Wednesday, April 30, 2008

among the madmen

It is narrated that one of the gnostics said, "I went out with some of my brethren and we came to some boys throwing pebbles at a man. One of the brethren asked them, 'What do you want with him?' They said, 'He is a madman who claims that he sees Allah.'

We approached the man and found him to be a handsome young man who had the signs of gnosis manifested on him. We greeted him and said, 'They say that you claim to be seeing Allah!'. He said, 'Away from me! Had I lost Him for a twinkle of an eye, I would have died an hour ago; and he began to recite:

'The beloved asks his Beloved to be pleased,
And the wish of the beloved is to meet his Beloved;
Always observing Him with the eyes of the heart,
For the heart knows its Lord and sees Him;
The Beloved is pleased with the beloved for approaching Him,
More than the other worshippers because he does not want but Him.'

"I asked him, 'Are you a madman?' He answered, 'To the people of the earth, yes, but to the people of the heaven, no.' I asked, 'How is your state with your Protector, Allah?' He said to me, 'Since I have known Him, I have never been unaffected by Him.' I asked, 'Since when did you known Him?' He said, 'Since He put my name among the madmen.'"

- from He Who Knows Himself Knows His Lord by Shaykh Muhammad al-Jamal, may God be pleased with him

"Wheresoever ye turn, there is the face of Allah."
- The Quran 2:115

They say: "O thou to whom inspiration is being revealed! truly thou art mad! - The Quran 15.006

Thus there did not come to those before them a message bearer but they said (of him) in like manner, "A magician, or a mad man"! - 51.052

And your comrade is not mad.
Surely he saw Him on the clear horizon.
- 81.22, 23

The Divine will show them the Signs on the horizons and within their own souls, until it shall become manifest to them that it is the Truth. Is it not sufficient as regards your Lord that the Divine One is witness over all things?! - 41.53

The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of be upon him) said: "Islam (self submission to Divine) began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers."
- Prophetic tradition recorded in Muslim Compilation (145), narrated by Abu Hurayrah

[>] related post: Divine Madness
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Monday, April 28, 2008

a sufi tale | dhikr of la ilaha illa Allah

la ilaha illa Allah1.
Once a Sheikh (sufi master) came to Istanbul and went to the governing authority to ask permission to open a tekke or sufi lodge. The Sheikh was asked how many dervish members he has and the reply was only one dervish, and the master himself.

The authority found it odd, yet an old rundown building was available and given to them. The Sheikh with one dervish accepted it with open heart.

Very soon there was enormous light coming from within the building, sound of dhikr could be heard every night and crowds would attend.

The governing authorities wanted to know what this man was doing to draw so many people to him and what was this light that was reported coming from the old building. So the Sheikh was summoned.

The officials said, "We are the educated ones and we want to question you to make sure you are doing things correctly."

- "All right", was the humble answer.

"What is the meaning of la ilaha illa Allah?" they asked.

- "Do you want the meaning as you understand it, or do you want the meaning as I understand it?"

"We know how we understand it. Tell us how you understand it."

- "For this I need my one dervish, the one I brought with me first time I came to this building."

They agreed and sat down as he and his dervish begin to make the dhikr. When he said, "la ilaha", his dervish disappeared. When he said, "illa Allah", he appeared. When he said, "la ilaha" again, they both disappeared. With "illa Allah" they reappeared.

The last time he said, "la ilaha", the entire room disappeared. And when he said, "illa Allah", everyone appeared.

He turned to face the officials and said, "This is how I understand the dhikr."

- adapted from the book, When You Hear Hoofbeats Think of a Zebra by Shems Friedlander.

2.
La ilaha, there is no God, if there is no God, then we do not exist; illa Allah, but Allah. And if Allah exists, He has created us and we appear.

3.
Major sufi practice is the dhikr (also written as zikr) or remembrance of the Divine by repeating Divine Name / sacred mantra such as La ilaha illa Allah, there is no reality except the Real.

The reason underlying all reasons is to come to closeness or nearness of the Divine. And conscious remembrance is a path that brings to closeness. There are people of higher stations who while doing dhikr have been transported from the Namer to the Named. We have to become like the boat of Noah, so that anyone who comes near us, anyone who touches us, can be helped.

4.
Ba Hu,Ya Hu.

O Beloved
may we
become like
the boat of Noah,
so that
anyone who
come near
Us,
Thou and I

anyone who
touches
Us,
Thou and I

can be healed
and helped.

Ba Hu, Ya Hu *.


* Hu, the Divine Pronoun, used for invoking the Essence.
'Ba' means 'with'

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mary, the Wisest Theologian

1.
Mary was the wisest theologian. (She was the Mother of the Word Who is at once the Theology of God and of Men.) God's Truth entered so deeply into her life as to become incarnate in her flesh. All Wisdom was centered in her heart, sedes Sapientiae. When the angel came to her at the An­nunciation he found her in deepest silence. Few words are recorded of her who gave us the Word. And when she had given him to the world, what should she do but listen to him? She kept all these words, treasuring them in her heart?

And so, in every way, Mary is the model of contemplatives and the mirror of mystics. Those who love the pure Truth of God instinctively love the simplicity of Mary. She draws them into the heart of her silence and of her humility. She is the virgin of solitude, whom God called His hermit - ana est colamba mea in foraminibus petrae. She hid in the caverns of the rock Saint John of the Cross.. She lived as a hermit in the lofty mysteries of her Son. She lived all the time in the sky, though she walked on the earth and swept floors and made beds and made supper for the carpenters.

What was happening in her unimaginably clear soul, in the stainless mirror of her being which God had made to receive His perfect likeness?

When the angel spoke, God awoke in the heart of this girl of Nazareth and moved within her like a giant. He stirred and opened His eyes and her soul saw that in containing Him she contained the world besides. The Annun­ciation was not so much a vision as an earthquake in which God moved the universe and unsettled the spheres, and the beginning and end of all things came before her in her deepest heart. And far beneath the movement of this silent cataclysm she slept in the infinite tranquility of God, and God was a child curled up who slept in her and her veins were flooded with His wisdom which is night, which is starlight, which is silence. And her whole being was em­braced in Him whom she embraced and they became tre­mendous silence."

- Thomas Merton, From The Ascent to Truth

2.
In the Holy Name of Allah, the Universally Merciful, Singularly Compassionate

Behold! the angels said: O Mary! Allah has chosen you and purified you - chosen you above the women of creation.

O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down (in prayer) with those who bow down.

Behold! the angels said: O Mary, surely Allah gives you gospel (*) of a Word from Him; his name will be Messiah Isa, son of Mary (+), held in honor in this world and the hereafter and of the company of those nearest to Allah.

