Monday, March 30, 2009

MysticSaint Paintings | Fundraising Sale

Allahu Jamilun, wa Yuhibbul Jamal

God is Beauty Divine, and He loves that which is Beautiful.
- Sacred tradition of Islam

Sadaqaat (charity) shall go to the poor, the needy, the workers who collect them, the new believers, to free the slaves, to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of Allah, and to the traveling strangers. Such is God's commandment. God is Omniscient, Knower.
- The Quran 9:60

They ask you about giving: say, the charity you give shall go to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien. Any good you do, God is fully aware thereof. - The Quran 2:215

O you who believe, you shall give to charity from the provisions we have given to you, before a day comes where there is no trade, no nepotism, and no intercession. - The Quran 2:254

You are not responsible for guiding anyone. God is the only one who guides whoever chooses (to be guided). Any charity you give is for your own good. Any charity you give shall be for the sake of God. Any charity you give will be repaid to you, without the least injustice.
- The Quran 2:272 (credit)

In the Name of the Source of all Beauty, visible and invisible

During the hiatus for forty days i starting doing some paintings with borrowed inspirations from verses and letters of the Quran and other symbolic imagery from the world of creative imagination. These paintings were done in remembrance and by God's permission they infuse the baraka of remembrance. Many of the art works started then are still unfinished, but few of them i finished in order to share here and with the intention of fund raising sale.

The art works all are done with watercolor and acrylic on paper. They are mostly miniature in nature and the dimensions of individual ones are marked therewith. The frame outside is added digitally as a suggestion while framing, original paintings are without borders and will be shipped without frames.

. Beneficiaries: The proceeding from the sale will go to 3 primary beneficiaries..
a. Less fortunate kids in slums of Bangladesh who all are born with dreams to be beautiful human beings.
b. An-Noor Educational foundation's after school program for kids from refugee families (who come from many war affected countries and many of them are orphaned and victim of war).
c. Sacred Heart School in Kolkata, India, a school that strive to bring the light of education to the marginal kids of the city, some of them coming from extremely harsh economic and social background and many are given free education.

. Apologia:
sell your cleverness
and buy bewilderment.
- Rumi

Forgive the tagged prices. These art works are worthless (as they come from this defective one) and at the same time art work is ideally not a subject of marketplace transaction. So please forgive me in advance.

. . . GALLERY . . .

1. Title: Wajh (Face)
Dimension: 11 by 8.5 inch
Medium: Water Color on Paper

Price: $ 313


2. Title: Wajh 2: all things shall perish
Dimension: 11 by 8. 5 inch

Price: $ 413


3. Title: HU
Dimension: 11 by 5 inch Water Color and Acrylic on Paper

Price: $ 213


Rose in Krishna's Hand4.Title: Rose in Krishna's Hand
Dimension: 5 inch by 11 inch
Medium: Water Color and Acrylic

Price: $ 313


5. Title: Bless us like that
Dimension: 8 by 11 inch
Medium: Water Color and Acrylic

Price: $ 313

6. Title: Ayn-Siin-Qaaf
Dimension: 11 by 8.5 inch

Price: $ 213

7. Title: In Allah's Name
Dimension: 8 by 11 inch
Medium: Water Color and Acrylic


8. Title: Buddha's Rose
Dimension: 11 by 8.5 inch

Price: $ 213

. Instructions:
If you wish to buy the original painting(s), follow the paypal link for secure e-transaction. It accepts all major credit cards and don't require to signup for paypal. Simply click continue at the lower left corner to skip signup step. Cheque by post is also fine, email me please in that regard.

If you are buying from place where you are unable to do electronic transaction, please write to me as soon as possible, (lest the painting is sold) with you intended painting and your contact details.

In case the painting you wished to buy is sold already, i will try to compensate with another painting of similar theme and content.

. Gifts: Those who are buying original paintings, it will accompany a personalized note on the significant of the letters / symbols used in the painting with brief explanation and when applicable, sufi practice(s) associated with it and also a gift of Ibn Atai'Llah's book, Illuminating Guidance on Dropping of Self Direction, a timeless spiritual classic in its English translation.

To artists: If you are an artist and would like to contribute / participate to this or similar next fundraising drive, pls email me with details and ideas. Email address will be mysticsaint (at) gmail (dot) com

To bloggers and communicators: Please feel free spread the words via your site or simply by email and support the works this small effort supports.
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Painting with a Sufi Master | Interview with Denise Sati, student of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

Visionary artist, author and teacher Denise Anne Sati recognizing the Divine Design within the fabric of reality, uses art as a direct expression of the inner realities from her experience through introspection, contemplation, and meditation. Growing up aware of her true artistic nature, Denise started studying spiritual philosophies and teachings of the teachers of truth. Through her journey and seeking at a significant turn in her life in 1976 she met a beautifully strange man from a far away land.

