Rumi’s Secret The Treasure and the Veil
with Leo Drioli

O travelling pilgrims
Where are you?
Where are you?

The Beloved is right here,
Come ... Come ...

Your Beloved is your neighbour,
wall to wall to you.

Wandering and perplexed in the desert,
what is it you yearn for?

If you dare to look into the face
less face of the Beloved.
You discover that the Master,
the House, and the
Kaaba is you yourself.

You have travelled ten times
on that path to the House.
Just once rise from that
House to This, its rooftop.

That House can be soft
and tender,
you have often talked plenty
about its signs.
Let it reveal a single sign
from the Master of that House.

If you have come from
the Garden,
where is the perfumed

If you have come from
the Ocean,
where is that single
drop of brine?
Where is that salt spray
of the Eternal?

When you are apart
and separated
let the pain of your separation
be your treasure.

Alas! You yourself are
the veil to your own treasure.

- Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

The path home to God is the path of supreme optimism because as we journey Home, absolutely nothing is wasted, forgotten or discarded, it all gets transformed into wisdom and love. This transformation turns all our devastation and ruin into love. We can see it as working with all that life gives, to allow the transformation to take hold moment to moment by “turning the rubble into gold.” This time honoured alchemical process is the deep revelation and constant realization that God is always present ... always already present, just where we are.

Rumi invites us to explore together:

O travelling pilgrims,
Where are you?
Where are you?

His urgent plea is a call to the Soul to be present, it’s an open invitation to stop ... look ... and listen ... “Where are you?” he begs. But it’s more than a question, it’s the invitation to join the quest ... by simply pausing in the middle of the rush, fury and tumble that is often the rubble of our lives and to remember to breathe and ask “Where am I?”

The Beloved is right here,
Come ... Come ...

He now points to the immediacy of God’s presence ... to the Eternal Truth of the Beloved’s gift of constancy. Stop for this moment, on this journey to the “Hajj” - the sacred pilgrimage - and see with the eyes of your Soul that, the Beloved, the One we are all seeking, is right here before us ... always, already here. The thrill of the awakening to the Beloved’s presence, right here, always right here, creates an openness, a deeper receptivity to ... and a willingness to allow for the Beloved to be “seen” everywhere we turn, everywhere we look ... for everywhere, God is already, always here. So, what is the shape of the Beloved, how do we recognize His face?

Rumi immediately replies with ...

Your Beloved is your neighbour,
wall to wall to you.

How immediate. How intensely immediate. Everywhere we turn we meet Him. For each one we meet carries the Beloved within. Yes even the one we shun or turn away from, for here always lies a great opportunity for that deeper receptivity, to truly see the Beloved peering even through these eyes. Do we dare to see past our own pain, into the depths of the Beloved before us? If we dare to look, He is shining in the darkness in supreme clarity. When we come face to face with our own suffering, here lies our greatest opportunity to truly see ... to truly know.

Wandering perplexed in the
desert, what do you yearn for?

As we are faced with the chaos of our fragmented selves reflecting back from the other ... what is it we are seeking? What is it we yearn for? When we lose ourselves in our confusion, in our fragmentation and disconnection ... when we forget who we are, we are reminded to deepen by the very hand that wounds us. By the very thing we fear and shun and turn away from, we are being offered a deeper glimpse. What’s taking place in these moments?

If you dare to look into the
faceless face of the Beloved.

You discover that
The Master, the House
and the Kaaba is you,

When we stop creating a “me” or an “I” in all of this, in all of the rubble of our lives, when we cease trying to be someone in here, we finally meet who really is in here … we see ourselves as that which we seek. This wandering through the desert is our constant forgetting, and when we finally stop ... look ... and listen, we will find that He is here, always, already here.

You have travelled ten times
from the path to that House

We are constantly spinning in circles, spinning away from the Truth that is always here, that is our only refuge and our only constant. The call to awaken is the call to listen and be still ... to stop this incessant jumping away from Truth’s omnipresence, to climb the stairs to our hearts and rest on the rooftops of our Souls.

Just once ... Rumi urges …
Just once rise
from the House to its rooftop.

