Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Whirling Wind of God | Sufi Sema

Sufi SemaDervishes and Sufi singers have long been revered in the West, even as their practices have come under threat across the Islamic world. Peter Culshaw reports on a series of revelatory encounters with different mystics / published in 2005 / guardian unlimited

It had taken me a week to track down the underground dervish scene in Istanbul - the only dervish contact I had in the city was a carpet-seller called Abdullah deep in the bazaar. As with all quests, the difficulty only added to the sense of occasion when I did manage to locate them. Finally I found myself at a zikr (a remembrance) among 80 or so dervishes in a hidden tekke (religious house), and they began to chant, rhythmically, the name of Allah.

It was one of the most powerful sounds I have ever heard. In addition to a weaving violin and a zither that sends chills down your spine, there is a solo voice - similar to the muezzin's call from the minarets - that is full of heartbreaking longing. This is serious blues music, I thought. I was sitting in the middle of the group and, although I had permission to take photographs, I couldn't actually stand - pinned back by the weight of numbers but also by what seemed a spiritual force field.

When the tension was close to unbearable, 12 dervishes filed into the adjoining room and, in unison, took off their black cloaks - as if it were a holy fashion show - revealing white robes. Then they started spinning with incredible grace. This angelic whirling is a perfect counterpoint to the earthly chanting. Photographs can't prepare you for the disorienting feeling that the dervishes are defying gravity.

The dervishes are all Sufis, seekers on the mystical path to God, and are members of different Brotherhoods, chief among them Mevlevis, the school founded by the mystic poet Rumi 700 years ago. ... Nearly all the great musicians were Sufi disciples. From the 9th century, Sufi ascetics wandered the Islamic world, attracting followers to their gentle form of mystical Islam.

continue reading the full article here.

Related Read
:: Inherent meaning of Sema movements
:: The beginning of the whirling Pin It Now!

The Whispered Prayer of those who Hold Fast

In the Name of God, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate

O God,
O Shelter of the shelter-seekers!
O Refuge of the refuge-seekers!
O Deliverer of the perishing!
O Preserver of the pitiful!
O Merciful toward the miserable!
O Responder to the distressed!
O Treasure of the utterly poor!
O Mender of the broken!
O Haven of the cut off!
O Helper of the abased!
O Granter of sanctuary to the fearful!
O Aider of the troubled!
O Fortress of the refugees!

If I seek not refuge in Thy might, in whom shall I seek refuge?
If I seek not shelter in Thy power, in whom shall I seek shelter?
Sins have made me seek asylum in laying hold on the skirts of Thy pardon, offenses have compelled me to beg the opening of the doors of Thy forgiveness, evildoing has summoned me to dismount in the courtyard of Thy might, fear of Thy vengeance has prompted me to cling to the handhold of Thy tenderness!

It is not right for him who holds fast to Thy cord to be abandoned, nor proper for him who seeks the sanctuary of Thy might to be surrendered or disregarded.

My God, empty us not of Thy defending, strip us not of Thy guarding, and protect us from the roads of destruction, for we are in Thy eye and under Thy wing!

I ask Thee by those whom Thou hast singled out, Thy angels and the righteous among Thy creatures, to assign over us a protector through which Thou wilt deliver us from destructions, turn aside from us blights, and hide us from the striking of great afflictions, to send down upon us some of Thy tranquillity, to wrap our faces in the lights of love for Thee, to give us haven in Thy strong pillar, and to gather us under the wings of Thy preservation!

By Thy clemency and Thy mercy,
O Most Merciful of the merciful!

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Open Mind Blogger Award

Open Mind AwardMany thanks to friend, brother and fellow blogger Hamza Darrell Grizzle from Blog of Grateful Bear for nominating Inspirations and Creative Thought in the Open Mind Blogger Award!

it seems good news always comes togther. just few days back i updated on Thinking Blogger Award and now is this one!

About Open Mind Blogger Award // According to the award’s creator Justin: "Civility can be rare in society; the internet is not much different. There are a counteless number of bloggers who refuse to consider anyone’s opinion that is different than their own. The philosophy of these people tends to be: “I’m always right”.

Enter the “Open Mind Blogger” Awards

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, an “Open Mind” is defined as: “A mind receptive to different opinions and ideas”

This award is given to Blogs that demonstrate respect towards others, research and consideration of oppossing views, free-flowing conversation with commenters, and an overall spirit of civility and openess. It is time we recognize such commendable behavior on the internet."

// i am suppose to nominate 5 bloggers whom i think as Open Mind Blogger too. God willing, soon i will post the follow up.

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Creating a Human Web of Light | Sandra Ingerman


... the underlying principle of esoteric beliefs is that all life is made of light. As human beings with egos we often forget our true nature and we over identify with our personalities and bodies. We are light in bodies.

Alchemists did not literally change lead into gold. Rather they transmuted heavy leaded consciousness into gold light consciousness. Jesus in Matthew 5:30-20 challenges us not to hide our light under baskets. When mystics all over the world perform their miracles of healing they are seen to shine and become luminescent. Throughout Medicine for the Earth I write about the importance of the concept of light in all spiritual traditions.

We are light and we came here to shine. But most of us have forgotten our true nature as well as why we came here. We were created from love and light and we are love and light. It is our birthright to shine as fully in the world as we can.

Many of us have been taught at an early age not to shine too bright. If we shine too bright no one will love us. There can only be a few “stars” and it is not you. Does this sound familiar?

Why can there only be a few stars here on earth? I have never heard anyone say when looking up at the stars in the sky, “I wish that star wouldn’t shine so brightly it is outshining other stars”. Why do we have that belief here?

It is time for all us to shine our light, which will reflect back the beauty of the night sky above us. We need to find our shine again so that we can light up the dark places of the world.

Link to complete article and website: Creating a Human Web of Light via working with

: About Sandra Ingerman / Watch & listen Ingerman speak Quicktime / MediaPlayer
: More Audio Videos on Weaving a Web of Light

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Meditative Quranic Verse | Wisdom is a Divine grace

Yutee al-hikmata man yashao; waman yuta al-hikmata faqad ootiya khayran katheeran; wama yaththakkaru illa oloo al-albabi.

The Divine grants wisdom to whom The Divine Wills; and to whom wisdom is granted indeed receives overflowing goodness; but none will internalize the message but the realized of hearts.

- The Quran 2:269 / translated on the level of inner meaning.

The meditative Quranic verses are intended to be used as meditation and thought seed and to help aligning into higher consciousness. read more of the intro to this series.

