Jun 18, 2011

Wean Yourself by Rumi

Little by little, wean yourself.

This is the gist of what I have to say.
From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood,

move to an infant drinking milk,

to a child on solid food,

to a searcher after wisdom,

to a hunter of more invisible game.
Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo.

You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate.

There are wheatfields and mountain passes,

and orchards in bloom.
At night there are millions of galaxies,
and in sunlight
the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding."

You ask the embryo why he, or she,
stays cooped up
 in the dark with eyes closed.
Listen to the answer.

There is no "other world."

I only know what I've experienced.

You must be hallucinating.

I just found this poem by Rumi that I'd never read before. What comes to mind when you read it? To me, it's about not getting stuck in my beliefs and continuing to allow the mind to stay open.
It reminds me of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. As long as we believe the shadows on the wall are real, we can't conceive of the beings that project them. This poem reminds me to notice when I'm stuck believing that something is "it." Notice how the belief that I know something keeps me from knowing beyond it.

Jan 29, 2011

The Guest House, by Rumi

This insightful poem by Rumi talks about accepting our thoughts as they come. I've been increasingly aware of how important it is to fully accept myself as I appear in the moment: happy, sad, depressed, guilty, ecstatic, amused, nice, angry, loving; all states met without resistance. By meeting our thoughts with laughter, understanding and acceptance we begin to love all of ourselves as we are; not just the part we like. Then we are free to be ourselves; to drop the facade that we put on for others. By not resisting unpleasant thoughts we become free from fear and we begin to see that each one is the key to our freedom.

The Guest House

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're 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 whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

(The Essential Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks)