Saturday, 28 December 2013

Rest your cheek, for a moment, on this drunken cheek.......by Rumi

Rest your cheek, for a moment,
on this drunken cheek.

Let me forget the war and cruelty 
inside myself.

I hold these silver coins in my hand;
give me Your wine of golden light.

You have opened the seven doors of heaven;
now lay Your hand generously on my tightened heart.

All I have to offer is this illusion, my self.
Give it a nickname at least that is real.

Only you can restore what You have broken;
help my broken head.

I'm not asking for some sweet pistachio candy,
but Your everlasting love.

Fifty times I've said,
"Heart, stop hunting and step into this net."

~ Rumi
Trans by Kabir Helminski
From "Love is a Stranger"
Art by Nik Helbig

Monday, 23 December 2013

My life.....................by Rabindranath Tagore

My life when young 
was like a flower

A flower 
that loosens a petal or two 
from her abundance 
and never feels the loss
when the spring breeze comes
to beg at her door.

Now at the end of youth
my life is like a fruit,
having nothing to spare,
and waiting to offer herself completely
with her full burden of sweetness.

to you....

~ Rabindranath Tagore
Art by Guri Stark

Where roads are made I lose my way.....by Rabindranath Tagore

Where roads are made 
I lose my way.

In the wide water, in the blue sky 
there is no line of a track.

The pathway is hidden by the birds' wings,
by the star-fires,
by the flowers of the wayfaring seasons.

And I ask my heart
if its blood carries
the wisdom of the unseen way.

~ Rabindranath Tagore
Art by Mario Sanchez Nevado

Gratitude is a river, not drops....by Belle Heywood

Suddenly,
i'm learning that
gratitude is a river,
not drops

If i give you only a drop
i am lying.
i am holding back.

If i describe what you have given
in parts, in bits,
how unloving that is!

you are all bread- not this crumb and that
even all bread doesn't describe or contain you
nor a river !!!! - oh i am so wrong !

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
if i thank you for one thing- i am wrong-
and yet if i don't thank you - totally wrong also !

There are no separate incidents, there are no separate 'things' to thank for
there are no things at all..
no isolated acts..

but
my small mind breaks you down
into bite sizes..
that i can 'handle'
(is this only because i am too scared to completely unite /be annihilated in you..? )
and so my thanks remains small, partial, pointable, wordable...

it is a jealous and mean act to thank you for a few things... !

only ego MANAGES love

but LOVE CAN'T BE MANAGED !

how could i ever thank you for Your Grace-

YOU who are constant, continuous,
inseparable-unchanging-unfixed,
unbreakdownable,
not the sum of parts,
not partable,
there is no metaphor or example for you

i want to say you are a flat unending, indestructible line - like the line on a screen when someone's heart has stopped beating

or the sky

but

you are
not any 'thing' at all.

~ Belle Heywood
Art by Peggy J Hughes

Saturday, 14 December 2013

My eyes went away from me following a dark girl who went by....by Pablo Neruda

My eyes went away from me 
following a dark girl who went by.

She was made of black mother-of-pearl, 
made of dark-purple grapes, 
and she lashed my blood 
with her tail of fire.

After them all
I go.

A pale blonde went by
like a golden plant
swaying her gifts.
And my mouth went
like a wave
discharging on her breast
lightning bolts of blood.

After them all
I go.

But to you, without my moving,
without seeing you, distant you,

Go my blood and my kisses,
my dark one and my fair one,
my tall one and my little one,
my broad one and my slender one,
my ugly one, my beauty,

She is
made of all the gold
and of all the silver,
made of all the wheat

and of all the earth,
made of all the water
of the sea waves,

made for my arms,
made for my kisses,
made for my soul.

~ Pablo Neruda

The task of my life is love.....by Jami

The task of my life is love
The reason of my life is love
The sum of my life is love

My mind has completely gone for love
My heart and soul are always protected by love.

I need to come back to my senses
So I can start my preaching about love.

Unless your chest gets that burning feeling
Every time love is mentioned,
You can never truly explain the meaning of love.

May my Helper from High Above
Bestow more knowledge upon me,
So I can continue my research studies on love.

I feel my chest is burning for love right now,
So here are my humble explanations
Of the good old love

Love is just a poor moth
In front of the Eternal flame .
Those burning marks on the moth
Are for the sake of the everlasting love.

A soul without love,
Is just a lifeless dead corpse.
A soul blessed by love,
Remains forever alive.

Seek the very essence of your life
In love.
Search your own inner treasures
In love.

