Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 79 – Radical Love with Dr. Omid Safi

Sharon Salzberg – Metta Hour – Ep. 79 - Radical Love with Dr. Omid Safi

For the 79th episode of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon sits down with writer and teacher, Omid Safi. Omid is the Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center and is the author of several books, including his most recent release, “Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions.” 

In this episode, Sharon and Omid discuss Omid’s life story, and how he came to his work of sharing the history and culture of Islamic studies. They also talk all about love across different cultures, Omid’s most recent book, and last but not least, their shared love of HAMILTON!

Subscribe to Omid’s new podcast series exploring the path of radical love in the Islamic traditions: Sufi Heart Podcast

Show Notes

Discovering the Truth of Your Life (Opening) – Omid reflects on the influence of Islamic mysticism in his life and spiritual path. He and Sharon talk about forging our own understanding of life and spirituality – exploring what truths resonate with us, rather than accepting any one belief system as absolute truth.

“One of the things that I have really been thankful for over the years is that I was never handed a path as a packaged entity that I had to either accept or reject. It was a matter of reading, testing and also meeting extraordinary people.” – Dr. Omid Safi

Radical Love (9:45) – Sharon speaks with Omid about his most recent book, Radical Love. Omid discusses his process of translating centuries-old Arabic and Persian poems about love and devotion into modern English in a way that is relevant and resonates with contemporary audiences.  He and Sharon talk about the chronic loneliness that so many people today are experiencing and how our modern conception of love has contributed to this issue.

“There are so many teachings which I think are timeless, but the timeless always has to be timely. The timeless always has to speak to us in a language that resonates with where we are today.” – Dr. Omid Safi

Planting the Seeds of Love (22:00) – How do we retrain our conditioning to isolate ourselves from others and open our hearts in a way that allows for real connection? Omid examines the intimacy that develops when we step out of our self-centered perspective and commit to making our hearts available to another person. He talks about what the teachings left behind by the mystics of the East have to teach us today about love the meaning of love.

“As we rise above our own self-centeredness and we reach out to one another, in friendship and in love, something beautiful happens.” – Dr. Omid Safi

Choosing A New Way to Live (32:35) – Sharon and Omid explore the choice we have to not be bound by cultural labels or expectations and seek different a different way to live.

The Boundry Between You and I (42:10) – Omid closes with a few poems from Radical Love about cultivating deeper relationships and shares a final reflection on cultivating a more tender heart.

  Download a free guided meditation led by Sharon on opening the heart. Use coupon code OMIDPODCAST at checkout: Opening the Heart