It is love God instilled that has been our refuge;
guaranteeing one generation after another.
Before the mountains were brought forth;
or the land as the earth was born;
from age to age there was creation.
It is creation that turns us back to dust saying:
"Go back, oh child of earth."
For a thousand years in the Creator's sight
are like yesterday when it is past
and like a watching in the night.
Creation sweeps us away like a dream;
we fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;
in the evening it is dried up and withered.
We are here at the pleasure of creation;
and without it we would never have seen light.
Our shortcomings are always before us;
in our past we see before our faces the failings.
When we are angry all our days are gone;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The span of our life is more than seventy years;
perhaps in strength even a hundred.
The sum of them is the amount of our loving
given to children; whether our own or other's.
Still, even the most pleasant tasks pass quickly
and all too soon the number of our days dwindles.
Who can know the span of a lifetime?
Who can shorten it by one iota without fault?
So teach us to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Return oh Beloved, how long will you tarry?
be gracious to fill our spirits once again.
Satisfy us by your loving kindness in the morning;
so we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.
Make us glad by the measure of the days of affliction
and the times in which we suffered adversity.
May the graciousness of the Beloved be upon us
may the work of our hands prosper
may their handiwork be beautiful.
Those who dwell in the shelter of compassion;
abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
We say to the Beloved,
"You are my refuge and my stronghold,
the compassion in which I trust."
May no one fear the snare of the hunter;
and be delivered from the deadly pestilence.
May compassion cover you as with pinions
so you may find refuge under soft wings;
faithfulness shall be a shield and buckler.
May you not be afraid of any terror by night;
nor of the arrow that flies by day.
Of the plague that stalks in the darkness;
nor of the sickness that lays waste at mid-day.
Know that when a thousand fall at your side
and ten thousand at your right hand
someday you too shall fall.
Your eyes have only to behold
to see the results of fear and anger.
Because you have made compassion your refuge;
and the Most High your habitation
You will not view anything as good or evil;
but just see what is happening is happening.
In the midst of catastrophe you will find calm;
in the center of the storm can be your peace.
Do not see as evil that which happens to you.
Try to find good in it and stay on your path.
Seek the center of your own being;
and associate with those who do likewise.
Support one another in your meditations;
extend your hand in sympathy and fellowship.
Value those who are young and strong;
appreciate the old and infirm for their wisdom.
Because we are bound together in love
we protect each other even if they know not our name.
If one calls upon me for help I will answer him,
I am he even when he is in trouble.
I will do all that I can to rescue him
and bring him to honor if it is possible.
May I have a long life to show compassion
to everyone and everything that touches me.
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Most High.
and to sing praises to the Holy Names of compassion.
So tell of the loving kindnesses in the early morning
and of the faithfulness in the night season.
On the strings, of the guitar and lyre,
to the melodies of the harp.
For the Beloved has made me glad by your acts
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
Beloved! how great are your works;
you bring thoughts from the very deep.
The dullard has much to experience;
and the fool has much to learn.
Though it seems the wicked grow like weeds;
and the workers of iniquity flourish.
Let their example be only guideposts for my decisions;
so I may choose the paths that are right for my feet.
May my eyes never gloat over others in misfortune;
may my ears not seek the sad news of others.
May the righteous flourish like a palm tree;
and spread out like the giant trees of red bark.
May those whose feet are steadfast in love;
fill the courts and positions of power.
May they still bear fruit in old age,
with ideas and thoughts green and succulent.
May they show how compassionate the Divine is;
it is the Rock in which there is no fault.
Our Creator is our Divine Beloved arrayed
in the splendid apparel of the universe.
The Divine has put on the apparel of fire
and is girded about with strength.
The whole world has been made so sure
that nothing can be totally destroyed.
Ever since the world began the throne was established
the Divine Presence is from everlasting to everlasting.
The waters have been lifted up by the Divine;
to the Divine the waters have lift up their voices
the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea
mightier is the One who dwells in the smallest part.
Your witness is so very sure
and holiness adorns your house, oh Beloved,
for evermore and evermore.
Some say the Creator is a God of vengeance;
they shout: "God of vengeance show yourself!"
They cry: "Rise up oh Judge of the World;
and give the arrogant their just desserts.
How long shall the wicked, oh Lord,
how long shall the wicked triumph?
They bluster in their insolence;
all evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, oh Lord,
and afflict those who are faithful to you.
They murder the widow and the stranger,
and put the orphan to death."
They claim that the evil ones say:
"The Lord does not see and takes no notice."
To which they respond: "Consider well,
you dullards as even fools can understand:
The One who planted the ear; can it not hear?
the one who formed the eye, can it no see?
The One who established the orders of the universe
and teaches all the world has no knowledge?"
Cannot the Creator know our human thoughts;
how life a puff of wind they are?
Happy are those who are instructed by observation;
for there we are taught the truest laws of nature.
Better is it for us not to judge the works of the Creator,
but to see that each is praiseworthy and has its part to play.
All things work for the glory of the Creator;
how can we as humans say one is good; one is bad?
In every unfortunate experience is gold;
in every positive is some negative.
Teach us how to find the good and how to mine it
how to take the unfortunate, understand it and make it work.
As often as I must say, "My foot has slipped,
but by the love, oh Lord, I was upheld."
When many cares fill my mind,
your consolations cheer my soul.
And thus when corrupt tribunals
frame evil into the land's laws,
When they conspire against the just
and condemn the innocent to death,
The love and knowledge I have been given,
the rock of my trust in love gives me a fulcrum
To turn the wrong-doing back upon them,
to let their own malice destroy them
while praises rise to the Beloved.
Come let us sing to the Beloved;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of Love.
Let us come together with thanksgiving;
and raise a loud shout with the psalms.
For the Creator is a great God;
the king above all the gods.
In this hand are the caverns of the earth,
and the heights of the hills are here also.
