Rumi (quotes)

Principles to live by 



  • A heart filled with love is like a phoenix that no cage can imprison.
  • Every leaf that grows will tell you: what you sow will bear fruit, so if you have any sense my friend, don’t plant anything but Love.
  • Love glimpsed even for an instant turns the world inside out.  
  • Love speaks a hundred different languages.
  • The roots of love are eternity. The leaves of love are creation.
  • The way you make love / is the way God will be with you. 
  • There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted.  Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity.
  • Love  is that flame which, when it blazes up, burns away everything except the Everlasting Beloved.
  • This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.
  • Wherever you are, whatever you do, be in love.
  • Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
  • Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being. Halfheartedness does not reach into majesty.
  • This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.
  • We are born of love; Love is our mother.
  • The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruits other than sorrow or joy. Love is beyond either condition: without spring, without autumn, it is always fresh.
  • Love will find its way through all languages on its own. 
  • Through Love all that is bitter will be sweet, Through Love all that is copper will be gold, Through Love all dregs will become wine, through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
  • Plant the love of the holy ones within your spirit; don’t give your heart to anything, but the love of those whose hearts are glad.
  • You have within you more love than you could ever understand.

Doing what you love

  • Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.
  • Let yourself be silently drawn by the pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
  • When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.
  • Be occupied, then, with what you really value and let the thief take something else.
  • Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.


  • Keep knocking, and the Joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there.
  • My head is bursting with the joy of the unknown. My heart is expanding a thousand fold.
  • The soul is here for its own joy.
  • When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy.  When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.
  • Why should I be unhappy? Every parcel of my being is in full bloom.
  • If you are seeking, seek us with joy.  For we live in the kingdom of joy. Do not give your heart to anything else But to the love of those who are clear joy, Do not stray into the neighbourhood of despair.  For there are hopes: they are real, they exist.  Do not go in the direction of darkness.  I tell you: suns exist.


  • Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.  
  • It is as if a king had sent you to a country to carry out one special, specific task.  You go to the country and you perform a hundred other tasks, but if you have not performed the task you were sent for, it is as if you have done nothing at all.  So people have come into the world for particular tasks, and that is our purpose.  If we don’t perform it, we will have done nothing. 
  • Our purpose here on earth: to manifest the very nature of our spirit, which is touched by the spirit of God.
  • There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. Human beings come into this world to do particular work. That work is their purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about. If you remember everything else and forget your true work, then you will have done nothing with your life. ]

Silence and inner stillness

  • Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.  
  • Only let the moving waters calm down, and the sun and moon will be reflected on the surface of your being.
  • Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.  
  • The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.
  • This silence, this moment, every moment, if it’s genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There’s nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty. Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, ‘Be more silent.’ Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.  
  • When water is still like a mirror it can behold the Moon.
  • There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.
  • Listen! Clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell, for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend. When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues.
  • Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.
  • In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.

Finding fulfilment

  • Because we are spiritual beings, it is the spirit of what we do that determines how much fulfilment we derive. You can be going through all the motions and doing all the appropriate and expected actions, but if you are empty or absent inside, your deeds mean little. Only soul satisfaction can fulfil you; everything else will leave you hungry. 
  • Come sit with me! Let us drink the holy wine of happiness.
  • 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.


  • Be grateful for whoever comes, because each guest has been sent as a guide from beyond.  
  • There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.
  • Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.  
  • Your depression is connected to your insolence and refusal to praise. 


  • Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.


  • Abruptness and haste is the Devil’s wile; patience and deliberation is God’s grace.

The sameness of all religions

  • All religions, all this singing, one song. The differences are just illusion and vanity. The sun’s light looks a little different on this wall than it does on that wall, and a lot different on this other one, but it’s still one light.
  • Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.

Letting emotions be

  • This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival; a joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest as honourable. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each guest has been sent as a guide from beyond.   


  • Stay with friends who support you in these. Talk with them about sacred texts, and how you are doing, and how they are doing, and keep your practices together.