And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and in his manhood, and he shall be (of the company) of the righteous.

She said: O My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?! The Divine speaks: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says unto it, Be! and it is.
- The Quran, from chapter 3

* the english word gospel originally means glad tidings or good news.
+ its remarkable that whenever Isa or Eesa (Christ's original aramaic name) is mentioned in Quran, Mary is honored by calling them together Jesus, the son of Mary (Eesa ibn Maryam). Thus Mother Mary is never made to forget whenever Jesus is mentioned. And Prophet Muhammad (s) taught to bring respect in heart by saying, "may peace and blessings of God be upon them both", whenever such noble and honored souls are mentioned.

3.
Let Thy word, God, become my life's expression.
- Hazrat Inayat Khan

image. persian miniature painting of mother mary and child christ
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Sufi Qawwali at UCLA Royce Hall | Mehr Ali and Sher Ali

Sher Ali, Mehr Ali, Qawwali SingerCouple of nights back (24, April, 08) came an unanticipated opportunity to watch and listen to two of great contemporary pakistani sufi Qawwali singers at famous UCLA Royce Hall. The concert was titled, Qawwali Music of Pakistan: Sufi devotional music.Among the audience was both americans and sub-continental audience. What was striking, is Qawwali's ability to transcend language with its sheer power and captivating devotion. The nature of improvisation makes each Qawwali, even if its sung by the same group of singers, very unique and every new listening is a new experience.

Sometime the depth of the verses, fused with the presentation takes audience to an otherly high which was felt last night too. At times there were goosebumps and surges with the strong emotion that is created in Qawwali performance. The Sufi Qawwalis are considered as zikr or Divine remembrance if listened with spiritual understanding and depth.

:: What is Sufi Qawwali? | Qawwali is derived from the Arabic word qaul, literally meaning "saying" but has taken on the meaning of "belief"or "credo" in South Asian languages. Qawwali is spiritual in essence; it is the devotional music of the Sufis to attain trance and mystical experience - originating in the 10th century and blossoming into its present form from the 13th century onwards.

Strong voices and explosive hand-clapping characterize the devotional music known as Qawwali. An ensemble of usually twelve performers conveys a spiritual message through music and song based on mystic poetry by Sufi masters. The texts usually deal with divine love (‘ishq), the sorrow of separation (hijr, firaq), and the union (visal), these concepts being symbolically reinforced and illustrated by the music. Qawwali blends Iranian and Central Asian poetic, philosophical, and musical elements into a North Indian base, combining popular music with classical traditions.

:: History | Qawwali is inseparable from the name of a Persian court musician, composer, poet, and mystic of that period: Amir Khusrau (1254–1325). Amir Khusrau experimented with musical forms, combining the Indian and the Persian, the Hindu Bhakti and the Muslim Sufi to produce the present form of qawwali.

Qawwali thus became a popular expression of Muslim devotion open to all faiths throughout Northern India. This form of music rapidly became a vehicle for the Islamic missionary movement in India, while at the same time reinforcing the faith of the Muslims. In many cases, the original Persian mystical text is followed by a translation in the local idiom sung in the same manner as the original. Still in this time, Qawwali remains an expanding form of music enjoying universal popularity in South Asia and beyond.

:: Setting | Although qawwali has today become part of mainstream music,it is traditionally a part of Sufi ritual at the shrine of a saint on a Thursday evening. Large gatherings of qawwali are
held at the death anniversaries of Sufi saints,in which their death is celebrated as marriage with the Eternal (‘urs). Qawwali groups play day and night, the best performing at the end.

Qawwalis are heard by "the friends" (a term denoting members of Sufi orders) and by lay audiences attracted by the occasion. Drawing and holding the attention of a heterogeneous audience is the skill that the performers of qawwali attain. They claim that qawwali breaks the barriers of language and draws people closer to divinity. They do this by attempting to alter the state of consciousness of the audience in order to make them more receptive to the content, which is of a syncretistic and mystical nature.

interestingly yesterday's concert was also scheduled on a thursday night, which traditionally is designated in islam as holy night. Pure Qawwali has the quality of Zikr or Divine Remembrance.

Pakistani Qawwali
:: About Mehr Ali and Sher Ali, the Artists | Mehr and Sher Ali were born in the Pakistani border-town of Kasur in the early 1950s and received their earlier training in classical music from their father who was a court classical singer. Their father then became the disciple of Fateh Ali Khan, the father of the famous Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and young Sher Ali was the student of Bakhshi Salamat Ali Qawwal. Mehr Ali and Sher Ali thus acknowledge that the family of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is their "Ustad Gharana" or "Teacher House," a term imbued with veneration among musician circles in Pakistan and North India. The music of this group has its origins with the Talvandi classical school of Hindustani music.

Mehr Ali was taught by Muhammad Ali Fareedi,an ordained Sufi qawwal of the shrine of the 13th century Sufi, Baba Farid. Mehr Ali was thus trained in Sufi philosophy, poetry, texts, and rituals. All qawwals must have a deep knowledge of Sufi poetic texts. The group feels that their music brings harmony and peace to the soul and projects the message of love and unity for all. "We sometimes go into a trance during our performance, so moved are we by the text and music," says Mehr Ali. They believe that qawwali goes beyond the limitations of orthodox religion and is a universal invitation to all living beings to share in the feelings of the powerful emotion of pure love, the pain of separation, and the joy of union.

Many qawwali by Mehr Ali and Sher Ali available on youtube are not that good audio quality, but here is a taste of their singing of Qawwali and also another Qawwali via youtube (comparatively better quality).

I have also uploaded a badly captured video from this concert @ Royce Hall in youtube. Check it here.

# Related
. The Entrancing Qawwali
. Man Kunto Maula
. Qawwalis of Amir Khusrau with english translation
. a great site on Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the unparalleled qawwali king
with music, lyrics and english translations.

. sher ali and mehr ali
. Mehr and SherAli performing at University of Washington, Seattle, WA
part 1 } { part 2
. Sher Ali Mehr Ali Qawwal - Ghous-e-Azam - 1, 2, 3
. Maula Ali - 1
. More angnah moin uddin aagaye
. Dhamal Shabbaz Qalandar
. UCLA Live events
. World Music Institute

. Reference: excerpts from the liner notes from the recording Qawwali, the Essence of Desire by Adam Nayyar/ . The Qawwals of Pakistan: Sufi Devotional Music Mehr Ali and Sher Ali (pdf) Pin It Now!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wise counsel of Prophet Muhammad and brotherhood of Enlightened Ones

desert wisdom, landscape
A bedouin (desert dwelling nomadic person) came to the blessed Prophet Muhammad and asked him on the following topics, followed by counsel of the Prophet. True wisdom is timeless, hence exact similar traces of wisdom can be found from enlightened ones of all ages, all traditions.

