Born: September 30, 1207, Balkh, Afghanistan
Died: December 17, 1273, Konya, Turkey
Nationality: Persian
Guru: Sham al-Din
Philosophy: Islam, Sufism
Books: Masnavi (Spiritual Couplets), The Works of Shams of Tabriz, Fihi Ma Fihi (In It What's In It), Majales-e Sab'a (Seven Sessions), Makatib (The Letters).

88 Rumi Quotes & Pointers

Rumi was a Sufi mystic and Persian poet. Brought up in the Islamic faith, his life changed in 1244 when he met the wandering Sufi mystic Sham al-Din. This meeting had a profound effect on him, and he lost interest in the more cerebral academic studies and became enamored by the way of the mystic, or the path of the heart. He became an ascetic and devoted his life to an unorthodox spiritual path.

“The moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given, the door will open.”

“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.”

“Keep silent, because the world of silence is a vast fullness.”

“Let silence take you to the core of life.”

“Whatever lifts the corners of your mouth, trust that.”

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”

“Let silence be the art you practice.”

“I should be suspicious of what I want.”

“The whole universe is contained within a single human being – you.”

“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 own personality: he’s free.”

“What you seek is seeking you.”

“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment. Cleverness is mere opinion. Bewilderment brings intuitive knowledge.”

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

“Sit, be still, and listen.”

“Silence gives answers.”

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”

“Be an empty page, untouched by words.”

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

“Beyond the rightness or wrongness of things there is a field, I’ll meet you there.”

“Let go of your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen.”

“When you lose all sense of self, the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.”

“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.”

“Two there are who are never satisfied – the lover of the world and the lover of knowledge.”

“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety; If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret in this for anyone who can grasp it.”

“The illuminated life can happen now, in the moments left. Die to your ego, and become a true human being.”

“I learned that every mortal will taste death. But only some will taste life.”

“Do you pay regular visits to yourself? Start now.”

“A little while alone in your room will prove more valuable than anything else that could ever be given you.”

“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.”

“Stop, open up, surrender the beloved blind silence. Stay there until you see you’re looking at the light with infinite eyes.”

“Whatever happens to you, don’t fall in despair. Even if all the doors are closed, a secret path will be there for you that no one knows. You can’t see it yet but so many paradises are at the end of this path…Be grateful! It is easy to thank after obtaining what you want, thank before having what you want.”

“Everything is emptiness. Everything else, accidental. Emptiness brings peace to your loving. Everything else, disease. In this world of trickery, emptiness is what your soul wants.”

“The very center of your heart is where life begins. The most beautiful place on earth.”

“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.”

“Silence is an ocean. Speech is a river. When the ocean is searching for you, don’t walk into the river. Listen to the ocean.”

“There are many ways to the Divine. I have chosen the ways of song, dance, and laughter.”

“On what is fear: Non-acceptance of uncertainty. If we accept that uncertainty, it becomes an adventure!”

“If something makes you happy in this world, you should think of what will happen to you if that thing were taken away.”

“The garden of the world has no limits except in your mind.”

“Sit quietly and listen for a voice that will say, ‘Be more silent.’ As that happens, your soul starts to revive.”

“Split me, tear me apart, fling me across the fabric of space and time. Make me nothing and from nothing, make me everything.”

“We carry inside us the wonders we seek outside us.”

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

“When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.”

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.”

“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”

“In the blackest of your moments, wait with no fear.”

“Maybe you are searching among the branches, for what only appears in the roots.”

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”

“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.”

“In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”

“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.”

“Let your teacher be love itself.”

“Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought.”

“The source of now is here.”

“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?”

“Inside any deep asking is the answering.”

“Wisdom tells us we are not worthy; love tells us we are. My life flows between the two.”

“The desire to know your own soul will end all other desires.”

“All your anxiety is because of your desire for harmony. Seek disharmony, then you will gain peace.”

“Anything which is more than our necessity is poison. It may be power, wealth, hunger, ego, greed, laziness, love, ambition, hate or anything.”

“Poetry can be dangerous, especially beautiful poetry, because it gives the illusion of having had the experience without actually going through it.”

“In their seeking, wisdom and madness are one and the same. On the path of love, friend and stranger are one and the same.”

“Whenever they rebuild an old building, they must first of all destroy the old one.”

“Your radiance shines in every atom of creation yet our petty desires keep it hidden.”

“Why are you knocking at every door? Go, knock at the door of your own heart.”

“There is a life in you, search that life, search the secret jewel in the mountain of your body.”

“Oh! Joy for he who has escaped from this world of perfumes and color! For beyond these colors and these perfumes, there are other colors in the heart and the soul.”

“If you want money more than anything, you’ll be bought and sold your whole life.”

“Listen to the unstruck sounds, and what sifts through that music.”

“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”

“A wealth you cannot imagine flows through you. Do not consider what strangers say. Be secluded in your secret heart-house, that bowl of silence.”

“When all your desires are distilled; You will cast just two votes – to love more, and be happy.”

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

“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.”

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”

“There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.”

“How do I know who I am or where I am? How could a single wave locate itself in an ocean?”

“Don’t you know yet? It is your Light that lights the worlds.”

“Your task? To work with all the passion of your being to acquire an inner light.”

“We rarely hear the inward music, but we’re all dancing to it nevertheless.”

“In order to understand the dance one must be still. And in order to truly understand stillness one must dance.”

“I am a drunkard from another kind of tavern. I dance to a silent tune. I am the symphony of stars.”

“Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”

“Those who don’t feel this love pulling them like a river, those who don’t drink dawn like a cup of springwater or take in sunset like a supper, those who don’t want to change, let them sleep.”

“Move, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.”