Saturday, March 31, 2007

On Death | Kahlil Gibran


You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it
unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind
unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death,
open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one,
even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies
your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow
your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden
the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd
when he stands before the king
whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling,
that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind
and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.

- Kahlil Gibran

:: Credit / image credit


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Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources | The best book to read and as gift in this Mawlid Season

"How Noble a Day.
Immortal in Time.
On Which You Rose Forth-Shining.
The desert of Makkah,
glowed like a bride.
With the Light of the Prophet,
it swelled with Pride.
Light filled the Earth,
and the Heavens on High."

- Yusuf Islam [fmr. Cat Stevens]

This is the season of Mawlid or Milad-un-Nabi, which means the celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace. And what is the best way to celebrate and acknowledge this personality than to know about him and his humble life?

Mind you, Prophet Muhammad is not only seen by Muslims as the Last Divinely inspired Messenger of God but also acclaimed by many thinkers and historians. Note worthy is Michael H. Hart's book The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, where Prophet is ranked as No.1 by his extra ordinary enlightening ability and transformation of human civilization, vision and moral teachings.

Now unlike any other Biblical Prophet such as Abraham, Moses or Jesus, the life of Muhammad is very clearly recorded. He is the only religious leader among the three monothesitic traditions namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam, who's life is recorded in written form in minute details.

Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources by scholarly writer, Martin Lings is easily considered the best and the most authentic biography of Prophet Muhammad ever written. Once you read the book, as says one of the reviewer, you can't help but will fall in love with this exceedingly humble but extra-ordinary human being.

And most surely you (Muhammad) is on an exalted standard of character (The Quran 068.004)

‘An enthralling story that combines impeccable scholarship with a rare sense of the sacred worthy of his subject.’ - The Spectator

'Muhammad is a true work of art, as enthralling as the best novels with the difference that this is not fiction but fact.' - The Islamic Quarterly

:: On this Mawlid Season, the best book to read for yourself or to give some one as gift, no other book can be more recommended than this one. Check your local bookstores, library or visit Amazon to order the book.

FREE resources :: Also you can get a complimentary DVD for free titled, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet and also you can request a free copy of the book, Muhammad - Critical Life by Yahiya Emerick :: click here for details. May you glimpse the truth with illumination, merged with knowledge.


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Mawlid : Speed linking across the blogsphere

Eid Mubarak! Greetings of Festival. This is the festival of Prophet's Birthday as well his day of meeting with his Beloved Lord.

Across the blogsphere a number of bloggers have posted on the occassion. Here is speedlinking post on Mawlind (Maulidur Rasul): the Celebration of Prophet's Birthday.

{} SunniPath, an Online Center for Traditional Islamic Knowledge has been celebrating the Birth of our Beloved Prophet. You can listen the mawlid audios and recitation through streaming audio

{} Writeous Sister hosts the Mawlid Blog Carnival 1428. A very best collection of Mawlid posts.

{} Aria's Moon: Maulidur Rasul 2007
Accounts of Mawlid in history, as observed by earlier Muslims

{} Danile Abdal-Hayy Moore Poetry has poem on Prophet specially for Mawlid

{} Cat in Rabat says Happy Birthday to Prophet and her mulling over the Mawlid

{} Muhammadun Rasul Allah blog writes about the blessed birth

{} Andalus links online Mawlids

{} Abunashaykh hosts the Spiritual Secrets of the Mawlid of the Prophet

{} Sunni Sisters lists event on Mawlid and also writes about celebration of the Beloved Prophet in Jordan

{} Aymen's Page: More about Mawlid

{} Red Sulphur writes about the Birth of the Blessed Prophet

{} Sufi News brings the 10th Mawlid Festival in France

{} Sunni Path has Mawlid for students event

{} The Christian Priests Father Timothy and Father Theodosi from Russia enjoyed the Dhikrullah and Mawlid celebrations at Naqsbandi.

:: More conversation in Technorati, Sphere and Google Blog Search on Mawlid.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Life and Death merging together | in the Life of Buddha and Muhammad

I'm not sure whether you have noticed this or not:

The day Buddha was born, was the same day he was enlightened and the same day he died. This day is celebrated as Vesak Day.

And interestingly the day Prophet Muhammad was born and died is on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal according to Islamic Lunar Calendar. And this was the date of his first visit to the city of Medina (Yathrib), where he emigrated to establish an enlightened society for the faithfuls out of an age of darkness.

In the history of mankind - two great teachers of mankind, two great healer and message bearer to humanity both came and departed in the same fashion - that is their birth and death being individually on the same date.

Many people by misunderstanding Buddha's context and message think of him as an atheist, which is so untrue and injustice to his message. He never preached there is no God. Rather, his context was unique and unlike any other great teachers. To appreciate his message to humanity here is a beautiful article by Wahiduddin : The Buddhist Path - and the One Light.

Coming up : According to the islamic calendar 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal (this year falling on saturday, 31st March, 2007) is the date in lunar month when the whole of the Muslims community across the globe will be celebrating the birth of the Last Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad and remember his life and message.

Our Lord! Behold we have heard a voice calling us unto faith: 'Believe in your Lord' and we have believed. (The Quran 3:192)


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Sayings of the Prophet | on alms-giving & charity

There are seven people whom God will draw under His own shadow, on the day when there will be no other shadow (the Day of Final Judgement); one of them a person who hath given alms and concealed it, so that his left hand knew not what his right hand did.

The most excellent of alms is that of a man of small property, which he has earned by labor, and from which he giveth as much as he is able.

Giving alms to the poor hath the reward of one alms; but that given to kindred hath two rewards; one, the reward of alms, the other the reward of helping relations.

Muhammad said, "It is indispensable for every Believer to give alms." The companions asked, "But if he hath not anything to give?" He said, "If he hath nothing, he must do a work with his hand, by which to obtain something and benefit himself; and give alms with the remainder." They said, "But if he is not able to do that work, to benefit himself and give alms to others?" The Rasul (Muhammad) said, "Then he should assist the needy and the oppressed." They asked, "What if he is not able to assist the oppressed?" He said, "Then he should exhort people to do good." They asked, "And if he cannot?" He said, "Then let him withold himself from doing harm to people; for verily that is as alms and charity for him."

Almsgiving is duty unto you.

The best of almsgiving is that which springeth from the heart, and is uttered by the lips to soften the wounds of the injured.

- Sayings of the Last Messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.