This man's full name being Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen or affectionately known as Bawa, was a revered Sufi mystic and saint from the island of Sri Lanka who shared his knowledge and experience with people of every race and religion and from all parts of the world. He belonged to the Qadri order of sufism and first came to the United States in 1971. His final place of rest or Mazar is located some 40 miles from Philadelphia, among the rolling hills and tall trees of Chester County. Founder of the Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship, this saintly soul left his physical body in 1986. May God bless his noble soul and sanctify his station.

Those who have met him, to them Bawa is fondly remembered for his visionary wisdom, and time to time his spontaneous songs of wisdom. This remarkable sufi master also loved to paint and draw images infused with deep mystical meanings. All his paintings have a distinctive childlike innocent quality. He would often use his paintings to explain inner realities and teachings of truth. Denise Sati is unique and gifted among Bawa's students who painted alongside with Bawa, on the same canvas.

Here is an interview with Denise Sulaiha Sati for Inspirations and Creative Thoughts site on her vision of art and remarkable experience of painting with Bawa.

Sadiq: Denise, how you became an artist?

Denise Sati: I have always been artistic by nature. I have always been sensitive to the higher aspect of beauty in all its forms. I always found it easier to express feelings and philosophies through the vibrations of colors and forms. When I studied in France, my artistic nature blossomed, and my right, artistic hemisphere became ever more alive.

What is ART from your life experience?

Art is always a reflection of the hidden, Divine Design of universe. It by nature is a reflection of light, order, beauty, mystery, meaning, cohesiveness, oneness, and organic, joyful wonder. To the extent that we have the inner Eye of wisdom to see, the art becomes a lens through which we know ever more clearly, aspects of divinity, within and without.

What were the circumstances that led you to Bawa Muhaiyaddeen?
I had studied many forms of spiritual philosophies and I was seeking any teaching that would satisfy the intuitively known ‘Big Picture’ of the universe. In 1970, at the Human Dimensions Institute of my college I met Alan Watts and learned about Zen philosophy. I heard speakers such a Lama Govinda, Esalen Institute healers, Dr. Cleve Backster who spoke of the electromagnetic connection between human thought, plants, all living creations and the Source of creation.

Denise Sulaiha Sati painting with Bawa Muhaiyaddeen.Denise Sati and Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, painting together during 1979.

Later, I read a research survey form the Journal of Humanistic Psychology on the various levels of spirituality from the traditional religions and schools of thought to modern spirituality. It described the various states of consciousness, the chemical states of the mind-body, the mental images of the brain, etc. One of the comparative studies was Sufism which for me was the perfect blend of Wisdom, as aspect of consciousness and meditative states, balanced with Love & Devotion, as aspects of the inner heart, and qualitative state of consciousness.

I was living in Boston at this time and was associated with a group called, Ishi Research Center for Consciousness Studies. This was when I first met various Sufi groups and became part of this culture. I later read the Psychology Today article about Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and his teachings. That sealed my interest and desire to understand further this unique Sufi master. I was then given an Echo tape of his devotional songs, and although I did not understand a word, I Knew it vibrationally came from the Source of all Creation. At the right moment in time for me, I met him in 1976, although he later revealed to me that he knew me from when I was a young child.

My heart’s goal was to know intimately the unique inner being of this enlightened man. It was at this time during the summer months of 1976 that Bawa intensely instructed the practice and meaning of the Silent Zikr meditation of the breath and melted heart. I was in a state of spiritual fervor, and became initiated into this form of inner worship, whereby the light of Divine consciousness within worships the omnipresent Divine resonance through the aspect of Divine Luminous Wisdom in a state of primordial oneness. To this day, I have kept this special meditation as my early morning practice and infused state of reality throughout the day and night of daily living.

What are your most lasting experience with Bawa, what does he mean to your artist life as well as your spiritual life?

Bawa used to fondly call me Arts when referring to or calling for me. From the very first moment in this time and space that I saw him, he gazed intently directly into my Soul and saw the very feminine aspect of my true inner being. He unveiled, confirmed, and honored, for the very first time in my life, this inner feminine aspect of my true nature. It was such that I felt like an ageless, innocent, carefree, joyful pure being of light and love, mirrored perfectly in the light of his Eyes and the perfection of his own state. There was the mirror of joyful consciousness.

Bawa and you painted together. Tell us about that experience.

When I was living and studying with him, I showed him a painting I had done in Boston, based upon my reading his book, Wisdom of the Divine. It was a stunning description of the pre-creation state of God, the process of creation, consciousness, the soul and the 99 atoms of bursting into 99 atoms, then again bursting into 99 atoms of light filled creative effulgence of God’s Grace. I had used the airbrush to achieve the mystic, light-infused aspect of this vision. When he viewed it, with a twinkle in his eye he told me that he and I would one day do an art together. Months later we began. My vow to myself was to be the ‘instrument’, not the artist. I would completely surrender to the Divine Design of the master.