Related post: Quranic verses that encourage Meditation

:: Previous posts on this series | Meditative Quranic Verse
+ 1: God and Human heart
+ 2: Overflowing Love
+ 3: Divine Promise
+ 4: Exclusive Devotion
+ 5: We are in need
+ 6: Choose a way unto the Lord
+ 7: Life of this world and hereafter Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award for Inspirations and Creative Thoughts

Happy to say that Inspirations and Creative Thoughts blog is tagged as Thinking Blogger Award by both Tiel Aisha Ansari of Knocking from Inside Blog and Michelle from Kombai.

Tiel mentions:
Inspirations and Creative Thoughts, Sadiq Alam's blog - Sadiq posts more often and more regularly than anyone else in my blogroll, and it's always worth reading for anyone with an interest in the life of the spirit.

Michelle writes:
Sadiq's "Inspirations and Creative Thoughts" for living up to that title most beautifully.

Moving forward the tagging | The rule says, when you're tagged, you get to post about five blogs that make you think, and pass the tag on to them. They then get to post about five other blogs as well. Specifics: 1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to five blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award.'

MysticSaint's nomination for 5 Thinking Blogger, in no particular order:

1. The Way of a Pilgrim |
its a very new blog that got started recently, yet it caught my attention so quickly because this one i feel like what can be called a genuine blog, sharing personal experience of a modern day Christian pilgrim. and once you start to read from beginning (which i recommend doing) you will start feeling that each sharings are coming from the depth of the heart. read the about first before anything else.

2. Stumbling Mystic |
although the blog is out there for sometime, i recently had exchange of thoughts with the author of this blog and found the content really fascinating. from the blog you may know that the author is someone who transformed from an orthodox Muslim woman to an agnostic and later going through psychospiritual experience which culminated in a kundalini awakening. and its just the beginning of it all.

3. Seeker After Truth |
it calls itself as, “mystic’s online reference repository” that aims to collect and display teaching / learning materials harvested from various fields of human growth. its one of the most rich blog you can ever find. recently its focusing and compiling on a lot of multimedia materials (video, audio etc.) which can be very useful. But check out the articles and thoughts as well. they are super rich i tell u!

4. Islam from Inside |
its great site with intellectual orientation that gets you thinking. it contains great sharing of thoughts on the tafsir or explanation of mostly Quranic verses as well as those of Bibles.

5. Darvish |
when i first came across poet, writer and author Irving Karchmar who is a Darvish of the Nimatullahi Sufi order, someone living near NY city, i was saying myself wait a minute! aren't Darvishes suppose to be in books of ancient talkes from Arabia? and now this man with a name that doesnt sounds like familiar Arab/Persian name (excuse my ignorance) is living at the heart of modern west! and guess what! Darvish Irving has got a beautiful blog that gives you much food for thoughts.

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The Wonder That is God

Of the many that lead to God, wonder should surely take first place. The towering mountain range, the glory of a sunset, the vast ocean, the forests and fertile plains, All these can throw the mind into a mood of wonder. We look at the world of nature and ask: Who could have made this world and guided all of its movements?

The answer that comes from within says that there must be an Infinite Intelligence at the back of this world because we find that everything behaves according to laws, principles, and design. The emotion of wonder can prompt our quest for God.

A scientist who seeks to resolve nature's mysteries is at an advantage if his or her heart is humble and receptive to the wonder of God, for nature more readily reveals her secrets to those whose love for God has quieted the human ego. Think of the humility of Einstein who, through his scientific research, became convinced of a divine Intelligence. Similarly, Isaac Newton drew a parallel between intellectual knowledge and the vastness of the ocean, declaring that he "had been vouchsafed the privilege of gathering a few pebbles on the shore."

Such thoughts should convince us that the more closely one deals with nature, God's wondrous handiwork, the closer one is drawn to the Infinite.The pettiness of the human ego diminishes in direct ratio. The ego is bound by the limits of this universe, but the great unseen Intelligence behind all things visible and invisible is continuously creating inexhaustible wonders.

The world's great scriptures stress the spiritual importance of utilizing the wonder of God for meditative purposes. Sri Ramakrishna used to relate the anecdote of a holy man in India who lived in a small hut on the bank of a river. After remaining all day in his hut, he made a ritual of emerging every day at sun set, folding his hands, and, raising his eyes in reverential wonder to the western sky, repeating," How wonderful you are!" In deep meditation he would stand motionless, absorbing the stillness and beauty for a lengthy period.

This is an excellent spiritual practice for contemplation and meditation; through it one discovers the wonders of God, which are "more in number than grains of sand." By seeking God through wonder, the seeker is drawn to the impersonal ideal of God, and in meditation he or she strives to contact the divine Intelligence, that purely impersonal mind which governs space, time, and all the phenomena of nature. This type of contemplation is what the devotional scriptures of India term shanta, or a peaceful relationship to God. Biological and anatomical studies have proved the wonders of the physical body.

The inexhaustible Infinite is continuously bringing about creation and dissolution. Both life and death represent a cosmic drama, for change is the law of matter. Only our real Self, that is God, is unchanging and eternal.

This is a further wonder of God. God's illimitable storehouse of energy, of which there is neither beginning nor end, is yet another wonder. In the first book of the Bible we read: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."A cosmic thought followed by material manifestation takes place with the speed of light. God creates with complete detachment. As we develop spiritually, we also begin to share this divine detachment, which counteracts material attachment.

God projected this universe and can withdraw it in the space of a heartbeat. Further evidence of God's wonder is the human mind which is but a pale reflection of cosmic glory.

According to Indian thought, the human mind is composed of three elements: rajas, tamas, and sattva. The influence of rajas shows itself when the mind is in a state of turmoil or raging with sensual desires and material distractions. Tamas makes itself felt when the mind becomes torpid, dull, and easily deluded. Sattva brings about a state of quietude, which gives us well-balanced judgment and clear understanding.

The human mind, although in a constant state of flux due to the influence of these elements, has a wide range. It spans from Shakespeare, Newton, and a host of other such luminaries to the vast majority of human beings whose abilities fall well below their level, but are nonetheless part of the Divine.

Every human mind is capable, under well-directed spiritual guidance, of rising to sublime heights; it is capable of touching the frontiers of time, space, and causality; it can emulate the majestic peace, power, and divine compassion of Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Sri Krishna.

An outstanding cause for wonder is that, of all creation, human beings alone are blessed with the divine potential to personally experience God. Even the gods, the Upanishads declare, lack this potential. Sri Krishna reports that of all God's wonders mentioned in the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, the greatest is God becoming an individual human being.

When we at last attain Self-knowledge, then we will realize that everything that was a source of wonder for us is, in fact, God made manifest. When we can lift the obscuring veil of maya, and can say,"l am He, (I am His part, and He is always the Real One, the Real Self, everything that is mine is from He)" we will emerge from our cocoon of ignorance. For us the "Divine Comedy" will have ended through contemplation on the wonder that is God.