Text Credit: Sayings of Prophet Image: Calligraphy of the name of Prophet Muhammad.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Meditative Quranic Verse | Visual tool to aid

Meditation doesn't necessarily mean you need to sit crossed leg like indian yogi with eyes closed. Deep, absorbing thoughts also mean meditation. You can meditate with your eyes open looking at an object with clear consciousness and thought process.
Here is a meditative Quranic verse followed by a link to a awe-inspiring presentation link. click on the link after reading the verse and you will see what i meant.

Lakhalqu alssamawati waal-ardi akbaru min khalqi alnnasi walakinna akthara alnnasi la yaAAlamoona

Assuredly the creation of the heavens and the earth is a greater (matter) than the creation of men: Yet most of mankind understand not. The Quran 040.057.

______________________

Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida has put up an awe-inspiring page on their site. It begins as a view of the Milky Way Galaxy viewed from a distance of 10 million light years, and then zooms in towards Earth in powers of ten; 10 million, to one million, to 100,000 light years and then it finally reaches a large oak tree.

If ever there was a witness to the wonder of God’s creation, this has captured it.

Once you click on the site, the software does all the work. Sit back and see the perfection of God’s universe! You can play it forward and backward. At the end it says AUTO… click on that and review the process in reverse! (text credit)


>> click HERE for the presentation. (java plugins required)

:: With gratitude to the beautiful blog Darvish.
:: Relate post: First post on the series of Meditative Quranic verse. See all related posts.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

The way things should


What will
our children do in the morning?

Will they wake with their hearts wanting to play,
the way wings should?

Will they have dreamed the needed flights and gathered
the strength from the planets that all
men and women need to balance
the wonderful charms of
the earth

so that her power and beauty does not make us forget our own?

I know all about the ways of the heart – how it wants to be alive.

Love so needs to love
that it will endure almost anything, even abuse,
just to flicker for a moment. But the sky’s mouth is kind,
its song will never hurt you, for I sing those words.

What will our children do in the morning
if they do not see us
fly?

:: Original by Rumi
translated by Daniel Ladinsky

image credit : above is a picture of orphan children of Kosovo, victims of Balkan war. picture shared from Small Kindness, a beautiful charity organization that helps the war victim children of our world. may i dedicate this post to all children who are sufferer in wars. visit Small Kindness site here and if possible donate for their work. its worth supporting their cause. May God accept your gift. amen.


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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Attain Zero Mind, Use Zero Mind | Zen Teaching

Boring is a very important word. If you attain boring, then everything is boring. Then this is no desire, no anger, no ignorance. Desire is boring; anger is boring; ignorance is boring; everything is boring. Then, you will get Enlightenment. So boring is very important. Everything is equal. But people don't like boring. They want something, and boring is not interesting. It's like clear water. Clear water has no taste, but no taste is great taste. Everybody likes ice cream, but eating ice cream all day is not possible. However, if you're thirsty, clear water is wonderful any time - better than honey, better than ice cream, better than anything. The truth is like this.

In Zen no meaning is great meaning, and great meaning is no meaning. We call this zero mind. I go around and ask, "Is zero a number?" One time in London I asked this, and somebody said, "Yes, it's a number."

So I said, "Yes, if you say zero is a number, you can do everything. Let's look at this. 9 x 0 = 0. Then, 9 = 0/0. O.K.? Then, if you say it's a number, then 0/0 = 1. So 9 = 0/0 = 1, and 9 = 1.

Then he said, "Ah, zero is not a number; that's not possible. 0/0 = 1 is not possible."

"O.K.; not possible is O.K. Then, 9 x 0 = 0. That means 9 = 0/0. 10,000 x 0 = 0. Then 10,000 = 0/0. 0/0 means 0/0 = 10,000 and 0/0 = 9. So 9 = 10,000.

"Zero mind can do anything. If you say zero is a number, that's O.K. If you say zero is not a number, that's O.K.; it doesn't matter. Zero is everything; everything is zero. This is Zen mathematics, O.K.? So zero mind is very interesting. If you keep zero mind, then you can do everything."

Then someone asked, "Soen Sa Nim, you talked about a child's mind as Buddha's mind, very simple, before memory. Before memory, all children's minds are correct mind, Buddha's mind, Enlightenment mind. Is this correct? Sleep time, sleep; eat time, eat. But a child only thinks of itself. Is this correct Buddha's mind?"

"A child's mind is nothing at all; it is zero mind. It's like a clear mirror. Red comes, red; white comes, white. Only reflected action: when a child is hungry, it eats; when it is tired, it only sleeps.

"Enlightenment-mind means using this child's mind. A child only keeps Buddha's mind. Using this mind is called Bodhisattva's mind. So, child's mind is correct Buddha's mind; Bodhisattva's mind correctly uses Buddha's mind.

How is it used? A child has enough mind - he only eats. But if somebody is very hungry, a child doesn't understand. If you have Bodhisattva-mind, then if hungry people appear, you give them food; if thirsty people appear, you give them something to drink.

Keeping Buddha's mind and using Buddha's mind are different. Keeping Buddha's mind is correct Buddha's mind. Using Buddha's mind is Great Bodhisattva mind.

"Great Bodhisattva mind has a Great Vow. What is a Great Vow? That is only-go-straight don't-know mind. Only go straight - don't check me; don't check my feelings; don't check anything -- only reflect everything and help all people. This Great Vow is infinite because space and time are limitless and beings are numberless. Numberless beings means numberless suffering, so my vow is a numberless vow. Its name is Great Vow.

Its name is only go straight ...

- article by Zen Master Seung Sahn

Soen Sa Nim gave this kong-an talk on May 12, 1978, shortly after returning from his first visit to Europe | Credit: Kwan Um School of Zen

:: Previous post on Zen Circle: a poetry.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

freeing from wants and how joy enters into heart

Abu Sai'd (may God sanctify his secrets) was asked: "When shall a man be freed from his wants?"

"When God shall free him," he replied; "This is not affected by a man's exertion, but by the grace and help of God."

First of all, He (God) brings forth in him (man) the desire to attain the goal. Then He opens to him the gate of repentance (tauba). Then He throws him into self-mortification (mujahada), so that he continues to strive and, for a while, to pride himself upon his efforts, thinking that he is advancing or acheving something; but afterwards he falls into despair and feels no joy.

When he knows that his work is not pure, and receives that they were done by God's grace and help, and that he was guilty of polytheism (shrik) in attributing them to his own exertion - when this becomes manifest, a feeling of joy enters his heart.

(original text from Life of Abu Sai'd, p 51.)