Bedouin: I wish to be the richest person in the world.
Prophet: Be content and you will be the richest person in the world.

on similar note Buddha's saying as appearing in Dhammapada, "contentment is the greatest wealth."

Bedouin: I would like to be the most learned of people.
Prophet: Fear God with Holy Fear and you will be the most learned of people.

similarly Proverbs 1:7 declares, "The holy fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (gnosis) …"

Bedouin: I would like to be the most just of people.
Prophet: Desire for others what you would like for yourself and you would be the most just of people.

reminds Christ (Matthew, 22:36), "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Tse-kung asked, 'Is there one word that can serve as a principle of conduct for life?' Confucius replied, 'It is the word 'shu' -- reciprocity. Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.'" - Doctrine of the Mean 13.3, Confucianism.

"None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." - Islamic teaching in sacred hadith.

Bedouin: I would like to be the best of people.
Prophet: Be good to others and you will be the best of people.

motto of the teaching of Zoroastrian: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Works.

"All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." - Black Elk, Native American Spirituality.

Bedouin: I would like to be the most honorable of people.
Prophet: If you do not complain to any fellow humans you will be the most honorable of people.

"Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean." - Confucius

"See if you can catch yourself complaining in either speech or thought, about a situation you find yourself in, what other people do or say, your surroundings, your life situation, even the weather. To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge. When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it." - Eckhart Tolle, Power of Now.

Bedouin: I wish to be safe from Divine Wrath on the Day of Judgment.
Prophet: If you do not lose your temper with any of your fellow humans, you will be safe from Divine wrath on the Day of Judgment.

"Delusion arises from anger. The mind is negatively bewildered by delusion. Reasoning is destroyed when the mind is bewildered. One falls down when reasoning is destroyed.

Three gates of Hell are: lust, anger, and greed." - Bhagavad Gita

Bedouin: What are the worst evils in the sight of God?
Prophet: Uncontrolled bad temper and miserliness (i.e. selfishness with money).

"The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger." - Rabbi Eliezer

:We ought to be very careful to keep watch on ourselves. When a harbor is full of ships it is easy for them to run against each other, particularly if they are secretly riddled by the worm of bad temper."
-
St. John Climacus

"Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance." - St. Francis of Assisi

"And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" - I Corinthians 13:13.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

That the mystic desires | wine of mystic


The mystic desires what Omar Khayyam calls wine; the wine of Christ, after drinking which, no one will ever thirst.

- Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan: There are many ideas which intoxicate man, many feelings there are which act upon the soul as wine, but there is no stronger wine than the wine of selflessness. It is a might and it is a pride that no worldly rank can give. To become something is a limitation, whatever one may become. Even if a person were to be called the king of the world, he would still not be emperor of the universe. If he were the master of earth, he would still be the slave of Heaven. It is the person who is no one, who is no one and yet all. The Sufi, therefore, takes the path of being nothing instead of being something. It is this feeling of nothingness which turns the human heart into an empty cup into which the wine of immortality is poured. It is this state of bliss which every truth-seeking soul yearns to attain.

Wine is symbolical of the soul's evolution. Wine comes from the annihilation of grapes, immortality comes from the annihilation of self. I drink the wine of Thy divine presence and lose myself in its intoxication.

When the soul is illuminated, it will desire to find some other soul illuminated in like manner, and will find great joy and bliss in its society. Such a one will surely find others who are on the verge of illumination. Even a drunkard will find others to drink with. And so it is mystically. A very little light can be turned into a flame, and that flame into a very big flame. Why is it better to become a mystic than to remain a drunkard? As a matter of fact a drunkard will never be satisfied. The mystic will look for what Omar Khayyam calls wine: the wine of the Christ, after drinking which no one will ever thirst. He will always seek the wine whose intoxication never wears off. It is the only wine: the intoxication of the divine love.

There is a wine which the mystic drinks, and that wine is ecstasy. A wine so powerful that the presence of the mystic becomes as wine for everyone who comes into his presence. ... That intoxication is the love which manifests in the human heart. What does it matter, once a mystic has drunk that wine, whether he is sitting amongst the rocks in the wilderness, or in a palace? It is all the same. The palace does not deprive him of the mystic's pleasures, and neither does the rock take them away. He has found the kingdom of God on earth, about which Jesus Christ said, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.'

.: text credit: Bowl of Saki via Wahiduddin.net
.: Omar Khayyam, the mystic
.: art credit: Rassouli, visionary artist and mystic / Gallery
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

devotee's heart chakra | meditative quranic verses

1.
Allatheena itha thukira Allahu wajilat quloobuhum waalssabireena AAala ma asabahum waalmuqeemee alssalati wamimma razaqnahum yunfiqoona


The devotees are the ones whose heart chakra (*) resonates whenever God is mentioned and are patient with anything that comes to them, and those who keep up prayer and from the provisions given to them, they give to charity.

- The Quran 22:35

2.
a Sheikh was asked: "What is Sufism?"
He said: "To feel joy in the heart when sorrow appears."

compare with the above verse where it says, "... are patient with anything that comes to them"

"to feel joy in heart when sorrow appears" has many dimensions around its explanation, but one of which can be explained by the quality of certitude and reliability upon Beloved to the extent that even when sorrow arrives, the lover knows all is from the Divine and whether its joy or sorrow, all is from the Single Source. My Shaykh Sidi, may God be pleased with him, would always say, "its a gift from Allah" whether its an accident or reward. Interestingly when one moves into that level of consciousness of certitude, everything start to become a gift, truly.

in the above verse, certain qualities of devotee or Divine lovers are mentioned, namely: awakening of deep passion within inner heart, being patient with the attitude of equanimity, prayerfulness and selfless charity.

footnote: (*) the literal translation of the Quranic verse from 22:35 has used the terms, "hearts tremble", "heart feel holy fear", which from esoteric perspective is translated here as "activation of heart chakra". The chakra or mystic subtle center of bodies are also found in sufi or islam's mystical tradition (inspired by Quran as well) which are identified as Lataif-e-Sitta ("the six subtleties").

. related: Opening of Heart, Lataif and more
. previous posts on Meditative Quranic verses
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Meeting of Rumi and Shams | the famous question that started it all

One cold November morning, the wandering of the mysterious dervish Shams, who walked in a field of magnetism, brought him to the front of the Shekerjiler Hani (Inn of the Sugar Merchants) in Konya just as Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi was passing. Mevlana Jalaluddin sat majestically on his horse as his students scrambled to walk beside him and hold the stirrup. He had just completed his class at the College of Cotton Merchants.

