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#3487 - Monday, March 30, 2009 - Editor: Gloria Lee
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The truck came at me,
A bit of Rumi beauty translated and read by Coleman Barks
The following essay was sent by
He teaches at the institute of Transpersonal Psychology and is on the
board of The Institute of Poetic Medicine. He is also editor of
And has worked with Coleman Banks and others in reference to Rumi poems.
It is usually a disaster when someone, even in a graduate psychology
class, starts to weep. Yet it is almost a given that within the
quarter, a student reading his own choice of Rumi poem will break
down, unable to finish. Occasionally another student, hearing the poem
for the first time, will start to weep as well. In my class, it means
that things are going well.
Rumis poems are that powerful. His poetry, especially read aloud,
easily slips past the analytical mind barrier and pierces the heart.
For Rumi, the heart is never broken by a lover or tragedy, only split
open like a seed. Opened, you can sprout; you can become the plant
youre created to be. If your soul plants flowers, it opens
again-closer to God with each event.
Rumis poems meet me wherever I am and kick me skyward ..
Helping students stay with a Rumi poem is my gift to them. I support
their watching their own minds run while the poem is being read.
Whatever thoughts, memories, or feelings are during that time- thats
their experience. When they report in, their understanding of
themselves deepens. I stopped listening at this line. It brought up
the death of my mother. This section angered me, as if it could be
so easy. We broke off last week; every poem seems to be about that.
After some weeks, to my delight they begin to say. This reminds me
of another Rumi poem. Its like watching a rainbow bounding between
two mirrors. Of course, this is not how I was taught to work with
poems. I was drilled that I should analyze, dissect, and compare and
contrast until the poem can be thrown away, leaving only
interpretations, crowding like flies on a rotting orange. Liking,
disliking, comparing has nothing to do with this process. Evident
nonsense. Literary criticism doesnt help a soul to ascend.
Any one who stops savoring a poem after they have a single
interpretation is like a person who stops on the sixth floor of the
Empire State building saying, I admire the view from here. It is
unnecessary to go any higher. When a poem upends me, as Rumis poems
so often do. It is a special kind of joy. When a poem polishes a facet
of my soul, I keep coming back to it, like a child returns to the
nourishing breast of his mother. Every time a student brings in a poem
that moved them deeply and shares their insights, Im able to see more
of the gifts that Rumi packed inside that poem .
Forwarded with Love from my heart to yours
You do not define the truth. You simply enter into it- Mumonkon 18
Sting & Ayahuasca
Here is what Sting said about one of his experiences, with a medicine from the Amazon called Ayahuasca.
"I may be out of my gourd, but I seem to be perceiving the world on a molecular level, where the normal barriers that separate "me" from everything else have been removed, as if every leaf, every blade of grass, every nodding flower is reaching out, every insect calling to me, every star in the clear sky sending a direct beam of light to the top of my head.
This sensation of connectedness is overwhelming. It's like floating in a buoyant limitless ocean of feeling that I can't really begin to describe unless I evoke the word love. Before this experience I would have used the word to separate what I love from everything I don't love - us not them, heroes from villains, friend from foe, everything in life separated and distinct like walled cities or hilltop fortresses jealously guarding their hoard of separateness. Now all is swamped in this tidal wave of energy which grounds the skies to the earth so that every particle of matter in and around me is vibrant with significance. Everything around me seems in a state of grace and eternal. And strangest of all is that such grandiose philosophizing seems perfectly appropriate in this context, as if the spectacular visions have opened a doorway to another world of frankly cosmic possibilities."
They say to me in their awakening, "You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea." And in my dream I say to them, "I am the infinite sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my shore."
posted by Mark Scorelle to Wisdom-l
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