ourselves into the world.
Don’t mistake information for knowledge.
Information is important,
but knowledge is the stuff of life.
The scariest people are those
who’ve grown tired of questions
and so brutalize the world with simplistic answers.
We learn the way
by knowing our hearts.