Sitting With Fatima 6
As the days wore on, Michaela experienced physiological experiences that were different from those which she had ever experienced. Feelings of floating and pleasant feelings that approached orgasm would come over her as she said her zhikr. Other physiological changes in her body were taken place, such as an extraordinarily long menstrual period that left her very weak.
She made accommodations to account for her weakness–crawling on all fours near her space heating so she wouldn’t fall into it. Yusef several times brought her rice soup, which she desperately needed to rebuild her strength.
At one point, Michaela began to understand perhaps why her Teacher had not been in contact with her for almost a year. However, it was her dearest wish to see her Teacher again. She felt deep pain and burning, but then for a moment she felt complete peace and tranquility. She felt it must be Rumi’s “poor-house of not wanting.” She felt she had given all she had to give and that her crying would never cease. She alternated between praying and sleeping and was totally spent.
She realized there was only one way: complete and total surrender; absolute of give-up of wanting-for oneself. giving up what is dearest. In the words of Rumi: to “take the step toward the lion in the lion’s presence,” to “jump into the fire,” to “fall into the trap.”
Michaela remembered this passage from Rumi. Rumi said, “So the reports of a lion reached every corner of the world. A man amazed by the rumors made his way to the forest from a faraway place to see the lion. For a whole year he endured the rigors of the journey, traveling from waystation to waystation. When he got to the forest and saw the lion from afar, he stood still and couldn’t go a step closer. ‘What’s this?’ They said to him. ‘You came all this way out of love for this lion. This lion has the trait that if a person boldly comes up to him and strokes him lovingly, he will not hurt that person or do anything to him; but if someone is fearful and anxious, then the lion becomes furious with him; indeed he attacks some people meaning to kill them because they have a bad opinion of him. That being so, you’ve given yourself a year of trouble. Now that you’ve gotten so close to the lion, you stand still. What kind of standing there is that?’ No one had the courage to go a single step farther. They said, ‘All the steps we took up to now were easy. Here we can’t take a step farther.’ Now, what Omar [one of the four “Rightly-Guided Caliph and companions of Muhammad (pbuh)] meant by faith was this step, taking a step in the lion’s presence toward the lion. This step is extremely rare; it is part of the elect and God’s close friends alone. It is the real step, the rest are only footprints.’
- A Rumi Poem Sufi Masters for my friend Fatima! (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Sitting with Fatima (5) – Forty Days: The Diary of a Traditional Solitary Sufi Retreat (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Sitting with Fatima (3) – Sitting with Fatima (3) – Forty Days: The Diary of a Traditional Solitary Sufi Retreat (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Sitting with Fatima (2) – Forty Days: The Diary of a Traditional Solitary Sufi Retreat (mycaravanofdreams.com)
- Sitting with Fatima (4) – Forty Days: The Diary of a Traditional Solitary Sufi Retreat (mycaravanofdreams.com)