Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wisdom of Yoga | on action

A Karma-Yogi performs action by body, mind, intellect, and senses, without attachment (or ego) - only for self-purification.

One can become whatever one wants to be if one constantly contemplates on the object of desire with faith.

Whatever you do, make it an offering to Me - the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering.

On action alone be thy interest,
Never on its fruits.
Let not the fruits of action be thy motive,
Nor be thy attachment to inaction.

Action is greater than inaction. Perform therefore thy task in life. Even the life of the body could not be if there were no action.

Attachement to the fruits of action binds a person to continual sufferings.

Note: Yoga = unification, union, Karma = action, Yogi = one who seeks union.

:: Resource on Bhagavad Gita Pin It Now!

Off to East Malaysia

Dear Friends,
i was absent from blogging for past few days. this is because i am in east malaysia, travellng. This part of Malaysia, also called Borneo is very beautiful with plenty of green forest, mountains, springs, wild life. people here are so friendly.

i came with a friend of mine and we had some very interesting experiences. God willing once i come back to Singapore, i will try to share them with you. they are experiences of unexpected hospitality and closeness of human affections. the places i am visiting doesn't have much internet facilities. so not sure when can i access next.

while hiking in the deep forests and following the mountain trails, i was listening to a few of the sufi lecture audio. the beautiful landscape and silence of the nature was a marvelous place to absorb the beautiful talks. i will try to share few of the thoughts that came across me while walking, listening and meditating on the talks.

Also at times i was listening to this song 'Angels' by Sarah McLachlan again and again. let me share the lyrics with you and the music video. i do love it very much. at times in those settings, few of the words the song carried really meant a lot.


Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it OK
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction or a beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty and weightless
and maybe I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room,
and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the Angel;
may you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line,
and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting,
you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack

It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees

In the arms of the Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room,
and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie

In the arms of the Angel;
may you find some comfort here
You're in the arms of the Angel;
may you find some comfort here

You can watch and listen to this music here. (can't find the one from the movie, City of Angels)
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Signs

And how many Signs in the heavens and the earth do they pass? Yet they turn their face away from them! - The Quran 12:105

IC 1805: Light from the Heart
Credit & Copyright: Richard Crisp

Explanation: Sprawling across hundreds of light-years, emission nebula IC 1805 is a mix of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds. Only about 7,500 light-years away, stars were born in this region whose nickname - the Heart Nebula - derives from its suggestive shape (seen here sideways). The gorgeous image is taken with deep telescopic.





Some other fascinating images of our Cosmos are here: Cat's Eye | Great Nebula in Orion | Halo of the Cat's Eye | Spiral Galaxy |

Astronomy picture of the day brings a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe each day, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer. Visit it to marvel & contemplate at the beautiful creation.

An hour’s worth of contemplation is better than a year’s worth of worship. - Sayings of Prophet.

"Blessed is God in Whose hand is Dominion, and, Who is Able to do all things. Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct; and God is the Mighty, the Forgiving,

Who hath created seven heavens in harmony. Thou canst see no fault in the Beneficent One's creation; then look again: Canst thou see any disharmony? Again turn thy vision a second time: (thy) vision will return unto thee confused while it is fatigued." The Quran: 067.1-4
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jewish Meditations

One of the most beautiful things about spirituality and specially mysticism is that it tanscends the boundaries of faith and 'so called distinctions'. A Zen master or Sufi Master or a Kabbalist or a Benedict Monk or a Yogi doesn't need any arguments on any matter, simply because deep within their heart, they already know that they are all immersed in the same Reality. They already know that a Jewish Kabbalistic spiritual practice or a Sufi Quranic meditational practice is nothing but the same pathway to the One, to the Divine.

Praise be to God, i was guided to this Jewish meditation website where i found few beautiful Jewish meditation audio or guiding words, accompanied with beautiful music - which are truly amazing. Each meditation audio is about 6 to 10 minutes. i hope & pray they illuminate your heart from within.

Meditation on Divine Space: The Meditation Cube is a model for mentally orienting oneself within a space whose parameters are defined by the six commandments that continuously govern our relationship to God.

Into our own Divine space that we have now constructed around ourselves, our own personal messianic spark will reveal itself. May we be inspired to redeem ourselves, with God's help, from our own state of exile, and to redeem all of the world around us. :: Play the Audio

View the cube and its description here. i love this one!

Meditation and Breathing Joy: With every breath, I feel Your presence. With every breath I express my infinite gratitude to You and Your gift of life.

To experience life is to experience joy. This is the joy of feeling my Creator blowing into my nostrils the breath of life. For this I praise Him with every breath, Halleluyah! the music here is full of joy! :: Play the Audio

Meditation on Love: Love is the Divine power of creation. Feel one with God the Creator and with all if His creation. This audio guides you to focus on arousing the power of love in our souls. Love is feeling the essence of oneness with one's beloved. :: Play the Audio

Meditation and Prayer: A Morning Meditative Prayer of Thanks to God: Modeh Ani--"I Thank You!". Every night before sleep, we give our tired and worn-out souls back to God. Every morning, we receive our souls anew, refreshed and full of energy. :: Play the Audio

Meditation on Motion: The Soul of Man is the Candle of God. The living soul of man, the candle of God, sways back and forth, always aspiring to return to its Divine source, the infinite light of God.

The soul's natural phenomenon of swaying, like a living candle, reaches its peak when we learn God's Words and pray to Him from the depth of our hearts. :: Play the Audio

Meditation on God's Name: God's Essential Name--the Four-Letter Name--Havayah. :: Play the Audio


The above meditations are available in written form in "Living in Divine Space," a 288 hard cover book on Kabbalah and Meditation by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Know about the book here. Also read Topics in Jewish Mystical Thoughts.

