When I am with you, we stay up all night,

When you’re not here, I can’t get to sleep.

Praise God for these two insomnias!

And the difference between them.

From Essential Rumi  by Coleman Barks

The following words arose in response to a recent question from a friend, the first indicated question below:. 

How is it that although I know nothing dies, I still have days of grief for my dad?

I’m not going to say anything you don’t already know. It is time for you to really embody and put into practice that which your father came here to teach you. Remember he left when you were ready, not a moment too soon or too late. He is here in spirit now to support you on your divine mission.

Any relationship as deeply loving as the one between you and your father pays a price during physical separation. Yogananda, an enlightened sage and the founder of the Self Realization Fellowship, experienced similar feelings when sent from his Indian homeland to America by his master, Sri Yukteswar. So you are in good company.

Be aware also that these feelings are cyclical. Your question comes at the time of the Guru Pournima full moon, an auspicious time. Just as the moon regulates tides on our planet, so too it influences human emotions. Emotions are nearly always more intense around the time of a full moon. Feelings of grief are also more likely to arise on the anniversary of birthdays and other days associated with times of special sharing.

How do I move through my feelings of grief?

By not trying to move through them. By accepting them completely. By seeing them as a natural outpouring of emotion in response to a perception of loss. Now is the time to intensify any practices you do that assist in realizing the awareness of who you really are, that awaken you on a feeling level to your God Nature, your unlimited self. It is here that you meet your father. It is here where no missing or longing feelings arise because oneness is self evident. Identification with the form of your father falls away and you meet in reality. As Rumi, the great Persian mystic once wrote, “The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along. (From Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks)

Consider allowing nature to caress and support you in times of grief. See the beauty, bathe in it. Nature acts as a buffer for human emotions. Finally, find someone who needs help and assist them.

 

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi was a 13th century poet and philosopher who heavily influenced both eastern and western poetry. His poetry is divided into categories: The Quatrains and Odes of the Divan, The Six Books the Masnavi, The Discourses, The Letters, and The Six Sermons. Rumi’s major poetic work is Matnawiye Ma’nawi, a six-volume poem, considered by many literary critics to be one of the greatest works of mystical poetry ever written. Rumi’s prose works included Fihi Ma Fihi, Majalese Sab’a and Maktubat. His prose work largely contains sermons and lectures given by Rumi to his disciples and family members.

Rumi was born in 1207 in what is today the country of Afghanistan. During his lifetime Rumi completed more than 60,000 works of poetry. A lot of Rumi’s work, and the subject of many of the Rumi quotes used in modern day, are based around the concepts of man and nature uniting with the divine. The question of where souls have been and where they are going is frequently addressed by Rumi. This poet is often described as a “mystic” and though he was a Muslim Qu’ran scholar, Rumi’s words have appealed throughout history to people of many different religions. He departed this world in 1273. His words endure, touching the hearts of many today.

Realated post:

Nature is my Balm

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Here’s a story that arrived in my inbox a while back. I have no idea of the original source. Do enjoy. It’s a wonderful story. 

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation. Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

 The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and colour of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

 Days, weeks and months passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn and look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.

 The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate to describe such wondrous things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man had been blind and could not even see the wall, let alone the window or anything beyond it.  She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

 

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own sometimes challenging situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy. “Today is a gift. That is why it is called The Present.”

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