Sunday, September 30, 2007

800th anniversary of the birth of Rumi | the poet of love

Why should I seek?
I am the same as He.
His essence speaks through me.
I have been looking for myself!
- Rumi

Each human soul impregnated with "the Only Real Soul, the One" is born with infinite possibilities. But it takes millions of human beings to produce a refined soul who can get closer to the Real to such an extent that they can love in-sync and speak in-sync. Nearly 8 centuries ago, on September 30, 1207 such a person was born. Jelal-ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi who would later be know to the world simply as Rumi and who came to make great contributions to the Persian and world literature. A great poet and mystic whose name will always shine on the pages of history: Rumi's blessed birthday is today, 30th September.

Rumi was born in Balkh in today's Afghanistan, then within the domains of the Persian Empire, and died on 17 December 1273 in Konya, present-day Turkey where he spent many years of his precious life. The dance of Whirling Dervishes called Sama is a part of the inspiration of Rumi which today is known as a part of the Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture. Last year, the ritual was registered in the list of UNESCO's World Intangible Heritage. Sama represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to a state of "Perfection."

Rumi began his career as a preacher and theologian but after meeting a wandering dervish Shams-e Tabrizi, who turned out to be his spiritual guide, he became a mystic or Sufi. Rumi wrote the largest corpus of lyric poetry in the Persian language, amounting to 40,000.

:: Rumi's message of Love and Tolerance within the framework of Islam

Although Rumi as known today in the west is of a more secular message bearer, but his message was in fact a religious one within the framework of Islam. Its not to be forgotten that he was a Muslim thoelogian, jurist and a professor. He lived the religion of islam inside out. Rumi brought Sufi mysticism away from asceticism and into the heart of the people.

Many western fans of Rumi have secularised his message. It was in fact a religious one; and, says Prof Rohen, Christians and Jews as well as Muslims flocked to his funeral. mentions BBC article, The roar of Rumi 800 years on.

The Moderate Voice writes:


Whenever people say that Islam is hostile to opposing views and violent in its nature, I always wonder whether those people actually ever took the time to read the Koran, to talk about it, to read other Islamic literature, to take a long and hard look at the history of this second largest religion of the world, and whether they’ve ever heard of someone we in the West have come to know as Rumi.

Quoting from the wikipedia article on Rumi:


Rumi's actual approach to Islam is clarified by the following quatrain composed by him: “I am the servant of the Qur'an as long as I have life. I am the dust on the path of Muhammad, the Chosen one. If anyone quotes anything except this from my sayings, I am quit of him and outraged by these words."

In an article written by Seyyed Hossein Nasr entitled "Rumi and the Sufi Tradition," he states, "One of the greatest living authorities on Rûmî in Persia today, Hâdî Hâ'irî, has shown in an unpublished work that some 6,000 verses of the Dîwân and the Mathnawî are practically direct translations of Qur'ânic verses into Persian poetry."



:: 800th Birthday Celebration
This year Turkey is to celebrate Rumi’s birthday with a giant whirling dervish sama performance with 300 dervishes and the celebration will be aired live in eight different countries using 48 cameras.

Translations of Rumi’s poetry brought this great Persian poet international recognitions such that he is recognized among the world’s leading figures in 2005 and 2006 and UNESCO has announced the year 2007 as the International Rumi Year.

Perhaps the popularity of this great poet is rooted in the world’s quest for spirituality as Rumi’s poems reflect human’s quest for love. His words reveal beauty and ecstasy of Sufism. Rumi has attracted large disciples with his teaching, preaching and ecstatic or as the religion scholar, Karen Armstrong, puts it “Rumi’s spirituality is suffused by a sense of cosmic homelessness and separation from God, the divine source.” But thats not all. It's only apparanet that he speaks of longing and separation, but just beyond that is intoxication and bewilderment of union. His is not an unfinished tale of a broken heart, it's a legend of a most fulfilling and wondrous love. Rumi is all about merging with the Beloved. Rumi beckons us to sweet remembrance of God as the Ultimate Beloved, he shows us the path of awareness that merges individual soul into the Divine Soul.

Rumi himself invites the world to join in the spiritual journey by saying:

Come, come, whoever you are
Wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire,
Come even though you have broken
your vows a hundred time,
Come, and come yet again,
Ours is not a caravan of despair…

:: Credit and Reference:
. 800th Birthday Anniverary of Rumi
. Jelalulddin Rumi - wikipedia
. Turkey to celebrate Rumi's birthday with a giant Sema performance
. 800 years of Mevlana
. Rumi, Poet of Love and Justice
. The roar of Rumi - 800 years on

:: Previous Posts on Rumi:
. Spiritual Realization of Rumi and Shams
. Rumi, coleman Barks and vision of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
. My favorite poem of Rumi
. Rumi and Whirling
. Rumi's Poem recitation

May Jelaladdin Rumi's noble soul be in peace and bliss with His Ultimate Beloved and may Rumi's word and message open the hearts of more lovers of God of all ages. Pin It Now!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Zen Way of Love and Surrender

[1.] Find Love The Zen Way

"If he comes we welcome,
If he goes we do not pursue"
- Zen saying

We all want love. We are all searching for some lasting relationship. Yet it always seems as if relationships are difficult, difficult to find, to keep and to enjoy. Though many do all they can, problems, complications and disappointment arise.

But from the Zen point of view, struggling to find and keep love is the opposite of what is needed. First we must learn 'do nothing'. We must learn how to let go of control.

Rena started Zen practice after losing two important relationships. Devastated, she was convinced she could never hold onto love. She told the Zen Master, "I can't bear losing even one more person."
"You will lose many," the Zen Master said.
Rena gasped.
"Inevitable."
"What can I do about it?" Rena shot back.
"Do nothing,: the Zen Master said.

This 'do nothing' is active and vital, the very opposite of passivity. In order to understand this, we must take a step back.

We are born wanting to control our world and the people in it. We scream to get food from mother, smile to receive the attention we crave and, when our needs aren't met kick up a great fuss. As infants we feel that others are here simply to care for us and keep us content. This kind of attitude can be very hard to outgrow. In fact, it can be said that 99% of our precious life energy goes into controlling others so that our desires can be fulfilled.

What we call love in relationships is often no more than having someone who makes us feel good. The Zen way is the opposite. We do not try to use others, control events, or demand that life fulfill our dreams. Instead, we grow aware of and accepting of all that is given, and learn to take care of the world we live in. As we do this, an odd thing happens, we become more and more fulfilled. As we grow in compassion and simplicity, all we truly need then comes naturally.

:: The Misunderstood idea of Doing Nothing
Unfortunately, the idea of 'doing nothing' has been greatly misunderstood. It does not mean be passive. Just the opposite. Do nothing is the most challenging, demanding, revolutionary instruction that can be given. It means, when faced with life's challenges - let go of control.