Looking within

  • Look inside yourself: everything that you want, you are already that.
  • No more words. Hear only the voice within.
  • Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.
  • There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into Light.
  • Whatever you are looking for can only be found inside of you.
  • Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?  

Journeying within

  • And You? When will you begin that long journey into Yourself?  
  • Journey from the self to the Self and find the mine of gold. Leave behind what is sour and bitter and move toward the sweet.  
  • Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to. Don’t try to see through the distances. That’s not for human beings. Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move. 
  • Make your last journey from this strange world soar for the heights where there is no more separation of you and your home.


  • Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape.
  • Take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing, who has not the slightest interest even in his or her own personality: that person is free.
  • Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?
  • Why struggle to open a door between us when the whole wall is an illusion?


  • That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility.


  • Ignorance is God’s prison. Knowing is God’s palace.


  • Each thing in the universe is a vessel full to the brim with wisdom and beauty.
  • I learned about love from your perfection. I learned about poetry and song from your beauty.
  • Everything that is made beautiful and fair and lovely is made for the eye of one who sees.
  • Beauty surrounds us, but usually we need to be walking in a garden to know it.
  • That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty, He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
  • The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.

Living in the Now

  • How can I know anything about the past or the future, when the light of the Beloved shines only Now.
  • Yesterday is gone and its tale told. Today new seeds are growing.

The beauty of the heart

  • If you find the mirror of the heart dull, the rust has not been cleared from its face.
  • Only from the heart can you touch the sky.
  • Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out.
  • The ocean of the body crashes against the ocean of the heart. Between them is a barrier they cannot cross.
  • There is a candle in your heart, ready to be kindled. There is a void in your soul, ready to be filled. You feel it, don’t you?
  • Your heart is the size of an ocean. Go find yourself in its hidden depths!  
  • The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.
  • If light is in your heart, you will find your way home.
  • The very centre of your heart is where life begins – the most beautiful place on earth.


  • Your mind, this globe of awareness, is a starry universe. When you push off with your foot, a thousand new roads become clear.


  • There is a path from me to you that I am constantly looking for.
  • Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words.
  • Open your hands if you want to be held.
  • Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.

Self-change and transformation

  • Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.  
  • To change, you must face the dragon of your appetites with another dragon: the life- energy of the soul.
  • No mirror ever became iron again; No bread ever became wheat; No ripened grape ever became sour fruit. Mature yourself and be secure from a change for the worse. Become the light.

Setting yourself aflame

  • Isn’t it time to turn your heart into a temple of fire?
  • I am burning. If anyone lacks tinder, let him set his rubbish ablaze with my fire.
  • Past and future veil God from our sight; burn up both of them with fire.  
  • Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.  


  • When the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray.


  • Travel brings power and love back into your life.


  • Let’s ask God to help us to self-control for one who lacks it, lacks his grace.
  • The intelligent want self-control; children want candy.
  • The lion who breaks the enemy’s ranks is a minor hero compared to the lion who overcomes himself.


  • God’s purpose for man is to acquire a seeing eye and an understanding heart.


  • You are so weak. Give up to grace.  The ocean takes care of each wave till it gets to shore. You need more help than you know.
  • If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?


  • Would you become a pilgrim on the road of love? The first condition is that you make yourself humble as dust and ashes.

The universe within

  • You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.
  • Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.
  • Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.
  • Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.
  • Shine like the universe is yours.

Being all you can be

  • You were born with potential.  You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness.  You were born with wings.  You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.  You have wings.  Learn to use them and fly. 
  • You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life.
  • If all you can do is crawl, start crawling.  


  • What you seek is seeking you.
  • Come, seek, for search is the foundation of fortune: every success depends upon focusing the heart.
  • Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.
  • There is a force within that gives you life. Seek that.

Living courageously

  • Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.
  • Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.
  • Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.

Following your own path

  • Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls.
  • I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying who listens or what they think.
  • Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.


  • Peaceful is the one who’s not concerned with having more or less.  Unbound by name and fame, he is free from sorrow from the world and mostly from himself.

