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Tag Archives: Rumi

What the Soul Needs Now

What the Soul Needs Now.

Rumi‘s poetry shines down through the centuries and provides insight in troubled times. When we are unsure and do not seem to hear the small voice inside of us, find an even deeper stillness and listen more closely. The voice is still there, being drowned out by distractions.

It is in the quiet and stillness we find the courage deep in our hearts and souls. When we do, we speak and act in right ways.

The Guest House

Rumi wrote this beautiful poem 800 years ago. The message rings true today although we might resist it at times. Perhaps, in busyness and haste, we avoid the messages received in the guest house that our being and becoming entails. When we slow down encountering each guest as a transient event moving on, we learn lessons learned readily and easily.

In sabbath moments, whether a few minutes, hours, or days, we welcome these unexpected visitors. We recognize they will leave and, in treating them honourably, they may move along quickly allowing delight to return.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

The Guest House

Several years ago during a difficult time, I read this poem and it spoke to what I was going through. From time to time, I recall the poem and how it helped me meet life differently. I compartmentalized life, including my emotions, in unhealthy ways. Emotions and accompanying experiences are guests coming and going and not staying for life.

I treated life as different buckets containing each part as if I could easily separate them. Rumi reminded me life is holistic and involves life flowing with no clear boundaries between parts. It is all oneness.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

What Was Told, That

Rumi wrote poetry 900 years ago and it still resonates in the 21st Century. We see the world change and live in its busyness trying to keep pace with the change. It is hard to turn inwards, see the beauty that exists within, and acknowledging its importance in helping us keep pace.

Regardless of faith and even when we do not have it, there still exists a source deep within each of us that when we touch it and let it speak to us is able to guide us in wonderful and amazing ways. I found the peaceful drive today in the lee of the Rocky Mountains inspirational and something that I share with the world and with each person in the world.

What was said to the rose that made it open was said

to me here in my chest.

What was told the cypress that made it strong

and straight, what was

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made

sugarcane sweet, whatever

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in

Turkestan that makes them

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush

like a human face, that is

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in

language, that’s happening here.

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,

chewing a piece of sugarcane,

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

Be with those Who Help your Being

Rumi, the Sufi poet, wrote this poem several centuries ago, but it resonates today strongly. In the fast-paced world, it seems easier to calculate and do, rather than mediate, pray, and be. The latter takes time, patience, and caring. Once the calculation is done, quite often the business is done. When we enter into the space where we listen deeply to our self and others, there is no business to do. It is just being in relationship, first with the person who is me and with the other who has listened with care.

Be with those who help your being.
Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath
comes cold out of their mouths.
Not these visible forms, your work is deeper.

A chunk of dirt thrown in the air breaks to pieces.
If you don’t try to fly,
and so break yourself apart,
you will be broken open by death,
when it’s too late for all you could become.

Leaves get yellow. The tree puts out fresh roots
and makes them green.
Why are you so content with a love that turns you yellow?

Sweet is the Oneness

I just finished writing the first draft of a short paper on complexity and the teacher’s practice. Much of this is not new. A classroom has the potential to become a community. It is about the needs of each student within a classroom and their personal lived histories. Around that community has the potential to emerge. I cannot plan for it. I can wish for it. Community grows out of the livingness of our lives when we linger on bridges that link us and we while away time in those moments. This is different then when someone chooses a team with a specific goal in mind.

Those are not my thoughts. I added to the thinking of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Max van Manen, David Jardine, and Ted Aoki. I found  complexity is something we have talked about throughout history, yet we it treat like it is new. I looked for a poem that fit my writing. The first poet that appeared was Rumi and he led me to this beautiful poem about the oneness of community.

If ten lamps are in one place,

each differs in form from another;

yet you can’t distinguish whose radiance is whose when you focus on the light.

In the field of spirit there is no division; no individuals exist.

Sweet is the oneness of the Friend with His friends.

Catch hold of spirit.

Help this headstrong self disintegrate;

that beneath it you may discover unity,

like a buried treasure.

Two Kinds of Intelligence

We enjoyed a restful Christmas. We head out tomorrow night for a trip to British Columbia where my 88-year old mother lives. Over the past few days, I thought about what I hold true and came across this Rumi poem. I will be working more on the literature review for my dissertation and I need to assure myself that I distinguish between two types of intelligences: one that grounds me and one that is simply the currency of the day.

There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired,

as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts

from books and from what the teacher says,

collecting information from the traditional sciences

as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.

You get ranked ahead or behind others

in regard to your competence in retaining

information. You stroll with this intelligence

in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more

marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one

already completed and preserved inside you.

A spring overflowing its springbox, A freshness

in the center of the chest. This other intelligence

does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid,

and it doesn’t move from outside to inside

through the conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowledge is a fountainhead

from within you, moving out.

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