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Rumi's Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit

Overview

From Madonna to Deepak Chopra, celebrities have been recording and embracing Rumi's poetry for the past two decades, creating a resurgence of interest in this 13th century Sufi mystic.

Rumi's Little Book of Life is a beautiful collection of 196 poems by Rumi, previously unavailable in English. Translated by native Persian speakers, Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin, this collection will appeal to Rumi lovers everywhere.

This collection of ...

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Rumi's Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit

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Overview

From Madonna to Deepak Chopra, celebrities have been recording and embracing Rumi's poetry for the past two decades, creating a resurgence of interest in this 13th century Sufi mystic.

Rumi's Little Book of Life is a beautiful collection of 196 poems by Rumi, previously unavailable in English. Translated by native Persian speakers, Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin, this collection will appeal to Rumi lovers everywhere.

This collection of mystical poetry focuses on one of life's core issues: coming to grips with the inner life. During the course of life, each of us is engaged on an inner journey. Rumi's Little Book of Life is a guidebook for that journey. The poetry is a companion for those who consciously enter the inner world to explore the gardens within--out of the everyday "world of dust"--through an ascending hierarchy that restores one's soul to the heart; the heart of the spirit; and in finding spirit, transcending all.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571746894
  • Publisher: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 416,679
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Rumi was a 13th-century Persian Muslim poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic.

Maryam Mafi, born and raised in Iran, is an experienced Persian translator who studied in the U.S. and has translated a variety of scholarly and poetic works since 1989.

Azima Melita Kolin is a poet, concert pianist and artist, who studied in Rome and Geneva. Coming from different backgrounds of language, music and art, they have stretched the boundaries of their collaboration from Iran to Bulgaria, from America to eastern and western Europe. Their meeting place os the love they both share for Rumi.

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Read an Excerpt

Rumi's Little Book of Life

The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit


By Maryam Mafi, Azima Melita Kolin

Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-57174-689-4



CHAPTER 1

Garden of the Soul

* * *

Come back my soul, how much longer
will you linger in the garden of deceit?
I have sent you a hundred messages
I have shown you a hundred ways
either you never read them
or you ignore my advice.
Come back my soul, do not waste
time with the cold-hearted
they do not know your worth.
Why do you seek water
when you are the stream?
Have you forgotten? You are
the king's falcon, you are a ray
of the Beloved, a divine wonder!

* * *

Indulging our pride, we run after
every fleeting image.
How odd that being so unimportant
we cultivate such grand illusions.

* * *

Do not grieve over past joys, be sure
they will reappear in another form.
A child's joy is in milk and nursing
but once weaned, it finds new joy
in bread and honey.
Joy appears in many different forms
it moves from place to place.
It may suddenly show in the falling rain
or in the rose bed; it comes now as water,
now as beauty, or as nourishing bread.
But suddenly it may show its face
from behind the veil and destroy all idols
that prevent you from seeking the divine.
In sleep when the soul leaves the body
you may dream of yourself as a tall cypress
or as a beautiful rose, but be warned, my friend,
all these phantoms dissolve into thin air
once the soul returns to the body.
Do not rely on anything but your heart.

* * *

Man may tolerate the rain for awhile
but soon he looks for shelter
while ducks quack happily for
rainwater is their sustenance.

* * *

The intellect is luminous and seeks justice
so why does the dark ego prevail over it?
Because the ego is at home in the body
while the intellect is only a visitor,
the ego-dog at his own door is like a lion.

* * *

If one were to tell an unborn child that
outside the womb there is a glorious world
with green fields and lush gardens
high mountains and vast seas, with a sky
lit by the sun and the moon, the unborn
would not believe such absurdity.
Still in the dark womb how could he imagine
the indescribable majesty of this world?
In the same way, when the mystics speak of worlds
beyond scent and color, the common man
deafened by greed and blinded by self-interest
cannot grasp their reality.

* * *

Having built a hen house for yourself
do not invite a camel in!
The hen house is your body,
the hen is your intellect, and the camel
is Love's majesty in all its glory.

