Tag Archives: Rumi

Rumi/ How We Move in Grace

 

 

Doing prayer and meditation at a particular time,

fasting, and going on pilgrimage

are outward statements of inner intention.

Giving to charity and giving up jealousy

are ways to say how it is inside us.

Serving food and welcoming guests into your house

are actions that mean, I feel close to you.

Any time you exert yourself by going somewhere,

giving money, or taking time to pray,

you are saying, There is a priceless jewel inside me.

Fasting says, I have not eaten

even what is permitted.  I must want no connection

to what is not.  Giving to the poor says,

I am distributing my own property.

Certainly, I will not steal from others.

There are, though, fowlers who throw out grain

to snare birds, and cats who pretend to fast,

fast-asleep, when really they are peeking

through eye-slits to ambush prey.

They give generosity a bad name.

But despite all crookedness,

water comes from the star Arcturus

to wash even the hypocrites.

When our water here

becomes saturated with pollution,

it gets led back to the original water, the ocean.

After a year of receiving starlight,

the water returns, sweeping new robes along.

Where have you been?  In the ocean of purity.

Now I’m ready for more cleaning work.

Give me your demons.  I’ll take them to sea.

If there were no impurity, what would water do?

It shows its glory in how it washes a face,’

and in other qualities as well,

the way it grows the grass

and how it lifts a ship across to another port.

Every medicinal ointment derives essence

from water, as every pearl and every seed.

A river is a shop of salves,

food for the abandoned, movement

for those who are stuck.

When the river slows with the weight of silt

and corruption, it grows sad and prays,

Lord, what you gave me I gave others.

Is there more?  Can you give more?

Clouds then draw up the riverwater,

and dissolve it in the ocean.

What this means is

we often need to be refreshed.

Mingling with surroundings, the soul falls ill.

It calls out to the first caller-out, Bilal,

revive us.  Beat the drum that glides us along.

As the body stands at prayer,

the soul says, Peace, my friend,

then leaves for a while.

When it comes back, you don’t have to do ablutions

with sand anymore or guess which way

to point the prayer rug.

Water is the story of how we are helped.

Hot baths prepare us to enter the fire.

Only salamanders can go directly in

without an intermediary, salamanders and Abraham.

The rest of us need guidance from water.

Satisfaction comes from God,

but to get there you need to eat bread.

Beauty comes from the presence,

but those of us in bodies

must walk in a garden to feel it.

When this body-medium goes, we will see directly

the light that lives in the chest.

The qualities of water show

how we move inside grace.

 

Poem from The Essential Rumi

Friday is Forever Rumi

 

 

LIKE THIS

If anyone asks you

how the perfect satisfaction

of all our sexual wanting

will look, lift your face

and say,

Like this.

When someone mentions the gracefulness

of the nightsky, climb up on the roof

and dance and say,

Like this!

If anyone wants to know what “spirit” is,

or what “God’s fragrance” means,

lean your head toward him or her.

Keep your face there close.

Like this.

When someone quotes the old poetic image

about clouds gradually uncovering the moon,

slowly loosen knot by knot the strings

of your robe.

Like this?

If anyone wonders how Jesus raised the dead,

don’t try to explain the miracle.

Kiss me on the lips.

Like this.  Like this.

When someone asks what it means

to “die for love,” point

here.

If someone asks how tall I am, frown

and measure with your fingers the space

between the creases on your forehead.

This tall.

The soul sometimes leaves the body, then returns.

When someone doesn’t believe that,

walk back into my house.

Like this.

When lovers moan,

they’re telling our story.

Like this.

I am a sky where spirits live.

Stare into this deepening blue,

while the breeze says a secret.

Like this.

When someone asks what there is to do,

light the candle in his hand.

Like this.

How did Joseph’s scent come to Jacob?

Huuuuuuu.

How did Jacob’s sight return?

Huuuuuuu.

A little wind cleans the eyes.

Like this.

When Shams comes back from Tabriz,

he’ll put just his head around the edge

of the door to surprise us.

Like this.

 

Poem from The Essential Rumi

 

 

 

 

The Gift Of Water

 

Rumi the gift of water

Someone who doesn’t know the Tigris River exists

brings the caliph who lives near the river

a jar of fresh water.  The caliph accepts, thanks him,

and gives in return a jar filled with gold coins.

“Since this man has come through the desert,

he should return by water.”  Taken out by another door,

the man steps into a waiting boat

and sees the wide freshwater of the Tigris.

He bows his head, “What wonderful kindness

that he took my gift.”

Every object and being in the universe is

a jar overfilled with wisdom and beauty,

a drop of the Tigris that cannot be contained

by any skin.  Every jarful spills and makes the earth

more shining, as though covered in satin.

If the man had seen even a tributary

of the great river, he wouldn’t have brought

the innocence of his gift.

Those that stay and live by the Tigris

grow so ecstatic that they throw rocks at the jugs,

and the jugs become perfect!

They shatter.

