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Taking Flight

A story from Taking Flight by Anthony de Mello

A Sufi saint set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca. At the outskirts of the city he lay down by the road, exhausted from his journey. He had barely fallen asleep when he was brusquely awakened by an irate pilgrim. "This is the time when al believers bow their heads toward Mecca and you have your feet pointing toward the holy shrine. What sort of Muslim are you?"
The Sufi did not move; he merely opened his eyes and said, "Brother, would you do me the favor of placing my feet where they won't be pointing to the Lord?"

My friend Jenna gave me two books as a gift last Easter upon my joining the Catholic church, and I'm finally getting around to starting them as I work my way through the books I was given/bought this year. She gave me The Song of the Bird and Taking Flight. Taking Flight is a collection of stories from various countries, various religions, various cultures. de Mello said "his task has been that of the weaver and the dyer. He takes no credit at all for the cotton and the thread." So far in 19 pages I've read a story about saint learning to appreciate the sound of the frogs, a Hasidic tale about the value of dancing as prayer, and two snippits also about dance from a Dervish and an unspecified religious leader. This book is amazing! I usually put post it notes in books to mark the passages that impact me the most, but I don't think I own enough post it notes for this one.

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August 2018


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