The practice of ecstasy


There is a shimmering excitement in being sentient and shaped.



caravan master sees his camels lost in it, nose to tail, as he himself is,

his friend, and the stranger coming toward them.


                         A gardener watches the

sky break into song, cloud wobbly with what it is. Bud, thorn, the same.


Wind, water, wandering this essential state. Fire, ground, gone.



how it is with the outside.

Form is ecstatic. Now imagine the inner:

soul, intelligence, the secret worlds!


And don’t think the garden loses its

ecstasy in winter.


It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.


If someone bumps you in the street, don’t be angry. Everyone careens

about in this surprise.


Respond in kind. Let the knots untie, turbans be given away.


Someone drunk on this could drink a donkeyload a night.

Believer, unbeliever, cynic, lover, all combine in the spirit-form we are,

but no one yet is awake like Shams.”




Rumi  (Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī ), 1207-1273. 

In the middle of his life Rumi met Shams (Shams Tabrizi, 1185-1248).

Shams became his friend and spiritual mentor.


Chrysanthemums grown in the conservatory of Longwood Gardens, PA.  Legacy  of  Pierre S. du Pont, 1870-1954.





2 thoughts on “The practice of ecstasy

  1. A delight in the night!
    Flowers’ blazing mystery
    Bearing colours a-flight,
    Reshuffling ecstatic Rumi’s poetry,
    Accompanying the entry of the soul
    In winter.

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Ioana!

      I like best that the tradition of Rumi includes the dark as well as the light; those of us who are cynics and sinners and those of us who are saints!


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