The sea belongs to the Creator who made it;
from such hands were molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee;
to kneel before the Divine Presence, our maker.
For such is our God; we are the children
of these pastures and caretakers of the land;
Oh that today you would hearken to this voice.
Harden not your hearts as your forbears did in the wilderness
when they taught of a god of vengeance and violence.
Since then we have put our god to the test,
and have seen the greatness of the works
For generations we have learned of compassion
though hearts were often wayward and unknowing.
Let us not swear against wrath
but enter into the rest of understanding.
Sing to the Beloved a new song:
sing to the Beloved all the earth.
Sing to the Beloved and bless the name
proclaim the good of this message day to day.
Declare the glory of the Beloved among all nations
and the wonders of compassion among all peoples.
For great is the Beloved and greatly to be praised
for compassion is to be loved more than all attributes.
Look with compassion upon the gods of other nations;
as their hearts too search for the greatest good.
Oh the majesty and magnificence of the presence of love;
oh the power and splendor of the places where love abides.
Ascribe to the Beloved the families of the peoples;
ascribe to their loving the foundation of our kin.
Ascribe to the Beloved the honor due this Name,
and bring offerings and come into the presence of love.
Worship the Beloved in the beauty of holiness;
let the whole earth tremble with passion and desire.
Tell it out among the nations: "God is Good!"
the world has been made in equity and justice
there is no need for us to judge it or condemn.
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
let the field be joyful and all that is therein.
Then shall the trees of the wood shout for joy
before the Creator who comes to bless the universe.
Then shall all people know truth,
and understand righteousness.
Our Beloved is our Creator; let the earth rejoice;
let the multitudes of the lands be glad.
With clouds of darkness round about us;
may righteousness and love be our foundation.
May the fire of life go before us each day;
shining down a radiance on every side.
May the fires of heaven light up our world,
and the presence of the Beloved found.
The mountains melt like wax before creation,
and the Divine Presence spreads over all the land.
The heavens declare the majesty of sun and stars;
all the peoples of the earth see this glory.
Why do people believe in carved images,
and delight in names and stories?
Because we need our small toys to reflect
that which we can barely grasp as being true.
Our minds churn and quall in the effort
of thinking of the might of the Creator.
Yet within each of us burns the spark
of the Divine Presence without a doubt.
Thus when we greet one another should we say:
"The Beloved in me meets the Beloved in you."
And how can there be difference when we bring together
the highest good in each of us for the other?
The Beloved preserves the lives of the saints
and delivers to them the teachings we fail to see.
Light springs up without thought of guilt or non-guilt;
there is a joyful gladness for those who are true hearted.
Rejoice in the Beloved's compassion,
and give thanks in the name of holiness.
Sing to the Beloved a new song;
for we have witnessed marvels.
Take no notice of victories or defeats;
for truly neither one exists without the other.
In one person's success lies another's downfall;
when one takes from the earth; something has been given.
How to solve the dilemmas of living on this earth?
how to live and yet show compassion to all?
When I chew the kernels of the grain in autumn;
my teeth are grinding out the life of the summer.
Into my veins flows the strength for the winter;
and from the diligence of my ways in spring
Comes the grain that comes new to the field
and ready to sacrifice its life for another.
But is life truly 'sacrificed' or does it simply change
from one form of energy into another; a cycling
That continues the universe from age to age.
Shout for joy at the ingeniousness of the plan.
Sing of your joy to the sky and the lands
lift up your voice, rejoice and sing.
Sing to the Divine Presence with the harp,
with the flute and voice of song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
shout with joy before the majesty of the Divine.
Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it,
the lands and those who dwell within.
Let the rivers clap their hands
and let the hills ring out with joy!
The Creator loves the earth!
And in righteousness shall we also care
for the earth and the peoples thereof.
The Divine Presence reigns; with or without the people
it is enthroned in the foundations of earth
The Divine Presence is great in the entire world
and is above all the peoples of the earth.
Let us confess this Presence with our various names;
let all ideas of god be acceptable and awesome.
May the concepts of violence and death
be understood and assimilated without action.
May our understanding of each other
open the paths of love and compassion.
May we have the courage for compassion
and a drawing back from destruction and terror.
Whether the Beloved speaks from a pillar of cloud
or that small still voice within; may we answer with love.
Oh Beloved you have answered us with love
you are a god who does not judge or condemn
but showers all us with innumerable gifts.
Proclaim the greatness of the Beloved
worship on the holiness of hills -
in the streets of the cities of the plain.
Be joyful in the Beloved, all you lands;
serve the Beloved with your gladness
and come in the Divine Presence with a song.
Know this: It is the Beloved who has created us
it is this Presence that has made up and we belong to it;
we are all the children of God and a member of the family.
Enter the gates of a home with thanksgiving
and enter into the inner courts with praise,
give thanks for all by blessing the name of the Divine.
For the Beloved is good;
and the mercy of compassion is everlasting;
and faithfulness endures from age to age.
I will sing of mercy and compassion;
to all the wonders will I sing praises.
I will strive to follow a blameless course;
oh when will you come to me?
I will walk in beauty and in sincerity
of heart within my own house.
I will set no worthless things before my eyes;
I shall find beauty in the common and lowly.
A crooked heart shall be far from me;
I will know no evil nor seek it out.
I will not slander my neighbors,
but seek to understand their ways.
My eyes shall be upon the faithful,
that they may dwell with me.
And those who live a blameless life,
shall be my examples and goals.
Those who act deceitfully shall not dwell in my house,
and those who tell lies shall not continue in my sight.
What others see as wickedness shall not touch me;
may my own purity dissolve and change it to be good.
In gratitude and thanksgiving I bow my head,
and turn my heart to the majesty of the Divine Presence.
Beloved, hear my prayer, let my cry come to you;
hide not your face from me in the days of my trouble.
Incline your ear to me and let your heart understand me;
make hast to share your wisdom with my quaking.
For my days drift away like smoke,
and my bones are fragile like burning coals.
