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KABIR HELMINSKI'S  books have been translated into a number of languages, including French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, and Indonesian. His writing provides a metaphysical context for human consciousness and a practical means for refining and expanding it. Helminski presents Sufism as a training system that allows us to develop “presence” and so to more and more enter into communion with the Divine. He presents Sufism as a comprehensive method and culture that has a transformative effect.

Forthcoming in 2023

The Mysterion,
Rumi and the Secret of Becoming Fully Human (forthcoming 2023)  

Rumi has become one of the most popular spiritual voices of our time, appreciated by people of many faiths and worldviews. This appreciation, however, can deepen through an understanding of the spiritual principles behind his marvelous metaphors, images, poems, and stories. The Mysterion explores both the practical, psychological dimension of the teachings of Rumi, as well as the universal spiritual truths that can guide us toward the lealing and perfection of our humanity, the realization of true humanness. This book situates Rumi in the context of the history of ideas. “The Mysterion” is the unifying concept that bridges the human and the Divine, that connects the individual soul with spiritual Reality.

Ordering will be activated as soon as possible.

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Living Presence (Revised 25th anniversary edition)

The Sufi Path to Mindfulness and the Essential Self


Kabir Helminski

Available from Amazon

A “Revised and Updated 25th Anniversary Edition” was published in 2017 as part of Tarcher Cornerstone Editions.


Presence is our capacity to be whole in the moment, in alignment with our deepest wisdom. With unusual clarity, this book describes how presence is different from ordinary habits of mind, and how it can be developed. Drawing on the words of the great Sufi, Rumi, as well as traditional material and personal experience, this book integrates the wisdom of Sufism with the needs of contemporary life.


"An incredible insight into Sufism and an intelligent way for rational people to know God.” ~Russell Brand.


“A heartfelt modern illumination of the Sufi path, filled with the fragrance of the ancients.” Buddhist author and teacher Jack Kornfield

“This is an excellent book that explains spiritual principles and how to carry them into everyday life… in language that is simple, straightforward, and down to earth, yet profound. While the author’s viewpoint is Sufi and Islamic, the principles presented are universal, and few cultural overlays intrude on the text, making it accessible to Westerners. Highly recommended.” — Library Journal


“Sober, thoughtful, and well worth deep reflection… concerned with our interactions with one another, with cultivating love and a desire to serve the Highest through serving each other. This is a valuable emphasis in a culture like ours that tends to think of spiritual development as special and solitary experiences. I think the salvation of our cultures and our planet will be based on the quality of attention, love, and presence we learn to give one another.” — Charles Tart, Noetic Sciences Review


“His book is intended to help us fall in love with Spirit.” — Yoga Journal


“I recommend this book without reservations to all seekers of truth, regardless of their discipline. This book would be of value to psychologists, Buddhists, Sufis — in fact all who wish to challenge their life views in the light of this well-thought-out presentation of the challenges of being human.” — Vasheesht Davenport, The Sound
















Available from Amazon


The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation,


was published by Shambhala in 1999. The book explores how for Sufis “the human heart is not a fanciful metaphor but an objective organ of intuition and perception” and presents Sufism as “a practical spirituality suitable for all cultures and times.” Drawing on the examples of Muhammad and Rumi, it highlights the Islamic context of Sufism. 


“Sufism, which has been described as the mystic heart of Islam, is little known and little understood in this country despite the advocacy of popularizers such as Idries Shah. Helminski, a Mevlevi Shaikh and translator of the great Sufi poet Rumi, offers a clear and well-grounded introduction to Sufism, liberally seasoned with insights from the Koran and the writings of Rumi; his is perhaps the best beginners guide now available. For most libraries.” Library Journal, May 1, 1999








Available from Amazon


Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of our Time


Published by Threshold Books in 2019. The book uses Quranic arguments to express a spiritually progressive Islam. Dr. Rüdiger Lohlker (Professor of Islamic Studies at Vienna University) describes it as presenting  'a new way of being Muslim outside the traditionally Muslim regions of the world,' whilst Dr. Khalid Abou El Fadl (Distinguished Professor of Islamic Law at the UCLA Law School) describes it as “a sagacious and indeed perspicacious walk through the heart and soul of Islam.”



















In the House of Remembering

The Living Tradition of Sufi Teaching


Kabir Helminski

Introduction by Mahmoud Mostafa


Available from Amazon

As a Sufi saying goes, “The body is fed through the mouth; the soul is feed through the ear.”The chapters of this book are transcriptions of talks and dialogs from within a private circle of spiritual practitioners. This collection explores subjects such as developing intention, will, awareness, awakening our capacities for love, reducing the domination of ego, honoring the masters, saints, and prophets that have gone before.

