“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Bakhi (Rumi) (1207-1273)
Born in Persia, present day Iran, Rumi, as he is called in the West, is more often referred to in the Islamic world as Mawlana, or the Master. Beginning his adult life as a teacher and jurist, as his father had been, Rumi traveled to Damascus where he met and began studying under the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi. Turning his life toward philosophical pursuits, he became the poet, musician and mystic that he is remembered as today. He believed that love is the earthly manifestation of the Divine and that music, poetry and dance can be the means to draw closer to it. Although his spiritual explorations are based in the Sufi Moslem mystical tradition, they have been adopted into many other languages and religious teachings for their universal appeal to those seeking inner peace and harmonious living. From his book of collected poems Masnawi:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.