In order to learn how to do this in Zen meditation we are given this instruction - "Don't Move." Usually we move (and react) all the time. When something bothers us, we shift, change our position, do anything we can to fix it. Although our behavior alters the condition for a little while, it usually comes back again, sometimes more intensely, sometimes in another form. Likewise, no matter what action we take in relationships, often there is nothing that will cause the trouble to go away.

As we surrender control over the condition, we allow things to be as they are. We allow the entire world to play itself out in front of our eyes. This profound action implies an immense respect for the intrinsic nature of people and events, for a larger design in the universe, which brings our good to us, and removes that which no longer belongs.

How often we try to grasp and hold onto that which is no longer suitable, or to desperately maneuver to obtain that which may be entirely wrong. When we do not control, but rather appreciate what is happening, (or who is coming our way) we are yielding to a higher wisdom, permitting life to take its own course.

:: Relax Your Grip
Zen teaches us how to relax our grip. As this happens we begin to see each person as they truly are, not as we wish or demand. We also realize that it is not an act of love, to try to change and control another. It is an act of love to discover and appreciate who they truly are.

When we let each moment, each person be exactly as they are this is the great work of doing nothing. It is the work of non-interference with the primal wisdom of the universe, which runs through all things and beings, including ourselves.

When we step back and allow this harmony to take over, our entire lives are healed and enhanced. That which is right for us comes naturally, and difficult situations find their own healing as well. When we honor and uphold life as it is given, then inevitably, life honors and upholds us.

- credit / quoted from the article Find Love The Zen Way by Dr. Brenda Shoshanna

[2.] MysticSaint Thoughts and Integral Understanding

What Zen enlightened masters taught the world with their profound ancient wisdom of "doing nothing" is just another word for Surrender. The Bhakti idea (the devotion) in Eastern Philosophy, Surrender in Islamic faith and Surrending to God's will many other mystical tradition, the message of being still and knowing God in Judio-Christian wisdom all points to the same truth. All terms are nothing but different fingers pointing to the same glowing moon that shines of the light, of the truth.

Zen teaches us to let go, to do nothing in a very conscious way. That is the key. One has to be conscious in the process of doing nothing. Else it fails its purpose.

Just as Zen is a philosophy of life and it incorporate the idea of surrender in the mode of dynamically balanced way of doing nothing, so does many other world traditions including that of Islamic faith. When it provides the instruction to obey God's command and follow the example of the teacher, the Message bearer of God - it basically ask the faithful to do nothing outside the sphere of God's Will. The little ego centered self give away to the Higher. And when one person internalize that message of abiding in God's will, that becomes doing nothing but what God wills. In islamic mystical tradition, that is the process of subsisting in the will of God, the esoteric term for which is Baqa, which translates abiding in God.
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Friday, September 28, 2007

Your Beloved alone Will Quench the Thirst of your Heart

I Don’t Find any Interest
                  in My Parent’s House.
My Beloved’s Town
                  is Most Beautiful.
However, Nobody Goes
                  or Comes from There.
There is no Moon, Sun,
                  Wind or Water There.
Then Who Will Take
                  My Message There?
Then Who Will Tell
                  My Pain to My Beloved?

There is No Visible Path to Move Forward
And You Blame the Past for It.
How Should the Bride go to the House of the Beloved?
Powerful Pangs of Separation are Burning from Inside
Dual Reality is Fashioning a Dance to Its Tune.

There is None more Dearer Than the Guru,
Who Else is There Who Can Show the Way?

Says Kabir Listen oh Aspirant
Your Beloved Will Come in a Dream-like State
That Alone Will Quench the Thirst of your Heart .

[>] listen to this beautiful song here via esnips.

Also a lovely rendition by Vikram Hazra via Youtube

transliteration of the actual verses of the song:

Naiharva Hum Ka Na Bhave
Sai Ki Nagri Param Ati Sundar,
Jahan Koi Jav Na Avey
Chand Suraj Jahan, Pavan Na Pani,
Ko Sundesh Pahunchave
Dard Yeh Sai Ko Sunave

Agey Chalo Panth Nahin Sujhe,
Peeche Dosh Lagawe
Kehi Bidhi Sasure Jau Mori Sajani,
Virha Jor Jarawe
Vishai Ras Nach Nachawe

Bin Satguru Apno Nahin Koi,
Jo Yeh Rah Batawe
Kahat Kabira Suno Bhai Sadho,
Supne Na Pitam Awey
Tapan Yeh Jiya Ki Bujhawey

Mystical Song and its explanation: In this song Kabir, the poet portrays himself like a bride who has gone to her parents house. But having gone there her soul burns from the pangs of separation from her beloved. The bride’s trouble is further complicated because there are no messengers (such as the Sun, Moon, Wind or Water) who can reach and convey her message to the beloved. She has no path or way to solve this problem. Meanwhile the separation is killing her from inside.

Kabir, in his mystical way, is comparing the separation of the individual from The Universal Self, like that of a bride from her beloved. He explains that this insatiable thirst comes from the feeling of separation whose root lies in duality. He then explains that the only person who can help out of this problem is the Guru, the Spiritual Master who is like the representative of the Prophet himself. In his final parting signature note, Kabir reveals that the way to reach the beloved is not outside but Inside (similar to a dream-like state) which alone will satisfy the seemingly unending burning thirst.

:: this beautiful explanation of the song is quoted from here

This song beautifully captures the mystical feelings of separation from God, the Ultimate Beloved of human beings, as the Sufis see through their eyes of the inner heart.

About the Mystical Poet
Kabir: Six hundred years ago Kabir was born in India in 1398 AD. A weaver by profession, he lived for 120 years and is said to have relinquished his body in 1518. This period is also said to be the beginning of Bhakti Movement in India. Kabir ranks among the world's greatest poets. In India he is perhaps the most quoted author. One can say, Kabir is "the Rumi" of Indian sub-continent.
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Buddha's wisdom and Islamic teaching of 'renounce evil with good'

1.
Once someone came to Buddha and started abusing him. He went on and on, abuse after abuse in a loud voice. He kept looking at Buddha for a reaction, but Buddha was as he was - calm, serene, smiling.

This further agitated him and he hurled more abuses. Buddha again was calm, serene, smiling, looking more peaceful than ever. Then this person stopped for a moment. and said, "I have been going on and on, abusing you, but there is no reaction from your side. You remain in peace. How come!?!"

Now Buddha finally spoke: "It is like if someone offers you sweets, what would you do?". The man replied, "Well, I like sweets so I would eat them and enjoy them".

Buddha continued, "Okay, now if someone offered you something bitter, what would you do?". The man replied quickly, "Ofcourse, I would not accept it, I would return it to the one who has given it."