* * *

The five senses are linked together
for all five have grown from the same root,
when one is strengthened, the rest are enhanced.
Seeing enhances speech, communication
increases vision, and sight stimulates and
awakens every sense to spiritual perception.
If one sense breaks free from its bonds
having a glimpse of the invisible
it makes it apparent to all the others.
You have seen how when one sheep jumps
over the creek the whole flock follows.
So drive the flock of your senses to pasture
and let them graze on the heavenly flowers
in the Garden of Truth.

* * *

"Tell me," my lover asked me tenderly,
"how could you live without me?"
I said, "without you I am lost
like a fish out of water."
He smiled, "This is only your own fault."

* * *

Suddenly my Guest appeared.
Startled, my heart asked, "Who is there?"
"The glorious moon," answered my soul.
The Guest was in the house but we, like lunatics,
were running in the streets searching for him.
"I am here!" he kept calling from inside
while we like doves kept cooing,
"Where, where are you?"
As when a crowd gathers in the night shouting
"Help, help there is a thief!" and the thief
who is among them also keeps shouting,
his cries mixed with and drowned by the crowd.

The saying, "He is with you," means
in your search for Him, He is with you,
closer to you than yourself, why seek outside?
Melt like snow, wash yourself from yourself,
and let love grow in your soul, silent as a lily.

* * *

Only ignorance keeps a bird encaged.
The Masters have fled from their cage
and have become guides, showing that
the only way out of ignorance is faith.

* * *

You have the habit of walking slowly
holding grudges and resentments.
Ill-tempered and greedy, small-minded,
and with so many attachments
how do you expect to attain union?
Leave this muddy water and seek clarity.
Being so weak, you need all the help
and the grace of God to overcome
the waves and reach the shore to safety.
Take shelter with those who need no shelter.
Only on the horse of love can you go beyond
the sun and moon to behold the Perfect One.

* * *

Questioning cannot unravel the secret of truth
nor giving away your wealth and position.
Mere words do not exalt the heart
pain is the price that the heart has to pay.

* * *

You may be proud and conceited but
you cannot impress the sun by flirting.
Stop walking in your own shadow
wallowing in your foolish thoughts.
Raise your head, look at the sun, walk
among the flowers, become a human being.
Do not dwell in darkness like a night bird
prey for the monsters of your imagination.
Get up and seek the light, look toward the sun.

* * *

This body is a guesthouse
each morning someone new arrives.
Welcome them all for they may be
messengers from the invisible.
Do not feel burdened by them
or they may go back to non-existence.
Each time a thought enters your heart
treat it as an honored guest, your worth
is shown by the thoughts you entertain.
Embrace sorrowful thoughts for they
sweep the house of your heart clean,
scatter the withered leaves, and pull out
the twisted roots, preparing the ground
for the new shoots of joy.
What sorrow takes away from the heart
it replaces with something better.
Without the fury of thunder and lightning
the plants will be scorched by the sun.
Be grateful for all you receive,
good and bad alike, for it may be a gift
from the treasury of Spirit that will bring
the fulfillment of your most secret desire.

* * *

I wish that grief and sorrow would
shatter your heart, disloyal lover,
and deprive you of everything
you value in the world.
As no one remembers me but sorrow
I bless it a thousand times a day.

* * *

Greetings from your drunken lover!
You stole my heart, Beloved,
now I am offering my life.
Friends, let Him intoxicate you completely
for being half drunk is of no use.
His wine is like an electric spark for the soul.
There are many pale faces in Love's kingdom
much sorrow and many tears, but do not fear
for your reputation. Once you become
an empty cup the Wine-Bearer
will fill you with Divine Love.
Fear not for your reputation
you will be glorified.

* * *

God has given us wine so potent that those
intoxicated with it escape from the two worlds.
He has put into the form of hashish, a power that
delivers the one who tastes it from self-consciousness.
He has made sleep so it erases every thought.
God has created thousands of wines that can take over
our minds. Do not be deceived by every kind of wine!
Jesus was intoxicated with God; his donkey, with barley.
Seek the wine of joy from the blessed ones
in whom it is stored.
Every object of love is like a jar, one full with dregs
another full of pure pearls.
Any wine will get you high, but be a connoisseur
and taste with caution, judge like a king and choose
the one not tainted with fear and vain expectations.