My heart is smitten like grass that withers
so that I forget even to eat my bread.
Because of the voice of my groaning
I am but skin and knobby bones.
I have become a vulture in the wilderness;
like an owl living among the ruins.
I lie awake and groan as I think;
I am like a sparrow – lonely on a house top.
I even think everyone is my enemy;
that all scoff and take oaths against me.
I imagine I am eating ashes with bread,
and mingle my drink with weeping.
Because of my indignation and wrath,
I feel as if I have been thrown away.
My days pass like a shadow;
I am a leaf in the winter's wind.
But the Divine Presence, oh my Beloved;
you endure forever and your name is a blessing.
You arise and have compassion upon us all
and the time to have mercy has arrived;
indeed, the appointed moment has come.
When we learn to appreciate even rubble,
and are moved by the sight of the dust.
Leaving every thing be as it is without opinion;
accepting the nobility of all living creatures,
In fact understanding that every thing is precious
to the Maker and Creator of us all.
Who through our eyes will look upon the homeless,
and not despise their prayer and pleas.
Let this be written for future generations;
those people who are unborn may praise the Beloved.
In our ears the Creator hears the groans of the captive;
with our hands is the condemned murdered.
We are responsible for our own actions;
leaving others to be responsible for themselves.
Without comparing or complaining or gossiping
be aware of the edges of the rights of each.
Scatter not families for your pleasure
but strengthen them with a closeness.
When the peoples are gathered together
they learn in small ways the lessons of love.
So that their strength is not brought down before its time
or the number of their days be shorten with grieving.
Each of us asks that God spare his or her own life
that their years endure throughout generations.
In the beginning were laid the foundations of earth
and the heavens are the works of that intelligence.
We shall seem to perish but the compassion of God remains
we shall be worn like garments and like clothes will we be changed.
Nothing remains static; all is change in continual change.
In the very center of change is a center where one finds peace.
A peace all people seek which cannot be stored up once found;
each day we must go out again and again to seek it and find it.
Yet the children of your children shall continue,
and their offspring stand fast in your sight.
Bless the Divine Presence, O my soul
and all that is within me, bless the holy Name.
Bless the Divine Presence, O my soul
and forget not the benefits of living.
I forgive myself of all my weaknesses
and give up my grasp of my infirmities.
Let my days above the grave be blessed
and crowned with mercy and loving kindness.
May I be satisfied with the good of things
and my strength renewed as that of the eagle.
May righteousness be found in my actions
and beauty and peace surround my being.
The ways of compassion were made known to peoples
and the works of love are known to children.
The Beloved is full of compassion and mercy
slow to anger and of great kindness.
From this shall we take example and council
listening to what we know is best for us.
We should not deal with others according to our shortcoming
or seek to find our failings within others; just the opposite.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so is the mercy great upon those who love.
As far as the east is from the west
so far have our shortcomings been removed.
As a mother cares for her children
so shall we care for one another.
For we know of what we are made
we remember that we are also dust.
We are first and foremost spiritual beings
having a human experience upon this earth.
Yet our days are like the grass
we flourish like a flower in the field.
When the wind goes over it, it is gone
and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Divine
endures forever whether we are aware or not.
For those who keep the covenant of compassion
and remember the commandments and do them,
Goodness and mercy shall follow them all the days of their lives
and they shall dwell in the house of the holy forever.
Bless the Beloved oh you who belong as angels;
to the Divine Presence, bless with each act.
Bless the Beloved, all you who are the hosts;
ministers who do the will of compassion.
Bless the Beloved, all of you who work in places of dominion;
may your hearts reflect the majesty of the Most High.
Blessed be the evidence of the Divine Presence;
how excellent is its greatness in majesty and splendor!
It is wrapped with light as with a cloak,
and spread out over the heavens like a curtain.
The Divine Presence lays the beams of its chambers
in the waters above the green earth.
It makes the clouds its chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
It makes the winds its messengers
and the flames of fire your servants.
It has set the earth on its foundations
so that it shall endure as long as we need it.
It has covered the deep as with a mantle
when the waters stood higher than the mountains.
At your rebukes they fled into ice;
at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.
They went up into the hills and down to the valleys beneath,
to the places appointed for them.
You set the limits that they should not pass
and we pray they not cover the earth again.
You send the springs into the valleys;
they flow between the mountains.
All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them,
and the wild animals come also to quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the air make their nests,
and sing among the branches of flower and fruit.
You water the mountains from your dwelling on high;
the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
You make the grasses grow for flocks and herds
and plants that teach and feed all humankind.
How they bring forth food from the earth is your mystery;
how we are fed in the abundance of your mercy is also a marvel.
That we are given wine to gladden our hearts
and oil to make a cheerful countenance
and bread to strengthen the heart.
The sap of the trees is filled with Divine Presence
and the cedars of the high mountains contain its aroma.
Here the birds know to build their nests
and in the tops the stork makes its dwelling.
The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats,
and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
The Divine Presence appointed the moon to count gestation
and the sun to know the time of rest and replenishment.
You make the darkness that it may be night,
in which the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar after their prey
and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they slip away
and lay themselves down in their dens.
People go forth to their own work
and to their labors until evening.
Oh Beloved, how manifold are your creations!
in your wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creations.
Yonder is the great and wide sea
with its living creatures too many to number
creatures both great and small.
There move the ships
and there are great unknowns
which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to the Divine Presence
to give them their food in due season.
You give it to them; they gather it;
you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
Even the smallest spark of life wants to live
and understands the seriousness of continuation.
They know that if their breath is taken from them
they will die and return to the oblivion of dust.
You send forth your spirit and they are created;
and so you renew the face of the earth continually.
May the glory of the Divine Presence endure forever
and may each thing and person rejoice in these works.
I will sing to the Beloved as long as I live;
I will praise the Divine while I have my being.
May the words of mine please the ear;
may I be joined in my rejoicing.