Shams leapt from the crowd, grasped the bridle of the horse and shouted, "O teacher of the Moslems, who was greater, Abu Yazid Bistami or Muhammad the Prophet?"

Rumi felt the eyes of Shams looks past his own into the essence of his being, causing rivers of energy to flow within his body. "The Prophet Muhammad was greater," replied Rumi.

Then Shams said, "Did not the Prophet say, 'We have not known Thee as Thou deservest to be known,' while Abu Yazid exclaimed, 'How great is my glory; I am exalted; my dignity is unpraised; I am the sultan of sultan'?

Mevlana answered, "Abu Yazid's thirst was quenched after a mouthful, but the Prophet of God sought for water, thirsting more and more. Abu Yazid satisfied himself with what he attained in God, but Muhammad the 'Elect One of God' sought each day further, and from hour to hour and day to day saw light and power and divine wisdom increase. That is why he said, 'We have not known Thee as Thou shouldest be known.'"

Shams cried to God and fell to the ground.
.
.
Mevlana dismounted, dropped to his knees, touched the heads of Shams,
.
.
and the two men embraced.
.
.
.
.
.
.
They left the questioning students and retired to a retreat cell where they remained for three months occupied with the exploration of awakening. They became their own planet. Rumi the earth, Shams the sun. Lost in God-consciousness, they experienced the ecstasy spoken of by the Sufis. Here within the stone walls of a small domed chille (retreat house) was a friendship based on the discovery of God through each other at a time when both beings had a lesson to impart to one another.

These beings, face to face, saw within each other the grace and presence of the essence of what each was searching for. For the first time each could reveal to another being the secret in his heart. Rumi was like a room filled with God-love. Shams saw this and opened the door.

As they meditated on the Beloved, sounded wasifas (Names and Attributes of God) and the zikr (la ilaha illallah), the air in the small hut was made pure by the breath of these two holy beings.

Rumi later wrote in Divani Shamsi Tabriz:

Happy the moment when we are seated in the palace,
thou and I,
With two forms and with two figures but with one soul,
thou and I.
The colors of the grove and the voice of the birds
will bestow immortality
At the time when we come into the garden, thou and I.
The stars of the heaven will come to gaze upon us;
We shall show them the moon itself, thou and I.
Thou and I, individuals no more, shall be mingled in ecstasy,
Joyful and secure from foolish babble, thou and I.
All the bright-plumed birds of heaven will devour their
hearts with envy,
In the place where we shall laugh in such a fashion,
thou and I.
This is the greatest wonder, that thou and I, sitting
here in the same nook,
Are at this moment both in Iraq and Khorasan, thou and I.

- from the book, The Whirling Dervishes by Shems Friedlander

.: Abu Yazid al Bistami, one of the most notable sufi mytic and saint
.: art credit. Michael Green's illuminated rumi prints
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Entering the Rose with Rumi

rose_mystic

There is a secret path to the heart
winding through a rose,
where deep between
the layers of roseness,
a lover can find the way
to the embedded clues of the truth,
hidden there by the warriors of love.

There is no battle cry, no army,
no weapons, no flag to carry,
for the wayfarer must enter
the deep jungle of fragrance
and alluring silken beauty
to find the heart within the rose.

Enter the rose with Rumi,
and he will show you the way,
spinning you around and dancing
you into laughter and wonder.

The mystics know the way of the heart
and guard the secrets well.
No map exists, and no words can describe
the alchemy of the journey
that turns you into light.

Fall out of your well laid plans,
and fall deeply into love.
Love will meet you inside the rose,
and you will awaken
in the beauty of your heart.

.
(c) whispering mystic
.
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seek the company of the dervishes and become one of them

Dervish bowing
1. Seek the company of the Dervishes
If you are possessed of discernment, joined with knowledge - seek the company of the dervishes and become one with them. Love for the dervishes is the key which opens the door into Paradise. The dervish's garment is nothing but a patched robe, and he is not led astray by earthly desires and passions. - Fariduddin Attar.

2. The Meek
Jesus Christ in the Beatitudes identified blessed ones as poor in spirit and meek, which basically is a precise archetypal description of sufi dervishes. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad, there were poor, wandering companions and lover of God who used to live at and near the Prophet's mosque. They were called Ahl e Suffa or People of the Shed / Porch, because to attain gnosis directly from the Prophet, they used to be found at the porch of the mosque most of the time. Although the very term 'dervish' or 'sufi' were not used during the time of the Prophet, but in spirit Ahl e Suffa were the dervishes who had nothing and wanted nothing but God. That is the hallmark of a sufi who wishes nothing but God. Some scholars gives credit to the term 'Ahl e Suffa' to be source of the word 'sufi'.

According to historians "Al-Suffa" was the first Islamic School in the history of Islam. Its teacher was no other than beloved Prophet Muhammad. Its students, Ashab (Ahl) Suffa were known to have given up worldly desires and were in a perpetual state of learning their deen (path of journey to God). This school was in our beloved Prophet's masjid in Medina.

The Persian word dervish (or darwish, darvish) is one who sits at the door (literal meaning is sill of the door). Spiritually it means one who sits at the door between this world and the next, who is at the door step of visible and invisible. Initiated sufis are also called dervish, meaning one who is at the door of enlightenment. The word Dervish generally refers to members of Sufi Tarika (order), known for their poverty and austerity, similar to mendicant friars. Also refers to a mendicant ascetic. Among the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr and Ali are identified as the first dervishes according to their spiritual attitude, ascetic personality and lifestyle.

3. In the light of the Final Testament
In the 18th Chapter of the Quran (Al-Kahf, the Cave) , the blessed Prophet Muhammad is told to be content with the people of remembrance and who are seekers of God. It addresses the Prophet and at the same time advices humanity in universal sense to seek gnosis (the highest knowledge, knowledge of Self) from people who are seekers and have ceaseless remembrance of Beloved, the Most High in their heart.

"And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes pass beyond them, seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, his case is one whose due bounds are exceeded." (The Quran 18:28)


Fariduddin Attar's quote as mentioned in the beginning of this post in a way mirrors the above Quranic passage: to be content with these special group or category of people, to befriend them who are seekers of Beloved God.

4. Who is not fitting as a spiritual teacher
The above passage of the Quran also sets criteria who should NOT be followed or accepted as a spiritual guide or teacher. It advices not to obey / follow anyone who neglect the remembrance of God but follow their own desire, hence crosses limits. In our interesting time numerous so called new age spiritual teachers and self labeled masters can be found; unfortunately some of them end up creating cult around them and instead of pointing to the One Divine Source, they focus all attention upon themselves, upon their own ego. Offcourse there are sincere spiritual teachers who have adopted new age language for teaching, but one needs special attention and attunement to be able to recognize such teachers. Mere camouflaged nice words and lip service shouldn't and couldn't be signposts for recognition.

