December 21, 2016

The Rumi Poem we should all Read.

Rumi is my teacher.

He helps answer the questions that bewilder us. He dresses experiences with words. He makes it easier for us to understand matters of the heart, the mind, and the soul.

Before delving into his poems, I thought Rumi only spoke of love—due to his eminent love story with Shams Al-Tabrizi. And while he nailed those love poems, he also spoke beautifully about spirituality. When he spoke of love and separation, he did so in such a spiritual manner that I was floored.

Rumi is a poet. But he is also a significant spiritual teacher.

It’s difficult for me to choose just one Rumi poem as supreme, but there is a poem that resonates deeply for me and my spiritual growth. I first read it in The Essential Rumi, a compilation of his poems translated by Coleman Barks. 

The poem is called “A Great Wagon,” and the middle verse—my favorite—is below:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
doesn’t make any sense.
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.”

This verse highlights three pivotal ideas: the realization of the spiritual realm, and the exploration of non-judgment and oneness.

Some people underestimate spirituality or see it as a trend, but as Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Rumi explored that truth in his poems. We don’t just live in the spiritual realm, but we are the spiritual realm. To see beyond our physical bodies and realize our true essence has been our purpose since the beginning of time. Rumi wrote about it eight centuries before the extensive spread of spirituality.

Additionally, Rumi establishes a firm reality: black and white are man-made. We are familiar with the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the bad, the true and the false. However, below the surface of black and white, there is a gray space we fail to see—a space void of conflicts.

We tend to judge the situations that occur in our life. We label the things we don’t like as “bad” and call the ones we like “good.” Our dualistic mind sections off emotions, thoughts, and events—and we automatically follow it. This mental division is often the main reason behind our inner and outer conflicts.

I suffered a lot in the past for failing to let go of labels. Rumi writes that beyond these labels, these distinctions, lies a serene place—this is where we should all meet each other.

In this field, which is void of labels and judgments, there is absolute connectedness. As he puts it, even the phrase “each other” won’t make any sense anymore when we realize our oneness with everything  and everyone else. In our own minds, we think we are separate from others, from animals, from nature. The truth is, we all stem from one source of energy.

But we can never truly realize this oneness without letting go of judgments first. Seeing every living being as part of us is a step toward gaining a higher realization that doesn’t know opposition.

I love, and connect with, this poem because of how Rumi weaves these ideas together. We must first let go of judgments before we can enter the spiritual realm and realize our “oneness.”

Thanks to Rumi, whenever I find myself quick to judge or label, I take a moment, create space in my thoughts and remember to head to that field. That is where I become one with everything and everyone.

Because when I see the world as separate, I only limit my own potential.


Author: Elyane Youssef

Image: Johannes Roth/Unsplash 

Editor: Nicole Cameron

Image: @ecofolks Instagram


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Peter Howie Aug 18, 2019 3:18am

Thanks Elyane,

It’s interesting where we go at different times in life. I now doubt the binary story of the physical – spiritual divide. All sensation, so it appears to me, is of the body and while for many years I rejected the body, at the same time I was trying desperately to gain deep inner experiences. Eventually the meditative practices paid off to some degree and I did gain the deep inner experiences I was seeking and they were of the body. Now I have befriended my body and so much depth there is to be found in this strange earthen vessel.

The feeling of transcendence is of the body as much as any spiritual experiences. Well, it is how I am currently working with it. The feeling that ‘the world is too full to talk about’ is definitely very present.

Thanks for this article.


ms.sullivan1164 May 26, 2019 7:28pm

Love Rumi and your article. Thank you!!!

sajid mehmood khan Apr 22, 2019 5:30am

when I was young someone left me you know who was the lady she was my fiance. Today after 14 years she made a phone call and too much cried. She told me about her sad story after our separation. I will share in my article ..very soon.

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Elyane Youssef

Elyane S. Youssef is an extraterrestrial who was given birth by Earthlings. While living on planet Earth, she fell in love with art, books, nature, writing, photography, traveling, and…pizza. Elyane finds her joy in backpacking and bonding with locals. To see the faces she interacts with on her travels, you can follow Face of the World on Instagram. Besides getting on and off planes, she is in a serious relationship with words and hopes to inspire as many people as possible through them. Once her mission is accomplished on Earth, she will return to her planet to rejoin her extraterrestrial brothers and sisters. In case you’re wondering, yes, she is still willingly obsessed with Frida Kahlo. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also check out her macrame art on Instagram.