Open now into the clear presence of this moment.
Let it happen by itself; no effort is needed.
The clear presence of this moment is already so.
It is at peace, silent and open.
~ Pir Elias Amidon
So what is Free Medicine about?
Elias answers this in “A Note to Those Who Open This Book” – the opening chapter:
This book is a companion for those whose deepest desire is to experience first-hand the good news at the heart of reality.This good news is not hidden — it’s revealed in the ceaseless spontaneity of the present moment — but opening to a direct experience of it requires a process of “self-erasure” that can be difficult to allow.
Relaxing into the transparency of one’s self can bring fear, and we can easily pull back behind familiar borders without knowing it, or get caught up in spiritual ambition and lose the freshness of presence that’s at the heart of this. Hence the need for companions like this book, or like many other books in this vein, or better yet, for a human companion who can remind us of what we have forgotten.
Elias recommends reading it in “small doses” … perhaps “… read one or two pieces a night, or just open it at random and read what you find …”
Our preferred mode of reading is indeed random – just open a page and see what is revealed! … almost all of our Rumi book readings have been in this manner and … magically, over the years, all the pages have been opened! … We can certainly attest to Elias’ recommendation. Free Medicine has illumined many gems for us, including the opening quote of this post – as part of writing this post! 🙂 … literally it gives a free medicine for the day!
And, here’s what the publisher – Sentient Publications, says:
Amidon’s close connection with nature; his compassion for people in distress; his simple, clear observation of the mysteries of life and death; and his calm sense of humor combine in intriguing ways to reveal the uncaused happiness that is our essence.
Free Medicine is a collection of forty intimate meditations written by Sufi teacher Pir Elias Amidon. Whether describing a naked dive into a pond in the middle of the night, or a confrontation with soldiers in a Burmese temple, these meditations can serve as companions for those whose deepest desire is to know first-hand “the good news at the heart of reality.” Human, accessible, and tender, Free Medicine has the power to open us up in ways we never expected.
And here are some sample reviews (from the book’s back cover):
“Reading this book is a wonderful experience, full of brilliant insights, stories, images, lots of free medicine.” ~ Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi
“This beautiful book, rich in accessible wisdom, captures the direct experience of love and awakening in the music of poetic prose.”~ Roger Housden, author of Risking Everything
“It’s a sheer mystery to me how Pir Elias Amidon condenses so much wisdom into every sentence he writes. Free Medicine moves with a living, poetic potency that invites spiritual awakening into every moment of our personal lives. I wish I could keep turning the pages of Free Medicine forever!” ~ Peter Fenner, Ph.D., author of Natural Awakening
“Although it comes packaged in different languages, cultures and religions, deep mystical insight spirals around a single heart-core: here is Elias Amidon’s inspired Sufi reflection of that ineffable nondual reality.” ~ Keith Dowman, author of Natural Perfection
And here are some reviews (from the book’s Amazon page):
Free Medicine is a curative for a closed heart, poetry for soul. Each short essay is a perfect gift–how did you know this is what I needed? Elias Amidon writes with wisdom, warmth and love. He offers gentle advice for living a meaningful and joyful life in a complex world: how to foster openhearted awareness; how to reconcile the bitter and the sweet; how to live in a state of peace, gratitude, fearlessness, and wonder. His dedication at the beginning of the book says it all: “for you.” ~ Magpie (an Amazon reviewer)
Each page of this book is soaked in kindness, generosity, and a poetic openness. In Pir Elias’ words, we are offered the opportunity to loosen our definitions of ourselves and to open into our natural spontaneity and joy. … I allow this book to open to wherever it wants to, and there I find medicine for my day. ~ Carol Barrow (an Amazon reviewer)
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May Elias’ daily free medicine help you continuously reveal & deepen the uncaused happiness that is our essence.
Images: (all edited and logo added) 1) & Featured) Mt. Rainier and reflection lake in early morning by Abhinaba Basu, CC BY 2.0, 2) Book’s cover image, 3) Peaceful Evening in Dover Canyon by Malcolm Carlaw, CC BY 2.0, 4) verdon gorge by paul bica, CC BY 2.0.