"Dear Friend, Your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it clean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets," al-Ghazzoli has written. This is one of the many gems of wisdom in Essential Sufism edited by James Fadiman and Roger Frager. This mystical branch of Islam is "a way of love, a way of devotion and a way of knowledge."

Here in one volume are Sufi aphorisms, prayers, poems, stories, meditations, and commentary. For all those who have thrilled to Rumi's ecstatic poetry, this will seem like a spiritual warehouse of insights into the Sufi path of opening the heart and practicing remembrance of God. As the editors note, "God has placed the seeds of all wisdom within humanity. We can find within ourselves all that we want or need."

Fadiman and Frager shed light on various Sufi practices and virtues including faith, humility, gratitude, patience, and generosity. They discuss the meaning of the veils between ourselves and God, true wealth and spiritual poverty, the three blessings given to those who love God, service as a form of worship, teachers as physicians of the soul, the world as a mirror of the Divine, and pathways to self-transformation. Essential Sufism is an awesome compendium of spiritual wisdom that is eminently profound and practical.

Try a Spiritual Practice on Kindness

Try a Spiritual Practice on Peace