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Rumi's "Chickpea to Cook"

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:29pm
Here's Rumi on the development of both the teacher and student, from the understanding of pain and change as persecution, to learning how to align with difficult experience in one's own, and others', self-interest.

Chickpea to Cook

~Jalaluddin Rumi

(translated by Coleman Barks)

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot

where it's being boiled.

"Why are you doing this to me?"

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

"Don't you try to jump out.

You think I'm torturing you.

I'm giving you flavor,

so you can mix with spices and rice

and be the lovely vitality of a human being.

"Remember when you drank rain in the garden.

That was fo r this."

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,

then a boiling new life begins,

and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea

will say to the cook,

"Boil me some more.

Hit me with the skimming spoon.

I can't do this by myself.

"I'm like an elephant that dreams of gardens

back in Hindustan and doesn't pay attention

to his driver. You're my cook, my driver,

my way into existence. I love your cooking."

The cook says,

"I was once like you,

fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,

and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

"My animal soul grew powerful.

I controlled it with practices,

and boiled some more, and boiled

once beyond that,

and became your teacher."

(Resources: Wikipedia on Rumi ; translator Coleman Barks' website )

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