Universal Treasures / Poetry



India,15th century

Professional counselling #

From the ocean I heard a million fish say,
‘Give me a beer-quick’.

I replied, ‘Dears, how can that be?
How can a fish in the water want a drink?’

Well, that’s how wacky things have gotten. Who else
but Maya could pull a fast one like that
and get away
with it?

Seriously speaking though:
The fish in the water that is thirsty needs
serious professional




Jalaludin Rumi
13th century, Turkey

It’s rigged #

It’s rigged-everything in your favour.                     Alles zu deinen Gunsten voreingestellt.
So there is nothing to worry about.              Kein Grund zur Beunruhigung.

Is there some position you want,                  Gibt’s da eine Stellung, die du willst,
some office, some acclaim, some award,                  ein Amt, eine Würdigung, ein Preis,
some con, some lover,                eine Zuwendung, ein Liebhaber,

maybe two, maybe three, maybe four-all at once,                vielleicht zwei, drei oder gleich vier auf einmal,
maybe a relationship with God?                oder gar eine besondere Nähe zu Gott selbst?

I know there is a goldmine in you, when you find it                 Ich weiss dass da eine Goldmiene in dir wartet,
the wonderment of earth gifts you will lay aside                 die mehr wert ist als alle Schätze dieser Welt.
as naturally as does a child                       Findest du sie, lässt du alles andere fallen,
a doll.                                 wie ein Kind seine alte Puppe.

But, dear, how sweet you look to me                  Wie lieblich du doch aussiehst
                           kissing the unreal                  wenn du das Unwirkliche küsst, lieber Freund!

Comfort , fulfil yourself in any way possible-               Mach alles genau wie’s dir passt, wie’s dich erfüllt-
do that until you ache,                           lauf all dem nach bis es dich schmerzt,
until you ache -                bis es richtig weh tut -

then come to me              dann erst komm wieder
again.                      zu mir.




Meister Eckhart
13th century
Everywhere #

...I am a swimming galaxy tonight.
Angels prowl around me hoping I will toss them a fresh piece
of light - here dears, here,
my sack is full.

The universe rents space from me, and
oceans are drawn from my well...

Yes I can kiss Jerusalem while my mouth tastes
the wonders of the Rhine.





India, 16th century

I’d call that #

Before I Gestern Nacht,
fell asleep last night vor dem Einschlafen,
I laid awake and wondered: lag ich noch wach und fragte mich:

What did I achieve this day Was habe ich denn heute erreicht, als ich
just roaming around calling His name? einfach nur umherzog und Seinen Namen rief?

So I brought before my mind’s eye all who I had been kind to,
and it turned out to be all things that I had seen.
Vor meinem geistigen Auge liess ich alle zu denen ich
freundlich gewesen war Revue passieren
und stellte fest, dass alles, was ich gesehen hatte,
dabei war.

I’d call that one hell of a productive day! Eine Wucht von einem produktiven Tag!




A scholar, a lawyer, and a priest #

In my travels I came upon a village that had
build a new temple over a big well, but no one could draw
water from it without paying a price.

I asked about this , and this story was told:

..on a very hot day a crippled boy was standing
at the well when Krishna appeared and said:

‘It sure is hot today, climb on my back-
we will dive in’. And they did.

Krishna never came up from the bottom of the well,
it is said, and when the boy who had been on his back came up again,
he was no longer crippled and
remained healed the rest of his life.

The fame of this well spread and many legends
and rumors naturally evolved and began to circulate.

The water remained free of charge, and hundreds travel to drink it and
camp there at night and tell the different stories they had heard; the point being,
they would be thinking of the Lord and participating in the stories,
in a way that helped them most.

If one unveiled word from God reached the this earth it would
ignite like a rag soaked in oil.
All we can bear of the Truth is hearsay and rumors.
In this starving world what feeds-let feed!
Best that many dishes are set before us and as we become less caged
we will pick wisely like the golden falcon over fertile plains,
like the mountain deer in spring lush valleys.

A scholar, a lawyer, and a priest arrived one day
and all pissed in the water, so to speak.

