just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

Wholesome Thought, Wholesome Life

Published on 12/11/15
by randy

I Have Learned So Much

So much from God
That I can no longer

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

From: ‘The Gift’
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky
This poem by Hafiz captures the essence of ‘wholesome’ living. It moves past the divisiveness created from our language and accumulated identities. When we attach to notions of static identities and fixed belief systems, we’re no longer free. Yet, the wholesome life moves fear to love, bondage to freedom and ignorance to understanding. Wholesome thought quiets the mind, leads one to a peaceful heart, increases our awareness of love, and clarifies the intersection of the Divine and human. So we must go inside to find love, not outside. While words can point to ‘wholeness’, the stilled mind is the true receptor to what God can really teach us. When we’re aligned in silence to the precious nature of life the notion (thought) that we’re separate vanishes. The illusion created from the divided, divisive, discursive mind makes itself available. We deepen our intention to cause no harm. We clearly see that when we hurt others we hurt ourselves. When we take from others we steal from ourselves. When we’re unkind to others we’re unkind to ourselves. When we objectify each other for what appears to be the illusion of personal gain, we objectify ourselves.

When we ‘turn to ash’ every concept and image the mind has ever known we meet the response of emptiness and fullness as one. It’s where can can find love in our deepest sorrow. It’s the essence of the healed response. This is wholesome thought and practice that leads to wholesome action. It’s really what we’re here for. Moment by moment we’re challenged by the supposed ‘real world’ to survive in a win/lose battle with others. Yet, our real life challenge is to love, always. All this takes is the strong intention to pay attention to love. Citizens of love move beyond difference in appreciation to our inter-Being with all things.

This practice has been extremely beneficial for me. I used to frame my thoughts as dualistic vs. non-dualistic. I find deeper meaning when framed as wholesome vs. unwholesome. Try it out. Anytime your separating yourself from another through an identification of difference, label it as ‘unwholesome’. I like applying this to the Buddha’s Fourth Noble Truth in practicing the Eightfold Path. Instead of using the prefix ‘right’ (i.e. Right Action, Right View, Right Intention, etc.), replace it with the word ‘wholesome’ (i.e. Wholesome Action, Wholesome View, Wholesome Intention, etc.). This practice captures the essence of Hafiz’ poem. It moves beyond our classes, beyond our judgments of ‘right vs. wrong’, ‘good vs. bad’. It expands our sense of belonging to that place where we realize we can never be alone. Our separateness is illusion. That’s what we’re waking up to when we still the mind from divisive thought.

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