A whole poem for you today - another from A Year with Hafiz (Translation by Daniel Ladinsky):
"Three-quarters of the world dances all night,
the waves moving as they do on the seas.
And when the wind takes a tree in its arms,
what happens then?
The green branches of the earth may seem to
reach out to touch us if we were near them in a forest,
a meadow, a field.
Does not all sway to a rhythm that began long
before we stood upright?
We are in the mountain's home, just guests.
Guests of the sky, the streams, the giving soil
we nurse from.
Would not you be happier following their
example - bowing in unseen ways, then rising
We like to think we're living life, in control. But isn't it maybe the other way around? Thinking we're in control of life, after all, is objectifying life, making it into something that is separate from us - a thing to be manipulated and outwitted so we get our way.
How can that possibly be the case? How can life be something we are separate from, something we can exert "our will" upon. The tree, the sun, the ocean, the earth, this body - all are vehicles of life. In iRest we ask the question, "Isn't life living us? Isn't life living through us?" We might say life is simply happening and all our suffering, all our discontent, discouragement and wishing things were different has no actual impact on life itself.
We are like a river. The river is always being moved. It is never the same, but what it is is essentially always the same. How absurd it would be for the river to believe it has chosen its path, its direction, or to believe it can exert control over where the water flows.
Imagine just that - a river that believes it flows along a course it has chosen. Of course, the stones, the mountains, gravity - they all know better. The course simply is. But for some reason this one river likes to think it's in control. It wants to flow in another direction - doesn't like the current path, man. Nope, not good enough. So it tries to alter the way things are, to improve itself out of a sense of not enough, to push in this direction and that. It has an ideal flow or path in mind and that's that. And for all its wanting things to be a certain way, it just keeps flowing along the path already there; being moved as it always has been. After all, how could it possibly be otherwise?
So I ask (through Hafiz):
Would you not be happier following [the example of the waves on the sea, the branches of the tree] - bowing in unseen ways and then rising up, swaying to a rhythm that began long, long ago?