Sufi Tao

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sufi bird

Once, a young seeker asked an old Sufi woman, “Mother, tell me, what is the way of the Sufi? What way do you follow?”

She replied:

The way we follow does not lead.
It is like a wind that has no origin
and that seeks no destination.
It flows everywhere without moving,
never straying from this moment.
The way we follow is holy and alive
but to call it a way is to make it a thought,
suitable for the mind but not the heart.

The love-wind we follow teaches without instruction.
It reveals a path without pointing.
Accepting what arises, it holds on to nothing,
holding on to nothing it embraces all things.
Following the way, one is gentle
and does not defend or claim to know.
Not knowing,
one goes the way in wonder.

The way has no abode yet it is home.
In the evening friends gather and sing.
At dawn they go their own way without leaving.
Having no abode they are free.
Free, they are unafraid of rejection and death.
Unafraid, they give comfort to the comfortless.
If someone asks them who they are,
they say, a friend.

The way we follow does not separate or declare,
nor does it draw attention to itself.
Loving, it has no need to possess.
Intimate, its secret remains secret.
Though it is most holy, it is not special.
It belongs to all beings and is never withheld.
No one and nothing is outside of the way,
but few know it.

To know the way is to be the way.
Kind, the way is naturally kind.
Curious, it laughs with amazement.
If you do not know the way, be kind.
If you do not know the way, be curious.
Then like a leaf warmed in the sun,
in autumn you will turn gold, then brittle,
then earth, and never stop living.