Tag Archives: Rumi

Be Wide as the Air To Learn a Secret

In “Bismallah!” (“In the Name of God!”), Rumi speaks of the lightness of spirit that Ramadan makes possible.

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Ramadan Came to the Heart’s Temple

In this poem Rumi captures the meaning of Ramadan, which began this past week. Although the fasting causes stress, that only serves to cleanse the body and liberate “the invisible treasure of the heart.”

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Break Your Fast with Joy

This Rumi poem celebrates the end of Ramadan, which occurs Wednesday. Drawing on stories that are familiar to Jews and Christians, he talks about the light that has broken in.

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Celebrate! The Month of Fasting Is Come

In this Ramadan poem by Rumi, the month of fasting is compared to a friend, an intoxicant, “a beautiful fortune,” a secret illumination, a plentiful harvest, and a silk outfit than one dons.

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During Lent, Don’t Avoid the Knife

To use a horticultural analogy, Lent is a time to nurture the insights, to prune the tree, that come with Epiphany. This wonderful Rumi poem captures what is at stake.

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No Room in This House for Two “I”s

A Rumi parable speaks to the recent killings in Kuwait City and Charleston. It shares certain themes with Barack Obama’s Friday eulogy to Reverend Pinckney.

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The First Day of the Feast Has Come

A Rumi poem capturing the joy that is represented by the Ramadan feast.

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A New Song Comes out of the Fire

A Rumi poem for Ramadan, which begins next Saturday.

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Sacrifice Ram of Pride, Not Isaac

Rumi honors the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, which centers on the story of Abraham and Isaac.

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The Spirit’s Table Has Arrived from Heaven

In this Ramadan poem by Rumi, fasting is seen as a way of escaping the body.

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Like a Reed, Open Yourself to God’s Breath

Rumi says that Ramadan is a time when, by emptying our bellies, we open up a path to spirit.

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Drought Is a Form of God’s Joy

If we look at a drought through God’s eyes, Rumi tells us, we will see green corn. The same holds for relationships.

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A Knowledge Born of Suffering

Rumi’s poem “The Lame Goat” has offered solace to those suffering from physical and emotional setbacks.

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A Temple Built of Compassionate Action

In “The Far Mosque,” Rumi reminds us that we are princes in waiting who will step into our spiritual kingdom through compassionate action.

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The Powerful Urge for Freedom

  I am in awe of the protesters in Tunisia and Bahrain and Egypt and Libya and Iran and Yemen and the Sudan and elsewhere in the Middle East. Their yearning for freedom is so great that, day after day, they put their lives on the line. I pray particularly for those in Libya and […]

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Moving beyond August Madness

Alexander Pope, taking his cue from the Roman poet Juvenal, knew what a crazy month August could be. In The Dunciad the end of civilization occurs in August, coinciding with the rise of the “dog star” Sirius: Now flam’d the Dog Star’s unpropitious ray, Smote ev’ry brain, and wither’d every bay [poet]; Sick was the […]

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The Holiness of Ramadan Fasting

A Ramadan poem by Rumi.

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When It’s Hard to Pray

Spiritual Sunday I’ve been thinking about why it’s sometimes hard to pray for help. Perhaps it’s because asking for help seems an affront to our prideful self sufficiency. Perhaps it’s because we fear that we are not worthy to receive it. I think of how Coleridge’s ancient mariner is so filled with self-loathing that he […]

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Rumi’s Poetry and Weddings

Rumi           Rumi seems to be everywhere these days and has been for a while.  This past weekend I was at the wedding of Micah Vote, the son of a family friend, and a Rumi poem served as the foundation of the ceremony.  Here it is: May these vows and this marriage be blessed. May it […]

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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