This week Rumi shared about a man asking to have a tattoo of lion on his shoulder but once the tattooing began, the man couldn’t stand the pain. The story reveals the man complains throughout the ordeal. First he requests the lion have no tail, then no head and finally no belly. The tattoo artist becomes exasperated because the tattoo doesn’t resemble anything. Rumi advises:
Turn away from your cave of sleeping.
What is it to know soemthing of God?
Burn inside that presence. Burn up.
The next poetic story was titled, The Center of the Fire. Two friends argue throughout the story about having too much wine, who can draw and strike their blade first, who can come up with the best argument against the other. Rumi’s conclusion:
We must drown, away from heroism,
and descriptions of heroism.
The mystery does not get clearer by
repeating the question,
nor is it bought with going to amazing
I finished the week with reading about Muhammad and The Huge Eater. The title is pretty straightforward as to what the story is about. Muhammad invites a man into his home who is a glutton. Many in Muhammad’s house were furious with the amount of food the man consumed. A maid locks the man in his room once he has fallen asleep. When the man wakes during the night needing to go to the bathroom he cannot leave the room. As soon as his door is opened in the morning, he flees the house. He returns later for an amulet he has forgotten and when the man sees Muhammad, “the hands of God” washing his soiled bed clothes he is devastated, then a great love enters him. The man feels unworthy and prostrates himself before Muhammad. Muhammad holds him and opens the man’s inner knowing.
When the body empties and stays empty,
God fills it with musk and mother-of-pearl.
That way a man gives his dung and gets purity.
Stay with friends who support you.
Talk with them about sacred texts,
and how you’re doing, and how they’re doing,
and keep your practices together.
Rumi is very direct with letting his listeners know exactly what he is trying to say with this story. We will succeed on our journey if we are not alone. We need community.