Buddha said, "So I choose not to accept your abuses, you may take them back". At this, the man realised the wisdom and greatness of Buddha. May peace be upon Siddhattha Gautama Buddha, the enlightened teacher of humanity.

2.
Nor can goodness and evil be equal. Repel evil with what is better: lo! then between whom and thee there was enmity will be transformed as though he was a bosom friend. And no one shall be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint ... The Quran 41.34,35

Renounce evil with that which is best. The Quran 23:96

Those who patiently persevere, seeking their Lord's Countenance and are regular in prayer and spend in charity secretly and openly of that which We bestow upon them, and overcome evil with good. Theirs will be the final attainment of blissful abode. Gardens of perpetual bliss they shall enter. Quran 13:22,23
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May peace and freedom find its place in Myanmar | in solidarity with our spiritual brothers and sisters, the Burmese monks and nuns

“May we be completely free from all danger, may we be completely free from all grief, may we be completely free from poverty, may we have peace in heart and mind.” - is what a banner reads among hundreds and thoudsands of Buddhist Monks and Nuns in the street of Yangon- the capital of Myanmar, who are coming out from pagodas and monastries demanding for justice, freedom and peace.

"They are extraordinary images: thousands of monks and nuns marching for democracy on the streets of Burma's cities. The shaved heads, the naked shoulders, the richly coloured cotton robes: all symbols of one of the most ascetic and enduring of monastic traditions in the world. The Buddhist sangha - the collective term for these monks - is the only institutional structure outside government control which has managed to survive four decades of military dictatorship." writes Madeleine Bunting in Guardian. According to report so far 3 monks are shot dead by the government force and hundreds are injured and arrested.

Religious and Spiritual moral standpoint has given rise to many changes in human history in terms of revolutionary changes and justice. At present time, the Buddhist Monks and Nuns of Myanmar is observing their resolute non-violent and peaceful protest against the undemocratic military junta government of Myanmar.

Christian Science Monitor article, Monks If You Love Freedom writes:


Revered for self-sacrifice, Buddhist monks in Burma are standing up to the guns of a selfish regime. But these holy men in saffron robes are serving more than a people's desire for freedom. The protests also serve as a reminder of religion's historic role in shaping the kind of moral concern for others that is the root of democracy.

Events in Burma are a model, repeated throughout history, of religious movements helping overthrow colonial powers and dictators. Protestant clergy helped spark the American Revolution, with one British commander complaining that "sedition flows copiously from the pulpits. The Vatican II changes of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s helped followers in many countries stand up to tyranny. Catholic nuns and priests were on the front line of a "people power" revolution in the Philippines that overthrew a dictator in 1986. Pope John Paul II helped his native Poland lead the way to free Eastern Europe of communism.

Soviet dissidents were spiritually nurtured by a few Russian Orthodox priests, helping bring about the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. In Indonesia, a 30-million-strong Islamic group called Nahdlatul Ulama gave moral support for the 1998 overthrow of dictator Suharto.


Myanmar (also known as Burma) is one of the poorest countries in Asia and has one of the world’s worst religious freedom records. Myanmar’s entire population is composed of 89 percent Buddhist and there are minority Muslims and Christian populations as well. Myanmar has been under military dictatorship almost continuously since 1962, but the origins of its current crisis can be traced back to a failed revolt in 1988.

Buddhist Monk ProtestMy heart goes out in solidarity for spiritual brothers and sisters in their sacred saffron and pale pink robes. May we all join to pray for peace in Myanmar and may the peaceful, fearless protests bring its intended fruits to the people.

:: Sign-up here for an Online Petition in support of the Burmese people's aspiration for justice and freedom. (it'll be delivered to United Nations Security Council members and international media all week)

Blog reader Barbara comments beautifully,


My heart fell to my feet today. These peaceful demonstrating monks were only marching unarmed in the name of humanity. These blessed monks stand to gain nothing in this action, because they are all unattached to anything worldly and therefore have nothing to gain personally.

When will the huge egos of politicians let go of their personal ambitions and power mongering? I can't believe the military raided the monasteries, beat, and take other monks prisoners! We must keep these blessed souls in our prayers, for they are complying with their missions here on earth. These different forms of modern day Hitler's won't overcome "spirtuality" which is inborn in each soul's heart.

Can events in Burma help challenge the generalisation that religious belief can never play a positive role in politics?
:: Religion and Politics, Saffron Style
:: Nuns join monks in Burma's Saffron Revolution
:: Eyewitness reports from bloggers inside Burma
:: Photographs from Rangoon
:: Timeline of turbulent Myanmar
:: Global voice roundup from Myanmar
:: News on Myanmar protests
photograph by Htein Win via Asia Exile blog of TimesOnline

May love, compassion and peace win over all. May peace be upon all who hunger for peace.
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The Lamp of Wisdom | Yoga Vasistha

To all who long and strive to realize the Self,
Illumination comes to them in this very life.

This divine awareness never leaves them,
And they work unceasingly for the good of all.

When the lamp of wisdom is lit within,
Their face shines, whether life brings weal or woe.

Even in deep sleep they are aware of the Self,
For their mind is freed from all conditioning.

Inwardly they are pure like the cloudless sky,
But they act as if they too were like us all.

Free from self-will, with detached intellect,
They are aware of the Self even with their hands at work.
Neither afraid of the world, nor making the world afraid,
They are free from greed, anger and fear.

When the waves of self-will subside
Into the sea of peace that is the Self,
The mind becomes still, the heart pure,
And illumination comes to us in this very life.

When this supreme state is attained,
They neither rise nor fall, change nor die.
Words cannot describe this supreme state
For it is fuller than fullness can be.

- From the Yoga Vasistha (3:23-30), a dialogue between young lord Rama,a divine incarnation and his spiritual teacher,the sage Vasistha who explains to him the depth and importance of Self-realization.

:: Yoga Vasistha
:: Introduction to Yoga Vasistha
:: Siddha Gita from Yoga Vasistha
:: Yoga Vedanta Satsanga | Swamiji's podcast Pin It Now!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Learning Quran with Arabic word roots and meanings | The Quran Institute, Inc

The best among you are those who learn Quran and teach it. - Saying of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace

One of the best way to learn The Quran is to understand the arabic with its words' root meanings. Quran having multiple layers of meanings, is close to impossible to translate while doing justice to its beauty and eloquence. Some Arabic terms are difficult to translate and don't have close English language equivalents. For the non-Arabic speaking people (like me) who have always wanted to understand the meaning and beauty of Quran was looking to learn the Quranic Arabic with its root meaning. It helps on a number of ground.

Its easier to remember the words as one root will enable you to know meanings of many words which come from the same source. The sound and formation of the words, once you get familiar, helps you understand other derived words and their meaning very easily.

