The Fountain Within

“You are quaffing drink from a hundred fountains: whenever any of these hundred yields less, your pleasure is diminished. But when the sublime fountain gushes from within you, no longer need you steal from the other fountains.”
– Jalaluddin Rumi

Each morning I receive a Thought for the Day from Blue Mountain Meditation Center in Tomales, California. They were written by Eknath Easwaran and his meditation center offers these daily emails with thoughts penned by Easwaran when he was here on this planet. I have learned so much from this beloved man through his books and his Eight Point Program. When I read this quote from Rumi, I felt a shudder of my soul recognizing a truth in my own life.
Having written other articles over the last three years, I see how easily deceived I am by self. This practice helps me to find new ways to be more honest internally which in turn drives my external honesty. Drinking from other fountains was my continuous quest as I was thirsty for something I could not name. I looked to partners, family, friends, co-workers, celebrities, clergy, doctors and authors to drink from their fountains that I might absorb the wonder or beauty or loveliness in them.
This meant I created dependency and neediness for their water of life to give me happiness. Going to other fountains meant I was always traveling in some way to somewhere and someone else to find their goodness. I could not see what I was doing to myself and to others searching for happiness from them. My life crashed around me in February of 2005 as the resentment and bitterness of being unfulfilled erupted from me in an act of rage. I am grateful for no one being hurt and for the epiphany I experienced in the three days that followed.
During those three days, I prayed, recited sacred writings, called out to the universe, walked, and sat quietly emptying my mind of all awareness other than my breath. From outside my consciousness came a thought of beauty. It was as though the most loving parent or friend was putting their arm around me to hold me in love. I did not feel any need to name it. The thought then became these simple words: “Go within. Go within and you will find a richness beyond anything outside yourself.”
It was the first time I drank of the fountain which “gushes from within you” as Rumi described. This is the meaning I now feel in the Buddha’s words “Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves.” We have been given the gift of complete power to create beautiful lives from this well, this fountain, this lamp, and this refuge. And then, it is our privilege to share it with others.
This is my understanding of love.

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