A sufi was wandering the world.
One night he came as a guest to a community of sufis.
He tied up his donkey in the stable
and then was welcomed to the head of the dais.
They went into deep meditation and mystical communion,
he and these friends. For such people
a person¡¯s presence is more to learn from
than a book. A sufi¡¯s book is not composed
with ink and alphabet. A scholar loves, and lives on,
the marks of a pen. A sufi loves footprints!
He sees those and stalks his game. At first, he sees
the clues. After a time he can follow the scent.
To go guided by fragrance is a hundred times better
than following tracks. A person who is opening
to the divine is like a door to a sufi.
What might appear a worthless stone
to others, to him¡¯s a pearl. You see your image
clearly in a mirror. A sheikh sees more than that
in a discarded brick. Sufi masters are those
whose spirits existed before the world.
Before the body, they lived many lifetimes.
Before seeds went into the ground, they harvested wheat.
Before there was an ocean, they strung pearls.
While the great meeting was going on about bringing
human beings into existence, they stood up to their chins
in wisdom water. When some of the angels opposed
creation, the sufi sheikhs laughed and clapped
among themselves. Before materiality, they knew
what it was like to be trapped inside matter.
Before there was a nightsky, they saw Saturn.
Before wheat grains, they tasted bread.
With no mind, they thought.
Immediate intuition to them is the simplest act
of consciousness, what to others would be epiphany.
Much of our thought is of the past, or the future.
They¡¯re free of those. Before a mine is dug,
they judge coins. Before vineyards,
they know the excitements to come.
In July, they feel December.
In unbroken sunlight, they find shade. In fana,
the state where all objects dissolve,
they recognize objects. The open sky drinks
from their circling cup. The sun wears
the gold of their generosity.
When two of them meet, they are no longer two.
They are one and six hundred thousand.
The ocean waves are their closest likeness,
when wind makes, from unity, the numerous.
This happened to the sun, and it broke into rays
through the window, into bodies.
The disc of the sun does exist, but if you see
only the ray-bodies, you may have doubts.
The human-divine combination is a oneness.
Plurality, the apparent separation into rays.
Friend, we¡¯re traveling together.
Throw off your tiredness. Let me show you
one tiny spot of the beauty that cannot be spoken.