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Sharing the insights I discover as I explore and experience the mystery that is our reality. Join me in my journey and share yours.




Friday, January 18, 2013

Pursuing Peace (A Poem)







All of us want peace. All of us want to be happy. When life throws negativity our way it is hard to always deflect the arrows of darkness that seem to pierce the peace we try so hard to cultivate. I haven't written much on my blog lately as I am trying to sort out some things spiritually. This morning, though, was a particularly difficult one for me personally. I felt my peace and security shattered as my hopes for the future seemed to fall down around me. It is in those moments when we look for something to hold on to, an anchor of sorts, to help steady ourselves so that we aren't knocked off our feet during these times of perceived chaos.
It's almost like we are compelled to pursue peace sometimes as if we were hungry hunters but it just passes through our hands like a mirage when we reach out to grasp it. I don't want to be too dramatic , though, as what I am going through personally is no doubt just as much if not less than what some of you have experienced. Both joy and sorrow come to us all.

When I feel utterly lost for words it is when I tend to just turn on some music (this morning it was Krishna Das) and find words amidst the sheer emptiness conceived from despair that seems to loom within my consciousness. Below is a poem I wrote. I have not edited it yet as I rarely really spend time editing my poems, for better or for worse. It describes some of the despair one can feel. It is difficult to go through difficult times but I think for some of us it can be especially difficult when we have not yet cultivated a firm philosophy and are struggling spiritually with concepts. So this poem also reflects such a struggle. At the end I bring up the "Holy Names". I am referring to my mantra, the mahamantra. (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare). Regardless of whether or not I always think of God as being personal or impersonal, I have continued to chant this mantra and in all times, both stable and unstable, joyous and grievous, I have found that by chanting this mantra my soul has found some comfort and peace.

I'd love your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you!





Pursuing Peace


When all hope drains away
and all that is left is filth and decay
When longing is all that the heart feels
The soul reaching out for something to heal
The pain that reaches deeper than eternity
All that meets one's agonizing pleas
Is an emptiness vast as the ocean is wide
The seed of light long buried deep inside
covered with thick layers of maya and grief
One's spirit longing for much needed reprieve
This life seems a tragic and laughable dance
Poised on the pinnacle of misery and chance
Like a wave joy rises only to meet sorrow
The light of today kisses the darkness of tomorrow
Is there a God out there to sweep me away
from the tragedies life throws my way?
Or is it all just a jumble of happenstance
No meaning except for this moment, no God to glance
up from His undoubtedly busy duties of creating
to, in His mercy, absorb up some of this pain permeating
My soul making it throb and quiver,
Making my heart so cold that it ceases even to shiver.

Maybe there is no way to truly find out the mysteries that hold
All of mankind in suspense, a story truly untold.
We can speculate and forecast our fates
But none really knows what is scribbled on reality's slate.
All that I know is when the darkness settles in
I repeat the Holy Names as if they were a holy hymn.
In them my heart takes refuge and searches for peace
Waiting for the storm's raging winds  to finally cease.

40 comments:

  1. Poignant, aching, searching, seeking . . . all these adjectives and more came to mind as I read this exquisite poem, Jessica. We all need to feel that peace which passes all understanding, especially as we navigate the storms of life. May that peace fill you with all goodness and mercy.
    Blessings to you, dear friend!

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    1. Thank you so much Martha. :) Love and blessings to you. <3

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  2. Jessica, I really was moved by your wonderful poem. Thank you!

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    1. I am so glad you enjoyed my poem. Thank you for stopping by. I hope you will stop by again in the future! :)

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  3. Thanks for the wonderful poem, Jessica. Happy to share since it moved me very much. Feeling the sound vibrations when we chant, it really is a holy hymn.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading it David. And for sharing it! It's always great hearing from others who can relate. :)

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  4. very moving and thought provoking poem... hugs and blessings to you, Jessica.

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  5. Very beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your poem and thoughts with all of us. One of the things I do when I feel this way is turn to the Bhagavad-gita. I've always had the experience that when I sincerely ask a question that I need answered and I open the Gita randomly, the answer is there on that page.

    In fact, just so that I can go deeper, I've started a new blog: www.gitaasitis.com. The project is to go through every single verse of the Gita, day by day, and write something my experiences and insights on each verse. I noticed that you are also inspired by the Gita, so if you get a chance, I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of the posts.

    Hare Krsna!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Vrndavana. I love the idea of the project that you have begun!

      A peculiar thing sometimes happens when I'm experiencing times like these. I tend to deny myself the very cure which will lend me some aid. I tend to become uninspired and not turn to the words which usually I enjoy so much. Sometimes it is even hard for me to chant but when I do my perspective soon after shifts and though things aren't magically better, they seem more manageable. There's this tangible sense of hope and peace.

      Thank you for encouraging me to read the Gita. A lot has changed spiritually for me within the the last past year and the Gita has been an amazing resource for me for inspiration and truth. I believe it is a truly inspired text. I'm going to read some of it tonight. Thanks again for the encouragement!

      Hare Krishna!

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  6. Oh that was just so beautiful Jessica. Each of us go through despair and difficult times as I believe that all things in life must balance. These are our tests of bhakti (devotion) and faith in God. Whenever I am feeling low or fear grips my heart, I sing the Rudrashtakam - song in praise of Lord Shiva - Mahadev (the verses sung by Krishna Das at the start of the song Kashi Vishwanath Gange). I always find the peace then and the knowledge that Mahadev walks with me.
    May you find that peace, may harmony prevail in your life, may you know that the Lord walks with you, may you feel his presence in every moment of your life. Blessings to you. Jai Sri Krsna.

