I read a poem of Rumi the other day which went: “Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.”
Around the same time I awoke from a dream in tears and all I remembered was looking at myself in a mirror, face to face, and my eyes were full of fear.
Sometimes in meditation I touch a blank horizontal space with no reference point for who I am and this same fear is there.
Can you help me to understand and make friends with this fear?
The words of Mevlana Rumi are immensely significant. There have been very few people who have moved and transformed as many hearts as Jalaluddin Rumi.
In the world of the Sufis, Mevlana Rumi is the emperor. His words have to be understood not as mere words, but sources of deep silences, echoes of inner and the innermost songs. He is the greatest dancer the world has known. Twelve hundred years have passed since he was alive.
His dance is a special kind of dance. It is a kind of whirling, just the way small children whirl; standing on one spot they go on round and round. And perhaps everywhere in the world small children do that and their elders stop them saying, “You will become dizzy, you will fall, you will hurt yourself,” and, “What is the point of doing it?”
Jalaluddin Rumi made a meditation of whirling. The meditator goes on whirling for hours – as long as the body allows him; he does not stop on his own. When whirling a moment comes that he sees himself utterly still and silent, a center of the cyclone. Around the center the body is moving, but there is a space which remains unmoved; that is his being.
Rumi himself whirled for thirty-six hours continuously and fell, because the body could not whirl anymore. But when he opened his eyes he was another man. Hundreds of people had gathered to see. Many thought he was mad: “What is the point of whirling?”
…Nobody can say this is a prayer; nobody can say this is great dance; nobody can say in any way that this has something to do with religion, spirituality….
But after thirty-six hours when they saw Rumi so luminous, so radiant, so new, so fresh – reborn, in a new consciousness, they could not believe their eyes. Hundreds wept in repentance, because they had thought that he was mad. In fact he was sane and they were mad.
And down these twelve centuries the stream has continued to be alive. There are very few movements of spiritual growth which have lived so long continuously. There are still hundreds of dervishes. ‘Dervish’ is the Sufi word for sannyas. You cannot believe it unless you experience, that just by whirling you can know yourself. No austerity is needed, no self-torture is needed, but just an experience of your innermost being and you are transported into another plane of existence from the mortal to the immortal. The darkness disappears and there is just eternal light.
His words have to be understood very carefully because he has not spoken much – just a few small poems. His statement, “Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move” – it is so beautiful.
Don’t move the way fear makes you move.