- Footnote: Sattva, rajas, and tamas are the three gunas, or qualities. Tamas is characterized by dullness, stupidity, and inertia; rajas by activity, restlessness, and passion; sattva by calmness, purity, and wisdom. These three qualities are found in varying proportions in the external world and in all created beings.

:: Excerpt from Seeing God Everywhere by Swami Shraddhananda via Pin It Now!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How a human being can change

Raupe - Chenille - Caterpillar
Originally uploaded by *sido*.
This is how
a human being
can change:

There's a worm
addicted to eating
grape leaves.

Suddenly, he wakes up,
call it grace, whatever,
wakes him,
and he's no longer
a worm.

He's the entire vineyard,
and the orchard too,
the fruit, the trunks,
a growing wisdom and joy
that doesn't need
to devour.

- Rumi translated by Coleman Barks
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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Mystical Face of Muhammad, the Last Messenger of God

No religion is complete without an ecstatic dimension. Something in human beings wants to keep religion from being simply ritual, purely rational, solely ethical, and only theology. So a corrective eventually expresses itself in the form of mysticism (tasawwuf). Mysticism is not the religion; it is an inescapable element in all authentic religions. As Paul Tillich used to say, ecstasy and mysticism prevent religion from becoming "moralized love and intellectual faith."

Most religious founders combine these dimensions in their love and thought. They emphasize that our relationship to the divine includes both thinking and acting correctly and experiencing God directly.

This was certainly true of Muhammad, upon him be peace. Sufis base their devotional expression and spiritual direction on the example of the Prophet. Muhammad was the original Sufi! They immediately point to his prayer life; his direct encounter with Allah on Mount Noor; his spiritual pilgrimage in his late thirties, which led to his "Night of Power", and finally to his "Night Journey," a classical mystical experience which took him to heaven to talk with previous prophets and into the presence of Allah Himself. The hadith is replete with spiritual wisdom and meditational guides which were as much a part of Muhammad's legacy to his followers as his political and ethical guidance.

Annemarie Schimmel, in her comprehensive book on Sufism, Mystical Dimensions of Islam, relates how surprised westerners are to discover the mystical qualities in Muhammad. She states that the western image of Islam "emerged during hundreds of years of hatred and enmity in the Christian world." From this tradition has come a picture of Muhammad as, at worst, a sword-wielding religious zealot and, at best, a shrewd and sensuous politician. Yet from the beginning Sufis knew him to be a deeply pious and spiritually earnest man, a man who not only desired to bring Allah's salaam to earth, but also experience direct access to Allah.

Sufis provide the "inner dimension" of Islam, the personal esoteric, inward path (tariqa) as compared with exoteric, public, outward Shariah. The former, "God and the person," is the inner essence; the later, "God and society," is the exterior clothing. The former if the "fire"; the later is the "fireplace." Obviously both are needed for a valuable religious tradition. One without the other would be spiritually self-destructive.

Sufism is not, as often stated by westerners, a sect of Islam. It is, rather, a dimension found in and compatible with all manifestations of Islam, whether Sunni or Shiite, no matter what the Muslims are, intelligentsia or peasant, urban or rural. . . .

In summary, faithful Muslims who are not Sufis obey God and believe that God is merciful and will reward them according to their righteous deeds. The goal is to enjoy life in this world and prepare for the world to come. They diligently perform the five pillars and this aids them in "remembering Allah." However, their self-renunciation and abstinence do not go beyond their expected duties and obligations.

Sufis, on the other hand, passionately yearn for God. Their remembrance is total, a struggle (jihad) to be united with Divine Love. The Sufi's goal is not to perform certain rituals and hope thereby to become closer to God; the goal is to be united to God without any mediation whatsoever. A Sufi does not neglect action but sees action as a completion. There is a sense in which Sufis see themselves as "fulfilled Muslims."

Ira G. Zepp Jr., A Muslim Primer, University of Arkansas Press, 2000, p. 115-20

weblink / Prophet Muhammad was the original Sufi Pin It Now!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Garden of Self-healing | cure for sins

One day our great master, Ali ibn Abu Talib, upon him be peace, was passing through the streets of Basra when he saw a large circle of men around a dignified hakim (a doctor), sitting on a chair, dispensing cures for the ills of the people who had gathered around him. The Imam apprached him and asked "What is your cure for sin, because people have despaired of finding that cure?" The young hakim looked down at the ground without an answer but Imam Ali asked a second time, and then a third time.

The hakim lifted his head and said, "May Allah bless you. Do you know of the cure for sins?" The Imam said, "Yes. Here it is ..."

"Go to the Garden of Iman (Divine faith and trust) and extract from it...

....the roots of intention,
the grains of repentance,
the leaves of reflection,
the seed of cautiousness,
the fruit of understanding,
the branches of certainty,
the kernels of sincerity,
the bark of diligence,
the roots of trustful dependence,
the calyx* of taking heed,
the stem of returning,
and the nectar of humility.

(* outer protective leaves of flowers)

Take all these remedies with a knowledgeable heart and fingers of confirmation and palm of success. Then put them all in a bowl of realization and wash them all with the waters of tears. Next place them in the pot of hope and set it on the fire of yearning until you see the cream of wisdom float up. Then pour the contents onto plates of contentment, and cool them with the fan of seeking forgiveness.

There you will have a perfect drink as a perfect gift from Allah, glory be to Him, which will remove all your sins."

:: text credit / graphics Pin It Now!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Khalwa | spiritual seclusion

Nothing benefits the heart more than a spiritual seclusion whereby it enters the domain of true reflection.
- Ibn Ata' Allah Iskandari

Seclusion or 'khalwa', which also means, literally, emptying out. The idea of khalwa involves complete severance from the world. Periods of seclusion and isolation are necessary for spiritual health and development. They are prescribed and practiced by all paths of enlightenment. The world of rationality is causal and its mysteries can only be unraveled through the exercise of a healthy intellect and what appreciation lies beyond.

The spiritual world relates to the heavenly, inner, unseen realities in subtle ways that can only be tapped into by exclusion, silence and through transcendental states. It was during one of his frequent periods of seclusion and meditation in a cave outside Mecca that the Angel Gabriel came to the Prophet Muhammad and the first verses of the Qur`an were related.

Giving up outer awareness and going beyond the world of causality is the only way to reach this subtle world, whose patterns are already in the soul and heart, but locked away for most people. The 'emptying' that takes place during khalwa reveals the cosmology of one's inner.

During Khalwa experience of Shaykh Fadhlalla, he had vivid dreams and visions of great beings and prophets, especially the Prophet Muhammad. At one point, he saw himself lifted by him as a mother lifts her baby and carried for some distance across a barren desert, after which he was embraced and walked on by myself. There were many other visions, both disturbing and serene. >> Read the whole excerpts here.