Credit: The Inner Dimensions - Authentic Jewish Mysticism
The Meditation Page
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Eid Mubarak | Greetings of Festival

I wish you a very happy Eid!!! In my part of the world we greet by saying Eid Mubarak, meaning Blessed be the Festival or simply, Happy Festival. By God's grace, after one full month of fasting from dawn to dusk we have reached this station. Indeed the festive mood is everywhere.

About Eid ul Fitr
Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid, popularly known as the "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast", occurs as soon as the new moon is sighted at the end of the month of fasting, namely Ramadan. The festival is intended to be a festive and joyous occasion. (Eid simply means festival, Fitr is breaking the fast)

This festival celebrates the end of Ramadaz (or Ramzan), the Muslim month of fasting. It is an occasion of feasting and rejoicing. The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad with his companions and relatives over the completion a month of fasting.

Significance Of Eid-ul Fitr
Eid is a Thanksgiving Day : Muslims assemble in a brotherly and joyful atmosphere to offer their gratitude to God for helping them to fulfil their spiritual obligations like fasting and alms giving to poors - prior to the Eid.

Eid is a Day of Remembrance : The Muslims pray to God and glorify His name to demonstrate their remembrance of His favors.

Eid is a Day of Victory : The devotee who succeeds in attaining his spiritual rights and growth receives the Eid with a victorious spirit.

Eid is a Day of Harvest : God gives infinitely to those who are sincerely concerned with the general welfare of their fellow believers.

Eid is a Day of Forgiveness : When Muslims assemble in the congregation of the Day, they whole-heartedly pray for forgiveness and strength in faith. And God has assured those who approach Him with sincerity of His mercy and forgiveness.

Eid is a Day of Peace : When a Muslim establishes peace within his heart by obeying the Law of God and leading a disciplinary life, he has certainly concluded a most invioble treaty of peace with God.

Eid in different countries
Depending on the culture of different places, Eid is celebrated in different shades of mood. For example across the globe, Muslims now in USA, Canada, Europe, Malaysia, Arab countries, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh celebrate it with their own style. read here about it.

Credit: Significance of Eid ul Fitr | Eid @ Wikipedia | Etymology of Eid ul Fitr | The Eid Pin It Now!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Gateways of the Divine | A Review

Gateways of The Divine: Visions of Healing and Awakening by Colette Van Praag is an exquisite and practical tool to assist us in our inner exploration. This magnificent volume has the presence and beauty of an illuminated manuscript. The book is covered with a rich black and gold brocade pattern; it is the foundation for a striking image of a hand emerging from a golden rock, holding an eternal flame. A light emerging from the darkness...


Gateways of the Divine is a visionary and poetic journey into the realms of darkness and light. Containing over two hundred-fifty passages of sacred poetry and mystical writings, this seven-pound book is an anthology of wisdom like no other. A successful marriage of art and literature, Gateways of the Divine helps us penetrate the veils of illusion and navigate our passage inward. The voices of Rumi, Rilke, Kabir, Tagore, and Gibran, to name a few of our fellow travelers, offer comfort and solace on the challenging journey to wholeness.

Colette invites us to go Beyond the Veil through forty-four original collages presented in the form of divination cards. She has skillfully gathered words and images from our printed media to create a modern mythology, a sacred visual language that is potent and accessible. These images are provocative, disturbing, and inspirational.

Colette has consciously veiled each card in a vellum pouch at the beginning of each chapter. It is as if these “veils” offer protection from the darkness and light these Gateways contain. This innovative presentation supports the participants in exploring these chambers at their own pace. The writings that accompany each Gateway offer essential guidance in being at peace with these challenging reflections. Gateways of the Divine is a treasure that can help us accept the unacceptable; a life-long companion which guides us in traversing the uncharted territories within ourselves.

About COLETTE VAN PRAAG

COLETTE VAN PRAAG has dedicated her life to the path of healing artistry and service. Colette is a visionary collage artist, a passionate performer of mystical poetry, and the creator of Gateways of the Divine, which was also featured in an inter-faith service of remembrance at Washington National Cathedral to commemorate the first anniversary of 9/11. During the past five years, Colette has been embodying the wisdom of Gateways of the Divine by offering poetic performances and ceremonial presentations from the book at conferences, retreats, and private events. Drawing on her studies of Indian Temple dance, Jungian psychology and Expressive Arts therapy, Colette weaves together initiatory poetry, divination and sacred dance as a means of revelation and healing.

This year Colette was the Artistic and Program Director for Wisdom University's "New Chartres School," a seven-stage mystery school that is being held in Chartres, France over the course of the next 7 years. At the inaugural intensive this past summer, she was the Poetic Oracle for the initiation ceremonies. Colette is currently working on her next book, Alchemy of the Divine: Visions of Initiation and Transformation, a modern-day alchemical initiation that represents the next octave of consciousness that began with Gateways of the Divine.

More about the author | More information about the New Chartres School | Colette may be contacted at Colette (at) gatewaysofthedivine.com


Reviewed by:
Carolyn Scripps, who is a writer, a mother and a modern mystic. She is a contributor to the recently published A Healing Divorce, by Phil Penningroth, and Sacred Feathers by Maril Crabtree.

Gateways of the Divine | by Colette | Sonoma, CA: Epiphanies Press, 2001. Pp.326. (
case bound) $500, remainder of the limited edition of 1000 copies | Order Information

:: Get access to Temple of the 11 Gateways from Divine Gateways website by clicking here.


