A deer thirsts for water from a flowing stream, so my whole being thirsts for You, my God.
*Hebrew Bible, Psalm 42.1
Someone wrote of hearing two Sufis presenting prayer in music. She said, "It grabbed my heart powerfully." A few days ago, I listened repeatedly to a song. It captivated my heart-see below. We can enjoy these moments of spiritual delight. We can also appreciate they are invitations to relax into the depths of the Heart, to rest there in Love with Love. We can dance in the Courtyard, and the dancing leads us into the Inner Sanctum. And this Love knows no one religion or spiritual path; there is only one Heart. Love is Love. There is only one Altar.
You can access video on original site via upper left artist-title...
* * *
A Hindu who worshipped Krishna sat with the Sage. She and the Sage were friends. She was grieving the loss of the delight of feeling her Beloved near. On her prior visits with the Sage, he could see her love for Krishna. He was confident this feeling of disconnection from her Beloved was not due to wrongdoing or neglect on her part.
I used to feel Krisha so close, as you know. I would go into silence, and my heart would be touched. I would often shed tears and wish never to leave that blissful state. Now, I feel nothing. What's happening?
The aridity you are undergoing is common among those who engage in inner Prayer. The dryness is a means of being weaned from reliance on sensible passions, be they of dislike or delight.
What am I to do? How long will this be?
Desire only your Beloved. Do not try to return to previous feelings. In time, the aridity will end, and you will enjoy the Rains of Grace. These Showers you will come to know is your Beloved. Grasping for delightful affections will cease. If these arise, you will be thankful; if not, you will rest in Grace equally thankful. The nearness of your Beloved will become a sense of unchanging closeness. This sense will abide with you regardless of shifting sentiments on the surface of the self. You have enjoyed sharing with your Beloved on the shore. Now, He calls to you, "Come, my Love, live with me in the depths."
What are those depths? Where?
He and you are those depths. The depths are one, He and you are two.
* * *
Loving feelings are fleeting, and their loss leads us back to the need and desire for Love. Love must disappoint us. Love withdraws from us, so we may come to the aspiration, "I want only You." With Love, inner restlessness dissolves, and one senses joy and peace. One sees that what he or she most sought could not be found without but only within the Heart.
* * *
The Beloved is the priority, for our heart is from and for the Beloved. We see this indicated in the Ten Commandments, or Decalogue, in the Hebrew Bible. The Commandments begins, "I am YHWH (or, the LORD) your god. You shall not have another god before me." The Our Father, or Lord's Prayer, in the Christian Scripture begins, "Our Father." The Quran begins, "In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful." These Scriptures indicate that whatever one means by "God," our heart longs to know that above all. We may not be able to name it, but we desire it with a desire that arises from the Beloved. Love births the child of longing for Love.
This love for the Beloved, the Muslim Sufi saint Rab'ia (b. 713, Iraq ) voices for us.
With my Beloved I alone have been, When secrets tenderer than evening airs Passed, and the Vision blest Was granted to my prayers, That crowned me, else obscure, with endless fame; The while amazed between His Beauty and His Majesty I stood in silent ecstasy Revealing that which o’er my spirit went and came. Lo, in His face commingled Is every charm and grace; The whole of Beauty singled Into a perfect face Beholding Him would cry, ‘There is no God but He, and He is the most High.’