I recently finished “The Essential Rumi” translated by Coleman Barks. I cannot recommend it enough. Rumi has gained enormous popularity in recent times, with his “what you seek is seeking you” type of quotes emblazoned everywhere. But for anyone on a spiritual journey, Rumi invites you to love God from the depths of your heart,
comparing different stages of that journey to normal activities and characters in life. Here is one of the pieces that spoke to me:
One night a man was crying,
His lips grew sweet with the praising,
until a cynic said,
“So! I have heard you
calling out, but have you ever
gotten any response?” The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
“Why did you stop praising?”
“Because I’ve never heard anything back.”
you express is the return message.” The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.