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    1. Thank you so much Suzy. I really appreciate your comment. I am going to have to look up that Krishna Das song as soon as I am done responding to comments. His music has a way of lifting my heart and making it soar. Thank you so much for your well wishes. Many blessings to you and yours. Hari Bol! :)

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  7. I'm on the second chapter of the book I'm reading and it talked about contemplation.

    I thought of you and how you're practicing it...

    I'm not as hooked on mantras nor other practices but I am open to the possibilities they provide...

    I pray that you find the peace that you seek...lots of love and hugs sis. I am near spiritually.

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    1. Thank you so much Melissa. Sounds like you are reading a great book. :) I think it's fun to try different practices and then find out which ones draw you deepest into contemplation and the presence of the Divine. I never knew how much chanting would become so integral in my life until I started practicing it. I guess we just never know, until we try, which practices will draw us to them so deeply that when we refrain from them we begin to thirst for them. :)

      I pray this finds you and your family well. Blessings to you all sis. :) <3

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    2. I came back to this post...I have been struggling for a week :) I guess you felt it too, but all the while I just kept on saying I was busy. I did focus on my work.

      My Indian friend told me to practice yoga as it strengthens the mind... I believe so... This time, I really felt how important it is to chant a mantra... I usually repeat a psalm...or the one I learned from you, Om shanti shanti shanti...

      It brings calm :) Well, I guess, I have to discard all the necessary things again that cloud my mind... Thanks for this post... I'll always come back to it...when I pursue peace :)

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  8. Hi Jessica,

    This was a brilliant poem. I really appreciate the way you captured emotional suffering and conflict in it and the way you ended it with hope of healing through repeating the Holy Names.

    Thank you.

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    1. Thank you so much Hiten! I'm so glad you stopped by and enjoyed the poem. I hope you stop by again in the future. I'd love to hear your thoughts on other posts as well.

      ~Namaste~

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  9. Dear Jessica,

    Thank you for sharing yourself so deeply. Holding you in my heart as you move through your healing process! XOXOX

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    1. Thank you Linda. I'm not sure if it's a healing process...Right now it's just a "trying to endure and get through" process..the healing might come afterwards. ;) Also, internally I think I'm experiencing growing pains as I struggle to spiritually move onwards towards a sense of conviction towards the truth. A lot has happened spiritually over the past year, so I'm still finding some orientation if that makes sense. Thank you so much for your love and encouragement. :)

      <3

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  10. Jessica, sometimes we get hit with many things at once. The big, the small, and all of them, when they gang up together, seem magnified. You are a seeker and a lover. You are beautiful and yearn for truth and peace. All these things are there within you, holding you up. I am here with you too. A part of the great Spirit that unites us all. Sending prayers sweet sister. You are so brave and beautiful.

    Your poem is so honest and reaching. Your humanity speaks as you seek the things that time can never take away. Thank you for sharing your poem Jessica, it is powerful...like you.
    Hugs,
    Leah

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    1. Thank you so much for your love, encouragement and presence Leah. :) Lots of love and blessings. <3

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  11. This was a deep and reaching piece that touched the core of my soul, thank you for sharing this...xx

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    1. Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed it!:) Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Dear Jessica,

    Thank you for blessing me twice today, first with your comment on my blog, and then with this poem. It is absolutely beautiful. If I may, I'd like to print it and put it in my folder of spiritual wisdom.

    Take care,

    Casey

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  13. Casey, I would be honored if you printed it out and kept it. So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment. Many blessings and lots of love. :) <3

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  14. Hi Jessica:).... Are you sure you didn't write those words from a multiple? LOL one has to have humor.. i felt the pain in your words... I am sorry you are struggling right now... but i believe GOD puts those struggles before us so that we may learn....and of course i could be totally wrong ..(sigh)... either way know i love you and am praying for you.. As always....XOXOXOXOXO

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    1. I definitely think we have something we can learn from all of our struggles. Even if it is just persistence and our true priorities. Thanks so much Bonnie. your humor, and your thoughts, are always appreciated!
      Lots of love, <3

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  15. When I read your words, Jessica I recalled St Paul's words in his letter to the Romans: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness: for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words" (Romans 8:26).
    This poem of yours is truly a prayer of the spirit - where you have reached a low point and your spirit is praying for you - the words just flow. I know that your deep faith will see you through this time, Jessica. Holding you in love and prayer.

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  16. Thank you so much for that verse in Romans , Corinne. :)Thank you so much for your words, they carry meaning and truth. Love and blessings. <3

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  17. Indeed we all go through trials in life, Jessica, and if nothing else at least you are not alone in that respect. Keep expressing yourself. You do it beautifully. xox

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    1. Thanks so much Sweepy. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  18. Quite a beautiful poem! I loved these lines:

    "Like a wave joy rises only to meet sorrow
    The light of today kisses the darkness of tomorrow"

    Sometimes continuing to seek is all we can do. :)

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    1. Thank you so much Rachel!
      Yep..I think that's all we can do..is just continue onwards...The journey never ends. :)

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  19. A beautiful poem Jessica! I also liked the line:"The light of today kisses the darkness of tomorrow". Wow, I really like that!

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  20. Thank you Nelieta!I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  21. No editing need, Jessica. This is beautiful, heartbreaking and perfect. To me, a poem is best when it's as honest and raw as this.

    thanks for sharing and providing us a piece of yourself in such a meaningful way.

    Thanks for reading,

    Sarah Butland
    author of Arm Farm, Brain Tales - Volume One and Sending You Sammy

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  22. you believe in ISKCON, you love Lord Krishna. God bless you. You are on an absolutely right path. Enjoy:). And feel lucky, coz you have God's hand on your head. May God Bless you forever :)).

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