Welcome all that comes!

October 1, 2011

In my book, The Rumi Secret, I begin with the following poem as translated by Coleman Barks.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house
every day a new arrival.

A joy, a depression a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

In the United States, this is Rumi’s most famous poem. Its wisdom is timeless, and it presents a lifelong challenge for us all. Embrace it all, he says–our tragedies, the recurring problems, the failures. Along with these, we can all discover our capacity for joy,  for ecstasy and for peace.

There are no requirements for joy. As Mother Teresa said of love, it is “a fruit in season at all times. Anyone can gather it, and no limit is set….”

By grace, joy is given to us, and it can come under the most unexpected circumstances. May we all take Rumi’s words to heart on this precious day. As Mary Oliver says, while we may not “know exactly how to pray,” we can become skilled at paying attention.

Blessings to you, dear visitor. Please join my email list at drlee@coupleswisdom.com. May you be blessed with new acceptance today.

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What Rumi Can Teach Us

June 11, 2010

Rumi says:

Lo, I am with you always.

You promised that, and when

I realized it  was true,

my soul flared up.

Any unhappiness comes from forgetting.

Remember and be back

with the Friend.

===========================================
Here is an edited excerpt from my book The Rumi Secret: Spiritual Lessons of History’s Most Revered Poet. See the book page on my website for details about this and other books and media. You can order it there or on Amazon.com, or from any bookstore.
================================================
Who is Rumi and Why Should We Read Him?

====================================

Jalal al-Din Rumi (Maulana) is America’s best-selling poet, and he is so much more. Rumi can teach us, change us, dissolve despair, and reveal the blessing of every moment and circumstance. His profound love for all things human shines a brilliant light into our inner being.
================================

Whatever our belief or unbelief, Rumi urges us to discover our divine nature.

=================================

Rumi has been compared to Shakespeare and Dante; his impact both in his own time and these eight centuries later is even greater than theirs. He has been compared to the saints and masters of every spiritual path, and no one else has inspired such profound and intimate love in people of every religious orientation. Among his tens of thousands of heart-piercing verses, all who seek more sense of the divine in their lives find many jewels. His prayer can be ours:
=================================

Dear God, please reveal to us
your sublime beauty
that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere….
Worldwide, thanks to the devotion of his translators, Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the English language. His roots, however, are firmly planted in the Middle East, and in Farsi, the language of Iran.

=============================================
He and his forebears came out of the ancient Sufi tradition. While Sufism is popularly known as a mystical and sometimes heretical branch of Islam, Rumi supported all spiritual traditions. He said “I see one altar in mosque, temple and cathedral.” He also said, “Love is the religion and the universe is the book.”
On the other hand, Rumi was an observant Muslim, and had a scholar’s knowledge of the Koran.

==================================

While his roots are in Islam, Rumi’s appeal is worldwide. After his death at age 67, huge groups of mourners from every religious tradition came to his funeral to honor him. Each group said he embodied its highest values.
=====================================

Because Rumi is revered throughout much of the Islamic world, it is my hope that this book will find readers in the Middle East as well as in the West, and that a greater sense of our profound spiritual connection may result. If anyone has the ability to be a bridge between our disparate cultures, it certainly must be Rumi. May we all open our hearts to each other as we feast together at Rumi’s table! Some 800 years after his birth, he speaks eternal truths:
• We are all one family.
• Forgiveness and compassion toward all beings lead us to joyous  living.
• We can find beauty in every rock and flower.
• Devastation and loss can be gateways to unutterable joy.
•  W have nothing to fear from death.
•  Love surrounds us and lingers in our cells; it awaits our discovery.
=====================================

I love writing and speaking about Rumi because I believe Rumi to be one of the greatest poets of all time. Rumi offers us profound wisdom for every area of life. This wisdom fits in with and supports any belief system you may have. Rumi said, “I see one altar in temple, mosque and cathedral.”
================================

I am a clinical psychologist specializing in couple and sex therapy. I have more than twenty years of experience, and have trained therapists from around the country and internationally. I have been on the faculty of three universities, and I’m a past-President of Santa Clara Valley Marriage and Family Therapists. I am so very grateful for the inspiration and courage Rumi has provided in my life!
===========================

Blessings to you, dear visitor. May Rumi’s wisdom touch you.


