If You Want to Draw Near to God

Abu Sa'id

Passages for Meditation

If you want to draw near to God,
seek him in the hearts of those around you.
Speak well of all, present or absent.
If you would be a light for others,
be like the sun: show the same face to all.
To bring joy to a single heart is better
than building countless shrines for worship;
to capture one heart through kindness is better
than setting a thousand free.
This is the true lover of God,
who lives with others,
rises and eats and sleeps like others,
gives and takes with others in the bazaar,
yet never forgets God even for a moment.

Abu Sa’id (967-1049) was a Persian poet and Sufi mystic. This passage is published in Easwaran’s spiritual anthology, “Timeless Wisdom.” The audio recording is by Eknath Easwaran’s wife, Christine Easwaran.