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Learned from God I have learned so much from God That I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew.
The Truth has shared so much of Itself with me That I can no longer call myself a man, a woman, an angel, or even a pure soul.
Love has befriended Hafez so completely. It has turned to ash and freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever known.
~ Hafez

Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi (also spelled Hafiz) was a Persian mystic and poet who is now revered as one of the most influential Persian poets of all time. He was born sometime between the years 1310-1337, in the city of Shiraz in present-day Iran. Hafez today is primarily remembered for his lyrical poetry written in ghazals, a difficult and uniquely Persian verse-form. Prior to Hafez, ghazals were primarily used to write songs celebrating wine and earthly pleasure. Hafez revolutionized the form by utilizing the stock symbols of wine and pleasure as metaphors for spiritual experience. In so doing, Hafez elevated his short, simple verses to the level of high art. Hafez's poetry advocated abandoning all restraints and preconceptions so as to come into direct contact with the spiritual realm. As a result of his mystical and profoundly transcendent subject-matter, Hafez has become an inspiration for poets of all cultures. Arguably the most influential Persian poet of all time, Hafez has been translated into countless languages, and his works were particularly influential to a number of the early European Romantics, including Goethe and Friedrich Schiller.

– Persian poet (1315 – 1390)

Yoga Vasishta of Valmiki

Yoga Vasishta of Valmiki

The Yoga Vasishta of Valmiki is a very long book of 1845 pages in the English translation, but it is well worth spending the time to read it. If one reads this book slowly, thoughtfully and with the innocence of a child - that means with your ego disengaged - then when you finish the last page and look up from the book, the world will appear to you as a very different place. Your perspective on the world will forever be changed and you will realize (not just understand) that this universe, which you once thought was composed of solid, dense, matter, is literally a collosal dream in the Mind of the Creator; very much like the dreams you have every night.

Reading this book with your ego disengaged is vital. As you read this book you will come across some amazing sections that make the ego very uncomfortable. You will be tempted to throw down the book or at least skip ahead several chapters to a more congenial section. When this happens, remember to let go, slow down and return to your child-like innocence. Do not try to understand complex sections, just let the words flow into your awareness. This is the path to success with the Yoga Vasishta!

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