:: came across this lovely wisdom from the book i am reading now, MURSHID (a personal memoir of life with American Sufi Samuel L. Lewis) by Mansur Johnson ... a well recommended book for all who chance upon here. my deep appreciation to the author, brother and friend Mansur Johnson for presenting this book.

:: previous post: Murshid by Mansur Johnson

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Friday, March 23, 2007

The Secret, The Law of Attraction and more insight

The Secret movie is about the Law of Attraction. Although the documenary purposely (commerial marketing stunt) claims that this secret is revealed for the first time, but infact the Law of Attraction is a known phenomena. There are critics out there of the movie, but many accept the fact that Law of Attraction works. If you haven't watched the documentary, The Secret, you can watch it here for free.

inside the documentary you will notice the fact how our positive thinking affect the reality, how our intentions, our thoughts will enable the change we wish for. it has clue why prayer is prescribed in all religious traditions, why positive thoughts are prescribed by modern psychologists.

we have immense power inside of us, so when we ask something with great intention, the Universe (call IT God) opens up to the Will. it has scientific logic in a sense that when we want something, our subconscious make us ready to achieve that very thing. knowingly or unknowingly we move toward that goal, get aligned to the thought, our action follows that path. we start to attract our thoughts. when God accept our prayer, it is through us He manifest the reply of the prayer. all through it is done by us, but behind mechanism is only He, the Master of the Universe.

about this Law of Attraction perhaps the following two quotes may shed more light.

remember the blessed words of beloved master Jesus Christ, upon him be peace said:: Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)

also remember the blessed words of beloved prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, said:: Actions are judged by intentions, so each man will have what he intended. (narrated by Umar R and first tradition in the collection of famous 40 sayings)

firstly the quote by Jesus Christ is very remarkable, cause it exactly reflect what Law of Attraction indicate. Jesus Christ is saying, whenever we ask in prayer, we should not merely ask, but should create that reality inside of us. that is like manifesting our will to attract the Will of the Universe. its merging Universe's will and our will. Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "BE!" and it is! (The Quran 36:82)

second quote by Prophet also talks about the same phenomena. it speaks about the Secret as well. no wonder the Law of Attraction is also called The Power of Intention (the very term Prophet used intention, niyyah).


:: More to explore| The Law of Attraction: A Comprehensive Guide

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Secret | watch the phenomenal documentary, NOW


The Secret is released to the world! This ground-breaking feature length movie presentation reveals The Great Secret of the Universe. It has been passed throughout the ages, traveling through centuries... to reach you and humankind. Here the world's leading scientists, authors, and philosophers will reveal The Secret that utterly transformed the lives of every person who ever knew it... Plato, Newton, Carnegie, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Einstein.

Now YOU will know The Secret. And it could change your life forever.

The Secret has existed throughout the history of humankind. Fragments of The Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation which will be life transforming for all

Some of today's greatest teachers will be presented in The Secret and will impart this special wisdom that has been known by so few. They include some of the world's leaders in the fields of business, economics, medicine, psychology, history, theology and science. Each of these teachers is living proof of The Secret; each of them a walking marvel of achievement and success...

The Secret reveals how to apply this powerful knowledge to your life in every area from health to wealth, to success and relationships. (credit)

:: My friend Amit recommended this movie long time back. i didn't get a chance to watch it. but now somehow couple of nights back i found the full length video online, thanks to world wide enlightenment website. Watch the Secret Movie HERE.

You can get or buy the video @ the official website as well. Once you watch the movie, we have few more things to discuss here.

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Wake up my friend!


Solo
Originally uploaded by Sushma Sabnis.
Abandon your search!
Look inside yourself.
This is where the Absolute dwells.
It is as simple as that.

Nothing is beyond you since all is in you.
Only Divine love is without illusion.
Recognize this, and you will have arrived.
This is the message of the Koran.

Take heed!
Climb the ladder carefully.
Awakening will cut through your ego and shatter your thoughts
As you come to feel the force of Universal Creation.

Contemplate!
And transform your stream of consciousness
Into waves that are born, live and die in vast emptiness.
This is primary cognition.

Beware!
This is the era of Kali.
Do not be lured by false prophets,
And get rid of all romantic idea about the beyond.

Return to childlike simplicity,
Yet be skillful and generous.
This is the flawless teaching of Shakyamuni.
Keep Buddha in mind, he is awareness.

Learn from the Masters.
Smile at Khayyam’s descriptions of life, and understand the power of beauty.
Share Al Ansari’s angst, and dedicate yourself to others.
Follow Rumi’s simplicity, and let the world dissolve into the stainless radiance of the Divine.

Stretch your intellect with no prejudice.
Decipher Lao Tse, and grasp the beauty of the mysterious.
Ponder Arjuna’s questioning to Krishna, and integrate with God’s omnipresence.
Reflect on the Sermon on the Mount, and learn from the suffering on the cross.

So, wake-up my friend!
What you are looking for is at reach.
But in all instances, please, be humble.
This is the meaning of the Prophet’s message.


:: Kenza, 2007
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spiritual Materialism

There is a danger and flipside to spiritual quest. Some men and women who go into so called spiritual study, practices and thoughts often create around us a pseudo cocoon. We derive pseudo spiritual satisfaction with our selfish study, self centered personal enlightenment seeking.

Intellectualization is good but only to a certain degree. Imbalance in any thing including spiritual and religious study is unwanted. One of the major problems of spiritual attachment is that it is very often amount to mere talk and personal self pride. Without real work in this world for real people all quest for religious and spiritual knowledge is fueling the ego with pride.

Unless through action we start manifesting goodness, kindness, compassion and love to other human being we fail our purpose in this world. As God manifest his will through creating this creation; human being as image of God as Khaifatullah [vicegerent of Allah] must learn to manifest the essential quality in service, in action.

Religious and spiritual learning is nothing but our preparation for the service to humanity. From Krishna to Buddha , Jesus to Mohammad you will find not a single human being whom humanity adore ... a great soul, who didn't serve the humanity, who didn't come out to heal the world. If so many spiritual text, so many religious books and verses doesn't inspire us to go out and give our services, our wealth, our time for the less fortunate, I am sorry to say our reading, our study reach nowhere. God doesn't need our praise, but His praise was supposed to help us realize our praise worthy ability to serve others & to work for others.

:: during the tour to India, on way to Darjeeling. Feb, 2007

Related
. Fantasy Spirituality
. Materialism and the Sacraments of Consumerism
. Religion without Spirituality | Spirituality without Religion
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Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Conciousness of God

Many are the ways and the forms in which we become conscious of God. We may feel the presence of God in all that we do, feel, or think. Religion will assume a corresponding form. If God is experienced as activity and urge, a religion of action is born and a life of duty becomes the goal. Religion then becomes a mission and a crusade.

