Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The One Thing You Must Do

There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.

It’s as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human beings come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person.

If you don’t do it, it’s as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It’s a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It’s like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on.

You say, “But look, I’m using it. It’s not lying idle.” Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought.

You say, “But I spend my energies on lofty projects. I study philosophy and jurisprudence, logic, astronomy, and medicine.” But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself and your impressiveness.

Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don’t, you’ll be like the man who takes a ceremonial dagger and hammers it into a post for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You’ll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.

~ Rumi

Monday, March 30, 2015

As Wick Does

There is nourishment like bread
that feeds one part of your life,
and nourishment like light for another.

There are many rules about restraint
with the former, but only one rule
for the latter: Never be satisfied.

Eat and drink the soul substance
as a wick does with the oil it soaks in. 
Give light to the company.

~ Rumi

Friday, March 27, 2015

Warmth and Light

If you want to be as clear and refreshing as 
the breath of the morning breeze,
be like the sun – have nothing but warmth and light 
for everyone.

~ Shaikh Abu-Saeed Abil-Kheir

Thursday, March 26, 2015

On The Day I Die

On the day I die,
when I am being carried toward the grave,
don't weep. Don't say, He's gone. He's gone.

Death has nothing to do with going away.
The sun sets and the moon sets,
but they're not gone.

Death is a coming together.
The tomb looks like a prison,
but it's really release into union.

The human seed goes down into the ground
like a bucket into the well where Joseph is.
It grows and comes up
full of some unimagined beauty.

Your mouth closes here
and immediately opens
with a shout of joy there.

~ Rumi

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Insight is the gift
of seeing reality as it is.
Not as it was,
nor as we wish it to be
but just this,
just this,
just this.

Go ahead and complicate things
if you like.
When you figure them out 
another complication
will surely arise.

Why not simplify?
If you have the good fortune and leisure 
to spend so much time in your head,
when you get off you cushion,
why not go out and be useful?

In this way,
without expectation or hope
without attachment or plans
stillness meets emptiness,
where wisdom arises.
There you'll find the whole
and enter it
as it
enters you.

~ Leza Lowitz

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Early Spring

We began as mineral.
We emerged into plant life and into
the animal state, then to being human.

And always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring,
when we dimly recall being green again.

~ Rumi

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Music We Are

Did you hear that winter’s over?
The basil and the carnations
cannot control their laughter.

The nightingale, back from his wandering,
has been made singing master over the birds.

The trees reach out their congratulations.
The soul goes dancing through the king’s doorway.

Anemones blush
because they have seen the rose naked.

Spring, the only fair judge, walks in the courtroom,
and several December thieves steal away,
Last year’s miracles will soon be forgotten.

New creatures whirl in from non-existence,
galaxies scattered around their feet.
Have you met them?

Do you hear the bud of Jesus crooning in the cradle?
A single narcissus flower has been appointed
Inspector of Kingdoms.

A feast is set.
Listen: the wind is pouring wine!
Love used to hide inside images: no more!
The orchard hangs out its lanterns.
The dead come stumbling by in shrouds.

Nothing can stay bound or be imprisoned.
You say, “End this poem here,
and wait for what’s next.”

I will.
Poems are rough notations
for the music we are.

~ Rumi