* * *

The mouse-soul is a nibbler and has been
given a mind proportionate to its needs.
The Almighty gives nothing without need.
God would not have created the earth if
the world did not need it. If the earth did not
need mountains, He would not have made them
so majestic. If there was no need for the sun,
the moon, and the stars, He would not
have created them. He has given man tools
according to his needs. Need, then,
is the cause of all things in existence, so
increase your need quickly so the sea
of His benevolence may surge in generosity.

* * *

What is this hurricane blowing from heaven
making thousands of ships stagger and sway like drunks?
It is by wind that ships sail and by wind that they sink.
God commands the winds as we command
our breath when we blame or praise.
Different winds blow from the invisible
some bring blessings, others devastation.
The wind is apparent but the source is hidden.
The pure of heart perceive the source and
are guided by its light. Their faith unshakable
they keep silent, their eyes firm on the path
collecting wisdom. Those blind to the source
become form-worshipers, gambling their life.
They sit at the feet of great masters
repeating their words, fussing over faith,
looking for smoke as proof of fire.
Be like the Sun, King without courtiers,
silent and still as a fulcrum.

* * *

Do not be fooled, my friend,
this world is not to be trusted.
It will intoxicate you with its
sweet drink and suddenly
desert you and wrap its arms
around another lover.

* * *
Flowers live for a short moment, but the flowers
that grow from reason remain fresh.
The blossoms of earth wither and fade
the blossoms of the heart, what a joy!
We delight in all known sciences, but they are
only a small bunch from God's Garden.
We hold on to these few bunches because
we have shut ourselves out of the Garden.
Unless you become a lover of God
you are an echo, a mountain with no voice of its own.
The echo is a reflection from another source
like your speech and feelings.
Speech not inspired by the Divine
springs from self-will and floats like dust
in the air, like moths in the sunbeam.

* * *

The senses are the tools of the mind
and the mind is the tool of the Spirit.
When the mind becomes confused, it is
Spirit that brings back clarity and harmony.
Our desires and thoughts spread over the soul
as weeds spread over the surface of a pond.
The ego thrives in muddy water while
the mind needs clarity and transparency.
Let the mind become the master
and the senses, its obedient servants.
A master who puts his senses to sleep is able
to perceive the unseen emerging from Spirit.
Even in his waking state he dreams,
dreams that open the gates to Divine Truth.

* * *

I wash my heart of all knowledge and forget myself
for I cannot stand before the Beloved believing
to be a master of all arts. I am only a shell for Spirit.
I leave reason behind and leap into bewilderment.

* * *
The assembly of lovers is like fire,
you are like water that puts out the fire.
The sun shines upon this gathering; leave,
for you are a cloud blocking the sun.
Sit not at the table of lovers, you are still
raw and uncooked. Yet you rush ahead
on your wooden horse to danger but
the Gatekeeper knows where you belong.
Choose love, my friend, which is cash in hand
or self-restraint if you are after reward.
Sit with those who are awake or the caravan
will leave while you are still asleep.

* * *

Once you express your sorrow
from the bottom of your heart
it will be washed away.
Look at a flower
it can never hide its scent nor its color.

* * *

Man is hidden behind his words
his tongue is a curtain over the door of his soul.
When a gust of wind lifts the curtain
the secret of the interior is exposed,
you can see if there is gold or snakes
pearls or scorpions hidden inside.
Thoughtless speech spills easily out of man
while the wise ones keep silent.
Faulty eyes see the moon double and that
gazing in perplexity is like a question;
once you connect with Divine Light
the question and the answer become one.
But if you only hear the answer, do not be fooled
for the ear is simply a go-between.
While the eye perceives reality directly
the ear relies on the promise of words.
From words alone you cannot know fire
do not rely on knowledge derived from others
there is no certainty until you burn.
Make the ear sharp so it becomes an eye
if not, words become entangled in the ear
and the truth can never reach the heart.

