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|The Knowing Heart
By Kabir Helminski
Review: Sufism has always felt like a mystical religion to me—and one that is beyond my grasp. As much as I felt attracted to Sufism in my life, I was always too intimidated by Sufi acts of worship such as whirling and chanting. I always felt like I didn’t have the stamina or wisdom to engage in Sufi practice.But Kabir Helminski’s book The Knowing Heart reignited my interest in Sufism. It is one of the best books on spirituality that I have ever read. Helminski has been practicing Sufism for his entire life—his deep knowledge and vast personal experience make this book an essential read for spiritual seekers of every faith.
I say this because The Knowing Heart is rooted in Sufism but also incredibly universal. The spiritual themes explored in the book parallel Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist theology (as I understand it). In fact, rather than asking readers to put aside their faith to understand his ideas, Helminski’s ideas serve to reinforce one’s existing spiritual beliefs. In this way, The Knowing Heart offers readers the greatest spiritual gift—the inspiration to deepen one’s own faith and practice.
At the same time, Helminski offers some of the most poignant ideas around living your practice in every moment of your life. In this regard, the Sufi community seems to be miles ahead of many other religious traditions. His heart-centered approaches will be particularly useful to those who find themselves feeling very spiritual at church or temple and then much less so at work or at home.
The Knowing Heart will remain on my bedside table for many years to come. Every month or so I pick it up and re-read a chapter that addresses an area of struggle in my life. And with each reading, the book’s insights seem to plunge more deeply into my heart and inspire real spiritual growth.
I recommend this book to anyone, of any age, at anytime.