This particular verse of the Quran thus acts like an acid-test which can be used when choosing a spiritual master or guide. The main criteria being: one who doesn't neglect the Divine remembrance and one who doesn't follow their own ego or desire but are aligned with Divine Will is the one who has the primary qualification as a spiritual teacher. For an individual to become a spiritual teacher, it takes tremendous inner-work, self discipline and mastery upon oneself to arrive at that station where the ego of the individual is annihilated to make room for the Divine.

.: image credit via flickr
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Monday, April 21, 2008

new earth | new mother

1.
new earth arises.
comes forth a new mother.

2.
my soul asks,
who gives birth to who?

watch this koan:
"is it the mother
who gives birth to a new child?
or, is it the child
who gives birth to a new mother?"

3.
Jesus turns and asks Mother Mary,
"Woman, what do I have to do with thee?" *


(c) MysticSaint

* John 2:4

- dedicated to Naomi (pronounced as Newoma, the new mother)
. art collage | mysticsaint Pin It Now!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Diary blog from an (otherwise) ordinary day

SRF Hollywood temple gate1. When unconscious mistakes take us places
my friend from Kansas sent me a home video sharing her space and landscape of US heartland. it came in a mini DV (smaller tape) format. i don't have a video camera but thought i could find someone who has. unfortunately i couldn't find one or a way to convert it to vcd / to computer. so i couldn't watch the content of the tape for months.

to find a professional photo / video studio who might convert such tapes to vcd, i called few places but with no luck. on a sunday morning, about two weeks back (april 6), decided to go out to visit Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) temple at hollywood. the tape was in my bag and just the night before i was thinking i must find a place to convert this tape real soon so that i can send the original back. my friend was becoming impatient that i couldn't manage to watch it after such a long time. i felt bad too.

i found out the address of SRF temple and got the bus direction. taking the bus got down to a junction thinking this is the right cross road. walking a further down hoping to find the temple, i soon realized i made a mistake (instead of Sunset Blvd, i got down at Santa Monica Blvd). to be sure i walked further down on the wrong street, seeing a big church from distance. walking towards it noticed that it was a beautiful armenian church. as i started to walk back again, just around the corner saw an ethnic armenian video store and felt like walking in to ask about the tape.

to my surprise they said they can convert the tape for me and you can imagine how delighted i was to find it in such accidental fashion. after searching so many places i ended up finding the solution where i least expected.

often by such unconscious mistakes we are guided to places where we need to be. like Buddha said, "When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky".

but more surprise for the day was yet to come.

SRF temple, Hollywood2. Darshan of Paramahansa Yogananda
submitting the tape for conversion, i walked back to the original cross road to catch bus and this time got down at the right cross street address (vermont, sunset) from where SRF temple is just 5 minutes walk. as i was approaching the temple gate, two bus just arrived with loads of visitors.

walking inside the gate i found monks and temple people waiting to receive the visitors who just arrived. i was told that the visitors were scheduled for a tour in the temple and they are senior devotees of Paramahansa Yogananda from Escondido and Encinitas of Southern California, major sites where Paramahansa Yogananda chose to build temple and spiritual community. people from the temple were all busy receiving the honored guests and as i wasn't from the same group, i had to ask permission to sit in the temple while the guest were there. generously i was given permission.

since most of the people in the group are life long devotees of Sri Paramahansa, there were talks, nice tour arranged to the whole temple ground and also screening of a rare movie of Paramahansa during the time when he first opened the temple. it was a great blessing that i got permission to watch the rare movie with the circle of devotees and had a beautiful tour on the same sacred ground upon which Paramahansa once walked.

what made me really surprised later was the timing, because if i didn't make the mistake of landing on wrong cross street, i wouldn't find the armenian video shop. and as the landing on the wrong place, wandering - took time, by the time i reached the temple it was in sync with the arrival of the devotees, which just in time enabled me to be part of the tour. all so perfectly arranged.

while going to the temple i was telling in my mind, "Guruji i am coming to see you". (Guruji meaning the master), and there it was! in first visit to the temple there were unexpected arrangements to not only get a tour with so many devotees but also blessed opportunity really to watch Guruji's rare and exclusive video of opening ceremony of the temple. the darshan was granted. darshan, (litereally means seeing) is a sanskrit term which is reserved for a seeing or being in the presence of a saint, or a sacred place.

i know if Guruji were here, he would say smilingly, "This is how Divine Mother works!" indeed this is how everything is done, even with apparent mistakes and through detours.

Paramahansa Yogananada3. Guruji, the inspiration
let me mention here a little about my connection with Paramahansa Yogananda. not just because this famous spiritual master was from Bengal (same land from where i come from), not just because we have the same mother tongue, but for some totally other, unknown reason i always felt great attraction and inspiration to and from this master. even before i came to California, US (where he spent major part of his life), i felt attraction to him, his personality and teachings. once coming to US again and again i stumbled upon SRF devotees and people who have SRF connection. the very sufi group, shadhiliyya sufi order where i took hand also has many life long devotees of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda and former SRF members.

that day was another glimpse of recurring connection with this great saint.

to me Paramahansa is, what sufis call an insan e kamil, a realized human being or universal man, who not only embodied highest devotion to the Divine internally and privately, but also exemplified with work on the outer plane. he whole heartedly embraced and worked both in invisible and visible planes in terms of teaching, sacred work and building spiritual community. his state of spiritual realization surely is a gift to humanity open to all to receive.

Sri Yogananada was one of those blessed beings who dared to be gone to find himself and came back from realization to help others to walk the path of seeking too, a hallmark of insal e kamil.

may God sanctify Sri Paramahansa Yogananda's spiritual station and bless us with his realization.

. Self Realization Fellowship
. SRF temple, hollywood / photo credit
. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda / Original First Edition, Copyright 1946, by Paramhansa Yogananda
. meditation on fullmoon
. Soul Calls, an inspiration and dedication to Sri Paramahansa
.. Pin It Now!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Content of Emptiness

What is this “emptiness” that some religious teachings indicate to be a desirable human state? Does it mean that one should empty himself or herself of every inner thought and perception, to reduce the person, body, mind and spirit, to absolute nothingness? This is a very deep question.

