The Indian mystic and musician Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882 - 1927) was the first teacher to bring Sufism to the Western world. This revised edition of a 1982 book contains teachings originally given to "mureeds" the students of the Inner School of the Sufi Movement. Hazrat Inayat Khan offers commentary and inspiration on such subjects as superstitions, customs and beliefs, insight, symbology, breath, morals, everyday life, and metaphysics.
In the chapter on morals, this Sufi teacher notes: "All beauty comes from God, so a beautiful manner is a divine expression." One of the key practices in developing "the art of personality" is adab, which, according to Hazrat Inayat Khan, includes the following character qualities: respect, consideration, hospitality, humility, graciousness, tenderness of feeling, sympathy, moderation of speech, and modesty. The training of the ego leads to greater selflessness where we are able to put others first and step aside.
At one point, Hazrat Inayat Khan calls fragrance "the virtue of the soul." I was also struck by his linking of patience to the spiritual practice of hope: "Hope is strengthened by reason but it stands on the foundation of patience, for it is possible that in spite of all reasons a person may completely give up hope if patience is lacking." It is these kinds of spiritual clarifications that make this classic work thoroughly relevant to the present day.