Rumi’s “Why Stand at the Edge of the River? Enter the Boundless Sea!”

One of our Zen Center Regensburg members in Munich, Frau L., sent me yesterday by WhatsApp this photo of a glorious poem by Rumi which speaks perfectly – – as everything Rumi speaks — to the basic work of Zen, or “waking up”:

Here is my WhatsApp reply:

Thank you so, so much for sending this! What a powerful teaching this is!

“Free yourself from the bondage of six dimensions“ —

The six dimensions are: the seeing-dimension, the hearing-dimension, the smelling-dimension, the tasting-dimension, the bodily-sensation dimension, and the dimension of the thinking-mind. In Rumi, as in Buddhism, there are these six experiences or “dimensions“ that everyone swims around in, believing this to be the only reality. “Free yourself from bondage to them!”

Rumi is clearly pointing to our true self. He’s pointing to our true nature before thinking arises — the no-name “something” that notices seeing, that notices hearing, that notices smelling, that notices tasting, that notices bodily-sensation, and that notices thinking coming and going. Rumi is pointing to don’t-know mind!

So, saying to herself (everything that Rumi talks about is directed to “the Lover“, which means to our self):

“Hey, dearest Frau L., don’t be too burdened with the things that you see, the things that you hear, the things that you smell, the things that you taste, the sensations of the body, and the things that appear back-and-forth in your thinking-mind! If you are looking for that real Love [his word], that real self-understanding, then turn to your true nature (“the sea of the heart/mind”) — why stop at the edge of the river of everyday sensations flowing past, when you can enter this vast, boundless, measureless Sea of your Self? Let other people run around trying to fix things, Frau L. — this whole world is worth nothing by comparison to your True Self!”

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