The Chickpea

This week in class we are back to the 3rd chakra. As a focus this week, we started working with the fire element of the chakra. I brought to class with me this great poem by Rumi:

Chickpea to Cook

A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the potboiling
where it’s being boiled.

“Why are you doing this to me?”

The cook knocks him down with the ladle.

“Don’t you try to jump out.
You think I’m torturing you.
I’m giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.

Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this.”

Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life begins,
and the Friend has something good to eat.

Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
“Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can’t do this by myself.

I’m like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn’t pay attention
to his driver. You’re my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking.”

The cook says,
“I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.

My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher.”

I invite you to sit with this poem. Where in your life are you this chickpea? Where have you chosen to throw yourself into the pot and be boiled? And where can you sit in two seats in you life, one as the chickpea and one as the cook. In actuality we are both, and it is only in our separateness that we don’t realize that we have not only chosen the path but that on some level we already have the knowledge we are seeking. Its through the fire of the 3rd chakra that we have the opportunity to get closer to the wisdom of these places of growth in our lives.