Wherever it might be,
Love is always the alchemy of all things.
Even worthless copper touched by love,
Turns into solid gold.

Love is not meant
To get attached to this material world,
Love means giving up on both worlds.

Love is not meant
To simply wish for eternal union with the Beloved,
Love means getting burned and consumed
In the flames of self-annihilation first.

A lover is the one
Who happily sings the song of self-annihilation
While letting go of his own self.

A lover is the one
Who not only gives up the wealth of this world,
But also ignores the rewards of the Hereafter.

A lover’s lifelong quest
Is finding the direction of the Friend
Because anything and anyone but the Friend,
Is simply a mirage.

A lover even gives up
On his closest loved ones,
For the sake of eternal mystical union
With the Friend.

A lover even abandons
The joyous company of his friends,
In order to follow as the Friend commands.

At any given moment,
A lover stands in total awe of love.
And in every breath taken,
A lover cherishes the blessing of love.

~ Jami
Iran/Persia (1048 - 1141)
(Love Of Maulana Jami in spiritual journey The Meaning of Love )

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Come come come my endless desires come come come...by Rumi

Come come come
my endless desires
come come come

Come my beloved
come my sweetheart
come come come

Don't talk about the journey
say no more
of the path one must take

You are my path
you are my journey
come come come

You stole from this earth
a bouquet of roses
i am hidden in that bouquet
come come come

As long as i am sober
and keep talking about
good and bad

I'm missing
the most important event
seeing your face
come come come

I must be a moron
missing this life
if i don't cast my mind
in the fire of your love
come come come

~ Rumi
Ode (Ghazal) 156
Translated by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994
Art by Canan berber

....You Ask How Much I Love You by Charles Wiles

....You Ask How Much I Love You 

You ask how much I love you
And then you ask once more
And so my love I'll tell you now
As I did once before.

I love you more than flowers love
The rising of the sun
I love you more than horses love
The plains on which they run.

I love you more than eagles love
The currents way up high
I love you more than rainbows love
The droplets in the sky.

I love you more than fishes love
The sea in which they swim
I love you more than sea birds love
The waves on which they skim.

I love you more than moonbeams love
The planets as they turn
I love you more than starships love
The gases that they burn.

I love you more than Paris loved
Fair Helen when in Troy
I love you more than any girl
Has every loved a boy.

I love you more than Shakespeare loved
The muses in his verse
I love you more than rich old men
Love money in their purse.

I love you more than lollipops
I love you more than cheese
I even love you somewhat more than
Than honey made by bees!

I love you more than yesterday,
And every day before,
But I think that when tomorrow comes
I'll love you even more.

I love you quite a lot you see
But this I must impress
I love you more than any words
Could ever help express.


~ Charles Wiles

Love is the dancing cry of the soul...by Rumi

Love is the dancing cry of the soul, 
calling the body to worship 

Like a shining whirlpool, 
or a spinning mayfly 
So is love among the skies.

I leap across the mountaintops,
madly singing the song of all songs

I float through the ether, intoxicated, thrilled
I think only of your love, your calling to me

And I dance the thousand dances of love,
all returning to you.

It is not the play of children,
nor the detached unity of wise sages
Unreal! Unnecessary!
Where is the beauty?

When I, like a glowing comet,
may flash around your sun
Laughing, singing,
with the joy of loving you!

Wine makes drunk the mind and body
But it is love which thrills the soul

When I approach you,
I feel the mad pounding of love

The singing wonder
The joy which opens
blossoms on the trees of the world.

Come to me, and I shall dance with you
In the temples, on the beaches, through the crowded streets

Be you man or woman, plant or animal, slave or free
I shall show you the brilliant crystal fires, shining within

I shall show you the beauty deep within your soul
I shall show the path beyond Heaven.

Only dance, and your illusions will blow in the wind
Dance, and make joyous the love around you

Dance, and your veils which hide the Light
Shall swirl in a heap at your feet.

~ Rumi 

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Enthralled only by Love ....by Rumi

Whenever you meet 
someone deep drunk 
yet full of wisdom 
be aware and watch 
this person is enthralled 
only by Love 

Anytime you see
someone who seems gone
tipsy and happy
filled with rapture
be sure and observe
this is the condition
of someone in Love

If you see a head
happy and thrilled
filled with joy
every night and day
this head was fondled
by the fingers of Love

Every moment
someone is blessed
a tree sprouts
an angel flies
even a monster
leaps with delight

When your body
feels together
when your soul
wants to unite
you are chosen
for a blissful Love

~ Rumi
Ghazal 2132
Translation by Nader Khalili
"Rumi, Fountain of Fire"
Burning Gate Press, Los Angeles, 1994

Art thou the sun, or Venus, or the moon ? I don't know.....by Rumi

Art thou the sun, or Venus, or the moon ? 
I don't know. 