If God is lived as the affective atmosphere, religion takes on an aesthetic character and man is lost in contemplation of everlasting Beauty. If God is lived as a constant reference of thought, religion takes the form of knowledge; it seems to be God's knowledge that makes possible the knowledge of things around us.

It is interesting to observe down the ages, in a single historical religion, the shifting of accent from one to another of these, the tension of opposites making for the vigor and health of a great religion. The contrast between the vita activa and the vita contemplativa of Martha and Mary is an abiding contrast. Our consciousness of the Divine is also rich in contrasts. Now one and now another moment become salient.

Whether we live God as the breath of our life, as the Light that flickers at a distance, or as the frustration of our action and the despair of our thought, God steals into the heart in a way all Its own.

- Syed Vahiduddin(1909-1998) Philosopher, India.

:: Previous post on the writing of Vahiduddin: A Muslim's Prayer. Pin It Now!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Witnessing


foggy lantau buddha
Originally uploaded by when milko shoots.
JUST ONE QUALITY of the Buddha has to be remembered. He consists only of one quality: witnessing.

This small word witnessing contains the whole of spirituality. Witness that you are not the body. Witness that you are not the mind. Witness that you are only a witness. As the witnessing deepens, you start becoming drunk with the divine. That is what is called ecstasy.

- Osho

:: on the same note, when a Muslim utter the sacred formula, "La ilaha Ila-Allah", "there is no god but the Oneness"; and in deeper meaning, "there is no other reality but the Real" - he or she also do the same : witnessing the Truth, the Essential Reality. The Sufis, the Enlightened, the Mystics not only witness on the words but they witness on the Inner Reality. They transcend the words, reach beyond and witness.

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My Architect | a beautiful documentary

"There are very few people you will find anywhere who will talk about matter in spiritual terms. nothingness mattered to him, silence mattered to him, the engima of light mattered to him. so those are not normal discourses, but these one are what we liked and we talked about it.

and when somebody understand this, he can not be an ordinary person. he has to be highly cultivated soul who we call guru, we call him an yogi."

B.V.Doshi, Architect
commenting on architectural genius Louis Kahn @ Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India

In one of the interview about Loius Kahn, an Architect said, In Jewish Mysticism: God can only be known through His Works. ... thus the work of any Jewish Artists can be considered as the work of God. When you see Loius enjoying his silence with his finger on his lips looking at the light, you know as if he was connecting with something. You can not be impatient.

"A Work of Art... is not a living thing... that walks or runs. But the making of a life. That which gives you a reaction. To some it is the wonder of Man's Fingers. To some it is the wonder of the Mind. To some it is the wonder of Technique. And to some it is how Real it is. To some, how Transcendent it is. Like the 5th Symphony it presents itself with a feeling that you know it, if you have heard it once. And you look for it, and though you know it you must hear it again. Though you know it you must see it again. Truly a work of Art is one that tells us, that Nature cannot make what man can make." - Louis Kahn

"How accidental our existences are, really, and how full of influence by circumstance." - Louis Kahn

About the Movie: MY ARCHITECT - A Son's Journey
A Man, His buildings, His Secret Lives a film by Nathaniel Kahn
[ Academy Award Nominee ] [ Best Documentary Feature ]

One of the Best Films of the Year! 2003


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Friday, March 16, 2007

Zia Inayat Khan's Webcast | GoldenSufi Event

Golden Sufi Center is pleased to announce the second in a series of webcasts by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, broadcast live from The Abode of the Message on Sunday March18 at 1:30 PM EDT.

Pir Zia will continue with the theme of planetary prophetology as a basis of a new global civilization which he began with his first talk in this series. His talk will last between one and one and a half hours

It may be heard live at these times in different time zones (because of Daylight Savings Time changes at different times in different zones, the time differences are different from the first webcast):

SUN 8:30 AM Hawaii / SUN 10:30 AM San Francisco / SUN 1:30 PM New York / SUN 6:30 PM Paris / SUN 10:30 PM Lahore / SUN 11:00 PM Delhi / MON 3:30 AM Sydney

To connect to the live broadcast, you will need to have a free program called RealPlayer installed on your computer. You can download RealPlayer from this site.

Once you have a working version of RealPlayer installed on your computer, you can connect to the broadcast by going to the webcast address. If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact Hafizullah at hafizullah@sufiorder.org

:: If you missed a previous webcast you can download it from the Archive Address

[ ] About the Sufi Order International and Pir Zia Inayat-Khan | Zia Inayat-Khan is an inspired young spiritual leader whose Teaching is in the tradition of Universal Sufism established by his grandfather Hazrat Inayat Khan and spread further by his father Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan.

The Sufi Order International is an organization that supports the visionary work of Hazrat Inayat Khan including; a religious activity that sounds the note of the underlying unity of religious ideals, a healing activity that promotes the knowledge of spiritual healing, an esoteric school that offers its members a training in the inner life, a community activity that promotes spiritual friendship and service to humanity, and an esoteric lodge that works with the wisdom of nature and natural cycles. learn more here http://www.sufiorder.org [ ]


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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Quranic Wisdom | advice of Luqman, the sage

In the name of God, the Most Loving

And certainly We gave wisdom to Luqman, saying: Be grateful to God. And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for his own soul; and whoever is ungrateful, then surely God is Self-sufficient, Praised. And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: O my son! do not associate aught with God; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity-

O my son! surely if it is the very weight of the grain of a mustard-seed, even though it is in (the heart of) rock, or (high above) in the heaven or (deep down) in the earth, God will bring it (to light); surely God is Knower of the finest mysteries, Aware;

O my son! keep up prayer and enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and bear patiently that which befalls you; surely these acts require courage;

And do not turn your face away from people for pride, nor go about in the land exulting overmuch; surely God does not love any self-conceited boaster;

:: From the 31st Quranic Chapter by the name of Biblical character Luqman, the Sage. Apart from The Quran, common wisdom of Luqman the Wise can be found in the collection of Coptic Orthodox spiritual texts. click here to read more.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Would you ask Mother Mary to remove her Head-Scarf?

An 11 year-old soccer player was asked by an official in the town of Laval, Quebec to remove her hijab (head scarf) before playing in a tournament. Asmahan (Azzy) Mansour refused and her team (and several others) walked out in solidarity with her. The result has been a Zidane-sized storm of protest across Canada, with the international body FIFA starting an investigation. via alt.muslim

This is not the first time - the islamic headscarf is in the spotlight of dispute. But in the name of secularity whenever this thing happened, i really felt bad. To me its a real attack on personal freedom and insensitivity (in a rather stupid fashion) to cultural and religious expression.