* * *

The Light that is life to the wise
the eyes of the weak cannot endure.
The fire for melting iron is not suitable
for cooking apples, they need a gentle heat.
But these flames are too gentle for a dervish,
who, like the iron, draws willingly that fiery heat
onto himself. Bearing hardship, happy and red,
he goes straight into the heart of the flames
setting his whole being ablaze.
He is the heart of the world, for the theater
of God's action is not the body but the heart.

* * *

To dance is not to jump to your feet
and rise painlessly in the air like dust.
To rise above both worlds is to dance in
the blood of your pain and give up your life.

* * *

All excitement comes from the cup of wine
the Beloved spilled upon this earth.
His fragrance makes you drunk with ecstasy
His light bewilders the heart.
If your heart is heavy you must be
only in love with yourself.
Turn your gaze toward Him and
He will heal you! His breath will blow away
the autumn winds of denial and cover
the thorns in the garden of your heart
with His blossoms.

* * *

There are two intellects!
One is acquired from teachers and books,
from repetition and sciences, granting a sense of superiority
yet the effort to sustain it becomes a great burden.
It ends just as the water supply coming from outside
a house stops once the source has dried up.
The other intellect is God's gift.
With a fountainhead in the heart of Spirit
the water of knowledge bubbling from within
can never become stagnant or old.
Seek that fountain within yourself!

* * *

Clergy knowledge is based on religious law
the knowledge of judges is based on proof
but the knowledge of the divine messengers
is based on direct perception of the Light of God.

* * *

The degrees of human intelligence
extend from earth to heaven
some are bright as the sun
others as dim as a distant star.
Some are like a flickering lamp
others like a bolt of fire.
The small mind is a disgrace to
the Universal Intelligence for
worldly desires deprive man
from knowing the Truth.
But there is a superior kind of intelligence
free from the clouds of desire
that can behold the Light of God.

* * *

Let the dust under your feet
settle on my eyelashes.
When you torment me, I rejoice
for it is a sign of your loyalty.

* * *

When everyone has fallen asleep and
the house is empty and still, it is time
to enter the garden, pull the skirt
of the apple closer to the peach, and
whisper the rose's secret to the jasmine.
Spring, like Christ, murmurs spells that
bring back to life the martyred plants.
They open their lips in gratitude and the soul
becomes intoxicated with their fragrance.
From the glow emanating in the darkness
from the face of the rose and the tulip
I can see the hidden light within them.
A leaf quivers on a branch and my heart trembles
the wind stirs the leaves and beauty stirs my heart.

* * *

"Give up the known, give up your life
for the mystery of Love's eternal wine."
"But before I die," I said, "I would like to know you."
"Once you know me there will be no more dying."

* * *

Oh gardener, gardener
autumn has come
how desolate is every branch and leaf.
Oh gardener
can you hear the trees' lament
standing leafless in rows
mourners dressed in black, weeping?

No tears come without reason
no face is pale without an aching heart.
The black raven of sorrow has entered the garden
stamping his feet upon the withered green,
"Where is the rose bed now, where are the lilies,
the sweet jasmine and cypress?
Where are the fruit trees, the green grasses,
the nightingale, and the glorious peacock?"

Like Adam, expelled from paradise
all trees are stripped of their robes and crowns
and the garden, frozen in lament, lies waiting
for the Lord's promise of hope.

But you, blasphemous raven, wait!
To your envy the ice will melt,
the water will flow again in the streams,
and colors and scent will return.

The trumpet of resurrection will restore life to the world
filling the rose garden with laughter
and the nightingale's song.
Autumn will die and we will dance upon its grave.
Rejoice, for the dawn of Splendor is breaking!


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Rumi's Little Book of Life by Maryam Mafi, Azima Melita Kolin. Copyright © 2012 Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents


Foreword,

Part One: Garden of the Soul,

Part Two: Garden of the Heart,

Part Three: Garden of Spirit,

Index of First Lines,

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