For example (credit), the root k-t-b has the basic meaning of marking, inscribing or writing. The root may be conjugated in simple past tense (perfect) verb forms such as:

kataba - he wrote
katabû - they wrote
katabat - she wrote
katabnâ - we wrote

The Classical Arabic language of the Quran is one of the most versatile and dynamic form. The internalization of both the exoteric and esoteric meanings with its context, become much more clearer and easier when you know the possible other meanings.

Now The Qur'an Institute, Inc. has Text In Motion website which gives you exactly that what i was looking for. It gives you chapter by chapter, word by word meanings (with english transliteration, great for anyone who can read English) of the whole Quran. Visit the chapter index here: http://www.textinmotion.com/chapters.jsp
(from left column click on any chapter number of your liking)
also here is the full Quranic word list.

[>] The home page of Text in Motion

One of the major purpose of sending multiple messengers to humanity was to instruct and guide people in a way so that they can understand. The Quran being the book of guidance, the book which distinguish what is right from what is wrong, it is imperative to be able to understand its meaning because that is the purpose.

And We did not send any messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly; then God makes whom He pleases err and He guides whom He pleases and He is the Mighty, the Wise. (The Quran 014.004)

So have We made the Qur'an available in thine own language (O Muhammad), that with it thou mayest give Glad Tidings to the righteous, and warnings to people given to contention. (The Quran 019.097)

To start with - its really important that daily prayers which we say with Quranic verses better be understood properly so that the prayer may reach our inner heart, God willing. It is really an injustice to the purpose of the Messenger and the Message that we read, recite without understanding it, which is the major intention of this Divine Revelation. So please start and benefit from this website, Text in Motion by going through those chapters of the Quran which you say frequently in your daily prayers and get the meanings internalized and thus make your prayers beautiful.

May your prayers reach your inner heart and reach the mystical Throne of Beloved God, the Lord of Majesty. Amen!

Reference:
:: The Quran Institute
:: Text in Motion
:: Iqra Bismi Rabbik - Free Arabic and Quran lessons
:: A Learning approach to Quran
:: Empowerment Through the Qur'an
:: Dictionary of the Holy Quran, compiled by Abdul Manna Omar ... a magnificent dictionary of the words used in the Qur'an, indexed according to the Arabic root of each word. Words and roots are in Arabic, definitions are in English. (suggested by Wahiduddin)
:: Basic list of Arabic roots


Digg!
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Ramadan Roundup | Personal Experiences from Blogsphere

One of the most beautiful and inspiring ramadan fasting experience i stumbled upon recently was that of Seeker in her blog, This, That and The Other.

She writes:

Today is Day 6 of Ramadan. My first Ramadan. Not the first I've known of, but my first fast. Before I was an observer. Now I am a part of this amazing tradition. ... The first day I was dizzy and lightheaded a few times. Now I just feel incredible. My mind is more peaceful than I can ever remember. My breath is slower. My sleep is better. Like the artist mentioned in a BeliefNet article, I feel transparent and hollow, cleaned out of all that is unessential.

And I am hungry.

Not for food. You thought I was going to say food. Nope.

No, what I am hungry for are answers. And inspiration. And a clarity of purpose. What am I doing here in Ramadan? What am I to learn? How can G-d use my hunger and thirst to teach me things I need to learn? How can I understand the lessons and make the changes I need to make?


And where am I going after this? ... read the rest of this post Living Ramadan.


[>] To read her other posts on Ramadan experience, visit her blog.

Here is a quick roundup of personal experiences of Ramadan from blogsphere:

:: Blogging Ramadan is a collection of people experiencing Ramadan all over the world.
:: Writeous Sister Speaks is posting Ramadan Journal. read here.
Also read the posts tagged as Ramadan Reflections.

:: Annalog has Ramadan Joural published as well.
:: Focusing In shares how does it feel to observe Ramadan half-world away from loved one.
:: Other matters published guest contributor Baraka's post titled, Ramadan Unpluggged.

:: Memoirs of an American Muslims published Ramadan Memories.
:: Between Dusk and Dawn has reflection ON Tazkiya, the purification of soul and ramadan.
:: Changing rythms of Ramadan is a post of Joanna Springer as Perspectives from Abroad

:: Global Voice Online aggregate, curate, and amplify the online global conversation by bringing the talking of the world across blogsphere. It has a number of posting on Ramadan experiences across the world:
. Ramadaning in Kuwait
. Arabeyes: Driving in Ramadhan
. Lebanon: Ramadan Kareem
. Bahrain: Ramadan Start
. First day of Ramadan from India
. From UAE: True meanings of Ramadan

:: Ramadan Kareem brings the picture and words across the globe exclusively on Ramadan.
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Practical Steps to get Close to God | teachings of Imam Fode Drame


The Quran: Fatiha (1:5) Thee alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.

Ghafir (40:13) HE IT IS who shows you His wonders [in all nature], and sends down sustenance for you from the sky: but none bethinks himself [thereof] save those who are wont to turn to God.

Saba (34:46) Say: “I counsel you one thing only: Be [ever conscious of] standing before God, whether you are in the company of others or alone ...”

Ra’d (13:28) those who believe, and whose hearts find their rest in the remembrance of God - for, verily, in the remembrance of God [men's] hearts do find their rest.

It is important to get close to God first before we ask Him for whatever we want. We need to get close to Him until you ask Allah as though you see Him. In order to achieve this closeness with God, you first need Peace and Tranquility.

1) Tranquility (Sukoon) > 2) Remembrance (Dhikr) > 3) Concern for Creation (Fikr) > 4) Thankfulness (Shukr ) > 5) Worship (Ibadah)

The first step to tranquility in your heart (Sukoon) is by regaining your breathing.

When the breath is not coming through properly, we need to reconnect again and become aware of our breathing patterns. Try not to do anything without a connection to God or do anything without breathing properly. We won’t be able to do anything properly without a connection to God. When you have trouble breathing, we have broken our connection with God and it is important to regain the breathing as soon as possible.

Try not to engage in ibadah (worship) if you are not in a state of spiritual balance. Only those who remember God have a spiritual balance. Watch your breathing and be thankful of all your breaths.

Real dhikr is having consciousness of your breath, the level of your breathing consciousness is the level of your dhikr too. Take in the dhikr and give it out too. Remember that everything you get in life is nothing compared to the life you have been given. People are thankful for houses and cars, but these are secondary blessings to the first blessing of life. This is Allah’s first blessing conferred on you. If you were never alive, you wouldn’t be thankful for even all the secondary blessings.

Remember God by thanking Him for just be-ing. What is the most fundamental in life is just being alive. You Remember Me and I will Remember You (2:152).

