This Missal is about the great poet and mystic, Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi. Rumi was born in 1207 in Balkh in what is today Afghanistan. At an early age his family left Balkh because of the danger of the invading Mongols and settled in Konya, Turkey. Rumi's early spiritual education was under the tutelage of his father Bahauddin and later under his father's close friend Sayyid Burhaneddin of Balkh. He became a learned scholar and teacher in the Konya spiritual community, learned several languages and became familiar with the main religions of the time. He was married to Gevher Banu with whom he had two sons, Bahaeddin (Sultan Veled) and Alaeddin. Years later, after Gevher Banu passed away, he married Kerra Hatun, and had two more children; another son, Muzafferreddin Emir Alim and a daughter Melike.
I honor those who try to
rid themselves of any lying,
who empty the self
and have only clear being there.
At age 37, his scholarly life began to change when he met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering mystic. Shams lit Rumi's inner flame and a great friendship came into being. The two were rarely separate, lost in sohbet
, the mystical union. The time spent together was short, however, for Shams eventually disappeared, leaving Rumi a changed being. Where the teacher and scholar had been, now there was a lover of God, lost in his Beloved. He began to write poetry and twirl in meditation(sema)
, founding the Mevlavi Order of Sufis, and to teach the sema, or twirling. The last years of his life were spent dictating a six volume book of poetry, the Mathnawi, to his friend Husam, a work that took twelve years and created one of the most beautiful and inspiring books of poetry in history. Rumi died on the 17 of December, 1273 in Konya, leaving a legacy of Love and Friendship that has survived for hundreds of years.
Your prayer should be,
" Break the legs
of what I want to happen.
Humiliate my desire.
Eat me like candy.
It's spring, and finally
I have no will."
The sheer volume of Rumi's poetry is as staggering as its depth and beauty amazing. He beseech's the reader to find spiritual discipline, rid themselves of the ego, and most importantly, find the Friend, Rumi's term for the Beloved. His poetry is full of imagery and metaphor to convey his understanding of spiritual realms in a graspable language. He did not use literal meaning often, but relied on imagery from nature to convey the concepts of higher mind. Another facet of his poetry that is somewhat lost to those of us who cannot read the originals, in Farsi and Arabic, is the rhyme and rhythm of the work. Coleman Barks, in his many translations of Rumi, has succeeded in retaining some of this artistic beauty. While the original English translations of Arberry and Nicholson were true to the meaning, it's been said they were translated into Episcopalian, losing the fresh spontaneity and rhythm of the original.
For the seeker working through the intellect, Rumi may seem an improbable, childish path, but to the student of the heart, it can be a door to love and understanding. Rumi's poems are best studied in a manner free from judgment and preconceived ideas, leaving their meaning to flower in an open heart.
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.Name of God repeated to infinity in Kufic script,spiritual films
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.
They 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.
Let body needs dwindle and soul decisions increase.
Diminish what you give your physical self.
Your spiritual eye will begin to open.
When the body empties and stays empty,
God fills it with musk and mother-of-pearl.
That way a man gives his dung and gets purity.
Listen to the prophets and not some adolescent boy.
The foundation and the walls of the spiritual life
are made of self-denials and disciplines.
Stay with friends who support you in these.
Talk with them about sacred texts,
and how you're doing, and how they're doing,
and keep your practices together.
Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with a thick cloud.
Slide out the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running
The speechless full moon
comes out now.
- Related Sites -
Coleman Barks: is the author of numerous Rumi translations and has been a student of Sufism since 1977. His work with Rumi was the subject of an hour-long segment in Bill Moyers's Language of Life series on PBS, and he is a featured poet and translator in Bill Moyers's poetry special, "Fooling with Words". His work, The Essential Rumi, is a godsend of Rumi's poetry for western readers. http://colemanbarks.com/
The Threshold Society and The Mevlevi Order : The Threshold Society, rooted within the traditions of Sufism and inspired by the life and work of Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, is a non-profit educational foundation with the purpose of facilitating the experience of Divine Unity, Love, and Truth in the world. Sufism is a living tradition of human transformation through love and higher consciousness. http://www.sufism.org/
Tricks and Traps
Trick: Identification. "Whatever you say 'I' to, you take as being you and with that you are identified. You make it the same as you. Whatever you make the same as you, you make one with yourself. This is identifying. The process is not deliberate. It happens automatically and instantaneously. It is bound to happen automatically and instantaneously to everyone who takes everything that goes on within him or her as himself or herself. This mystery is not realized. The majority cannot see it. Some never can see it. If you begin to see, you see to your amazement that is a trick. It is indeed a trick. It is one of several quite simple and quite successful tricks that keep up the central mystery that Man is asleep but can awaken, and yet knows neither."