The pieces dance, and water….

Do you see?

Neither jar, nor water, nor stone, 

nothing.

You knock at the door of reality,

shake your thought-wings, loosen

your shoulders,

and open.

Poem from The Essential Rumi: The Three Fish

Today’s Poem from Rumi: The Pistachio Passport Section

ON LOSING AND FINDING IDENTITY

Traveling alone to Konya in 1984,  I managed to lose my passport.  I’m not sure how I checked in to the Selijuk Hotel without it, but I did.  It was early evening.  I walked along the main street and came upon a visionary nutcart, lit with glorious lanterns and heaped with perfect pyramids of every kind of nut in elegant wooden compartments.  I bought a quarter’s worth, a newspaper cone of pistachios, impossible abundance.  As I came back in the hotel, one of the men watching television called out, Bul duc!  Others chimed in laughing, bul duc, which means “I found it” in Turkish.  The name of the hotel in Ankara I stayed in the previous night.  They had found my passport at the I Found It Hotel.  Ceremonially I went from chair to chair in the darkened hotel lobby, bowing with the paper spiral, Please.

rumi flower

 

 

WITH YOU HERE BETWEEN

Lovers work, so that when body and soul

are no longer together,

their loving will be free.

Wash in wisdom-water, so you will have no regrets

about the time here.

Love is the vital core of the soul,

and of all you see, only love is infinite.

Your non-existence before you were born

is the sky in the east.

Your death is the western horizon,

with you here between.

The way leads neither east nor west,

but in.

Test your love-wings and make them strong.

Forget the idea of religious ladders.

Love is the roof.  Your senses are waterspouts.

Drink rain directly off the roof.

Waterspouts are easily damaged

and often must be replaced.

Say this poem in your chest.

Don’t worry how it sounds

going through your mouth.

A human body is a bow.

Breathing and speech are arrows.

When the quiver and arrows are used up or lost,

there is nothing more for the bow to do.

 

Music is the Window to the Soul

When I am silent I fall into that peace where everything is music

 

 

WHERE EVERYTHING IS MUSIC

Don’t worry about saving these songs!

And if one of our instruments breaks,

it doesn’t matter.

We have fallen into the place

where everything is music.

The strumming and the flute notes

rise into the atmosphere,

and even if the whole world’s harp

should burn up, there will still be

hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.

We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

This singing art is sea foam.

The graceful movements come from a pearl

somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge

of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive

from a slow and powerful root

that we can’t see.

Stop the words now.

Open the window in the center of your chest,

and let the spirits fly in and out.

 

Poetry from The Essential Rumi

Essential Rumi Sunday

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī (Persian: جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى‎), also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), and more popularly in the English-speaking world simply as Rumi (30 September 1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian[1][6] poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.[7] IraniansTurksAfghansTajiks, and other Central Asian Muslims as well as the Muslims of South Asia have greatly appreciated his spiritual legacy in the past seven centuries.[8] Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages and transposed into various formats. In 2007, he was described as the “most popular poet in America.”[9]

 

rumi-love-quotes-1

 

 

A Community of the Spirit

There is a community of the spirit.

Join it, and feel the delight

of walking in the noisy street,

and being the noise.

Drink all your passion,

and be a disgrace.

Close both eyes

to see with the other eye.

Open your hands,

if you want to be held.

Sit down in this circle.

Quit acting like a wolf, and feel

the shepherd’s love filling you.

At night, your beloved wanders.

Don’t accept consolations.

Close your mouth against food.

Taste the lover’s mouth in yours.

You moan, “She left me.” “He left me.”

Twenty more will come.

Be empty of worrying.

Think of who created thought!

Why do you stay in prison

when the door is so wide open?

Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.

Live in silence.

Flow down and down in always

widening rings of being.

There’s a strange frenzy in my head,

of birds flying,

each particle circulating on its own.

Is the one I love everywhere?

Drunks fear the police,

but the police are drunk too.

People in this town love them both

like different chess pieces.

 

Poem from the book The Essential Rumi: Translations by Coleman Barks

In the Words of Rumi

 

download (17)

 

WHO SAYS WORDS WITH MY MOUTH?

All day I think about it, then at night I say it.

Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing?

I have no idea.

My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,

and I intend to end up there.

This drunkenness began in some other tavern.

When I get back around to that place,

I’ll be completely sober.  Meanwhile,

I’m like a bird from another continent,

sitting in this aviary.

The day is coming when I fly off,

but who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?

Who says words with my mouth?

Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul?

I cannot stop asking.

If I could taste one sip of an answer,

I could break out of this prison for drunks.

I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.

Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.

This poetry, I never know what I’m going to say.

I don’t plan it.

When I’m outside the saying of it,

I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.

We have a huge barrel of wine, but no cups.

That’s fine with us.  Every morning

we glow and in the evening we glow again.

They say there’s no future for us.  They’re right.

Which is fine with us.

 

Poem from The Essential Rumi