Rumi’s Profound Wisdom

March 15, 2010

Here is an edited excerpt from my book The Rumi Secret: Spiritual Lessons of History’s Most Revered Poet) See the book page on my website (http://www.drvictorialee.com) for details about this book. You can order it there or on Amazon.com, or from any bookstore.

================================================

Who is Rumi and Why Should We Read Him?

My book, The Rumi Secret is for you, if that’s an unfamiliar question. It’s also for Rumi lovers around the world. This book can show you how to celebrate your losses and find radical joy as a result! It will show you how Rumi can guide you through life’s minefields and lead to an explosion of beauty in your inner life.

I don’t know exactly why Donna Karan, Demi Moore, Madonna and my internist have all found their way to Rumi, but I celebrate those discoveries. I think I might have an inkling of why Huston Smith, Bill Moyers and literature professors around the world explore Rumi in depth, but all I know for sure is that Rumi’s wisdom can be transfor- mational in the life of anyone who approaches him with an open heart.

Jalal al-Din Rumi (Maulana) is America’s best-selling poet, and he is so much more. Rumi can teach us, change us, dissolve despair, and reveal the blessing of every moment and circumstance. His profound love for all things human shines a brilliant light into our inner being.

Whatever our belief or unbelief, Rumi urges us to discover our divine nature.

Rumi has been compared to Shakespeare and Dante; his impact both in his own time and these eight centuries later is even greater than theirs. He has been compared to the saints and masters of every spiritual path, and no one else has inspired such profound and intimate love in people of every religious orientation. Among his tens of thousands of heart-piercing verses, all who seek more sense of the divine in their lives find many jewels. His prayer can be ours:

Dear God, please reveal to us

your sublime beauty

that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere….

Worldwide, thanks to the devotion of his translators, Rumi is one of the most widely read poets in the English language. His roots, however, are firmly planted in the Middle East, and in Farsi, the language of Iran.

He and his forebears came out of the ancient Sufi tradition. While Sufism is popularly known as a mystical and sometimes heretical branch of Islam, Rumi supported all spiritual traditions. He said “I see one altar in mosque, temple and cathedral.” He also said, “Love is the religion and the universe is the book.”

On the other hand, Rumi was an observant Muslim, and had a scholar’s knowledge of the Koran. While his roots are in Islam, Rumi’s appeal is worldwide. After his death at age 67, huge groups of mourners from every religious tradition came to his funeral to honor him. Each group said he embodied its highest values.

Because Rumi is revered throughout much of the Islamic world, it is my hope that this book will find readers in the Middle East as well as in the West, and that a greater sense of our profound spiritual connection may result. If anyone has the ability to be a bridge between our disparate cultures, it certainly must be Rumi. May we all open our hearts to each other as we feast together at Rumi’s table! Some 800 years after his birth, he speaks eternal truths:

• We are all one family.

• Forgiveness and compassion toward all beings lead us to joyous  living.

• We can find beauty in every rock and flower.

• Devastation and loss can be gateways to unutterable joy.

•  W have nothing to fear from death.

•  Love surrounds us and lingers in our cells; it awaits our discovery.

=====================================

Blessings to you, dear visitor. May Rumi’s wisdom touch you.

You may post a response here, or email me at drvlee1234@aol.com.

I love writing and speaking about Rumi because I believe Rumi to be one of the greatest poets of all time. Rumi offers us profound wisdom for every area of life. This wisdom fits in with and supports any belief system you may have. Rumi said, “I see one altar in temple, mosque and cathedral.”

I am a clinical psychologist specializing in couple and sex therapy. I have more than twenty years of experience, and have trained therapists from around the country and internationally. I have been on the faculty of three universities, and is a past-President of Santa Clara Valley Marriage and Family Therapists.

It’s my great pleasure to give speeches and workshops at conferences and public events around the country; I have been a media guest on CNN, NBC, and other TV and radio stations.

My other book is

Ecstatic Lovemaking: An Intimate Guide to Soulful Sex. This book offers a roadmap for couples who want to transform their relationship, and to find more joy and even ecstasy in their intimate lives.     

