Sufi Talks: Teachings of an American Sufi Sheikh

Robert Frager, Author
Robert Frager. Quest (PGW, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (296p) ISBN 978-0-8356-0893-0
Ebook - 313 pages - 978-0-8356-3043-6
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Frager, an American psychology professor and sheikh of the Halveti-Jerrahi Sufi order, presents in this book a number of discrete but interconnected sohbets, or conversations, on a variety of religious topics, from Ramadan and marriage to the soul and narcissism, with a special focus on living the ego-free life of a disciple. Though readers interested solely in Sufism, Islam’s mystical branch, should look elsewhere, as Frager liberally draws from Zen Buddhism, Judaism, mainstream Islam, and his psychology background, the author’s knowledge of his order is impressive and instructive to all, and his insights are often striking. Some of the main themes and even specific stories are repeated, but this results in the book feeling more authentically conversational, and makes reading almost meditative, as does several question-and-answer sessions. Frager is a wise teacher concerned with both the practical and spiritual well-being of his students, and his balance of abstract principles and obscure historical fables with personal experiences from his own Sufi group in California keeps the book’s traditional form fresh and original. This will surely be a precious resource for devotees and thought-provoking for the uninitiated. (July)
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