This is my all-time favorite book. A collection of 12 of the greatest spiritual thinker/writers from the East and the West, Ladinsky's translation makes them sing! I regularly give this as a gift, whether as a celebration or a reminder of the grace that's all around us.
This volume includes Sufi great Hafiz, of course (Ladinsky made his name translating him the way Coleman Barks made his name translating Rumi), as well as St. Francis, Kabir, St. Teresa, Meister Eckhart, Rabia, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rumi and others. It’s like a fabulous movie soundtrack of spiritual enlightenment.
Samples of this love:
TROUBLEMAKERS (Rabia) Since no one really knows anything about God, those who think they do are just troublemakers.
AN IMAGE THAT MAKES THEM SAD (Eckhart) How long will grown men and women in this world Keep drawing in their coloring books An image of God that Makes them Sad?
CAPAX UNIVERSI (Aquinas) (portion) Capax universi, capable of the universe are your arms When they move with love.
As capable a God Are we.
THE SUN NEVER SAYS (Hafiz) Even After All this time The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look What happens With a love like that —
It lights the whole World.
I MIGHT ACT SERIOUS (Tukaram) If God would stop telling jokes, I might act Serious.
These poems are short but representative of the kind of language this volume contains. It encourages the expression of joy in all things, in all the world, without asking the reader to endorse one faith system or another. That’s what’s so refreshing about it!
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