Driskell’s spiritual storytelling is accessible without being overly casual, and she omits most technical spiritual language in favor of easy to understand narrative with a natural conversational tone. Although she offers a variety of framings of the essential concepts, her focus on the primary teaching of living mindfully in the Oneness stays crystal clear throughout. She establishes Esmeralda as a point of view character, but develops her personal story lightly; Driskell seems to suggest but never says that Esmeralda’s experiences ressemble her own, and she emphasizes the teachings rather than her story.
Driskell resists editorializing, letting the stories speak for themselves, but provides an annotation index in the endnotes which explicitly specifies the teaching topics for each tale, helping readers to hook into the meanings through additional research or to easily choose an appropriate story for any particular contemplative moment. Each piece after the first few stands well on its own as a teaching story, so readers can engage the book non-sequentially; however, those who choose to read straight through will find the pieces varied enough that the experience proves fresh and engaging throughout.
Takeaway: An introduction to Sufi spiritual approach, presented in 62 short narratives.
Comparable Titles: Eckhart Tolle’s Oneness with All Life, Nevit O. Ergin’s Tales of a Modern Sufi.
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