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There were times when I could not tolerate Shams. He was a wind that never ceased. Small wonder he had no friends. But if one could stand and face such a wind, one might lose their clothes, lose their past, one might lose their life. But one would gain God.
I did not so much dare Rumi as I opened the door to madness and invited him to tea. Of course, what he found out a wee bit late was that once inside, I locked the door behind him. Oh yes, I did.
Destined for greatness he was, but not while he was who he thought he was. I challenged Rumi to scrap all of the past, to live naked as who he was within himself, as joy, fear, brilliance, immortal love, as God even! And what did he do? He rose to the occasion, of course. I never fail. When we are God, devoid of self-judgment, we cannot fail. What Rumi fought intermittently for years, others fight for lifetimes.
-Shams of Tabriz
Shake Like A Mad Drum: The Eternal Friendship of Rumi and Shams
Copyright John Windwalker and Jamila Hammad. All rights reserved.
I am John Windwalker. For three decades I have been a spiritual teacher, guiding students on their journey within, into the power of soul. You won’t see my name among the ranks of prominent spiritual teachers because I have chosen to work one-on-one with those rare few individuals who make the deepest commitment to following their soul path.
In 1998, I accepted a new student, Jamila Hammad, a young woman eager to connect with her soul. It was during one of our sessions, in which I was leading her on a guided meditation, that we found ourselves before an etheric desert tent and were met by the poet Jelaluddin Rumi. He then introduced us to his beloved friend, Shams of Tabriz. They had much to tell us and the world, and so we began to meet with them regularly; I would channel and my student Jamila would write it all down. For years, Jamila and I met with these masters. We still do. We are wiser souls and better human beings because of it.
In their own voices, Rumi and Shams shared with us their story, deeply personal things that nobody knows until now. Both Rumi and Shams were extraordinary men who overcame the world in their quest to know God. This book, Shake Like A Mad Drum, is a blessing from Rumi and Shams. It brings us something that has been lost, the truth that the Divine really cares. It speaks of devotion, of spiritual strength, of an immovable, unquenchable longing to know God.
In this book, Shams of Tabriz is introduced to the world. Shams was a vagabond, but to Rumi, he was a man whose passion to know God equaled his own. Shams challenged Rumi to discard his core religious beliefs and to see God as a vivacious, joyful, irreverent friend that lives and thrives within every human being.
The first part of the book is the story of their friendship. Told in their words, they share the world that they created, one in which their love of God was explored in their everyday experiences.
Rumi told us, “Come into our tent,” and so we did. The second part of the book captures the friendship that Jamila and I developed with Rumi and Shams, conversations in which they shared aspects of their experiences to help us discover God, just as they had.
The time has come, with blessings from Rumi and Shams, to get their story into the consciousness of human beings, so that those with a longing to know God can find their way and discover a joyful God within.