To this extent each day, and night, we drew the roses together on the painting that would be entitle, the Asma'ul Husna, the 99 Divine Names of God. He drew a rose on the left side of the rose tree, and then I would mirror his rose and draw one of the right side of the rose tree. We continued like this for days. Then it was time to paint the roses, either pink, orange, magenta, or yellow. Sitting across from him, I still mirrored his actions in a state of sweet surrender, and the joy of painting with my teacher. At a table, lit with a lamp, we continued for days and nights. At one moment I noticed that I had incorrectly painted a rose the wrong color, and I showed him, apologizing deeply, to which he simply said, it's all right, just leave it. This was to show his compassion, and teaching that once we humbly and sincerely ask forgiveness, it is immediately and freely given.

After the roses were colored, he began to draw a flower garden at the bottom of the painting. In the center he painted a very exotic wild flower, and painted it a bright day-glow turquoise and orange color. He said, 'What a crazy flower!' in Tamil. I understood and replied in Tamil, 'No, Bawa, it is very beautiful!'. To which he replied smiling, 'Yes, because it comes from the heart.' He later signed the painting, Heart's Work.

Later, when he asked me to paint the frame to this painting, I asked what color he would like and he told me to do whatever I wished. So in honor of his crazy flower which he had painted day glow turquoise and orange, I mirrored this in the frame which I painted the same colors. Then he directed me to create more flowers of my own in the garden. I hesitated, saying that my style is more cosmic than realistic, and he said, Whatever you see, you can draw. So I sat in his room near him each night, at the table with a lamp and art supplies, drawing as many beautiful, and as varied flowers as I could, each one unique and different with whatever colors I selected. When I finally showed it to him, he was pleased and said, it was completed. I then, without remembering the vow of surrender I had taken, mentioned to someone that maybe it needed more flowers in the center of the painting to make it look fuller, more complete and beautiful. It was relayed to him directly, without my wish, and he then said to me, Then go, put more flowers wherever you wish. I now realized I had added my artistic view to the process in spite of my previous restraint. So, I began to draw and paint in small flowers intertwined amongst the branches of the rose tree. I had always felt remorseful that I had broken my vow, added my artistic view.

Then one day at a meeting describing the process of painting with Bawa, I mentioned this, and someone told me that when I was not present, Bawa told everyone that these same flowers symbolized all the children of the Fellowship. So, then, it was a good thing. Was it actually I who had given this idea? Or was 'my idea' part of the Divine Design also? Just like the process of painting with Bawa, mirroring and surrendered creativity is an intimate intermingling of Soul to soul, Heart to heart, Consciousness to consciousness, God to human, Divine Will and personal will.

Denise Sulaiha Anne Sati painting with Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, Sufi teacherAs the final touch, he asked me to paste on very miniscule, shiny, reflective, holographic paper in the form of diamonds on the flowers in the painting. This I did with patience, time, and my manicure scissors, bringing Light and life to each beautiful rose we had created together.

. Sample of Bawa's painting and teaching

The Rocky Mountain of the Heart

This original “Heart’s Work” painting by Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, “The Rocky Mountain of the Heart,” was completed on January 28, 1980, and it illustrates the stone-hearted qualities we have grown within ourselves; this mountain is harder than the hardest mountain in creation, and is layered with arrogance, selfishness, religious differences, religious arrogance, conceit, and desire for name, fame, and titles. This hard heart is unmelting and shows no compassion for other lives.

The animals that surround this rocky mountain are representative of the animal qualities that have entered the hearts of mankind. All these animals and even the shrubs and bushes illustrate the distractions that we need to clear from within ourselves. We must then build a place of worship to remember God.

The seven colors in the painting represent the seven states of consciousness within mankind: feeling, awareness, intellect, judgment, wisdom, divine analytic wisdom, and divine luminous wisdom. The fish represent creation, and the swan represents subtle wisdom, the perfection that accepts only purity.

This “Rocky Mountain of the Heart” has to be split open and blasted away, and in its place the house of God’s qualities must be built within our own hearts and within our own lives.

. More of the art work of Bawa is available through Bmf Store.

# To know more about Denise Sati and her work visit her websites:
. Sati Studio Arts
. Denise Design Displays

also visit Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship (Bmf) for teachings and books of Bawa

# Related:
. Discourse of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, the Sufi Master
. Coleman Barks | Vision of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen and Rumi

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Configuration of Cosmic Romance

MysticSaint Blog Graphics, Cosmic Romance Configuration Cosmos Space Fractal1.
God says: "I was a Hidden Treasure
and I Longed to be Known, Longed to be Loved,
so I Manifested the Entire Creation."
............................................ - Sacred tradition of Islam

the wake that originated in the Unknowable Womb
where the cosmic galaxies dreamt to 'be',
where the illusion of time was born,
and where all souls of children of Primordial Adam
was honored with divine breath,
amidst it all, there took place
a sublime Configuration of Cosmic Romance.

in That, just as shadows trace the sun,
just as night follows day,
so followed - one after the other:
Word, Reason, Love,
and Sublimation

from The Word came Reason of Real,
from Reason of Real came Love of Real,
from That Love came Separation,
and from Separation
we move into Sublimation,
and again we are made to lose our reason
only to be awakened with the Real Reason.

since that moment
all earthly lovers when they fall in love,
they lose their temporal reason,
and the most sublime state of love
is always found in separation.

in the way of separation,
.......... for Beloved's Majestic Veil -
.................... thats the secret reason.

Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?
'My God! My God! why have You veiled YourSelf?'
.... - in separation
...... gushes forth the shout from every lovers' moan.

- (c) MysticSaint
March 18, 2009

Inspired by graphics & text at The Tailor's post. Read as an exegesis of this poem:
Christ, Adam and the Logos

:: Dedication: for The Trailor, fellow traveler on the path of Remembrance, may He be pleased with you

Related :: Separation is Preparation
. Approach to an Unknown God

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

i have died of myself in your love

aami tor piriter mora

tui chaiya dekhna ek nazor,
bondhu re!
oporadhi hoileo aami tor

i have died of myself in your love
will you not bless me with your glance?
o intimate friend of mine!
no matter how much i oppressed my soul
forever i am all yours.

aamae jodi dao taraiyya
emon jaega naire giya
ei ovagar juraitam ontor

if you forsake me from you,
where else can i take this wretched self
to quench my thirsty heart?

tumi jodi vinno basho
aami tore koina por

if you withdraw your love from me,
my heart will still cling to you
- never separate are you.

koto dukkho aamar buke
dikha ache parar loke
tor ki nai kolongkeri dor, bondhu

the world is witness to my heart's ache,
yet you remain without a trace of blame
o beloved!

aami jodi jai moria
ke korbe tore aador?
oporadhi hoileo
aami tor.

when i will depart for the land of death,
who else will remain here to caress you?
no matter how much i oppressed my soul
forever i am all yours.

(c) translation version by Sadiq Alam, the italic lines are from original bangla / bengali in transliteration. Charlottesville, VA, March 6, 09

[>] Listen to the song: Aami tor Piriter Mora via Imeem

above is an interpretive translation from a popular bengali folk song of Bangladesh rich with deep mystical devotion and lyrics of love. folk baul song is a genre of music composed and sung by native mystics of bengal, the fertile land that has given birth to numerous saints, gnostics and friends of God in all faith tradition including hindu vedanta (non-dualistic school), vaishnavite hinduism, buddhism and islam.

baul music celebrates celestial love, but does this in very earthy terms, as in declarations of love by the baul mystic for his boshTomi or lifemate. with such a liberal interpretation of love, it is only natural that Baul devotional music transcends limiting religious conformity.

like many baul song this song on the outward is expression of love for human lover, but inwardly carries the highest devotion for the Friend with capital F or as sufis talk about the Beloved with capital B. when the gnosis of the heart of a deep listener penetrate the apparent meaning of such carefully encoded songs' lyric and reach the inner meaning, then such songs become successful in its transmission. the translation is done keeping in mind that mystical inner meaning and intended for highest devotional offering.

from mystical / sufi perspective, 'ami tor piriter mora' is probably one of the best way of transmission / equivalent parable in bengali language what beloved Prophet Mustafa in his famous saying meant "mutu qabla anta mutu", die before you die. in this song the dying refers to that Dying which comes from Union. Coleman Barks did a wonderful transmission from Rumi's poem by the title, Solomon and the Gnat (one of my most favorite) which talks about such Union.

Such is the way of every seeker!
... when the Presence arrives
where are the seekers?
first there is dying
then Union ...
- Rumi by Coleman

. photo via flickr: a baul singer with his traditional musical instrument, ektara and dhol

To Listen: two version of this songs are available online via Imeem:
1. by Bari Siddique (thanks to Rabeya for finding the song for us)
2. by Mona sung in Closeup One

# Related:
. o mor bondhu dhon roshia | bengali folk song by dohar
. khachar bhitor ochin pakhi kemne ashe jae
. die before you die
. whom do we really love?
. Sacred Songs blog Pin It Now!

We are a door that’s never locked

The friends of God are door that is never locked. Those who come in touch with them with a pure heart, with a child like innocent intention, glimpse through that door and if they are blessed enough they are led to walk through that door.

Beyond this door are two chambers.

First chamber is absolutely dark, darkest than the darkness inside the most grand blackholes of the cosmos. This chamber is the chamber of Deus Absconditus (God Hidden, Allahu Batin), the station where nothing else remains, the Realm of la-ilaha. This chamber has such an intense darkness that those who have veil in their spiritual eyes can not see anything. Even the darkness envelope the existence of the door in such way that those who are spiritually blind can not even recognize such persons, thus misses the opportunity to walk through the door. And such keeper of door, such men of God have always lived among us, in every town, every land, in every age.

About the spiritually blind ones who fail to recognize such door, God says directly to Prophet Muhammad and hence to all of humanity: "Nor can you lead away the (spiritually) blind out of their error." - The Quran 30:53

The whole system of transmission of eastern spirituality can be summarized in the title of the great spiritual scripture, "Upanishad" which etymologically means "to sit near" - meaning these wisdom were given to those who sat near the God realized ones, the sages of ancient time. In sufi path much emphasize is given to seek and sit with such person who are doorway to God. This emphasis can be found in every single faith tradition, but many tradition has made it into such harsh institutionalized form (such as pope in vatican) that it has lost its real purpose.

