Monday, February 28, 2011

In Search of Ecstasy: A documentary that explores ecstasy as found in various spiritual, religious, and wisdom traditions

Rose Beauty Red
In the orchard and rose garden
I long to see your face.
In the taste of Sweetness
I long to kiss your lips.
In the shadows of passion
I long for your love.

Oh! Supreme Lover!
Let me leave aside my worries.
The flowers are blooming

with the exultation of your Spirit.

By Allah!
I long to escape the prison of my ego
and lose myself 
in the mountains and the desert.

You are the Essence of the Essence,
The intoxication of Love.
I long to sing your praises
but stand mute
 with the agony of wishing in my heart.

- Love Poems of Rumi, Deepak Chopra

What does it mean to "stand outside yourself"? What is the nature of ecstasy and its role in this journey of human experience?

Featured in Link TV, this episode of Global Spirit, host Phil Cousineau explores the ecstatic state - a global phenomenon found in all kinds of spiritual, religious, and wisdom traditions. Cousineau is joined by guests Sobonfu Somé, author and teacher of African spirituality, and Andrew Harvey, a British scholar specializing in the works and teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi.  This lively discussion is interwoven with video segments that transport the audience on a journey inside different cultural expressions of divine ecstasy, asking why and how ecstatic trance is practiced around the world, and why it fascinates so many people today.

This episode includes unique video footage of a Sufi Zikr ceremony in Turkey – the practice of remembrance that brings participants to an ecstatic state of connection with God.  Also featured are powerful scenes of traditional and modern day trance rituals which uncover the altered state experience which people seek through dance, trance and spirit possession. The program features Orisha priestesses from Nigeria and Brazil, and Shaman healers from the Kalahari and Korea, all pulsating to a provocatively similar beat with thousands of young people losing themselves at an all-night techno-rave event in an Australian forest.

Click on the image above to watch the Documentary: In Search of Ecstasy

:: More Hearty Documentaries:
* The Journey Towards Oneness
Beneath the seeming differences that separate the world’s religions, there is a deep undercurrent of teachings that point in the direction of Oneness, or “Unity Consciousness” - the indivisible totality of all creation, all beliefs, all religions and of the universe itself. This program explores the concept of Oneness, and traces its evolution and expression through seemingly different religious and spiritual traditions. Physicist Ravi Rivindra and Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee bring a wealth of insights and revelations to the discussion, spanning the realms of both science and mysticism. Click here to Watch.

* Sound of the soul: Does music have a special transcendent power?
An inspiring antidote to religious fundamentalism and violence, SOUND OF THE SOUL ultimately reveals the essential Oneness among all faiths, so aptly expressed in the Afghan singer Farida Mahwash's closing affirmation: "Music has no religion, no borders, no boundaries. Music is the sound of the soul." This program features an interfaith discussion of the film with Marla Kolman Antebi and Sarah Talcott, organizers of Jewish and Christian interfaith youth projects, and Kabir Helminski, a muslim, sufi teacher and musician. Click here to Watch.

* Lunch with Bokara: The Heart of Islam
Islam is arguably the most misunderstood and also feared religion in the world today. Yet, few people know that sufism, the mystical branch of Islam, much like the core teachings of Christianity, is built around the concept of Love - Divine Love and love for all Creation. From the ecstatic bliss of the whirling dervishes to the multi-layered mystical poetry of Jalaluddin Rumi, sufism has recently become more well- known in the west, as a practice which promotes tolerance and acceptance among all peoples and faiths. Its a conversation with Qadiri Sufi teacher Shaykh Ahmed Sidi Kostas who talks about Islam, Sufi perspective of justice, veil and Divine intoxication. Click here to Watch.

* More CEM Products Documentary that aims at the discovering Unity in Diversity

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Journey of a Western Seeker along an Eastern Path

Allah's light may be compared to a niche
wherein is a lamp
the lamp in a glass
the glass as it were a glittering star
kindled from a blessed olive tree
that is neither of the East nor of the West
whose oil would almost shine forth
though no fire touches it,
Light upon Light!
Allah alone is the One Who guides toward the Divine Light.

- Surah of Light, The Quran 24:35

O humanity! We have indeed created you from one man and one woman,
and have made you into various nations and communities
so that you may know one another;
Indeed the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, are the ones best in conduct.
indeed Allah is All Knowing, All Aware.

- Surah of Inner dwelling, The Quran 49:13

The beauty of knowing spiritual seekers from many different traditions, faith and places is like knowing flowers of many colors in a garden that has no beginning and no end. If humanity is a garden, its blossomed flowers are those people who in their unique way opens towards the sun of divine truth. Diversity in creational landscape is a well established reality. In every aspect we see that this world is created with profound and majestic variety, be it color of people, their language, plant or animal kingdom. 

Its always a privilege to know sincere seekers who in their own unfolding have found their path through which they discover their inner truth, peace, harmony and relation with the Soul of the Universe. There is no doubt that faith is a grace and a gift. Thus when we come to know how this grace is given to someone, we also participate in that gift, in that grace transmission. In Islamic sacred tradition it is said that "Those who have received faith, are like mirrors to each other". In sharing of seekers journey and their unique way of receiving the grace, our prayer is that may we also partake and receive the infinite reflections of the One Grace as it reflect upon the mirror of the heart of seekers and lovers of God. 

Meet Radha Fournier, a western seeker from Canada who was drawn to the ancient path of Hindu tradition that helped open her heart. With her gifted voice and awakened heart, Radha hosts Heart of the Islands Satsang, a CFSI Radio Program at FM 107.9 from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada every Sunday. Radha's radio program's theme is: Finding the unity of spiritual traditions through music and reflections.  She play music from all spiritual traditions as well as read from various saints, scriptures, authors, etc.  For Radha the radio show is her "heart work" of sharing the unity of all spiritual traditions through music and readings.

In Radha's own words:
Heart of the Islands radio show was launched as a result of a sleepless night where I was wondering - how may I humbly serve God or Higher Being or Buddha, or Krishna, or Christ, or the Creator, or Mother Nature or Allah, or whatever you may want to call the Nameless and Formless!  So out of the sleepless night, Heart of the Islands Satsang, the radio show on CFSI FM 107.9 was born. I choose this format to share with those who may be interested or who may stumble across the show by accident - to share through music the essence of Spirit.  

The idea is to find the Unity in spiritual traditions rather than differences. The simple words 'All is One' sums it up so well. We are all inter-connected, we all have a Divine aspect to us that is connected with God. If that doesn't make sense, that is OK too - if you listen long enough it might.

Heart of the Islands seeks to find that Unity and present music and reflections from different angles so as to bring Awareness to the Likeness of us all.   

Radha is blessed to live at the beautiful Salt Spring Island, one of the Gulf Islands in SW British Columbia, Canada. The Island is known for its expansive group of artisans from around the world and is very diverse and prides itself on organic farming, its Saturday market, and community-oriented lifestyle. Radha is a regular reader of this blog and she has been very generous to share with us a glimpse of her fascinating spiritual journey. What follows is a guest blog posting by Radha. 