:: Excerpts from Son of Karbala by Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri
:: Wisdom of Ibn Ata Allah

About | Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri is a realized master, teacher, and inheritor of the Prophetic path to divine realization. He has instructed people throughout the world on this path for over 20 years and has written numerous books on various topics concerned with the wisdom teachings of Islam. Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri is an isthmus between the ancient wisdom teachings and our present time.

:: Read selected writings of Shaykh Fadhlalla
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Today's Prayer of the Heart

Todays Prayer Heart MysticSaintO Beloved!
May we all become witness
to Your Limitless Glory
ceaselessly coming into manifestation
each and every moments.

And by Your Grand Will,
may our witnessing be intensified
to such height that may we
become that What is Witnessed.

Encompass and include us
as part of Your Glory!

Indeed there is nothing more fulfilling
than becoming the witnessing.

May our eyes of the heart
become Your Divine Eyes,
through which
You may gaze upon
Your Glorious Contenance.

May our consciousness of the heart
become Your Divine Instrument
through which
You may know Yourself.

Indeed You brought forth
this creation that You may be known,
that You may be witnessed.

Behold O Me!
"Ash-hadu Al-laaa ilaaha illa-ilaahu
wahdahoo Laa Shareeka Lahoo."

I witness that: there is no other Real but You!
and nothing, no thing, not-a-thing
that can be compared to Your One Reality.

Accept O Beloved.

(c) MysticSaint | Singapore | June, 2007
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Idea for Complete Man | Zorba the Buddha

The traditional concept of man was that of a materialist or spiritualist, moral or immoral person, sinner or saint. A divided man is miserable. He is neither healthy nor whole; the other half that has been denied will go on taking revenge. It will find ways and means to overcome the part you have imposed upon yourself. You will become a battleground, there will be civil war.

In the past we were unable to create real human beings; we made humanoids. A humanoid is one who looks like a human being but is utterly challenged. He has not been allowed to bloom in his totality. He is adhoora, and because he is half is always tense; he cannot celebrate. Celebration is the fragrance of being whole.

Only a fulfilled tree will flower. Man is yet to flower. The new man will be earthy and divine, worldly and other-worldly. The new man will accept his totality and he will live it without any inner division, without getting split. His god will not be opposed to the devil, his morality will not be opposed to immorality; he will know no opposition.

He will transcend duality, he will not be schizophrenic. With the new man will come a new world, because the new man will perceive in a qualitatively different way. He will live a totally different life. He will be a mystic, poet, scientist. all at once.

The moment a child grows to become whole, society starts to suffocate him, stifling and cutting him into fragments, telling him what to do and what not to do, what to be and what not to be.

Losing his wholeness, he becomes guilty about his whole being. He denies much that is natural, and in that very denial he becomes uncreative. Now he will be only a fragment, and a fragment cannot dance, a fragment cannot sing. And a fragment is always suicidal because the fragment cannot know what life is. The humanoid cannot decide on his own.

Others have been deciding for him - his parents, the teachers, the leaders, the priests; they have taken all his decisiveness. They decide, they order; he simply follows. The humanoid is a slave.

My concept of the new man is that he will be Zorba the Greek and he will also be Gautama the Buddha. The new man will be Zorba the Buddha. He will be sensuous and spiritual - in the body, yet with a great consciousness, a great witnessing.

He will be Christ and Epicurus together. Religion failed because it was too other-worldly. It neglected this world. And you cannot neglect this world; to neglect this world is to neglect your own roots. Science has failed because it neglected the other world, the inner, and you cannot neglect the flowers.

Once you do that, neglect the innermost core of being, life loses all meaning. The tree needs roots, so man needs roots, and the roots can only be in the earth. The tree needs an open sky to grow, to come to great foliage and to have thousands of flowers. Then only is the tree fulfilled, then only does the tree feel significance and meaning and life becomes relevant.

Religion talks only of flowers that remain philosophical, abstract; they never materialise because they are removed from earth. And science has failed because it cares only about the roots.

We now need a new humanity in which religion and science become two aspects of one human being. And art will be the bridge. That's why I say that the new man will be a mystic, a poet and a scientist.

- Teaching of Osho (1931 - 1990) / Compiled by Swami Chaitanya Keerti, Osho World Foundation / web credit / image credit

More Readings:
:: Sannyasworld - Osho's message to humanity on new year's day
:: Zorba Buddha / :: Zorba The
:: Om Bodhisattva Commune / :: Osho Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Originally uploaded
by Joshua Davis (articnomad).
We are but pilgrims,
born from clay and water
Gathering burdens and smiles,
until it is over.

Our mark on time
is a step on the ocean,
traceless and silent.
Even the ephemeral wave
produces more froth and din.

(c) Kenza Saadi Pin It Now!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Prophet Muhammad's Sword

Prophet Muhammad Sword
Forgive him who wrongs you;
join him who cuts you off;
do good to him who does evil to you;
and speak the truth
even if it be against yourself.

~ Inscribed on Prophet Muhammad's sword ~
may his illuminated soul be in Eternal Bliss

text credit / image credit

related link: Krishna and Muhammad
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Prayer's answer

MysticSaint CollageMay you fall in love deeply
........that there is no escape.
And after love has writ
........its poetry on your human heart
........and sung its song in your soul,
may it stretch you beyond all belief.

With its firebird voice
may it crush every bone of resistance
and drag you through pain and loss
............and back again -

........'til there is nothing left of you
....................but love.

- Stephanie

Published with kind permission from Gangaji's Website. You can read more poetry here.

About | Gangaji, an American born teacher and author, has traveled the globe since 1990, speaking with spiritual seekers from all walks of life. Her message is powerful in its clarity and simplicity: True peace and lasting fulfillment are not only our birthright, they are the essential nature of our being. Gangaji invites you to discover the possibility of living your life in the freedom and joy of simply being. Read her message to you.

> Explore more about the spiritual work and truth that Gangaji brings. May her path be blessed.

The Gangaji Foundation is located at Ashland, OR, USA / graphics collage: Sadiq Alam Pin It Now!

Monday, June 18, 2007

"I am both Muslim and Christian" - Rev. Ann Holmes Redding | a beacon of hope in our troubled time

Rev. Ann Holmes ReddingSelection from The Seattle Times, Article by Janet I. Tu

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill. On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.

She does both, she says, because she's Christian and Muslim.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she's ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she's also been a Muslim - drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God - the meaning of the word "Islam."

Rev. Ann Holmes Redding islam prayer praying christianity"It wasn't about intellect," she said. "All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be. "I could not not be a Muslim."

How it happened | In fall 2005, a local Muslim leader gave a talk at the cathedral, then prayed before those attending. Redding was moved. As he dropped to his knees and stretched forward against the floor, it seemed to her that his whole body was involved in surrendering to God.

