Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved: The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine

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9780892819584: Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved: The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine

Reveals the esoteric techniques of achieving divine Union based on the practices of the Sufi poet Rumi and his mysterious spiritual companion Shams-i-Tabriz.


· Reveals the actual practices that transformed Rumi from a conventional Islamic scholar into the mystical poet who originated the dance of the whirling dervish.


· Demonstrates how anyone can achieve similar states of ecstatic divine Union through the simple practice of intentional gazing.


· Interweaves the poetry and writings of Rumi to document this radical practice.


One of the most extraordinary events in the history of Sufism occurred in 1244, when the Sufi poet, mystic, and originator of the dance of the whirling dervish, Jallaludin Rumi, met a wandering seeker named Shams-i-Tabriz. Upon meeting, the two men immediately went into private retreat together and emerged 90 days later in a transformed condition. While the relationship between Rumi and Shams is highly revered within the Sufi tradition, the exact nature of what transpired between them has remained a mystery for the past 750 years. 

Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved reveals for the first time the actual esoteric practice that Rumi and Shams were engaged in behind the closed doors of their retreat room. Using the poetry and words of Rumi to document this radical practice step-by-step, Will Johnson resolves this long-standing spiritual mystery by conducting an extensive search through Rumi's life to uncover the mystical secrets of divine Union in sacred friendship and intimate partnering. In doing so, he presents a practice that anyone can engage in to attain the same ecstatic state of divine Union experienced by Rumi and Shams so many centuries ago. 

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From the Back Cover:

Both our sets of eyes became drunk,
Utterly intoxicated by the promise of Union.
O my God!
What is this union of eye to eye?!


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 Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved, Will Johnson reveals for the first time 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 opened the doors to a profoundly ecstatic state of divine union. Johnson draws upon the actual poetry and prose of Rumi to document his case. He also explains step-by-step how one may take up the practice of intentional gazing to experience the state of ecstatic divine union shared by Rumi and Shams so many centuries ago.

WILL JOHNSON is the founder and director of the Institute for Embodiment Training, which combines Western somatic practices with Eastern meditation techniques. He is the author of Balance of Body, Balance of Mind; The Posture of Meditation; and Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness. He lives in British Columbia.

About the Author:

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 The Posture of Meditation: A Practical Manual for Meditators of All Traditions and Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient: The Physical Foundations of Mindfulness. He lives in British Columbia.

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