It is not hard to conclude that this at least means emptiness of and towards all material possessions. This is a form of material detachment. The sincere believer will strive to this end, letting go of the desire for such possessions and contenting himself or herself with only the bare essentials for life. Describing Baha’u’llah, the founder/prophet of the Baha’i Faith. It is written:

“ ‘I, myself with two others lived in a room which was devoid of furniture.’ Bahá'u'lláh entered it one day, and, looking about Him, remarked: 'Its emptiness pleases Me. In My estimation it is preferable to many a spacious palace, inasmuch as the beloved of God are occupied in it with the remembrance of the Incomparable Friend, with hearts that are wholly emptied of the dross of this world.' His own life was characterized by that same austerity, and evinced that same simplicity which marked the lives of His beloved companions.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 137)

But it may go further than this. On one view it requires the foregoing of the ego, of all earthly desire. The Buddhist Writings state:

To show the Egolessness, utter emptiness of existence, Visuddhi-Magga XVI quotes the following verse:

Mere suffering exists, no sufferer is found;
The deed is, but no doer of the deed is there;
Nirvana is, but not the man that enters it;
The Path is, but no traveler on it is seen.

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
((The Eightfold Path), Buddha, the Word))

But it does not necessarily involve letting go of the Divine spirit within every human being, the quest for union with the Absolute. We can empty ourselves of all things of this world, only so that we can better become immersed in the greater spiritual world. One notable Christian writer wrote:

“Strive thus to desire to enter into complete detachment and emptiness and poverty, with respect to everything that is in the world, for Christ's sake.” - St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel

This at the very least involves a rejection of all religious extremism, bigotry, exclusivity and superiority, because this is spiritual emptiness, not a desirable state. Thus it is said:

“The violence and disruption associated with religious fanaticism testifies to its spiritual emptiness. Fanaticism destroys the very foundations of human solidarity by dividing the world into contending factions, each believing itself to be superior to others and to have an exclusive claim on religious truth. These actions and attitudes negate the very purpose of religion.” - Baha'i International Community, 1987 Mar 03, Eliminating Religious Intolerance

In this way the stream can merge into the Most Great Ocean and be united.

- contributed by G. N. / guest blogger from Australia


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On My Way Home

MysticSaint Art
Some days, I fly low over the surface of the earth
with the falcon’s eye
watching for any movement of God.

Some days, I fly as near to the sun as my soul
will carry me
without scorching my eyes.

Some nights, I hover like the hummingbird
near the moon hoping to
sip the sweetness of the light.

Some nights, I land on the shoulders
of the great ones
and become a listening heart
to catch the tears and laughter and prayers
of other hearts.

Some nights, I see how many stars
I can touch and kiss
to bless them for their guiding light.

Some nights, I carry a chalice of love
and invisibly anoint every precious person
with the sacred oil of dew
gathered from the tears of God
that have fallen on the night blooming flowers
in the garden of my heart.

Some nights, I call out the arms of God
that reach around the world,
and I settle into the living warmth
of the place nearest the divine heart that
gives life to mine.

I fall into the undefined depths
of a love that can baptize and cleanse
and heal infinite hearts,
as I nestle into a beauty too vast
to ever abide in a word.

The purity surrounds and receives
my surrendered soul,
as if it were the only offering
of this precious moment circling
into an intimacy
that enfolds me in forever.


- Naomi -
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Ghazali's last

Imam Ghazali, one of the most celebrated mystic, saint, scholar and philosopher of Islamic world, woke up one early morning in December, in the year 1111 and as usual offered his prayers and then enquired what day it was. His younger brother, Ahmad Ghazali informed him about that particular day and date. He then asked to bring his white (burial) shroud, kissed it, placing himself properly and saying "Lord, I obey willingly", breathed his last.

And underneath his head rest was found the following verses; composed by him, probably, during the night.

Ghazali's Last

Say to my friends, when they look upon me, dead
Weeping for me and mourning me in sorrow
Do not believe that this corpse you see is myself
In the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,

I am a spirit, and this is naught but flesh
It was my abode and my garment for a time.

I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,
Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,
I am a pearl, which has left it's shell deserted,
I am a bird, and this body was my cage
Whence I have now flown forth and it is left as a token
Praise to God, who hath now set me free
And prepared for me my place in the highest of the heaven,
Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.
Now I live in truth, with the grave - clothes discarded.

Today I hold converse with the saints above,
With no veil between, I see God face to face.
I look upon "Loh-i-Mahfuz" and there in I read
Whatever was and is and all that is to be.

Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,
Cast away the talisman, it is a token, no more
Lay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.
Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,
I have passed on my way and you are left behind
Your place of abode was no dwelling place for me.

Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,
A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,
While in this world, here we are granted sleep,
Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolonged
Be not frightened when death draweth night,
It is but the departure for this blessed home
Think of the mercy and love of your Lord,
Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.

What I am now, even so shall you be
For I know that you are even as I am
The souls of all men come forth from God
The bodies of all are compounded alike
Good and evil, alike it was ours
I give you now a message of good cheer
May God's peace and joy for evermore be yours.

- Abu Hamed al-Ghazzali (1058-1111), famously known as Algazel to the western medieval world. may God bless his station.

. credit. al-ghazali site / watch a youtube video of the poem

[>] recently came out a beautiful movie on the life of this mystic: Al-Ghazali - The Alchemist of Happiness / watch an extended clip from the movie here. i was lucky to be able to watch the movie and it was really good. don't miss the extra features in the DVD with commentary on Ghazali, his life and philosophy. its a Matmedia Film.

al Ghazali movietop graphics: 1308 Persian Edition of the Alchemy of Happiness Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beauty Blessing | Remembering John O'Donohue

. indeed we are from the Eternal Landscape, and
to
that Landscape we return
to become part of .


John O'Donohue in Landscape{ John O'Donohue, 1956-2008, and continuing forever }

1.
One of the most gifted mystic, philosopher and poet of our time, John O'Donohue, beginning of this year in January has passed behind the curtain of Eternity, to the Eternal Landscape which he was so fond of in his peaceful sleep on January 3, 2008.

He has been rightly described as a man of the soul. His works will remain as scholarly meditation, synthesis of philosophy, soulful poetry and radiant source of spiritual wisdom for ages. The prestigious Review of Metaphysics commended him for "breaking new ground in our thinking about consciousness… (with) a richer and deeper notion of Personhood." John is beloved for his book Anam Cara - Gaelic for "soul friend" - and for his insistence on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God. John O'Donohue had a very Celtic, lifelong fascination with what he called "the invisible world."

About him author and mystic Carl McColman in his blog Anamchara: Website of Unknowning wrote: "He was not only one of the most articulate voices of living Celtic Christianity and Celtic wisdom, but he also had a clear grasp of the beauty of Christian mysticism as well. He was a trained philosopher with a prodigious intellect. He was the only person I’ve ever met who could effortlessly and lyrically weave together allusions to Martin Heidegger, Meister Eckhart, and the Tuatha Dé Danann in a single sentence.

Rest in peace, John O’Donohue.
Walk gladly in the light of Tir na n’Og."

