Monday, December 14, 2009

REEMA ZAMAN and URBAN PRAYERS


This is Reema Zaman, probably the most gifted young actress (or 'actor,' if you prefer) it has been my privilege to work with in thirty years as a theater director. Reema always had "star quality," and I had no doubt she would become something extraordinary in her life, even going 'all the way' and becoming a movie star - though I wished something more ennobling for her. She has now opened her own website, entitled Urban Prayers, in which she sends out three beautiful spiritual meditations each week. Her thoughts are filled with love and devotion for the Divine Mother and are heavily influenced by Kahlil Gibran (Reema is from Bangladesh, but now lives in New York city.). While Reema is just beginning this new path in her life, I am filled with fatherly pride that she is on her way to becoming a spiritual teacher, sharing her love and wisdom with the world. She has clearly found an ennobling path, and I send her all my love and blessings. Please check out her site:






Verse 6

from the Tao Te Ching, written circa 6th century BC by Lao Tzu, or "Old Master", a record-keeper during the Zhou Dynasty.

The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds.

It is always present within you.You can use it in any way you want.


The Verse on Magnificence

written circa Holiday Season, 2009, New York City, sent from a homebound flight between Phoenix, Arizona, and New York. The morning sky glows with the fire-lust of Something Happening.

I have a confession to make: I. Want. A. Lot. From. Life.

I believe in having ridiculously high standards. Big hopes, passionate dreams and huge goals, for the the world at large, for my loved ones, and most importantly, for myself. I try to have the courage and humility each day to truly look into myself to see if I am living, loving, giving and working to my full capacity. It is not a matter of answering "yes" or "no" - its a matter of staying the course. Of staying true to the quest. And the quest, is a Big One.

Because . . Why not? The Tao, the Great Mother, the Love, resides in all of us. It is a Love that nourishes infinite possibilities. Why not set high standards and dream huge dreams, and then, truly, avidly pursue in achieving those goals? Why not? We have been given the most amazing, sacred precious resource: the human spirit. Coupled with the fact that we have golly-gee-whiz, also a human body . . We are limitless.

Something I have been thinking about a lot lately is the concept of Bigness. Fit. Size. And yes, in terms of dreams, goals and action: Size Does Matter. More often than not, when we are faced with an obstacle or failure we accuse ourselves of not being enough for the situation at hand. "I wasn't good enough." I didn't work hard enough. I wasn't intelligent, beautiful, motivated, cordial, sophisticated, witty, or strong enough to succeed. Sometimes, this is true. And sometimes the crickets-chirping-in-the-night debilitating voice of Not Enough does not hold true.

Perhaps, the situation was not enough for you. Perhaps, you simply were too big for the situation, job, other person. You did not fit, because your power, strength, personal kaleidoscope of nuances and intricacies simply could not be contained within the lines of the situation. You were, are, too big for the challenge. Thus, the "challenge" ceases to remain so, and is simply, a suffocating hindrance to the incredible potential of You.

We have all engaged in this self-deprecating tug-of-war. We squirm and plead and belittle ourselves, trying on different costumes, voices, personalities, skins, just so we can fit into the idea of what or who we "should" be. And sometimes, its simply a matter of nope, this situation was not big enough for you. You will not be able to squeeze into this mold, regardless of how hard you push, how much you try to force yourself into the confines, you will not be able to stay within these lines. Your colors will spill over. Your colors will fly, leap, catapult, skyrocket over and beyond these feeble lines, and to try to stay within them is not only futile, but an offense to your birthright of living to your fullest. It is not simply even a matter of not fitting, but searching for something entirely different. Your destiny lies elsewhere - your destiny, my love, is Big.

One of our all-time favorite sentences:
"Why did this happen to me?"
Perhaps, try this:
"Why did this happen for me?"

The first sentence is a very common one. A seemingly mundane, tiny, needling, plaintive, woeful call into the universe, heard and spoken numerous times by all of us. But like any supposedly harmless Little Thing, if repeated often enough, can have a debilitating effect on our spirit over time. By changing that one little word from "to" into "for" we reclaim our power of Action. We engage in forward movement, we activate awareness in our destiny, and we stand up for our right to choose Living over stagnancy. We keep the momentum going. And in that forward movement, we are limitless. Already, in that simple action of choosing an active, vibrant word, full of delicious possibilities, we are pursuing our destiny. We are exploring new paths, we are experimenting with ways to use this supposed obstacle and see it instead as a happy accident. For there are no such things as coincidences, and in that same vein, there are no such things as arbitrary setbacks. The Universe has a incredibly intricate sense of humor. Most of the time, at the precise moment a challenge occurs, we are not aware of the joke, but by remaining humble, open to change, and keeping true to our quest, little signs and tiny miracles will reveal themselves in due time.

I love us. I really, truly do. We are so incredibly adept at manipulating our big brains into thinking little thoughts sometimes. Us human beings are so good at convincing ourselves to live small, dream rarely, take it slow, be hesitant, and proceed with caution. But you know what else we are really truly good at? Being adventurous. Taking risks. Our ability to be creative, to make art, invent new technologies every single day, to debate, to experiment, brainstorm, attempt, fail, fall, attempt again, fail and fall again, and then, sometimes, succeed, that is the very membrane of our delicious humanity. Believing that size doesmatter, and being ridiculously passionate about your calling, your work, your loved ones and the world around you is yours to choose as your destiny, by the simple virtue of being human. Choosing to live only by high standards is a wonderfully unique, human characteristic, and to exercise this trait is simply deciding to live in accordance with our birthright of Immeasurable Possibilities.

Oh, the Tao just texted: "Ps. You all are incredibly amazing." Thought I'd pass that along. Thank you, Mama. I realized a hop-skip-jump ago that if I tried to live in any other manner, I would slowly but inevitably chip away at my soul. If I didn't allow myself to live passionately and recognize that to pursue huge dreams made logical, practical sense to my genetic make-up, I would slowly but certainly become very mean, very boring, very bland, and a foul smell would very well rise from my pores, otherwise known as the Putrid Stench of Life Un-Lived. And so, as a humanitarian effort to remain 1) Alive, 2) Happy, and 3) Not a despicable burden to you all, I made the commitment to never, ever settle for anything less than Big.

And so,
Dear Mother: Please give me the continued courage, humility, gratitude, strength and softness to search for and achieve the Amazing from myself, seek and find incredible nuances and unique poetry in others that I may remain forever humble and inspired, and together, may we live in our full potential. And in our collective commitment to living life in openness, passion, and strength, may we discover and perhaps even achieve the limitless, beautiful, powerful changes for our world. And in that momentum, may we live our path of Love.

Reema

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