Friday, January 4, 2013

Leicester Great Heart Circle - January 2013

An excuse to show a picture of Richard Parker, the tiger from the film "Life Of Pi" which has impressed many of the Circle members !  The theme for the January meeting was "Collectedness" , this was inspired by a recent internet talk by the Sufi and Rumi translator Kabir Helminski, in a section from the Masnavi Book VI, Rumi talks of the great warrior Jafar overunning the Castle single-handedly and then the collectedness of the Cat unbothered by the mice running around her.  We talked around the idea of "collectedness" and how it could help us in our Shikantaza meditation. Hence Richard Parker -alert, present, ready to act - but of course we need to develop the moral compass of a great heart as well.

The stars are many; though the sun is one,
When it appears, their foundation is demolished.
If a thousand mice put forth their heads,
the cat feels no fear or apprehension of danger.
How should a throng of mice advance
if they have no collectedness in their souls?
The collectedness in outward forms is a vain thing:
listen, beg from the Creator collectedness of spirit.
Collectedness is not the result of material quantity:
know that body, like reputation, is built on air.
If there were any collectedness in the heart of the mouse,
a number of mice would arise in indignation,
And, rushing up like assassins,
would without hesitation throw themselves upon the cat!
One would tear out her eyes,
while another would rip her ears with its teeth,
And another tear at her side:
there would be no escape from their unified alliance.
But the soul of the mouse has no collectedness:
at the cry of a cat its wits fly out of its soul.
The mice are paralyzed by the wily cat,
even if the mice are a hundred thousand.
Does the butcher care how big the flock is?
Can your daytime thoughts hold off slumber forever?

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