Secret Garden Installation: Short Sayings

When a flame is thrown into another flame they join at the point of "flameness." You throw a torch at a candle and then you say, "See! I have annihilated the candle's flame!" (Ishan Kaiser in Speech of the Sages)

When you arrive at the sea, you do not talk of the tributary. (Hakim Sanai, The Walled Garden of Truth)

The mere physical man is like the ant crawling on the paper, who observes black lettering and attributes its production to the pen and nothing more. (El Ghazali, Alchemy of Happiness)

If asked whether you love God, say nothing. This is because if you say, 'I do not love God,'you are an unbeliever. If, on the other hand, you say, 'I do love God,' your actions contradict you. (Fudayl)

True devotion is for itself: not to desire heaven nor to fear hell. (Rabia el-Adawia)

Detach from fixed ideas and preconceptions. And face what is to be your lot. (Sheikh Abu-Said Ibn Abi-Khair)

Deep in the sea are riches beyond compare. But if you seek safety, it is on the shore. (Saadi, Rose Garden)

When you are still fragmented, lacking certainty -- what difference does it make what your decisions are? (Hakim Sanai, The Walled Garden of Truth)

Even though you tie a hundred knots -- the string remains one. (Rumi)

I asked a child, walking with a candle, "From where comes that light?" Instantly he blew it out. "Tell me where it is gone -- then I will tell you where it came from." (Hasan of Basra)

There are three indications of real generosity: To remain steadfast without resisting, to praise without the emotion of generosity, and to give before being asked. (Maaruf Karkhi)

Cease, Man, to mourn, to weep, to wail; enjoy the shining hour of sun; We dance along Death's icy brink, but is the dance less full of fun? (Sir Richard Burton, The Kasidah)

Enough to think that Truth can be; come sit we where the roses glow; Indeed, he knows not how to know who knows not also how to unknow. (Sir Richard Burton, The Kasidah)

Innumerable changes of moods are yours, and they are uncontrolled by you. If you knew their origin, you would be able to dominate them. If you cannot localize your own changes, how can you localize that which formed you? (Rumi, Fihi Ma Fihi)

I fear that you will not reach Mecca, O Nomad -- For the road which you are following leads to Turkestan. (Sheikh Saadi, Rose Garden)

One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked. A voice asked, "Who is there?" He answered, "It is I." The voice said, "There is no room for Me and Thee." The door was shut. After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked. A voice within asked, "Who is there?" The man said, "It is Thee." The door was opened for him. (Rumi)

By yourself you can do nothing: seek a friend. If you could taste the slightest bit of your insipidity, you would recoil from it. (Nizami, Treasury of Mysteries)

A man came to Libnani, a Sufi teacher, and this interchange took place: Man: "I wish to learn, will you teach me?" Libnani: "I do not feel that you know how to learn." Man: "Can you teach me how to learn?" Libnani: "Can you learn how to let me teach?" (Libnani)

Kindness to the young Generosity to the poor Good counsel to friends Tolerance with enemies Indifference to fools Respect to the learned. (Sheikh Abdullah Ansari, Sufi Law of Life)