Let thoughts of sin and sinning disappear
replaced with the concept of compassion.
Bless the Beloved, o my soul.
105 Part I
Give thanks to the Divine Presence and call upon this name;
made known the deeds of the Creator among the peoples.
Sing to all, sing and make praises with the breath of each day;
speak of all the marvelous works of the Creator.
Glory in that Holy Name;
let the hearts of those who seek rejoice.
Search for the Beloved and borrow such strength
continually face toward compassion until all acts are divine.
Remember the marvels which have been;
and know that each is a part of yourself.
O offspring of all mothers; o children of all fathers,
remember your roots and the beginnings of your people.
Learn the ways of the Beloved so no act
is without the covering of compassion.
See no job, duty or necessity as less than holy;
on each deed depends the rest of the world
And yet it is totally insignificant;
remember your own significance.
Know the paradox in which we take up life;
that we are at once completely necessary
and at the same time totally extraneous.
Each decision is absolutely crucial
yet we are aware of our insignificance.
We are only sojourners on this land
wandering from nation to nation
from one kingdom to another.
Seeking to live where no one oppresses us,
where freedoms and liberty are equal.
Where families rule over their households,
care firstly for their children and then
take care of their possessions.
All of us come from ancestors, ancestors who have harmed
and ancestors who have been harmed by others ancestors.
Those battles have dimmed and turned to dust;
the memories remain to instruct us for our own history.
We cannot right the wrongs of past generations
nor can we fight battles which are now only stories.
We have all come from other lands, yes even those born here
had ancestors who were sojourners in other places.
We are all guests upon this earth; here in this place.
We own nothing, not even our bodies; it is all borrowed.
Like a grateful guest magnificently cared for by a host
our respect and responsibility should be the same.
Remember the stories of your ancestors;
repeat them in the evenings out of darkness.
Remember their names and bless them
for without ancestors not one of us would live.
Bless the crowns of their heads on which the sun shone;
bless their ears that heard the sounds of the season;
Bless their eyes that beheld the wonders of the sky;
bless their noses which guided them in strange places;
Bless their lips that sipped the pure waters and the wine;
Bless their chins held up in pride and determination to live.
Bless their throats from which came their words;
bless their shoulders that bore their burdens.
Bless their elbows that bent with the work of lifting up;
bless their wrists and the hands which they moved like wings.
Bless their hips from which came the desire for joy,
for sharing, for caring and for children.
Bless their knees that bent down in the soil of gardens;
bless their ankles that guided their feet upon the earth.
Bless their backs where there are the windy caves
the two lungs that breathed them into being.
Bless their hearts in which they carried the Divine Presence
that has been preserved until you have borrowed it.
Learn the precepts by which they lived
take the wisdom of their experiences.
Do not judge them as good or evil;
but look back with mercy and understanding.
Weep over the sadnesses that have occurred
and grieve for those whose lives have passed.
Grieve with deep wailing and sad songs;
cry out in the pain of your loss until you cannot stand.
Let your tears wash out the grief so your heart
has room for the laughter and praise it surely needs.
Your joys are nourished by tears
and tears are produced by happiness.
Hallelujah! Give thanks to the Beloved
for goodness and mercy endures forever.
Who can declare the mighty act of the Divine
or show forth all the praise of which it is worthy?
Happy are those who act with justice
and always do what is thought to be right.
Remember me, oh my Beloved, with favor
and visit me with your saving help.
That I may see the prosperity of your hand
and be glad with the happiness of your inheritance.
As did our forebears; we have acted in error;
we have chosen unwisely and without thought.
We have learned to ask for forgiveness
and to change the errors of our ways.
We believe in the power we have to make changes
to learn from mistakes and to repair the damage.
For this we believe in words
and sing songs of praise.
106 Part II
No life is free of suffering; which comes from ignorance;
yet do not think of suffering as something bad.
What causes misery is the hiding from suffering;
and misery is not terrible but the hiding from misery.
It is our pride and our arrogance that motivate
us to hide from whatever is happening to us.
Instead of acknowledging our pain;
instead of entering it with our whole being,
We hide from it and hide it from others
with justifications and excuses in conceit.
In this way we can continue to perform
those same acts which generate our pain.
In a seemingly hopeless circle we revolve;
only when free do we know how bound we were.
We do not need to follow a spiritual path to find God;
the Divine Presence is in us in every situation.
The work is to purify our bodies, our minds;
to raise up our intellect to let burn higher the flame of our love.
When attachment has been abandoned
also is the desire for reward.
Again is the paradox of giving our whole effort to work;
work to which we do without expectation of compensation.
Out of our love for ourselves we do the necessary
and in the doing is our complete remuneration.
The gift of the garden is not just flowers and vegetables
but the care, love and concern we put into it.
The glory is to see every act as a holy one;
one which keeps the Divine Presence in this body.
This body for which we are given the care of;
it is ourselves who fashion it with thought.
We think it into being and with thoughts change it.
Rejoice in the miracles which you have wrought!
Give thanks to the Beloved for the collaboration
of spirit and earth manifesting in yourself.
As the artist molds the clay from the hillside;
so our ideas shape the beings which we become.
By our thoughts are we easily ruled;
by our desires are we led about.
What is harder to control than a thought?
what beast is as mighty as desire?
Yet we are not powerless nor defenseless;
life and love combine to cause all changes.
Give thanks to the Creator for all goodness,
and may its magnificence endure forever.
Let all those have partaken of this glory;
witness to the magnificence of the whole world.
The people have been gathered;
from the east and from the west,
from the north and the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes;
they found no cities where they might dwell.
They were hungry and thirsty;
their spirits languished within them.
They cried out in their troubles
and were delivered from their distress.
Their feet were put on a straight path;
to go to the place where they might dwell.
Let them give thanks for this mercy
and the wonders done for their children.
For the thirsty are satisfied
and the hungry filled good things.