Mantras and Chanting are wonderful tools to connect with the Divine. For people not familiar with chanting, the idea of singing “Hare Krishna” can bring back memories of long haired hippies in Saffron robes at the airports chanting. I remember as a young girl encountering the “Hare Krishnas” at the airport, and noticed people afraid of them, ignoring them or turning away from them. But as a curious and innocent child, I liked what I saw. People singing, enjoying what they were doing, and smiling. I thought, what could be so wrong with what they were doing?

Catholic Church in Makawao was where I attended Christmas mass this past December - a return to my roots

I was blessed to be raised in a religiously diverse (though not always peaceful) household. This allowed me to be exposed to multiple spiritual traditions, though raised Catholic. Catholicism did not speak to me in my youth, often presenting an ominous, judgmental God and a sense of fear of doing wrong. During the tumultuous years of my teens and early 20s, I went to the extreme of atheist, but not for long, as I always had a connection with Mother Earth.

As I aged, my beliefs morphed into agnosticism. Knowing there was something greater, but not willing to use the name “God” as there were so many negative connotations of “who” or “what” God was, that the word didn’t fit what at the time were my beliefs. I knew intuitively there was something greater, but the closest words that fit were “Mother Nature”, the “Universe”, but not God. I had to keep searching before I found peace with the word “God” and the name “Jesus”, amoung others.

One of the launching points for my spiritual search began with the passing of my oldest sister, Diana, a being with spiritual depth who left this earth too young and unexpectedly. It was through her passing that my search began of “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?”, “What is this ‘storyline’ I live all about?” Not many years later, other life challenges including two bouts of cancer and the loss of my mother and others near and dear thrust me deeper into the search for meaning in life.

Two women who had such a profound influence in my life were of course my mother, Donna, and my sister Diana, both who were on well defined spiritual paths and both having spent a length of time India during their own spiritual searches. They laid the groundwork for the path I was eventually to take. Through them, I was blessed with a fertile growing ground to begin my own search once I was ripened by the experiences of life to begin the growth. For this I have deep gratitude to my mother and sister.

Ram Dass was a name in our household since the early 70s - my older brother bringing home "Be Here Now", Ram Dass' legendary book on his experience in India, and introducing the book to my mother.  My mother went to a Ram Dass presentation in the 80s and talked endearingly about the experience, so Ram Dass was familiar to me by name since childhood.

After my sister's passing in 1997, I was at a book store and found "Still Here" by Ram Dass, and the title captured me as that was one of the questions I was asking myself after my sister Diana's passing.  I'm Still Here... why?

The book "Still Here" spoke to me and I subsequently attended several Ram Dass retreats in the early 2000s and most recently in December 2010.  Ram Dass and his guru Neem Karoli Baba spoke to my Heart.  Ram Dass and Neem Karoli Baba are two key spiritual teachers in my life.

Radha Fournier and Ram Dass
Radha in one of the early meetings with Ram Dass (taken around 2003)
Being exposed to both Christian and Hindu influences over the years, I was exposed to a wonderful growing ground for my spiritual search. As I searched, I found the Hindu teachings spoke to me most profoundly and fell in love with the Bhagavad Gita, a book that I read over and over. With each reading of the Bhagavad Gita something new is gleaned, something I am supposed to hear at that time in my life. The text so lovingly adorned with notes, underlines and markings of what was important to me at each reading. When I re-read the book, I find new passages that speak to me at that reading – so yet another line gets underlined or marked.

The gift of Hinduism for me is the underlying theme of honouring all Spiritual paths to God. In Sufism there is a beautiful quote which captures this so well:

"There are as many paths to God as there are souls on the earth."
~ Ancient Sufi Proverb

Artwork: Radha, the beloved of Krishna

Hinduism also gave me the gift of celebrating a spiritual tradition I had stuffed away and with which I actually held anger for some time – Christianity. I was able to see through the “dogma” of what was preached and find the beauty of the core teachings of the religion. This in turn allowed me to appreciate the word “God” again, and especially the name “Jesus” whose name at one time had no meaning for me but now is a name that brings tears to my eyes. All of this learning, in turn also led me to the search of other world religions and their core teachings.

What I discovered was the beauty in *all* religions of the world: God, Amitabha Buddha, Allah, Brahman, Yahweh, the Nameless and the Formless – so many names for the Divine. Aren’t we blessed to have all of these paths to find God? And, yes, there is an underlying theme of all religions.

The essence of what I’ve learned in my world-wide search of life’s mysteries is the Divine resides within us – in our Heart. We only need to stop, listen, and feel that connection to the Divine. God is Love. When we get out of our minds and shift our energy to our Hearts, we find God. It is not the story of who we are (or who we think we are), but the connection to the Divine in our Hearts – when we have that connection and live our lives through that connection, then the day-to-day dramas somehow pale, as it is not about “I” “me” and “my”, but about God, Thou and Thy.

Radha Fournier and Ram Dass, Maui, 2010
One of the recent meeting with Ram Dass at a retreat in Maui, December 2010

When we are connected with our Heart and live our lives through our Heart, we become servants of God, as it is the Love that then directs our lives – not the mind or “ego”. Some of the simple philosophies I found through my search are: “Sub Ek” All is One; Thy Will be Done; God is Love; Love People, Serve People, Remember God, and Speak the Truth.

These are all very simple, but when living these words in the Truth of one’s Heart, the dramas of life fall away and makes room for the Divine. Peace is found.

~ Radha Fournier

You may connect to Radha via her Facebook. The Last episode of Radha's program Heart of the Islands Satsang can be listened here. May her path and her work be graced.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

Every age has a dominant vice and its counter-balancing virtue

Where do the Children Play?

Well I think it's fine, building jumbo planes.
Or taking a ride on a cosmic train.
Switch on summer from a slot machine.
Yes, get what you want to if you want, 'cause you can get anything.

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
so tell me, where do the children play?

Well you've cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air.
But will you keep on building higher
'til there's no more room up there?
Will you make us laugh, will you make us cry?
Will you tell us when to live, will you tell us when to die?

I know we've come a long way,
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

- Lyrics from Cat Stevens song, Where do the Children Play?

Child Poverty in UK via Guardian
Save the Children UK charity has recently published their report calling attention to the fact that about 1.6 million children in the UK are living in severe poverty. We are not talking about Africa or third world countries, we are talking about United Kingdom, supposedly one of the most privileged country in the world.

“Children up and down the country are going to sleep at night in homes with no heating, without eating a proper meal and without proper school uniforms to put on in the morning,” said Sally Copley, Save the Children's head of UK policy. “No child should be born without a chance. It’s a national scandal that 1.6 million children are growing up in severe poverty.”