Beyond the first chamber of absolute darkness is the chamber of absolute light. This is the chamber of "Deus Revelatus" (God Revealed, Allahu Zahir) or the Realm of "illa-Allah" (nothing but God). This is the chamber which is characterized by Light upon Light, Nurun ala Nur (Quran 24:35).

The saints, friends of God are door that's never locked. May we feel the attraction, find such door and may we all able to glimpse and walk through such doors. a m e n

Where Jesus lives,
the great-hearted ones gather.
We are a door
that’s never locked.

If you are suffering
any kind of pain,
stay near this door. Open it.

- inscription at the door of a church in Shiraz, Iran. the verses are attributed to Mevlana Rumi

Bismi'Llah Babuna

"In God's Name" is our Door.

- traditional supplication of Shadhili sufis

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

visitation of Sophia

Bimillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Wa-s-Samaai wat-tariq
wa maa adraka mat-tariq?
an najmuth thaqib.*

at the womb of the night
appeared she,
and whispered to me
to stand still.

still i became,
like the stillmost brightest star
at the farthest constellation.

putting her ear next to my heart
she listen to the whisperings inside.

Wa man lahu uzuzan fal yasma'a +
"Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear"

timelessly we hear the ever birthing whispers within.

then she bless me thus:
"may you have a blessed night. may you have sanctified dreams of all the saints and prophets, qutubs, gurus and masters of the ages, upon whom you send blessings and in return they send perfumed blessings from their exalted resting places."

then she invites me in the garden of dreams, where we walked among the night-blooming jasmine, watched the breeze loosen the petals of the luminous roses amidst the rose garden and sitting beside the pool of light, we let our love for Beauty Divine stream out into the night.

# footnote:

* opening lines of 86th chapter of Quran, approximate translation:

I Swear by the Heaven and the night-visitant
Ah! What will make you comprehend what the night-visitant is?
The Star of piercing brightness!

+ Saying of Jesus Christ, upon him be peace, as preserved in the Gospel of Matthew 11:15, 13:9.

dedication | for Naomi, who is blessed with the Sophianic gift

graphics. collage: Sadiq
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Experience of The Shekhina-Sophia

Guest Post by the Tailor, Author of The Good Garment Blog

The Trinity of Eastern Orthodoxy: the Holy Spirit flows from Father eternally. This is in contrast to the Catholic filioque, in which Son and Father are at the same horizontal level, from which the Holy Spirit flows, forming a triangle.

Orthodoxy prevails here, for the Trinity is a line, not a triangle.

The Father is Love, the Loving Beloved whose Love breathes a cosmos in loving submission. The Son is the Logos of Truth. The Son follows from the Father because Love is relational, Love has a direction: Love entails a Lover and a Beloved. So Love entails that God should breath the cosmos. The Son is Truth because only Truth can be come from the ruh (breath) of God. This action of breathing is the relationship of Holy Spirit from the Loving Beloved to the Loving Son. God’s most beloved lover is the Logos of Truth that God breathes in love.

But in turn, from our fallen perspective, the Beloved Truth is buried within us, sublimated within us, forms a body of difference, a logic of life upon which we can strive to attain Love in Cosmic Romance. (We sometimes call this sublimated body the Gifted Body, but more on that another time.) It is this Romance that makes our life into a journey, but also makes our love the strongest above that of other, immediately submissive entities.

That original breath of the Word is still within us, but sublimated, so Truth walks with us, but we cannot see. Its sublimation makes our lives of difference possible.

So what does it mean to say the Spirit descends upon us? It is the mechanism of Truth. The Spirit descends upon us and Truth is breathed into us. Wisdom, Sophia, emerges.

But from the psychological perspective of the seeker, while this Wisdom appears seen as something that descends upon us, it emerges from within us through a (partial) actualisation of the Logos. The Logos is within the human form, but we never fully actualise it, unless we are a prophet. But we can all gather some Wisdom, because indeed the breath can be felt by everyone who seeks. So when we seek the Spirit, when we catch some of this breath, some Wisdom will emerge from us psychologically, and the effect is of a Shekhinah that descends upon us.

This experience is the Shekhinah-Sophia.

Why does a fourth come from the three? Why does the Shekhinah-Sophia follow? Because the Shekhinah is the creative potential that resides within human consciousness, because consciousness is language and the Shekhinah is speech. But the Shekhinah is also a divine emination of God, and God is above human consciousness. The Shekhinah is therefore the conduit between our minds and the Divine. The Spirit is the loving breath of God and is therefore separate from our minds.

Logos is what we subsist on. But the Shekhinah-Sophia is what is emerges/is generated by/is produced/descends upon our human forms if we worship righteously. It is the Wisdom that comes from actualisation of some aspect of the sublimated Logos. The Shekhinah-Sophia is thus both the emergence/realisation of the Logos within and the descending/breathing of the Spirit above.

