Tripping over Joy

As part of my “spiritual mentor” month, featuring the small handful of unlikely yet inspiring beings I’ve looked to for wisdom, I’m starting with this poem by the great Hafiz, a 13th century Persian poet.

Tripping over Joy~

What is the difference

Between your experience of Existence

and that of a saint?

The saint knows

That the spiritual path

Is a sublime chess game with God.

And that the Beloved

Has just made such a Fantastic Move

That the saint is now continually

Tripping over Joy

And bursting out in Laughter

And saying, “I surrender!”

Whereas, my dear,

I am afraid you still think

You have a thousand serious moves.


The sublimity of the game, is that eventually, these Fantastic Moves shake us from what we think we can (or must) control, anticipate or manipulate. Taxes, girlfriends,  boyfriends, spouses, split ends, the seriousness of Ego.  It shows us even that when we cannot out-maneuver the contents of our life (divorce, illness, loss) — the game is still part of our Divine experience and that we can surrender and release.  Go with the flow, trip over Joy.

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