Readers of Rumi's lyrical poetry find its unfolding wisdom nourishment for the soul. We asked for your stories about Rumi and the appeal of his poetry. Read others' stories; we'd like to hear yours as well.
Carolina Beach, North Carolina
An Entry Point to Opening My Heart
"When I first read Rumi, this communion that I felt as a child came upon me with an expansive fresh newness. His ecstatic poetry gave me yet another language with which to open my heart. His ties between the sacred and the profane beckoned me. His insight into the Bible characters I loved as a child — Moses, Abraham, and Jesus — brought a mystical and universal perspective that children intuitively understand and I had forgotten. I was lured into Rumi's world and stumbled along my way."
Mary Lynn White
Spruce Pine, North Carolina
A Porthole for the Dying
"It was the only book she asked to keep. Perhaps Rumi held the door open for her to pass through."
Bronx, New York
A New Pilgrimage
"Last summer, I picked up my journey where I had left off, in Condom, France, and walked to Burgos, Spain. My texts were The Gift, Landinsky's translations of Rumi, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence. Every time time I tasted of Rumi, I came away both nourished and hungry for more. More times than I can count, the texts paralleled my experiences on the path. Rumi is a part of my daily meditation. The glimmers of clarity that shine through his opaque writings sustain and inspire my life."
Kneel and Kiss the Ground
"I first heard of Rumi in the late 1980s from some people I met in a meditation group. His life story was told many times, including his being a scholar and meeting his teacher, Shams of Tabriz. I realize now his story may have been embellished, but it really moved me the way I heard it."
Marianne Novak Houston
Rumi Keeps on Giving
"As a retired teacher, with over 40 years in the classroom, I have found the current focus on testing, measuring, and evaluating — frequently so inappropriately — a sad commentary upon our approach to education. When such thoughts assailed me in the classroom, I would turn to Rumi."
Los Angeles, California
Permeating a Way
"One of my jobs is to teach a manners class to K-8 grades at a private Catholic school. We talk about the importance of gratitude and we begin class with: 'Clap hands, for today is all happiness.' The children love it and Rumi has found his way into their beings."
Wedding the Transcendent and the Concrete
"Years ago, while studying painting as a graduate student, I met an unusually thoughtful undergraduate (Peter Franklin) who patiently endured my absolute opining. This lover of the good, true, and beautiful recommended a few books and gave a gift at one point: an edition of Rumi."
"The poetry of Rumi first appeared to me during a sabbatical, at a 'tempest-tossed' time of transition in my life. After fourteen years of active ministry as a Roman Catholic priest, the reality of my heart's longing began leading me to a new way of loving. In the year following my sabbatical, decisions made led to many changes including the blossoming of a relationship."
One Must Begin from Afar
"This time, when the some 36 of us lowered ourselves, it sounded as if one person had just sat on the floor of the Octagon. There was one sound. Everyone heard it; everyone knew it. Walter was moved as well and asked the pianist to play a hymn from the Gurdjieff/De Hartmann canon, the only time we ever closed a class with music as we sat together in a collected state. This was a moment in which God smiled on us, a moment that Rumi writes about in so many of his poems, when one and all can be given a taste of that state of spiritual ecstasy and union with the Beloved."
Brooklyn, New York
The Neurotic Duck
"I first came across Rumi in the discount section of Barnes and Noble — a Coleman Barks' anthology of his work. As an artist and an undisciplined spiritual seeker, I fell in love with this work that was bawdy, funny, visually vivid, and forgiving. It was the first time I realized that the absurd experience of the everyday can be a spiritual awakening if viewed with the right lens, a lens like Rumi's."
Great Neck, New York
Not Content with Longing
Rumi: "There are those who are content with longing; I am not one of them." I grabbed my book and my pen and wrote this down feeling that it was somehow important for me."
New York, New York
Discovering Mevalana in Turkey
"I first heard of Rumi not by that name, but by the name of Mevlana. In 1989 I was driving throughout Turkey with my girlfriend, Martha, and as beginning students of Gurdjieff we were interested in going to Konya when we learned that a Dervish school had been founded there in the 13th century by a great spiritual teacher."
St. Louis, Missouri
Braving Cancer, Learning to Dream
"Many words of Barks' and Rumi's, including these, were special mentors to me as my husband and I began spending more and more time in emergency rooms, listening to a shrinking list of treatment options, and planning for a bone marrow transplant."
Bel Air, Maryland
Leading Me to the Religion of Pluralism
"When I graduated from high school, my godfather gave me a copy of a Coleman Barks' translation of popular Rumi poems. I thanked him kindly, and promptly added the book to my bookshelf, and it remained untouched until I packed it up for college. It remained on my college bookshelf for a full semester, until my roommate borrowed it first."
Leading Me to the Religion of Pluralism
"Rumi's voice has been with me since 1968…. When I opened the book for the first time, it fell open to "The Song of the Reed" and, as I read, I seemed to hear an echo of melody from just beyond physical hearing. By 4 a.m. the next morning, Rumi's words were set to a simple melody with guitar accompaniment."
Infused with Sunlight
"Whenever I read Rumi now, the poetry is infused with sunlight and salt and the warm breezes of the day I first heard his name."
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
In My Bones
"This has got into my bones and I cannot forget it. There was a turning point in my life. I stayed with the Sufis and Rumi for a long time, though not with Doris Lessing."