Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Rumi Meditations By Yahiya Emerick

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Rumi was a 13th-century Sufi theologian and poet who spoke of love, unity with God, and spiritual growth. Rumi and his followers, known as the Whirling Dervishes, employed music, poetry, and dance to become closer to God. This guide brings the unique practice of moving meditation to American readers, offering more than 40 meditations based on Rumi's poems. 

Poetry has been one of the most common vehicles for expressing wisdom and cultural knowledge throughout human history. When words are strung together like pearls on a golden chain of rhyme and rhythm, they float much more easily into the heart and mind than mere lecturing. 

Moreover, when a weighty message is carried on the gentle stream of a poem, it’s unthreatening, easy to remember, and a delight to hear. We are, in fact, creatures attuned to poetry! Some of the greatest religious works of antiquity, such as the Psalms, the Qur’an, the Tao Te Ching, and others, use poetry to get their message across. 

When religion and poetry get married, the children can turn out to be truly beautiful! Now think of some of the best-loved stories that have survived through the ages, compositions as diverse as Homer’s Odyssey or the Canterbury Tales. They were poetic in form and held a wide audience enthralled to their tales. Emily Dickenson, Robert Frost, and even some modern songwriters have the same effect on us today. 

Poetry as an art form seems to bring light for its own sake into our otherwise ordinary existence! From the East, too, there has come a large number of poetic works that have stood the test of time. The works of Fariduddin ’Attar, Hafiz, Ibn ’Arabi, Jami’, and Nizami stand out as classics in both their own languages and in English. 

There is another poet, however, whose work has towered above all others in both its appeal and widespread use, and that is the work of the thirteenth-century poet-master, Jalaluddin Rumi. Far from being merely pleasant selections to while away an afternoon with, his writings have shaped the thinking of generations of Muslims, both Sufi and orthodox, and his couplets are still taught in most schools throughout the Muslim world today.

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