The Spring has just arrived. At the same time, the world is in the grips of a pandemic. In this program I look to Rumi for words of wisdom that help us celebrate the arrival of Nowruz “the Persian New Year” and listen to his teachings about illness and healing ourselves and our world.
Rumi’s words have brought us together. What is in his poetic speech that educates, delights, and transforms us? There are many ways to address this question. In this 40th episode of Radio Rumi, I discuss our poet’s understanding of the concept of speaking, its impact on our lives, and on those of others around us.
As election, politics, and power are on our minds, I look at Rumi’s understanding of the concept of power and his approach to it. As a well-known and respected figure, Rumi received attention from the wealthy, the noble, and the politically powerful people of his time. How he handled these delicate situations, and what he recommended to his followers are remarkable.
I open this program with a question often asked about Rumi and other great minds. “Did he ever make a mistake?” Using many examples from Rumi’s own poetry, I argue that he is different people at different moments of his life. Rather than posing as a leader, he is an friend who gives us glimpses into his his personal journey.
In light of the recent clashes between my two homes (Iran and America), I dedicate this program to a concept which Rumi values and we need desperately: the concept of oneness of all humanity. Rumi lived in a time burdened by division and disagreement but refused to accept the categories that divided the people of his time.
This program is a Christmas special! In it I discuss some of Rumi’s poems focused on the presence of light, giving, and healing as embodied in the symbolic person of Jesus. We will see how in these lines light, which for Muslims is a manifestation of the divine, is connected with Jesus as a healer of suffering and one who spreads the force of life.
In this episode, recorded right after the Thanksgiving which we recently enjoyed, I focus on Rumi’s approach to feeling content and expressing gratitude. I look at the way he defines this foundational concept and its function in our daily lives? We will also look at places in which we can find examples of contentment and learn to express it.
In this program, I focus on the best ways to understand Rumi’s poetry. One of my goals is to counter the idea of turning him into an infallible saint. Equally important, poets from distant times and unfamiliar traditions are hard to understand. I make suggestions about ways to put Rumi’s lively and effective poetry into their context to become understandable to western audiences in the 21st century.
In this program, I focus on a celebrated poem of Rumi which tries to help us make sense of the journey that is our life. The poem is filled with enchanting images and life-changing questions. Are we a rare bird sitting in the royal aviary, Jacob separated from his Joseph, or the Greek philosopher, lamp in hand, looking for a perfect being? And, what does dancing have to do with these?
In this program I speak about Rumi’s special’s attention to the concept of arriving. Like many other thinkers, Rumi is aware of our human limitations. For example, we are confined in time and space. His solution? Do not wait for the moments to happen to you; arrive in them and let the arrival transform both time and space for you, be a waterfall!