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Friday, October 20, 2006

Amish Country : Thoughts of Darvish

Quoted from Darvish blog, the post titled Amish Country:

"Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

This post has been long in coming. It has dwelled in my heart, even as my heart went out to the Amish community of Pennsylvania over the terrible deaths of the five young girls, killed by a very sad and deeply troubled man. And when I heard of the Amish reaction to the killings, I wept.

A grandfather told a group of young people that we should forgive the troubled man. “We should not think evil of him,” he said. Then a younger man on a news program was asked if he forgave the man, he said: “Yes, we have to show him forgiveness, the way we want Jesus to forgive us.”

I wanted to embrace them all and cry with them. Then, when a fund was set up for the families of the murdered girls, the Amish community also set up a fund for family of the killer. The families of all the victims.

Many Amish also came to the man’s funeral and prayed for him. Never have I witnessed such love and compassion amid anguish and pain. As an unworthy darvish, I ask myself if I would have acted with such forgiveness, and tears well in my eyes because I know the answer.

May God bless and take into his keeping the souls of the five girls. And may He show compassion and mercy on the very troubled man who killed them.

Amin.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and have all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.” - 1 Corinthians 13:1

Ya Haqq! "

__________________________________________________

Among the blogs i read frequently, Darvish is one. Today visiting i found this post and i couldn't help myself but to share this with you all. the simple words shows the true spirit of forgiveness, the understanding of the message of Loving Jesus Christ which majority of us have neglected.

My prayers and love for the Amish people, whos' simplistic lifestyle i respect a lot. When i read the post of brother Irving from his blog, it reflected the same spirit within me, which also encourage me to share this. Cause sometime you become aware what is in your heart by the reflection of it in another soul. And i knew it when i read this post. Like Irving, i also want to embrace my beloved Amish brothers and sisters ... and one day i long to visit them and pray with them in their simple churches. May God grant me the pilgrimage. Amen.

Credit: Darvish Blog | Wikipedia

:: Picturing the Amish: How do you cover a community that doesn’t want to be covered? (from Newsweek)
:: Amish display the true meaning of forgiveness | :: Pa. Amish community grieves, forgives
:: Workers raze school where girls were shot: Green pasture to replace small house as Amish families search for closure
:: The right to be different (from Time)

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Open Letter to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI by Leading Muslim Scholars and Leaders

In an unprecedented move, an open letter signed by 38 leading Muslim religious scholars and leaders around the world was sent to Pope Benedict XVI on Oct. 12, 2006. The letter, which is the outcome of a joint effort, was signed by top religious authorities, Muslim leaders, Muslim scholars in the West such as Shaykh Hamza Yusuf from California, Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Professor Tim Winter of the University of Cambridge.

All the eight schools of thought and jurisprudence in Islam are represented by the signatories, including a woman scholar. In this respect the letter is unique in the history of interfaith relations. The letter was sent, in a spirit of goodwill, to respond to some of the remarks made by the Pope during his lecture at the University of Regensburg on Sept. 12, 2006. The letter tackles the main substantive issues raised in his treatment of a debate between the medieval Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an “educated Persian”, including reason and faith; forced conversion; “jihad” vs. “holy war”; and the relationship between Christianity and Islam.

They engage the Pope on an intellectual level concerning these crucial topics-which go well beyond the controversial quotation of the emperor-pointing out what they see as mistakes and oversimplifications in the Pope’s own remarks about Islamic belief and practice.


i am quoting the letter BECAUSE i feel this is how a 21st century inter-faith dialogue should look like, this is how intellectually we should engage to bridge the gap, to create more harmony and better understanding. You can read the full letter from here. i quote here some excerpts from the intellectually engaging letter.

______________

OPEN LETTER TO HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Do not contend with people of the Book except in the fairest way…
(The Holy Qur’an, al-Ankabut, 29:46).


Your Holiness,
With regards to your lecture at the University of Regensburg in Germany of September 12th 2006, we thought it appropriate, in the spirit of open exchange, to address your use of a debate between the Emperor Manuel II Paleologus and a “learned Persian” as the starting point for a discourse on the relationship between reason and faith. While we applaud your efforts to oppose the dominance of positivism and materialism in human life, we must point out some errors in the way you mentioned Islam as a counterpoint to the proper use of reason, as well as some mistakes in the assertions you put forward in support of your argument.
....
God’s Transcendence
You also say that “for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent,” a simplification which can be misleading. The Quran states, There is no thing like unto Him (al-Shura 42:11), but it also states, He is the Light of the heavens and the earth (al-Nur 24:35); and, We are closer to him than his jugular vein (Qaf 50:16); and, He is the First, the Last, the Inward, and the Outward (al-Hadid 57:3); and, He is with you wherever you are (al-Hadid 57:4); and, Wheresoever you turn, there is the Face of God (al-Baqarah 2:115). Also, let us recall the saying of the Prophet, which states that God says, “When I love him (the worshipper), I am the hearing by which he hears, the sight by which he sees, the hand with which he grasps, and the foot with which he walks.” (Sahih al-Bukhari no.6502, Kitab al-Riqaq)
....
The Use of Reason
The Islamic tradition is rich in its explorations of the nature of human intelligence and its relation to God’s Nature and His Will, including questions of what is self-evident and what is not. However, the dichotomy between “reason” on one hand and “faith” on the other does not exist in precisely the same form in Islamic thought. Rather, Muslims have come to terms with the power and limits of human intelligence in their own way, acknowledging a hierarchy of knowledge of which reason is a crucial part. There are two extremes which the Islamic intellectual tradition has generally managed to avoid: one is to make the analytical mind the ultimate arbiter of truth, and the other is to deny the power of human understanding to address ultimate questions.

