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The Mountain of Prayer

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
- Matthew 14:23

Has it ever occurred to you that you can only love when you are alone? What does it mean to love? It means to see a person, a thing, a situation, as it really is and not as you imagine it to be, and to give it the response it deserves. You can not love what you do not even see.

And what prevents you from seeing? Your concepts, your categories, your prejudices and projections, your needs and attachments, the labels you have drawn from your conditioning and from your past experiences. Seeing is the most arduous thing a human being can undertake. For it calls for a disciplined, alert mind, whereas most people would much rather lapse into mental laziness than take the trouble to see each person and thing anew in present-moment freshness.

To drop your conditioning in order to see is arduous enough. But seeing calls for something more painful still. The dropping of the control that society exercise over you; a control whose tentacles have penetrated to the very roots of your being, so that to drop it is to tear yourself apart.... You were not allowed (by the society) to enjoy the solid, nutritious food of life; work and play and the company of people and the pleasures of the senses and the mind.

If you wish to love you must learn to see again. And if you wish to see ... you must tear way from your being the roots of society that have penetrated to the marrow. You must drop out. It is only in the aloneness, this utter solitude, that dependence and desire will die, and the capacity to love is born.

Send the crowds away and go up into the mountain and silently commune with trees and flowers and animals and birds, with sea and sky and clouds and stars. Then you will know that your heart has brought you into the vast desert of solitude. There is no one there by your side, absolutely no one.

At first it will seem unbearable, but that is only because you are unaccustomed to aloneness. But if you manage to stay there for a while the desert will suddenly blossom into Love.

Your heart will burst into song. And it will be springtime forever.

Credit: The Way of Love - The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello

Spiritual joys come only from solitude,
So the wise choose the bottom of the well,
For the darkness down there beats
The darkness up here.
He who follows at the heels of the world
Never saves his head.

~ Rumi version by Phillip Dunn

A new moon teaches gradualness and deliberation,
and how one gives birth
to oneself slowly.
Patience with small details

makes perfect a large work, like the universe.

What nine months of attention does for an embryo
forty early mornings alone will do
for your gradually growing wholeness.

~ Rumi, version by Coleman Barks

A great silence ovecomes me,
and I wonder why I ever thought
to use language.

~ Rumi

Food for thought:: Being in Solitude



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Technology of the Heart: The Mountain of Prayer
The Mountain of Prayer
Technology of the Heart
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