Three Travelers Tell Their Dreams

A lesson on action and the spirit from a great Sufi mystic.

BY: Jelalluddin Rumi (version by Coleman Barks)

 
Reprinted from "The Soul of Rumi" with permission of HarperSanFrancisco.



Three devout men of different religions fall in together


by chance traveling. They stop



at a caravanserai where the host brings as a gift a sweet


dessert, some taste of God's



nearness. This is how people out in the country serve


strangers. The Jew and



the Christian are full, but the Muslim has been fasting all


day. The two say, "Let's



save it for tomorrow." The one, "No. Let's save self-denial


for tomorrow!" "You want it



all for yourself!" "Divide it into three parts, and each can


do as he wants." "Ah,



but Muhammed said not to share." "That was about dividing


yourself between sensuality



and soul. You must belong. to one or the other." But finally,


for some reason, he gives in,



"I'll do it your way." They refrain from tasting. They sleep,


and then wake and dress themselves



Continued on page 2: »

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