When France imposed ban on headcarves in state schools, i had this question in my mind: If Mother Mary, one of the most revered personality by both Christians and Muslims, was alive today, would our so called secular society asked her to remove her headscarf as well?

In any iconic depiction of Mother Mary, upon her be peace, you will see her head covered as it was (and still is) a symbol of modesty for women in many culture and tradition. Following that modesty in self-expression, Muslim women are encouraged to do the same. So do the Catholic Nuns as well. Just because Muslim women are not Catholic Nuns, that doesn't mean they are not devoted to God or they can not have their modesty in dress. Infact the headscarf is related to modesty and devotion to God from religious and spiritual perspective when it comes to Islamic perspective.

Physical Nakedness or exposure that exceed limits is uncivilized, and it seems that our so called secular west wish to walk backwards in that direction whenever its possible. And if required they jump into making other to do so, if that means to take away headscarf from a woman's head. This recent news about the 11 year-old soccer player, Azzy in Canada is another example of such stupidity. What is the problem if a girl choose to play soccer with her head covered with a piece of cloth? Is that piece of covering a terrorist threat or a health hazard for other footballer?

Isn't it extremism in the name of secularism?

Read more on the headscarf issues:
:: Viewpoints: Europe and the headscarf | The Islamic headscarf has become one of the most hotly disputed items of clothing in Europe. The French ban on headscarves in state schools comes into effect on 2 September, 2004 and politicians in Germany and Belgium want similar laws. BBC News Online asked eight commentators for their views on imposing a ban on the headscarf. Click to read more.

:: Headscarf in the headlines via BBC
:: Q&A Muslim Headscarves via BBC
:: French Hijab ban from Muslim women's protest via Innovative Mind
:: Global Game's coverage abroad on headscarf in football
:: Why the French Don't Like Headscarves: Islam, the State, and Public Space (Book)
:: Canada: Muslim girl ejected from football because of hijab in Sabbah's Blog




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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Conversation with self

In book Seven of 'Bihishti Zewar', Ashraf Ali Thanvi suggests to the believer that he/she set aside a little time in the morning and in the evening to speak to her lower self [nafs] as follows:

O self, you must recognize that in this world you are like a trader, Your stock-in-trade is your life. Its profit is to acquire well-being forever, that is, salvation in the afterlife. This is indeed a profit! If you waste your life and do not gain your salvation, you suffer losses that reach to your stock-in-trade. That stock-in-trade is so precious that each hour - indeed, each breath - is valuable beyond limit.

O self, recognize God's kindness that Death has not yet come. O self, do not fall into the deception that Almighty God will surely forgive you. [Don't bank on His mercy]. Say to yourself, O self, you are like a sick person. A sick person must follow good regimen. Sinning is a bad regimen ...

Say to the self, O self, the world is a place of journeying, and on a journey complete comfort is never available. You must endure all kinds of trouble. Travelers put up with these troubles because they know that when they reach home they will have all comfort ... In the same way, you must endure hard work and distress as long as you dwell in this world. There is work in acts of worship; there is distress in giving up sin; there are all kinds of other troubles. The afterlife is our home. When we arrive there, all trouble will be ended.

Comment of Sister SF in the post veils on heart | how to remove it? Pin It Now!

Monday, March 12, 2007

removing veil of heart | sharing your thoughts

In the previous post about the question on how to remove the veil on heart?, there has been some lovely sharing coming from your sides, which are really engaging. so here are the highlights from your comments:

Raja | I'm reminded of the quote by Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to make in the world." And also from Jesus of Nazareth: "You are the light of the world...let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

What I've learned so far is that, the veil is self-created; people will be free from ignorance when they WILL to be free. Until that day, I think the best we can do is stay firmly rooted in the awareness of our Being, in union with God, at all times, letting our light shine. That way, no matter what we say or do, what words we choose or even if we choose to be silent (for that is often best, sometimes), all our actions will be informed by that place of Being, and the light that is within the other person will see it. In other words, show them that you are free, so that they might see that it is possible to BE free.

Cris | The only thing you can do is refuse to become like "them" simply because everyone else seems to be like them. Live the life you claim is possible. Don't just preach. Be happy, be free ...

Otowi | I think the first and most important step is to get past the assumption that you yourself no longer have any veils. Until you do this, you are doing the same things they are doing - assuming you don't have a veil to remove. Then you can try to figure out what made you realize and see your own veil?

Part of it, is that one has to acquire humility to see any veils that he/she has. That is not something you can give someone by pointing out their errors - that just makes them more obstinate.

Shree | the veil is created by me - to feed my pride, greed and attachment to tangible and intangible things. Until and unless me on my own remove it, it will remain. My each action, behavior and even silence must speak itself that i am one with my BELOVED. Criticism makes others hostile and who am i to point out their error. i think self-realisation should be the most important goal for me ... have i really removed my veil? By my own tranformation and action should speak for themselves. have faith on Him.

Irving | The answer may be different for each of us, but here is a new post that might be of some small use: The Upward Glance and the Lowest Bow.

Axinia | I have two expereinses/visions to share.
1. Spiritual people (like we are all here, I guess;) are somehow different from the rest, and you have to live with it. Even if I have some great experiences and certatin depf, I still shall be "normal" in some ways. In my case I love beauty and to be beautiful - so I dress up well and my friends like to learn this from me ;)

BUT: they see immediately that there is much more behind it. They say that my spirituality is immediately felt, even if I behave "normal". And this is very important for me! I can not make "dirty jokes" - because I am just not able to, but I can wear expensive sun-glasses from Dior and feel fine :) It is important that people feel your authentic, fresh personality - then they can accept your wisdom, love and spirituality!

2. After receiving my self-realization 11 years ago and going through a lasting and joyful transformation since then I can only recommend the same: without experiencing the spirituality PHYSICALLY it is almost impossible to convince somebody even in "little things".

Unfortunately, we can never make others feel the same - they need their own experince. BUT - we can do something very important. One of my favourite quotations of Cregoire de Kalbermatten (but not exactly): "Homo Sapience is like a sponge and his surronding is like water. He absorbs it and lives with it. Homo Spiritualist is the water, and his surronings is the sponge..." Let us be this water!

God willing, more thoughts from your sharing may be added here later.


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Part of a Tender Kiss

I feel deep inside
my heart of hearts
a place of belonging
I know is True.

