anthologies

Essential Sufism:

JAMES FADIMAN & ROBERT FRAGER, EDITORS
FORWORD BY HUSTON SMITH
HARPERSANFRANCISCO, SAN FRANCISCO, CA, SEPTEMBER 1997

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Essential Sufism is the first broad-ranging accessible exploration of the treasures produced by a faith that has touched a dozen cultures and endured for over fifteen hundred years. Presenting more than three hundred inspirational works from all eras of Sufism, from thousand-year-old prayers to contemporary Sufi poetry, this collection embraces the full diversity of a rich tradition and reveals the heart of Islamic mysticism. I am honored to have a few poems in this vast collection.

EXCERPT
God's Wounds

Through the great pain of stretching
beyond all that pain has taught me,
the soft well at the base
has opened, and life
touching me there
has turned me into a flower
that prays for rain. Now
I understand: to blossom
is to pray, to wilt and shed
is to pray, to turn to mulch
is to pray, to stretch in the dark
is to pray, to break surface
after great months of ice
is to pray, and to squeeze love
up the stalky center toward the sky
with only dreams of color
is to pray, and finally to unfold
again as if never before
is to be the prayer.

REVIEW

“The Sufis have helped to open the world’s heart. James Fadiman and Robert Frager have been loving and teaching this material for many years. The range and depth of understanding here is amazing. This is a new resource, a treasure in the tradition of Sufi soul-work. I love and value this work.”
Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi

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