Its very disheartening to know about the situation here and around the world. We are increasingly discovering the shocking fact that in many of these countries the people who are in power, responsible to work for the people, to betterment the lives - are completely sold out to their greed and busy creating wealth only for themselves; buying and selling weapons to their countries of choice while making their own people descend into more and more poverty. The latest uprising across middle east including Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya - happening because people have suffered in similar kind of conditions years after years. Unemployment, rising cost of food, no hope for future have pushed them to utter despair. There are other countries across Europe and even United States are taking steps in the name of austerity measures which are only making life for low and medium income people harder and harder, while the richer portion of the society, the bankers, top CEOs are getting bailouts, cash bonus and what not.

US Defense Budget compared to other sectors fund allocation (click on image to enlarge)

What is thought provoking is that in the present age the scale of human suffering is disproportionately and illogically high, yet we are surprisingly so ignorant about them. We claim to be civilized yet the most modern nations are actively engaged in very nakedly uncivilized, civilian-killing-wars across this plant. The very mechanism through which we get our information are brutally controlled and filtered by the very interest group who owns these information outlets (cable news channels), keeping majority of us busy with dumb entertainment around the clock.

What is alarming is that we as human society have become so fragmented that we have to rely on a charity organizations or a news channel to know what is happening in our very city, town, neighborhood or country. We as human society are living in such isolation (and its increasing day by day) that the concept of caring for neighbors have completely been divorced. The very fundamental human value of knowing and loving thy neighbors is not only forgotten but taken to such extreme opposite that is unbelievable.

Take for example the news about 1.6 million children living in UK under extreme poverty - how come the very borough, the very town, the very counsel in which such problem exist, why they have to wait until a third party organization take notice, do research and publish report after months and years? Then the question is what the people who are responsible to represent these people are doing? Why people in such areas do not raise public concern to authorities? Why people in Tunisia or Egypt had to burn themselves alive in protest of unemployment, inability to find work and feed their family? How far these so called leader of the nations will go to satisfy their own greed, while ignoring social and economic justice for the very people who elect them or put them into power?

The Imbalance in the Empire

Facts of Poverty in America
* 45 million Americans were living in poverty in 2009
* 2009 saw the largest single year increase in the U.S. poverty rate since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959
* The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among the developed nations tracked by the OECD
* The number of Americans on food stamps surpassed 41 million for the first time ever in June
* One out of every five children in the United States is now living in poverty. (facts credit)

    Sky Rocket Defense Budget
    * The United States has the largest defense budget in the world.
    * In fiscal year 2010, the Department of Defense has a base budget of $533.8 billion.
    * An additional $130.0 billion was requested for "Overseas Contingency Operations" in the War on Terrorism, and over the course of the year, an additional $33 billion in supplemental spending was added to Overseas Contingency Operations funding.

      If Christ is Love, Anti-Christ is just the absence of it

      If Christ figure and his message literally represents love and compassion, loving one's neighbor, then Anti-Christ is the absence of love and compassion and particularly lack of loving-kindness for the neighbors, for the other. And we are descending into such an age characterized by Anti-Christic attitude. We no longer know the faces of our neighbor, nobody tells us that we should. We no longer know our neighbor, nobody remind us that we must. And since our neighbors are now faceless, their human sufferings are no longer in existence and there exist no opportunity to act as human to help them in their need, to extend small kindness or to care for them when its the most needed.

      Instead of waiting for a promised Messiah, if we all could tackle this Anti-Christic attitude inside of us, we probably could help undo some of the damages that we have already inflicted upon the soul of the humanity and we each could raise ourselves to be more worthy of what it means to be human. 

      Every age has a dominant vice and its counter-balancing virtue

      If there is one thing that needs urgent and collective spiritual action in our time, that is to recognize the existing human suffering, its nature, scale, the cause and culprits of such suffering. No one has achieved enlightenment unless one felt compassion for those who suffer and acted towards it. 

      It is paramount for any individual who claim to have any kind of spiritual perception, to recognize the cry of humanity as cry of the Soul of the universe, as the very wound in the Heart of God. 'The cry of the oppressed shakes violently the Divine Throne' - as it is expressed in sacred tradition.

      Its not enough to be individually spiritual while ignoring the human family and those around us. Its not enough to talk about oneness, while allowing humanity to descend into more and more fragmentation in terms of economic, social and political segregation. Oneness of God is by extension manifested in the oneness of humanity. 

      Every age has a dominant vice and in the age that we are living, the dominant vice is extreme greed, furious consumerism or covetousness. In Sufi path these are clearly identified as disease of the heart. When individuals of the society are suffering from these diseases of the heart, then its not a surprise that those who are elected on top to hold positions of power are no different. And thus what we see is the rampant greed and a total disregard of human values when it comes to profit making for those who are sitting in the authority and power.

      If that is the dominant vice, then what is its counter-balancing virtue?

      The counter-balancing virtue of our age is charity (sadaka, tithe, zakat), to care for others, to give to others as oppose to selfishly hoard and consume. Ancient Hindu wisdom tells us that in the Kali Yuga (Later cosmic cycle) charity is the supreme action. It goes on to tell us the nature of the later cosmic cycle: that in this age rulers will become unreasonable (in their greed): they will levy taxes unfairly. Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world. In human relationship this age will experience: avarice and wrath. Human beings will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance of dharma (spiritual path) will occur. People will have thoughts of murder with no justification and will see nothing wrong in that. Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable. Sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish. People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.

      Even though the newspaper headlines may not feature it, even though the cable news channel may not break the news, but the truth of the matter is, the air of this planet is thick with screams from innumerable voices of those who are oppression, of those who have lost everything in their lives unjustifiably, screams of innumerable who are incarcerated without fair trial, screams of mothers whose sleeping baby is killed by drone attack; and the list is endless. 

      We ask forgiveness for wrongs committed by us, by the humanity. We ask for guidance, may God save us from tyrants, oppressors, hypocrites, those who cover up the truth and those who forget their own reality. Indeed at the end the journey is to God and all must come to stand before the Master of the Day of Accountability where none will be judged with an atom amount of injustice but every affair will be dealt with perfect Divine Justice. May our leaders be reminded that every single soul must come to accountability for the responsibilities that they were given as a sacred trust. Indeed God is the Absolute Authority in Power and Severe in Retribution.

      Sadiq Alam
      London, UK

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      Thursday, February 24, 2011

      Sufi Tradition, Universality and Islam | Kabir Helminski Interviewed

      Islam is a state of being, its a state when you in a sense, give up the false self
      and come into a relationship, which we call submission or surrender to the divine reality,
      not to a set of religious prescriptions or dogmas, but its an existential state,
      a way of being. (Quran says) "Indeed with God the only true religion is self-surrender".

      Its not self-surrender if its mere rituals,
      if its some kind of authoritarian structure,
      if it is a set of irrational dogmas - its not religion in the sight of God.
      - Kabir Helminski, Guide of Mevlevi Sufi Order

      I would like to introduce two interviews of Kabir Helminksi that came to my way. The first Interview was done around 2009 by Rob Gabriel of the Garrison Institute. In this about twenty five minute long interview, Kabir Helminski touches some really important aspect of Sufi Tradition, place of doctrine or simple teachings of the purpose of human being, why Orthopraxy (the religious practices of Islam) is there and their importance, the universality of a Way of Divine surrender and our relationship with the Divine. He offers insight into the role of doctrine in Sufism as a useful means of finding coherence among Muslims of different traditions. For Helminski, contemplative practice stills the mind and move us to a transformative perception of divine reality.

