University of Toronto Rumi Poetry Source of Milk Reflective Essay



University of Toronto

Question Description


Length: 750-800 words

Instructions: Choose one of the following passages from The Essential Rumi as the basis for a reflection paper:

p. 36: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing … doesn’t make any sense.”

p. 96: “How can a lover … a voice that says I am God.”

p. 125: “We’ve come into the presence of the one / who was never apart from us.”

p. 175 I Come Before Dawn (entire poem)

p. 198: “… Silence is an ocean … to an end.”

p. 207: “I will search ... need to search.”

pp. 222-223 Polishing the Mirror (entire poem)

p. 255: “You are the source of milk … keep you from water.”

p. 259: “Human beings seem to be derived … origin of the world.”

p. 289: “Death is a wedding feast … Don’t speak of anything you haven’t experienced.”

In preparing your reflection, consider the following: What does your passage mean in the context of Rumi’s poetry? What is Rumi trying to say? How does he despair of words in trying to say it? How does Rumi’s poetic expression of his religious experience of searching for the Friend speak to you in your own context? Is it saying something you have ever thought of before? Can you make Rumi’s insights your own?


What is the spiritual importance of SOLITUDE (not simply “being alone” or “being lonely”)?

Ancillary Resources


Length: 750-800 words


Carefully (re)read Chapter 5 of Revelations of Divine Love.

Compared to the glory of God, Julian perceives all of creation as a small, frail thing in constant danger of falling apart.

Is it only mystics and children, the spiritual and the simple, who continue to marvel at creation, or have you ever shared this sense of wonder, too?


Value: 3 points

Interactive discussion topic:

Can suffering ever be justified? Can it be “redeemed”?

Ancillary Resources for Units 6 & 7

2002 PBS documentary


Length: 750-800 words

750-800 words

Elie Wiesel's play The Trial of God is an historical fiction set in mid-seventeenth century Ukraine, but is based on actual events he witnessed as a child in Auschwitz in the 1940s, when three rabbis put God on trial for crimes against the human race.

Why did he choose to treat this incident the way he did, by setting it back almost 300 years in time?



Value: 3 points

Interactive discussion topic:

What makes Zen so appealing to the West?

Ancillary Resources for Units 8 & 9

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Q1. Reflection on the Source of Milk
As human beings, we always have to tap into our inner self to obtain certain feelings that
make us alive. According to The Essential Rumi’s poetry, the passage you are the source of milk
means that we are the sources of our gifts, freedom, love, and strength. The passage emphasizes
the importance of looking at oneself and obtaining the courage from within. Through the
passage, Rumi criticizes individuals who are dependent on others or a specific religion for
strength, divine love, or blessings. Rumi’s poetry is based on universal love which helps us
transcend our mortal existence and help us find inner peace, joy, and our desires. Based on
Rumi's context the passage means that the ultimate source of all love, joy, peace, and blessings is
within our mind and we should not go seeking from others.
Rumi's poetry embraces universal love as a key factor to be appreciated. From the passage you
are the source and fountain fool of milk do not walk around the empty bucket, Rumi is trying to
emphasize the importance of reflection on oneself for blessings, joy, peace, and strength. The
passage is among many Rumi's poetry but he is trying to tell our hearts and mind how to look for
contentment within us. Looking for a blessing from what we do and looking for joy and love
from what we have. From the passage, Rumi is also trying to say that everything is not from God
but from within us. For those who think everything is from God do not experience and changes

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and keep looking for things within themselves. Rumi is trying to urge everyone to look for
blessings, love, joy, and peace within themselves.
Rumi from the passage uses the word source to represent us and milk to represent the
blessings, joy, and peace within us. He alludes to us not to despair and look within us for peace,
wisdom, and love. Searching for peace and blessing is not a caravan of despair but a hopeful
journey of finding peace within us. In the passage, we are the channel into the ocean of blessings,
joy, and strength. We can search for love expansion and despair but Rumi begs us to meditate on
hope since sunshine comes after darkness. Rumi uses symbolic words, like milk and ocean,
fountains to show us the importance of meditation and seeking freedom through us as revealed in
the passage. This shows how he despairs in words trying to find terms to emphasize the
importance of seeking strength from inside our being.
Rumi’s religious experience in searching for the friend helps us understand the
importance of being grateful for friends (Shayegh & Elham 17). Through Rumi's experience, we
learn that we should stay with friends whom you can share sacred texts and keep practices
together. Every person you meet as a friend is a guide sent from beyond. Rumi's experiences
show us that friendship is for the present moment since we do not plan or know the events of
tomorrow. Rumi's experiences also speak to us by revealing that generosity in a friend is the core
factor in raising a solid friendship. As rose oil is derived from roses, friends are our innermost
The Rumi's religious expression on finding a friend describes factors that I have thought
before when searching for a friend. Friendship is between people with the same mutual affection.
Friends are bounded by trust, understanding, honesty, forgiveness, love, and compassion just as
Rumi describes a friend as generous. From Rumi's context that every person you meet is a guide

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sent from beyond is also assimilated to my thought as friendship is a planned bond between two
different people. For a solid friendship, friends should be a perfect match and guide each other
through any obstacles or challenges. Based on Rumi's expression that friends reveal our
innermost self, it is also based on the fact th...

yvaqfnlfzvgu (10416)
Duke University

Really useful study material!

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