You are the only faithful student you have.
All the others leave eventually.
Have you been making yourself shallow
with making others eminent?
Just remember, when you're in union,
you don't have to fear
that you'll be drained.
The command comes to speak,
and you feel the ocean
moving through you.
Then comes, Be silent,
as when the rain stops,
and the trees in the orchard
begin to draw moisture
up into themselves.
(Mathnawi, V, 3195-3219)
"You Are the Only Student You Have" by Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, from Feeling the Shoulder of the Lion: Poetry and Teaching Stories of Rumi, versions by Coleman Barks (Shambhala, 2000).
Art credit: "Rain in the Orchard," 12"x12" oil on panel painting of a Sauvie Island (Oregon, USA) landscape by Randall David Tipton.