2.
When I started reading his book Anam Cara, a recognized spiritual classic of our time, the first few lines really struck me, how beautifully he expresses the mysteries of the Divine through language.

In the Prologue John says, "It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you. No-one else can bring you news of this inner world.

... Humans are new here. Above us, the galaxies dance out towards infinity. Under our feet is ancient earth. We are beautifully moulded by clay. Yet the smallest stone is millions of years older than us. In your thoughts, the silent universe seeks echo. An unknown world aspires towards reflection. ..." and the mysterious weaving of his brilliance with words full of spirit continues.

3.
John O'Donohue
In London there will be a gathering in loving memory of John on the evening of the 16th April and my friend Cailean who gets the credit for introducing to me John's writings and book will be attending, God willing. In response to Cailean's request and remembering John's tender soul, here is a beautiful blessing poem by John.

A Beauty Blessing

As stillness in stone to silence is wed
May your heart be somewhere a God might dwell.

As a river flows in ideal sequence
May your soul discover time in presence.

As the moon absolves the dark of resistance
May thought-light console your mind with brightness.

As the breath of light awakens colour
May the dawn anoint your eyes with wonder.

As spring rain softens the earth with surprise
May your winter places be kissed by light.

As the ocean dreams to the joy of dance
May the grace of change bring you elegance.

As clay anchors a tree in light and wind
May your outer life grow from peace within.

As twilight fills night with bright horizons
May beauty await you at home beyond.

- John O'Donohue from his book Divine Beauty

4.
Some blessed souls are privileged to come back again and again after they are no longer in their physical body. John is one of such soul who will return to his friends, to his readers in their memories, consciousness through his beautiful legacy of writings. As I was listening last night to his wonderful interview with Krista Tippett in the program Speaking of Faith, I was immensely touched by John's depth of wisdom and profound beauty that he embodied.

A beautiful Interview // I surely would love to recommend you to listen to this audio (complete, unedited) interview of him, his last before his death in fact. Click HERE to listen to the mp3 audio (or you may right click to select Save As to save the mp3 file on your disk to listen from your computer). Its from John O'Donohue's interview on Speaking of Faith program.

also, John O'Donohue talking on death and leaving this plane (video)
. You can also listen to past interviews with John from NPR in 1999 and 2005.

5.
There is a memorial planned for May 3, 2008 in Santa Monica, California. Plans are still developing for services on the east coast of the US and in the UK. Click here to know about Memorial Services to remember John O'Donohue.


More Resources and Tribute:
. Unheard Cuts: John O'Donohue's Poems, his recitations
. Beannacht by John O'Donohue
. In sweet memoriam: John O'Donohue

. YouTube presentation dedicated to a soul friend
. John O’Donohue on Prayer
. Tributes / from David Whyte / Gareth Higgins

. Tribute to John by Shara Banisadr (youtube)
. John O'Donohue, 1956-2008, and continuing forever
. In Memory of John O'Donohue
. A Tribute to John O’Donohue on RTE
. John O'Donohue (1954-2008): Our New Friend on the Other Side
. In memory of John O'Donohue
. Obituary at Guardian
. Death of John
. John O'Donohue by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
The Presence of Compassion / an interview
. In Memoriam: John O'Donohue
. Books by John O'Donohue
. a blogspot for John / to share thoughts, memories and other blessings arising from the life and gifts of John O'Donohue
. Poems of John O'Donohue

"There is an unseen life that dreams us; it knows our true direction and destiny. We can trust ourselves more than we realize, and we need have no fear of change."

"The greatest friend of soul is the Unknown."

"If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love; rather, we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature." [>] more quotes by John O'Donohue.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Inner Light, Nur | what is it? who sees it and how?

Journey into that LightOne of my dear heart friend passed this question to me to ask sufi teacher(s) I know:

what is Nur or Inner Light?
who sees it, and how?

I had the opportunity to ask this question to Hakima, a sufi teacher and healer from the Shadhiliyya Sufi Order. The following writeup is based on a conversation and Hakima's answer on the topic.

What is Inner Light | The inner light has to do with walking (spiritual journey to know God) and what one need. Inner Light can have different manifestations. There can be light which is almost blinding, pure bright light and then there is also perceived light.

In group work in the sufi university (1), while taking turn in sharing, 'seeing' light is also used as an exercise in feeling and being perceptive.

So if you actually begin to quiet yourself and tune-in, you begin to feel kind of what feels right. And my feelings of inner light is not always you have to see the light that is blinding or inner light that is blue light or yellow light or whatever light, but its a perception of something being "lighter", ("bright", "right"), or a perception of a light bulb going on, or a perception of something being the 'next stop' (next sign-post).

... Its like an energy or lightness or in healing when we walk a person into his or her inner heart, when we ask a person, "what do you feel right now", "what are you aware of?" its not necessarily what he or she sees, it might be a thought that goes through, it might be becoming more preceptive to body, mind or heart. So there are different things that can go on and to me all of them are in a way, you could call them the light.

Who sees the Light? | Nobody knows. There will be people who claim to see it, who don't. Then there is the difference or distinction between real light and non-real light. There is illusory white light. Things that are not quite true and not of God, there could be so much apparent goodness about it while they are not real, but it won't have that pure bright light.

And we never know who "deserve" to see it. One might think 'people who has done all the (spiritual) work and who has reached that station should see it', is not true. However Sidi (2) would tell you, seeing light and seeing things from the malakut (3) is a station you walk through and its a matter of progression. My feeling is that there are people might see that and get stuck there. There are people who see that who have no idea about spiritual thing.

But I can tell you whether its light or whether its malakut, most children see that. You see, little babies and their eyes sparkling and their eye moving around, they are usually watching things; angles or light or something totally unknown to us. There is something going on because they are so straight from that world. And then as they get older they begin to say, this person was talking to me, or talking about angel or other things or prophets - their parents tell them stop talking that way and don't tell lies. And so they begin to lose what they see. Going to the sufi school (1) or being in a sufi group is often about reclaiming that.

Hakima# Footnotes
1. The University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism
2. Sidi Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘id al-Jamal ar-Rifa‘i ash-Shadhuli, the guide of the Shadhdhuliyyah Tariqah, head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land and Teacher at the Masjid al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock, resides in Jerusalem.
3. In Sufi Cosmology, Malakut or Alam-i-Malakut is the world of angels. This term is also interchanged by Alam-i-Mithal / the world of similitudes. In other tradition its Mundus imaginalis / world of imagination, Tantric Antarloka (the intermediary world), or subtle / astro-mental world of Western occultists.

art collage: Journey into Primordial Light by mysticsaint
photo: Hakima (Debbie Graefer) / you may drop an email to me to connect to her. Hakima is based in San Diego and events / workshop with her are posted in Sufi Center San Diego website. Pin It Now!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Great Pilgrimage | where the lovers meet

"... in this station he makes his final sajda at the door of the sacred mosque and from this sajda he does not lift up his head again because there is no head to lift up ..."