More importantly, in their most mature and mainstream forms the intellectual explorations of Muslims through the ages have maintained a consonance between the truths of the Quranic revelation and the demands of human intelligence, without sacrificing one for the other. God says, We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves until it is clear to them that it is the truth (Fussilat 41:53). Reason itself is one among the many signs within us, which God invites us to contemplate, and to contemplate with, as a way of knowing the truth.
....
Christianity and Islam
Christianity and Islam are the largest and second largest religions in the world and in history. Christians and Muslims reportedly make up over a third and over a fifth of humanity respectively.Together they make up more than 55 % of the world’s population, making the relationship between these two religious communities the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world. As the leader of over a billion Catholics and moral example for many others around the globe, yours is arguably the single most influential voice in continuing to move this relationship forward in the direction of mutual understanding.

Upon this sincere and frank dialogue we hope to continue to build peaceful and friendly relationships based upon mutual respect, justice, and what is common in essence in our shared Abrahamic tradition, particularly ‘the two greatest commandments’ in Mark 12:29-31 (and, in varying form, in Matthew 22:37-40), that, the Lord our God is One Lord; / And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy understanding, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

/ And the second commandment is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Muslims thus appreciate the following words from the Second Vatican Council: The church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is One, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, Who has also spoken to humanity. They endeavor to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet; his virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.
(Nostra Aetate, 28 October 1665)

And equally the words of the late Pope John Paul II, for whom manyMuslims had great regard and esteem: We Christians joyfully recognize the religious values we have in common with Islam. Today I would like to repeat what I said to young Muslims some years ago in Casablanca: “We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection” (Insegnamenti,VIII/2, [1985], p.497, quoted during a general audience on May 5, 1999).
______________

Click here to read the the official and full English version of the text along with the complete list of signatories.

Credit: Islamica Magazine website. Islamica Magazine is a not-for-profit publication whose aim is to broaden perspectives on Islam, provide a voice for Muslims to articulate their concerns, and establish cross-cultural realtions between Muslims and their neighbors.

:: Muslims find errors in Pope's presentation of Islam : Reuters News on the letter
:: Related Link: Get your education right Mr. Pope | Debunking Pope Benedict's speech on Islam and Prophet

:: Update: A Message from His Beatitude Ignatius IV to Pope Benedict: Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East | Darvish blog has some interesting comments on it as well.

From Technorati | Who else is blogging on Open Letter to Pope

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sufi Wisdom

After the Truth what is there but error (illusion)?
- Qur'an, 10:32

God says: I was a hidden treasure and I longed to be known. So I created the creation so that I may be known.
- Hadith Qudsi

Allah possesses a drink which is reserved for his intimate friends [awliya']: when they drink they become intoxicated, when they become intoxicated they become joyful, when they become joyful they become sweet, when they become sweet they begin to melt, when they begin to melt they become free, when they become free they seek, when they seek they find, when they find they arrive, when they arrive they join, and when they join, there is no difference between them and their Beloved.
- ALI IBN ABU TALIB (600 - 661)

For thirty years I went in search of God, and when I opened my eyes at the end of this time, I discovered that it was really He who sought for me.
- ABU YAZID AL-BISTAMI (d. 875)

Someone asked the Holy Prophet – ‘What dost thou say concerning the things of the world?’
The Prophet said – ‘What can I say about them:
Things which are acquired with hard labor,
Preserved with watchfulness,
And left with regret.’
- JABIR IBN 'ABDULLAH AL-ANSARI (d. 1088)

God is Truth. All who seek truth seek God, whether this is clear to them or not.
- St. Teresa, Benedicta of the Cross

Credit: http://www.afghanistan.org/sufi/index.html and Paul

{ Check who else is blogging on Sufi Wisdom in last 7 days }

Some other notable sufi wisdom sharing


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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Primordial Calling | the longing of the Heart

I AM calling to you from afar;
Calling to you since the very beginning of days.

Calling to you across millennia,
For aeons of time-
Calling-calling... since always...

It is part of your being, My voice,
But it comes to you faintly
and you only hear it sometimes;

"I don't hear", you say,
"what is it and where?"

But somewhere you hear,
and deep down you know.
For I AM that in you which has been always:
I AM that in you which will never end.

Even if you say, Who is calling?
Where will you run? Just tell Me.
Can you run away from yourself?

For I AM the Only One for you;
there is no other,

Your Promise, your Reward AM I alone
Your Punishment, your Longing
and your Goal ...

- Anonymous

Credit: Travelling the path of Love: Sayings of Sufi Masters
edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Image credit: Hasan Murshed
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Travelling the Path of Love: Sayings of Sufi Masters

Edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Travelling the Path of Love is a collection of sayings of the Sufi masters from the ninth century to the present day. Resonant with devotion, the writings describe the spiritual path with simplicity, directness, humor, and wisdom. Can access the full book from GoogleBook - here.

. Front Cover
. Table of Content (typing in any page number will take you there)

"... the most complete anthology of Sufi teachings to date ... Because of its range and completeness, this is the one book that all libraries should have as they build their collections on Sufism." - Library Journal

"A grand overview of the tradition, deserves to be appreciated for its depth and breadth."- Kabir Helminski, translator of Sufi literature

Let me share a few of the jewels from the book:

Be in this world as if you are a traveller, a passer-by, with your clothes and shoes full of dust. Sometimes you sit under the shade of a tree, sometimes you walk in the desert. Be always a passer-by, for this is not home. - Hadith (Sayings of Prophet)

God speaks out of the innermost being of the mystic while he is silent. - Al Junayd

Your journey is towards your homeland. Remember you are travelling from the world of appearances to the world of Reality. - Abdl-Khaliq Ghijduwani

If you walk towards HIM, HE comes to you running. - Hadith.