Have continuous remembrance and your life will increase. Rabbi Zidni Ilman (Lord, Increase me in knowledge 20:114). The dua’a of Prophet Moses (peace).

We only have a small bit of knowledge compared to the knowledge we can have if we engage in true remembrance of God. And your knowledge will increase. If your heart is not tranquil, it will become blind and ignorant. The eyes do not go blind, it is the heart that goes blind (22:46). Everything depends on the condition of the heart. Only in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest (13:28).

When the heart is in peace, then it opens up. Remembrance of God can only come in tranquility. You have to have stillness, quietness, and be conscious of your pattern of breathing to be tranquil.

Dhikr and Fikr are both activities of the heart.
Dhikr is remembrance of God.
Fikr is reflecting on God’s creation.

You have to get Dhikr first, before you can reflect on Allah’s creation and His signs. You cannot get Fikr without Dhikr. You need to know the Creator first and then get to know Creation. Nothing is created in vain, everything has a purpose (34:46).

Be still for God. Ponder and reflect the connection of Creation to God later after Dhikr. There are many ways to reach this remembrance. One way is to get a name of Allah from a teacher and keep saying it with his instructions until it reaches your heart. The system then of breathing is important in this type of Dhikr.

The Angel Gibral (upon Gabriel be peace) linked the Prophet (peace) on 3 levels. Remember the Angel squeezed the Prophet (peace) three times and each time asked him to recite Surat Alaq (39:6). Humans were created in 3 darknesses. Each darkness is taken over by a light. Your duty is to work on each darkness, when you cut one, you go to the next one. That is the wisdom of why we do everything 3 times (for the 3 darknesses).

40 days (liquid) + 40 days (blood) + 40 days (flesh) > 3 darknesses = Spirit

As long as you are in remembrance, Allah keeps blowing in a new spirit. The soul is individual whereas the spirit is universal.

People usually don’t want to give the nafs away freely. They do not go for the universal spirit. The 3 darknesses tend to overpower the spirit but it really should be the other way around. Also, the 3 darknesses shouldn’t go away, rather the spirit should dominate and be the guiding force. Most of us don’t feel the darkness around us, but once we know what is beyond it, we cannot live in darkness anymore. Surat Hujurat, the whole surah, has invaluable advice on Adab with Allah and His Messenger (peace) and then Creation. For example (49:11) don’t be self-righteous, don’t stigmatize, do not brand others, do not give nicknames that have an underlying insult in them are all listed in the Surah and more.

The 3 Darknesses and the 3 Lights that overtake that Darkness:
Kufr (disbelief) this is overtaken by Islam (submission) Fusooq (sin) this is overtaken by Iman (faith) Eysaan (disobedience) this is overtaken by Ihsan (or ta’a or ibadah) (worship Allah as though you see Him).

- Selection from lecture by Imam Fode Drame of Zawiyah Foundation
may Allah bless Imam Fode Drame's path and enable him to enlighten more souls. Thanks and blessings to friend Andrea Mau, a student of Imam Fode for sharing this note with me and hence with you all.

:: http://zawiyah.ca/
:: Online Lessons of Zawiyah Foundation
:: Learn more about Imam Fode Drame, A Shepher of Souls
:: Quran - translation in English
note: surah or surat means each chapter of the Quran, the Final Revelation to mankind.
image credit
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rumi on Fasting and Jesus on Spiritual Nourishment


There's hidden sweetness in the stomach's emptiness.

We are lutes, no more, no less.

If the soundboxes stuffed full of anything, no music.
If the brain and belly are burning clean with fasting,
every moment a new song comes out of the fire.
The fog clears, and new energy makes you run
up the steps in front of you.
Be emptier and cry like reed instruments cry.

Emptier, write secrets with the reed pen.
When you're full of food and drink,
Satan sits where your spirit should,
an ugly metal statue in place of the Kaaba.
When you fast, good habits gather
like friends who want to help.
Fasting is Solomon's ring.

Don't give into some illusion and lose your power,
but even if you have, if you've lost all will and control,
they come back when you fast,
like soldiers appearing out of the ground,
pennants flying above them.

A table descends to your tents, Jesus' table.
Expect to see it, when you fast,
this tablespread with other food,
better than the broth of cabbages.

~ Rumi ~

Ghazal No. 1739 from the Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi
. Salutation of peace, salaam to the noble soul of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi .


Said Jesus the son of Mary: "O Allah our Lord! Send down to us a table spread with nourishment from heaven which should be to us an ever-recurring happiness, for the first of us and for the last of us, a sign from Thee; and give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best Sustainer."


. Salutation of peace, salaam to the noble soul of Jesus Christ, the Spirit and Word of God .
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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Tender Embrace | silent lotus


The
Bliss of
The namelessness
On this silent morning
Is loves tender embrace
Of the vagabonds gait
That divinely waits
For the world to
Awaken

~
silent lotus
~
(c) from the achive Listening to Love
:: also published in Poetry Chaikhana forum.
. Poetry Chaikhana publishes sacred poetry around the world, a wonderful resource.
. visit SilentLotus.net for more inspirations and insight
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

life should be measured in breaths, not in years

Kum, Kum ya habibi
kaan tanam!


Awake, awake my friend
how you sleep!


This is the state of man. We're in a condition of (semi)sleep.

There are those who sat in my old house for years and years before me, and now they're gone. There wil be those who lived in our appartments before us, and they're no longer there. Now it's ours, and another time it will be someone's else. Life as we know it wil end. The question is, can we grow past the point of decay?

Faith in Allah is an innoculation against the pain and disease of the world. Faith in Allah is a protective cloak. I'm saying Allah. You can use the term God, Gott, Dios, whatever, as long as you mean the One God Who has no partner.

The life Allah gave us should be measured in breaths, not in years.

Because from infancy to old age, we learn, and we mature. We believe that as we grow older we have have more understanding. This is not necessarily so. If one can understand that with every breath, our life is lessened, then our life acquires an immediacy.

by Shems Friedlander
When you hear hoofbeats think of a Zebra
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What is Fana? What is Baqa? | Sufi Wisdom

Remembrance of the saints causes God’s mercy to descend.

Islamic Funeral Namaze Janaza:: The Funeral of Khwaja Baqibillah

One of the mureeds (disciples) of Khwaja Baqibillah, may God sanctify his secrets, asked him the meanings of the Sufi terms ‘fana’ [annihilation in God] and ‘baqa’ [Everlasting subsistence in God]. The Shaykh said, "When I die, ask this question to the person who reads my funeral prayer."

The Shaykh had left a condition that only a person who has never missed a single tahajjud prayer (a superogatory prayer in the middle of the night in addition to the five canonical prayers a Muslim must perform in a day) in his life should read my funeral prayer (namaz-e-janazah) and when this condition was read out during his funeral everyone present lowered their heads and no one dared to come forward to read his namaz-e-janazah.