In teaching the Great Pilgrimage (Al-Hajj Al-Akbar), sufi guide Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal ar-Rifai, may God be pleased with him, uses the legendary love story of Layla and Majnun to teach the inner realities.

Following is an excerpt from his teaching:

The Great Pilgrimage – where the lovers meet at the door of the sacred mosque and reunite in the still center after turning and turning and turning around the throne of the Most High.

Majnun meets Laila in the course of his journey around the holy house. She has always been with him, but only in this station, in the midst of his unveiling, does he realize her nearness and the intimacy of her discourse. The dialogue of love is the mystery of her revelation within him.

As he circumambulates the reality and becomes more and more effaced in it, as one by one he surrenders the veils of his separateness, her presence, the still center, the open heart around which he turns, becomes more and more revealed within him until no other existence remains.

So many are the veils to be burnt in the holy hajj, and hidden within every ritual act is the annihilating flame. First he circumambulates the Ka’ba seven times, and in this turning he walks through the stations of the self. Laila is his shaykh to take him through every station. She is the message; she can only be what she is. He must travel through all his trials and doubts, his anger and depression, his joys, his yearnings, his tests: “What is the meaning of this? Why are we going in circles?” She is the patience to carry him through every station of his journey. Her eyes, which never lose sight of him, are mercy and compassion. And yet she kills him with the sword of al-Haqq which is her essence.

He penetrates every veil and annihilates himself simply by being the essence of the truth as he travels, so intimately, with her around the holy house. At the end of his first seven circumambulations, he kisses the foundation stone of the Ka’ba, which Adam brought from the garden, and which Ibrahim built the Ka’ba around. Here he prays two rak’aat where Ibrahim prayed. In this he drinks from the wine of the prophets and sends the love which they carried to every side ... click here to read in full

[>] via Healing the Broken Heart blog post where the blogger mention how this teaching also had a profound effect on the author in his own journey to Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca. Originally from Sidi's book, Music of the Soul available from SufiGifts.com

I pass by these walls, the walls of Layla
And I kiss this wall and that wall.
It’s not Love of the houses that has taken my heart,
But of the One who dwells in those houses.
- Qays ibn al-Mulawwah

I am yours.
However distant you may be,
There blows no wind but wafts your scent to me,
There sings no bird but calls your name to me.
Each memory that has left its trace with me
Lingers forever as a part of me.
I am yours.
- Nizami

# related
. The Man Who Loved Too Much | The Legend of Leyli and Majnun
. The Philosophy of Love by Hazrat Inayat Khan
. the Kaaba, Secret and Mysteries Pin It Now!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

the enwrapped secret

Ya ayyuha al muddaththiru *
Qum faanthir!
Warabbaka fakabbir,
Wathiyabaka fatahhir,
Wa alrrujza faohjur!

O thou enwrapped in thy cloak,
come out and awaken (others)!
and thy Lord magnify,
thy raiment purify.
and impurities do shun!

- The Quran, Al-Muddaththir: 74:1-5

* Muddaththir is also one of the titles of the Holy Prophet, may Divine peace be with his noble soul. Other than the literal translation of "the cloaked one" it also esoterically translate as, "O thou hidden secret".

The inner pilgrim wraps himself in the light of the holy spirit, transforming his material shape into the inner essence, and circumbulating the shrine of the heart, inwardly reciting the name of God. He moves in circles because the path of the essence is not straight but circular. Its end is its beginning.
- Abdul Qadir al Gilani

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Friday, April 11, 2008

oneness & the heart of the world | meeting of two mystical traditions

Two contemporary mystics of our time, Father Thomas Keating from Christian contemplative tradition and Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee from Sufi tradition are coming together to explore the onenesss that is at the heart of all spiritual traditions, and the contribution it can make at this present time of global transition.

The event marking the unique meeting is coming up in the format of a evening talk and one-day seminar at Boulder, Colorado on May 2nd and 3rd, 2008.
[>] To know details of the event and registration pls visit here.
[>] also check the event brochure here (pdf)

“A new light is awakening at the heart of the world, at the core of creation, which contains the potential for a whole new revelation of the divine and a new way of living in relation to the whole of life. We are needed now - not just to cultivate the divine light within ourselves - but to use our light to reawaken life to its real nature and purpose. Our light is the catalyst for the future. The consciousness of oneness that belongs to the Self is needed to awaken the world to the living oneness that is its real nature, so that it can once again fulfill its divine purpose.” - Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

“The modern world lies under a pervasive sense of anguish, of being abandoned, or at least experiencing God as absent. Yet events that seem to turn our lives upside down and inside out are part of God’s redemptive plan, not only for us, but for the world in which we live. God may be preparing a great awakening for the world, if God can find enough people to cooperate in this mysterious plan.” - Fr. Thomas Keating

+ This event is part of a series of events on the emerging global consciousness of oneness. For more information on this work please visit working with oneness
+ more Golden Sufi events with Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
+ a conversation about oneness (video interview) Pin It Now!

Einstein on oneness

"our separation from each other is an optical illusion of consciousness"
- Albert Einstein


[>] also watch a very thoughtful video presentation titled: Everything is Energy

[>] You are Oneness by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, mystic and visionary of oneness

[>] from realization of oneness to next step: Love Without Boundaries
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oneness and secret of becoming holy

Adi Da Samrajpenetrate distractions of foreground
to gaze upon the cosmic background.

gaze like the penetrating gaze of
Adi Da Samraj and awaken to unity.

to become the complete human being
is to realize oneness.
becoming whole is becoming holy.

when myriad individual
unites with the universal,
uniqueness of moments come
face to face with the eternity,
then you know
you are also a cosmic dust
in this indivisible space of conscious Light.

wholly conscious,
become that holy.


(c) MysticSaint

+ image from photo of contemporary spiritual teacher, Adi Da Samraj Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

room with no windows


it didn't belong to time,
or rather, time had no access in
this otherly sacred domain.

there were no windows in the room,
there were no time.
or rather, time escaped from
its ever illusory play.

two souls merged in sacred
remembrance of themselves.
inviting each other
in the arena of surrender and love.

yes! in sync they whispered
into each other's heart.

yes! was how the universe answered
and how all else conspired.

and in a moment,
the room with no windows became
sacred heart of buddha under bodhi tree,
the space where two hearts embraced
became kaba's holy shrine.

thus transformed the reference
of the room with no windows
to reference of sacred domains,
and there everso it remains.


(c) MysticSaint
July 2007
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