You too put your best foot foward. If you do not wish to, then follow your fantacies. But if you prefer the secrets of the love of your soul, you will sacrifice everything. You will lose what you consider valuable, but you will soon hear the sacramental word, "Enter".
- Attar

// . Order the book //. More Books from Golden Sufi Center
:: Find more full books on Sufi from Google Book
View all books on Sufi from Google Book.
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Sunday, October 15, 2006

The guest house | Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently swep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207 — 1273), the 13th century poet, muslim jurist, theologian and sufi mystic. Greetings of peace to his soul. | poetry credit | image credit Mystical Mike Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize for Bangladesh, a moment of joy | Synchronicity!

Synchronicity! Just yesterday morning i was talking with a friend who was sharing her spiritual awakening when she was listening to a tape of Dr. Jane Goodall. I heard of Dr. Jane, but didn't know the extent of her noble contribution in the conservation of nature, animal right and scholarly work. So i decided to know about this person and i was listening to her talk on google video about which i posted last day.

During the enlightening talk she told how Dr. Yunus of Grameen Bank is like a role model to her. Dr. Yunus is the pioneer of micro-credit, the model which is used even in the poorest village of Africa or Latin America to enpower poorest of the poor people. Specially the benefit is targeted to the poor women. I was proud to hear about Dr. Yunus because he is from my country, Bangladesh and the model of micro-credit is a very 'Bangladesh made' successful model adopted to the world.

Interestingly as i finished listening the video with much sense of joy that Dr. Yunus was appreciated by a personality like Dr. Jane Goodall. And surprisingly that noon i heard the news that Nobel foundation awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize to Dr. Yunus. Synchronicity, Meaningful coincidence, huh?!

It was a great joy and moment of happiness. First because this is for the first time a Bangladeshi (my native country!) got Nobel prize. And secondly because it is awarded to someone who is not partisan, not political but someone who genuinely work for the people to alleviate poverty in the world. Dr. Yunus set up the bank in 1976 with just $27 from his own pocket. Thirty years on, the bank has 6.6 million borrowers, of which 97% are women.

Dr. Yunus is an inspiring face for millions of poor people across the globe. He is revered by millions of poor to give them the opportunit to change their lives. In our time, more people die of hunger than war. So its not really surprising when the Nobel committee decided to give him for Peace. Poverty is one of the worst hinderance of peace in our world. Without food, even the thought of peace doesn't exist.

On the issue, Why peace prize for economicy related contribution the Nobel committee has this to say: "Every single individual on earth has both the potential and the right to live a decent life. Across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development. Micro-credit has proved to be an important liberating force in societies where women in particular have to struggle against repressive social and economic conditions. " (credit)

Muhammad Yunus is no diplomat or politician; he is simply an economist. Yet as the Nobel Peace Prize committee recognised yesterday, he has done more to help the world than virtually anyone alive today. Mr Yunus's insight was simple, and is worth quoting: "Charity is not the answer to poverty. It only helps poverty to continue." He realised that, even if the vast amount of Western aid reached its intended targets, it would merely create dependency and suppress initiative. His solution was to start at the bottom – to offer small loans, at commercial rates of interest, to those in his native Bangladesh with no collateral and no credit rating. It was, in essence, a gamble on the goodwill and industry of humanity. (credit)

I am proud to be a Bangladeshi!

:: Reference
. Grameen Bank
. Key Facts about MicroFinance | Q&A: What is Microfinance?
. Profile: Mohammad Yunus, the modest banker of the poor
. Nobel Prize
. FactBox: About microfinance
. How the Grameen Bank Works
. MicroCredit

:: More news
Yunus wins peace Nobel for anti-poverty efforts | Banker of the poor: Guardian| Comment: a truly inspiring choice for Nobel Peace Prize | Richly deserved prize for banker to the poor | God's Banker | Lending Liberation | The Banker who changed the world | Profile: world banker to the poor | Follow me and beat the poverty| Credit where credit is due: The banker who changed the world| Blessed are economists | Reading room: The Grameen Bank | Revered by Poor | needed for every gulf state? | Time: Paving the Way Out of Poverty | Other blogs related to the time story | Know more Media

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Dr. Jane Goodall's Message & Contribution

Most Merciful shows mercy to those who have mercy on others. Show mercy to those on earth, and the One above the heaven will show mercy to you.
(Saying of Prophet Muhammad, blessed be him)

Dr. Jane Goodall is a dedicated primatologist and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute whose mission is to advance the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment of all living things.

:: Watch this beautiful soul giving an enlightening talk @ Google Video. Indeed we have a lot to learn from Mother Earth, from Mother Nature. And i tell you, its a very inspirations speech in her very simple words. May God bless her beautiful work. (and let me confess, water was flowing from my eyes near the end of the video)

This is her message on Earth Day Message of Hope:
We live in dark times: we are destroying Mother Earth and many people have lost hope. So it is important to highlight all that is being done to heal our planet.

More and more of us are protesting the magnitude of the insults perpetrated against people, animals, and environment, the selfish squandering of our children’s future all in the name of economic progress. Thousands are joining together to tackle problems of poverty, the unsustainable life styles of the elite and the destruction of the environment.

Through programs such as the provision of small loans for the poor, empowerment of women, organic farms, farmers markets, the purchase of farmland and wilderness to prevent development, and alternative energy technologies, the quality of life can be improved and people can better live in harmony with nature. And nature is very resilient.