Finally a man, his face veiled, came forward and read the funeral prayer. After the prayer as the veiled man walked off the mureed remembered his Shaykh's answer and ran to the veiled man and grabbed him by the arm. "My Shaykh asked me to ask you a question about what is fana and baqa'" he said. At this the veiled man removed the veil from his face. It was Khwaja Baqibillah himself! "The man whose funeral prayer you have just read is fana", he said, "and what you see before you is baqa!"

Reference: a talk given by Shaykh Professor Tahir ul Qadri called Waliyon ki Pehchan at the shrine of Data Sahib Shaykh Ali Hijwiri in Lahore and available at minhaj.org

[>] read the full article Ramadan Special: Tales of Sufi Wisdom by Asif Naqshbandi here published in Chowk.

# Related Posts:
. Fana and Baqa: Spiritual Death and Resurrection
. Samadhi and Fana
. Moth and Flame: Sufi Metaphor
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ramadan Hadith | the Prophet's blessed words

Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr (the Night of Power) in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven - (Bukhari, Muslim).

Every action of the childrens of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High said, 'Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.' for the fasting person there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord. (Bukhari)

The fast and the Qur'an are two intercessors for the servant of Allah on the Day of Resurrection. The fast will say: 'O Lord, I prevented him from his food and desires during the day. Let me intercede for him.' The Qur'an will say: 'I prevented him from sleeping at night. Let me intercede for him.' And their intercession will be accepted." (Ahmad)

He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward. (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan, Saheeh).

Look for Lailat al-Qadr on an odd-numbered night during the last ten nights of Ramadan (Bukhari). Lailatu al-Qadr or The Night of Power, the specially blessed night when the Divine Revelation of Quran descended from the Realm of Unseen to the heart of the Prophet.

Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds in (this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer's sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.

There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan, and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who used to observe fasts?’ They will get up, and none except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it.

Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.

The Prophet was the most generous amongst the people, and he used to be more so in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel visited him, and Gabriel used to meet him on every night of Ramadan till the end of the month. The Prophet used to recite the Holy Qur’an to Gabriel, and when Gabriel met him, he used to be more generous than a fast wind (which causes rain and welfare).

Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)

Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven

Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.

When any one of you gets up in the morning in the state of fasting, he should neither use obscene language nor do any act of ignorance. And if anyone slanders him or quarrels with him, he should say:” I am fasting, I am fasting.

Fasting is a shield.

May Allah Send down Blessings and Mercy upon our Master Muhammad, the crowned one, and the one with holy ascension and the owner of buraq, mount of light who is the best in adab (conduct), intercessor of ummahs (communities), blessed with eminence and generosity. Salutation of Peace to the Prophet and his noble followers. Assalatu wa assalamu alayka Ya Rasool Allah.


:: Reference:
. Ramadan : The Quran and Hadith on Ramadan
. Ayah's and Hadith's about Ramadan
. The Quran and Hadith on Ramadan
. Ahadith about ramadhan
.. image credit
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Monday, September 17, 2007

haikus of belief and faith

Where there is belief
there is dis-belief.

Where there is no belief -
Reality.

...

Where there is belief
there is doubt.

Where there is trust -
Love.

...

Believers are fearful
Lovers faithful.

...

Belief is blind
faith is not.

...


(c) Antar Aakash
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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Breaking fast ( iftar ) at a mosque

mosque decorationIn this blessed month of Ramadan one of the most beautiful things that the Muslims do is their breaking of fast in community spirit at a mosque. This is done universally in this time of the year, any mosque in the world you walk into during the sunset time and you wil see this extra-ordinary event.

Now when I say extra-ordinary, I mean it completely. Last evening I had the opportunity to break my fast in a mosque here in Southern California. It was my first visit and prayer in any American mosque and needless to say, my first iftar as well. I very much enjoyed being at a mosque during iftar (the Ramadan dinner) in the month of ramadan back in Singapore. Almost everyday in all the ramadan in last three years I broke my fast with other, sitting together. Infinite thanks to God and to my gracious host, I had this beautiful opportunity again.

If you ever get a chance, please experience this, and you can make it at any evening during this whole month of Ramadan which has just started (today, 15 Sept is 3rd Ramadan). Experience for yourself by visiting a mosque and being present at a breaking of fast event. The reasons I say it is extra-ordinary are many.

Just before going to the mosque I was watching a documentary film called 'American Ramadan' on Link Tv. There a jewish interfaith rabbi made a beautiful comment about this ramadan fasting where he mentioned that traditionally fasting was a very private mode of ritual, a personal one. You fast and nobody knows. But turning this private, me-only fasting into a community event, doing it collectively and dedicating it to God is simply beautiful. Specially the fact that such an ancient practice and ritual has been observed and transported from thousand of years into our present time and at the same time you find very much meaning in it.

And indeed one can see a lot meanings in this community practice of breaking fast together at the end of whole day of fasting. I was seeing people from virtually every corner of the world. Muslims of all color, race and background came together. They fasted without taking any food or drink for the last 13 or 14 hours, but everyone was looking so happy, so bright because they fast for their faith and they see each other doing the same act for the sake of God.

You see all these people under the beautifully decorated dome of the mosque (which symbolizes God's cosmos); some sitting, some standing, some kneeling in prayer, some meditating, some exchanging talk with each other in low voice, some reading the scripture, children playing somewhere in the background.

You dont hear the usual human complains about their mortgage, loan, tax, debt, their unhappy work condition - nothing. Every is for God, with God and trying to reach God. And when that happen collectively, you can feel the blessed energy than anything else you have every experienced. Coming together and remembering God has been mentioned with special significance in all the religions including Islam where its given a very beautiful form.

In New Testament we read in the saying of Prophet Jesus Christ, upon him be peace: For where two or three are gathered together in My Name, I am there in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20

In the recorded saying (Tirmidhi) of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace: God the Most High says, O my servant, you remember alone, I will remember you alone. And if you remember me in a gathering, I remember you in an exalted gathering. .

And then when the call of prayer was announced, followed by little intake of date, the sweet arabian fruit and water (which basically marks the end of fasting), everyone stood in line, shoulder to shoulder to pray. Men in one place, women in another - but all facing the same direction of the universal spiritual center, the Ka'ba and following the same harmonious movement. I was moved to see caucasian, born and rasied american muslims, black, hispanic, asian of many different places - all were standing together, humbling themselves in prayer in front of God. Its simply a beautiful beautiful experience to be part of and I am grateful for that.

If you every dreamt of unity of humanity, if you ever thought can't people just forget the differences and be together, you have to come to see people praying at a mosque to see that materializing so practically and beautifully. And its becomes a very rich experience when you see that in an American Mosque, because you find there people of almost every nation, even chinese muslims or muslims from latina america, believe it or not!

