Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In this empty stomach....

 What hidden sweetness is found in this empty stomach!
Man is like a lute, neither more nor less:
When the lute’s stomach is full, it cannot lament, whether high or low.
If your brain and stomach burn from fasting, their fire will draw constant lamentation from your breast.
Through that fire you will burn a thousand veils at every instant — you will ascend a thousand degrees on the Way and in your aspiration.
Keep your stomach empty! Lament like a flute and tell your need to God!
Keep your stomach empty and speak of the mysteries like a reed!
If you keep your stomach full, it will bring Satan to you at the Resurrection, instead of your intellect, an idol of the Kaaba.
When you fast, good character traits gather round you like servants, slaves and retinue.
Continue your fasting, for it is Solomon’s seal: Give not the seal to the devil, disrupt not your kingdom.
And if your kingdom and army should flee from you, your army will return, so raise the banner!
The Spread Table  has come from heaven to those who fast, for Jesus son of Mary has called it down with his prayers.
Await the Table of Generosity in your fast — the Table of Generosity is better than cabbage stew.

- Jalal ud-Din Rumi, translated by William Chittick in “Sufi Path of Love”

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