There is an amazing book I have been waiting to get and read by Michaela Ozelsel. It has been recommended to me by other dervishes and is supposedly a real classic. Here is a brief product description
In this personal account of a spiritual quest Michaela Ozelsel undergoes a traditional Sufi (40-Day Retreat). What she experienced during 40 days of fasting, complete isolation, and constant spiritual practice brought her to the threshold of the Divine and her self. A diary of the 40 days is combined with contemporary research from several disciplines bridging ancient wisdom and scientific investigation. It includes discussions of spirituality and sexuality altered states of consciousness sensory perception and ESP and near death experiences.
There is an interesting quote by Ms. Ozesel that I read in the book Essential Sufism that I thought to share with all of you:
On all paths of spiritual training, the teacher is of central importance. He or she embodies the teaching as a living representation of the tradition. He or she helps the student grow beyond the boundaries of self. Because each person can only by definition operate inside his or her current limits, outside intervention is indispensable to make the “breakthrough.” My Teacher depicted this state of things with the following analogy: “You can give yourself first aid, putting a bandage on a would. But you can’t operate on yourself.”
The fundamental changes that the path requires in the students worldview and behaviour resemble a major operation. The very personality features that the student holds tightest to, with which he or she strongly identifies on this level, are also the ones that prevent the student from fully becoming what he or she potentially is. [Rumi has written:] ” It is necessary to make so great an effort that you are not left standing, in order that you may recognise what it is that will remain.”
I plan on reading this book soon. I wanted to know if anyone would want to read it with me and maybe we can talk about it through posts, share our ideas on it. Let me know!