Then you realize the beauty of the Quranic saying: O Humanity! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and races that ye may know each other. The Quran 49:13

And here you are part of that knowing! Praise be unto Him! the Beautiful Master Planner!

After the prayer, people came down to take their food and all ate together. And many newly convert Muslims were saying enthusiastically how much they love this coming together and having this iftar. It is like a reunion every single evening of Ramadan. Reunion of whole community, a happy and blessed gathering. All you hear is the greetings of peace, you see people hugging and kissing, holding hands, smiling at each other and even crying out of love and joy. And needless to say, we had wonderful food to eat, cooked and served with love.

Come and visit a local mosque in your locality at the time of breaking fast during this ramadan. The breaking of fast is done immediately after the sunset. Even if you are not a Muslim (thats a misnomer, anybody who submits to the will of Divine is a Muslim in the universal view of Islam, and every child is born on that mode of submission to Divine), even if you are not fasting, you are welcome to join a break of fast gathering in any mosque. Just arrive a little early, introduce yourself to some senior person (ideally to the leader or imam of the moque) and tell your intention to be part of it. I am sure, you will be gladly welcomed. Unconditional and generous hospitality regardless of religion or race or anything has been very much an integral part of islamic faith. Prophet Muhammad himself was an ambassador of unconditional, boundles hospitality to everyone and it became a hallmark of muslim practice to serve other with loving hospitality.

[>] Find a mosque near your locality: Islamic Finder / IslamCity Mosque Search / United Islam
[>] Find masjid/ mosque: google module

Sadiq M. Alam
Los Angeles, California

:: Other Read:
. Ramadan with an American Twist by Omar Sacirbey
. Different Kinds of Iftar at Different Masjids by Umar Lee
. U.S. Muslims Kick Off Ramadan with Anti-Smoking Initiative
. Film Celebrates American Ramadan
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Friday, September 14, 2007

Life Instructions | The Book of Mirdad


Meditation Begins at Birth
Originally uploaded by premasagar.
So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see. For so, in truth, it is.

So speak as if the world entire were but a single ear intent on hearing what you say. And so, in truth, it is.

So do as if your every deed were to recoil upon your heads. And so, in truth, it does.

So wish as if you were the wish. And so, in truth, you are.

So live as if your God Himself had need of you His life to live. And so, in truth, He does.

- 'The Book of Mirdad' by Michael Naimy
Excerpt from Chapter 9, The Way to Painless Life
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Healthy Tips for Ramadan Fast

"... and your body has a right upon you so pray, sleep and fast and break your fast."
- Prophet

:: Tips to keep yourself healthy while fasting

  • Eat food that is slow to digest – like grains and fibre – this will get you through the day.

  • Don’t drink too much tea during suhoor (the morning meal before dawn) – it will drain you of natural salts and minerals for the day ahead.

  • Do drink plenty of water and fruit just between iftar (evening meal) and bedtime to enable your body to replenish lost liquid before sleep.

  • Stay off fatty foods and spicy foods during the month, they can increase the likelihood of stomach ulcers caused by increased acid in an empty stomach.

  • Don’t overeat – it can cause you to feel more tired.

  • Make a list of things you want to pray for and pray for them everyday in Ramadan.

  • Cut down on things you do too much of, watching TV, gossip, overeating.

  • Be charitable and compassionate as much as you can.
[>] read in details.


credit: article via Islamic Network and Faith Central

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Rumi's definition of hunger

Two men see a loaf of bread. One hasn't eaten anything for ten days. The other has eaten five times a day, every day.

He sees the shape of the loaf.

The other man with his urgent need sees inside into the taste, and into the nourishment the bread could give.

Be that hungry, to see within all beings the Friend.

- RUMI, translated by Coleman Barks with A.J. Arberry
From ‘Enlightened Mind’, Edited by Stephen Mitchell

Al-Wali : The Protecting Friend is one of the 99 beautiful names of God. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Meaning of Fast | The Inner Heart Blossoms

"The real fast is the blossoming of the inner heart. Fragrance must emanate. The qualities, conduct, behavior, and disposition that accompany this blossoming make no sound. Light and fragrance must dawn in the inner heart. The one point which is God must resplend.

Do fast, but make sure the heart blossoms; make it fragrant. The flowering scent must emanate, and when that space is perceived, the One who inhales that perfume will come. The One who perceives that fragrance will come. He is the Lord."

- M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, may God be please with him.

[>] read a beautiful chapter excerpts on The Meaning of the Fast.

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What does surrender mean?



Why should we carry our houses on our heads? Enter your house when you need to and come back again. Do you work, sleep or sit there; but why should you carry it around? ...

True knowledge ... will come when you begin to analyze things, when a good crop grows inside you, when the strength of wisdom grows inside you, and when you begin to surrender.

What does surrender mean? Does it mean going away somewhere to die?

No, it is the state in which our qalb, our innermost heart, joins with God's in perfect faith, saying, "O my God, none of these actions are mind, everything I do belongs to You. There is no place where You are not. All my suffering begins with not seeing You. All my suffering begins with holding on to things inside myself that You do not keep inside You. O God, take everything away from me that You have removed from Yourself. I need nothing other than Your path. Everything I have which You do not, causes me such sorrow, suffering, pain, woe and misery. It is hell.

O God, please remove from me those things that are not in You, whatever they may be. O my Father, please accept me. and let everything insde me fall away."

That is surrender.

- A Book of God's Love by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

:: Listen to an audio discourse by Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Separate from Yourself That Which Separates You from God / format: Real Audio / Length: 38 min. via bmf.org * Note: you will need Real Audio Player in order to open Real Audio files. You can download Real Audio Player free from RealAudio.com.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Poems from 3 Women Mystics

Women are blessed with loving, nurturing & passionate feminine energy that infuses life in all that they place their attention on – their work, their homes, loved ones - no one is excluded from their all encompassing quality.

Even the abstract concept of the Divine is brought alive and is manifested as the Beloved – and that inner love affair becomes the glorious path of an all consuming devotion.

Here are some poems by three women mystics from three different time periods & countries, and three different traditions – what is common to them is the intensity of the deep yearning, trust and surrender to the Invisible Beloved.


Meera (1498-1547CE – Merta, India)

Do not leave me alone

Do not leave me alone, a helpless woman.
My strength, my crown,
I am empty of virtues,
You, the ocean of them.
My heart's music, you help me
In crossing across this world.
You protected the king of the elephants.
You dissolve the fear of the terrified.
Where can I go? Save my honour
For I have dedicated myself to you
And now there is no one else for me.


