A Quote by Coleman Barks on friend, friendship, enlightenment, kismet, compassion, grace, rumi, and freedom

One of the startling prospects that Rumi and Shams bring to the world of mystical awareness, which turns out to be ordinary consciousness as well, is the suggestion that we "fall in love in such a way that it frees us from any connecting." what that means is that we become friendship. "When living itself becomes the Friend, lovers disappear." That is, a human being can become a field of love (compassion, generosity, playfulness), rather than being identified with any particular synapse of lover and beloved. The love-ache widens to a plain of longing at the core of everything: the absence-presence center of awareness. Rumi went in search of the missing Shams. The story is that he was on a street in Damascus when the realization came that he *was* their Friendship. No separation, no union, just he was that at the silent core. I'd have to say that's the *baraka* (a blessing, the particular grace of taking in presence), the mystery of the ecstatic life.

Coleman Barks

Source: The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems

Contributed by: Laurie