Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rumi: "Today . . . We Wake Up Empty"

When I was first shown the "inner path" that eventually we all must take, the wizened old seeker told me that, "if I was serious," I needed to read Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras" and the poetry of the great Sufi mystic, Jalalludin Rumi.

I ordered one of the many translations of Patanjali that were then available - there were over one hundred different translations and commentaries at the time - and purchased Coleman Barks' "The Essential Rumi." (In the interim, while I was waiting for the copy of Patanjali I had randomly picked out, an enlightened man loaned me a copy of his self-described "Book of Soul-Realization." It turned out to be the exact translation of Patanjali, by Christopher Isherwood and Swami Prabhavananda, that I had randomly ordered.)

While you are waiting for a copy of your "Book of Soul-Realization" to land in your lap, or you want to set your reading of Rumi aside for a moment and listen to his transcendental verses from as close to the lips of the poet as we can now get, you may want to watch and listen to one of Coleman Barks'  readings of Rumi (below).
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty. . . . "

"Someone may be clairvoyant,
able to see the future, and yet have very little wisdom
. . . like the man who dreamed of water,
and began leading everyone toward the mirage. . . ."

"One night a man was crying, Allah! Allah!"

"Inside water, a water-wheel turns . . . . "

"What was said to the rose that made it open
was said to me, here in my chest. . . ."

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Listen to the moan of a dog for its  master.
That whining is the connection.

There are love dogs
no one knows the name of.

Give you life
to be one of them

Coleman Barks, "Love Dogs," excerpt from, "The Incredible Rumi," page 156.

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