      Click on the picture above to watch the interview via Youtube

      The second one is a longer 45 minute interview, conducted by Conscious Media Network at the Science and Non-Duality Conference. Conducted in February 2010, titled as Heart of Islam, in this interview Shaikh Kabir discusses the principles, methods, history, and current situation of Sufism. I hope that these two interviews will speak to your heart and answer some of the questions regarding Sufism, the Mystical Path of Islam and its offerings to humanity.

      Click above to watch the Interview

      Kabir Helminski is a founder and director of the Threshold Society as well as Guide  of the Mevlevi Sufi Order in America. Kabir Helminski has developed programs that provide a structure for practice and study within Sufism and spiritual psychology. He has translated many volumes of Sufi literature, including many works of Rumi. His books have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Turkish, Russian, and Indonesian.

      He has been working within the Mevlevi tradition of Sufism for about thirty years and is the author/translator of several books of Sufi poetry. Kabir began the study of Sufism with Suleyman Hayati of Konya and was officially recognized as a Shaikh of the Mevlevi Order of Sufism in 1990, by the late Celaleddin Celebi, Head of the Mevlevi Order. From 1980 until 1999 he was the director of Threshold Books, one of the foremost publishers of Sufi literature. Between 1994 and 2000 he toured with the whirling dervishes of Turkey, bringing the spiritual culture of the Mevlevis to more than 100,000 people. He has an M.A. in transpersonal studies from the Institute of Transpersonal Studies and an honorary literature from Selçuk University, Konya, Turkey.

      In 2009 Kabir was named as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in association with Georgetown University. He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.

      # Related talks:
      * What is Sufism? - Pir Zia Inayat Khan at 2005 Sufi Conference (mp3 audio)

      # Further Resources:
      * The Tao of the Sufi
      * Rūmī and the Sufi Tradition by Seyyed Hossein Nasr
      * The Sufi Tradition: Interview with Idries Shah - by Elizabeth Hall
      * Sufi Tradition & Mevlevi Order

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      Tuesday, February 22, 2011

      Saahib Mera Ek Hai | Abida sings Kabir's Poetry

      Saahib mera ek hai, duja kaha na jaaye,
      Duja Saahib jo kahun, saahib khada rachaaye.

      My Master is one, without a second,
      If I see multiplicity, it is also my Master's play.

      Maali aavat dekh ke, kaliyaan kare pukar,
      Phool phool chun liye, kaal hamari baar.

      Seeing the Master Gardener, the buds whisper to each other:
      Fully blossomed ones are plucked away, our appointed day is near.

      Chhah gayi chinta miti, manva beparvah
      Jinko kachu na chaiye, woh hi Shahenshah.

      If cravings are dissolved, worries go, mind becomes free,
      He who wants nothing is surely the king of all kings.

      Het preet sun jo mile, ta ko miliye dhaaye
      Antar raakhe jo mile, taase mile balaaye.

      You hasten to meet the ones who meet You with love,
      Those who meet You with a pure heart, have indeed found a Friend unmatched.

      Kabira te nar andh hai, guru ko kehte aur,
      Har roothe Guru chhod hain, Guru roothe nahi chhod.

      Kabir says, blinds are they who realize not the value of a true Master.
      One may seek the shelter of God after displeasing God,
      But there is no refuge after one is refused at the door of a Master.

      Karta tha to kyun raha, ab kahe pachhtaye,
      Bove pe babool ka, aam kahan se hoye.

      Heedless I committed innumerable wrongs, now I suffer,
      Nurturing the thistles of a barren tree, can one expect mango?

      Sab Dharti kaagad karun , lekhan sab ban raaye,
      Saat samand ki muss karun, Guru gun likha na jaye.

      If the entire earth is a writing tablet, all the forest be its pen,
      all waters of seven seas be its ink – even then the Lord’s praises remain unfinished.

      Ab guru dil mein dekheya, gaavan ko kachhu naahin,
      Kabira jab tum gaavate, tab jana Guru nahi.

      Once the Lord is recognized within the heart, there is nothing left to be told,
      Kabir, whenever you tried to utter the mysteries, the knowledge of your Master vanishes.

      Main laaga uss ek se, ek bhaya sab maahin,
      Sab mera main saban ka, tihan doosara naahin.

      I am attached with that One, the One who is with all,
      When everyone is mine, and I am everyone’s, there ends all duality.

      Ja marne se jag dare, mere man anand,
      Kab mar hun kab paahun, puran parmanand.

      The world trembles at the thought of death, but its a matter of joy for me,
      When shall I die, when shall I find the perfect joy (of the vision of the Beloved)?

      Sab ban to chandan nahi, shoore ke dal nahi,
      sab samundra moti nahi yun Sadhu jag mahi.

      Neither all forests are of sandalwoods, nor all teams are full of valiant warriors,
      nor all seas are filled with pearls; likewise the real gnostics of God are truly rare.

      Jab hum jag mein pag dharyo, sab hanse hum roye,
      Kabira ab aisi kar chalo , paache hansi na hoye.

      When you came to this mortal world, everyone around you were happy to see you 
      and you were the only one weeping.
      Kabir, now be in this world such that none laugh at your behind 
      but you yourself depart the world laughing, leaving all weeping, mourning.

      Agun kiye to bahu kiye, karat na mani haar,
      Bhaven banda bhakshe, bhaaven gardan maar.

      Tirelessly so many misdeeds have been committed,
      Now that I’ve realized O Lord, do as You please.

      Sadhu bhukha bhaav ka, dhan ka bhookha naahin,
      Dhan ka bhookha jo phire, so to Saadhu nahi.

      Having no appetite for material wealth, true saints are hungry only for love,
      Those who thirst after material wealth are not saintly at all.

      Saahib sun sab hott hai, bande te kachhu naahin,
      Rai te parbat kare, parbat rai mahi.

      Listen friend! This world has nothing for you, vanity of vanities.
      Seriously narrow is the passage to salvation, smaller even than the mustard seed.

      Jyun til mahi tel hai , jyun chakmak mein aag,
      Tera Sain tujh mein base, jaag sake to jaag.

      Oil is found Inside the sesame seed, inside flinstone is fire, like that
      Your Lord is within, now awaken to That truth if you dare! 

      - from the Sufi Kalaam of Kabir, the Mystic Saint of Medieval India
      as sung by the Queen of Sufi Qawwali, Abida Parveen - from the Album: Gulzar Presents: Kabir by Abida
      (and with additional lines from original)

      Translation and transcription credit to Alka P., may Allah be pleased with you and bless you always. A non-literal translation approach is adopted to follow the reality of the message and also because the original lyrics of Kabir is too refined and lofty to be translated literally.