St. Teresa (1515-1582 - Avila, Spain)

Let mine eyes see

Let mine eyes see thee, sweet Jesus of Nazareth,
Let mine eyes see thee, and then see death.
Let them see that can, Roses and Jessamine,
Seeing thy face most fair, all blossom are therein.
Flower of seraphin, sweet Jesus of Nazareth.
Let mine eyes see thee, and then see death.
Nothing I require, where my Jesus is;
Anguish all desire, saving only this;
All my help is his, He only succoureth.
Let mine eyes see thee, and then see death.



Rabia (717–801 C.E. – Basra, Iraq)

My Joy

My Joy,
My Hunger,
My Shelter,
My Friend,
My Food for the journey,
My journey's End,
You are my breath,
My hope,
My companion,
My craving,
My abundant wealth.
Without You - my Life, my Love -
I would never have wandered across these endless countries.
You have poured out so much grace for me,
Done me so many favors, given me so many gifts.
I look everywhere for Your love,
Then suddenly I am filled with it.
O Captain of my Heart
Radiant Eye of Yearning in my breast,
I will never be free from You
As long as I live.
Be satisfied with me, Love,
And I am satisfied.



:: Sources. read more of their poems:
St Teresa: Link 1, Link 2
Rabia: Link 1, Link 2
Mirabai: Link 1, Link 2
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Saturday, September 08, 2007

I AMness | Integral vision of Ken Wilber and Sufism

The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber Thoughts from Quranic and Sufi Mystic Perspective


[1.]
Those who know Ken Wilber and aware of his writings, thoughts will definitely admit that he is one of the most profound thinker, philosopher and a prophet like visionary figure of our contemporary time.

Although Ken Wilber in his writings hardly speaks about Sufi tradition, the point from where he is coming from, the path he is taking on and the station where he is reaching has profound link with Sufi Mysticism or Islamic Mysticism and that can be validated by passages of the Quran and the gnostic sayings of Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace.

I was reading the Integral Vision by Ken Wilber, the book which just came out (2007, Shambhala). Now this relation, shared truth is interesting and at the same time important because the goal is to point or arrive at the aspects of truth through an integral vision. And Sufi tradition, which is an alive, thriving and much modern up-to-date tradition can be brought to share its wisdom – that’s holds a lot of significance as far as integral vision is concerned.

I was reading an exercise on self-awareness at the end of the book and could easily connect that to Sufi path. Without going into lengthy explanation, I quote some important part from that meditative exercise and in bold-italic giving hints from Sufi mysticism or Islamic esoteric tradition. Section 3 and 4 are also followup thoughts on the integral vision.

[2. ]
Following is the quotation from Ken Wilber’s book, The Integral Visions. Bold italic is passages and saying of Prophet inserted in Inspirations and Creative Thoughts for rationalizing from Sufi point of view.

Notice your present awareness.

Notice the objects arising in your awareness – the images and thoughts arising in your mind, the feelings and sensations arising in your body, the myriad objects arising around you in the room or environment. All of these are objects arising in your awareness.

Now think about what was in your awareness 5 minutes ago. Most of the thoughts have changed, most of the bodily sensations have changed … but something has not changed. Something in you is the same as now as it was 5 minutes ago. What is present now that was present 5 minutes ago?

I AMness. The feeling-awareness of I AMness is still present. I am that ever-present I AMness. That I AMness is present now, it was present a moment ago … it was present 5 minutes ago.
What was present 5 hours ago?

I AMness. That sense of I AMness is an ongoing self-knowing, self-recognizing, self-validating I AMness.

What was present 5 years ago?

I AMness. So many objects have come and gone, so many feelings have come and gone, so many thoughts have come and gone … But one thing has not come, and one thing has not gone. … This timeless, ever-present feeling of I AMness is present now as it was 5 years ago.

What was present 5 centuries ago?

All that is every-present is I AMness. Every person feels this same I AMness – because it is not a body, it is not a thought, it is not an object, it is not the environment, it not anything that can be seen, but rather is the ever-present Seer (Al-Baseer, the All Seeing One, the Ever-Present Seer, one of the manifest attribute of God in Quran. Surely He sees everything, 67:18), the ongoing open and empty Witness (Ash-Shahid, the Witness) of that is arising, in any person (He is with you wherever you are, 57: 4. We are nearer to him than his jugular vein, 50: 16), in any world, in any place, in any time, in all the worlds until the end of time, there is only and always this obvious and immediate I AMness (Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) visions). There is only and always this radiant, self-knowing, self-feeling, self-transcending I AMness, whether present now, 5 minutes ago, 5 hours ago, 5 centuries ago.

5 Millennia ago?

Before Abraham was, I AM. Before the universe was, I AM (God is the He besides Whom there is no object, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting by whom all subsist, 2:255). This is my original Face (Then God made him (Adam) complete and breathed into him of His spirit, 32:9), the face I had before my parents were born, the face I had before the universe was born (God says, Man is my secret and I AM his secret – sacred tradition of Prophet, hadith qudsi) …

I will NEVER again pretend that I do not know or feel my own I AMness. (He who knows himself knows God – Prophet Muhammad)

The great Unborn and the great Undying (He begets not, nor is He begotten, 112:3), which never enters or leaves the stream of time, a pure Presence above time (God says: son of adam complains about time but I AM time– recored in sacred hadith by Prophet Muhammad), floating in eternity, I am this great (Al-Kabir, the Great), obvious (Al-Zahir, the Manifest), self-knowing (Al-Alim, the all knowing and all is He), self-validating (Al-Muhaimin, the Guardian over all), self-liberating (As-Samad, on Whom all depend and He depends not on any) I AMness.

… in all the know universes, the overall number of I AMs is but one (Say with your whole being: the Self is but One, Qul huwa Allahu ahadun, 112:1).

[3.]
And in Quran when describing Himself God refers His identity with a Plural pronoun on many occasions which is so contrary to the most important stress on God’s Oneness, which is so basic to Islamic Faith. Now, why would God, Who is One will use plural pronoun when identifying Himself?

Many try to justify with the logic that particular We is used as a Royal Pronoun. But its not a matter of grammar only. I personally feel there is a great mystery therein. The 'We' that God refers in Quran, the Final Testament is to mean 'the Self' which is expressed in multiplicity of self but which is always One that encompasses everything, the Self that is in every small and every great. That is the secret of I AMness, the secret of God’s all encompassing I AM. That’s how Ultimate Unity in Multiplicity back to Unity.

[4. ]
There is a beautiful baul (mystics of Bengal) song by the title, Shokolei Ami (sung by Indian band Dohar) which goes like this:“Bichar kori chaiya dekhi shokolei Ami.”


Which translate closely:

After all my contemplation I come to this vision:
Everyone is I AM.


:: References:
. The Integral Vision - Ken Wilber
A very short introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything.
. Translation of The Quran
. Anchoring to I-AMness, youtube Pin It Now!

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