*You can get these books directly from Victoria, or from Amazon.com. To see the Table of Contents, Forewords and recommendations, please visit her website at

www.rumisecret.com or http://www.drvictorialee.com

Please post on this blog.

You can see me on YouTube by searching there for: “Victoria Lee Rumi.” My new site is under construction. Revisit here to find out more.

This site will offer valuable information and interviews with spiritual teachers, authors, couple counselors, psychotherapists, and sex therapists.

You can get updates on events and valuable information by joining my email list. Email me at drvlee1234@aol.com and put “email list” in the subject line.

Rumi says:

Inside you are sweet beyond telling!

There is a sun in everyone.

I become a mirror that cannot close its eyes to your longing.

My eyes wet with yours in the early light.

My mind every moment giving birth,

always conceiving, always in the 9th month.

And then, an empty sky,

and everything is soul and flowering.

Everything is soul and flowering!

Blessings, dear visitor!

`

Dr. Victoria Lee’s upcoming events

Workshop: Sacred Sexuality for Couples and Singles

Saturday, March 27, 10:00—4:00 P.M.

Victoria has presented this exciting workshop at Findhorn, Scotland and around the United States. It helps couples take quantum leaps in their intimate lives. Privacy is respected; all sharing of intimate matters is with your partner alone. You will leave with lot of adventures to enjoy together when you get home. Singles will take inspiration for their journey as well.

Call 510.882.2330 to register.

Deepen your Relationship in Victoria’s class:

Sacred Intimacy for Long-Term Couples

Four Tuesday evenings in April: 6, 13, 20 and 27; 7:00—9:00 P.M.

For information, please email Victoria at drvlee1234@aol.com


Requiem for My Mother

February 23, 2010

Rumi says:

On the day I die, don’t weep.
Don’t say she’s gone.

Death has nothing to do with going away.
The sun sets and the moon sets, but
they’re not gone.

Death is a coming together.
The human seed goes down into the ground
like a bucket, and come up with
some unimagined beauty!

Your mouth closes here,
and immediately opens
with a shout of joy
there
!

Today is the sixth anniversary of my mother’s death. This morning at 5:30 A.M. I lit a candle in her memory.

At 5:30 A.M. on February 23, 2004, she breathed her last. After many plane trips to her home during her last year, on that last trip I had been back less than 12 hours when she passed. I think she waited for me.

I was so very fortunate to be able to hold my mother’s hand as she took her last breaths. Being with your mother when she dies is at once unforgettable, profoundly painful, and a priceless privilege. It doesn’t always work out that way though; I’m sure that being with a loved one in spirit as they pass over can mean as much.

I began this post with words from the 13th century Sufi poet, Jalaludin Rumi, because they give me such comfort. For Mama, though, here are some Biblical words from the Book of Romans that I know often sustained her:

All things work together for good for them that love God.

Mom was fortunate to be able to die at home in her own bed as she had wanted. She was fortunate to have a gentle death. The funeral home, the burial and the large memorial service followed. The family gathered afterward to tell stories such as her nieces and nephews remembering that she was always first up the mountain when she took them on dessert hikes around Tucson.

Like all of us, she was a very imperfect person. Yet she was  loved by her large extended family, and by hundreds members of her church family both nearby and far away in other countries.

She went on more than 25 working trips abroad, trying to improve the lives of people in India, Venezuela, China, South Africa, and many others. She spent much of her life trying to do good as she understood it.

Death dissolves personality limitations and leaves only the love. I am forever grateful that for her this happened before death; for the last weeks of her life, she became all love.

Thank you Mama for thousands of Southern cooked meals, for hundred of holidays made sweeter by your cooking and gifts, for your stuffing, your potato salad and your pecan pie, for your example of getting down on the floor to enjoy a child, and for always making music a part of our lives. Thanks for the protection and consistency you provided.

Most of all, thanks for teaching me that the spiritual part of life is the most important. That lesson sustains me everyday.

Mary Oliver says:

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say:  all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

=======================================

I love you Mama, and I miss  you everyday.

