Rumi & the Mirror

Rumi & the Mirror

Contemplate these beautiful quotes from Sufi poet, Rumi, during your mirror meditations.
rumi

~~“You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You. Nothing seemed right. What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.”

~~“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.”

~~“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

~~”We are pain and what cures pain, both. We are the sweet cold water and the jar that pours. I want to hold you close like a lute, so that we can cry out with loving. Would you rather throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror and here are the stones.”

~~”Between the mirror and the heart is this single difference: the heart conceals secrets, while the mirror does not”

~~”If you could get rid of yourself just once, the secret of secrets would open to you. The face of the unknown,
hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception.”

~~”Let go of your worries and be completely clear-hearted, like the face of a mirror that contains no images. If you want a clear mirror, behold yourself and see the shameless truth, which the mirror reflects. If metal can be polished to a mirror-like finish, what polishing might the mirror of the heart require? Between the mirror and the heart is this single difference: the heart conceals secrets, while the mirror does not.”

~~”Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror up to where you’re bravely working. Expecting the worst, you look, and instead here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see. Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you’d be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings.”

~~”When the mirror of the heart becomes pure and clear, impressions of the other world will become manifest. The image and the image-maker will become visible, like the carpet and the carpet-spreader.”

Mirrors in Poetry

Mirrors frequently appear in poetry. Here is a selection of poems featuring the mirror that seem to capture the mysterious and compelling qualities inherent in reflection. Rumi has also used mirror symbolism in his poems.

 

Lady at a Mirror by Rainer Maria Rilke

rilke

As in sleeping-drink spices
softly she loosens in the liquid-clear
mirror her fatigued demeanor;
and she puts her smile deep inside.

And she waits while the liquid
rises from it; then she pours her hair
into the mirror, and, lifting one
wondrous shoulder from the evening gown,

she drinks quietly from her image. She drinks
what a lover would drink feeling dazed,
searching it, full of mistrust; and she only

beckons to her maid when at the bottom
of her mirror she finds candles, wardrobes,
and the cloudy dregs of a late hour.

Translated by Edward Snow

 

Telling You All  by Rainer Maria Wilke

Telling you all would take too long.

Besides, we read in the Bible
how the good is harmful
and how misfortune is good.
Let’s invite something new
by unifying our silences;
if, then and there, we advance,
we’ll know it soon enough.
And yet towards evening,
when his memory is persistent,
one belated curiousity
stops him before the mirror.
We don’t know if he is frightened.

But he stays, he is engrossed,
and, facing his reflection,
transports himself somewhere else.

 

The Muses Mirror by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

EARLY one day, the Muse, when eagerly bent on adornment,
Follow’d a swift-running streamlet, the quietest nook by it seeking.

Quickly and noisily flowing, the changeful surface distorted
Ever her moving form; the goddess departed in anger.

Yet the stream call’d mockingly after her, saying: “What, truly!
Wilt thou not view, then, the truth, in my mirror so clearly depicted?”
But she already was far away, on the brink of the ocean,
In her figure rejoicing, and duly arranging her garland.