Sufism is making a name for itself as a viable spiritual path for the average Westerner, and Kabir Helminski is blazing the trail. A genuine Sufi shaikh and representative of the Mevlevi order of Sufism in North America, Helminski seeks to create what he calls "a spirituality adequate to our times." In The Knowing Heart
's collected essays, Helminski delves into the unique characteristics that define Sufism and make it relevant to seekers today. Along the way, he explains the difference between a shaikh and a dervish; the purpose of the dervish's whirling dance during a sema
; why Sufis chant the zikr
; when a spiritual conversation is a sohbet
; and how love turns service into ecstasy. Although the author is reaching into an ancient foreign tradition, there is little in this book that's arcane or awkward. Helminski softens his delivery with liberal use of poems, especially from his lineal forebear Rumi, and with pithy stories that are the hallmark of Sufi teaching. The overall message is that true spirituality requires sustained self-development, and The Knowing Heart
offers an attractive path. --Brian Bruya
From Library Journal
Sufism, which has been described as the mystic heart of Islam, is little known and little understood in this country despite the advocacy of popularizers such as Idries Shah. Helminski, a Mevlevi Shaikh and translator of the great Sufi poet Rumi, offers a clear and well-grounded introduction to Sufism, liberally seasoned with insights from the Koran and the writings of Rumi; his is perhaps the best beginner's guide now available. For most libraries.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.