What dost Thou want from this bewildered madman ?
I don't know. 

In this court of Ineffability
all is Gentleness and Harmony
what plain art Thou, what meadow, what court ?
I don't know.

Thy Face has made my spirit roses,
violets, narcissus, and lilies;
Thy Moon has illuminated my moon.
What companion art Thou ?
I don't know.

What a marvellous ocean within the heart,
full of fish and shoreless !
I have never seen such an ocean,
I do not know such fish.

The kingship of creatures is a tale,
as insignificant as a kingcup
no king do I know but
that Subsistent King.

Marvellous, infinite Sun
all of thy dustmotes are speaking !
Art Thou the Light of God's Essence?
Art Thou God?
I don't know.

Thy comeliness is burning
the souls of a thousand Jacobs to cinders..

Oh Joseph of beauties,
why art Thou in this well?
I don't know.

Be silent!
For you are a talebearer,
you are drowned in constant change.
At one moment you are hu,
at another ha, at another ah
I don't know.

I will be silent,
for I am drunk from the spell
that has overcome me.

I do not know selflessness and
intoxication from awareness.
I don't know.

~ Rumi
Ghazal 1436
Translation by Professor William Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press, Albany, 1983

Monday, 30 September 2013

The Song of the Reed ....by Rumi

BIRTHDAY OF OUR BELOVED RUMI 
Mawlana Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi was born on 
September 30, 1207 

Listen to the song of the reed, 
How it wails with the pain of separation: 

"Ever since I was taken from my reed bed
My woeful song has caused men and women to weep.

I seek out those whose hearts are torn by separation
For only they understand the pain of this longing.

Whoever is taken away from his homeland
Yearns for the day he will return.

In every gathering, among those who are happy or sad,
I cry with the same lament.

Everyone hears according to his own understanding,
None has searched for the secrets within me.

My secret is found in my lament
But an eye or ear without light cannot know it . . ."


The sound of the reed comes from fire, not wind
What use is one's life without this fire?

It is the fire of love that brings music to the reed.
It is the ferment of love that gives taste to the wine.

The song of the reed soothes the pain of lost love.
Its melody sweeps the veils from the heart.

Can there be a poison so bitter or a sugar so sweet
As the song of the reed?

To hear the song of the reed
everything you have ever known must be left behind.

~ Rumi
Version by Jonathan Star
"Rumi - In the Arms of the Beloved"
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, New York 1997

Friday, 27 September 2013

How can a wave not come to the shore....by Belle Heywood

It doesn't matter how many tongues i use,
or what kind.
if your heart
is on a pedastool
far away

It doesn't matter what
truth i bring forth
if it only sounds
like more words.
and only words.

Meetings can never be forced.

Meetings
are
so very rare in this world.

And yet,
the words
will arrive.

How can a wave
not come to the shore?

Belle Heywood

Thursday, 26 September 2013

I was the doorkeeper at the gate of my Beloved....by Rumi

All friends have vanished. 
Like fleeting thoughts they scattered 
and left me only with the thought 
of my Beloved. 

Now alone with every breath 
I call the only Friend of the forsaken.

I was taken by the stream of love
I tasted the fruit of love's tree,

surrounded with
such tenderness, such sweetness
I even had to chase the wasps away!

I was the doorkeeper
at the gate of my Beloved.

She left, and now, bewildered
I don't know which way to turn.

~ Rumi
(The Only Friend )
Ghazal 1596
Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
"Rumi: Hidden Music"
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001
Art by 
 Laura Majcan

I've seen no joy without You in both worlds....by Rumi

I've seen no joy without You 
in both worlds,
I've seen their wonders 
nothing was like You.

I've put the soul's ear 
at the window "Heart"
I've heard some words
but never seen the lips!

You've lavished grace abundant
on Your this lover
I've seen no reason
but Your endless grace.

O My Beloved , dearer than my eyes,
I have Not seen one like You
in Iran, Iraq or whole World .

Pour out such wine
that I may leave myself
I've only seen fatigue in my existence.

You're milk and You are sugar,
sun and moon
I've seen no family like You,
my Beloved !

