Stillness Speaks presents SHAMBHALA PUBLICATIONS

Stillness Speaks presents

Lover & Love a la Rumi – Kabir Helminski

Jul 21, 2022

lover & love: “… God is pleased when your love realizes it is part of something oceanic and begins to move with the whole …” ~ Rumi

lover ocean sunrise rumi helminski

Rumi’s notion of love is “oceanic” indeed … as he adds (two stanzas later) : “… The love you must enter lives in the saints and prophets. It is already the ocean …” (in The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks)… a love that is “universal” … beyond “personal” … beyond form and time/space dimension … where even the “connecting” is dissolved …

As underscored by Coleman (in another of his translations, The Soul of Rumi) that the Rumi and Shams story suggests “… 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.” …”

In Kabir Helminski’s translation, Rumi expresses this “universal” love as :

There is no love greater than love with no object.
For then you, yourself, have become love itself.

Love's Ripening Kabir HelminskiThis expression of love dissolves the idea of a “personal” love but brings forth a “lover” that is “universal.” As Helminski (in his book Love’s Ripening) says: “… With Rumi and Sufism a new category of spiritual personality has emerged. Among the various characters on the spiritual stage—gnostics, hermits, meditators, fakirs, yogis—we can now add the Lover …” …

And, Rumi gives us a glimpse of this lover (in Helminski’s translation):

The intellectual is always showing off;
the lover is always getting lost.
The intellectual runs away, afraid of drowning;
the whole business of love is to drown in the sea.

So far, we’ve offered Rumi’s “mystical gems” through distinguished translators like Coleman Barks and Jonathan Star … and today we add Kabir Helminski to this esteemed set.

Kabir’s translations are informed by, and steeped with, what he learned through his Sufi mentor Suleyman Dede, who, in Kabir’s words, was a “genuine master of Love.”  Kabir traveled to Konya (Rumi’s home) over five years to study under Dede … and felt like he was “being tuned.” The resulting immersion in the life of Rumi and Shams – through Dede – ultimately let him enter “… a landscape of gnosis where the Divine Intelligence directly addresses the human heart …”

In this post, we take a peek into Helminski’s “world of Rumi” through a poem, You Are Joy and We Are Laughter, excerpted from Love’s Ripening that he co-translated with the Iranian Sufi scholar, Ahmad Rezwani … and with his wife Camille (another accomplished Sufi scholar).

This post is part of our ongoing Shambhala Publications series that offers substantive previews of selections from Shambhala Publications new and classic titles …

Shambhala Publications

All italicized text in this post (except as noted) is adapted from Love’s Ripening: Rumi on the Heart’s Journey, translated by Kabir Helminski & Ahmad Rezwani © 2008 by Kabir Helminski & Ahmad Rezwani. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

You can purchase the book at Shambhala Publications or Amazon.

You Are Joy and We Are Laughter

O my God, our intoxicated eyes have blurred our vision.
Our burdens have been made heavy, forgive us.

You are hidden, and yet from East to West
You have filled the world with Your radiance.
Your Light is more magnificent than sunrise or sunset,
and You are the inmost ground of consciousness
revealing the secrets we hold.

lover sunset rumi helminski

You are an explosive force
causing our dammed-up rivers to burst forth.
You whose essence is hidden
while Your gifts are manifest,
You are like water and we are like millstones.
You are like wind and we are like dust.

The wind is hidden while the dust is plainly seen.
You are the invisible spring,
and we are Your lush garden.
You are the Spirit of life and we are like hand and foot.
Spirit causes the hand to close and open.

lover lush garden fall colors rumi helminski

You are intelligence; we are Your voice.
Your intelligence causes this tongue to speak.
You are joy and we are laughter,
for we are the result of the blessing of Your joy.

All of our movement is really
a continual profession of faith,
bearing witness to Your eternal power,
just as the powerful turning of the millstone
professes faith in the river’s existence.

Dust settles upon my head and upon my metaphors,
for You are beyond anything we can ever think or say.
And yet, this servant cannot stop trying
to express Your Beauty;
in every moment,
let my soul be Your carpet.

lover carpet rumi helminski

~ Rumi (from Mathnawi V, 3307-3319), translated by Kabir Helminski & Ahmad Rezwani with Camille Helminski

We’ll be offering more poetry (from Helminski and others) in this Shambhala Publications series over time …

The next post in this series will introduce Gurdjieff’s teachings via his book In Search of Being: The Fourth Way to Consciousness

So stay tuned …


Shambhala Publications

All italicized text in this post (except as noted) is adapted from Love’s Ripening: Rumi on the Heart’s Journey, translated by Kabir Helminski & Ahmad Rezwani © 2008 by Kabir Helminski & Ahmad Rezwani. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

You can purchase the book at Shambhala Publications or Amazon.



Rumi’s “universal” love helps us recognize and embrace our oneness … and in that spirit let us minimize (& hopefully dissolve) the current humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine … by helping in whatever way we can … and to that end here are some options:

1) NPR: Want to support the people in Ukraine? Here’s how you can help

2) Washington PostHere’s how Americans can donate to help people in Ukraine.

3) Go Fund Me: How to Help: Donate to Ukraine Relief Efforts.

4) USA Today: Want to support the people of Ukraine? These apps and websites can help you send money.

— — — —

We are all facing financial challenges but IF your situation allows you to donate and help then please do so …


May you cultivate … the lover within that … is always getting lost


Opening Rumi and other Coleman Barks quotes from The Essential Rumi – reissue: New Expanded Edition, translated by Coleman Barks and John Moyne.
Images (edited & Logo added): Header: Annapurna mountains by saiko3p,1 & Featured) Sunrise seascape with a mix of high and low cloud producing pretty skies at Killcare Beach on the Central Coast, NSW, Australia by Merrillie, 2) Cover page of Helminski book, 3 & x) Shambhala Publications logo, 4) Big rocks on the beach at sunset by jomagne143, 5) Autumn foliage trees and horses in the mountains Meadow with hay by Arsgera , 6) Anatolia rugs by sserdarbasak. 1, 5-6 from depositphotos & 4) from 123rtf. All for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post). 2, 3, & 7) generously provided by Shambhala Publications with permission to be used on our website and other digital assets.

The Shambhala Publications Series

Stillness Speaks is honored to offer a substantive “inside look” at the extraordinary library of Shambhala Publications through our reviews (book excerpts + remarks).




We welcome your donations to keep this project thriving.

Support Our Mission


We also want to send our latest articles, videos, and podcasts via email once per week. As a thank you for signing up, you'll receive a video we produced that is unavailable anywhere else on the Internet.

Thank you! Please check your email for a welcome message and a link to the video.