"The only remedy is to let a ray of the light of consciousness into yourself. This means to observe yourself - and to observe means to see things in yourself and to see eventually that many different 'I's live in you and use your name and voice." - Maurice Nicoll
An Intuitive Approach
" The discovery of the truth is the discernment of the false. You can know what is not. What is - you can only be. Do you understand that the mind has its limits? To go beyond, you must consent to silence." - Nisargadatta
I've often seen, and experienced myself, that seekers get stuck. We can become trapped in a rut, unable to move, spinning in the circles of habit and pattern. The contact with the inner self (higher power) is lost, our intuition plugged, and we can no longer see the way. Realization seems a hopeless pipe-dream. There are two types of non-movers: Those who insist they no longer have anywhere to go, that there's nothing to do but let happen what happens; and those who admit they're stuck, but can't see why. The first group may be giving in to laziness, pride, fear, or rationalizing a desire other than self-discovery. The second group is also prey to the same traps, but just a little more honest. They may take action to help themselves out of their trap, while the first group will likely have to be shaken awake a bit more traumatically. Lets take a look at a plan of action for those who are stuck, yet wish to move.
The inner self is only interested in resolving our inner conflicts, in bringing about understanding of ourselves: Realization. It is not interested in the ego's agenda, or perpetuation and fulfillment of desires or fears, but in our understanding these so as to remove our attachment to them. The only problem is, why do we so love our problems? What we're not aware of can still affect us, and block our connection with our inner self. If our underlying patterns of motivation are not made conscious, we cannot move. Without meditation and silence as a background, our thoughts and habit patterns, fueled by unconscious motivations, can run us into the ground. Meditation and silence can be doorways to the unconscious, the hiding place of our blocks. We can't know ourselves completely (die before you die) and thus become free until this 'unconscious' is brought forth into our awareness.
How to get this unconscious material into consciousness? We can't listen and receive if we're constantly creating and projecting. We can't observe or be aware of what's behind us: Unconscious motivations, habits, energy blocks, knots, drains, etc., if we are busily creating more of the same. We need to learn and value the art of listening and observing. As Rumi said," Become all ear." In our modern world, much value is placed on activity. Even in our leisure time, we feel a pressing need for distraction. The wonders of silence and stillness are often overlooked, even feared, as we rush to produce and consume. How can silence and listening, both inner and outer, help us to find answers, peace, and wisdom?
First, we have to tell the inner self we are willing to listen. We make a commitment, stating our intent to find the truth about ourselves, regardless of the cost. Then we forget it, and let the wiser power within set the stage. Then, we learn how to listen. There isn't anything we have to become, or create, for we are already what we seek. We must die to what we are not. The work is in facing the facts of how we've allowed ourselves to become attached to our own false creations, physical, emotional, and mental, through ignorance. Basically, listening in silence is a way to quit the defensive position and allow the truth to manifest, to begin the letting go of our acquired and inherited pattern: Our very individuality, or egocentric position.
Whatever is blocking our understanding is well known to the inner teacher, we just need to listen and pay attention. Our first reaction may be to hunker down and insist on going right for the prize. We may be intently focusing on " Who am I ? ", or "What is Reality ? " to such an extent as to block out any realization even it smacked us in the face. Many are desperately trying to force reality to reveal itself, when they haven't yet discovered and seen as false the self they've taken a lifetime to create.
There are a myriad collection of techniques we can use to find and translate what the inner guide is constantly telling us. Dream analysis, the I-Ching, free association, prayer, and simply watching our thoughts can all be useful. As
the poet John Davis
once said, " follow your fascinations
". Here is where action is necessary. We must be willing to act on what is given us, in order to unveil even more of the false. The key is to observe and understand, not project what we want or believe.
If we one day find ourselves looking at the 'person' we once thought we were, from a place beyond the individual mind, we will realize what we are not. What we then find ourselves to be, will not be describable, but the 'person' we were will no longer seem so important, or even be seen as real or 'alive'. We find this place of Silence through surrender, after perhaps years of struggle to dis-cover the false self.
- Quotes -
" There is a way between voice and presence where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens. With wandering talk it closes.
" Which is worth more, a crowd of thousands, or your own genuine solitude? Freedom, or the power over an entire nation? A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given you.
" Leaving manhood behind, there's no doubt you'll become an angel; The earth you'll leave then, and head for Heaven. Transcending the angel, become an ocean, whose each drop will be larger than the countless Seas of Oman.
" Be careful not to regret the past. Be a Sufi, don't talk of the past. You are the son of the moment, you are young, you have vanquished time. This short present moment must not be wasted.
" Every venture one's life may replete, Mathnavi's purpose is the Great Defeat. Set afire, burning with cleansing heat, on the anvil, egos ply and beat. This book, if you open, read, entreat your life, a mendicant's, in the street.
" The whole world is made of dung and blood and devil's piss, and yet when a selfless one holds it, it tastes like sweet springwater." - Rumi
" Reason is the illusion of reality. " - Hazrat Inayat Khan
" The people who complain about not having material for meditation are those who have the most." - Richard Rose
" For we are always what our situations hand us, it's either sadness or euphoria. - Billy Joel
" Busyness deadens the pain of an orphaned spirit." - Bill Johnson
" When I go on patrol in the backcountry, I might be carrying something that weighs heavily on my mind. Ten minutes out on the trail and that burden melts away. If you haven't experienced this, you need to. It is something you need to do for yourself." - Park Ranger Mark Daniel
Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. - R. J. Wiedemann
Someday in the future, after you've died and passed from living memory, really won't be that long from now. - The Onion
Copyright 2010 - Robert Fergeson. All Rights Reserved.