She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

-- Marge Piercy

The 10 (Easy) Steps to Becoming A Mystic

The 10 (Easy) Steps to Becoming A Mystic

In my Spiritual Direction training, we chose a prophet/mystic to support us. This was not easy! Finally, I settled on Hafiz. 

This is my paper, and (parts of) the collage, made from a kids' book.

1.     Be born.

Hafiz was born sometime around ~1320, but no one really knows his birthday.  **It’s a mystery…

2.     Experience loss early…

Hafiz’s father died when he was only a teen (see number one, above).


3.     Work hard…

a.     After his father died, he took a job as a Baker’s assistant;
b.     Toward the middle of life, he became a court poet, a professional copyist, having mastered the art of calligraphy (**which was forbidden)
c.      One of his benefactors founded a religious college and he offered him a job as a college professor.
d.     The changing regime was a concern to him, and he would occasionally, **be exiled.

4.     Fall in love…hard.

Hafiz fell in love, while delivering bread to a rich girl. Every night he would visit her to win her heart, but no matter how many poems he would write her, no matter how many songs he would sing to her….”nothing doing.” This went on for 40 days, Hafiz was working at the bakery by day, while every night he spent at the graveyard at the grave of a certain Saint who was suppose to give you all of the desires of your heart.


5.     Be visited by an angel.**

On the 40th day, Hafiz was visited by Gabriel and told him to wish for anything, but the angel was so beautiful, he said: “If God’s messenger is so beautiful, how much more beautiful must God be! I want God!”

So, Gabriel told Hafiz to forget about the girl and to find a teacher.

6.     Find a teacher

The teacher’s named was Muhammed Attar (“Attar” means chemist or perfumer), and Hafiz followed him for 40 years. Attar was not known as a spiritual teacher, in fact a small group of students could call him teacher.

Hafiz loved his teacher, and Attar encouraged him to write poetry. But you can’t be surprised to learn that there were some bumps in the road.

7.     Experience loss late

Hafiz was bereft from the loss of his wife and son (about which not much is known), and he was getting older, then he had a fight with Attar. So he set off on a vigil (40 days). On the 40th day, **Gabriel appeared and took away his desires. “Hafiz was forever drowned in love and united with God, his divine Beloved.”

8.     Outgrow a teacher

Hafiz returned to Attar, and they were reconciled with an embrace. Hafiz would be forever indebted to Attar, and Attar would always love Hafiz.

9.   Through it all…write (or create!), with humor, with truth, with beauty, until you can’t write anymore…

10. Be buried under a cypress tree (~1389)

**Bonus Points if you can say this!



After the Emergency

After the Emergency