Tulips from İstanbul, The Last Barrier by Zeynep

purple tulips, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

purple tulips, istanbul tulip festival, istanbul, pentax k10d

Fethiye is my favorite districts in Med. I want to share an local author from Fethiye.

When I was in Findhorn Ecovillage this fall, I gave a presentation to the Findhorn Community about the trainings on sustainability that took place in Turkey three times. Trainers from Gaia Education came to Turkey to teach in workshops on social and ecological sustainability. These were very effective workshops that really changed my view of life and what it means to be human on this planet. I talked about the projects that I and my friends who had attended the workshops have been organising with respect to sustainability in Turkey. I really had wanted to share my thanks in Findhorn and I was happy to be able to do it.

Well, these days are important days in human history. On the 7th of December the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP 15, started and until the 18th, leaders, politicians and scientists will talk about the climate conditions that are awaiting us and what can be done about carbon emission levels to provide solutions for global warming and related threats to human survival on Earth. The current CO2 levels in our atmosphere is around 387-389 ppm (parts per million) and the highest safe level for preserving life as we know is calculated to be 350 ppm. We are surely past that limit. And if we could like to go for a correction, we all need to act fast.

One day when I was in Findhorn waiting in line for a meal, I stood next to a gentleman that I seemed to recall. I remembered that last summer when I was in Findhorn for the first time, I had attended a walking tour of The Park. The Park is what the main grounds of The Findhorn Ecovillage is called. And he had been my tour guide. As we were talking , he told me about a book by Reshad Field that he had read years ago and his trip to Turkey after reading that book. The title of the book was The Last Barrier. The more he told me about the book, the more I was interested. A few days later during lunch time, Richard brought the book to me so that I could have a look or read. That night I found myself reading until 2-2:30 in the morning, even though I had class in the morning. I read 99 pages and stopped reading unwillingly that night. The book was about the story of a British guy who followed his heart to Turkey to walk the Sufi path. The path of the great Sufi master of the 13th century Rumi (Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi) was the Sufi tradition mentioned in the book. While I was reading, I could not help but think how deeper Rumi is known outside of Turkey. We know Rumi so well that we do not really know him. In Findhorn people seem to have both knowledge of and appreciation for Rumi’s work and teachings.

Anyway, after I finished reading The Last Barrier, Richard gave me a second book by the same author, where the story of the same character now takes place back in the UK. Unfortunately due to the full schedule of my trainers’ training, I could not find the time to finish this second book. I returned the books to Richard with one of the Rumi books from Coleman Barks that I had brought with me to Scotland.

Mevlana which means master is how we usually call Rumi in Turkey. Rumi is the name he is more commonly known by in the Western world. The month of December is special because Mevlana died on December 17th and he asked that his death day be celebrated. That night is called his wedding night since it is his union with his Beloved God. Therefore that night is a night of celebration for Rumi’s life and death. In the city of Konya, where he lived and died, as well as in many places in Turkey and around the world celebrations are organised in his honour.

Rumi is best known in the world as a great poet. In the USA, he is the best selling poet about 800 years after his time. Rumi’s most known work is Mathnawi, Mesnevi as we call it in Turkish. Mesnevi is a collection of over 25,000 verses, six volumes of Rumi’s teachings in verse. Rumi shared many stories with spiritual and theological reflections in Mathnawi. Two years agohe year 2007 was declared the ‘Year of Rumi’ by UNESCO.

This week I would like to share some pieces from Mesnevi to connect with Rumi’s energy and essence, knowing that it is impossible to share who this great master in limited paragraphs.

Rumi’s light is still shining bright and strong. May he rest in peace.

Here The Master speaks:

From Mathanawi Volume II, 1192-1199, 1206

Why the Seeker Achieves the Goal

On the bank of a stream, there was a high wall. Sitting on top of that high wall was a very sad, thirsty man.

The wall prevented him from reaching the water; he was filled with longing for the water, like a fish might be if it were in the same situation.

Suddenly, he threw a loose brick down from the wall and it fell into the water. The noise of the splashing water echoed in his ears like words – words spoken by a dear and delicious friend.

The noise of the water made him feel intoxicated, as if he had drunk wine. The splashing sound made by the water made that hard-pressed man feel better; then he began to tear off more bricks and throw them down from that place.

The water, however, made whimpering noises and said “Hey you! What do you hope to gain by throwing bricks at me?”

The thirsty man replied, “O Water! I’m getting two things, and because of it I’ll never stop what I’m doing. The first thing I’m getting is the splashing sounds of the water, which is to a thirsty man sounds like a violin. The second thing is that, for every brick I tear off this wall, I come closer to you.”

From Mathanawi Volume III, 4159-4165, 4169

Look at the chickpea floating in the pot, how it leaps when it’s put under the fire. As it’s being boiled, it keeps rising to the top; it cries out in 100 ways, saying, “Why are you scalding me with fire? Since you thought I was food enough to buy, why are you turning me upside down now?”

The cook goes on hitting it with her ladle and says, “Come on now! Boil nicely; don’t try to escape the one who made the fire. I’m not boiling you because I hate you, but rather so you can become tasty and flavourful, and gain good qualities and mingle with the spirit (of the soup). This pain that you’re enduring now isn’t because you’re unloved. When you were young and fresh in the garden you drank in water. Your drinking of that water then was for the sake of burning in this fire now!”

May all the visible and invisible barriers that stop us gentle come down. May all our paths be filled with love and light.

With love,


original text was on the Fethiye Local News


One response to “Tulips from İstanbul, The Last Barrier by Zeynep

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