Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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The Seen & the Unseen
A pensive poet on a midsummer night in a garden in Kashmir, 1630. Click for larger image.

Food serves as a versatile symbol, representing the visible world, or the full range of Divine sustenance as exemplified by its edible manifestation.

A man of heart eats his bread, then prays in seclusion;
He prays not for the sake of the bread.
You are like seeds, in bondage to the milk of earth;
Wean yourself
partake of the food of the heart.
The body is like a cup and a bowl —
containing both strength and heartburn.
Even though I can practice humility,
of which I could be proud and happy,
I have become used to Thy unlimited generosity;
from thy bread and thy banquet I ever partake.
Illustration from De Materia Medica of Dioscorides, Baghdad, 621/1224. Click for larger image.
That I should be hungry
a foolish thought!
The sun and moon are both loaves of my bread.
The bone sought by the worldly wise is only worthy of my dogs.
O supplicants of Time, listen attentively:
my banquet spreads from Qaf to Qaf.