So seekers, on your Sabbath, on your Sunday, on your Jummah, run into the fields of wheat and seek out the descent/emergence of the Shekhinah-Sophia!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jesus and the Hermit | a sufi story

It is related that Isa or Jesus, peace be upon him (Its preferrable that we call him by his original Aramaic name Isa, rather than Jesus, which is a later latinized name. His true name is Isa, or Eesa as refreshed in Quranic Arabic, also English transliteration of Ancient Aramaic put as Eashoa', as inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, Ruh al-Quddus, to his noble Mother, Maryam and its only polite and proper to call someone by his / her actual name as it sounds in actuality. And his name Eesa, mind you, is never given to any other Son of Man before him. The name itself is a source of Baraka and it contains undisclosed secret in it) during one of his wandering trips, passed a mountain in which there was a hermit's cell. He came to it and found a worshiper there whose back had been bent down and whose body had grown very thin out of very serious ascetic practices.

Jesus Isa Michael Green ArtEa-shoa' M'shee-kha (Isa Messiah) greeted him and was astonished by his evident signs of piety and devotion. Isa asked him, "How long have you been in this cell?

The hermit replied: "For the past seventy years I have been asking God for one thing which He has not yet fulfilled for me. Oh, Spirit of God, if you acted as my intercessor, perhaps my desire would finally be granted."

Isa Messiah asked, "And what is your request?"

The recluse said, "I have been asking Him to let me taste a tiny amount of the purest of His love."

Isa replied, "I shall pray for you to that effect."

So Isa Messiah prayed for the man, and God revealed the following: "I have accepted your intercession and granted the petition of your prayer." Isa ibn Maryam went back to the same place after a few days to see what had happened to the worshiper. He saw that the cell had collapsed, and the earth under it had opened into a great crevice.

HermitIsa descended into the crevice and came, after several leagues, to its end where he found the hermit standing with his eyes fixed and his mouth wide-open.

Isa Messiah greeted him with his usual greetings of peace in his mother tonque Aramaic, Shalom Aleichem (peace be upon you), but he didn't reply. Master Isa was astonished at the man's condition and heard a mysterious voice call out: "O Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary)! He has asked Us for a tiny amount of the purest of Our love, but knowing that he was unable to bear it, We gave him only the seventieth part of an atom, and it has stupified him, as you can see. What if We had given him more!?"

The story is related in a sufi manual by the title "Mahasin al-Majalis" (The Attraction of Mystical Sessions) by Ibn al-Arif and translated by William Elliott and Adnan K. Abdulla. This story appears in describing the stage of love (al-mahabba) of the mystical path.

Describing this stage, the author says, "As for love, it is the beginning of the valleys of extinction and the mountain from which one descends through the stages of self-annihilation. Love is also the last of the mystical stages, where the vanguard of the mass of believers meets the rearguard of the elect ones (the saints and purified ones).

.. There are those who talk freely of love and profess to disclose its secrets, but they have never tasted it and were only moved by the ecstasy of its smell. If one actually tastes of love, he forgets how to explain or describe it. Real love does not show itself on the lover by his speech, but rather by his qualities and his glance. Its reality (haqiqa) is not understood either by the one who loves or by the one who is loved, because ecstatic union is a blending of secrets and hearts."

"Whatever I have said about love, when love comes, I am ashamed to speak." - Rumi

Going back to the story of Isa and the dumbfound hermit, the author further goes on to explain that the denseness of the world, as if like minerals are the filters that protect us to be effaced by the Divine Love. For the sufis, everything that comes from the slave, the creation is defective, due to the slave's incapacity and emptiness. So esoteric reality means that the entire creation including the slaves of God subsists only from the substance that their Lord grants them; he loves with the love from God; and he sees with the vision allotted by God.

. graphics credit Rumi prints by Michale Green and Mattia Preti

# Related Read:
. Love's Universe by Kabir Helminski

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

on being picky in this existence

MysticSaint poetry

to dissolve
our ideas of fantasies and illusions about our selves,
God time to time kick us
out and beyond those ideas

Hu* does so sometime by harshly declining
something we dearly wish for
and sometime by giving some unexpected gift of sorts

to replace our false assumptions
with naked truth,
God time to time
becomes a Cosmic Trickster,
and make no mistake
its a mercy that Hu plays a Joker!

the myriad of beastly existences that live within,
only become Human
after a magic spell from the Great Magician

don't be picky in this existence.
for surely
we couldn't survive a moment
if God were picky
for all our weird failures.

- Sadiq
20th Feb, 2009
Green Mountain School, Charlottesville, VA

* Hu is the Divine Pronoun used by the Sufis That indicates the pure Divine Existence beyond any association of our incapacitated imagination and forms.

+ For sister Noura Frances Durkee, may Allah bless and preserve her in both worlds and reward her for all the beautiful generosity.

