December 14–Hope: So Much Mercy

So at night in my prayers I often stop
And ask a thousand angels to join in
And Applaud,
And Applaud
Anything,
Anything in this world
That can bring your heart comfort!
Hafiz*

A young man comes to Hafiz for spiritual guidance.  Feeling strong and brave, he asked the Master to tell him the truth about all of his attachments.

Hafiz addresses him as “sweetheart.”  And then he tells him that he can clearly see how much effort he has put into protecting all of the attachments of his life–like a great brothel to house all of his pleasures.

Just take about 30 seconds to think about the things you are attached to.  The Master Hafiz continues.

You have even surrounded the whole
damn place
With armed guards and vicious dogs
To protect your desires
So that you can sneak away
From time to time
And try to squeeze light
Into your parched Being
From a source as fruitful
As a dried date pit
That even a bird
Is wise enough to spit out.

Wow!  Be careful what you ask for.  So, I find myself, as I read this poem, bracing for the annihilation of the young man who asked for the truth about his attachments.  And what comes next is what Hafiz gives him.

So at night in my prayers I often stop
And ask a thousand angels to join in
And Applaud,
And Applaud
Anything,
Anything in this world
That can bring your heart comfort!

What mercy, compassion, and tenderness!  The regret of the past is a crushing enemy of the human spirit.  What if we were to offer this kind of mercy, compassion and tenderness–to ourselves–and one day, before we die, learn how to extend it always to everyone we encounter?

Bob Patrick

*I want to recommend the book of Hafiz’s poetry that these lines have come from, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy, Daniel Ladinsky, translator.  If you order it on Amazon, be sure to use this code so that a portion of the proceeds will benefit UUCG.

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