Friday, October 31, 2014

A Spiritual Journey



And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles,
no matter how long,
but only by a spiritual journey,
a journey of one inch,
very arduous and humbling and joyful,
by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,
and learn to be at home.
 
~ Wendell Berry ~
 
(Collected Poems)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If you don't know the way....

 
 
If you have a touchstone, go ahead, choose;
otherwise, go and devote yourself
to one who knows the differences.
Either you must have a touchstone
within your own soul,
or if you don't know the way,
find someone who does.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mathnawi II:746-747
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
Rumi: Daylight
Threshold Books, 1994

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hasbi Allâh (God is sufficient for me)



Love is a ship for the elect:
it is deliverance from disaster.
Sell intelligence and buy bewilderment:
your intelligence may be opinion,
while bewilderment may be naked vision.
Sacrifice your understanding in the presence of Muhammad:
say, God suffices me.*

  Mathnawi IV: 1406-1408

Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Deliver me from this imprisonment of free will


Deliver me from this imprisonment of free will,
O gracious and long-suffering Sustainer!
The one-way pull on the Straight Path*
is better than the two-way pull of perplexity.
Though You are the only goal of these two ways,
still this duality is agnonizing to the spirit.
Though the destination of these two ways is You alone,
still the battle is never like the banquet.
Listen to the explanation God gave in the Qur'ân:
they shrank from bearing it.**
This perplexity in the heart is like war:
when a man is perplexed he says,
"I wonder whether this is better for my situation or that."
In perplexity the fear of failure and the hope of success
always are in conflict with each other, now advancing, now retreating.
From You came this ebb and flow within me;
otherwise, O glorious One, this sea of mine was still.
From that source from which You gave me this perplexity,
likewise now, graciously give me clarity.


Mathnawi VI: 203-211
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hope, the Blind, the Naked and the Worldly


(Image credit : DEVIANT ART)
 
Hope is the deaf man who has often heard of our dying,
but hasn't heard of his own death or contemplated his own end.

The blind man is Greed: he sees the faults of others,
hair by hair, and broadcasts them from street to street,
but of his own faults his blind eyes perceive nothing.

The naked man fears his cloak will be pulled off,
but how could anyone take the cloak of one who is naked?

The worldly man is destitute and terrified:
he possesses nothing, yet he dreads thieves.
When death comes, everyone around him is lamenting,
while his own spirit begins to laugh at his fear.
At that moment the rich man knows he has no gold,
and the keen-witted man sees that talent does not belong to him.

  Mathnawi III:2628-2635
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996

Monday, September 01, 2014

Come with Us




If you never searched for truth
come with us
and you will become a seeker.
If you were never a musician
come with us
and you will find your voice.
You may posses immense wealth
come with us
and you will become love's beggar.
You may think yourself a master
come with us
and love will turn you into a slave.
If you've lost your spirit,
come with us
take off your silk coverings,
put on our rough cloak
and we will bring you back to life.

  Ghazal (Ode) 74
Rumi: Hidden Music 
Translated by Azima Melita Kolin  and Maryam Mafi
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

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