O endless Love, Divine manifestation
I've seen no name thats worthy of You,
your love ,o beloved helper.

I am like iron scrap
Your love: the magnet.
You, without seeking,
are the source of seeking!

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) N32 (in the Nicholson numbering system; number 1690 in the more commonly used Furuzanfar numbering system)
Translation by Annemarie Schimmel
"Look! This is Love - Poems of Rumi""
Shambhala, 1991

Monday, 23 September 2013

All your talk is worthless When compared to one whisper of the Beloved. ~ Rumi

Lovers share a sacred decree 
to seek the Beloved.
They roll head over heels,
rushing toward the Beautiful One
like a torrent of water.

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor -
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

He will melt your pride
making you thin as a strand of hair,
Yet do not trade, even for both worlds,
One strand of His hair.

We search for Him here and there
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side we ask,
“O Beloved, where is the Beloved?”

Enough with such questions!
Let silence take you to the core of life.

All your talk is worthless
When compared to one whisper
of the Beloved.

~ Rumi

I wish I knew what you wanted.......by Rumi

I wish I knew what you wanted. 
You block the road and won't give me rest. 

You pull my lead-rope one way, then the other. 
You act cold, my darling! 
Do you hear what I say? 

Will this night of talking ever end ?
Why am I still embarrassed and timid
about you? You are thousands.
You are one.
Quiet, but most articulate.

Your name is Spring.
Your name is wine.
Your name is the nausea
that comes from wine!

You are my doubting
and the lightpoints
in my eyes.

You are every image, and yet
I'm homesick for you.

Can I get there?
Where the deer pounces on the lion,
where the one I'm after's
after me ?

This drum and these words keep pounding !
Let them both smash through their coverings
into silence.

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode)1837,
from Rumi's "Diwan-e Shams"
("The Collection of Shams")
Version by Coleman Barks,
from a translation by A.J. Arberry
"Like This"
Maypop, 1990

Friday, 20 September 2013

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. ~ Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Laughed gleefully through blooming flowers by Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz

Laughed gleefully through blooming flowers,
Crooned in nightingale’s melodious songs.

He took the forms of the candle and the moth,
And annihilated Himself in flames of His own.

At times claiming “I am the Truth”,
Witnessed his head raised on the Cross.

'O DEAR' He is beyond the bounds of `You’ and `Me’,
And yet I see Him in every `You’ and `Me’.

~ Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz

The Friend....by Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz

I am needful lover, who needs you
I will take for granted very dearly
the sorrow of a beloved like you

You are the sun; my eye is alight with your beauty
if I giveup you , to whom I ll go

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Friend
Revealing Itself at one place, hidden at others.

Somewhere as implicit, somewhere as explicit
Appearing sometime ephemeral, sometime perennial.

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Friend
Rising and falling, playing hide and seek.

Somewhere He is the King adorning the throne
Somewhere seen as a beggar holding the bowl

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Great Friend
Revealing itself at one place, hidden at others.

Somewhere He is the golden attire of my enchanting lady
Showing off the charms and seductive gestures

Playing hide and seek
I have seen the Great Friend, wheresoever I looked

Somewhere in the form of lover of Beloved
seen beating his chest and heart aflame

Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Friend
Revealing Itself at one place, hidden at others.
Everywhere I looked, I have seen the Great Friend.

~ Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Niaz
(The Friend)


Monday, 16 September 2013

The Mouse and the Camel......by Rumi

A mouse caught hold of a camel’s leading –rope in his two forelegs 
and walked off with it, imitating the camel-drivers.

The camel went along, letting the mouse feel heroic.
"Enjoy yourself," he thought. "I have something to teach you, presently."

They came to the edge of a great river.
The mouse was dumbfounded.

"What are you waiting for?
Step forward into the river. You are my leader.
Don’t stop here."

"I’m afraid of being drowned."

The camel walked into the water.
"It’s only just above the knee."

"Your knee!
Your knee is a hundred times over my head!"

"Well, maybe you shouldn't be leading a camel.
Stay with those like yourself.
A mouse has nothing really to say to a camel."

"Would you help me get across?"

"Get up on my hump.
I am made to take hundreds like you across."

You are not a prophet,
but go humbly on the Way of the Prophets
and you can arrive where they are.

Don’t try to steer the boat.
Don’t open a shop by yourself.
Listen. Keep silent.

You are not God’s mouthpiece.
Try to be an ear,
and if you do speak, ask for explanations.

The source of your arrogance and anger is your lust
and the rootedness of that is in your habits.

