“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”….Rumi

Some fifteen years ago while taking a course in creative writing at The New School I came across this quotation from Rumi on a greeting card in a book store. I loved the quote then and I still do. When I first saw it I thought, I should buy a few of these cards and send them to people with whom I have strained relationships. As I remember I bought the cards and might have sent one or two but sending them never seemed right. However the quote has continued to come to mind whenever I’ve had occasion to be in a card shop.

So, here’s a quote that has stayed with me for about 15 years and I didn’t understand why. On Rosie’s Birthday (April 26) I attended a poetry reading featuring Rosie and one or two others at a friend’s book store and found the card. I bought a few of them, brought them home, put them in a drawer and didn’t know who to send them to. A month or so later Rosie and I were hiking in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona after attending our nephew’s wedding there and it occurred to me. I am the person I am to meet in this field of non-blame and non-judgment. The quote is to me, from me.

I imagine this field as a place of acceptance, free of judgment and comparison and self deprecation, a place of calm where I’m able to be who I really am. I know now that the field is in me. It’s that place I seek when I meditate. It is that place, that small but growing place that knows I’m OK. That knows I really don’t need the approval of others, that knows I’m complete and real and just trying, however haltingly, to be authentic.

Posted June 20, 2007


I’m waiting for these to be published ,so that I can say –I know the writer—-

I love it when something so simple as meditating on a quote from a greeting card can jolt me out of my chaotic, hectic, dream-world of “busy-ness” and into a place of calm serenity. Simplicity can be so profound. Thanks. I needed that.

I also love this quote from Rumi…I often repeat it to myself for the reasons you folks give…

Yes, meditation is a good thing. A sit by a large still lake…


Dear Philip,

Tomorrow I am doing a presentation and I am using the Rumi quote about the field. I am also going to quote you because I love your words “I am the person I am to meet in this field of non-blame and non-judgment. The quote is to me, from me.” These words and the ones that follow it form a piece of the puzzle that sits beside a realisation I had in about 1994 or 1995, whilst sitting in a cinema (in Melbourne Australia) watching the credits roll after “Saving Private Ryan.” The words repeated and repeated in my being like a mantra - “The war is within … the war is within” over and over and over. It was a powerful moment indelibly imprinted on my being, yet still I forget it sometimes. Your words have shone a light there again and enabled me to see more clearly the place of peace and acceptance within me.

I am very grateful to you and also for the WWW that enables me to connect with myself and you at midnight. In gratitude and solitude - yet not alone. THANK YOU : )

Your comment on Rumi’s words is as good as the words.

Thank You.


this quote leaves one thinking and aspiring to live up to your own ideals, most excellent… thanks for your interpretation, very enlightening


Thanks very much for that useful blog post.

My GP wrote this down for me today as we were talking. Such powerful, powerful words.

Thank you very much for this inspiration and centering point.

The realization that “I am the person I am to meet in this field of non-blame and non-judgment” immediately evokes Derek Walcott’s poem, “Love after Love”, here copied from another’s anonymous submission to poemhunter.com:

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

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