When you are with everyone but me,
you’re with no one.
When you are with no one but me,
you’re with everyone.
Instead of being so bound up with everyone,
When you become that many, you’re nothing.
Little by little the drunkards congregate, little by little the
The heart-cherishers coquettishly come along the way, the
rosy-cheeked ones are arriving from the garden.
Little by little from the world of being and not-being the
not-beings have departed and the beings are arriving.
All with skirts full of gold as a mine are arriving for the sake
of the destitute.
The lean and sick from the pasturage of love are arriving fat
The souls of the pure ones like the rays of the sun are arriving
from such a height to the lowly ones.
Blessed is that garden, where, for the sake of the Mary’s, new
fruits are arriving even in winter.
Their origin is grace, and their return is grace; even from the
garden to the garden they are coming.
Pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to find escape from the flame of separateness-
When I am silent, I fall into that place
where everything is music.
What are “I” and “You”?
In the niches of a lamp
Through which the One Light radiates.
“I” and “You” are the veil
Between heaven and earth;
Lift this veil and you will see
How all sects and religions are one.
Lift this veil and you will ask—
When “I” and “You” do not exist
What is mosque?
What is synagogue?
What is fire temple?
Shems asked a sheikh, “What are you doing.
I am looking at the moon’s reflection in this lake” replied the sheikh.
“Why don’t you look directly at the sky? Are you so blind that you do not see the true object in all you contemplate?”
Shems’reply had such an effect on the sheikh that he asked Shems to accept him as his disciple.
“You do not have the strength to bear my company,” replied Shems.
‘The strength is within me,” said the sheikh. “Please accept me.
“Then bring me a pitcher of wine, and we will drink together in the Baghdad market.’
Fearing public opinion (because alcohol is forbidden by Islam), the sheikh replied, ‘I cannot do this”
Shems shouted, “You are too timid for me. You haven’t the strength to be among the intimate friends of God. I seek only those who know how to reach the Truth.’
In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.