The Holy Dance

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Photo courtesy of Nail Kesova Dede, Mevlevi Sheikh

Dance only where you mortify yourself and when you tear away the cotton from the sore of lust.

Holy men dance and wheel on the spiritual battlefield: they dance in their own blood.

When they are freed from the dominion of self, they clap a hand; when they escape from their own imperfection, they make a dance.

From within them musicians strike the tambourine; at their ecstasy the seas burst into foam.

You see it not, but for their ears the leaves too on the boughs are clapping hands.

You do not perceive the clapping of the leaves: one must have the spiritual ear, not this ear of the body.

Close the ear of the head to jesting and lying, that you may see the resplendent city of the soul.

Mathnawi Book 3, vv. 95-101
(from the words of Hazreti Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi)

 

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