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Table of Contents

A Note to Those Who Open this Book Homage to the One The Desire to Be at the End of Distances The Everyday Practice The First Moment Surrender That Thought The Breath of the Median Void A Garden Among the Flames Face to Face with the Bad Guys Be Still and Know Twenty-Three Suggestions for Entering a Solitary Retreat Three Men in a Cave Praying in Death Valley With Hafez in Iran What Needs to Be Done? The Gesture For the Sake of Others Speaking of More or Less Spiritual Communion The Way It Is Loaves and Fishes No Teacher, No Student, No Path The Practice of Openness of Heart Nondual Sufism The Eros of Nonduality Seeing the One World with Two Eyes Beginnings Summertime Reverie Doing the Beautiful Medicine Beauty The Abyss Blessedness Death Song Free Fall Meditation on a Winter Night Clear Light and the Beauty of the World Before I Die In One Form or Another Oh! Dark Lament Bittersweet

About the Author

Elias Amidon is the spiritual director (Pir) of the Sufi Way International, a non-sectarian mystical order in the lineage of Sufi Inayat Khan. An initiate of the Sufi Way for the past forty-seven years, Pir Elias has studied with Qadiri Sufis in Morocco, Theravadan Buddhist teachers in Thailand, Native American teachers of the Assemblies of the Morning Star, Christian monks in Syria, Zen teachers of the White Plum Sangha, and contemporary teachers in the Dzogchen tradition. Elias has lived a multifaceted, engaged life, working as a schoolteacher, carpenter, architect, writer, environmental educator, peace activist, and wilderness rites-of-passage guide. He helped develop several schools, including the Boulder Institute for Nature and the Human Spirit, the Institute for Deep Ecology, the graduate program in Environmental Leadership at Naropa University, and the Open Path. Co-editor of the books Earth Prayers, Life Prayers, and Prayers for a Thousand Years, he has worked for many years with his wife, Elizabeth Rabia Roberts, as a citizen activist for peace and interfaith understanding in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Israel/Palestine, and with indigenous tribes in Thailand and Burma on issues of cultural continuity and land rights (see: He was instrumental in founding the Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil (the Abraham Path), an international project dedicated to helping Middle Eastern countries open a network of cultural routes and walking trails throughout the region. Pir Elias has been leading programs in Sufism for over three decades, and Open Path programs since 2005. He is the author of The Open Path: Recognizing Nondual Awareness, also published by Sentient Publications. Nine- and six-month Open Path Trainings are offered frequently in the United States, England, Holland, Germany, and Austria. These trainings give participants a chance to work directly with Elias over an extended period, learning to recognize and sustain the freshness of nondual awareness in their lives. One and two week solitary Open Path retreats are also held frequently at Nada Hermitage in Crestone, Colorado. Information about current Open Path/Sufi Way programs can be found at


Reading this book is a wonderful experience, full of brilliant insights, stories, images, lots of free medicine. -- Coleman Barks, author of "The Essential Rumi"

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