Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee has followed the Naqshbandi Sufi path since he was nineteen. In 1991, he moved from London to Northern California where he writes and lectures about Sufism, dreamwork, and Jungian psychology. He observes early in this book: "For centuries Sufis have tried to describe the way love draws us back to God. They have made maps of the path across the desert of separation and described the provisions we need for this journey: the practices and qualities that will enable the lover to go Home to the Beloved."
Some of the essential provisions described here are meditation, dhikr (remembrance of God), polishing the heart (inner work), listening to dreams, learning from a teacher, and participating in a Sufi group. But underlying all of these is the spiritual practice of yearning or as Rumi put it, "Don't look for water, be thirsty." The longing for God goes directly through the heart.
The path of Sufism emphasizes personal experience, living in the present moment, and being open to the ever-enchanting graces of the Beloved. It also means living with the shadow — those elements of ourselves we don't like to bring into the light of day. As Vaughn-Lee emphasizes, these parts of ourselves are all surrendered to God. The payoff is described by Rumi: "God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you have two wings to fly, not one."