Some sat in darkness and deep gloom
bound fast by misery as if in irons.
Because they rebelled against themselves
and despised the counsel of those more wise
Their spirits were humbled with hard labor;
when they stumbled no one lifted them up.
When they cried out for help;
they were delivered from their distress.
They were led out of darkness and deep gloom
and the bonds were broken asunder.
Give thanks for this mercy
and the wonders done unto the children.
For love shatters doors of bronze
and breaks in two the iron bars.
Some were fools gone to rebellious ways;
they were afflicted because of their ideas.
They abhorred all manner of food
and drew near to death's door.
They cried out in their trouble
and were delivered from distress.
They were healed with words
and saved from the grave.
Let them give thanks for mercy;
and for the wonders done for children.
Let them make a sacrifice their thanksgiving
and tell of this healing with shouts of joy.
Some went down to the sea in ships
to ply their trade in deep waters.
They beheld the works of the universe
and the wonders of the deep.
With a word a stormy wind arose
that tossed high the waves of the sea.
They mounted to the heavens and fell to the depths;
their hearts melted because of the peril.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wit's end.
They cried out for help in their troubles
and were finally delivered from their distress.
The storm stilled to a whisper
and the waves of the sea were quieted.
They were glad because of the calm
and were brought to the harbor they sought.
Let them give thanks for this mercy
and the wonders remembered by the children.
Let praise be exalted among the people
and praise raised in the council of the elders.
The waters of rivers change into deserts
and water springs into thirsty ground.
A fruitful land changes into salt flats
because of the conditions that dwell there.
Deserts are changed into pools of water
and dry land into water springs.
Then the hungry come to settle there
and make a city in which to dwell.
They sow fields and plant vineyards;
and bring in a fruitful harvest.
With blessings they increase greatly;
as well as an increase in their herds.
Yet they can be diminished and brought low;
through stress of adversity and sorrow.
One can pour contempt on princes
and make them wander in trackless wastes.
Yet the poor can be lifted out of their misery
so their family multiply as sheep.
The upright will see this and rejoice
but the wicked will shut their mouths.
Whoever is wise will ponder these things
and consider the nature of mercy.
My heart is firmly fixed, Oh my Beloved.
I will sing and make melody.
Wake up my spirit, awake, flute and harp
I myself will waken the dawn.
I will confess among all peoples
and sing praises among the nations.
For the loving kindness of my Beloved is greater than the heavens
and faithfulness reaches up to the very clouds.
Exalt yourself above the heavens, my Beloved
and your glory over all the earth.
So that those who are dear to you may be delivered
and saved to your right hand and answer with love.
Once a ruler spoke from his high place:
"I will exult and parcel out this plain.
And I will divide up this valley
This is mine and that is mine
and that land shall protect me.
That will be my washbasin
and I claim this by throwing down my sandal.
Who will lead me to a strong city?
and who will bring me to prosperous lands?
Who goes with me like a strong companion?
And who will join my armies?
Who will believe in help against the enemy?"
this shows how vain are the thoughts of humans.
With love we shall do valiant deeds
and raise enemies up to be co-workers.
For one who loves cursing; so will curses come
if one gives not blessings; blessings will depart.
Therefore let blessing become like a garment;
soaking into the body like a fine oil of anointment.
Let thanksgiving be a cloak wrapped around
and a jeweled belt that is worn continually.
Let the eloquence of imagination
be a gift to the Divine on all occasions.
Immerse your self in the thought;
"I carry the Truth of God within me."
and become a walking shrine.
You will become the truth,
not only to the other persons you meet,
but most importantly, for yourself.
Yes, the Divine Presence or the Beloved
is only an idea formed in the mind of humans,
But once you have experienced this concept;
all of your ideas will be changed.
Whether there is an entity with a name,
it makes no difference to the possibility
of the existence of such a being.
According to the scriptures we have been told:
"A princely state has been yours since the day of your birth.
In the beauty of holiness have you been begotten,
like dew from the womb of the morning."
Out of the mouths of the wise we hear:
"You are a priest forever in the order of ancestors."
Our holiest obligation is to live
and our highest goal is to love.
Eating fish will not keep us from drowning;
does a bird eats a mouse to teach it to fly?
Reading the scriptures will not make us holy;
nor memorizing verses save us from ourselves.
If love is our greatest tool,
then it takes the longest to use it well.
Life is the stone out which we carve ourselves;
love is the knife, the hammer and the chisel.
No two things are ever completely alike;
yet there is a oneness in all manifestations.
What is good for one person
may harm another fatally.
A pinch of salt adds savor to the soup;
a pound turns it to a poison.
A sunny day may dry the hay for one farmer
and scorch the new plants of another.
The worse devastation will bring some good;
and even the best idea will have a drawback.
The high state of our inheritance;
will cost us the most learning.
Hallelujah! I will give thanks with a whole heart,
in the silence of mountains and streets of the city.
One is not better than the other;
both have their place and position.
When I am in the places of wildness,
I will learn the lessons of nature.
When I walk on cement sidewalks
I will observe the ways of my fellow humans.
Enjoy everything as if it is a gift;
appreciate that which touches you.
One example is not greater than another;
I will not judge this to be good and that evil.
With care and compassion, with insight and wisdom;
I will find my own way to the Ultimate Truth.
Be unaffected by all things all actions;
simply witness from your center.
Know how to find your center;
how to park your body in quiet.
What position to leave arms and legs in
when your mind visits your heart.
Learn how to still thoughts;
or simply let them pass by like a parade.
If you can find your center in walking, then put on shoes;
if you contact yourself while sitting, then get a cushion.
If your vehicle is drumming or humming
or the music of instruments or birds; listen.
If you discover the you in yourself
in the vastness of mountains;
Or see your face reflected in crowds,
that is where you will be.
Hallelujah! Happy are those who delight in the Divine
and have great joy from the gifts of that blessing.