Then in the spring, at a St. Mark's interfaith class, another Muslim leader taught a chanted prayer and led a meditation on opening one's heart. The chanting appealed to the singer in Redding; the meditation spoke to her heart. She began saying the prayer daily.

She still doesn't know why that meant she had to become a Muslim. All she knows is "when God gives you an invitation, you don't turn it down."

In March 2006, she said her shahada - the profession of faith - testifying that there is only one God and that Mohammed is his messenger. She became a Muslim.

Before she took the shahada, she read a lot about Islam. Afterward, she learned from local Muslim leaders, including those in Islam's largest denomination - Sunni - and those in the Sufi mystical tradition of Islam. There were moments when practicing Islam seemed like coming home. Friends who didn't know she was practicing Islam told her she glowed.

>> Read the full article here.

"Islam doesn't say if you're a Christian, you're not a Muslim" - Ayesha Anderson, Programming director, Al-Islam Center of Seattle.

Related post: I'm a Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Taoist
Ref: St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
Sermons at Saint Mark's including those of Rev. Ann Holmes Redding Pin It Now!

on Spiritual Abuse | a valuable lighthouse for seekers of all traditions

The Sufi Lighthouse: Illuminating Spiritual Abuse is unique in the history of Sufi literature, a very timely and valuable contribution for seekers of all traditions. No religious or mystical tradition is immune from the presence of spiritual abuse, for, wherever there are people who are seeking to become closer to essential truths, purpose, and meaning, there will be individuals seeking to generate counterfeit currency to offer to those who are unaware of, or incautious toward, the dangers which lie in wait along the spiritual path. Spiritual abuse assumes many different forms.

Spiritual abuse may occur in neighborhood churches, mosques, temples, centers, and other places of religious/spiritual gathering. This problem also may take place in much more exotic and/or remote settings.

Some instances of spiritual abuse may involve gullible individuals who are induced to become committed to a ‘guide’ or teacher who, when examined even superficially in an impartial manner, may exhibit many of the warning characteristics of a spiritual charlatan. Unfortunately, in many other cases, the problem of recognition with respect to a given ‘false teacher’ becomes much more difficult and subtle.

Fraudulent teachers may call themselves a guru, shaykh, rimpoche, monk, priest, imam, apostle, avatar, or minister. They also may call themselves educators, revolutionaries, political leaders, and freedom fighters.

The present book, The Sufi Lighthouse: Illuminating Spiritual Abuse, arises out of the author's experiences with a spiritual charlatan who called himself a Sufi shaykh or guide. The book consists of 594 pages, 54 chapters, and a great deal of information, insight, and illumination concerning the phenomenon of spiritual abuse. Although a number of chapters within this book entail discussions which focus on themes that are steeped in the terminology of Islam, in general, and the Sufi Path in particular, much of this book is of relevance to anyone who is interested in, or struggling with, problems of spirituality and mysticism, irrespective of the particular tradition with which he or she may identify.

It certainly can prove to be a valuable (spiritual) life saver for the seekers and a timely eye opener before its too late. May your paths be illuminated.

:: Read details about the book / @ Amazon
:: Explore Spiritual Abuse by major themes
:: The Sufi Lighthouse E-book
:: Read an article, Spiritual Abuse and the Sufi Tradition by the author
:: Spiritual Abuse Recovery Assistance
:: Spiritual Health - Sufi Books

About the Author | Dr. Whitehouse obtained an Honors BA from Harvard University in Social Relations and a doctorate from the University of Toronto in Educational Theory.

He is the author of Streams to the Ocean, Mystical Horizons, The Chaco Canyon Tapes, Evolution on Trial, Reality without a Name, and Spiritual Stories for the Heart. His latest book is The Essence of September 11th. The author's blog can be accessed here.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Al-Hakîm | The Most Wise | 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God


. The Most Knowing
. The Perfectly Wise
. The Most Judicious

. The One who has perfect wisdom
. The One whose wisdom turns mankind back from wrongdoing
. The One who is qualified to judge the worth of all things

Verily, thou hast received this Qur'an out of the grace of One who is wise, all-knowing. The Quran 27:6

:: Introduction to the post series
:: Previous posts on 99 Divinely Sublime Attributes of God
:: On the practice of 99 Beautiful Names of God
:: Most Beautiful Names of Allah
:: Audio Chants of the 99 Beautiful Names
:: image credit Pin It Now!

The Heart and its Knowledge | The Inner Map

Kabir Helminski, a Sufi master, has wisely observed: "Hearts need education and refinement just as the body needs exercise and moderation." He is right. But people are nervous about looking within or getting overly emotional. And in our bottom-line society, heart knowledge tends to be treated as impractical and worthless. Yet the heart is often mentioned in the spiritual traditions as being the locus of the spiritual life. The world's religions offer sacred texts and practices about such heart skills as compassion, kindness, reverence, listening, openness, and hospitality.

The heart is the seat of wisdom for the Jews, the hub of the universe for Hindus, the throne of God for Sufis, an important quality for Buddhists, the essence of what it means to be human for Confucians, and the abode of the kingdom of God for Christians.

We chose to salute heart knowledge because of the heartlessness of these violent times and because of the growing number of people who feel disheartened. It is possible to tenderize this faculty and to become gentler people. Many spiritual individuals who have modeled this for us in word and deed. They challenge us to become wholehearted, to live with a heart free of possessiveness, and to treat others with a loving heart.

All the heart's multiple messages cannot be contained in words, but words give us a start. We can speak to each other heart to heart and be truly present with open hearts. The path of heart is a fulfilling and fruitful path one that leads to deep meaning and joy. Join us for the journey, day-by-day.

:: Selection from Map: the Heart via Spirituality & Practice
:: Threshold Society
:: Eye of the Heart - Newsletter from Threshold Society Pin It Now!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Beckon Yourself Back

Inner Self
Lottery - my entry

Originally uploaded by
Maybe, I am the ForgottenOne,
not only by others, but by myself.

Life brings its tasks,
and we forget to look
deep into our hearts.

We forget to follow the path,
distracted by this and that
very often self-pitting
and yelling on God:
why had He forgotten us!!

But it is us who have forgotten
and Him, as well.

Beckon yourself back
to the center of your being,
to the soul,
to the mystery of
your own inner-self.

Beckon Yourself back!

- the Secret Gardener, Branka

~ And be ye not like those who forgot the Divine; and He made them forget their own souls! Such are the one who go against their true divine nature! - Quran, The Final Testament. 59.19 (translated on the level of inner meaning).