What the priest and the scholar wanted people to believe got printed in books,
which they also sold along with the water.
And of course the lawyer made their insanity legal.

The water I tasted was sour.
I think Krishna left.

In this sorrowful world why temper
with anything that
lifts our spirits?!





Tschuang Tse
-2500 Jahre, China

Das Leben ein Traum

Den meisten Menschen kaempfen staendig darum, ihr Los zu verbessern,
der Berufene aber ist einfach und ohne List.
Er fasst Jahrtausende in eins zusammen, vollendet die reine Einheit.
Alle Wesen bis zum letzten umfasst er darin.

Wie koennen wir wissen, ob die Liebe zum Leben nicht Irrtum ist?
Wie koennen wir wissen,
ob die Angst vor dem Tod nicht der Furcht eines Knaben gleicht, der glaubt,
ins Ungewisse, Unbekannte zu gehen, nicht merkt,
dass er sich schon auf dem Weg nach Hause befindet?...

Wie kann einer wissen, ob nicht die Toten bereuen,
dass sie einst mit allen Fasern am Leben hingen?...

Wer im Traum angstvoll stoehnt
wacht vielleicht am Morgen froehlich auf.
Im Traum ahnt er ja nicht, dass es ein Traum ist,
und doch sucht er im Traum den Traum zu deuten!
Erst beim Erwachen wird ihm bewusst, dass er nur getraeumt hat.

Vielleicht, - in einem grossen Erwachen, -
werden wir dieses Leben als Traum erkennen.
Nur Narren glauben dass sie schon wach sind und
bilden sich in ihrer Beschraenktheit ein, zu wissen
ob sie Herrscher oder Beherrschte sind.

Auch du bist ein Traeumender,
und dass ich dich einen Traeumenden nenne
ist auch nur ein Traum.

Solche Worte gelten als die tiefsten Raetsel.
Wenn wir aber nach 10 000 Geschlechtern
einem Wirklich Erwachten begegnen,
der sie uns aufzuloesen vermag,
dann kommt es uns vor,
als haetten wir wohl
nur getraeumt.


Love and Meditation

There is no conflict in meditation and love.
In fact, the more you meditate,
the more you become capable of
the more you love,
the more you become capable of







Francis of Assisi
Italy, 12th century

No one knows His name #

No one
knows his name-
a man who lives on the streets
and walks around in rags.

Once I saw that man in a dream.
He and God were constructing
an extraordinary






Meister Eckhart

Intimate #

Knowledge always deceives.
It always limits the Truth,
every concept and image does.
From cage to cage the caravan moves
but I give thanks,
for at each divine juncture
my wings expand and I

touch Him more








Knowledge and knowing

Knowledge is borrowed;
knowing is yours,
your own.
It is authentic.
Knowledge is information,
knowing is transformation.







16th century

Certainty #

Certainty undermines one’s power and turns happiness
into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there’s nothing in your life that will not
change-especially all your ideas of God.

Look what the insanity of righteous knowledge can do:
crusade and maim thousands in wanting to convert
that which is already gold
into gold.

Certainty can become an illness
that creates hate and

God said once to Tuka,

“Even I am ever changing-
I am ever beyond

what I may have once put my seal upon,
may no longer be
the greatest





Meister Eckhart

An Insidious Idol #

Commerce is supported by keeping the individual at odds
with himself and others, by making us want more than we need, and
offering credit to buy what refined senses do not want….

The masses become shackled: I see how their eyes weep
and are desperate- of course they feel desperate- for something,
for some remedy that a poor soul than feels
that it ought to be bought.

I find nothing more offensive than a god
who could condemn human instincts in us
that time in all its wonder has designed to serve us
as good as possible.

I find nothing more destructive to the well-being of life
than to support a god that makes you feel unworthy and in debt to it.
I imagine erecting churches to such a strange god will assure
endless wars loved only by merchants of death.

A god that could frighten is not a god-but an insidious idol
and a weapon in the hands of
the insane.

