Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been obsessed with Mevlana Rumi. It’s crazy to think that the words of a man who lived over 700 years ago have the power to reach deep into someone’s soul and change the way they think and feel life forever. This is indeed the power and grace of Mevlana Rumi.
“The moment I read my first love story, I started looking for you not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”Mevlana Jelaladin Rumi
Konya in central Turkey is known as the “City of Hearts”. This is the place where Mevlana Rumi is buried. This was the place where I realised that I’d been blind for so long. Mevlana and I didn’t finally meet somewhere. We’ve been in each other all along.
This is the story of how I found the soulmate I was longing for. I entered lost and incomplete. I left with not only my only heart mended but pieces of his soul sewn in to my own. I was reluctant to write this piece, but it’s been just over a month since I got back and the longing in my heart was just too much and so reliving it is bringing healing to my heart.
I only ever had one bucket list item and that was to visit Rumi’s tomb and shrine. It’s always been a dream. I’ve been banging on about it for years and years and finally the call came during a deep meditation. I saw light, blinding light and from beyond that light, I saw the beautiful, colourful shrine of Mevlana Rumi. Beyond that I saw a cloaked dervish gesturing, “Come, come.” I remembered the words from a poem of his.
“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.”Mevlana Jelaladin Rumi
And so I booked it and off I went. I landed at the same time as the first snow. The first sign that this was going to be a poignant journey. My first glimpse of Mevlana Rumi’s beautiful, illuminated, turquoise minaret took my breath, my heart and my soul away. It was freezing cold outside but something inside of me was already beginning to melt.
I slept well and I slept deeply that night because I knew I was home. It’s funny because I’ve always had trouble sleeping anywhere that isn’t my own bed. I didn’t even think about it and fell asleep peacefully as soon as my head hit the pillow. I woke up to a bright, crisp day in Konya. I opened the curtains to see what view they’d given me. I saw snow topped trees and mountains and there it was again…I could see Mevlana Rumi from my window so I told him I’m on my way.
I got ready and wandered happily down the road. I had to take a few deep breaths as I got to the entrance. I just stood there, looked up and told him I’m here. I’m entering lost and incomplete and I don’t want to leave until I’ve found what it is that will complete me. The energy of the shrine is pure love and as you walk in, you begin to feel yourself melting uncontrollably.
I stood before him and found that I had no words and no thoughts. It was as if my brain and my mouth had been sealed shut. I’d come with so many hopes and wishes and so much to talk to him about but I couldn’t locate any of that. Like a crazy person who has lost leave of their senses, I had no choice but to sit silently. I had no idea how deeply that energy had gone in to me. I had planned to sit there all morning but I felt like I couldn’t be there very long. I stayed about half an hour and then went to get some breakfast. I wandered like a dervish for the rest of the day and went back for a short while before the shrine closed for the day before I went back to my hotel room.
I could feel the restlessness and so I decided to meditate and that was my first experience of Mevlana Rumi. I say my first…I became very aware that it was my first conscious experience. I’d heard that voice many times before.
I felt lost, confused and angry. He’d brought me all the way here and I had come and I didn’t even know what I was doing or why I was here. I was in this meditation feeling inner turmoil as if all the darkness was being pushed to the surface and with it, all the fear I’d ever experienced in my life. All the lies I’d told myself about being ok and all the masks I was wearing started to taunt me. I could see a black hole and he asked me if I wanted to go through it. I was petrified but I couldn’t come this far only to come this far. I said yes and that’s when the healing began.
I realised that I had been invited here and I was a guest. I wasn’t responsible for anything in this experience and I needed to allow myself to be hosted. I realised my heart was wide open but my mind was full of crap that was getting in my way and blocking me from trusting him to take care of me. All the emotions poured out and poured out and poured out. I had no choice but to let it all go and let it all out.
“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.”Mevlana Jelaladin Rumi
This is the difference between living with your mind and living with your heart. Where your mind is, there is pain. Where your heart is, there is freedom. I asked him to take my mind away. I felt like a crazy person talking to him out loud this way but I knew I was seen and heard and I knew he was going to help me.
The next day was an interesting one, acknowledging my mind was the blockage I decided to go back to see him. As I stood before him, I felt myself come back in to my body in a way I’ve never experienced before. It was as if something was literally pulling my feet down in the the ground and holding them down with weights. I decided it was just my heart that would speak without using words. It’s not like I had a choice but stubbornly I had to make it my own idea! I spent a good couple of hours there just sitting and as I left, I felt both an emptiness and a fullness.
So wondering again like a dervish with my heart spinning in some kind of strange ecstasy, I stumbled upon a little tailors shop and this lovely man with bright eyes and the kindest face popped out of the shop and invited me in. Without even thinking, I went in to sit with him. We talked as if we had known each other before and hadn’t seen in each other in a while. He asked how my family was and I asked him the same. He told me his name and that he was a direct descendant of Rumi and a dervish. I bought a beautiful deep green scarf from him because it was cold out. When I left, he gave me the biggest, warmest hug. He placed his thumbs on my forehead, prayed and blew over my head. I felt a coolness in my heart that was the strangest feeling because for the first time in my life, I was happy to be cold.
I left there and wandered down to the masjid of Shams Tabrez, Mevlana Rumi’s soulmate and teacher. I did my prayers and as I was coming down the stairs, I hit the top of my head. This made me giggle because it was as if he too was telling me I didn’t need my brain in this life anymore.
Now there was a whole lot more that happened during my time there but I’m going to leave it there because the rest of it is between me and Mevlana Rumi. Suffice to say that my life has been changed by my beloved forever. I will not see, hear, feel, think, taste or experience the same ever again.
If you ever get the opportunity, just go there. Go there and see what happens. Be open to love and the lessons it brings. You won’t be the same ever again and you won’t regret it either.
With love and blessings,