~ God says: Man is My secret and I Am his secret. - Saying of Blessed Prophet Muhammad.
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Adab of the Sufis | the purifying ones

... truly who purifies the inner-self succeeds, and who corrupts it fails! - The Quran

I have been sent to perfect good manners ... Righteousness is good character.
- Prophet Muhammad

Adab is courtesy, respect, appropriateness. Adab is not formality; it helps to create the context in which we develop our humanness. Every situation and relationship has its proper adab: between students on the path, in relation to family members and elders, in relation to one's shaikh. Every level of being also has its adab, including coming into the presence of Truth (Al-Haqq).

The model of adab in the Sufi tradition is the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing upon him), who said: "None of you will have authentic faith until your hearts are made right, nor will your hearts be made right until your tongues be made right, nor will your tongues be made right until your actions be made right."

Awareness of some simplified aspects of adab:

. To be Straightforward with sincerity and truthfulness.
. To be aware of and have regret for our own faults, rather than finding fault with others.
. To be free from the preoccupation, worry, vanity and ambition over the world and the worldly.
. To be indifferent to the praise or blame of the general public.
. To do what one does for God's sake-not for the desire for reward or the fear of punishment.
. To adopt an appropriate humility and invisibility in public and in the meetings of the dervishes.
. To serve the good of one's brothers and sisters with all one's physical and other resources.
. To seek to heal any wound you may have caused to another, and to correct any misunderstanding within three days if possible.
. To know that no good will come out of the expression of anger or excessive hilarity.
. To be patient with difficulties.
. To be indifferent to favor or benefit for oneself, for "receiving one's due."
. To be free of spiritual envy and ambition, including the desires to lead or teach.
. To strive to increase one's knowledge of Sufism (the Gnosis, the Marifa, the Knowledge of God and self)
. To be willing to struggle with one's ego as much as it prevents one from following proper adab, and to realize that the greatest ally is Love.
. To seek instead to make one's practices more and more inwardly sincere, rather than outwardly apparent. >> credit, read details

Also read a beautiful summary of some of the qualities that exemplify the etiquette and ethics from the book, Discourses on the Sufi Path, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi via Darvish Blog.

:: Reference + Further Reading
+ Adab al-suluk: A Treatise on Spiritual Wayfaring - a complete book / click here to read online
+ Adab: The Courtesy of the Path by Kabir Helminski
+ Manners and Their Meaning by Ibn Ata'illah
+ Adab in the Mevlevi tradition
+ Adab: Spiritual Etiquette of Life via Anab Whitehouse's blog Sufi Amanesis
+ The Adab of the Sufi Path via Darvish blog of Irving Karchmar Pin It Now!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Donation for Chittagong Mudslide Victims

Bangladesh faced a terrible tragic on 11th June 2007. Indiscriminate hill cutting during the last three decades has led to the disappearance of over one hundred hills and partial destruction of hundreds others in Chittagong city, causing environmental hazards and raising the incidence of landslide, experts said. Landslides in last few days killed more than 100 people in the port city, raising such death toll during the last three decades to over 200.

chittagong landslide, bangladesh, tragedy
So as part of our joint effort we from somewhereinblog community and me, Sadiq requesting you all who chance upon here to participate with your contribution for those incapacitated people.

There are many in the hospital in critical condition needing medical care. They have no money, some lost all of their immediate family members and last refuge of support. Surely you can make a difference. With your little contribution you can save one life or more. ... Please do ...

instruction: click on the Make a Donation button below, you are taken to a secured site. there write donation amount >> click (update total) and click (continue) from the bottom of the page. no registration required.

:: Samia Esha's post on the tagedy
:: Arild’s Blog: the chittagong landslide tragedy and the blog as a campaign site
:: Read details of the Chittagong Mudslide via wikipedia
:: More posts on Blogsphere via Google Blog Search + on Bangladesh Mudslide
:: Badh Bhangar Aawaj

posten on 13th June, 2007
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sufi Story | from the life of Hafiz of Shiraz

Hafiz Divan Sufi StoryEarlier in his life, Hafiz was a drunkard having little to do with religion. One day, he was staggering across the street, he saw a piece of paper in the gutter among the filth. Curious, he picked it up. The name of God was written on on it.

"Woe that I should see Your name fallen into such places!" Hafiz cried, brushed it off, and handled the paper with reverence. That night he had a dream.

In the dream, a voice told him: "Hafiz, you have raised my name from where it was, and I shall elevate your name among human beings." This is how Hafiz began his career as a sufi (mystic) saint and still today he is one of the greatest poet of all time.

- Quoted from the book, The Black Pearl by Henry Bayman.

This story touches upon the sufi concept of courtesy or adab. Courtesy contains: harmony/ gentleness (hilm), reverence (burmah), purity (safiyah), tranquility (sukuun), sincerity (ikhlas), modesty (tawazu), solitude (halwat) and spiritual poverty (faqr). Sometime courtesy in the path is also referred as right action arising from right thoughts. Spiritual progress without adab or courtesy in the first place is impossible; be it towards the spiritual master or scripture or the components of the religion.

... the hightest stage of courtesy is the highest destiny man can attain. According to a Sufi couplet:

Courtesy is a crown, made of the light of God,
Wear that crown, and be safe from all calamities.

- image credit / Hafiz Points Out A Poem In His Divan / Indian, 1019/1610 via Sufi Cookbook art gallery Pin It Now!

Krishna and Muhammad | brotherhood of humanity

Osho writes, "Every religion, upto now, has divided life into two parts, and while they accept one part they deny the other. Krishna alone accepts the whole of life. Krishna alone accepts the body in its totality. And he accepts it not in any selected dimension but in all its dimensions."

When one read the life of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, one can see the same truth. All dimension of life come into full manifestation in the life of Muhammad. What role he didn't had to take up? He didn't depend on others for his life, didn't sit there in a cave, temple or jungle hoping that his companions will feed him. He was a faithful merchant and earning person in his earlier days.

He was a complete family man tending to the mundane needs of his family. He would help her wives cook, would mend his own shoe or clothes without asking other to do it. He was unlike any other prophet or spiritual guru who would live out of the troubles of everyday life and talk high things all day. Rather, he was the best example how a man can bring it full circle; performing all the needs of this world and at the same time to be immersed in divine consciousness. He was a social reformer and social worker, he lead the nation, he founded new community, he was warrior against oppression, war planner, spiritual guide, caring friend, loving father - what not.

Again coming back to the writings of Osho, "Krishna is against repression. He alone does not choose he accepts life unconditionally. He does not shun love; being a man he does not run away from women. As one who has known and experienced God, he alone does not turn his face from war. He is full of love and compassion, and yet he has the courage to accepts and fight a war. His heart is utterly non-violent, yet he plunges into the fire and fury of violence when it becomes unavoidable. He accepts the nectar, and yet he is not afraid of the poison."

