Last night I went to a meditation at the Interdependence Project on the Sufi poet Hafiz. Hafiz writes about love- the love of God, of life, and of the Self.
It was a a great way to come back home and kick off the new year. Doing a full half hour guided mediation was surprisingly hard. I kept wondering if the class leader was watching me, judging me, noticing how I kept wanting to uncross my legs as they tingled on the mat. I observed my fear of judgment, I felt how attached I was to my ego, even in this sacred, quiet moment.
As we read the poems, one struck me after I struggled with so much self judgment - and then with frustration that I still fall to feeling negative:
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly.
let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
as few human or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft
my voice so tender
my need of god
Instead of rejecting can I use my fear, and loneliness, my anxiety and judgment to seasoning me? Can we spin negative thoughts to bring us closer to God and to ourselves?
Hafiz offers us a poignant picture of what that can do in his poems. He has so many more, I recommend the translation by Danial Ladinsky in "The Gift".
I'll turn to this poem when the cuts of lonely emotion cut deep, to make my eyes soft and voice tender as I accept vulnerability, and my need.