Most importantly, we are realizing that we as individuals truly make a difference and are thinking more carefully about the effect of our actions. This lies at the heart of the Jane Goodall Institute’s youth program, Roots & Shoots: roots make a firm foundation, shoots seem small but to reach the light can break through brick walls (all the problems we have inflicted on the planet) to make this world a better place for all. The thousands of groups in 95 countries select hands-on projects that help animals, the environment and the human community.

My greatest source of hope for the future is the energy, commitment and often the courage of young people when they know the problems and are empowered to act. They are changing the world. (text credit: The Nature Conservancy)

:: Visit Jane Goodall Institute's Gombe Chimpanzee Blog, which blog using Google Earth so that you can watch the exotic places even in dense green forest in Africa. (Example google earth entry)

:: For more please visit Jane Goodall Institute | Roots and Shoots

:: Learn about her life and work | Pbs documents on Wild Chimpanzees | Jane's Quotes | African Dispatch: A Weekend With Jane Goodall | Animals and us: Close encounters | a CNN interview | Wild Chimpanzee Video trailer | Jane Goodall's Books | Wie's entry | Jane - An extraordinary Life

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

MysticSaint Thoughts


Tunnel of speed
Originally uploaded by Mystic Lens.
When we really desire something, as Paulo Coelho says, "it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe". That is where beginner's luck comes in. We are given the hint by the Master of the Universe that its our mission.

But as we pursue our desire, our dream, our aspiration - the duality throws at us a number of challenges, making the pursuit increasingly difficult. Unfortunately that is the end for majority of the people.

But that should not be the end; for the warrior of Light it is just the beginning. "There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure." So be fearless.

Know that fearlessness is an attribute of God and you have the birthright to achieve it inside of you.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Opening the Heart


We begin in the Name of God,
Everlasting Mercy, Infinite Compassion.

Praise be to God, Loving Lord of all the worlds.
Everlasting Mercy, Infinite Compassion.
Eternal Strength of every living being,
Whose Majestic Power embraces us on the day of the great return.

Only You do we adore, and to You alone do we cry for help.
Guide us, O God, on the path of Perfect Harmony,
the path of those whom You have blessed
with the gifts of Peace, Joy, Serenity, and Delight,
the path of those who have not been brought down by anger,
the path of those who have not been lost along the way.
Amen.

(a new English translation of the Fatiha, translated by Bilal Hyde)

Fatiha is the Opening Chapter of the Quran, the Final Testament. The Quran was revealed in Arabic Language. Listen to a beautiful recitation of Fatiha in original Arabic along with English translation here.

credit
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O Thou Whose tests are a healing medicine: a Bahai Prayer


eyes closed in prayer.
Originally uploaded by jodiemim.
O Thou Whose tests are a healing medicine to such as are nigh unto Thee, Whose sword is the ardent desire of all them that love Thee, Whose dart is the dearest wish of those hearts that yearn after Thee, Whose decree is the sole hope of them that have recognized Thy truth!

I implore Thee, by Thy divine sweetness and by the splendors of the glory of Thy face, to send down upon us from Thy retreats on high that which will enable us to draw nigh unto Thee.

Set, then, our feet firm, O my God, in Thy Cause, and enlighten our hearts with the effulgence of Thy knowledge, and illumine our breasts with the brightness of Thy names.

- Baha'ullah
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Book & Audio Lecture | Dreamwork | Jungian Psychology | Sufism

Thanks to Books.Google.com you can read some of the very fine books on Sufism, Dreamwork and Jungian Psychology (can access complete book from online)


Catching the Thread: Sufism, Dreamwork, and Jungian Psychology
By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

In the Company of Friends: Dreamwork Within a Sufi Group
By Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Threads, Knots, Tapestries: How a tribal connection is revealed through dreams and synchronicities by Tess Castleman | introduction chapter |


AUDIO LECTURE (just a word of caution, the following lectures may change your perception of 'the reality' completely) the lectures are in mp3 format, click on part1, part 2 etc. link to download / listen.

:: Psychology and Sufism

A set of 6 talks illustrating the exploration of contemporary Sufi dreamwork which integrates this ancient tradition with the insights of Jungian psychology.

1. The Journey Home | Part 1 | Part 2 |
2. The Transformation of the Shadow | Part 1 | Part2 |
3. Alchemy | Part 1 | Part2 |
4. The Inner Feminine: Her Dual Nature | Part 1 | Part2 |
5. The Inner Partner & the Beloved's Embrace | Part 1 | Part 2 |
6. The Dance of the Warrior | Part 1 | Part 2 |

:: Why Dreamwork

Through dreamwork we connect with a hidden part of ourself, with the wisdom and guidance of our true self. For the mystic dreamwork is a preparation for the work of catching the divine hint, reawakening the mystical consciousness through which the signs of God become known.

Part 1 | Part 2 |

:: About

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Ph.D., is a sheikh (master) in the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order of Sufism. He has specialized in the area of dreamwork, integrating the ancient Sufi approach to dreams with the insights of modern psychology. In recent years the focus of his writing and teaching has been on spiritual responsibility in our present time of transition, and the emerging global consciousness of oneness (visit www.workingwithoneness.org).


Related post: Human Mind | Carl Jung | Analytical Psychology

Reference: Golden Sufi Center | Audio Archives | Ordering the books

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Human Mind | Carl Jung | Analytical Psychology

The greatest miracle of God is human mind - Imam Ali (r)

Study and understanding this 'miracle', the human mind is a fascinating area. Analytical Psychology is such a branch that deals with it and the foundation of this study was established by Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 – June 6, 1961).