See the life of Muhammad. All the war in the history of islam that the Prophet had to fought, was fought only to protect the vulnerable. Only to uphold the justice and whenever possible he made peace treaty and avoided any blood-shed. We must not forget that it was a dark-tribal-society where fight among groups/tribes was almost a daily affair. Amidst all this, his faithful character and compassion to all was without question. More than the figure of Krisha, Prophet Muhammad excels in the combination of the compassion and justice in so many role he had to perform.

So this is the character of Muhammad and unlike any other Biblical Prophet he is just there in prefectly recorded history; no bias, no fabrication. His life is written down by his companions, by other individuals and which are well preserved till today. When even the historical fact of the existence of many Prophets are in question, the life of Muhammad with all its human values are well preserved.

Let me finish with what Osho wrote and what i feel speak a very important dimension of reality which is so subtle, often we fail to realize it. "There is no such point in the cosmos where nature ends and God begins. It is nature itself that, through a subtle process of dissolution, turns into God, and it is God Himself Who, through a subtle process of manifestation, turns into nature. Nature is manifest God, and God is unmanifest nature. And that is what adwait means, what the principle of One without the other means. We can understand Krishna only if we clearly understand this concept of adwait, that only One is – One without the other." So it is with Muhammad, the concept of Khalifatullah, 'the representative of God', the manifestation of Divinity in its totality, coming full-circle, for which he is called Insan-e-Kamil, the Perfect Man.

Related Post:
:: Reading on Krishna
:: Free DVD and Book on Life of Prophet
:: Martin Lings's Biography of Prophet
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Drafting an idea | Carnival of Islam in the East

Inspired by Hakim Abdullah's 'Carnival of Islam in the West' yesterday it came to me that there is a necessity also to have a focus and brain-storming about the status of Islam in East. In recent time islam has grown considerably in the west, mostly due to migration of muslims and also from the significant number of reverts or converts to Islam. There are a number of great scholars and experts on Islam who being westerners, are interpreting and researching on a very progressive manner, just as the religion deserved. This is a real positive sign.

Now given the intellectual environment, education, progressive western outlook - Islam and Muslims in general are benefitting a lot from west. There is a much greater level of tolerance and a genuine interest in the core teaching of islam. Also the open accomodating nature of western society is becoming instrumental to the harmonization. So in broader sense, there is no extremism coming out from the west. What is lacking is awareness, lack of proper education and less positive space in the media etc. But that slowly will catch up.

And importantly in order to improve the image of islam and muslims, we need to look at the state of ummah at east. We can't go on apologizing for the mess and what stupid people are doing in the name of religion. We can't just go on correcting for image of islam to the rest of the world, while muslims (!) are blowing up themselves and doing all sorts of things that are so against the spirit of the teachings of Prophet.

Look at East! Specially look at the birth places of Islam, the historical lands and the places where the initial formation of islamic thoughts took place. Middle-East, the Arab nations from where Islamic teachings, civilization and intial ideas originated are in serious crisis at our age. Extermism in all its fashion is outpouring from every direction. If we shift a bit, there is the rest of Asia such as Indian Sub-continent, South East Asia and also Central Asia with very huge population of muslims. Infact Indonesia and Bangladesh of South East Asia and South Asia, respectively, are two largest muslim country in the world in terms of population count.

But sadly enough from Saudi Arabia to Indonesia, wherever you look, you will find moral degeneration, far apart are the muslims and their religion, Islam. Instead of progress and evolution towards an intellectual, modern face, its reversing into darkness. As if we are racing towards the pre-islamic barbaric age once again. From sectarian violence to culturally biased negative mindset, from suicide bombing to shia-sunni killing-spree, all are speaking how Islam has been hijacked, made rotten and really disgraced.

Thus i feel, there is a greater need for people who are from east, (may be settled down in west and thus have a good comparative view) and also those conscious people who are already living in east to share. From education, interpretation of islamic law, politics, public policy, family matters, to spiritual condition all can come into the scope of this Carnival of Islam in the East.

God willing, Carnival of Islam in the East will be an effort to move forward this critical thinking process and brain storming from bloggers all over the cyber-space. A thought process that aims at looking at the fundamental problems of Islam in the east, criticism, analysis and also coming up with solutions for different society and nations.

This is just a draft idea. i will very much appreciate ideas and suggestions from you all.
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Vision of the Prophet | Kahlil Gibran

prayerI love you, my brother,
whoever you are.

I love you as you pray in mosque,
as you practice your devotion in church or
worship in your temple.

For you and I are the children
of one single religion: the Spirit.

The various pathways of this religion
represent the different fingers
of the single loving hand
of the Supreme Being.

And to guide us towards
the fulfilment of the soul,
this hand stretch out
towards us with ardor.

- from Kahlil Gibran's Vision of the Prophet
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Carnival of Islam in the West | 10th edition is up

The 10th edition of Carnival of Islam in the West is up from Writeous Sister Speaks Aaminah Hernandez.

It brings posts on diverse topic such as: edication & life, marriage & family, news & politics, religion & philosophy, state of the ummah and more.

Visit the carnival here.

:: Read here about the Carnival theme and scope.
:: To learn more about the Carnival of Islam in the West, to read previous editions, and to submit to upcoming editions, go here. Pin It Now!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Unity is not uniformity

Pir Zia Inayat Khan Here is a sohbet or spiritual dialogue by Pir Zia Inayat Khan, which focus on the subject of evolution of humanity's understanding of Unity of God. This is a subject that always fascinates me. I found the way Pir Zia put it together simply beautiful and thoughtful.

"There's a saying of Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, which I feel is very important, particularly at this time. And that is: "Unity is not uniformity."

If one studies history, one finds that prior to the great monotheistic religions, There were polytheistic religions. Their Deities were for the most part interchangeable. The various pantheons of Deities represented the different natural forces. If you went from one place to another, the names and images would be different, but they were translatable. So, there was a kind of universality of religion at that time. And there were no religious wars. It was understood that the names and forms were subjective.

But there was something lacking at that time. And that was a sense of the transcendent.

The religions of that time represented cosmic forces, But the awareness of the totality of Being as endowed with personality; The ideal of monotheism; that was lacking. And when that ideal came a whole new dimension was added:

The transcendent, the Unity of all cosmic forces in one total Being.

The dawn of that understanding brought with it the monotheistic revelations Of Beni-Israel (the ancient Prophets of Israel), the message of Jesus, the message of Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon them.

This was a new development in Human thought, which answered a need; answered a lack in the ancient world.

But, the extreme, the mistake that was made, was to project that transcendent Unity upon this world of subjectivity and of multiplicity; to assume that one God meant one law for all people to be interpreted by one authority; one language of the sacred.

And so, the message of Unity very soon became a message of uniformity.

Uniformity, rather than fostering Unity, created conflicting uniformities with one uniformity claiming everyone should follow this form, another claiming it should be that form. Whereas the ideal that was intended was a Unity of spirit rather than form.

