Ali in Battle

Learn from Ali how to fight

without your ego participating.

God’s Lion did nothing
that didn’t originate
from his deep centre.

Once in battle he got the best of a certain knight
and quickly drew his sword. The man,
helpless on the ground, spat
in Ali’s face. Ali dropped the sword,
relaxed, and helped the man to his feet.

“Why have you spared me?
How has lightning contracted back
into its cloud? Speak, my prince,
so that my soul can begin to stir
in me like an embryo.”

Ali was quiet and then finally answered,
“I am God’s Lion, not the lion of passion.
The sun is my lord. I have no longing
except for the One.

When a wind of personal reaction comes,
I do not go along with it.

There are many winds full of anger,
and lust and greed. They move the rubbish
around, but the solid mountain of our true nature
stays where it’s always been.

There’s nothing now
except the divine qualities.
Come through the opening to me.

Your impudence was better than any reverence,
because in this moment I am you and you are me.

I give you this opened heart as God gives gifts:
the poison of your spit has become
the honey of friendship.”

— Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks with John Moyne

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