Their descendants will be many in the land
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses
and the righteous will be an everlasting blessing.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright;
the righteous bring compassion as their blessing.
It is good for them to be generous in lending
and to manage their affairs with the justice of blessing.
For the righteous will never be shaken
and their blessings be kept in remembrance.
They will not be afraid of evil rumors
their hearts are right in the blessings of the Beloved.
Their hearts are established and do not shrink
even when seeing the blessings of their opposition.
They have given freely to the poor
the blessings of righteousness stand fast forever
and they hold up their heads with honor.
Others may see it and be angry
they will gnash their teeth and pine away
as the desires of all of us will perish.
Hallelujah! give praise for the miracles;
praise the Name of the Unnamable.
Let the Holy Names of the Divine
pour from our lips and tongues.
From the rising of the sun to its going down
let the Names of the Divine be found.
The Divine Presence is above all nations
and glory is above the heavens.
Who is like the Divine Presence enthroned on high;
who stoops to behold the heavens and earth?
One who lifts the weak out of the dust
and helps the poor to arise from the ashes?
Is the one attached to our hands
which move from the messages of the heart.
In love and compassion we become royal;
able to lead who are asking.
The Beloved makes the woman of a childless house
to be the joyful mother of children.
Hallelujah! what a chain of miracles
what banners of majesty follow each thing.
No matter where the mind of a person is today
no one can comprehend the vastness of yesterday.
Like stones in a fast-flowing stream
memories round and grind down to sand.
Yet nothing is completely destroyed
always some remnant remains at rest.
Like sparks rising from a driftwood fire
up to the stars of night; is memory.
When the mind reaches out for a thought,
the heart, with its pulse rowing, becomes
The ship of the spirit sails over the past
its prow a great eye searching, searching
In patience all journeys are made
nothing moves faster than it is going.
Be calm, sink into the moments of now
to find the fragments of yesterday
and the hints of tomorrow.
We are where we are today not because of our own power
but because of the love and faithfulness of countless multitudes.
Why should we groan and say:
"Oh I am so alone; so lonely and afraid."
Like knots on a great net of being
we are tied to every other thing.
In us are the fibers of our mothers
in us are the patterns of our fathers.
Daily we spin out new threads of connection
dependence and interdependence upon others.
The wobbling of one knot changes the shape
of the whole net and the spaces of connection.
What I do affects what others are doing
your thoughts changing you change me.
Cutting ourselves adrift from fellow humans
can never free us from the shimmering web.
Caught up in this net are all manifestations;
those we admire and seek with all will
and those that we may seek to avoid.
Even when we claim we cannot see it;
the net is throbbing with Divine Presence.
It is in us, around us and tying us together.
Who would try to escape the lifesaver?
I love the Beloved because loving is my nature;
my loving is my thanks, my blessing, my plea.
When the cords of death entangle me
and the grip of the grave is upon me,
I feel how securely I am tied to the Divine Presence;
how can I be lost in the Unknowable when I know this?
Yet I have called out to the Beloved:
"Oh Lord, I pray you, save my life."
Gracious is the Divine and righteous;
we believe in a Presence full of compassion.
In the arms of the Most High are we carried;
we are supported by crutches of righteousness.
By faith are we made whole;
in belief do we overcome.
The Divine Presence within us is connected
with many tendons to our wharfs of will.
On these strong piers set out into the seas of life
we set our sails for the destinations of our souls.
Again and again we are saved from death
only to die at the end of one of life's episodes.
Go graciously into that great tunnel to the other side
life and death are never far apart.
I will walk in the Presence of the Divine
and stay in the land of the living.
Even when I was brought low in my distress
and cried out, "No one can be trusted."
How shall I repay the Beloved
for all the good I have received?
I will lift up the cup of my soul
filled to the brim with my love.
I shall not die, but will live,
and declare the works of the Divine.
I have been tried sorely
but was not handed over to death.
Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter them praising the Beloved.
"This is the gate of the Divine
from which you have come.
Surely you know the way you have come;
and so surely will you know the way to go."
This is the doing of the Beloved
and is marvelous in our eyes.
In this day the Beloved has acted;
thus we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Praise the Divine Presence, all you nations;
laud this magnificence, all you peoples.
For the loving kindness toward us is great,
and the faithfulness of the Most Holy endures.
Give thanks to the Most High for it is good;
may compassion and mercy endure for ever.
Let those who believe in a god of vengeance,
sing a new song: "Mercy endures for ever!"
Let those who trust in the weapons of war,
repeat with each step of the march: "Mercy, mercy."
Let those who are living in fear,
whisper: "May mercy be with us."
Some will call to the Beloved in their distress;
and the Lord will answer by setting them free.
With the Divine at one's side, who is there to fear?
what can anyone do to such a person?
Ah, we know too well the cruelty of human to human;
our history drips with the bloods of terror and torture.
The lessons come back again and again
and still we fail to learn the way out.
Whatever we hold most dear:
ourselves, our loved ones, our homes, our land.
All are excuses to destroy each other.
When will we learn that nothing is ours?
We speak of the ones who have harmed us
as if they are not a part of us; an enemy.
But we are the enemy and the enemy is us;
we have built the stage for wrong-doing ourselves.
The prophets tell us: "A leaf does not turn
yellow without the knowledge of the tree."
When one of us fails to uphold life;
all are equally guilty and all are punished.
Harm cannot come to one
without the effects touching all.
Death and destruction dig the wells
where compassion may spring up.
There would be no need for love
if there was not hatred in the world.
How often we love and hate the same thing?
how close are the actions of both feelings?
Love can harm as much as hate can;
it is so hard to turn the coin to one side.
Let the Beloved be my strength and my song;
and in the understanding of compassion be my salvation.
May there be a sound of exultation
and joy in the tents of the living.
I shall not die, but live
and declare the glory of the Divine.
I have been laid low
but I did not die.
My gates of praise are opened with song;
I give thanks for restoring my life.
