In my reading over the past couple of years, I keep stumbling across the name Rumi, often attached to a particularly insightful quote, but until recently, I had no idea who he was.

Jalal ad-Din Rumi was a 13th century Persian Muslim poet and Sufi mystic.  Born in what is now known as Tajikistan, his influence ranged from Turkey to India during his lifetime.  Remarkably, his writings have had a recent renaissance and in 2007 he was voted the most popular poet in America.

So, here are my top 10 favourite quotes that I’ve found.  I hope you like them:

You were born with wings.  Why prefer to crawl through life?

It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone and come back, I’ll find it at home.

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.

Be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder. Help someone’s soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd.

Be with those who help your being.  Don’t sit with indifferent people, whose breath comes cold out of their mouths.

Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls.

You have been a prisoner of a little pond.  I am the ocean and its turbulent flood.  Come merge with me, leave this world of ignorance.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask, it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright, you must do a little work.

O tongue you are an endless treasure.
O tongue, you are also an endless disease.

I am amazed at the seeker of purity who when it’s time to be polished complains of rough handling.

It’s amazing that a 13th century poet can have such an impact today.  I don’t know about you, but I’m torn between being inspired by these quotes and wishing that I had written them.

Have you come across Rumi’s writings before?

If so, do you have a favourite quote of his?

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