Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Unbearable Lightness of Shine



"Dear friend, your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it clean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets." -al-Ghazzal

Are you seeing what I'm seeing in the above juxtaposition of images I've posted recently? Whoa. Being shiny is really hard work, but well worth it. Reflecting the light of divine secrets? Yes please!

Maybe there are some people who automatically shine. Many babies are naturally shiny. The most radiant among us, though, are the ones who pay attention to their inner light, who, with patience and compassion, gently clear the dust and detritus from their body/mind, every day.

Look at the Dalai Lama. That dude is so shiny! He makes it look so easy, but it isn't easy.

What I think is that if you spent 12 hours a day meditating on compassion, you'd be pretty shiny, too. However, the complexities of life for us regular folk interfere with practice on that scale. We have to do the laundry, pay the bills, after all. But most of us can carve out a few minutes, learn a few ways to practice radiance, if we are so inclined.

I love the way Sufis describe the work of becoming shiny. They speak often, and eloquently, of polishing their hearts. What a beautiful image!

How much polishing does it take to shine with the divine intensity of crepuscular rays? That requires a lot of light. If - when - I lay down all my torches, set them on fire, a "cleansing bonfire" as my spirit guide called it, the light from that fire could be fabulously shiny.

And still, I resist. But at least I have connected the dots, noticed the pattern. Baby steps.

10 comments:

SG said...

Yeah, couldn't agree more. I like to think that I have at least a little bit of spiritualism in me, that I dust, clean and polish my soul once in a while. Yet there are times, when I become the worst version of myself and let feelings of anger, selfishness, even revenge take over me completely. Being good is a tough task. At least for ordinary people like me!

Reya Mellicker said...

I get grungy on a regular basis. Sometimes I wallow in it. Who doesn't?

Kerry said...

Those rays of light are spectacular images, and how cool to juxtapose them against what must be a tarot card. But what a mysterious card it is, the fellow laboring with his awkward bundle of sprouting branches? Perhaps instead of burning them he may build something with them. I hope so, because green branches burn poorly.

Pam said...

I always feel for people when I see a dusty dirty grey aura around them. I would like to know what got them to that state of physical or emotional dullness. Usually I'd put my money on just physical exhaustion.
So much healing needed in the world, isn't there Reya. Under the right circumstances people and animals have the potential to shine brilliantly but so many factors come into play to make (and enable) a sense of well-being bump up to the next level of shine.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pam - yes. But who knows what people are working out, what they're going through? I used to have many opinions. Now I am unclear about it all.

Kerry in some decks the wands are rods or spears. It is important to notice that these are green sticks. Thank you for that. See? That's why I'm not yet ready to make my crepuscular bonfire. It's not time yet.

Steve Reed said...

Interesting! I always thought "polishing the mirror" was a Buddhist metaphor, but now I see it's shared across multiple faiths. What is al-Ghazzal? Is that a Sufi text or teacher?

Reya Mellicker said...

I found the quote on a Sufi website, but googling it, I can't find any reference.

Maybe Abraham Lincoln said it, who knows?

But the Sufis talk about polishing their hearts all the time.

Steve Reed said...

LOL! I also Googled "polishing the mirror" and came up with Sufi references. I guess it's a good metaphor no matter which path you're following!

Gary said...

Something odd happened, This morning I posted a link to my blog on the wall of a friend on FB and the thumbnail pic that came up wasn't mine. I wondered where it came from.

It's the top picture from this post! How does that stuff happen? Maybe I need to pay attention to it? Hmmmm....

Reya Mellicker said...

Well we've got a day together coming up. Confluence energy at work? Or mercury retrograde?