Words of WonderThe Breeze at Dawn - Rumi

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

by Rumi, translated/interpreted by Coleman Barks


Freshly back from a wonderful retreat, the words of this poem (from the classic Essential Rumi as translated/interpreted by Coleman Barks) urge me to stay fresh and open to the world, as awake as possible. And like with physical sleepiness, it’s possible to encourage myself to awakeness, which in this context might look more like remembering to show up, to setting intentions that honour what’s important. At the same time, I seem to see with more clarity where the groove of the ‘sleep’ of habitual patterns and automatic reactions is deep, but where something new might be possible… Freshly back from retreat, it’s easier to sense that door that “is round and open”, the welcome into full-hearted living and the poignancy that is possible to step into.

Does what I say here make any sense to you? What do you see, when you look in the direction these words point at, as if they were fingers pointing at the moon? What sleep do you habitually slumber into, what do you intuit that lies beyond the door that’s “round and open”? And how can any of us live our life meaningfully, and wholeheartedly? Let’s listen to the breeze at dawn…


PS In my experience, retreats (whether a day or a bit longer, whether at home or in a beautiful place, alone or with others) are a powerful way to reap the benefits of our practice – maybe simply because we spend a longer time immersed in it. And also when there’s distraction and discomfort in the mix of it, often the fruits of the practice are no less juicy. Do join us in a retreat if you’re inspired to see what it brings this time…

Photo by Myriam Zilles on Unsplash