Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī) was a 13th Century Persian poet, jurist and ascetic. His words are widely read in the United States and his writings while more lyrical are very similar in mood to Solomon’s songs in the Hebrew Bible. (No hate mail from theologians, please: that part is pure opinion from the perspective of the writer/reader) He was an Islamic Sufi, poet, and dervish, so he spent quite a bit of his time traveling with the divine by way of poetry and dance. If you ever come across a “collected writings of Rumi” in a book store, he’s certainly worth giving a look-see, particularly on the days when focus isn’t there, and thought and spirituality need to be honed down to the finely chiseled words of the poet. No sermons to be found there except for the ones that draw out in the vast spaces between single words.
Herewith from his writings (taken in paraphrase) are ten ideas on life that we hear from his writing. Maybe we can touch on the dancing of the dervish in a future meditation:
Run from what’s comfortable. forget Safety. Live where you fear to live. Be notorious.
Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth.
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed your life.
Why should I stay at the bottom of the well, when a strong rope is in my hand?
As you start to walk out on the way, the way will appear.
If you are irritated by every rub, how will you become polished?
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Learn from suffering
The wound is the place where the light enters you.
Don’t be concerned about what others think of you
I want to sing like the birds sing, not worry about who hears or what they think.
Do what you love
Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you love.
The sermons are there in the vast spaces between the words. Let those who have ears, hear, and let those who have eyes, see.
Keep the faith!