Journaling with Maulana Rumi

Reading the Maulana’s poems grounds me, provides comfort, and also opens doors to contemplation. They are a source of awe, wisdom, and inspiration that ever inform; that centuries after he lived his words are relevant today I find breathtakingly marvelous!

I’ve been wondering: if he lived today, what would come forth? Following the thread from this question, I’m engaging in a creative practice that involves painting in my art journal after sitting with a poem in the spirit of lectio divina.

Lectio Divina is a practice of contemplative communion originating in the 3rd Century with Origen Adamantius, a writer and ascetic, of Alexandria, Egypt. Likely, he was influenced by the Hebrew tradition known as Haggadah by his contemporaries in Egypt. By the 6th Century, it had migrated to Italy, where Benedict of Nursia established it as a monastic practice. Six centuries later, it evolved into a four part practice under Guigo II, a Carthusian monk.

The process laid out involves reading from Scripture, I have taken liberties with this and read instead from Rumi, but the process is as follows and if you are interested in a book with much more on the topic, Lectio Divina- The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images into Heart Centered Prayer by Christine Valters Paintner is one I recommend :

Lectio (Reading)

Read the chosen text. Recite it out loud. Read it again. Sit with the reading and listen for words or phrases that gleam with meaning for you.

Meditatio (Meditation)

Read the entire text again, this time reflect on what gleams for you; allow the words or phrases to unfold as images or feelings.

Oratio (Prayer)

Read the text again, and from what it evokes, notice whether you sense a prayer or invitation or dialogue rising; are you being offered something or asked something?

Contemplatio (Contemplation)

Slow down, rest into stillness and gratitude.

Afterward, jot down what came through, or write your response as a poem, or create a picture, or simply absorb it into your awareness.

This art journal spread came through from the following poem by Rumi, I’d love it if it inspires you as well.


“The whole world could be choked with thorns

A Lover’s heart will stay a rose garden.

The wheel of heaven could wind to a halt

The world of Lovers will go on turning.

Even if every being grew sad, a Lover’s soul

Will stay fresh, vibrant, light.

Are all the candles out? Hand them to a Lover –

A lover shoots out a thousand fires.

A Lover may be solitary, but he is never alone:

For companion he has always the hidden Beloved.

The drunkeness of Lovers comes from the Soul,

And Love’s companion stays hidden in secret.

Love cannot be deceived by a hundred promises;

It knows how innumerable the ploys of seducers are.

Wherever you find a Lover on a bed of pain

You find the Beloved right by his side.

Mount the stallion of Love and do not fear the path –

Love’s stallion knows the way exactly.

With one leap, Love’s horse will carry you home

However black with obstacles the way may be.”

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