If God were to take mankind to task for their wrong-doing, He would not leave hereon a single living creature, but He reprieveth them to an appointed term, and when their term cometh they cannot put (it) off an hour nor (yet) advance (it).
- The Quran 16:61

Thy Lord is the Forgiver, Full of Mercy. If He took them to task (now) for what they earn, He would hasten on the doom for them; but theirs is an appointed term from which they will find no escape.
- The Quran 18:58

The Animals Within, with ayah (signs and message) for us

Shem Friedlander, author and Sheikh of both the Mevlevi and Halveti order of dervishes writes beautifully in his book, Rumi: The Hidden Treasure, "Just because we are dressed like human beings does not exempt us from having animal tendencies. There are men who appear as men on the outside but they are cobras who strike at whomever comes close to them. Others are like scorpions who sting. Some resemble peacocks, always primping and arrogant of their beauty. The sly fox, the meek sheep, the mouse who steals when no one is looking are characteristics and dangers that man can see in himself and learn from. Our mind is like a runaway horse that can not be reined in.

God has hidden within each of us the knowledge of where we came from, where we are, and where we are going.

An ant decided to make the hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah. Others said, "You will die on the road to God." Isn't this the state of us all? We are all going to the Mercy of God, whether we know it or not!"

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

in such presence, where one always grows

Why do people stop growing? Unfortunately and unknowingly perhaps at some point in life some people do. You know it when you hear someone, when given an opportunity to speak to an audience, they keep repeating the same thing, over and over and over again. This happens even to people who once possessed a very brilliant mind. You may wonder how come the same person who once was full of brilliant ideas, a tremendous open ended mind - now constantly repeating the same constricting ideas, only going round and round and worse enough if those ideas are full of negative criticisms.

May God save us from such state of mind and mental attitude. Allahu 'Alim, God is the Source of All Knowledge.

What a waste of our human potential to stop growing while inhabiting this precious existence. Its a result of slowly spiraling into unmindfulness - some might suggest, and I don't disagree. But when I am around such people who from the seat of a speaker, from the seat of a teacher keep speaking about the same ideas, I suffer from a deep nostalgia, a strange homesickness.

Where are those sweet human beings, the perfect masters of humanity in whose presence you grow every moment and never cease growing?

Where is Jesus who when speaking everytime would marvel his disciples with new parables of ageless insight? Where is Buddha who would spell bound hundreds and thousands of monks and nuns with discourses after discourses that would pierce the very seat of reality? Where is Muhammad the Messenger who would speak with such eloquence that his companions would feel homesick even if they are at their respective homes, but absent from the presence of him? Where are those beautiful human beings worthy of calling true masters in who's company and sohbet (spiritual conversation) you would melt away in bliss?

Where is a perfect teacher like Jesus, the son of blessed Mother Mary, who would climb the mountain and give us the priceless words of beatitudes? Where is Jesus of Nazareth who with a single movement of his hand toward Simon Peter and Andrew would make them fall in love with a perfect stranger once and for all?

Where is perfect wise master Gautama Buddha who would sit motionless with closed eyes and the light of wisdom will burst forth from every pour of his skin? Where is Muhammad the celestially praised one, who after every prayer at his simple mudbrick mosque would turn completely to all companions and would not speak a single word except with the highest mode of inspiration?

How unfortunate we are that we are living in this bereft world without them! How unfortunate we are that we are let to be living in this mad world of cluster bombs, holocaust, greedy monsters and corrupt politicians! What a bazar full of sick ones we turned this world into, most of whom are suffering from terminal sickness of selfishness.

How we long to be included among those holy companions who cured themselves of selfishness. May our longing to be with them count us close to them, as Prophet said, 'one shall be united with one's loved ones'. Indeed the words of our master of both worlds are truth.

For that, its worth leaving the world of artificial reality to become the servant of Buddha, even if that means to beg for rest of one's life. Its worth paying the price of our head, like the price John the Baptist paid to baptize one such pure human being, bending and touching the feet of Christ at the river Jordan. Its worth praying the price with our soul like those holy martyrs in the battle of Badr after the spirit's thirst is quenched in the presence of beloved Mustafa. What unbeatable bargain those are!

Indeed such teacher is a true teacher who speak not out of whim, but speak out of pure inspirations alone.

Your comrade is neither astray nor being misled.
Nor does he speak out of whim.
It is no less than inspiration sent down to him.
Taught him the Lord of tremendous power.
- The Quran 53:2-5

In the shade of such beautiful human beings may we grow, always.

And remembering Rumi, when he asks us to "consider how wool is turned into an elegantly designed carpet by coming into contact with an intelligent person. See how dirt can be turned into a fine palace by coming into contact with an intelligent person. If association with the intelligent has such an effect on inanimate objects, think what effect will be when one seeker of God associate with another!"

In the blessed hands of such ones with luminous intelligence may our dirts within be washed clean. a m e n.