Your daughter,
Vicki
==========================

Blessings to you, dear visitor. Please share your own story of the final chapter in the life of someone dear to you by emailing me at drvlee1234@aol.com.


On the day I die, don’t weep.

April 3, 2009

Rumi says:

On the day I die, don’t say she’s gone.

Death has nothing to do with going away.

The sun sets and the moon sets, 

but they’re not gone.

Death is a coming together.

The human seed goes down into the ground like a bucket,

and comes up with some unimagined beauty.

Your mouth closes here, and immediately

opens with a shout of joy there.

I write these words for the visitor who fears death. I write for those who are in harm’s way, and for those who know that their death is near. I write for those who cherish someone who is dying or who has already passed. I write for all of us in that finding a courageous way  to approach our inevitable death is a crucial part of our spiritual maturity and a life well lived.

Some never accomplish it. Many delay, convincing themselves they are too young or too special to need to face this task. But death has no respect for age or status or the usual order of things. At times, parents mourn children. The elderly mourn the young. The seemingly healthy athlete doesn’t survive the game. 

Rumi speaks with the same voice as other wise mystics:

Lo, I am with you always.

You promised that, and when I realized it was true,

my soul flared up.

Any unhappiness comes from forgetting.

Remember and be back with the Friend.


When Rumi’s death was near, he was fearless and accepting. “Have patience old Earth, ” he said. “You’ll get your sweet morsel soon.”

Rumi taught us to love every aspect of our lives–our dramas, our pain, our struggles, and yes, our deaths. Enlightened peace comes as we learn to cherish the beauty of this moment, this challenge, this journey and its end.

If you long for peace and courage about death, read and study Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks. Read Rumi everyday for 100 days, and ask for that courage. Ask and you shall receive. It comes through grace.

=====================================

You may respond, post, or contact Dr. Lee at drvlee1234@aol.com.


Death As Wedding Day With the Beloved

February 15, 2009

Rumi says:

On the day I die, don’t weep.

Don’t say she’s gone/he’s gone.

Death has nothing to do with going away.

The moon sets and the sun sets,

but they’re not gone.

Death is a coming together.

The human seed goes down into the ground

like a bucket,

and come up with some unimaginable beauty!

Your mouth closes here

and immediately opens

with a shout of joy there!

Whether we understand these words literally or metaphorically, Rumi’s message to us is that there is nothing to fear in death. We merge with unimaginable beauty–light with light.

As Andrew Harvey has said, the death of a spiritual leader is often his or her last teaching. Rumi died fearlessly, neither hastening or resisting his body’s process. In death, he seemed to say, it’s only the ego, the persona that is lost. The soul continues its glorious journey.

In one of Coleman Barks’ translations of a Rumi poem, death is the family darling coming home at last, or the red glint in the cliff which turns at last to rubies. When we internalize these teachings, our fear of death dissolves, and we are free.

Go in peace, dear visitor, and bring these words of comfort to those who need them right now. When your time comes they will come back to you.


December 23, 2008

Rumi says:

One morning I went to a place beyond dawn,

a source of sweetness which flows and is never less.

I have been shown a beauty beyond imagining….

We have baskets of fresh bread upon our heads, yet

we go door to door asking for crusts….

We’re like pearls in the shell on the bottom of the ocean

saying Where’s the water?

….These mental questionings form the barrier.

Beg for love expansion!

Meditate only upon that.

The great teachers speak as in one voice: that which we need is already here, already within us, already present in the human, animal and natural beauty all around us.

To those fighting on distant battlefields right now–blessings! We at home surround you with our prayers. To those in actual prisons or the prison of isolation from others–blessings. To those facing illness and death–blessings! All of us will follow you when our time comes. There is nothing to fear!

To those many who are suffering with the lonliness this season can produce–blessings! We need not measure our families and the success of our lives by these few days when images of the perfect families we imagine in other households plague us. I have found the best answer to my own holiday pain is to reach out and serve those less fortunate. Giving the gifts of time and kindness to the needy is the best remedy for all my longings for the old-fashioned holidays of my youth.

Blessings to you, dear visitor. Pass it on!

_______________________________

You can contact me or offer a blog post by emailing drvlee1234@aol.com.