Someone who makes a habit of eating clay gets mad
when you try to keep him from it.

Being a leader can also be a poisonous habit,
so that when someone questions your authority,
you think, "He’s trying to take over."
You may respond courteously, but inside you rage.

Always check your inner state
with the Lord of your Heart.

Copper doesn't know it’s copper,
until it’s changed to gold.

Your loving doesn't know its Majesty,
until it knows its helplessness.

~ Rumi
("The Mouse and the Camel")
Mathnawi: II, 3436-3474
Version by Coleman Barks
"This Longing"
Threshold Book, 1988

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot ~ The "Negro Spiritual"

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home

I looked over Jordan, and I what did I see
Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me
Coming for to carry me home

If you get there before I do
Coming for to carry me home
Tell all my friends I coming too
Coming for to carry me home

I'm sometimes up, I'm sometimes down
Coming for to carry me home
But still my soul feels heavenly bound
Coming for to carry me home

~ Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
The "Negro Spiritual"

Love is longing and longing, the pain of being parted....by Rumi

Love is longing and longing, the pain of being parted;
No illness is rich enough for the distress of the heart,
A lover's lament surpasses all other cries of pain.

Love is the royal threshold to God's mystery.
The carnival of small affections and polite attachments
Which litter and consume our passing time
Is no match to Love which pulses behind this play.

It's easy to talk endlessly about Love,
To live Love is to be seized by joy and bewilderment;

Love is not clear-minded, busy with images and argument.
Language is too precocious, too impudent, too sane
To stop the molten lava of Love which churns the blood,

This practicing energy burns the tongue to silence;
The knowing pen is disabled, servile paper

Shrivels in the fire of Love. Bald reason too is an ass
Explaining Love, deceived by spoilt lucidity.
Love is dangerous offering no consolation,

Only those who are ravaged by Love know Love,
The sun alone unveils the sun to those who have
The sense to receive the senseless and not turn away.

Cavernous shadows need the light to play but light
And light alone can lead you to the light alone.

Material shadows weigh down your vision with dross,
But the rising sun splits the ashen moon in empty half.

The outer sun is our daily miracle in timely
Birth and death, the inner sun
Dazzles the inner eye in a timeless space.

Our daily sun is but a working star in a galaxy of stars,
Our inner sun is One, the dancing nuance of eternal light.

You must be set alight by the inner sun,
You have to live your Love or else
You'll only end in words.

~ Rumi
Art by Diana Yanson 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Sweetness in proportion to pain....by Rumi

Your anguish is seeking a way to attain to Me: 
yesterday evening I heard your deep sighs. 

And I am able, without any delay, 
to give you access, to show you a way of passage, 

to deliver you from this whirlpool of time,
that you might set your foot upon the treasure of union with Me;

but the sweetness and delights of the resting place
are in proportion to the pain of the journey.

Only then will you enjoy your native town and your kinsfolk,
when you have suffered the anguish of exile.

~ Rumi
Mathnawi III:4154-4158
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Daylight"
Threshold Books, 1994

I am drunk and you are insane tell me, who will lead us home .....by Rumi

I am drunk and you are insane 
tell me, who will lead us home? 

How many times have I asked you not to drink so much 
for I see no sober soul in town. 

Come to the tavern my dearest and taste the wine of love
for the soul is joyous only in the company of lovers.

The tavern of love is your livelihood
your income and expenses, the wine.

Be careful, not to trust a sober soul
with even one drop of this wine.

Go on playing your lute, my drunken gypsy but tell me,
between the two of us, who is more drunk?

As I left my house a Sufi approached me,
in his glance I saw a hundred gardens.

He swayed from side to side like a ship without an anchor,
while a hundred reasonable men watched on enviously.

Where are you from? I asked him.
He replied, "Half from Turkistan and half from Farghaneh,
half from water and clay and half from soul and heart,
half from the edge of the sea
and half from the depths of the coean."

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) 2398
Translated by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
Rumi: Hidden Music
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

Love is all bewilderment......by Rumi

In Love 's eyes, whoever has no tint of Love 
is naught but wood and stone. 

Love wrings water from rocks, 
Love cleans rust from mirrors. 

Unbelief has come in war, faith in peace
Love strikes a fire to both peace and war.

In the ocean of the heart Love opens its mouth
and like a whale swallows down the two worlds.

Love is a lion, without deception and trickery,
not a fox one moment and a leopard the next.

When Love provides replenishment upon replenishment,
the spirit gains deliverance from this dark and narrow body.