Carl Jung was one of the creators of modern depth psychology, which seeks to facilitate a conversation with the unconscious energies which move through each of us. He had a deep appreciation of our creative life and considered spirituality a central part of the human journey. His method of interpretation of symbolic expression not only deepens our understanding of personal material, opening the psychodynamics of our personal biographies and dreams, but the deeper, collective patterns which develop within culture as well.

In his memoir, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung wrote that meaning comes “when people feel they are living the symbolic life, that they are actors in the divine drama. That gives the only meaning to human life; everything else is banal and you can dismiss it. A career, producing of children, are all maya (illusion) compared to that one thing, that your life is meaningful.”

Jung also emphasized the importance of balance. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm.

Philamon Foundation is a resourceful website that is working to publish the complete work of Carl Jung.

The Guild of Analytical Psychology and Spirituality has some of the very interesting articles that you may like to explore.

:: Article link (download as pdf)
The Self
The Key to the Secret
Working on One’s Inner Life
The Drama of Psychic Energy in Dreams
Religious Aspects in Jung's Works
Meaningful Coincidences
Genius and the Evolution of Consciousness

More to explore:
:: Carl Jung Page | :: Jungian Psychology | :: Collective Consciousness | :: An outline of Analytical Psychology

:: Understanding the symbology of archetype is another area that one may look into to explore the deeper meanings of symbols and expressions.

:: Money: The Sacred and Profane
Listen to Montreal analyst Jan Bauer explore the meaning and psychology of money in this lecture recorded Oct. 21, 2005 at The Jung Center of Houston
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Sunday, October 08, 2006

True Beauty

“Beauty is not caused. It is.”
-- Emily Dickinson

I was so touched by how Andrew Schneider describes beauty: “When a being is authentically what it is, the presence of Spirit within reveals itself as Beauty which touches our heart. Whenever we experience beauty, our soul is activated and love is awakened. And whenever you are true to yourself, you are beautiful!

“When we open to Spirit, we radiate beauty. Beauty transforms, so when we radiate beauty, we empower others and give them a glimpse of their own beauty, the Spirit within themselves, which is the source of their power. The key is that we must know we are beautiful, and feel that beauty within ourselves, before we can empower others.

“Beauty is magnetic and draws our heart into loving contact and connection with it. We only love what we, in our hearts, perceive as beautiful. Deepening our contact with, and appreciation of, beauty will increase the love experienced in our lives.”
~ Patrice

“You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul's own doing.”
-- Marie Carmichael Stopes

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.”
-- Kahlil Gibran
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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Now I see the beautiful Friend


Torn Fabric of Time
Originally uploaded by Reciprocity.
When the One was alone by itself,
Sending no light to view
There was no God, Prophet or Allah
No Omnipotent or the Wrathful.

The One was without any likeness or simile
Without any shape or form

Now He appears in shapes galore
Now I see the beautiful Friend.

- Bulhe Shah (1680-1758 A. D.), Punjabi Sufi Poet
(also written as Bulleh Shah)

This poem articulates a cosmology which bridges gaps between Greek Gnosticism, Judaic- Christian-Islamic monotheism, Hindu Vedantism and ancient animism. Sufi's God is not the God of institutionalized religions, feared more often by humans for their sins than loved. Neither is the Sufi God, a mere metaphorical abstraction.

Sufi God, as Beloved is the all pervasive Spirit That manifests its glory in the physical beauty of a human face or body, now in the person of a murshid, (the teacher), again in a Hindu deity, Krishna, or the various attitudes of Lord Buddha. Sufi God is a playful Beloved who appears so close at times, yet evades one's attempts at union.

credit: www.apnaorg.com/articles/sufi.html

The sufis readily draw their inspiration from verse of the Quran about the utmost nearness of God where God says that God is even nearer to man than his own flesh and blood.

"Verily We created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein". [The Quran, 050.016]
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Ramadan | Web Resources

Fasting and your biological rythm | Rewards of Fasting | Inner dimensions of Fasting | Striving for God Consciousness | Ramadan and Quran

Haq Islam | SoundVision's Ramadan page | Historical Significance of Ramadan | Ramadan Awareness Campaign from Australia | Jaytuna Institute Ramadan Section

Ramadan Blessings | Medical benefit of Taraweeh Prayers | The virtue of Fasting | Fasting advantages | Pre-Ramadan diet primer | Ramadan and fasting | Imam Al Haddad on fasting | Protecting the stomach | Ramadan.co.uk | Developing will power in Ramadan | Ramadan Thoughts Pin It Now!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Sufi Mysticism of the Indus Valley

From the tyranny of religious dogma
Love will set you free.

- Fakir Bedil (A Sindhi Sufi)

Sufi Mysticism of the Indus Valley by Hassan N. Gardezi is a scholarly article that attempts to introduce the Sufi way by exploring one of its specific traditions that has taken shape over centuries, outside the mosque and the academy, in the Indus valley. Some several thousand years ago there once thrived a civilization in the Indus Valley. Located in what's now Pakistan and western India, it was the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent.

The Indus Valley ranges from the north-western foothills of the Himalayas to the Arabian sea in the middle of which the mighty Indus river has for centuries run a meandering course in a multitude of channels.

The article starts with, "The rise of militant Islamic fundamentalism in conjunction with geo-political conflicts in different parts of the non-Western world has become the major focus of media and scholarly comment for the last few decades. What is being lost sight of in the process is the existence of a vibrant tradition of Islamic Sufi mysticism which still informs the daily lives and shared understandings of millions of ordinary Muslims around the world, with its message of love, tolerance, peace, equality, and respect for all creation." ... continue reading the article here.