      + You may download this track (mp3) from here.
      + Also listen via Youtube

      * Download (PDF) Songs of Kabir as translated by Rabindranath Tagore
      * Read Songs of Kabir from the Adi Grantha via Google Book

      # Related: songs and translations
      * Bhalaa Hua Meri Mataki Phooti Rey | Abida Parveen Sings Kabir
      * Inside this clay Jug, poetry by Kabir
      * Tere Ishq Nachayaan Kar Ke Thaiyya Thaiyya
      * Sade Vere Aay Kare
      * Arziyaan | all my yearnings writ on my face
      * Aye jaan e do alam teri shaan aur hi kuch hai
      * Dama Dam Mast Qalandar | Translation of Sufi Qawwali
      * Na Man Behooda Girde | Qawwali from Mevlana Rumi's poetry
      * Unke Dar pe pohanchne to paayen | if I reach at his door, spare me from asking what I will do
      * Allah Hu, Allah Hu | Translation of Sufi Qawwali
      * Ishq Baazi Mein - Sufiana Kalaam sung by Abida Parveen
      * Khuda Jane Kahan se - Only God knows the limits of His Boundless kindgom
      * Blessed Glance | Chaap Tilak by Amir Khusro

      * Sufi Qawwali blog
      * Nusrat Qawwali translations

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      Saturday, February 19, 2011

      Gulbenk, The Rose Prayer of Mevlana Sufi Order

      May this moment be blessed. May goodness be opened and may evil be dispelled. May our humble plea be accepted in the Court of Honour;

      May the Most Glorious God purify and fill our hearts with the Light of His Greatest Name.

      May the hearts of the lovers be opened. By the breath of our master Mevlana, by the secret of Shams and Veled, by the holy light of Muhammad, by the generosity of Imam Ali, and the intercession of Muhammad, the unlettered prophet, mercy to all the worlds.

      May we say Hu,


      - Gulbenk, The Rose Prayer of Mevlana Sufi Order

      + Spiritual Portrait of Rumi
      + Visiting Konya, Rumi's perfumed resting place
      + Entering the Rose with Rumi
      + Past posts on Rumi, may Allah be pleased with him Pin It Now!

      Thursday, February 17, 2011

      A Sufi Breathwork Meditation

      What is meditation?

      Meditation is centering, it is re-establishing the tranquility of the soul, becoming more aware and mindful, through it we turn inward from every distractions of the outer world. Meditation is also remembrance (zikr) or a preparation of remembrance of the Real (Haqq). There is no real and definite definition of meditation, except that it is that which one experience within when one is touched by one's reality and meditation is that process which takes someone there.

      As Aaron Hoopes in Zen Yoga writes, "At its core, meditation is about touching the spiritual essence that exists within us all. Experiencing the joy of this essence has been called enlightenment, nirvana, or even rebirth, and reflects a deep understanding within us. The spiritual essence is not something that we create through meditation. It is already there, deep within, behind all the barriers, patiently waiting for us to recognize it. One does not have to be religious or even interested in religion to find value in it. Becoming more aware of your self and realizing your spiritual nature is something that transcends religion. Anyone who has explored meditation knows that it is simply a path that leads to a new, more expansive way of seeing the world around us."

      "Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries to your mind. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves"
      - Abdul Baha

      Many paths leading to the Center of it all

      Meditation encompasses a variety of practices that are somewhat different, while holding to the basic principles of consideration and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination.

      There are many ways to meditate. Different faith traditions, and even inside one particular faith tradition we find many different techniques taught by different masters, different illuminated beings, may we be blessed to walk in their footstep.

      In Judaism its called Lasuach or Siha, Merkabah (from root R-K-B meaning Chariot of God), in Hinduism its Dhyana, Buddhism adopted the same name which became Chan or Zen in far east, in Christianity this is preserved as contemplative tradition, in Islam this is known as Tafakkur (from root F-K-R meaning seeking), and Muraqaba.

      Eastern religious / spiritual paths emphasis quite a great deal on meditation. Hindu path and Buddhist path are filled with wonderful meditation teachings. Through popular notion the typical image that our mind immediately produce by the word "meditation" is where one sits cross legged with closed eyes. Others may ideas of monks in far off lands sitting together in silence when they think about meditation.

      Contemporary spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle says it well, "To meditate successfully, the idea that you are doing a meditation can be quite an obstacle. Thats the first thing we can get rid off, all the preconceptions and the expectations that come with that term."

      Those who walked successfully in the footsteps of the guiding masters and teachers of humanity, has left their own footprints in the sand of humanity. The mystics of Islam who inherited this truth and are the preserver (through their practices) and carrier (through their transmission to generations forward) provides many various method of meditation. Different Sufi masters received and taught their disciples various methods of meditation based on their need, time and its necessity.

      Breath-Work Meditation

      Here is a sharing of one of the most easiest form of meditation that require no special posture, one can do it even while walking, sitting, lying down, commuting in busy transport or sitting inside a busy corporate office. It can be "a meditation in motion" and possible to practice in any circumstances, Inshallah.

      This meditation centers around two thing, the Name of God and our own breath. Its a marriage of the Ultimate Transcendence (God) to the most immanence (breath). In this meditation one uses the Personal, unmodifiable Name of the Divine which is Allah. This name is free from any gender or number bias (it has no masculine or feminine qualification, neither it has any plural form). It is one of the most ancient and sacred name by which humanity knew God from time immemorial. The Hebrew and Aramaic language (mother tongue of Christ) used the same word Alaha, derived from the same root (Alef, Lamed and He).

      The breath-work meditation is meant to be done silently, with in-breath and out-breath. In the in-breath one says within one's heart (silently), "Aal" and in the out-breath one says again within one's heart "Laah".

      One cycle gets complete with one in-breath and one out-breath and the Name: "Allah" is said within. The breathing need not to be controlled, rather one should breath with comfort and ease as it occurs naturally according to one's physiological condition of the time.

      Those who have deeper or longer breathing cycle than others can stretch the "A" sound (of "Aal") during the in-breath and similarly A sound (of "Laah") during the out-breath as well. Similarly if someone has shorter breathing cycle or moderate breathing then can also adjust the A sound accordingly.

      Those who work with sound and understand the subtle role of sound, understand that the sound "Aa" is the first sound we are inspired to make when we were infants. Thus this sound is one of the most original thats ingrained within our emotional and mental DNA. When pronounced out loud in audible way, the very sound "Allah" produce an immediate tranquil effect on the heart.

      This is also affirmed in the True words of God as transmitted in the Quran, "Indeed in the remembrance of Allah, the hearts find rest." Those who participated in traditional sufi zikr, can testify this fact from their own experience.

      Before one start practicing this particular breathwork meditation, it is advised to be familiar how Allah is pronounced in case one is not familiar with the sound. I will update with a audio clip at the end of this post later on for practice purpose. Once the sound is understood and pronounced and reproduced by one's voice - one start practicing it silently over the breath.

      There is no limit as to how long or how many times one shall practice this. Since its done on breath, there is no need to keep a count or better even to forget the linear time. One is free to practice it as short or as long as one might able to.

