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It Had To Be Hafiz

14th-century Persian poet and mystic Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, known today primarily by his pen-name “Hafiz,” wrote about Divine Love as a lusty, wine-soaked, personal ecstasy.  He took aim at any religious hypocrisy that held human life as separate from the sacred.  Instead, Hafiz celebrated the liberating grace of our own direct experience of God through the song of our own hearts.

He wrote:

Just show you God’s menu?
Hell, we are all
Starving —

While I believe that we’re creating something direct, experiential, and satisfying every week at Bosque Center for Spiritual Living, I also recognize that we spend a fair amount of time talking about stuff.  I hope that it manages usually to be more than just a bunch of abstracted sermonizing, futilely trying to dissect our awe into digestible bits.  But still, I can’t help but feel that any attempt to capture and explain the inconceivable and wondrous ends up missing some of the point of it all.

It’s necessary every once in a while to get all our ideas and concepts of God totally out of the way, and to simply immerse ourselves in what Ernest Holmes called, “The Thing Itself” — raw Spirit, Energy, Consciousness, Connection, Life…

For me, poetry and music and dance feel like some of the clearest and most immediate ways to experience this Holy Light.

Patty Stephens and I have put together a special service called “It Had to Be Hafiz,” which we’re describing as:  a mystical mashup of Sufi poetry and the American Jazz Songbook.  It will be all poetry and song, and the plan is for it to be both deeply sacred and sweetly fun! 

In Patrick Dennis’s book (and the adapted movie) Auntie Mame, the vibrantly eccentric title character exclaims, “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”  I think Hafiz would heartily agree.  The Divine is right here, in every breath, in every note, in every word and movement, in every beating, yearning heart — a banquet of love and joy for our blissful delight.  Let’s eat!

I can’t wait to be with you.  XO, Drew

© 2018 Drew Groves

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