A great comfort
as I go through
the days
in a world of maya.

We can rest in Certainty
of our destiny,
however that looks
from the outside.

- Carolyn

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Al-Fattâh | the Revealer | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God

Al-Fattâh

. The Opener
. The Revealer
. The Granter of Success
. The One who opens what is closed
. The One who is the judge of what shall be opened
. The One by whose guidance that which was closed is opened and the unclear is made clear
. The One who lifts veils and who opens the heart
. The One who continually offers goodness and mercy
. The One who gives victory
. The One who holds the keys to victory and success.
. The One who reveals the solution to all problems.


Did We not expand your breast and remove your load, which weighed down your back? Did We not raise your renown high? For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease. ( The Quran 94:1-6)

... nor will they humble themselves until We open to them a gate to a harsh punishment in which they will at once be crushed by despair. (The Quran 23:76-77)

Practice the rememrance as Ya Fattâhu.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

veils on heart | how to remove it?

1.
it is a very frequent and recurring theme in the Quran as well as in Bible that God says, there are certain people who have veils on their heart so that the truth doesn't reach them.

Over their hearts We have laid veils which prevent them from grasping its inner meaning, and into their ears, deafness. And so, whenever you mention, while reciting the words of God, your Sustainer as the One and only Divine Being, they turn their backs in aversion. -Quran (17:46)

They have no knowledge or wisdom; for he has put a veil over their eyes, so that they may not see; and on their hearts, so that they may not give attention. - The Bible (Isaiah 44:18)

To this day, in fact, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed. - Corinthians (3: 15-16)

this veil is the veil of ignorance on the part of human being, a self creation delusion. although everything is ultimately from the Creator, as He is the Ultimate Cause, the Source of All, but there are lesser causes in the creation. there are things which as human being we create. we create our perception, we create our ignorance, we become arrogant and we make ourself deviate from the real.

it is said in ancient Hindu spiritual texts that, everything is produced by ignorance and dissolves in the wake of knowledge. this 'everything' is the created things of our limited perception that we see around, imagine around, create around as part of our being, as the source of lesser cause.

2.
now going back to the main theme, veils on heart, i found it from my own limited experience how true it is. sometime it is so hard for you to convince others, or even to pass down the simple messages to other who create around themselves this veil of ignorance. for individuals how to break apart this veil is what make me think. let alone lofty and grand idea such as the Infinite Presence:God, but little things that matter to life, that matters to a meaningful living - such messages are hard to penetrate.

i was just wondering, can you help me think better solution to this? although in one sense its God's grace that alone can remove this veil, but to be practical and acknowledging that we are God's instrument, how do we instrumentalize this process? How to remove the veils of ignorance? Tell me how?
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Friday, March 09, 2007

just as children, old people are the most beautiful people on planet earth

when i visited (feb, 2007) St. Joseph's Home in Kolkata, India with my friend Priya, it had lessons and thoughts waiting for me. it is an old age home run by 'little sisters of the poor' and very well maintained. we had the humble opportunity to serve the evening food and related works.

1.
its universal and i also thought that the most beautiful looking human faces belongs to the children. they are the most beautiful thing ever on this planet earth, perhaps because of their uncorrupted inner purity, their innocence and their carrying of heavenly light. but going to the old age home changed my perception.

looking at the beautiful people (who are very old, some close to 80) there it came to me that not only the young children, but also the very old people do retain or regain that innocence once more and that is why they look so wonderfully beautiful. i had the blessings to look at few of the faces in the old home and you can tell the inner light coming in full circle just as it is in the very early stage of human life-cycle. now i can tell, people in their final days, again can transform to be the most beautiful people.

i also noticed that the people with strong faith are better human mirror to reflect that innocence and inner light at their old age.

2.
the old age home is run by catholic nuns. so the catholic elements were there including chapel, prayers before meal. but what i felt missing was any kind of intellectual engagement. apart from taking meal, most of the time they just sit around, sometime sad, sometime with blank face. seeing, it came to me that at their matured age, after seeing so many things, they are the most prepared person to take-in higher things, lofty spiritual ideas and thoughts rather than just dry religious prayers. at their age, they are the best to think about the great thoughts on life, death and the realm of spirituality.

perhaps one good program could be to read them out smaller, selected texts from spiritual sources that might help them connect with God in a different dimension than just religious text. it could a little poem of Rumi or text by St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila. This will add great soup to the soul. it doesn't have to be long or too deep. just small text followed by easy and customized background or philosophy.

i am sure after spending whole life in this world, most of them have the maturity at that stage to take-in such material at its best and something to grow richer in mind and thoughts. if that helps a little for them to realize their life, to be full and to have a more meaningful perspective of why we all are here - its worth the effort.


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Dhû-l-Jalâli wa-l-Ikrâm | Lord of Majesty and Generosity | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God

Dhû-l-Jalâli wa-l-Ikrâm

. Lord of Majesty and Generosity
. Lord of Glory and Honor
. The One who is most precious, revered and honored.
. The One who is the owner of every manner of blessing, perfection, honor and majesty.


Blessed be the name of your Lord, Master of Majesty and Generosity. ( The Quran 55:78)

All that lives on earth or in the heavens is bound to pass away: but forever will
abide thy Sustainer's Self, full of majesty and glory. (The Quran, 55:26-27)

Practice this remembrance as Ya Dhû-l-Jalâli wa-l-Ikrâm .

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Links Explored | be informed

The Price of Progress: Transforming Islam’s Holiest Site, via The New York Times
Mecca is becoming like Las Vegas, and that is a disaster,” said Ali al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, a Saudi opposition research organization. “It will have a disastrous effect on Muslims because going to Mecca will have no feeling. There is no charm anymore. All you see is glass and cement.
...
“Mecca has never been changed like it has now,” Mr. Angawi said. “What you see now is only 10 percent of what’s to come. What is coming is much, much worse.”

Reconversion to Hindusim via Organizer
“I was literally cheated. In 1997 when I was doing graduation, they (missionaries) contacted me and assured for a good job provided I get converted. But after conversion, they sent me to Agape Bible College, Ludhiana for one year training and then to G.F.A. College, Kumbnad (Kerala) for further one year training. I had little options with me at that time due to my fragile economic condition. Having appointed as pastor, I started converting poor people, mostly ailing by giving them assurance that they will be cured by bringing faith in Jesus and prayers.”

