Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mirroring Peace

"Let me not forget that, for me as for everyone, the whole world of experience is my own, is within me, is a reflection of my own self. I am like a baby, playing with its own reflection in the mirror, getting alternately frightened and delighted by my own expressions reflected back."

Sri Ramakrishna, as quoted in today's lesson from Spirituality and Practice's ecourse on Interspiritual Wisdom.

I had originally intended to post an Eckhart Tolle quotation here, but this one, which arrived in my email this morning, seemed to be a more easily illustrated aspect of the same subject, i.e., what we bring to our dealings with difficult people and situations. (The photo is from the Piazza San Marco in Venice; it was only when I opened the file today, some 3 years after the picture was taken, that I discovered that intriguing face in the circle on the left...).

There seems to be a certain synchronicity going on, since I opened my Thomas meditation for this morning to discover I'd written the following poem for today's Thomas passage:

If change is the only reliable constant,
then it would make sense to assume
that those whom today’s society rejects
may be the darlings of tomorrow;
that today’s eurotrash
may be tomorrow’s valuable antique.

If you could imagine
that this were to be true,
how would you treat me differently?
Wouldn’t it be amusing,
if there were a lesson in me
meant just for you?

Given that my morning started with this Tolle quote, everything seemed to fit together, so I'll share the Tolle quote with you and go on about my day, trying to stay open to my own contributions and expectations in the world around me. I don't know why this stuff is all coming together like this, but I'm willing to watch and listen for the lessons to be learned; how about you?

"If peace mattered to you more than anything else and if you truly knew yourself to be spirit rather than a little me, you would remain nonreactive and absolutely alert when confronted with challenging people or situations. You would immediately accept the situation and thus become one with it rather than separate yourself from it. Then out of your alertness would come a response. Who you are (consciousness), not who you think you are (a small me) would be responding. It would be powerful and effective and would make no person or situation into an enemy." (from Oneness With All Life)

I think that last line would be a fabulous mantra, worthy of a bumper sticker, and bears repeating: Make no person or situation into an enemy. Tolle says it another way a page or two later:

How do you know this is the experience you need?

Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.

Amen.

3 comments:

Maureen said...

That line also would be interesting as inspiration for a collage or other artwork.

Thank you for including the Tolle quote.

KimQuiltz said...

Tolle has really been "speaking" to me lately. I have been carrying that quote "if peace mattered to you" around with me during my recent struggle and it has really been helpful...well, that and the whole "love your neighbor as yourself" little thing that Jesus said. *G*

Thank you SO much for the reminder, this has been a particularly tough week to continue to hold peace close and continue to love.

And then, dear friend, of course you had to end with the "How do you know..." quote. It is hard to accept the idea that any pain is instructive, but how can it not be? Surely I have done my best and most lasting growth through pain in the past, why would I think that this time it would be any different?

Able to smile more every day,
Kim

M.L. Gallagher said...

Powerful stuff Diane. Thanks for the inspiration! And, there must be a reason why I'm reading this right now -- no experience is unnecessary. I need every experience to be who and where I am in this moment.And, when I call them 'difficult', I am simply making them into what I want/need them to be.

Have a beautiful day watching and listening.

Louise