      Any spiritual practice, any prayer, when we experience the truth of it from our heart, we taste its sweetness and when we taste its sweetness, that is the sign of progress and that sweetness bear witness of our transformation.

      May Allah increase our capacity to Remember Him much, blessed is Hu.

      Through the study of scriptures (and truth conveyed in them) one seeks God;
      by meditation one finds Him.
      - Saint Padre Pio

      This particular breathwork meditation is protected from showiness (riya) and when one does it with every breath, no one sees or knows it except the one who is doing it and God the Most High. Thus it has a wonderful secret quality which often is necessary to protect one's self from the boasting of the ego, from the riya (showiness), from illusion of self-righteousness.

      Call on your Lord
      with humility and in secret.
      - The Quran 7:55

      Every thought has a pulling power. And the thought of Divine, the Divine remembrance has the highest pulling power that pulls one towards the original Adamic image, our spotless purity so intermingled with Godliness, with God's attributes - that even angels fall upon their faces to adore that human being who carry the perfumed Name of the Most Beautiful.

      Knowledge comes from tafakkur
      and from knowledge adoration,
      and from adoration love.
      - Imam Ahmad al-Haddad

      Calligraphy Allah in Araic

      Say ALLAH.
      Then leave them to their play and vain wrangling.
      - The Quran 6:91

      Breath in;
      and in your heart of heart, say: Aaaal

      Breath out;
      and in your heart of heart, say: Laah.

      + Click to download an Audio Clip where the Sound of Allah pronounced at varying speed and intonation. May our journey from the Name to the Named One be granted success.

      :: Previous Posts
      * Awareness in the Breath | Awareness in the Moment
      * Muraqaba | sufi meditation beyond time and space
      * Tafakur, Contemplation | Noble Teachings of Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufis
      * 40 Lessons on Breath by Murshid Samuel Lewis
      * Conscious Breath | Reshad Feild
      * Reversing Space | a sufi meditation exercise
      * Tamarkoz | sufi meditation beyond concentration
      * Christ's Teaching of Divine Remembrance with in Breath and out Breath from Essene Gospel of Peace
      * Prophet Muhammad's Meditation
      * Salat | The Islamic Prayer and Meditation
      * Sufis Contemplation and Meditation: Practice to attain God Consciousness Pin It Now!

      Tuesday, February 15, 2011

      When your Lord manifests with the angels, rank upon rank

      By the break of the dawn, by the chosen ten sacred nights,
      by the mystical language of numbers concealed in contrasting odd and even,
      and by the night that passes away,
      - in such transformations and contrasts in creation,
      is not there enough evidences for those with perception?

      Has it not reached to you how your Lord dealt with the past powerful generations
      such as the people of ‘Ad, the people of Iram, the city of many pillars,
      the like of which has never been created in the land, and with the Thamud,
      who cut out huge rocks in the valley, and with Pharaoh, firm of worldly might?

      All of them committed excesses in their lands, and caused much corruption in them:
      so your Lord unleashed on them the scourge of punishment.
      for indeed, your Lord is in observation!

      And as for man,
      when his Lord tries him and thus is generous to him
      he thinks in pride, "My Lord has honored me."
      But when He tries him and restricts his provision,
      he loses his weak faith and start thinking, "My Lord has humiliated me, forsaken me."
      No indeed, look at your state of thanklessness!
      You show no kindness to the orphans,
      nor do you urge one another to feed the poor,
      and you greedily devour the rightful inheritance of the weak,
      and you have a love of wealth which can never be satisfied.

      No indeed!

      When the earth is crushed and ground to dust,
      when your Lord comes down with the angels, rank upon rank,
      and the manifestation of God's Fury is made to appear on that Day,
      then man will be mindful,
      but what will being mindful then avail him?

      He will say, ‘Oh, would that I had provided beforehand for my life!’

      On that Day no one will punish as severely as He punishes,
      and no one will bind as severely as His binding of the evildoers,
      - Lord of Severity and Absolute Might.

      But to the true deovtees, to the righteous, the Divine Voice will declare,
      "O reassured soul, return to your Lord,
      well-pleased, and well-pleasing.
      Enter you, then, among My devotees! 
      Enter My Garden of bliss!"

      - Chapter of the Dawn Break, Surah 89 of the Quran
      (a non linear retranslation) 

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      Sunday, February 13, 2011

      Egyptian Revolution and Web 2.0 as vehicle of consciousness and change

      The best Jihad (struggle) is to speak the truth before a tyrant ruler.
      - Bukhari

      Congratulations to the freedom loving people of Egypt who have managed to bring down a 30 years long oppressed regime (of Hosni Mubarak, a modern day Egyptian 'Pharaoh' and hopefully the Last Pharaoh of Egypt) by one of the most organic and at the same time predominantly peaceful revolution.

      In the last few weeks we have witnessed quite a remarkable history in the making where communication over the internet (a very important modern day symbol of oneness) was at the forefront in seeding this movement and uprising. Due to emergency laws, public gathering was banned for a long time. Thus massive communication over the internet sites was very instrumental in breaking the barriers, bringing people together.

      The Egyptian revolution is a very important case-study for how Internet is becoming one of the most effective means of transmitting consciousness and catalyst for transformation. It is a great assurance for many of us who are inspired to use the inter-connected universal web as an effective medium to transmit and preserve the timeless truth to humanity. Many people around the world are using the web as tool from organizing activism, protesting against oppression and injustice as well as revoicing the messages of Truth.

      The net itself is a very gnostic invention since it transcendentalises matter in a very rapid and effective way. - Hakim Bey, Anarchist Mystic

      The evolving and powerful role of Internet is quite remarkable. Contemporary mystics who are experiencing visions for the future of humanity have been speaking for sometime how internet is very much a living example of oneness. American Mystic, political writer and thinker, Hakim Bey (Peter Lamborn Wilson) argues why Internet is a religious phenomenon.

      "It's interesting to watch the net and to approach media ecology, and the internet, specifically from the point of view of what I do. Which is essentially the study of the history of religions, or histories of religion.. It is extremely obvious to me that the internet is a religious phenomenon. This may not have occurred to everyone who is closer to it than I am. First of all, all technology can be analized according to religious principles. When I speak about religion, I am not speaking from the point of view of religion. In fact, I prefer to be an outsider there as well. However, in some points, unavoidably, I will express myself as if I were thinking from a religious point of view.

      Please understand that I am not supplying any dogma or article of faith,I am simply trying to analize the phenomenon in a purely structural way and if that is useful for me in my own search for truth, maybe it's useful
      for you. All technology is a religious phenomenon: Why?

      Because unless you belong to the human condition, you cannot have technology. What is the human condition? What makes a human being different from an animal? I would say consciousness or self-consciousness, perhaps. Not awareness though, we know that animals are aware, but what we don't know is whether they are conscious. And we certainly don't know whether they are self-conscious.