A god who talks of sin is worshipped by the infirm;

I was once spiritually infirm - we all pass through that-
but one day the intelligence in my soul
cured me.







Thomas Aquinas,
13th century

We are fields before each other #

How is it they live for eons in such harmony-
the billions of stars

when most men can barely go a minute
without declaring war in their mind against someone they know.

There are wars where no one marches with a flag,
though that does not keep casualties
from mounting

how can we live in harmony?
First we need to
know :

we are all madly in love
with the same






Unbeteiligtes Zusehen ist Meditation

„Wie kann ein Mensch lernen, sich selber zu erkennen?“
fragt Goethe. Und er antwortet:
“Niemals durch Nachdenken,
sondern nur durch Handeln.“
John Burroughs bezweifelt das und sagt:
„Ist das nicht eine Halbwahrheit?
Denn durch Handeln kann man nur seine Tatkraft erfahren,
die Geisteskraft jedoch nur durch Denken.“

Ich betone jedoch, dass der Mensch mehr ist,
als alle seine Gedanken und Taten zusammengenommen.
Und bevor du dieses Mehr nicht erkennst,
weisst du nicht wer du bist.

Dieses Mehr kann weder durch Handeln,
noch durch Denken erkannt werden.
Denn beides gehoert zur Peripherie,
das Mehr jedoch ist das ewige Zentrum.

Es wird erkannt, tritt ins Bewusstsein, wenn du Taten und Gedanken
unbeteiligt beobachtest.
Nicht durch sie, sondern indem du sie einfach nur bewusst wahrnimmst.
Zeuge sein ist Meditation.






Shams-ud-din Hafiz
14th century, Iran

Perfect equanimity #

Look how a mirror
will reflect with perfect equanimity
all actions
before it.

There is no act in this world
that will cause the mirror to look away.
There is no act in this world that will ever make the mirror
say ‘no’.

The mirror, like mature love,
will just keep giving of itself
to all before it.

How did it ever get like that, so kind,
so grand, so compassionate?

It watched our Divine Nature.

Yes, the mirror remembers the Beloved looking into itself
as the Beloved shaped existence’s heart
and the mirror’s soul





Wu Dsu
- 3000 years, China

Laughing mirror

How come the mirror is laughing?
When it just reflects such what is before it and nothing else?
It is the deepest stillness itself – yet not fixed.
It is witnessing eternity – completely unmoved.
When no-thing stands before it,
no-thing and mirror are laughing

without sound
without move







Laughter – a door to meditation

Have you ever watched it?
When you really laugh, for those few moments
you are in a deep meditative state.
Thinking stops.
It is impossible
to laugh and think together.


Ist es dir jemals aufgefallen?
Wenn du wirklich lachst, für diese paar Momente
bist du in einem tiefen meditativen Zustand.
Denken hört auf.
Es ist unmöglich
gleichzeitig zu lachen und zu denken.







16th century, India
I just laugh #

If I told you the truth about God, Wenn ich dir die wahrheit über Gott erzählte
you might think I was an glaubst du vielleicht noch, ich sei ein
idiot. Idiot.

If I lied to you about the Beautiful One Wenn ich dir lügen über DEN SCHÖNEN erzählte,
you might parade me through the streets shouting, würdest du mich am ende noch durch die strassen führen
‘This guy is a genius!’ und dabei schrein: dieser typ ist ein genie!

this world has its pants on backwards. Diese welt steht auf dem kopf.
Most carry their values and knowledge in a jug die meisten tragen ihre werte und ihr wissen in einem
that has a big hole in it. krug herum, der lauter löchern hat.

Thus having a clear grasp on the situation Angesichts dieser klaren verhältnisse -
if I am asked anything these days was ich tu’, wenn dieser tage jemand was
von mir wissen will :

I just laugh! Einfach nur lachen!