Just once. Do we hear this? Just once. Not a thousand times. Not a hundred times. Not ten times even! Do it once ... that’s all it takes! And this once is right now ... this moment ... right here ... just where you are. Don’t move past this breath, not even into the out breath as you’re breathing in, or the in breath as you’re breathing out ... practice it now, just where you are. Stop. Let yourself rise out of the confines of your personal identity, that House that you build with every in breath and that you destroy with every out breath. Rise out of this chained compromise of a “me”. You know it’s not really you, you’ve seen it enough to stop believing in it ... So now ... just once ... stop ... and look out from the rooftop. Look out at the vast, infinite expanse that is the real you. Adjust to this cosmic panoramic viewpoint. You know it’s who you really are. How many more times will you deny it? From here, all is welcomed, all is allowed, all is received ... and the House serves you well for it holds the stairwell. Honour it for the many blessings it delivers, but cease identifying with it.

That House is tender,
you have talked plenty
about its signs.

Shh ... enough talking now. Open to its sweetness and let yourself be raised to the Eternal Vastness that you truly are. You’ve talked yourself hoarse. It’s now time to act. You are now ... this once ... called to represent and demonstrate the Eternal Vastness that shines and sings in all its infinite glory within you. Just this once ... this once ...

Show a single sign
from the Master
of that House.

Ahh ... in this breath, He is here. Allow for this to be all there is. Let It be that which breathes in you, through you, as you. No longer seek out a way to demonstrate the presence, let it simply demonstrate Itself as It lives in you, through you, as you. That single sign, is this moment ... just this once. That’s all it takes. Can you bear it enough, do you dare to be transparent enough to allow This to breathe?

The immediacy of God’s embrace as a constant is the greatest gift. As you allow for the deepening to take hold, It will reveal Itself through you ... as you. And its gift will shine to one and all ... it will be revealed and demonstrated at every twist and turn.

If you have come from
the Garden,
where is the perfumed

You see, if for this once you have opened to God’s immediacy, God’s love will be the perfume you share. You will find yourself holding the perfumed bouquet of your gifted blessing.

If you have come from
the Ocean
Where is that drop of brine?
Where is that salty spray
of the Eternal?

If God is here ... then God is here. If it is true that God breathes through you, then God breathes through you. There’s no further to go. You are that Ocean of God ... let Its briny waters flood you ... swim in that God essence ... no, drown in it. This is love’s glory and love’s expression. Stop trying to become it! You are it ... always, already … so be.

When you are apart and
Let the pain of your
be your true treasure.

Ahh ... what a gift. Even the separation calls us Home. No, it’s more than this ... even the separation is God’s presence. For, if God is here, then God is here. No matter what we think, do, feel or say ... absolutely nothing can prevent the Truth from being the Truth. When we finally come to see the constancy and immediacy of the Beloved’s presence - all of it, absolutely all of it sings and shines., This is the glorious treasure ... this moment, just as it is reveals the constancy ... no matter what shape or form it appears to take. This is It!

You yourself are the veil
to your own treasure.

Here lies the hidden secret we’ve been keeping from ourselves.

You yourself are the veil ... we could lament, but we don’t for in the very same breath Rumi also discloses that you too are the treasure. How magnificent. How mysterious. How miraculous. We ourselves have held ourselves captive, yet we ourselves are always already free. We ourselves hide away from the love and joy that we so desperately yearn for, yet we ourselves are this very same love and joy. It’s a constant. No matter what, it’s a constant. It’s always already here. Can we move aside enough right now and allow for this that shines, sings and breathes life into us to simply be? Can we? Do we dare to allow for the Most High, this Eternal Vastness, the All and Everything, the One ... to simply be? Not to become it - but to honour It enough to allow It to be the very breath we breathe, to be the thought we think, to be the treasure that we already, always are.

You yourself are the veil, and you yourself are the treasure.

Rumi’s poem The Treasure and the Veil was translated from Farsi by Amir Mirshamsi

Leo Drioli is the author of “Every Moment’s a Miracle” and editor of InnerSelf Newspaper. Leo is also a singer/songwriter, and has released his first EP “Let Your Spirit Sing”, Get a free download of his single “Give It Your Love” at