When you do things from your “soul”, you feel a river
moving in you, a joy.
When actions come from another section, the feeling
Don’t let others lead you. They may be blind or, worse, vultures.
Reach for the rope of God. And what is that? Putting aside self-will.
Because of willfulness people sit in jail, the trapped bird’s wings are tied,
fish sizzle in the skillet.
The anger of police is willfulness. You’ve seen a magistrate
inflict visible punishment.
Now see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you
would see how you’ve been torturing your soul. We are born and live inside black water in a well.
How could we know what an open field of sunlight is?
Don’t insist on going where you think you want to go. Ask the way to the spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.
There is a moving palace that floats in the air with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent.
Excerpt from the translations of Coleman Barks© by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes