What You’ll Explore in These 8 Weeks
Each week's class will include:
Sacred remembrance practices (singing and movement)
Guided heart-centered meditations and movements
Sacred reading practices, journaling, and offerings
Introducing the week’s theme (selected poems and discourses)
Exploring the spiritual and cultural context and idioms in Rumi's work
Embodiment practices to turn Rumi's sacred poetry and teachings into portals for spiritual awakening and transformation
Each week, students will be provided with the following material:
Handouts that include the selected poetry (in Farsi and English), deepening practices, chants, contemplations, resources, and more.
An audio recording of the guided meditation and chant.
The Road Map of the Heart
Facets and Qualities
"The Sufis have polished their chests
clean from greed, desire, meanness, and hatred.
The heart is, indeed, a pure mirror;
for it is receptive to infinite images.
The Sufis possess in their chests the heart’s mirror
that reflects the infinite forms from the Unseen World.
Remember this: The heart’s mirror has no bounds.
Therefore, the intellect must remain silent here;
or else, it will mislead us.
For the heart is with God, or indeed, God is the heart."
~ Rumi (Masnavi I, 3484-89)
Come This Way
unpacking ghazal 3055
"Come, come, for you will not find such a Friend like Me
in the whole of both worlds where will you find such a Beloved2 like Me?
Come, come and don’t spend all of your life wandering in all directions,
for there is no other marketplace for your capital."
~ Rumi (Divaân 3055)
The Very Essence of Our Inner State
unpacking Masnavi's first discourse
"Being a lover means your heart must ache,
No sickness hurts as much as when hearts break,
The lover’s ailment’s totally unique,
Love is the astrolabe of all we seek,
Whether you feel divine or earthly love,
Ultimately we’re destined for the above.
To capture love whatever words I say
Make me ashamed when love arrives my way,
While explanation sometimes makes things clear
True love through silence only one can hear:
The pen would smoothly write the things it knew
But when it came to love it split in two,
A donkey stuck in mud is logic’s fate––
Love’s nature only love can demonstrate:
Sunshine reveals its nature in each ray,
So if it’s proof you want just look this way!"
~ Rumi (Masnavi I:109-116)
The Very Essence of Our Inner State
unpacking Masnavi's first discourse (Cont.)
"Love of the dead is not a lasting love
Because the dead don’t come back from above,
Love of the living in your soul and blood
Each moment makes you fresher than a bud,
Save love for him, eternal and divine,
The Saqi with the soul-expanding wine!
Choose love of him, from whose resplendent face
The prophets find their mission and their grace––
Don’t tell me ‘From that king we have been barred,’
Dealing with noble men is not that hard!"
~ Rumi (Masnavi, I:217-221)
The Shams of My Heart's Eyes
exploring the genius of Shams of Tabriz
"Whoever grabs onto the branch, the branch will break and she will fall,
and whoever holds onto the tree, all the branches belong to her."
~ Shams of Tabriz (Shams’ Essays)
"Speak, Sun of Truth and Faith, pride of Tabriz!
but it is your voice that mouths all my words."
~ Rumi (Divân 2056)
Rumi & Advaita Vedanta
exploring parallels in Rumi's poetry
"Here there is no room for two, what is the meaning of I and you
consider these two as one, so long as you are in our assembly."
~ Rumi (Divân, 2965)
"Do not search for me in this world or that other;
Both of these worlds are drowned in the world in which I wander."
~ Rumi (Divân, 1759)
Rumi & Buddhism
exploring parallels in Rumi’s teachings and poetry
"Break off your chains, Man! Be free.
How long will you remain the slave of gold and silver?
Even if you pour the whole sea into a pitcher,
how much water can the pitcher contain?
No more than today’s portion.
but the pitcher of the greedy eye cannot be filled.
Lo! The oyster shell cannot be filled with a jewel
unless it becomes content and closes."
~ Rumi (Masnavi I: 19-21)
"The world is like a stream
that appears to be enclosed, but
its water ever flows and comes afresh.
Where does it come from?"
~ Rumi (Divân 462)
"During the breath of the non-self, the moon comes near you;
in non-self, the wine of the Friend comes closer to you…"
Molana Rumi (Divân, 323)
The Abode of Glory: A Sort of Homecoming
unpacking ghazal 463
"At every instant and breath, and from all directions, resounds the call of Love:
We are on our way to the heavenly spheres, who are willing to join and witness with us?
We were rooted in the heavenly spheres, we were friends of the angels,
Let us go there again friend, for that is our City-where we truly belong."
~ Rumi (Divân, 463)