Holding on and letting go

  • Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.
  • Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.

Things that limit us


Jealousy and envy

  • If you could untie your wings and free your soul of jealousy, you and everyone around you would fly up like doves.
  • Beg of God the removal of envy, that God may deliver you from externals, and bestow upon you an inward occupation, which will absorb you so that your attention is not drawn away.

Grief and loss

  • Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
  • Sorrows are the rags of old clothes and jackets that serve to cover, and then are taken off. That undressing, and the beautiful naked body underneath, is the sweetness that comes after grief.
  • Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.
  • Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.

Pleasure and pain

  • Burdens are the foundations of ease and bitter things the forerunners of pleasure.
  • Pain is a treasure, for it contains mercies.
  • The cure for pain is in the pain.  
  • There are thousands of wines that can take over our minds. Don’t think all ecstasies are the same!  
  • These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.
  • This discipline and rough treatment are a furnace to extract the silver from the dross. This testing purifies the gold by boiling the scum away.
  • This is how we are with wine and beautiful food… we want and we get drunk with wanting, then the headache and bitterness afterward.
  • What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.
  • The Prophets accept all agony and trust it.  For the water has never feared the fire.
  • Let your wounds be an opening for the light to come in The wound is the place where the Light enters you.


  • Be suspicious of what you want.
  • There is an invisible strength within us; when it recognizes two opposing objects of desire, it grows stronger.
  • When you have indulged a lust, your wing drops off; you become lame, abandoned by a fantasy. …People fancy they are enjoying themselves, but they are really tearing out their wings for the sake of an illusion.
  • And so it is, that both the Devil and the angelic Spirit present us with objects of desire to awaken our power of choice.


  • Beware! Do not let avarice waylay you! Do not let greed tear you up by the roots! For as you sleep, the stench of your spurious deeds is thundering on the azure sky.  


  • There is no worse sickness for the soul, o you who are proud, than this pretense of perfection.

Thoughts on …



  • God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.


  • I died as a mineral and became a plant, I died as a plant and rose to animal, I died as an animal and I was Man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
  • This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.


  • Everyone sleeps, except lovers, who stay awake, telling stories to God.
  • For lovers, the beauty of the beloved is their teacher. His face is their syllabus, lesson, and book.
  • In a crowd, the lover is easy to spot, like a shining moon among the stars of the sky.  
  • While everyone else is seeking clothes or money, a lover is seeking his beloved.
  • Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.
  • The minute I heard 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.


  • Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.  Rumi
  • Dancing is not just getting up painlessly, like a leaf blown on the wind; dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds.

More thoughts

  • As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.
  • Behind every atom of this world, hides an infinite universe.
  • Close both eyes to see with the other eye.
  • Fasting is the first principle of medicine. 
  • The Ego is a veil between humans and God.  
  • The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.  
  • The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
  • Let yourself become living poetry.
  • Either give me more wine or leave me alone.
  • What? Are you still pretending you are separate from the Beloved?
  • Sell your cleverness and purchase bewilderment.  
  • It is certain that an atom of goodness on the path of faith is never lost.
  • Anyone who knows me, should learn to know me again; for I am like the Moon, you will see me with new face every day.  
  • Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness.
  • Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set. During these brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.
  • Woman is a ray of God. She is not that earthly beloved: she is creative, not created.
  • Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
  • May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day in paradise.
  • All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen.
  • My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.
  • I am filled with you. Skin, blood, bone, brain, and soul. There’s no room for lack of trust, or trust. Nothing in this existence but that existence.
  • Don’t wait any longer. Dive in the ocean, Leave and let the sea be you.
  • If the foot of the trees were not tied to earth, they would be pursuing me.. For I have blossomed so much, I am the envy of the gardens.
  • Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.
  • Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, 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.
  • Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the worlds.
  • You’ve seen my descent. Now watch my rising.
  • Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about.
  • Oh, bird of my soul, fly away now, For I possess a hundred fortified towers.
  • You’ve come to know the fortunate and the inauspicious stars, but you don’t know whether you yourself are fortunate or lucky.