The same stone the builders rejected
has now become a cornerstone.
This is the healing of the Most High
and is marvelous in our eyes.
On this day the Divine has acted
we will rejoice and be glad.
we rejoice in success.
Blessed is one who comes in the name of the Beloved
you are blessed from the house of the Most High.
Divine Presence is our Beloved; the light that shines on us.
Form a procession with branches to carry to the altar.
"You are our God, and we will thank you;
You are our God and we will exalt you."
Give thanks to the Beloved for this good,
its mercy endures for ever.
119.1 - .8 – Aleph
Happy are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk in the love of the Divine Presence.
Happy are they who observe this example
and seek love with all of their hearts!
Who abstain from doing harm;
but walk in the ways of mercy.
We have the example of the Divine Presence;
would that we keep the precepts of this ideal.
Oh that my ways were made so direct
that I may keep to this beautiful way.
Then I should not be put to shame
when I regard the actions of my own.
I will give thanks with an unfeigned heart;
when I have learned to love without thinking.
I will keep the lessons of love
and not forsake the law of mercy.
119.9 - .16 – Beth
How shall young persons cleanse their ways?
How to discern the difference between love and lust?
When the wild horses of desire
ride in my veins; to whom shall I turn?
"With deliberation know that in you
is the Holiest of Holies seeking union.
Sharing the pleasures of human sex is a holy act;
not to be reviled, rejected nor regretted.
Chose well your partners because they are with you always;
even if for only one night you know them, a bond is made.
In the union of sex not only bodies are shared,
but attitudes, goals, philosophies and cultures."
When my heart sings of the lust of love
I will answer with reason and wisdom.
I will dedicate body to the Most Holy
and know all acts are in the Divine Presence.
My delight is in the loving of my body
and I will not forget the words of compassion.
119.17 - .24 – Gimel
Deal bountifully with your servant,
that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes that I may see
the wonders of all love.
I am a stranger here on earth;
do not hide your wisdom from me.
My soul is consumed at all times,
with longing for love and attachment.
You have rebuked the unwise
and warned those who are hasty.
Turn me from shame and rebuke
for I have kept your decrees.
Though it seems my very body
plots against me, I will meditate.
For your love is my delight
and you are my councilor.
119.25 - .32 – Daleth
My body cleaves to the dust
give me life according to your love.
I have confessed my ways and you answered me;
instruct me in the ways of beauty and righteousness.
Make me understand the commands of love
that I may meditate on your marvelous works.
My soul melts away in the force of desire;
strengthen me according to your mercy.
I have chosen the way of faithfulness
and set your precepts on a stone before me.
I hold fast to your instructions;
Oh my Beloved, let me not be put to shame.
I will run the way of your commandments
for you have set my heart at liberty.
119.33 - .40 – He
Teach me, oh Divine Presence, the way of your statues;
and I shall keep them to the end of my life.
Give me understanding and I shall follow your rules
that I keep in my heart with all my being.
Make me go in the path of your commandments,
for that is my desire for my short life.
Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to unjust gain and deceit.
Turn my eyes from watching that which is worthless;
for I know my days on earth are limited.
Fulfill your promise to me for compassion;
as I renew my vows of being compassionate.
Turn away the reproach which I dread to have;
show me how to bless every thing for the good.
Behold, I long for your commandments
in your righteousness preserve my life.
119.41 - .48 – Waw
Let your loving kindness come to me, my Beloved;
and your companionship according to your promise.
Then shall I have a word for the fears that taunt me
because I have put my trust in your compassion.
Do not take the word of truth out of my mouth,
for my hope is in being firm in the ways of mercy.
I shall continue to demonstrate your love
and keep your commandments forever.
I will walk in liberty and responsibility
because I have studied the faces of love.
I will tell of your greatness before kings
and will not be ashamed of my acts.
I delight in the ways of love
to which my heart was always drawn.
I will lift up my hands to your love
and meditate on the beauty of love.
119.49 - .56 – Zayin
Remember your word to your child;
because you have given me hope.
This shall be a comfort in times of trouble;
that those who give life also give love.
My desires often tempt me cruelly
but I have not turned from the ways of love.
With my own love I wish to bring
those who have forgotten the blessings of old.
Your example has been like a song to me;
wherever I have gone to live like a stranger.
I remember your name in the night;
and dwell in your love in the daytime.
This is how it has been with me
because I want to follow your example.
119.57 - .64 – Heth
You are my only companion, oh Divine Presence;
I have promised to keep your precepts.
I entreat you will all my heart,
be merciful to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways
and turned my feet on your paths.
I hasten and do not tarry
to keep abreast of your love.
Though cords of doubt and darkness bind me;
I will not forget the shining example of your mercy.
At midnight I will rise to give you thanks,
because of your everlasting compassion.
I am a companion of all who love you,
and of those who strive to keep your laws.
The earth, oh Divine Presence, is full of your love
instruct me from this paradigm your statutes.
119.65 - .72 – Teth
Oh Divine Presence you have dealt graciously with me;
according to your love and commandments.
Teach me discernment and knowledge
because I believe in your greatness.
Before, in my ignorance, I have gone astray;
but now I wish to know your guidance.
You are good and you bring forth good;
instruct me in your ways.
In my pride I have smeared my mouth with lies;
but now I wish to keep your commandments.
My heart was swollen with unworthy desires;
but my greatest delight is only in your love.
May it have been good for me to be afflicted;
that I may learn of your loving kindness.
Your love is dearer to me
than thousands in gold and silver.
119.73 - .80
Your hands have made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding to learn of your love.
Those who love you will be glad to see me,
because we are bound together in your love.
I know, oh Creator, that your power is infinite;
and that your faithfulness endures forever.
Let your loving kindness be my comfort;
as you have promised to all of your creations.
Let your compassion come to me that I may live;
for your love is my daily delight.
When I am arrogant, let me be put to shame;
then I will meditate upon the greatness of your love.
