The Absolute works with nothing

by Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

English version by Coleman Barks
Original Language Persian/Farsi

The Absolute works with nothing.
The workshop, the materials
are what does not exist.

Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.

-- from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology), Edited by Ivan M. Granger

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/ Image by Bidrohi Hirok /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

This one got me thinking...

We are always making plans, building ourselves up, projecting ourselves into the world. Amidst this constant fulness, Rumi reminds us, we must also have emptiness. If our hands are not empty, they cannot receive. For the ground to be ready to receive a seed, it must first be cleared.

That takes real courage: patient, empty receptivity. To be at ease with blank, still spaces in the soul. To feel our own fecundity hidden beneath all our activity; instead of filling it, waiting, trusting that some new spark will land and glow and grow.



Recommended Books: Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology)
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Music of a Distant Drum: Classical Arabic, Persian, Turkish & Hebrew Poems
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Open Secret: Versions of Rumi
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The Absolute works