Untitled by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Love is not written on paper,

for paper can be erased.

Nor is it etched on stone,

for stone can be broken.

But it is inscribed on a heart

and there it shall remain forever.

Note: If you have the original in Persian (Farsi) and/or who the translator is, please comment.

When I die by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears
don’t lament or
feel sorry
i’m not falling
into a monster’s abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don’t cry for my leaving
i’m not leaving
i’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don’t say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time

Note: Translated into English by Nader Khalili. Please comment if you have the original in Persian.

What Was Told, That by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

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!

“Out beyond ideas” by Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.

Note: Above English translation by Coleman Barks. Below is the original in Persian, followed by an English  transliteration.

 

از کفر و ز اسلام برون صحرائی است
ما را به میان آن فضا سودائی است
عارف چو بدان رسید سر را بنهد
نه کفر و نه اسلام و نه آنجا جائی است

az kufr-o ze-islâm berûn, SaHrâyê-st
mâ-râ ba-meyân-é ân faZâ, sawdâyê-st
`ârif chô ba-d-ân rasîd sar-râ be-neh-ad
nay kufr-o na islâm, na ân-jâ jâyê-st

Why I Meditate (After Allen Ginsberg) by Wes Nisker

I meditate because I suffer. I suffer, therefore I am. I am, therefore I meditate.

I meditate because there are so many other things to do.

I meditate because when I was younger it was all the rage.

I meditate because Siddhartha Gautama, Bodhidharma, Marco Polo, the British Raj, Carl Jung, Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, Alfred E Neuman, et al.

I meditate because evolution gave me a big brain, but it didn’t come with an instruction manual.

I meditate because I have all the information I need.

I meditate because the largest colonies of living beings, the coral reefs, are dying.

I meditate because I want to touch deep time, where the history of humanity can be seen as just an evolutionary adjustment period.

I meditate because life is too short and sitting slows it down.

I meditate because life is too long and I need an occasional break.

I meditate because I want to experience the world as Rumi did, or Walt Whitman, or as Mary Oliver does.

I meditate because now I know that enlightenment doesn’t exist, so I can relax.

I meditate because of the Dalai Lama’s laugh.

I meditate because there are too many advertisements in my head, and I’m erasing all but the very best of them.

I meditate because the physicists say there may be eleven dimensions to reality, and I want to get a peek into a few more of them.

I meditate because I’ve discovered that my mind is a great toy and I like to play with it.

I meditate because I want to remember that I’m perfectly human.

Sometimes I meditate because my heart is breaking.

Sometimes I meditate so that my heart will break.

I meditate because a Vedanta master once told me that in Hindi my name, Nis-ker, means “non-doer.”

I meditate because I’m growing old and want to become more comfortable with emptiness.

“Sweetly parading you go” by Rumi

Sweetly parading you go my soul of soul, go not without me;
life of your friends, enter not the garden without me.
Sky, revolve not without me; moon, shine not without me;
earth travel not without me, and time, go not without me.
With you this world is joyous, and with you that world is joyous;
in this world dwell not without me, and to that world depart not without me.
Vision, know not without me, and tongue, recite not without
me; glance behold not without me, and soul, go not without me.
The night through the moon’s light sees its face white; I am
light, you are my moon, go not to heaven without me.
The thorn is secure from the fire in the shelter of the roses
face: you are the rose, I your thorn; go not into the rose garden without me.
I run in the curve of your mallet when your eye is with me;
even so gaze upon me, drive not without me, go not without me.
When, joy, you are companion of the king, drink not without
me; when, watchman, you go to the kings roof, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on this road without your sign; since
you, O signless one, are my sign, go not without me.
Alas for him who goes on the road without my knowledge;
you are the knowledge of the road for me; O road-knower, go not without me.
Others call you love, I call you the king of love; O you who are
higher than the imagination of this and that, go not without me.

Note: Translated by A. J. Arberry. If you have this poem in the original Persian, please comment.

Don’t go back to sleep by Rumi

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Maulana’s last letter to Shams by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Sometimes I wonder, sweetest love, if you
Were a mere dream in along winter night,
A dream of spring-days, and of golden light
Which sheds its rays upon a frozen heart;
A dream of wine that fills the drunken eye.

And so I wonder, sweetest love, if I
Should drink this ruby wine, or rather weep;
Each tear a bezel with your face engraved,
A rosary to memorize your name…

There are so many ways to call you back-
Yes, even if you only were a dream.

(translated by Annemarie Schimmel)