So, there's a challenge.

How does transcendent Unity manifest in this world of multiplicity?

As we've seen, conflicting uniformities produce only chaos and disunity. That is the importance of the expression of Love, Harmony and Beauty. The Sufis teach that Unity manifests itself on the plane of multiplicity as Harmony.

So, you might translate this into a series of waza'if, invocations of Divine Qualities. Focusing on rising above distinctions and differences, toward the transcendent pole of our Being:

Ya Wasi : O Thou, the All-Encompassing.

And then touching upon the Solitude of the Divine Unity:

Ya Ahad : O Thou, the One Being.

Now descending once again into the world of multiplicity, manifesting Unity in the world of multiplicity through Harmony:

Ya Jami' : O Thou, the Gatherer."
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Meditative Quranic Verses | Lightning Flashes

Quran, meditation, BarakaProclaim, O beloved Muhammad, "I am calling everyone to Allah through clear insight and direct experience, and so will those who follow in my spiritual lineage." Quran 12.108

Those who harmonize their whole being with the Messenger of Allah, are harmonizing and unifying with Allah. Quran 4.80

We divinely raise whomever We please to higher and higher degrees of wisdom. Quran 12.76

Pray with your entire being, My beloved, "O Precious Lord, increase and advance me in spiritual states and mystic knowledge." Quran 20.114

Those who are always ascending, who are the foremost lovers, abide intimately near to Allah within the blissful Garden of Essence. Quran 56.10-12

- Selection of verses, which were translated with deep esoteric understanding by Shaykh Lex Hixon Al Jerrahi. May God sanctify his spiritual rank. Quoted from his book, Atom from the Sun of Knowledge.

When i first read the english translations, i was saying, wow! how beautifully the meanings of Quranic verses can be rendered! they are renderings on the level of tafsir or interpretation. surely in this book, the most beautiful translations i ever came across. they also testify how difficult it is to translate those divine verses without grasping the inner meanings. God willing, i will quote some other verses later.

In the introduction Shaykh Nur writes,
Tasting is a mystical term synonymous with unveiling. The clarified honey of prophecy must be tasted in our own mouths. Divine Light must be nakedly perceived by the eyes of the heart. These particular verses, in some cases fragments of verses, were favored y the consummate Shaykh, Ibn Arabi. The present english versions reflect his unveiling, or tasting, of the original arabic. His full expansion of meaning can be found in the marvelous book by William Chittick, The Sufi Path of Knowledge.

:: Atom from the Sun of Knowledge
:: About Master Lex Hixon Al Jerrahi
/ graphics credit / Pin It Now!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Audio broadcasts | Ibn Arabi Society podcasts

Ibn 'Arabi Society was has made available many beautiful and valuable audio talks in its website. What is very praiseworthy is that such talks which is now FREE for all, would otherwise cost hundreds of dollar just to participate in the conferences or symposiums; let alone the limitation of time and space. Internet technology is truly wonderful!

Here are selection of some talks. they have great spiritual wisdom, inspiration and deeper understanding of reality. a great way to appreciate what the richness of islamic philosophy has to offer to the humanity. (click on the links below to download or listen to the mp3 audio)

:: Jane Clark | "As if you saw Him"; vision and best action (ihsân) in Ibn 'Arabi's thought

:: Cecilia Twinch | You Are My Mirror

:: Pablo Beneito | Naught but Love

:: Peter Coates | By Way of Essential Meaning

:: James Morris | "Whoever knows himself..." in the Futuhat

:: Stephen Hirtenstein | Spiritual Life, Living Spirit - Ibn 'Arabi's Meeting with Jesus and John

:: Caner Dagli | The Levels of the Soul and the Levels of Time

>> the audio broadcasts are updated monthly. pls visit here to check. itune podcast subscription is also available. The site is in the process of converting many of its USA Symposium talks to digital audio, and to making them available in the popular mp3 format for download.

About | The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society was founded in 1977 to promote a greater understanding of the work of Ibn 'Arabi and his followers. It is an international association with its headquarters in Oxford England and a branch in Berkeley California.

Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad Ibn 'Arabi is one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Ibn 'Arabi was born in Murcia, Al-Andalus, in 1165 and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and beyond. The universal ideas underlying his thought are of immediate relevance today.

/ art credit / appreciation to Kenza for noticing me about the audio resource Pin It Now!

Secret of the Spiritual Ascension (Miraj) of Prophet

According to Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi), known as the greatest master (Shaykh al-Akbar) and one of the islamic tradition's most important writers explains:

the purpose of spiritual ascension is not to reach God - for He is never apart from us - but simply for Him to show some of His Wonders and Indications.

He writes,
[God] says, "I only make him (the blessed Master of humanity, the Messeger of God, Muhammad) journey by night in order that he sees the signs, not [to bring him] to Me; because no place can hold Me and the relation of all places to Me is the same. For I am such that [only] 'the heart of My servant, the person of true faith, encompasses Me', so how could he be made to journey to Me while 'I am with him wherever he is'?!"

Thus for the saints (enlightened ones), they have spiritual journey in the inter-mediate world during which they directly witness spiritual realities embodied in forms that have become sensible for the imagination; these (sensible images) convey knowledge of the spiritual realities contained within those forms.

These spiritual realities are the secrets of our innermost self and the journey also is within our own self.

- from the Introduction of Ibn 'Arabi's Book Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries (Mashahid al-asrar al-qudsiyya wa matali al-anwar al-ilahiyya), translation by Cecilia Twinch and Pablo Beneto.

Its worth mentioning that the Prophet says: “Prayer is the miraj or the spiritual ascension of the believer.”

Currently reading this great work of Ibn 'Arabi which is said to be written from inspirations of an extremely elevated level. This is a major work of mystical literature. The Contemplations in the book deals with perennial questions such as nature of existence, our relationship with the all-encompassing Reality, the limits by which we define ourselves and the Truth, and the way to happiness.

Related Reading:
:: Inayat Khan's take on the Symbology of Prophet's Ascension
:: Ibn 'Arabi Society
:: Contempation of the Holy Mysteries - the Book
Review of Contemplation of Holy Mysteries Pin It Now!

Friday, June 08, 2007

What is Real?

Sai BabaWhat is Real?

I am real (sathyam).
You are real.
The whole universe is real.

Consciousness is imminent in everything.
So everything is a manifestation of Brahmam (GOD).

To go about describing the world as unreal, illusory and impermanent will amount to a deception, and not proclaiming the truth.

- Teachings of Sri Satya Sai Baba

:: God created the manifested material creation with the reality (truth), highly exalted be He above what they associate (with Him). (The Quran 16.003)

:: Quote credit
:: Another blog devoted to Shirdi Sai Baba by Alpesh Patel Pin It Now!