For this rich and highly devotional daybook, Camille and Kabir Helminski have selected and translated 365 poems from the last four volumes of Rumi's Mathnawi, a spiritual masterpiece consisting of stories, metaphysical revelations, and flights of lyrical passion. The Helminskis are the cofounders of the Threshold Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the knowledge and practice of Sufism; Kabir is a sheikh in the Mevlevi tradition founded by Jelaluddin Rumi. He writes of the Mathnawi:
"No department of life escapes the light of this lamp; nothing is too profane or insignificant. Every imaginable subject and theme serves to reveal the master truth of reality: that all life is one, that everything comes from God and returns to God, that behind all appearances a divine intention is being fulfilled, and that the purpose of all of this is to allow the reality of Love to be discovered and more completely known."
The Helminskis treat this masterwork as a teaching tool and inspirational resource that keeps on going and giving, and they are right to view it in this way. For it gives us many insights into what it means to be a "Complete Human Being" who has realized within him- or herself the divine attributes and does daily practice of putting others first.
You will find on these pages much about what it means to walk the Sufi path. Here is a sampler:
• "To learn the secret of the Unseen
is only fitting for that one
who can seal her lips and keep silent."
• "A sober-minded man said to Jesus,
'What in this existence is the hardest to bear?'
'O dear soul,' he replied, 'the hardest is God's anger,
from which Hell is trembling as we are.'
'And what is the protection against God's anger?'
Said Jesus, 'To abandon your own anger at once.' "
• "Love and reputation, brother,
are not in harmony:
don’t stand at the door of reputation, if you are a lover."
• "Within tears, find a hidden laughter;
seek treasure amid ruins, sincere one."
• "Abandon eminence and worldly energy and skill:
what matters is service to God
and a good heart."
• "Passion makes the old medicine new:
Passion lops off the bough of weariness.
Passion is the elixir that renews:
how can there be weariness when passion is present?
Oh, don't sigh heavily from fatigue:
seek passion, seek passion, seek passion!"