- Belmont Park Bus Stop,
March 14, 2009

Images from the book of photography "The World of Allah" by David Douglas Duncan, scan courtesy: Yohosame Cameron Pin It Now!

what silence said

Art Feather, What Silence Said, MysticSaint
all things shall perish,
... all things shall perish,
....... all things shall perish,
.......... His
.............. Face.

and to Him,
... and to Him,
....... and to Him,
you shall be brought
back at the end of the journey.

in the secret antechamber
of your heart,
may this contemplation you do:
'what perishes,
who remains,
and who is brought back to Who?'

with every breath the human image
...... says: Hu! Hu! Hu!

the silence has already spoken,
now the answer awaits you to listen.

- Sadiq Salim
March 04, 2009

- based and inspired from the Quranic verse "kullu shay-in halikun illa wajhahu" XXVIII: 88 and its approximate translation 'all things shall perish except His Face'. The title 'What Silence Said' is inspired by a song by Susheela Raman.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

The Divine Names : al-Ghafir, al-Ghafur and al-Ghaffar | The Source of Forgiveness



One night
a servant of God
was praying
deeply from his heart with the following words:
"O God make my errors, my mistakes manifest to me, make them known to me so that I may correct and purify myself".

Now he has been often praying this prayer with the hope that God by His Grace will enlighten him of his mistakes and errors. This night his state of the heart was so deep that countless angels rushed from boundless directions to record and carry the pronounced prayer from the heart of the man to the innermost heavenly boundary.

That night the man had a dream of Khidr, the mysterious guide of souls who's name 'the green one' signifies that he is always living in the inner plane, ready to appear by God's permission to those who seek true guidance. Khidr spoke from behind a green veil and said to the man: O faithful servant of the Most High, God has heard your prayer, indeed He is All Aware and Perfect Knower of both seen and unseen.

I am sent but to inform you about something regarding your petition because God out of His Infinite Mercy wills not that you be afflicted with pain and sorrow for the sake of your sincere prayer.

O servant who is in need of God, know that God has three separate yet connected divine attributes and they are namely: al-Ghafir, al-Ghafur and al-Ghaffar. All the three names point to the divine reality that He is the Most Forgiving One.

As for His Name al-Ghafir, it is the quality of hiding His servant's erroneous acts, mistakenly done acts, shameful acts in order that they be able to live with each other, have faith in each other and respect each other. Otherwise, if Allah al-Ghafir, in His mercy did not hide our faults, everyone would run away from everyone else. There could be neither a society nor a single family.

As for His name al-Ghafur, it hides our faults from the realms of spirits and angels just as He does in the human realm. The angles can see things we cannot see in this world. Through the baraka of this Name: al-Ghafur inscribed in the kingdom we find the respect and closeness from the spirits and angles from whom our sins are hidden, who constantly pray and send blessings on behalf of the self-surrendered ones and also so that we are not ashamed in the Hereafter.

And finally God's name, al-Ghaffar is the most encompassing in forgiveness. A man whose faults are hidden from others is saved from being ashamed in front of them, but he may still be ashamed of himself within himself. Everyone has a degree of conscience which suffers from his actions. Allah al-Ghaffar in His mercy hides a person's fault from himself and makes him forget in order to alleviate his suffering.

So by the beautiful name of al-Ghaffar God wills to hide the faults of his creatures even from themselves and it is a sign of unfathomable divine mercy. Take no blame upon yourself for that of your faults which God veils you even from yourself. The angels praise your sincere prayer and holy intention to be more close to purity. Its better that you seek forgiveness for both the faults that you are made aware or unaware.

Then Khidr recited the following Quranic verses:
Those who avoid enormities of sin and abominations, save the unwilled faults - surely your Lord is of vast mercy. He is Best Aware of you (from the time) when He brings you forth from the earth, and when you are embryos in the wombs of your mothers; Therefor ascribe not purity unto yourselves. He is Best Aware of him who guards. - The Quran 53,32

Saying thus al-Khidr made a supplication for the man on behalf of the angels and the spirits of the unseen and departed in giving the salutation of peace, as salamun alikum wa rahmatullah wa barakat ya 'abd al-Ghaffar (divine peace and blessings be upon you o the servant of al-Ghaffar).

. For a disclosure of the Divine names and its qualities a recommended reading is the book: Name and the Named by Tosun al-Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti. The story is inspired by the chapter of the Divine Name Ghafur.

Further on the Names:
. Ghafir
. Ghafur
. Ghaffar

graphics: collage from mughal miniature painting
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Inside this clay jug | Kabir

Inside this clay jug
there are canyons and
pine mountains,
and the maker of canyons
and pine mountains!

All seven oceans are inside,
and hundreds of millions of stars.

The acid that tests gold is here,
and the one who judges jewels.

And the music
that comes from the strings
that no one touches,
and the source of all water.

If you want the truth, I will tell you the truth:
Friend, listen: the God whom I love is inside.

- Kabir, version by Robert Bly

. credit: The Kabir book: forty-four ecstatic poems by Kabir (1977)

wa Huwa ma aakum ayna ma kuntum
And He is with you wheresoever you may be.

- The Qur'an 57:4

* Listen to the youtube video of Robert Bly reciting Kabir.
+ Gift for you | to download the mp3 audio version, visit here.
& worth checking: Kabir Project

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