Equality and Islam by Yusuf Abdul Rahman via The American Muslim

Is National of Islam Islamic? via CordWeekly

India: Hindu extremists continue violent attacks on Christians via Inspire Magazine UK

Is Islam Worse than Other Religions via FrontPageMagazine
Since the terrorist strikes of 9/11, Islam has often been accused of being intrinsically violent. In response, a number of apologetics have been offered in defense of the religion. The fundamental premise of almost all of these is that Islam’s purported violence—as found in Islamic scriptures and history—is no different than the violence committed by other religious groups throughout history and as recorded in their scriptures, especially Jews and Christians. The argument, in short, is that it is not Islam per se but rather human nature that is prone to violence.

Again British Catholicism gains an accent via TimesOnline Pin It Now!

Sufi Podcast | Edition 17 is up for listening

Spiritual Health website on regular and irregular basis broadcast special podcasts on spirituality and sufi (Islamic spirituality, mysticism) theme. Dr. Bill Whitehouse is the author of the beautifully produced podcasts.

The latest Podcast (Program 17) is up for listening.

The current edition of Podcast includes commentaries, music, analysis ... all from a spiritual perspective. Although the podcasts are made taking inspirations from Quranic wisdom and Islamic traditions, they have great depth, message and inspirations for all those who seek the truth, regardless of denomination and faith.

Click here to visit the Podcast page to listen to it.

Reference:
Spiritual Health
All previous podcast archieve
Previous post on Podcast

Tech Tags:
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ad-Dârr | The Balancer | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God

Ad-Dârr

. The Correcter
. The Balancer
. The Afflicter
. The Punisher
. The One whose wisdom may choose to use forceful corrections.
. The One who creates adversity or distress in order to discourage or correct wrongful behavior.
. The One whose wisdom may use situations that have an outward appearance of being harmful.

Am I to take as deities instead of Him those whose intercession, if the All-Merciful desires affliction for me , will not help me at all and cannot save me? (The Quran 36:23)

If you ask them: “Who created the heavens and Earth?” they will say: “Allah.” Say: “So what do you think? If Allah desires harm for me, can those you call upon besides Allah remove His harm? Or if He desires mercy for me, can they withhold His mercy?” Say: “Allah is enough for me. All those who truly trust put their trust in Him.” (The Quran 39:38)

Practice as Ya-Darru

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Compassion is not a passion | Dante

Compassion is not a passion;
rather a noble disposition of the soul,
made ready to receive love, mercy,
and other charitable passions.

- Dante

from SACRED SPACE, The Times of India.

Thanks to brother A. Rahim for gifting this lovely book and few more, while i was in Kolkata, India. The book, Sacred Space contains brilliant verses of wisdom from many traditions and many minds. Pin It Now!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Who is lying? Jesus or self-labeled Christians | The disciple is not greater than the Master

"What is wrong with you (Christian) folk?" Jesus is telling you in the most unambiguous language that he is not a spirit - not spiritualised, not a resurrected person, and yet the whole Christian world believes that he was resurrected, i.e. spiritualised. Who is lying, you or him?

How is it possible that you, each and every Christian, are reading your Bible in your own mother tongue and yet each and every groups is made to understand the exact opposite of what they are reading? If you read the Bible, say, in Hebrew, and pleaded that you did not understand what you were reading, I can appreciate this fact. If you read it in Greek and pleaded that you did not really understand the implications of what was written; I can appreciate this fact also. But the anomaly is that you are reading the Book, each and every one, in his own mother tongue, and are trained to understand the opposite of what is written. How have you been brainwashed, or rather, how have you been "Programmed," as the Americans would put it?

"Please tell me as to who is lying? Is it Jesus or a thousand million Christians of the world? Jesus says: "No!" to his being resurrected, and all of you say: "Yes!" Whom are we Muslims to believe, Jesus or his so called disciples? We Muslims would rather believe the Master. Did he not say: "The disciple is not greater than the Master."? (Matthew 10:24)

Read with your mind and understanding faculty's window open :

"...Jesus himself stood in their midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you...But they were terrified, and supposing that they were seeing a spirit... And he said unto them,.. 'Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit has no flesh and bones, as you see me have'... And showed them his hands and feet... And while they yet believed not for joy and wondered, he said unto them, 'Have ye here any meat?'.. And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of a honeycomb... And he took it, and did eat before them." (Luke 24:36-43)

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Al-Bâsit | The Unfolder | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God

Al - Bâsit

. The Unfolder
. The Expander
. The Releaser
. The One who makes ample and plentiful all that is needed.
. The One who makes the way wide and open.
. The One whose open hand releases joy, comfort and abundance.
. The One who infuses the soul into body.
. The One who has filled the heart with spiritual abundance.
. The One whose glory and abundance fill and expand the heart.

Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may give it increase manifold ? Allah straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return. (The Quran 2:245) , transliteration.

Have We not opened up thy heart,
and lifted from thee the burden that had weighed so heavily on thy back?
And have We not raised thee high in dignity?
And, behold, with every hardship comes ease:
verily, with every hardship comes ease!
Hence, when thou art freed from distress,
remain steadfast, and unto thy Sustainer turn with love.
(The Quran 94:1-8)

Sometimes, in order to help, He makes us miserable;
but heartache for His sake brings happiness.
Laughter will come after tears.
Whoever foresees this is a servant blessed by God.
Wherever water flows, life flourishes:
wherever tears fall, Divine mercy is shown.
Rumi, Mathnawi I:817-820, tr. Helminski

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

I should have been born… | Kenza

I should have been born in other times
When no passports where needed,
When one could roam the earth freely,
When the seas were open, and the mountains also.

When the road one took, lead to unknown places,
To places where you were received by poets,
And where a cup of tea was freely given
Along with the chants of the birds.

When journeys took decades
And meeting new people took a smile.
A time when languages were easily learned
And generosity was always there.

When the kindness of the spirit,
Busy markets and carefully crafted gardens
Inspired musicians
As the passing of caravanserais.

When the road was itself the journey
And the only identification to be shown
Was your kindheartedness, patience
And hunger for knowledge.

When one could seat for hours
Talk spirituality and nonsense
Under the shade of a century old maple tree,
Instead of waiting in line for a visa.

I should have been born at other times,
Maybe my inspiration would have been real,
Just like the dust that all travelers leave on their path.
These days, there is no dust. Only carpeted airports.

