Rumi’s Plain of the Heart

5 Apr

 

     The more I read of Rumi (Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic), the more I like him. I’ve never been drawn to read much poetry. But Rumi’s poetry speaks to me of the same Creator I accept as a Christian. A year ago, a special online offer motivated me to subscribe to one year of daily meditations that come from his work. They are translated into contemporary language by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi.  Here’s an example:

Lesson 358: Set Out Now

Set out now, while you’re strong, on the heart’s vast plain: You’ll never discover joy on the plain of the body. The heart’s the only house of safety, my friends: It has fountains, and rose gardens within rose gardens. Turn to the heart and go forward, travelers of the night; there’s where you’ll find trees and streams of living water. – Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

     Meditations need time for reflection in order to benefit from them. We don’t do enough of that in our 21st century world. Too few teachers of religion promote meditation. That’s because too few of them make time to meditate. (I say “make” time to meditate because it has to take priority in order to fit into your day.)

     You can be the most religious person on the block but if you don’t make time to meditate, every day, you will not meet the God who lives within your heart. Jesus said “God is spirit.” You can only become religious via the path of religion if you ignore the spiritual part of you. But meditation, allowing your spirit to meet the spirit of God in your heart, is what guides you to become spiritual.

     I have learned over time that my heart holds more answers than my head. I’ve come to trust my heart more than my head. The importance of meditation cannot be overstated. Setting aside the time to reflect on wisdom and on life has taught me that.

     The heart is as big and as beautiful as your God is big and beautiful. Explore it at least once, or better yet twice, every day.

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