This Sane Idea by Hafiz: Reading and Meditation

May 21, 2020  • Stace Lindsay

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This Sane Idea, Hafiz


I have found wisdom in the Sufi poet Hafiz (1320-1389) works during these times of accelerated virtual communication. When most gatherings are now virtual, via zoom or chat groups, it is easy to miss the subtle cues that enable us to engage in meaningful and productive conversations. Not impossible, but more difficult, and all the more important.

In this short piece, I see three challenges worthy of consideration.

First, to let our intelligence rule when we gather with others. To, in other words, let the better angels of our nature come forth in our communities. To engage in conversation with grace and empathy to those we are encountering. 

Second, he offers this provocative idea–to leave all our cocked guns in a field far from us, unless they might go off.  I am struck by the metaphorical implications of this challenge. How can we engage in difficult conversations fully aware of what might trigger us internally? How might we be able to hold those triggers in check while entering into community?

Finally, while it might be helpful for the preservation of community to leave these triggering experiences, wounds or emotions in the field, what are we to do with them? Is it possible to create community if we are separating that which we feel from how we engage with others? What might be required to disarm these triggers? To repair the wounded-ness that has created them? Or how might we use the awareness of these triggers as an opportunity to engage with and heal them, individually or in community?

As you reflect on his words, keep these questions in mind:

  • how does letting intelligence rule shape the way you enter into conversations in community?
  • what cocked guns or internal triggers are you feeling? Can you be aware of these issues, name them, and hold them in check to do your part to hold a community together and not rip it apart?
  • having become aware of and identified these deep areas of pain in your life, how can you begin the work of healing such that you can engage in the hard work of building and deepening community, giving voice to that pain in a way that encourages others to reflect more deeply and openly?  

Stace Lindsay, Bozeman, Montana

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