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Love Dogs

by Rumi

One night a man was crying,

Allah! Allah!

His lips grew sweet with the praising,

until a cynic said,

"So! I have heard you

calling out, but have you ever

gotten any response?"

The man had no answer to that.

He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.

He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,

in a thick, green foliage.

"Why did you stop praising?"

"Because I’ve never heard anything back."

"This longing you express is the return message."

The grief you cry out from

draws you toward union.

Your pure sadness

that wants help

is the secret cup.

Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.

that whining is the connection.

There are love-dogs

no one knows the names of

Give your life

to be one of them.
Whoever is loved is beautiful
Whoever is loved is beautiful, but the opposite is not true, that whoever is beautiful is loved.  Real beauty is part of loved-ness, and that loved-ness is primary.  If a being is loved, he or she has beauty, because a part cannot be separate from the whole.  Many girls were more beautiful than Laila, but Majnun did not love them.  "Let us bring some of these to meet you," they used to say to Majnun, and he would reply, "It's not the form of Laila that I love.   Laila is not the form.  You're looking at the cup, whereas I think only of the wine I drink from that cup.  If you gave me a chalice studded with gemstones, but filled with vinegar or something other than wine, what use would that be? An old broken dipper-gourd with Laila-wine in it is better than a hundred precious goblets full of other liquid."

  Passion is present when a man can distinguish between the wine and the container.  Two men see a loaf of bread. One hasn't eaten anything for ten days. The other has eaten five times a day, every day.  He sees the shape of the loaf.  The other man with his urgent need sees inside into the taste, and into the nourishment the bread could give.  Be that hungry, to see within all beings the Friend.

  Creatures are cups.  The sciences and the arts and all branches of knowledge are inscriptions around the outside of the cups.  When a cup shatters, the writing can no longer be read.  The wine's the thing! The wine that's held in the mold of these physical cups. Drink the wine and know what lasts and what to love.  The man who truly asks must be sure of two things: One, that he's mistaken in what he's doing or thinking now.  And two, that there is a wisdom he doesn't know yet.  Asking is half of knowing.

  Everyone turns toward someone.  Look for one scarred by the King's polo stick.

  A man or a woman is said to be absorbed when the water has total control of him, and he no control of the water.  A swimmer moves around willfully.  An absorbed being has no will but the water's going.  Any word or act is not really personal, but the way the water has of speaking or doing.  As when you hear a voice coming out of a wall, and you know that it's not the wall talking, but someone inside, or perhaps someone outside echoing off the wall.  Saints are like that.  They've achieved the condition of a wall, or a door.


What hurts you, blesses you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.

I can explain this, but it would break
the glass cover on your heart,
and there's no fixing that.


Saints Bowing in the Mountains

Do you know how beautiful you are?

I think not, my dear.

For as you talk of God,

I see great parades with wildly colorful bands

Streaming from your mind and heart,

Carrying wonderful and secret messages

To every corner of this world.

I see saints bowing in the mountains

Hundreds of miles away

To the wonder of sounds

That break into light

From your most common words.

Speak to me of your mother,

Your cousins and your friends.

Tell me of squirrels and birds you know.

Awaken your legion of nightingales—

Let them soar wild and free in the sky.

And begin to sing to God.

Let’s all begin to sing to God!

Do you know how beautiful you are?

I think not, my dear,

Yet Hafiz

Could set you upon a Stage

And worship you forever!


Let yourself be silently drawn
by the stronger pull of what you really love