"It knows no formality. It is not confined by any dogma, doctrine, creed or church. Christ is a Sufi, so is Mohammed. Krishna is a Sufi, so is Buddha. This is the first thing I would like you to remember: that Sufism is the innermost core – as Zen is, as Hasidism is. These are only different names of the same ultimate relationship with God.
"The relationship is dangerous. It is dangerous because the closer you come to God, the more and more you evaporate. And when you have come really close, you are no more. It is dangerous because it is suicidal…but the suicide is beautiful. To die into God is the only way to really live. Until you die, until you die voluntarily into love, you live an existence which is simply mediocre; you vegetate, you don't have any meaning. No poetry arises in your heart, no dance, no celebration; you simply grope in the darkness. You live at the minimum, you don't overflow with ecstasy.
"That overflow happens only when you are not. You are the hindrance. Sufism is the art of removing the hindrance between you and you, between the self and the self – between the part and the whole.
"A few things about this word sufi. An ancient Persian dictionary has this for the entry "Sufi"…the definition given by this dictionary goes in rhyme: Sufi Chist – Sufi, Sufist. Who is a Sufi? A Sufi is a Sufi. This is a beautiful definition. The phenomenon is indefinable: A Sufi is a Sufi. It says nothing and yet it says it well. It says that the Sufi cannot be defined; there is no other word to define it, there is no other synonym, there is no possibility of defining it linguistically, it is an indefinable phenomenon. You can live it and you can know it; but through the mind, through the intellect, it is not possible. You can become a Sufi – that is the only way to know what it is. You can taste the reality yourself, it is available. You need not go into a dictionary, you can go into existence.
"I have heard:
"A small boy was playing in the garden."