Sunday, March 11, 2018

Carpe Diem #1386 Silence ...

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... here it is the first episode of our new theme for this month "Rumi, the mystical poet" and I hope you all will appreciate this change of theme and of course I hope that this change of theme will bring back the responses and joy to Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. By the way, I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mom is home again, but she still needs a lot of care, so we have arranged that she has a "private" nurse 4 times a day.

The first poem I love to share here with you all is titled "two days of silence", but first I will tell you a little bit more about Rumi, the mystical poet.

Rumi was born in Balkh, a small town west of Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan on September 30, 1207. Fleeing the approach of Genghis Khan’s Mongol armies, the family moved several times, to Waksh in what is now Tajikistan, to Samarkand, to Damascus, finally settling in Konya on the high plain of central Anatolia. Rumi’s father, Bahauddin, was a highly original mystic who kept his intimations of, and promptings from, the divine in diary form. The Ma’arif was one of Rumi’s most treasured texts after Bahauddin’s death. He studied it with his father’s former student, Burhanuddin Mahaqqiq. They also read Sanai and Attar together, and Burhan led the young Rumi on several consecutive chillas, forty-day fasting retreats. Burhan was himself an eccentric hermit majestically unconcerned with beliefs and lineages. He seems to have prepared Jelaluddin well for the galvanizing event of the young mystic’s life, his meeting with Shamsi Tabriz.
In late October of 1244 Rumi was thirty-seven. Shams was twenty, maybe thirty, years older. Their meeting and subsequent sohbet (mystical conversation) generated fresh stories and ecstatic icons for the world of mystical awareness and love. Their Friendship is one of the great mysteries. Rumi’s poetry is heard as continuing resonance from That. Their separation on the physical plane occurred four years later on December 5, 1248. There is disagreement now as to how Shams disappeared. Franklin Lewis claims that the rumor Shams was murdered by jealous disciples of Rumi “arrives late, circulates in oral context, and is almost certainly groundless.” What we know for sure is what we have, the poems so filled with grief and ecstatic sentience. All the biographical scenarios, whichever one chooses, are without sufficient evidence to be authoritative. No matter. We can let that detective story rest awhile. We have the Shams, the Masnavi, the letters, Discourses, sermons, the Rubaiyat, a generous plenty!

The Spiritual Master of Rumi

After Shams’s death or disappearance, Rumi lived twenty-six years tending soul growth in the dervish community around him and leaving us a prodigious legacy. He spoke the poetry spontaneously. It was taken down by scribes, and he revised it later in manuscript. Rumi was married twice; his first wife, Gowhar Khatun, died young. She bore two children, Sultan Velad and Allaedin. Rumi had two children also with his second wife, Kira Khatun: Mozaffer, a son, and Maleke, a daughter.
The central enigma of Rumi’s life, of course, is Shams Tabriz, the electrifying, eccentric wanderer with the charisma of a desert wind, who knelt and prayed for a companion on his own level of attainment. A voice came, What will you give? “My head.” Jelaluddin of Konya is your Friend. He said later that he came to Rumi when Rumi was ready to receive his secret. But it was observed of Rumi and Shams that one could not tell who was the teacher and who the disciple.
Thoreau went to the woods to simplify and find what was most deeply his. “I did not want to live what was not life. Living is so dear.” Some sentences sear the soul free of communal and personal habits, the situation we’re born within. When Shams pushes Rumi’s books into the fountain at their first meeting, including his father Bahauddin’s soul notes, he says, “Now you must live what you’ve been reading and talking about.”
Rumi relinquishes his books, and he and Shams go into retreat. Rumi asks for burning. Shams says, I am fire. It is that which refines the poems to their daring intensity and courage, to their setting out into unknown regions, these heart-quadrants that are so subtle and multivalent.

Why should I seek more?
I am the same as he.
His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself.

After this soul-merging with Shams, Rumi found another living friend with whom to do the heart-opening work, Saladin Zarkub the goldsmith. Saladin was an old man (the poems become more quiet and tender), and after Saladin’s death, Husam Chelebi, Rumi’s scribe, became the friend of his heart. They produced the six books of the Masnavi. Rumi died as the sky turned deep red at sunset on December 17, 1273. There were minor tremors, like stomach grumblings. “Patience, old earth!” Rumi called out. “You’ll have your sweet morsel soon!”

After this (maybe) long introduction I love to share the first poem by Rumi for this part of the month, "two days of silence":

Two Days of Silence

After days of feasting, fast.
After days of sleeping, stay awake
one night. After these times of bitter
storytelling, joking, and serious
considerations, we should give ourselves
two days between layers of baklava
in the quiet seclusion where soul sweetens
and thrives more than with language.

© Rumi (taken from The Book of Love)

Let is take a closer look at this beauty. In this poem we see the love for our own body "after days of feasting, fast" "after days of sleeping, stay awake". We need our rest of course, but it is also very wonderful to stay awake several days after each other, because that will bring your soul in to ecstasy and will give you a feeling of enlightenment and it will open the source for your inspiration. Quiet seclusion will sweeten your soul and will open your heart to the silence.

early rising
bathing in the silence of the garden
birds praise their Creator

© Chèvrefeuille

Try to create a haiku or tanka (or other Japanese poetry form) in which you don't really use the word silence ... let the scene speak to your reader about silence. Enjoy it!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 18th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, another beautiful poem by Rumi, later on. Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Mine is up at:

    Kristjaan, I am happy to hear that your mother is better.