Extracting the Thorns

Extracting the Thorns

Following the last Journey to the Heart session, a Rumi poem was given to me – here’s some of it:

“Dreg-drinkers have love perceptions that reasonable men fiercely deny.
They say, we cannot go barefooted in that courtyard, there is nothing but thorns there.
Love answers, The thorns are inside you.
Be silent, and pull what hurts out of your loving’s foot.
Then you will see gardens and secluded rose bowers,
and they will all be inside you.”

The thorns are inside us. When we extract the thorns we see gardens. Rumi is pointing to something as real as roses, only more so. When we extract the thorn, whole worlds come into being, new and wondrous relationships, and the glory that covers all is revealed. It is an extraordinary thing to have the veil removed and see a lesson has been in the making, see past the intermediary phenomena that brought the nectar, and instead look more directly at the compassionate source.

Forgiveness is a means of extracting the thorn. It’s through these wounds that light comes in. But sometimes we are like a donkey sitting on a burr then kicking up a storm not knowing the source of our pain. Sometimes we don’t even know we are kicking up a storm nor feel the thorns in our heart because we have so well constructed our personalities to keep us functioning and clueless. Extracting the thorn will mean the demolition of our personality, it just follows. What we do in the process will shape our path – in the wake of such demolition, some respond with gorilla glue, using ego satisfaction and the momentum of habit to seal the hole, keep the scary blinding light out. Some will find the treasure buried beneath the rubble.

It helps to have an intention that connects us to the place beyond the dream – an evolutionary intention. It helps to remember that we are “never going to get out of here alive,” as Jim Morrison evidently once said.This better enables forgiveness. What I’m calling forgiveness is the opening up at the closing point, where the thorn resides. To forgive truly is to entrain oneself toward the Clear Light. Intentional forgiveness requires we be strong in our humility.One who has made friends with humility has the capacity to forgive. Humility comes naturally with true self knowledge. Self knowledge is a lot of not knowing. One undoes the knots of knowing that keep the illusory self in place. “Return is the movement of the Tao, yielding is the way of the Tao.” (Tao te Ching) Ego barks out commands. The being can be a forgiveness door. In presence we can undo the knots of knowing that keep the forgiveness door closed.

In the Tao te Ching, and in many other texts of wisdom one will encounter the advice to look into the heart to know the truth of something. To take a deep look, those thorns will have to be extracted. Yet all in its time. There is an intelligence guiding this deep movement. Impatience would have me go through my process fast, but no amount of intention coming from this place will tap into the will of that guiding intelligence. One result has been a change in my view of intention, its relationship to surrender. Another result – burgeoning patience.

There is much work to be done in a theater before the actors get on stage. All of the props have to be in place, the set established, the lighting – so many details to consider in a production. In creating the inner theater for this process of thorn extraction, there is much work to be done as well. There are practices that will prepare and ripen us for the acute work at hand. We will examine forgiveness, thorn extraction, and other matters of heart intelligence on the next Journey to the Heart show, this 6 pm PST Thursday, February 28 on GorebaggTV/JustinTV.


About gracekellyrivera

I am a perfumer and an artist of multiple disciplines located in California.
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