January 28, 2010

Meditation Inspiration: Rumi, Part 1

I am going to try to make this a weekly feature - a poem or text excerpt that is inspiring me in my meditation or contemplation.

Rumi's poetry has inspired me again and again over the years. You know how some texts are best the first time you read them and then disappointing when you read them again years later, while others are just as fresh every time you come back to them? I put Rumi in the latter category. Even a poem I thought I had gotten all the meaning out of can suddenly give new insight when seen from the perspective of new experience. I am calling this "Part 1" because I will definitely post more Rumi in the future.

The core of masculinity does not derive
from being male,
nor friendliness from those who console.

Your old grandmother says, "Maybe you shouldn’t
go to school. You look a little pale."

Run when you hear that.
A father’s stern slaps are better.

Your bodily soul wants comforting.
The severe father wants spiritual clarity.

He scolds but eventually
leads you into the open.

Pray for a tough instructor
to hear and act and stay within you.

We have been busy accumulating solace.
Make us afraid of how we were. 

~From The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne 

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