Mystics and Non-Dual Thinkers: Week 1
Summary: Sunday, July 12-Saturday, July 18, 2015
A mystic is one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience. (Sunday)
“We awaken in Christ’s body, / as Christ awakens our bodies.” –Symeon the New Theologian (Monday)
“This gift is from God and not of man’s deserving. But certainly no one ever receives such a great grace without tremendous labor and burning desire.” –Richard of St. Victor (Tuesday)
“If humankind could have known God without the world, God would never have created the world.” –Meister Eckhart (Wednesday)
“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.” –Meister Eckhart (Thursday)
“I want one who can quit seeing himself, / fill with God and, instead of being / irritated by interruption and daily / resentments, feel those as kindness.” –Rumi (Friday)
Practice: Learning by Heart
Another revered Persian Sufi poet and mystic is Khwaja Shams ud-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi (about 1320-1389) of Iran, who lived a century after Rumi. His poetry expresses human experience of the Divine. Daniel Ladinsky writes: “Hafiz does not see God as separate from the world—wherever there is love, there is the Beloved. The Indian Sufi teacher Inayat Khan explained, ‘The mission of Hafiz was to express to a fanatical religious world that the presence of God is not to be found only in heaven, but also here on earth.’” 
Numerous people have translated, adapted, or imitated Hafiz’s poetry in many languages. In his renditions, Ladinsky tries to be true “to the living spirit of this divine poet . . . a spirit of infinite tenderness and compassion, of great exuberance, joy and laughter, of ecstatic love and fervent longing for his Beloved, and of wonder and delight at the divine splendor of the universe.”  The Sufis call Hafiz “the living embodiment of Love.” 
Hafiz or Hafez is a name given to someone who memorizes the Qur’an. Hafiz also knew a great deal of Rumi’s poetry by heart. It seems there is greater power in words when we take them into our beings at the level of memory. From here they can move to the subconscious and even greater consciousness. Taking wisdom-words in through our ears or eyes, then letting them find a home in our hearts, is a wonderful way of practicing embodying love. I invite you to memorize a short passage from one of this week’s mystics, perhaps Hafiz’s poem, rendered below by Ladinsky, or the Gateway to Silence.
What is this precious love and laughter
Budding in our hearts?
It is the glorious sound
Of a soul waking up! 
Gateway to Silence:
“I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through.” —Hafiz
 Daniel Ladinsky, A Year with Hafiz: Daily Contemplations (Penguin Books: 2011), xxx.
 Ibid., xvii-xviii.
 Ibid., xvi.
 Ibid., xxx.
For further study:
Coleman Barks, The Soul of Rumi
Michael Demkovich, Introducing Meister Eckhart
Matthew Fox, Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart
Daniel Ladinsky, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West
Richard Rohr, Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate . . . Seeing God in All Things (CD, DVD, MP3 download)
Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See