Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Basket Of Fresh Bread!

Rumi's thoughts don't conform to a certain religion or time period. He expresses the unity within all religions, and he uses simple thoughts to do it. His thoughts have grown in stature with the globalization of the world. His messages are everywhere. Try this one on for size. A Basket Of Fresh Bread.

The Prophet said, "There is no better companion on this way than what you do. Your actions will be your best friend, or if you're cruel and selfish,
your actions will be a poisonous snake
that lives in your grave."

But tell me, can you do good work without a teacher? Can you even know what it is without the presence of a Master? Notice how the lowest livelihood requires some instruction.

First comes knowledge, then the doing of the job. And much later, perhaps after you're dead, something grows from what you've done.

Look for help and guidance in whatever craft you're learning. Look for a generous teacher, one who has absorbed the tradition he's in.

Look for pearls in oyster shells.

Learn technical skill from a craftsman.

Whenever you meet genuine spiritual teachers,

be gentle and polite and fair with them.

Ask them questions and be eager

for answers. Never condescend.

If a master tanner wears an old, threadbare smock,

that doesn't diminish his mastery.

If a fine blacksmith works at the bellows in a patched apron, it doesn't affect how he bends the iron.

Stripe away your pride, and put on humble clothes.

If you want to learn theory, talk with theoreticians. That way is oral.

When you learn a craft, practice it. That learning comes through the hands.

If you want sainthood, spiritual poverty, and emptiness, you must be friends with the ancient one.

Talking about it, reading books, and doing practices don't help. Soul receives from soul that knowing.

The mystery of spiritual emptiness may be living in a pilgrim's heart, and yet the knowing of it may not yet be his.

Wait for the illuminating openness as though your chest were filling with light, as when God said, "Did We not expand you?"

Don't look for it outside yourself. You are the source of milk. Don't milk others!

There is a milk fountain inside you.

Don't walk around with an empty bucket.

You have a channel into the ocean, and yet you ask for water from a little pool.

Beg for that love expansion. Meditate only on THAT. The Prophet says,

"And He is with you."

There is a basket of fresh bread on your head, and yet you go door to door asking for crusts.

Knock on your inner door. No other.

Sloshing knee-deep in fresh river water,

yet you keep wanting a drink from other people's water bags.

Water is everywhere around you, but you see only barriers that keep you from water.

The horse is beneath the rider's thigh, and still he asks, "Where's my horse?"

Right there, under you!

"Yes, this is a horse, but where's the horse?"

Can't you see!

"Yes I can see, but whoever saw such a horse?"

Mad with thirst, he can't drink from the stream running so close by his face. He's like a pearl on the deep bottom, wondering, inside his shell, "Where's the ocean?"

His mental questionings form the barrier. His physical eyesight bandages his knowing. Self-consciousness plugs his ears.

Stay bewildered in God, and only that.

Those of you who are scattered, simplify your worrying lives. There is one righteousness: Water the fruit trees, and don't water the thorns. Be generous to what nurtures the spirit and God's luminous reason-light. Don't honor what causes dysentery and knotted-up rumors.

Don't feed both sides of yourself equally. The spirit and the body carry different loads and require different attention.

Too often we put saddlebags on Jesus and let the donkey run loose in the pasture.

Don't make the body do what the spirit does best, and don't put a big load on the spirit that the body could carry easily.