- Kenza
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Jesus Tomb Discovery Claim | controversy and more controversy

Have archaeologists uncovered the tomb of Jesus? A highly publicized new book (The Jesus Family Tomb by Simcha Jacobovici and Charles R. Pellegrino) and documentary (The Lost Tomb of Jesus, produced by James Cameron and directed by Jacobovici) claim to that effect. But perhaps even more compelling in the post–Da Vinci Code world is that ossuaries found in the tomb are said to have held the remains of not only Jesus but Mary Magdalene and “Judas, the son of Jesus.” One of the conclusions this team offers is that Jesus of Nazareth was married to Mary Magdalene, and that they had a son named Judas.

The tomb at the center of the story was actually discovered in 1980 in Jerusalem's Talpiot neighborhood. (The BBC covered it in a documentary in 1996.) The filmmakers assert that it is the tomb of Jesus' family. The crypt contained 10 ossuaries, six of them with inscriptions. Four of them reportedly read "Jesus son of Joseph," two names for Mary, and "Judah the son of Jesus." The documentary will air Sunday, March 4, on the Discovery Channel.

Experts Dismiss Claims of finding Jesus Tomb (via insidebayarea.com)
Leading archaeologists in Israel and the United States on Tuesday denounced the purported discovery of the tomb of Jesus as a publicity stunt. Scorn for the Discovery Channel's claim to have found the burial place of Jesus, Mary Magdalene and, most explosively, their possible son came not just from Christian scholars but also from Jewish and secular experts who said their judgments were unaffected by any desire to uphold Christian orthodoxy.

"I'm not a Christian. I'm not a believer. I don't have a dog in this fight," said William Dever, who has been excavating ancient sites in Israel for 50 years and is widely considered the dean of biblical archaeology among U.S. scholars.

Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, expressed irritation that the claims were made at a news conference rather than in a peer-reviewed scientific article. By going directly to the media, she said, the filmmakers have set it up as if it's a legitimate academic debate, when the vast majority of scholars who specialize in archaeology of this period have flatly rejected this.

:: Official Website of The Lost Tomb of Jesus

:: Also read this informative blog post at Christendom Blog: The alleged ‘Jesus family tomb’ (written by Richard Bauckham)

Few more resources
Has James Cameron Found Jesus's Tomb or Is It Just a Statistical Error? : Scientific American
Says Scholar :
Scientific American Blog Post
A Critical Look inside : vision
DNA and Statistics in 'Tomb of Jesus' Effectively Debunked : Playfuls
Jesus tales from the crypt : Time Middle East Blog
Newsweek focus on Jesus Tomb
Experts dismiss claim of finding Jesus' tomb : Inside Bay Area
Sinking Credibility: The Media and the Bones of Jesus : Christian Post Pin It Now!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Reading Now | The Sufi Mystery

While traveling in Darjeeling, India, i found this beautiful gem titled, The Sufi Mystery, edited by Nathaniel P. Archer. This wonderful book brings together writings by Ameer Ali, Professor E.G. Browne, Sir Richard Burton, Robert Graves, Idries Shah and many others. It deals with authentic and mutated schools and orders and their literature over a very wide area of geography and belief. Sufi theories and practices are examined, visits to Sufi centers are described, the relationship of master and disciple investigated, and links with other systems noted.

The lovely thing about this book is using sanskrit equivalence of many sufi terminologies while describing Sufi Philosophy (in the chapter Philosophy, Training, Orders and Ethics) which shows the inner truth with Vedantic philosophy and Sufism. It clears out the picture how Islam and Hinduism in its essential core speaks of the same Grand Reality. Also one can find references of very useful original works (books) of Sufism spread across the book. The chapter titled, A Catholic Among the Sufis by Father F. X. O'Halloran is a delightful chapter to read in a sense that it appreciate sufism from a Christian's perspective. It shows how Master and Disciple relationship are engraved in the Sufi Way, just as was that of Jesus Christ (peace be with him) and the status of Jesus among the sufis are also explored.

Another noted chapter is A Coptic Conception of Initiation and Illumination. It contains some beautiful collection of sayings of Jesus quoted by notable sufis such as Al Ghazzali. Here are few:

When Jesus was young, someone said to him: "Where did you gain you education?" He said, "From nobody. I looked at the ignorance of fools and avoided it."

John the Baptist said to Jesus, "Do not become angry." He answered, "I can not avoid that, for I am human." "Then," said John, "avoid desiring property." "That", said Jesus, "I can do".

Jesus said, "You say that I have been able to raise the dead, that is true. But mark well that I was unable to cure the foolishness of fools."

Read more about the book from Amazon here. Pin It Now!

Al-Basîr | The All-Seeing | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God

Al-Basîr

. The All-Seeing
. The All-Perceiving
. The All-Comprehending
. The One whose insight sees all things clearly, both the apparent and the hidden.
. The One who perceives every detail.
. The One who has given to mankind the outer eye of the body, and the inner eye of the heart.

Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye restore deposits to their owners, and, if ye judge between mankind, that ye judge justly. Lo! comely is this which Allah admonisheth you. Lo! Allah is ever Hearer, Seer. (The Quran 4:58)

Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer. (The Quran 17:1)

The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He hath made for you pairs of yourselves, and of the cattle also pairs, whereby He multiplieth you. Naught is as His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer. (The Quran 42:11)

And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sendeth down by measure as He willeth. Lo! He is Informed, a Seer of His bondmen. (The Quran 42:27)

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days; then He mounted the Throne. He knoweth all that entereth the earth and all that emergeth therefrom and all that cometh down from the sky and all that ascendeth therein; and He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah is Seer of what ye do. (The Quran 57:4)

Have they not seen the birds above them spreading out their wings and closing them ? Naught upholdeth them save the Beneficent. Lo! He is Seer of all things. (The Quran 67:19)

Practice the remembrance as Ya Basiru (O the All-Seeing)

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Alchemy of the Divine | Reconnecting with self and creation

Nothing must
be left unwashed
by the tidal wave
of love.

Each time the
wave comes
you will be
broken open
a little further,

until one day
you will love
fearlessly, and
each person you meet
will wear the
face of your Beloved.

- Julien Longo, Her Immortal Soul

:: Gateways of The Divine: Visions of Healing and Awakening by Colette Van Praag Pin It Now!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Al - Barr | The Source of Goodness | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God

Al-Barr

. The Kindly and Gracious Benefactor
. The Righteous
. The Source of Goodness
. The One from whom every good deed comes.
. The One who bountifully bestows the gifts of tolerance, gentleness, goodness and kindness.

Lo! we used to pray unto Him of old. Lo! He is the Benign, the Merciful. (The Quran 59:24) | transliteration

Your God is One God; there is no god save Him, the Beneficent, the Merciful. (The Quran 2:163) | transliteration

Practice as Ya-Barru

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