Heaven’s Lamp

"What seekest thou, and what wouldst thou have?" - The Cloud Of Unknowing

"O you, the lamp of heaven, like the sun." - Rumi

"Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word." - Psalm

Thank You, Merciful Father,
   for the joys You bring to life.
The connections You make
   between the temporal and the everlasting.
The divine in the tangible.

Please continue to redeem my life.
Please grant strength and wisdom
   to accomplish what You’ve set before me.
Thank You for Your inspiration and inward renewal.
Grant me discernment
   in leaving behind unnecessary encumbrances.
Help me to think right thoughts
   and be mindful of peace and kindness
      in my daily interactions.
Thank You for Your forgiveness
   and please help me to forgive others.
       I love You,
       Amen.

The Works Of Hurting Hands

"Not merely by keeping precepts and observances, not yet by scholarly learning, not solely by attaining meditative absorption, not by lying alone, do I weave ascetic bliss not experienced by the worldling. The bhikku should not rest until mental intoxicants are fully extinct." - Buddha

"If, rarely, someone goes this Way alone, he wil arrive thanks to the pir’s attention." - Rumi

"May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us - yes, establish the work of our hands." - Psalm (NIV)

I began this way with force, strength and direction.
But sometimes it feels as though
   my roots are tapped into
      a poison well.
Obsessions, Greed, Malice, Despair, Spite and Pride.
All separate names for
Drivenness, Ambition, Tenacity, Desire, Justice and Confidence.
   The untrained blade cuts its bearer.
   The untamed dog bites its master.
Listen to the wind-weathered stone
   speak of confidence    
      stubbornness.
Many rely on such a one as way-marker.
Far from wind-worn stone,
   I am one wafted by the wind
      a withered leaf
         cast from the tree and tumbling
            to float in the tiny stream of this gutter-street
To become the bed
   for wayward seeds
      sundry weeds.
(The tree is The Way
   I can see how I’ve cast myself from it.)

The work of my hands?
   An expert at throwing out good things.
      Erecting monuments to dead dreams.
         Taking pains to isolate myself 
            from my only friends.

(So, we have walked carelessly.)
"Knowing this, little one, walk aright in the light of My unfailing love.
   Be satisfied by My grace.
   Turn away from wrong ways.
   Become My true and tested servant again.”

       I love You.
       Amen.

The Wise One’s Shadow

"Whoever is beyond clinging, for past, present, or future, who possesses nothing, is released from the world." - Buddha

"Go on, seek refuge in the Wise One’s shadow; escape that hidden enemy of strife." - Rumi

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place [….]" - Psalm (NIV)

Though unworthy, You shelter, feed and bring peace to me.

Please forgive the times I don’t act
   on the impulse of Your love.
Please forgive the times I act
   on my desires for self and selfishness.
Thank You for Your grace and kindness to me.

There are many winds that cause the leaves to dance.
There are many breezes bringing the ever-changing clouds
   in       and out       of view.
There are many invisible seas -
   on their waves light rains down upon us.
There are many fires - but Yours is best and brightest.

Continue to kindle Your light within me.
Your shadow is the brightest flame.
       Selah.

Needs

"Prepare a refuge for yourself, work hard, use good judgment." - Buddha

"Protect yourself, protect yourself from thoughts. Thought is the lion and deer, and hearts are bushes." - Rumi

"Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you." - Psalm (NIV)

Lord, my finances are a wreck.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
I haven’t been a good steward of the gifts and resources You’ve given me.
Please forgive my folly.
Please teach me right ways (and help me to follow them.)
Please provide the resources to meet my daily needs
   and to fulfill the plans and purposes You have for my life.
I need money for food, shelter and to pay my debts.
I need strength, wisdom and self-control to pay my debts and return to school.
I need patience and self-control to return to communion with the saints.
I need perseverance and patience to see Your vision through to the end.
I need confidence and hope to continue creating as You’ve called me to.
I need gentleness, wisdom and loving-kindness to walk away from my destructive cycles.
Most of all I need Your comfort and peace in the inevitable times of distress.

You have filled the Earth with good things.
Please grant me these small gifts according to Your goodness.
       I love You,
       Amen.

