The Spiritual Practices of Rumi: Radical Techniques for Beholding the Divine

Excerpts & Samples

By Will Johnson

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Will Johnson

Will Johnson
Will Johnson is the founder and director of the Institute for Embodiment Training, which combines Western somatic psychotherapy with Eastern meditation practices. He is the author of Yoga of the Mahamudra; the award-winning Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved, The Forbidden Rumi, and The Sailfish  More...



The secret Rumi found in beholding the Divine in his sacred relationship with Shams-i-Tabriz

• Shows how, in 1244, Sufi poet and mystic Jallaludin Rumi was first brought to a state of ecstatic union with the cosmos and all its creatures

• Reveals the radical spiritual practice Rumi formulated in his private retreat with the mendicant seeker Shams-i-Tabriz

• Uses the poetry and prose of Rumi to explain how to come face-to-face with the Divine

One of the most extraordinary events in the history of Sufism occurred in 1244 when the Sufi poet and mystic Jallaludin Rumi met a wandering seeker named Shams-i-Tabriz. Upon meeting, the two men immediately went into private retreat together, emerging ninety days later in a transformed condition.

In The Spiritual Practices of Rumi, Will Johnson reveals the radical spiritual practice that transpired between Rumi and Shams. To put it simply, they sat and gazed into each other’s eyes. Because the eyes are portals to the soul, their sustained gazing formed the basis of a devotional practice that opened the doors to a profoundly ecstatic state of divine union. Johnson draws on the poetry and prose of Rumi to unfold his story. He also explains how one may embark on the practice of intentional gazing to experience the state of ecstatic divine union shared by Rumi and Shams so many centuries ago.
“In these most troubled of times, Johnson makes available for any and all the secret of beholding the divine in sacred friendship. This makes for sensitive and intriguing reading that goes right to your heart.”
José Argüelles, author of Time and the Technosphere

“A fascinating and quite plausible account of what may have transpired between Jallaludin Rumi and Shams-i-Tabriz behind the closed door of their retreat room. It should be read by all serious students of Rumi.”
W. M. Thackston, Jr., Professor of the Persian Language, Harvard University, translator of Rumi’s discourses, Signs of the Unseen

“Instead of recycling old information, Will Johnson brings new light to the understanding of Rumi with this book. This is how we can bring Rumi to our life rather than bury him in scholarly libraries.”
Nevit O. Ergin, translator of Rumi’s Divan-i Kebir

"Since meditation is so often seen as a solitary practice, and since so many of our human interactions are superficial avoidance of genuine intimacy, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. Because of its meditative nature, and because of its promise of opening the heart and vision to the deeper nature of all around us, it seems especially appropriate for those engaged on the Ovate and Druid paths."
Karl Schlotterbeck, Henge of Keltria, May 2008