      One of the symptoms of consciousness, or self-consciousness, is technology and it is impossible, structurally or historically, to separate technology from consciousness when we try to imagine what it is to be human. As soon as we see in the archeological record evidence of a Simian or a similar creature that we could identify as human, then the only reason why we do so is because there are some broken stones next to the bones, that look like they may have been intended to be tools. What separates animals from humans is technology. From one point of view, that is religion. Because you cannot have technology unless you can extricate consciousness outside the body. If you cannot understand that consciousness is something which projects outward into the world, you cannot create the prothesis, the extension of the body, which is technology, be it a broken stone, or a computer.

      We now also have cyberspace. We have the concept of the virtual. Heaven or paradise, the mind principle, sepa- rated from the body, becomes cyberspace. Cyberspace is a version, paradoxical, or even a parody, of heaven. It's a place where your body is not present, but your consciousness is. It is a place of immortality, of not being mortal, of having overcome death. Cyberspace is spurious immortality. This brings me to the point of the military aspect of the net, because the net is actually a war in heaven. What else would the phrase "information war" mean than a war in heaven? A war which would take place in this spurious heaven, this false transcendence of cyberspace. We know that the net originates as a military space. The original ARPA-net was designed in order to avoid the physical disruption which would have been involved in atomic explosion. The net itself is a very gnostic invention since it transcendentalises matter in a very rapid and effective way. Basically, we are looking at a war in heaven."  (details)

      Coming back to the Egyptian Revolution, we see that many attempts by ordinary people to protest against  Mubarak and to take him down came to failure many countless times over in the past thirty years of his dictatorship. Come 2011, things were radically different and many analysts are identifying the Web 2.0 social communication tools such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to be the primary change making factor.

      Very unassuming people like Wael Ghonim  and Asmaa Mahfouz were the hero and heroine behind the scene and also who actively participated in the real protests outside their virtual activism. Ghonim helped administer a Facebook page instrumental to organizing the January 25 protests in Egypt. The Wall Street Journal reports that during the initial demonstrations, Wael Ghonim, who works as Google Executive wrote on his Facebook status, “I said one year ago that the Internet will change the political scene in Egypt and some [f]riends made fun of me.” He disappeared the next day, was detained by Egyptian police for 12 days. The activism on part of Asmaa was also very daring.

      Asmaa Mahfouz created a Youtube appeal for people to gather at Tahrir Square to protect and shared it on Facebook - The information spread like wildfire and before anybody could imagine there were scores of people, then hundreds, then thousand until it became millions and few millions of people in the streets of Egypt which eventually forced Mubarak to resign.

      This is what she appealed in her video posted on youtube (quoted partially):
      Your presence with us will make a difference, a big difference! Talk to your neighbors, colleagues, friends and family and tell them to come.  They don’t have to come to Tahrir Square, just go down anywhere and say it, that we are free human beings. Sitting at home and just following us on news or Facebook leads to our humiliation.  Leads to my own humiliation…  Go down to the street, send SMS’s, post it on the ‘net, make people aware.  You know your own social circle, your building, your family, your friends, tell them to come with us.  Bring 5 people, or 10 people; if everyone manages to bring 5 or 10 to Tahrir Square, and talk to people and tell them, this is enough!  Instead of setting ourselves on fire, let us do something positive.  It will make a difference, a big difference.  Never say no hope!  Hope disappears only when you say there’s no hope.

      On the 25th, over 15,000 Egyptians convened with Mahfouz in Tahrir Square. And the rest of the history we are living now. Click here to see Asmaa's video

      What's remarkable here is that people, specially the young generation who spend great amount of time at social sites like Facebook, Twitter - are often accused to be very passive. But this Egyptian revolution proves that the virtual gathering can well be converted into real time gatherings in the real world and be turned into very effective causes.

      A voice that ushered in a social revolution in Egypt -- where the most powerful weapon -- was social networking. - CBS News

      Guardian's Peter Beaumont writes: "If, as the evidence strongly suggests, social networks like Facebook and Twitter were crucial in organising the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, what does that mean about the nature of these revolutions and their ability to negotiate with the still strong remnants of the autocratic states left behind?

      For what we have witnessed in both countries are uprisings that have mirrored the nature of the online networks used to organise them. They have been viral events, at least at first, which have quickly forged links between disparate interest groups – non-hierarchical in the way they have come together.

      In some ways, too, they have felt post-ideological; the hatred of Mubarak as a personality, or Ben Ali and the Trabelsi clan in Tunisia, far more in evidence than systematic demands for another way of doing business.

      While none of these remarks is intended to undermine what Egypt's brave people have achieved, I am curious how movements configured in this way can deal with the lingering legacy of dictatorship and its institutions, as well as the fact of the dictator.

      Curious, too, because it is possible that we are witnessing the birth of a new kind of revolutionary politics that is defined not so much by the mass street protests but the way in which those participating have come together."

      Due to enormous effect of Facebook in accelerating this change, many are calling the Egyptian Revolution as Facebook Revolution and some are seeing its spiritual values as well. Susan Brooks wrote in Washington Post about the spiritual nature of Egypt's Facebook revolution:

      But I believe Facebook is more than a digital means to a social end. To some extent, the role of social media in the lives of young people today is itself a form of spirituality--your "face" on "Facebook" is a way to express that you exist, that you matter, that you are not alone in your hopes and dreams. It's a way to connect, and yes, to organize.This is something of what young Americans mean when they say they are "spiritual but not religious." They do not feel that older forms of traditional religion that are often repressive speak to their lives or their longings.

      Personally I was very much following the development in Egypt since its early days (later part of January) of common people gathering at Tahrir Square of Cairo. Thanks to Democracy Now and Al Jazeera English live streaming (both are freely accessible online) one could receive almost real time development from the ground.  Ofcourse there were enormous amount of updates and feeds coming through Facebook, Twitter and other places. This autocratic and oppressive regime needed to go and how wonderful it is to see that this happened through the power of common people without armed struggle but by struggle of sheer will power of masses, by the force of unity.

      Oppression (Zhulm) will be darkness on the day of judgement.
      - Hadith of Prophet

      God declares: "Oh, my servants! I have made oppression haram (forbidden) upon myself, and also between you. So do not oppress each other." - Hadith Qudsi

      The exodus from Egypt, from slavery to freedom, is for Hebrews only, not for Arabs. - Yossi Sarid criticizing Israel's role, at Haaretz

      The scale of corruption, inhumaneness and injustice committed by these corrupt head of the states are unimaginable. Ousted president Hosni Mubarak, one who was long time supported, fed and protected by US and its allies has more than $70 billion (unconfirmed) and now his assets are frozen by Swiss Government. Just imagine the amount of wealth accumulated while in his own country people committed suicide because of economic hardship and because people were financially humiliated out of joblessness and price hikes. Not very distant neighbors of Egypt, two other African countries, Somalia and Ethiopia has a budget of respectively US$ 11 million and US$ 4.6 million and this man alone have more than $70 billion! Mub­arak’s son Gamal was ­reported to have been partying at London nightclub Tramp last weekend where a £16,000 champagne bill was said to have been run up and back home in Egypt people are starving and suffering from abject poverty. These alone speaks for the mindless inhumane greed and slavehood to the obsession with power that we often observe among rulers of our time. These must change, all corrupt government who are oppressors, tyrants must go, one by one.

