Rumi’s Four Essential Practices
Ecstatic Body, Awakened Soul
by Will Johnson
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Poems and commentary that open the door for a new generation to experience the ecstatic and embodied spiritual truths contained in Rumi’s poetry
• Reveals how the four practices of eating lightly, breathing deeply, moving freely, and gazing intently can invoke the divinity within us all
• Explains how these practices dissolve the self’s need for identity so that we may experience a state of transcendent ecstasy and union with the divine
• Takes Rumi’s path to finding God from theoretical to embodied practices
The great thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet Jalaluddin Rumi began his life as an orthodox Islamic believer but felt that to fully experience complete union with the divine he must abandon institutionalized religion and its prescribed forms of worship. Surrendering his will to his overriding urge for a much more immediate, intuitive, and compelling union with the divine, he found that by manipulating certain behavioral aspects of his physiology--eating lightly, breathing deeply, moving freely, and gazing raptly--he was capable of loosening the rigid confines of the self, thereby overriding its limitations and achieving a transcendent merging with his own divinity.
His message is simple: if you wish to affect the spirit, you must first make changes in the way your body responds to the world. Through clearly written commentary interspersed with Rumi’s beautiful poems, this book details these four practices in a very precise way. As such, it is a sweet and open invitation to follow the examples set forth in order to embark upon one’s own path of inner illumination. The freshness of Rumi’s poetry dissolves the 700 years that separate his life from our own time, making his message as pertinent today as when he walked the streets of Konya, Anatolia (present-day Turkey), reciting his inspiring verse. This book allows us, through Rumi’s gentle guidance, to touch the face of God that resides deep within us all.
- Inner Traditions/Bear & Company, January 2010
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