Alhamdulilah I gained a thorough introduction to Rumi’s poetry while reading The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi with Sidi William Chittick, PhD at Stony Brook University. The entire class experience was a culmination of intoxicating and spell-binding ruminations. ;)

Afflictions:

“He has afflicted you from every direction in order to turn you back to the Directionless.”

“Where there is pain, cures will come; where there is poverty, wealth will follow.
Where there are questions, answers will be given; where there are ships, water will flow.
Spend less time seeking water and acquire thirst! Then water will gush from above and below.”

“When God desires to give us His assistance,
He moves our tendency to lamentation.
O happy are the eyes lamenting Him!
How blessed are the hearts that burn for Him!
When weeping ends there is a smile at last.
How happy is the man who is far-sighted!”

Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter.
It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.
It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.
Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.”

“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

Separation:

“How sad that night has fallen
And we’ve all separated.
Happy is the one whose companion at night is God.”

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes.
Because for those who love with heart and soul,
There is no such thing as separation.”

All night, a man called “God”
Until his lips were bleeding.
Then the Devil said, “Hey ! Mr Gullible !
How come you’ve been calling all night and never once heard God say, ‘Here, I am’?
You call out so earnestly and, in reply, what?
I’ll tell you what. Nothing!”

The man suddenly felt empty and abandoned.
Depressed, he threw himself on the ground and fell into a deep sleep.
In a dream, he met Abraham, who asked,
“Why are you regretting praising God?”

The man said, “I called and called,
But God never replied, ‘Here I am.’”
Abraham explained, “God has said,’Your calling my name is My reply.

Your longing for Me is My message to you.
All your attempts to reach Me
Are in reality My attempts to reach you.
Your fear and love are a noose to catch Me.
In the silence surrounding every call of ‘God’
Waits a thousand replies of ‘Here I am.’”

Universality of Faith in God

“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”

Self-Discovery Leads to God

“You wander from room to room
Hunting for the diamond necklace
That is already around your neck!”

Path of the Heart is the Path of Love

“If you have lost heart in the Path of Love, Flee to Me without delay: I am a fortress invincible.”

“Return to yourself, oh heart! For from the heart a hidden road can be found to the Beloved.”

“So the heart is the substance and the world the accident. How should the heart’s shadow be the heart’s goal?
Does a heart fall in love with property and position and submit itself to this black water and clay,
Or to fantasies, worshiping them in darkness for the sake of empty talk?
The heart is nothing but that Ocean of Light. Is the heart to be the locus for God’s vision, and then blind?
Among hundreds of thousands of the elect and the vulgar, no heart is to be found: The heart is in one person. Which one is he? Which one?”

“You think you are alive
because you breathe air?
Shame on you,
that you are alive in such a limited way.
Don’t be without Love,
so you won’t feel dead.
Die in Love
and stay alive forever.”

Reality behind Appearances

“Having seen the form, you are unaware of the meaning.
If you are wise, pick out the pearl from the shell!”

Rituals

“The purpose of the ritual prayer is not that you should stand and bow and prostrate yourself all day long. Its purpose is that you should possess continuously that spiritual state which appears to you in prayer: Whether asleep or awake, writing or reading, in all your states you should never be empty of the remembrance of God.”