Shams Tabrizi and Rumi

Picture: Shams Tabrizi and Rumi with the Dervishes

Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, born in 1207 was a Persian poet, an Islamic dervish and a Sufi mystic. He is regarded as one of the greatest spiritual masters and poetical intellects.

His poems of love and ecstasy are beloved by millions of readers in America—he is often described as “the best-selling poet in America.” His poems have been translated to several languages around the world and are a favorite reading at weddings.

He has been compared to Shakespeare for his creativity and Saint Francis of Assisi for his spiritual wisdom. Rumi underwent a remarkable midlife transformation when he met the itinerant mystic Shams of Tabriz, who encouraged him to reorient from a path of knowledge and life as a respected Muslim teacher, preacher, and jurist, to a path of love and of the heart by including music, poetry, and the whirling dance as part of his spiritual practice. When Shams of Tabriz disappeared, Rumi coped with the pain of separation by composing joyous poems of reunion, both human and divine. The great legacy of Rumi over the centuries has been as an interfaith icon, as he articulated the notion of “religion of love,” and wrote that “Since we worship the one God, then all religions must be same.”

Rumi was a refugee and migrant for most of his life. His family escaped their home in present-day Afghanistan, which was destroyed by the invading Genghis Khan and the Mongols. He acquired poetic and spiritual wisdom during a time of great turmoil in Central Asia.

Remarkably at his funeral in Turkey in 1273, the procession included singers and dancers, traditional chantings from the Quran as well as Christian priests chanting the Gospel and Jewish rabbis reciting Psalms.

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Neil Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family. His grandparents were immigrants: on his father’s side they came from Poland, and on his mother’s side from Russia.

This is one of my favorite song of his.

Far
We’ve been traveling far
Without a home
But not without a star
Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They’re coming to America
Never looking back again
They’re coming to America

Home, don’t it seem so far away
Oh, we’re traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we’ll say our grace
Freedom’s light burning warm
Freedom’s light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They’re coming to America
Every time that flag’s unfurled
They’re coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They’re coming to America
Got a dream they’ve come to share
They’re coming to America

They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
They’re coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country ’tis of thee
Today
Sweet land of liberty
Today
Of thee I sing
Today
Of thee I sing
Today

Heartwarming moment when a man rescues sparrow, after its wet feet froze onto a water tank pipe. The footage, shot in Idaho, USA, shows that little acts of kindness matter. Watch as he presses his hand on to the bird’s feet to free them and then gently blows on them.

“While feeding my horses on New Year’s morning I noticed a solitary sparrow perched upon the steel fence near the water tank. The tank is heated to keep it from freezing. It is not uncommon for birds to drink from the heated tank. Apparently this unfortunate bird had gotten its feet wet and, while making its exit, had become frozen to the fence in the prevailing near zero Idaho temperatures. First, I attempted to warm the feet of the frightened bird by pressing my palm against both the fence and the birds feet, while also gently restraining the bird’s flapping wings. It then seemed that warming the birds feet with my warm breath would bring quicker success. Gentle sideways motion with my thumb brought freedom for the frightened bird and a smile of satisfaction to my face… a delightful way to start a new year.”

reblogged from Live & Learn

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