Praise for In the House of Remembering:

The thirty remarkable short lessons assembled here are fascinating exemplars of suhba (sohbet), the traditional Sufi process of “companionship”: i.e., the illuminating relationship of inner conversation that links the spiritual guide and each listener, awakening the soul’s unfolding remembrance of that Teacher we all share.  Reading these talks, with their smoothly unfolding mix of Sufi stories, Rumi’s poetry, illuminating personal experiences, and scriptural reminders, constantly feels like being in the presence of a modern-day Rumi.  Those pedagogical elements may be familiar to some, but here they are infused with a palpable universality, accessibility, practical focus, comprehensiveness—and above all, with a constant, assured sense of reality and immediacy—that movingly reflect a lifetime of spiritual experience, commitment, and engagement with fellow journeyers from many different religions, cultures, and pathways of realization.  Whatever their ostensible subject, each conversation here evokes a marvelous balance—and creative tension—between communion and community, meditation and active service, awareness of the timeless and immersion in the shared challenges of everyday life.  This is truly a “bedside book,” a work that will seem (and be) new and enlightening each time one opens it up….

~Prof. James W. Morris, Boston College, author of The Reflective Heart

These illuminating discourses, covering a wealth of themes relating to the inner life, open an accessible and refreshing window to the mature practical spirituality within the living tradition of Sufism. Rooted in the spontaneous guidance and connection of hearts that occurs in the healing and nurturing practice of Sohbet, they carry the direct, immediate and intimate voice of that quality of spoken language that is not distanced by abstraction, encumbered by complexity, or entangled in the knots of the rational mind. This is the work of an authentic teacher who helps us in sincerity and love to reflect deeply on our inner states within the concrete reality of our daily lives and by so doing to come ever closer to our longed-for awareness of Divine Unity. 

~Jeremy Henzell-Thomas, essayist and former Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge



Helminski has also authored two volumes for the Book Foundation: The Book of Language: Exploring the Spiritual Vocabulary of Islam (2006), and The Book of Revelations: A Sourcebook of Selections from the Qur’an (2005).



Written translations of Sufi poetry


Helminski’s translations of Sufi poetry, in particular Rumi’s poetry, have been made available in a number of books. In recognition of his contribution to the understanding and appreciation of Rumi’s poetry, in 1996 he received an honorary Ph.D. in literature from Selçuk University in Konya, Turkey, and his translations have been lauded  as being uncommonly faithful to the original Persian, yet in contemporary, poetic English. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Professor of Islamic Studies, George Washington University), commented on the Rumi collection Love’s Ripening, “[The] central message of Rumi, that incomparable troubadour of love, is reflected with great care, devotion, authenticity, and yes, love in this book. There are now many translations of Rumi's poems in English, of various qualities. And yet, deposit all works in print on this subject, and it is certain that this book will stand out among them."


Helminski’s translations of Rumi’s poetry include the following volumes:


  • Ruins of the Heart, Selected Lyric Poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi (Threshold, 1980)

  • Love is a Stranger, Selected Lyric Poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi (Threshold & Shambhala, 1992)

  • Rumi: Daylight (translated with Camille Helminski, Shambhala, 2000)

  • Jewels of Remembrance: 365 Selections from the Wisdom of Rumi (translated with Camille Helminski, Shambhala, 2000)

  • The Pocket Rumi (translated with Camille Helminski, Shambhala, 2008)

  • Love’s Ripening: Rumi on the Heart’s Journey (translated with Ahmad Rezwani,  Shambhala, 2008)

  • The Rumi Daybook: 365 Poems and Teachings from the Beloved Sufi Master (translated with Camille Helminski, Shambhala, 2011)


In partnership with Refik Algan, Helminski has also translated a collection of poetry by the 13th century Turkish poet Yunus Emre entitled The Drop that Became the Sea (Shambhala 1999). In collaboration with Camille Helminski, Mahmoud Mostafa, and Ibrahim Shihabi, he translated two collections of poetry by contemporary Syrian poet Asad Ali, entitled Happiness Without Death: Desert Hymns (Threshold Books, 1991) and Civilization of Paradise: Revelation Poems (Fons Vitae, 2014).




Kabir Helminski, Living Presence: The Sufi Path to Mindfulness and the Essential Self, Tarcher Cornerstone Editions (2017) 9780143130130

Graham Christian, review of The Knowing Heart: A Sufi Path of Transformation, Library Journal, May 1, 1999, p. 86

R Lohlker (Hrsg.), Arabische Miszellen: Studien zur arabischen Welt. Schriftenreihe Schriften zur Kulturwissenschaft, Bd. 124, Verlag Dr. Kovac, Hamburg, S. 3-20.

Kabir Helminski, Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of our Time, White Cloud Press (2017) 9781940468556

Nazar Ul Islam, G K Sharma, Riyaz Ahmad Ganai Amin Karimnia et al, 'Mawlana and the west: with special reference to translation', Elixir Linguistics and Translation, 46 (2012)

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