Rise up nimbly and go on your strange journey to the ocean of meanings…
“In the mid-thirteenth century, in a dusty marketplace in Konya, Turkey, a city where Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist travelers mingled, Jelaluddin Rumi, a popular philosopher and scholar, met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish. Their meeting forever altered the course of Rumi’s life and influenced the mystical evolution of the planet. The bond they formed was everlasting–a powerful transcendent friendship that would flow through Rumi as some of the world’s best-loved ecstatic poetry.
Rumi’s passionate, playful poems find and celebrate sacred life in everyday existence. They speak across all traditions, to all peoples, and today his relevance and popularity continue to grow. In The Illuminated Rumi, Coleman Barks, widely regarded as the world’s premier translator of Rumi’s writings, presents some of his most brilliant work, including many new translations. To complement Rumi’s universal vision, Michael Green has worked the ancient art of illumination into a new, visually stunning form that joins typography, original art, old masters, photographs, and prints with sacred images from around the world.
The Illuminated Rumi is a truly groundbreaking collaboration that interweaves word and image: a magnificent meeting of ancient tradition and modern interpretation that uniquely captures the spiritual wealth of Rumi’s teachings. Coleman Barks’ wise and witty commentary, together with Michael Green’s art, makes this a classic guide to the life of the soul for a whole new generation of seekers.” (From the book flap)
The images below are two pages of this magnificent book on Rumi. If you are interested, there are also many YouTube video’s with Coleman speaking Rumi poems. Alia and I bought this work of art as a wedding present to ourselves and have treasured it over the years.
The first page that is reproduced here is Rumi’s poem “Breathing”; the second page is Coleman’s commentary on that poem, in which he introduces Sufi Breathing. The third image is a blowup of the mandala itself where you make out the words La illaha and Il’ Allahu within the design.
THERE IS A WAY OF BREATHING
THAT’S A SHAME AND A SUFFOCATION
AND THERE’S ANOTHER WAY OF EXPIRING,
A LOVE BREATH,
THAT LETS YOU OPEN INFINITELY.
Here is a blowup of the mandala itself where you make out the words La illaha and Il’ Allahu within the design.
The Tavern, by Rumi
All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and
what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from
elsewhere, I’m sure of that, And I intend to end up there.
This drunkenness began in some other tavern.
When I get back around to that place, I’ll be completely sober.
Meanwhile, I’m like a bird from
another continent, sitting in this aviary.
The day is coming when I fly off,
But who is it now in my ear who hears my voice?
Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out with my eyes? What is the soul? I cannot stop asking.
If I could taste one sip of an answer, I could break out of this prison for drunks.
I didn’t come here of my own accord, and I can’t leave that way.
Whoever brought me here will have to take me home.
This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say. I don’t plan it. When I’m
outside the saying of it, I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.
Shams of Tabriz— If you show me your face again
I could flee the imposition of this life.