Archive for the ‘Rumi’ Category

It’s been a quiet time at MY INNER  EDGE. The lens cap has stayed on my camera for much of the winter and lately I’ve been tending to other things. You can check out one of my new endeavors over at my MINDFUL LIVING blog. That said, when I saw the foam on my morning cup of coffee, I just had to take a picture…believe me, this did not come from being a skilled barista.

Part of what’s been happening in my world is the exploration of social media…and the shift from being largely anonymous to the possibility of being seen and known. I suppose if I was under 20, this process would be a no-brainer and almost second nature. And I suppose if I wasn’t so stubbornly independent, I would just hire someone to build my web presence. So, there you have it…I’m fumbling along–rebuilding the website that I didn’t backup properly last year, learning about tweets and fan pages and search engine optimization. And pondering the desire to be known.

P.S. K.H. the coffee and the poem below are for you…


Some commentary on I was a hidden treasure,
and I desired to be known
: tear down

this house. A hundred thousand new houses
can be built from the transparent yellow carnelian

buried beneath it, and the only way to get to that
is to do the work of demolishing and then

digging under the foundations. With that value
in hand all the new construction will be done

without effort. And anyway, sooner or later this house will
fall on its own. The jewel treasure will be

uncovered, but it won’t be yours then. The buried
wealth is your pay for doing the demolition,

the pick and shovel work. If you wait and just
let it happen, you’ll bite your hand and say,

“I didn’t do as I knew I should have.” This
is a rented house. You don’t own the deed.

You have a lease, and you’ve set up a little shop,
where you barely make a living sewing patches

on torn clothing. Yet only a few feet underneath
are two veins, pure red and bright gold carnelian.

Quick! Take the pickaxe and pry the foundation.
You’ve got to quit this seamstress work.

What does the patch-sewing mean, you ask. Eating
and drinking. The heavy cloak of the body

is always getting torn. You patch it with food,
and other restless ego-satisfactions. Rip up

one board from the shop floor and look into
the basement. You’ll see two glints in the dirt.

– RUMI –


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Over the weekend, I dusted off my camera and went walking. I walked by the Hudson, I walked the woods behind the Nature Center. The air was exquisite: purified by rain, an elemental nutrient. Each breath like a meal…deeply soul-satisfying.

There is nourishment like
bread that feeds one part

of your life and nourishment like light for another.
There are many rules about restraint

with the former, but only one rule for the latter,
Never be satisfied. Eat and drink

the soul substance, as a wick does with the oil it soaks in.
Give light to the company.

– RUMI –

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There’s a morning when presence comes
over your soul. You sing like a rooster.

in your earth-colored shape. Your heart
hears and no longer frantic, begins

to dance. At that moment, soul reaches
total emptiness. Your heart becomes Mary,

miraculously pregnant, and body like a
two-day-old Jesus says wisdom words. Now

the heart, which is the source of your
loving, turns to universal light, and the

body picks up the tempo and elegance of
its motion. Where [Spirit] walks

the footprints become notations of music
and holes you fall through into space.

– RUMI –

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Put your vileness up to a mirror and weep. That’s when
the real art, the real
making begins. A tailor must have a torn shirt to
practice his expertise

– RUMI –

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It is 5:20 in the morning. A slight mist, cloudy sky, balmy moist air. I am climbing the path to the Chan Hall. I have no idea what to expect. We gather outside in lamplight and silence. We awaken our bodies with movement. The Dharma teacher gives a short talk. We are savoring the question, “Tell me who you are.” My mind runs wild and begins to unravel.

For five days we sit in silence, we work in silence, we eat in silence, we listen in silence, we walk in silence, we drink tea in silence. We do not write. We do not check email or voicemail. We are unplugged from the familiar and compelling electronic hum of daily life. We live in variations of the question…who am I when I eat…who is eating…who am I when I walk…who is walking; who is sleeping; who is showering; who is sitting; who is chanting; who is thinking; who is not thinking?


At 9 o’clock each morning, the sun is above the ridge. Our Dharma teacher invites the bell and my whole body vibrates, resonant with sound. His morning talks provide clues…bread crumbs or small white stones, glistening in moonlight, on a path that winds deeper and deeper into a dark forest…he invites a shift from intention to attention; he speaks of thoughts as sheep that can be placed in their proper pens…can we let thoughts come, let them be and let them go?  He talks about our essential nature as being the dot in the center of a circle…the circle being defined by the outer edges of all of who we are and all of who we have been. We are invited to examine which stories of self we are favoring; and what happens when we tell the stories that we’re pushing aside or avoiding. We are invited to consider repentance. We must look deeper and inhale our question; allow it to circulate in our blood and live in our bones. This is inquiry. We must drop getting this right; we must drop answering properly. The whole story requires paper, ink, a reader and a writer.


When invited to pay attention, I notice that there are two Christmas ornaments on the tall spruce by the fence line. I notice two indigo Morning Glories opening on the way to breakfast and shades of Lavender still in bloom.


I look up at the crystalline sky on our last morning. It is very cold and the stars seem brighter and somehow closer. My mind is quiet. A sparse thought–more an image or idea of a shooting star forms. Immediately a star burns its way to the horizon. Everything seems both ordinary and miraculous. Even the dish towels and aprons that we hang to dry after meals are beautiful to me.


Before going into silence, we are asked why we have come. I say that I have come to empty and to fill. I don’t know what I mean exactly. Yet as we complete the closing ceremony, I am both empty and full. Empty of what? Empty of a separate self. Empty of the romantic fiction that has funded the burden of my resentment. Empty of resentment. Empty of perfection and the lack of perfection. Empty of the cold place that put conditions on how I wanted to be loved. Empty of the cold place that avoided loving others unconditionally.

And full of what? Full of joy and gratitude; light and dark; peace and silence; clarity and breath…suspended in awareness of the present moment.


The small ruby everyone wants has fallen out on

the road.

Some think it is east of us, others west of us.

Some say, “among primitive earth rocks,” others, “in

the deep waters.”

Kabir’s instinct told him it was inside, and what it

was worth,

and he wrapped it up carefully in his heart cloth



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Observe the wonders as they occur
Around you. Don’t claim them.
Feel the artistry moving through,
And be silent.

– RUMI –

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The clear bead at the center changes everything.
There are no edges to my loving now.

I’ve heard it said there’s a window that opens
from one mind to another,

but if there’s no wall, there’s no need
for fitting the window or the latch.

– RUMI –

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