List of Seven (2): Transformative Sufi Poems

KABIR

Are you looking for me?
I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas,
not in Indian shrine rooms,
nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans,
not in legs winding around your own neck,
nor in eating nothing but vegetables.

When you really look for me, you will see me
instantly –
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.

Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.

***

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think… and think… while you are alive.
What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time
before death.

If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten—
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment
in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.

So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
believe in the Great Sound!

Kabir says this: When the Guest is being search for,
it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest
that does all the work.
Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.

*****

RUMI

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.

***

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.

Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.

You’re covered with a thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
Die, and be quiet.

Quiteness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.

The speechless full moon
comes out now.

*****

HAFEZ

Now is the time to know
That all that you do is sacred.
Now, why not consider
A lasting truce with yourself and God?

Now is the time to understand
That all your ideas of right and wrong
Were just a child’s training wheels
To be laid aside
When you can finally live
with veracity
And love.

Now is the time for the world to know
That every thought and action is sacred.
That this is the time
For you to compute the impossibility
That there is anything
But Grace.

Now is the season to know
That everything you do
Is Sacred

***

I have learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call myself

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
A Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much
Of Itself with me
That I can no longer
Call myself

A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even pure Soul.

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed me

Of every concept and image
My mind has ever known.

*****

IBN ARABI

When my Beloved appears,
With what eye do I see Him?

With His eye,
not with mine,

For none sees Him
except Himself.

*****

…and one more…

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