It contains some of the most beautiful sufi poetry written by mystics of that age and space.
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Thursday, October 05, 2006

which you desire to be?



dead leaves
and the dirty ground

Originally uploaded by tchew.
The loftiest rank for a Mystic is when Hu (Essence of Divine Being) glances upon him, when he and all that comes along with his existence matter not. The more the Divine Glance is upon him the more he fades away, like a beautiful ice-sculpture placed under the direct sunlight in a desert.

A falling leaf is the transition of a tree in its verdant acme of beauty and the moment when no one thought more beauty was possible the Divine Glance detached the leaf away: in its fall the beauty of the atmosphere and the Divine Design of the leaf rendered, in its landing upon the ground and sweeping away by the winds the Divine Force of the gravity rendered and when it withers and darkens returning into its original dust form, the Divine Beauty of the biochemical processes of the nature rendered.

Be Dervish a leaf under the observant glance of the Divine Eye but be not a man veiled by your own Self. Lament the sorrows of this life but not be veiled by the self-congratulatory jubilee of your worships.

Look upon this fallen leaf, which you desire to be? A mere leaf under the watchful Divine Eye or a man looked down upon by other men?

- Junayd, al-Baghdadi (c. 825–c. 910). He was an eminent Muslim mystic Sufi who advocated the integration of mysticism into ordinary life. May Allah bless his soul.


Credit: untired with loving
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fear your Lord

Nay! when the earth is disintegrated to atoms

And thy Lord shall cometh with angels, rank upon rank

And Hell, that Day, is brought (face to face); on that day man will remember, but how will the remembrance (then avail him)?

he will say: "Ah! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my (Future) Life!"

For, that day shall no one chastise with (anything like) His chastisement,

And none shall bind with (anything like) His binding.

The Holy Quran 089.021-026

Note: Although God encompasses everything and vision comprehend Him not... even then this very verse, that on the Day of Judgement: thy Lord shall cometh with angels, rank upon rank really brings an unimaginable vision. A vision that calls to fear our Almighty Lord who deserves the utmost reverence.

And also its worthy to remember the ancient wisdom of the Bible: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)
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Self Discipline | Fasting and others

Sufi Master Inayat Khan in his Sufi Teachings describes four principal ways of self-discipline and importantly fasting is one of them. The Master speaks:

WHAT COUNTS most in the path of truth is self-discipline, for without this our studies and practices cannot produce great results. This self-discipline has many different aspects. By studying the lives of the ascetics who lived in the mountains and forests and in the wilderness, we learn that those who have really sought after truth have done their utmost to practice self-discipline; without it no soul in the world has ever arrived at a higher realization. No doubt it frightens people living in the world, accustomed to a life of comfort, even to think of self-discipline; and when they do think of it they imagine it only in its extreme forms. But it is not necessary for us to go to the mountain caves or to the forest or to the wilderness in order to practice self-discipline; we can do so in our everyday life.

The four ways as described by Inayat Khan are:
1. Being Still
One way is the physical way, the practice of remaining in the same position, of sitting in the same posture for a certain time. And when one begins to do it one will find that it is not as easy as it seems.

2.Food and Fasting
Then there is another aspect of self-discipline which is connected with eating or drinking: one avoids certain things in one's everyday food or drink, and makes a practice of being able to live without them, especially things that one feels one cannot live without. This is one of the reasons, apart from the psychological and physical ones, that some adepts live on a diet of fruit and vegetables; that for days or weeks or months they go without certain things that they are accustomed to eat or drink.

Fasting is also one of the ways by which the denseness of the body can be diminished. And when one knows the right way of fasting, when one is under the direction of someone who really knows when and why and how a person should fast so that he is benefited by it, a great deal can be achieved by fasting.

Surgeons keep their patients without food for several hours or days knowing that it will help them to heal more quickly. In the same way spiritual teachers may prescribe a fast for their pupils; sometimes going without meat and sometimes without bread; sometimes living on milk or fruits and sometimes for a limited time without anything at all, according to the capacity and endurance of the pupil.

3.Think and Forget
There is yet another aspect of self-discipline and that is the habit of thinking and of forgetting. This means on the one hand to be able to think of whatever one wishes to think of, and to continue to do so and to be able to hold that thought; and on the other hand to practice the forgetting of things, so that certain thoughts may not get a hold over one's mind; and in the same way to check thoughts of agitation, anger, depression, prejudice, hatred. This gives moral discipline and by doing so one becomes the master of one's mind.

4. Freeing consciousness from everything around
After one has practiced these three aspects of discipline, one is able to arrive at the fourth aspect which is greater still; it is greater because by it one arrives at spiritual experiences. This discipline is practiced to free one's consciousness from one's environment. It is the experience of the adepts and they have spent much of their lives arriving at this.

In the old school of the Sufis, and even today, there is a custom that when they enter or leave the room of meditation, one among them says, 'Solitude in the crowd.' The suggestion is that even when one is in the midst of the crowd one can still keep one's tranquility, one's peace, so that one is not disturbed by the surroundings. It is this which enables one to live in the midst of the world and yet progress spiritually; and it is no longer necessary to go into the wilderness, as many souls did in ancient times, in order to develop spiritually.


Credit: Sufi Message of Inayat Khat @ Wahiduddin.net
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sufi Haiku | Weep & Cry


salty mi.
Originally uploaded by mivella.
1
Late night it is.
insomnia doesn’t let me sleep.
in remembering Grace of His,
my heart begins to weep.

2
The longing to cry unto Him
burns within.
in the whole universe
i have none to cry, but unto Him.

3
By each drops of tears
i forget who is me.
the Beloved fills the void,
dissolving myself in the love-sea.


(c) MysticSaint
2 Oct 2006, Singapore Pin It Now!

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