      Greed for more and more distracted you [from God].
      Till you reached the grave. But you will soon come to know.
      You will soon come to know.

      Indeed, were you to know the truth with certainty,
      you would see the fire of Hell.
      You would see it with the eye of certainty.
      Then on that Day you shall be questioned
      about your worldly favours.

      Those who deny the truth claim that they will never be raised up again.
      Say, ‘By my Lord, most surely you will be raised up again
      and then you will be told of all that you have done;
      and that is easy enough for God.’

      Believe then in God and His Messenger, and in the light which
      We have sent down. God is fully aware of all that you do.
      When He shall gather you all for the Day of Gathering,
      that will be the Day of loss and gain; and whoever believes in God
      and does good deeds shall be forgiven their sins and admitted to
      Gardens through which rivers flow, where they shall dwell
      forever. That is the supreme triumph.

      But those who denied the truth and rejected Our signs
      shall be the inmates of the Fire, there to remain - what an evil destination!

      On that Day no soul shall suffer the least injustice.
      You shall be rewarded only according to your deeds.

      Fear God; surely, God is severe in retribution.
      - Message of the Quran

      May God help and aid every nation who long for true freedom, justice and peace. Indeed success and victory is with God and by God.

      # Related Resources:
      * Al Jazeera Indepth Coverage
      * How Social Media Accelerated the Uprising in Egypt
      * Egypt's Uprising: How One Young Man Found the Revolution
      * Role of Facebook activism in Egypt Uprising
      * Global Voice coverage on Egypt
      * Noam Chomsky: “This is the Most Remarkable Regional Uprising that I Can Remember”
      * Egypt: The World Rejoices as Mubarak Resigns
      * Google Exec and Facebook Activist Wael Ghonim
      * Asmaa Mahfouz and the Youtube that helped spark the Egyptian Uprising
      * Revolution in the Arab World
      * 18 Days That Shook the World
      * The Face of Egypt's Social Networking Revolution

      New Links: related good reads
      * Egypt and Human Rights in the Digital Age
      * From An Israeli Prison to Tahrir Square: One Palestinian's Odyssey in a Middle East Ablaze
      * Gutenberg of Arabia
      * The Debate on Social Media and Revolutions: Reality Steps In
      Feb 2011
      * What makes a revolution succeed?
      * Unblocking Syria's social media
      * WATCH: Amy Goodman on Al Jazeera English EMPIRE: Social Networks, Social Revolution, are social networks triggering social revolution? And where will the next domino fall?
      * How Technology, Social Media Is Making Life Hard for Dictators

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      Wednesday, February 09, 2011

      The State of Magnetic Attraction (Jadhb) to Allah

      Divine attraction (jadhb) is to draw the devotee, the instrument, the image of God closer, through the Divine providential care, which provides to him all that he needs to fold up the way-stations on the way to the Real, without effort or striving on his part. So al majdhub or the one (pulled by the Divine attraction) is he whom the Real specially elected for Himself and selected for entrance into the presence of His intimacy, and purified with the water of His holiness.

      So he achieved - without the effort of struggle and acquisition - the pure gifts and grants which one wins when passing through the stations and levels of the path. And this way of Divine attraction, which beings first with fana which comes about for the ecstatic (majdhub) by his witnessing of the light of the Real, with a witnessing having no heedlessness within it. The meaning of this is that the ecstatic, in his state of fana, does not see anything but the lights of the Divine being, while everything else become pure non-being. For the majdhub, there is no being except the Existent Divine Being Who is Self-Established.

      The traveller on the path (salik) may be taken by surprise with Divine attraction, which causes him to pass away from himself and from the dhikr and from everything with nothing remaining before him save the lights of the Real. So he passes away in them, and even passes away from the process of fana itself, and this is what is known as the "annihilation of annihilation." In this state, his heart is completely filled with the Divine light. The servant characterizes himself with the Divine character traits, and then becomes realized in them, then becomes attracted and magnetically pulled, then as a result his individual essence is effaced and attributes depart and he is freed from the domain of the other. In that state, the thunderbolt of the Real (through the agency of the Real) shine before him, so he looks upon everything and sees Allah in everything; and that is the first of the stations.

      Wayusabbihu ar raAAdu bihamdihi wa almala-ikatu min kheefatihi.

      The thunder hymneth His praise and (so do) the angels for awe of Him.
      - The Quran, chapter of Thunder, 13:13

      He tastes it but can not explain it while it kindles the lamp of his inspiration in the darkness of heedlessness, and lifts off all of the painful separators (from Allah), and directs the face in the direction of the Goal, raises his sight of spiritual perception to the star of witnessing.

      Indeed, the phrase "the attracted one" (majdhub) which we use is taken from the words of the Prophet Muhamamad (peace and blessings be upon him), in which he says, "One pull of attraction (jadhba) from the magnetic pull of the Real outweights the actions of the humans and jinn."

      This is because Allah attracted them and effaced them from their selves in their movements and fastened them with Himself. And the meaning of attracting them is that the Real brought them before Himself and wiped them out from themselves and from seeing themselves in their movements, and consolidated their stance with Him by their beholding Allah's establishment of them in their actions and movements.

      So the path of attraction is the path of "the desired ones" (murad, instead of murid, those who desire). Allah effaced their action with His actions, and their qualities with His qualities, and their essences with His essence, and carried them in secrets which the generality of the saints are unable to bear or hear. They are the ones who drowned in the great ocean of essence and the flood current of the attributes.

      With us, the Shadhidhuliyyah, this path is known as the path of attraction (jadhb). The path of the traveller (salik) differs from it in that the traveller (salik) strives against himself and rises in the stations, station by station, and remains in this toil and struggle until he reaches annihiliation, which the attracted one (majdhub) reaches in the moment of Divine grace that granted him rest from the toil of the traveller (salik) in his ascent could meet.

      Alam nashrah laka sadrak?

      Have We not expanded your heart?

      My God, You have commanded me to return to created things. So return me to them with the raiment of lights and the guidance of insight, so that I may return from them to You just as I entered You from them with my innermost secret being protected from looking to them and my aspiration (himma) raised above dependence on them. Truly, You are the Capable over everything!

      My God! How can one argue inferentially of You by that which depends on You for its existence? Does anything other than You have a greater share of manifestation than You have so that it becomes the manifestation for You? When did You become so absent that You are in need of a proof of giving evidence of You? And when did You become so distant that it is created things themselves that lead us to You?

      Allah is the One sought after for help,
      And He is al-Wali, my Protecting Friend in this life and the next
      and He is my Sole Sufficiency, and how excellent a Trustee!

      - from the writings of Shaykh Muhammmad Said al Jamal, may Allah sanctify him
      from the book, "How the Arrival is Realized O People of Hearts and Souls and Intellects." Pin It Now!