Wu Dsu
Divine friendship
My friends are telling jokes about the north-western Gods.
Those Gods told me jokes about my friends too.
Laughing about all of them and myself
I am riding on the dragon of
Divine friendship
to the land
of Wu






Hazrat Inayat Khan
Early 20th century


..and it is a lesson that we have to learn; today when nations are against nations
and races against races, when communities are against communities, and one
religion against another, it is now that friendship is so much needed…
friendship is the first lesson in spirituality that one can learn.
One may think that one.. does not become spiritual through a personal friendship.
But one does.
..friendship itself teaches sincerity, gratitude, sympathy, tenderness, appreciation;
all the things that we must learn in this world, friendship teaches us.
…Sufis of all ages have called it Suluk, which means divine manner, beneficence.
That is why the best education is beneficence: how to bring pleasure and happiness to another;
and one can learn this by understanding fully what friendliness is,
and by being a friend to all of existence.







Li Bo
China BC

Distinguishing Ego from Self
All that is limited by form, semblance, sound, color is called object.
Among them all, man alone is more than an object.
Though, like objects, he has form and semblance,
He is not limited to form.
He is more.
He can attain to formlessness.
When he is beyond form and semblance, beyond "this" and "that,"
where is the comparison with another object?
Where is the conflict?
What can stand in his way?
He will rest in his eternal place which is no-place.
He will be hidden in his own unfathomable secret.
His nature sinks to its root in the One.
His vitality, his power hide in secret Tao.






Osho –
From: Seeds Of Wisdom

See that which 'sees' and you descend into nothingness.
We have to proceed from the 'seen' to the 'seer'.
The 'seen' is form, action and isness.
The 'seer' is formless, inaction, and nothingness.
The 'seen' is the other, the ephemeral, the world,
bondage, non liberation, and the cycle of rebirth.
The 'seer' is the self, Brahman, liberation, emancipation, Nirvana.
See; see Him who sees. This is the whole essence of Yoga.
This is what I say every day. Or, to put it another way, whatever
I am saying contains only this.







Tschuang Tse

Letzte Eroerterungen

Meister Li sprach zu dem sterbenden Meister Lai:
„ Das Tao ist unermesslich!
Was wird es wohl nun aus dir machen?
Wird es aus dir eine Rattenleber
oder ein Fliegenbein machen?“

Meister Lai entgegnete:
„...wenn einer, nur weil er schon einmal
menschliche Gestalt erhalten hatte, riefe:
‚Nichts anderes als ein Mensch moecht ich werden!’,
wird ihn das Tao ihn gewiss fuer unbrauchbaren Werkstoff halten.

Nun - das All ist der grosse Tiegel, aus dem wir
in eine Form gegossen werden.
Welche Form ich auch immer erhalte,
die soll mir recht sein!

Ich schlafe ein in Frieden und horche
auf den Willen des Universums.







Li Bo

Bluish mountains

When some one asks me
why I dwell in the bluish mountains-
well, then I smile joyfully
but I don’t say a word.

Blossoms float down the rivers
into dusking remoteness-

another realm, another space,
not ordinary mind





“This moment you are the most blessed people on the earth.
Remembering yourself as a Buddha is the most precious experience,
because it is your eternity, it is your immortality.
It is not you, it is your very existence.
You are one with the stars and the trees and the sky and the ocean.
You are no longer separate.
The last word of Buddha was ,Sammasati’
Remember that you are a Buddha—Sammasati”
from the Zen Manifesto,
last public discourse,
last words







Acknowledgements :
Poems with a star # are from:
Love letters from God ,
Twelve Sacred voices from the East and west.
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky, published by Penguin Books

Osho Zitate aus: Was ist Meditation, Uebers.: A.L., Sannyas Verlag
aus: Meditation, die Kunst der inneren Ekstase, Uebers.: A.L., Heyne Verlag
as well as a quotation from the Osho pocket book, published by Penguin Books

Tschuang Tse from: Dichtung und Weisheit, Uebers.: H.O.Stange, Insel Verlag

H. Inayat Khan from: In An Eastern Rose Garden, Banarsidass publishers

Li Bo poems transl. by R. Wilhelm/ T. Merton, except ‘Bluish Mountains’
and Wu Dsu poems, translated by A.L., Nowhere Publications


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