burn me in Hell!
If I adore you out of desire for Paradise,
Lock me out of Paradise.
But if I adore you for Yourself alone,
Do not deny to me your eternal beauty." - Rabia
Her poetry is so intoxicating to recite over and over. Rabia Al Basri lived in Iraq the second half of the 8th century. She became widely known for her songs and poems that ever declared the pure love for the Divine for it’s own sake and not out of fear or self-aggrandizement. Her compositions are so full of unconditional and wholehearted devotion; one cannot help but be lifted up. She ever reaches down into the core of her own being to find the Truth and the Light. She believed that fear and hope were illusions that keep us away from knowing who we really are in relation to the Universe.
I don’t know how many times these words have brought tears to my eyes. I look at all the people around me and observe the feelings I have for them. It has been my life quest so far to recognize the Divine in all people. We are all One and this Consciousness lives in each one of us. It’s not always pleasant what I see in others, but when I look hard enough and accept a person’s journey in its own evolution, there is always a beautiful gift that reveals itself. I realize that some people are only meant to be in my life for a moment, but I still learn something from each interaction. The more I remember this, the easier it becomes to see the Light that shines out of so many eyes around me every day. This connects me more deeply with the Universal Heart. In that Oneness, Self-acceptance blooms forth its offerings and Self-forgiveness becomes possible. Only then can we love for Love’s sake alone.
Practicing the Four Proclamations as outlined in “Ancient Secrets of Success”, by Mr.Tulshi Sen has helped me to become more centered in this quest. It breaks down the barriers of the ever-judging mind to surrender to the greater part of who I am. This greater part is connected with “every point in space”. Many brilliant artists, poets, painters, sages and prophets from every walk of life have created masterpieces out of this feeling of Union. It cannot be spoken or explained, merely reached for in complete surrender. Mr. Sen explains why this is so:
“The mind intellectually rejects any thoughts of Unity or being One with the Universe and does not allow this Truth to enter your heart. The Ancients understood this and so they devised instruments to train the mind for realizing the Truth, that You and the Universe are One, God is One. These instruments are the Four Proclamations…”
The demands of the information age leave its toll on our stress levels and oftentimes we do not even have the energy or focus to engage in any other activity after a long hard day. We feel so exhausted with worries, we often put off nourishing our inner reserves of strength and resilience. The meditation on the Four Proclamations helps to calm this anxiousness and opens us up again to Self-love and limitless inspiration until we can love for Love’s sake alone.
In this feeling of peace I am reminded of more of Rabia’s words: “How long will you bang on this open door?”…I smile and reach for Antara (the name of my guitar)… to disappear into the exquisiteness of the Grace that pours through.
“Assalamu Alaikum” (Arabic: Peace Be Upon You)
**From: Doorkeeper of the heart: versions of Rabia / [translated by] Charles Upton. Putney, Vt.: Threshold Books, c1988