The Great Weight

"The person who reaches the sacred, the inexpressible, who has permeated his mind with it, who is in control of his senses, is one bound upstream." - Buddha

"So you will need resolve like Solomon’s to escape the hundred thousand scents and colors. And even with the strength of will he had, the waves of that dominion smothered him." - Rumi

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." - Psalm (NIV)

Without You, Merciful Father,
I have no such strength of will
   to resist the scents and colors of sin.
You enfold us with wisdom and loving kindness.
You bear the great weight -
  the mass of human suffering.
You forgive even when we can’t.

Thank You for Your unfailing love.
Thank You for Your never-ceasing mercies.
       Amen.

Spontaneous Droplets

"To be considered truly an elder a man must practice truthfulness, righteousness, harmlessness, restraint, and self control, be free of stain and rich in wisdom." - Buddha

"It rained in droplets and he was amazed - spontaneous droplets from the sea of grace." - Rumi

"For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver." - Psalm (NIV)

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of Your spontaneous grace.
Thank You for lifting us out of despair.
Thank You for continuing to provide our needs.

   Please continue to provide.
   Please lead us on the path of Your will.
   Please continue to form this space in which we dwell.

Life is challenging.
Filled with uncertainty.
Many people are cruel.

       Continue to fill us with grace and forgiveness.
       I love You,
       Amen.

Mist, Dust, Wind & Wine

”[…] he is secure and called wise who is free of hate and does no harm.” - Buddha

"These griefs which are within our breasts are all the mist and dust and wind of our existence." - Rumi

"You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger." - Psalm (NIV)

The mist and dust and wind.
The things that cloud our vision.
The things that create tears.

Holy God,
I believe in a day when You will wipe every tear from every eye.
I believe in a day when peace and loving kindness
   will be the only two laws that govern us.
I believe in a day where we will celebrate this life You’ve created
   free from sorrow and fear.

Transform our misdirection and inaction and bring about that day 
   so that every eye can see
      and every ear can hear
       Your holy will upon the Earth.
       Selah.

Repent Of Repentance

"Can there be joy and laughter when always the world is ablaze?" - Buddha

"O you who have remorse for past conditions, say when will you repent of repentance?" - Rumi

"For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before God in the light of life." - Psalm (NIV)

Your sins are washed away.
Release yourself from regret,
   self-hate,
      self-punishment
         and fear.
I forgive you.
::Now::
Walk forward to the life I have planned for you.
Your lessons are learned 
   and you are prepared
      for the struggles of the coming journey.
I would not leave you stranded
   on the desert road
      without the promise of help to come.
Your year of mourning has ended.
Join Me as we walk together
   up this Sacred Mountain.
       Selah.

Cares

"When the enlightened man frees himself from careless behavior through mindfulness, free of sorrow, he gazes on the sorrowing masses as one on the mountaintop gazes on the plains below." - Buddha

"In darkness there are many shining hearts." - Rumi

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." - Psalm (NIV)

Lord, I feel like a failure.
I’ve failed in my career.
I fail in my relationships.
I’ve failed at living Your vision.
I’ve failed at using the gifts You’ve given.
Please forgive me for these heaps of mistakes and missteps I’ve made.
Please continue to reform me.
I know that in many ways I am lost and mistaken.
I also know in many ways I am blessed.
In this living purgatory, please lead me to the higher road.
       Amen.

The Graveyard

"Work hard, use good judgment. Free of flaws and passions, you need never return to the cycles of birth and death." - Budda

”[…] redeem Our servant from his state of need. We have a special servant, much respected. Please take the trouble, go down to the graveyard.” - Rumi

”[…] for they bring suffering down upon me and revile me in their anger.” - Psalm (NIV)

In this uncertainty, grant me peace.
In this uneasiness, grant me Your providence.
In this injustice, grant me grace and forgiveness.
       Both to receive and to give.
In every aspect of life, call me to a higher destiny,
   and please break these chains of Fate, Father.
Thank You for Your many blessings.
   Thank You for the gentle way You continue to care for and lead me.
       I love You,
       Amen.