95 The Sacred Space of the Heart




My heart has become capable of every form:
it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
and a temple for idols and the pilgrim’s Ka’ba,
and the tables of the Torah and the book of the Qur’an.
I follow the religion of Love: whatever way
Love’s camels take, that is my religion and my faith. —Ibn ’Arabi

With simple and powerful imagery, the man the Sufis call the Greatest Shaykh speaks of a space that knows no boundaries or divisions, but belongs to love. For the mystic, for the lover, everywhere is a place of devotion, a place of meeting our Beloved. This world—with its myriad forms, light and darkness, sadness and joy—is a sacred space, a place where love reveals its secrets, where divine oneness comes to meet us. All around us is an unending revelation, the wind whispering the secrets of love, messages from our heart’s Beloved. The Divine calls to us in so many ways, a hummingbird drinking nectar in my garden, a fox sneaking between city rubbish bins. Walking in a sacred manner, each foot touching the earth like a kiss, we can feel this place of meeting, this belonging.

Sometimes we sit in a room with others in prayer or a deeper silence of the heart’s devotion. And the room sings in the unseen, the angels are present, called by our prayer, touching our hearts and also where our knees meet the carpets covering the floor. And even when the dervishes have left, song and silent prayer remain present. The space holds the mystery.


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