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Music Poetry Spiritual Practices

Play and Pray First

September 1, 2019
Take down the dulcimer-Rumi

Art by Steven Ponsford


TODAY, like every other day, we wake up empty and scared.

Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.

TAKE down the dulcimer.

Djalal ad-Din Rumi

I love this quote by Rumi.

I have it hanging from my refrigerator and try to remember the wisdom of this simple, yet profound verse.

How often do we check our phones as we wake up for updates on the news or on our social media activity that we may have missed while we slept?

A waking ritual is needed for today’s hurried and frantic world we live in.

This quote reminds me to slow down, breathe, and prayfully start my day.

I open my eyes and take a deep breathe of gratitude as I thank God for a peaceful and quiet night. Even when the night may not have been restful I still want to acknowledge the rest I did get in the safety of my house.

I slowly get out of my bed and raise my hands to the sky and say or think to myself,

“Thank you God!”

The dulcimer in this quote represents for me play and love. Instead of immediately getting down to the business of the day, one should slowly prepare tea or coffee and sit in thought or contemplation for a few moments.

Instead of thinking about what bills I need to pay, I will ask my son how he slept last night and give him a hug.

Instead of worrying about a work commitiment for the day, I will cuddle our dog Lily and stroke her happy face before heading out the door.

Our waking up is often different depending on our lifestyle and work situation.

For many of us, days we work are often very focused and time limited but that does not mean we can still not enjoy the morning and all its blessings.

That is why I like to carry little prayer cards with either a favorite quote, prayers, bible verse, or mantra that I want to meditate on during the day.

After waking up and making my coffee, I will read one of my cards and take a moment to reflect on the words before placing it in my pocket.

The quote, “Take up the Dulcimer” has been a spiritual quote I have returned to over and over throughout the years.

Now if you are gifted with musical talent (or even you aren’t!) you can take this literally.

Sing, dance, play your instrument!

Sing, dance, and play your instrument before getting into the day’s business. Enjoying your creative pursuits, loving your partner, children, and pets before all else is a great way to live this wisdom.

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