Let those who love you turn to me
so that they may see their god in themselves.
May my compassion be guided by your example;
and may I know no shame before you.
119.81 - .88 – Kaph
My soul longs for your instruction;
I put my hope in your love.
Give me the strength of the mountains
to do the will of love in my life.
Give me the courage of lions
to endure when the path of love is stony.
Give me the wisdom to manage my love;
knowing when to give it and when to save it.
When I see others not acting with love;
teach me the lessons of those ways.
May the sorrows of loving be holy
as they hollow out the spaces for my joy.
May I see joy and pain as part of loving
as I bless and give thanks for both.
In your loving kindness revive me
that I may reflect your loving heart.
119.89 - . 96 – Lamedh
O Divine Presence, your love is everlasting;
it stands firm even in the heavens.
Your faithfulness remains from generation to another;
you established the earth and it abides.
By your generosity these continue to this day,
for all things are manifestations of you.
There is no place I can hide from you;
nor can I ever be separated from you.
If I had not found delight in your loving
I would have perished in my ignorance.
I will never forget your steadfastness
because by this you gave me life.
I am yours; oh that I could find refuge
by studying the laws of your universe.
Even when I am most in doubt;
will I turn my mind to your compassion.
I see that all things come to an end,
but your compassion has no bounds.
119.97 - .104 - Mem
Oh how I am comforted by your compassion;
it is in my mind all the day long.
Your grace makes me wiser than I was;
your compassion has been with me always.
My understanding of the Divine is my teacher;
for from your wonders is my daily study.
As if learning from an elder
I observe the world they have created.
Give me the courage to make changes;
to do that which is right and best for all.
I restrain my feet from stepping on others;
as I avoid being trod upon by others.
I do not shrink from opinions of others;
I am steadfast in my own understanding.
How sweet are your ways to my taste!
they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.
Through your examples I gain understanding;
therefore I honor and love everything.
119.113 - .120 – Samekh
Do not permit me to live with a divided heart;
knowing what is right and doing what is wrong.
You are my refuge and my shield;
my hope is in your examples of love.
May I see the roots of troubles in the world;
so the light of compassion may shine in the dark.
May I live with the precept:
it is better to light one candle than curse the darkness.
May even my failings be a light to someone else;
may all of us benefit from each of our actions.
When those of us fail to show love;
may we see the reasons for the lack.
My flesh trembles in awe;
I quake in your majesty.
119.121 - . 128 – Ayin
Let me learn of reason and passion;
how I have made a battlefield of my life.
Why do I exist in conflict with my desires
why does reason be so hard to follow?
May I consider these two as loved guests in my house;
and find not that one is higher than the other.
When I rest in the cool shadow of a breeze,
I think: "There is a Divine Presence in reason."
When the wind blows with a tempest,
I think: "The Divine Presence moves in passion."
As I am just a breathing within the Divine
I rest in reason and move in passion."
As my breath comes as intake and outgo
reason and passion shall swing my life.
Truly I love the wisdom of the Divine
more than gold and precious stones.
119.137 - .144 Sadhe
Righteous is the compassion of the Divine Presence;
may I understand the mysteries of its ways.
May it be revealed to me that pain
is the physician within that heals the sick self.
Since my pain is self-chosen
may I honor and accept what I have made.
May what I see as pain be the breaking
of the shell around my understanding.
For the seed to sprout the kernel cracks;
is this not a joyful sound for the earth?
When trouble and distress come upon me
may the lessons of love be my delight.
The righteousness of the Divine Presence endures;
grant me understanding that I may live more fully.
119.145 - .152 - Qoph
I call with my whole heart, Oh Beloved,
answer me to be strong in your ways.
I call to you that you will guide me,
so I may keep your decrees in my love.
Early in the morning I cry out to you,
for in your example is all my trust.
My eyes are open in the night watches;
that I may meditate upon your promise.
Hear my voice, O Beloved, according to your compassion;
according to your infinite wisdom give me life.
Thoughts confuse my purpose;
I know not where to turn.
You, oh Beloved, are near at hand,
and all your compassion is true.
Long have I known of your compassion;
that you have established it forever.
119.153 - .160 – Resh
My soul does not grow like a reed;
but unfolds petal by petal like the lotus.
Within is all the self-knowledge I need;
yet how I seek words to shape this glory.
With my fingers I wish to touch my dreams;
to untangle mysteries with my tongue.
I want to think that I have found the truth;
when in my heart I know I have found a truth.
When I say, "I have found a path for the soul."
may I see a truth in thinking also:
"I have met a soul walking on this path."
May I see all souls on the ways of their own making.
While honoring and accepting this wide variation
may I keep my feet on my slender trail of revelation.
119.161 - .168 – Shin
Rulers rule and tyranny exists
because of a shame in our pride.
Unjust laws are written by our unjust hearts;
they are spelled out by our own hands.
All the waters of the sea will not cleanse
unjust laws or the foreheads of judges.
I am only free when freed from the idea of freedom;
it is in our thinking that fetters are forged.
My freedom stops at the edge of the freedom
of my fellow residents of the universe.
I have hoped that a belief in God would save me;
I have believed in following commandments of law.
Yet how to follow the laws of compassion
and find my way among the shadows and lights?
119.169 - .176 – Taw
Let my cry come before you O Divine Presence;
give me understanding according to your paradigm.
Let my supplication come before you;
deliver to me the truth and knowledge I know.
My lips shall pour forth your praise,
as I learn of your compassion.
My tongue shall sing of your promises;
for all your commandments are righteous.
Let your hand be ready to help me
as I help those who are round about me.
I long for your presence, oh Divine
and your love is my constant delight.
Let me live that my days may praise you;
and let your compassion be my example.
I have gone astray like a sheep in a thicket;
search me out, save me from my thoughts
as I strive to learn the lessons of life.
Copyright © Jane Reichhold
Go to Psalms Book Five 120 - 150
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