Crying out loud and weeping
are great resources.
A nursing mother, all she does
is wait to hear her child.
Just a little beginning-whimper
and she's there.
Do not be stolid and silent with your pain.
and let the milk of loving
flow into you.
The hard rain and the wind
are ways the cloud has
to take care of us.
-- Rumi, A Year with Rumi (May 5)
I'll be honest: I looked at this one and thought, you know what, I'm done with these things; I'm starting to find these relentless boobs a little... I don't know, tasteless? Boring? I even thought about not posting this one today.
But then I found this poem, and thought -- well, of course! I've been waiting for so long for a true spirit of compassion to be kindled in me. And now that I've embarked on the lovingkindness mantra, I'm finally beginning to feel that taking a firmer root in me. And what better metaphor for how it manifests than a nursing mother?
Because that's what I needed to learn, I think: that the loving is/was/will be right there, all along. When we become awake and attentive -- not just to our surroundings but also to our own needs and feelings -- we are becoming more like -- and more attuned to -- the Divine Tenderness that resides in the silence, in the infinite capacity for love within and around us.
If you've ever nursed a child, you know that tingling feeling in the breasts that arises any time you hear ANY child cry. What if God's response to us is just as loving, universal, and undiscriminating? Wouldn't that mean that God would be waiting, ready to comfort and nurture at the first indication of need? We have only to honor that need; God will take care of us. And then, I trust, in listening to and loving ourselves and feeling the tender response of the Divine, we can finally find a clear and shining path to universal compassion.