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Don't wander aimlessly!
by Rumi

My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.
In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly
find the shop with a potion that is sweet
If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.
You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.
Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.
Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.
Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.
My heart, sing the song of longing
like a nightingale.
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head
then one by one
let go of all distractions.
Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.
There you will find a spring, and nourished by it see waters;
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.

Ghazal (Ode) 563, from
Rumi's "Divan-e Shams" ("The Collection of Shams"), by Kolin and
Mafi, and by Professor Arberry:
--Translation by Azima Melita Kolin
and Maryam Mafi
"Rumi: Hidden Music"
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001

My heart, be seated near that person who has experience of
the heart, go under that tree which bears fresh blossoms.
Go not in every direction as do idlers in this druggists'
market; sit in the shop of someone who has sugar in his shop.
If you have no balance, then every one waylays you; one
man adorns a counterfeit coin, and you imagine that he has
Cheatingly he sets you by the door, saying, "I am coming"
- do not sit expectant at the door, for that house has two doors.
Do not bring your cup to every pot that seethes, and do not
sit there, for every seething pot has within in something else.
Not every reed holds sugar; not every under has an over;
not every eye has sight; not every sea holds pearls.
Lament, singing nightingale, because the drunkard's lament
has some effect, some effect even on rocks and stones.
Put aside your head if you have no room, for if the thread is
not contained in the eye of the needle that is because it has a head.
This wakeful heart is a lantern; hold it under your skirt; pass
away from this wind and air, for the air puts it into commotion.
When you have passed away from the wind you have become a
dweller in a fountain, you have become companion to a confederate
who pours cooling water on the heart.
When you have water on your heart, you are like a green
tree which constantly yields new fruit, and journeys within the Heart.

-- Translation by A.J. Arberry
"Mystical Poems of Rumi 1"
The University of Chicago Press 1968/1991

courtesy: Sunlight




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