From the beginning Love is all bewilderment
it stuns the intellect and dazzles the spirit.

Oh east wind, my heart is in Beloved -
take me there without delay!

~ Rumi
Ghazal (Ode) 1331
Translation by William C. Chittick
"The Sufi Path of Love"
SUNY Press Albany, 1984
Art by Penny Neimiller

Friday, 9 August 2013

I long for the bliss of divine union....by Kabir

When will that day dawn, 
When the One I took birth for
Holds me to His heart with deathless Love ?

I long for the bliss of divine union.
I long to lose my body, mind, and soul
And become one with my Beloved .
When will that day dawn ?

Beloved , fulfill now the longing I have had
Since before the universe was made.

Enter me completely and release me.
In terrible lonely years without You
I yearn and yearn for You.

I spend sleepless nights hunting for You,
Gazing into darkness after You,
With unblinking hopeless eyes.
When will that day dawn ?

When will my Beloved hold me to His heart ?
My empty bed, like a hungry tigress,
Devours me whenever I try to sleep.

Listen to your slave's prayer
Come and put out this blaze of agony
That consumes my soul and body.
When will He hold me to His heart?
When will that day dawn ?

Kabir sings,
"If I ever meet You, my Beloved,
I'll cling to you so fiercely You melt into me;
I'll sing from inside You songs of union,
World-dissolving songs of Eternal Bliss."

~ Kabir

Lips' language to lips' ears....by Rabindranath Tagore

Lips' language to lips' ears.
Two drinking each other's heart, it seems.

Two roving loves who have left home,
pilgrims to the confluence of lips.

Two waves rise by the law of love
to break and die on two sets of lips.

Two wild desires craving each other
meet at last at the body's limits.

Love's writing a song in dainty letters,
layers of kiss-calligraphy on lips.

Plucking flowers from two sets of lips
perhaps to thread them into a chain later.

This sweet union of lips
is the red marriage-bed of a pair of smiles.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

Saturday, 27 July 2013

I wish, O Dear One...by Rumi

I wish, O Dear One,
That you were also a lover, like me.
You spend all your days with that craziness
And all your nights crying.

I wish the image of the beloved
Wouldn't go away for even one moment.
Two hundred glories would reach
Both eyes from that.
Eyes would have hundreds of
Points of brilliance from that light.

I wish you would give up friends and family
Stay out of both worlds.
And say, "I slipped out of myself and surrendered to you,"

When I talk, or try to be with people,
I am like water, they are like oil.
I am with them outside, but inside
I am separated from them.

I wish you would give up fancies and desires;
Become crazy, insane, be chained.
But, not the type of craziness
Caused by changes in your blood
Or personality problems that are
Treated by a doctor.

If doctors should ever taste this trouble,
They would be free from their boundaries;
Tear up their books.

Give up all this.
Search for the source of sugar.
Find the mine of sugar.
Get out of yourself.
Melt in the sugar
Like milk dissolves and disappears
In the grain.

~ Rumi
Divan-i Kebir

Rock Solid....by Rumi

Everyone baked by the divine Sun 
will become rock solid: 
without dread or shame, 
his features fiery and veil-rending, 
like the face of the peerless Sun. 

Every prophet was hard-faced in this world,
and beat single-handed against the army of kings,
and did not turn his face from fear or pain,
but single and alone
dashed against a whole world.

The stone is hard-faced and bold-eyed,
unafraid of the bricks thrown by the world.
For the bricks were made strong in the kiln,
but the rock was hardened by a Godly art.

~ Rumi
Mathnawi III: 4139-4144
Version by Camille and Kabir Helminski
"Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance"
Threshold Books, 1996
Art by George Atherton

Saturday, 20 July 2013

How many drops of tears have you shed really that you can claim to be His Lover?...by Pulok Benarjee

How many drops of tears have you shed really
that you can claim to be His Lover?

Without crossing over the thorny path
that makes your feet bleed,
how can you reach at the Divine Threshold?

How many sleepless solitary nights have you spent
dreaming the Paradisal state of His Presence?

What unbearable pain have you endured
that you can claim your right to be joyful?

Amidst thousand earthly chores of yours
have you had the time to listen to the unuttered words of His?

Why then you're lamenting today,
remorsefully building what history with the bygone days?

What happiness have you truly sacrificed
that you're now worthy of attaining His ocean of bliss?

~ Pulok Benarjee
Ko Fota Chokher Jol Felecho Je Tumi Bhalobashbe?
a Spiritual Translation
Art by Toni Thorne