Selections from Shams of Tabriz
Refining Meditation, Reconnecting to Our Souls

Gaunts House UK Retreat September 2-4/5, 2022


With Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Selcuk Gurez & friends

We have all been through a time of isolation, fear, and uncertainty. The time has come to restore our human bonds, to reconnect individually, socially, and spiritually.

Meditation, a state of awareness beyond thought and emotion, is a fundamental practice of our spiritual path. This year's retreat will be a time to practice our meditation skills and deepen our understanding and experience of meditation. Within the serene setting of the Gaunts estate, the reality of soul can more readily be experienced. Supported by the traditional practices of our tradition — movement, music, zhikr, and prayer — layers of conditioning fall away and the natural radiance of each soul shines forth.

All our activities will be mindfully planned for optimum health, including fresh air, spaciousness, outdoor practices, and walks in nature. Join us for a contemporary experience of sacred space, beauty, friendship, and prayer in beautiful countryside with precious community!

Register Now
A Celebration of Love: Mother Mary and the Way of True Being

A very special evening online with Camille Helminski
Sep 8, 2022, 7pm BST

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Join The Meditatio Centre for the birthday celebration of Beloved Mary as Camille Hamilton Adams Helminski shares from her newest book The Way of Mary: Maryam, Beloved of God. She will share with us how Beloved Mary is a ready companion of Loving tenderness and strength, during these intense times, encouraging us all to resonate from our deepest, truest self, in alignment with the Heart of Creation. One never knows when we will be called Home; Beloved Mary can assist us in readying ourselves and in simultaneously living our life most fully now, with vibrant Truth and Love.

Register Now
Remembering Beverley Britton, Peace Activist

Beverly was a lifelong activist, both spiritual and political. She was on the ground, for instance, in Bosnia during that genocidal war, pleading with NATO and United Nations authorities to prevent the unfolding catastrophe. She came into our lives perhaps 25 years ago, after she had a near-death experience in which she was granted a vision of the world to come. Much of what she saw in her vision has, unfortunately, come true: the fruitless wars, the corruption and dysfunction in government, psychological and information warfare, and the need for outposts of sanity, like the Threshold Society. Her courage and independence will be remembered.

~ Kabir Helminski

The Prayer Vigil for the Earth was where people of diverse faiths, cultures, backgrounds, and ages came together to practice peace with self, peace with others, and peace with the earth with One Mind, One Voice, One Heart and One Prayer. Beverley brought her children's peace quilt to the vigil several years running. She would unfurl the cloth made up of square pieces drawn by children of the Bosnia wars, the work she committed to for most of her life. Beverley is seen here leading the quilt walk throughout the Prayer Circle. Picture by Bill Sanda, official photographer for the Prayer Vigil (

Aug 7th - please note time change to one hour later

Join us for an online meditation and sohbet with Shaikh Kabir and Camille, and special guests from the Threshold community. Held on the 1st Sunday of every month at 12pm Eastern Time (5pm UK).

Zoom meeting:
Zoom passcode: threshold

Watch last month's meeting below and see all our videos here.

August Theme

Claim nothing; let the Divine do.
~ Shaikh Kabir Helminski

We welcome your reflections on this theme.

A Word from Shams

Hz. Shams Mosque by Bilal Choudry

Excerpted from Rumi’s Sun

In the Name of Our Most Compassionate and Most Merciful Source

Open Your Eyes

It is as if the Resurrection has opened now, and the Unseen universe has been revealed. Yes, I swear that the Unseen is apparent, the veil has been removed, but for those whose eyes are open.

From What Level Are You Listening

When someone says, “That sofa is high,” this “height” is not according to the ceiling but according to the floor.

I have openly told this to Mevlana: “When I speak to them, if they can’t understand my words, then you tell it to them.” Do I have a command from God to speak to them in such low metaphors?

I am talking about the origin and foundation of the work—it seems so difficult to them. But when as a metaphor I speak about another origin, I cover the words; I speak in such a veiled way that in the end every word hides another.

About the subject of the Truth, Mevlana never speaks in a veiled way, because I dove very deeply with him—I have openly told him about everything in a clear way. When Mevlana begins to speak, people accept it, ask his forgiveness, and bow their heads like dervishes.

Coming Close to the Essence

Muhammad said, “O Christian! You couldn’t know Jesus; at least know me. Then you will have known me, and him as well!”

Now, they know Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets.

They ask about his sayings . . . whether he was too shy to say, “Whoever knows my self knows my Lord,” and so instead he said, “He who knows himself knows his Lord.”

Without awareness, people interpret his words. The perceptive said to themselves, “We know this poor, dirty, disobedient, and dark little nafs of ours, but can one obtain the ability to know God from this?” Those who have reached the secret, understood what he said.

Pulling Back from the Fire

I said, “What right do I have to eat, drink, and sleep? Did God Most High create me only for that? Until He speaks with me without any mediator, until I ask Him and He tells me what this eating and sleeping is—did I come to this universe to eat and drink blindly?

If the work is like this, and I can speak and communicate face to face with Him, then I eat and drink because I understand how I came here, where I am going, where my safety lies, and what my end will be. So I live freely, without worries.”

“How could this be understood with the intellect?” I asked, and I turned my face to Him.

It’s like when a mother has but a single child in the whole universe, a very good and beautiful baby, who puts his hand into the fire. Just as the mother would jump to grab her baby, the fragrance of the Truth pulled me away from the fire.

[Continue reading...]

Wearing God: Mevlevi Whirling and Stripping Away the False Self

Daliah Merzaban describes the experience of being undressed of the ego while turning in traditional Mevlevi whirling attire

In the past couple of years, I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to turn during our monthly global meditations on Zoom, led by our Sufi teachers and attended by friends from around the world. This has allowed me to more regularly wear the traditional Mevlevi garments donned by dervishes during the Sema, the whirling ceremony.

There’s something magical about the process of getting dressed for the Sema because, paradoxically, I feel as though I am being undressed. Despite the multiple layers of weighty fabrics a whirling dervish drapes over their body, my experience is that even weightier layers of the mental and emotional clothing are stripped away.

Learning to turn is a process of learning how to spin on my own axis with greater grace, precision and presence. This is so much about being undressed of my worldly self, and I truly experience this from the moment I place the tennure over my head after reciting the opening lines of the Quran facing the kibla, the direction of prayer. The tennure is a flowy white gown reminiscent of the shroud of the dervish’s ego. Each time I put it on, I somehow know I will not be the same when I take it off: a little more of my false self will be dissolved in the ocean of my essence.

Then around my waist I tightly wrap the tiyg-bend (meaning “sword-belt”) and try to ensure the pleats of the tennure are spread evenly around me. This isn’t always easy to do alone. Sema is traditionally a communal gathering, allowing the dervishes to help each other get dressed. As beautiful as it has been to have had virtual gatherings since the onset of the Covid pandemic, nothing can replace that sense of togetherness.

Over the tiyg-bend I place the alif-lamad, a black wider belt long enough to wrap around the waist about one and a half times. This belt represents the Arabic letter alif, which is also the number one, testifying to the unity of God. Over the tennure is a short, white, long-sleeved, collarless jacket called a dasta-gul, a bouquet of roses. Covering the whole of one’s attire is the khirka, the long black cloak that represents the covering of the grave of the ego.

Turning in this traditional Mevlevi attire is the only time in my life that I sense I am going out into the world and being seen by others while naked and bare. This is a paradox because the whirling outfit is, in actuality, quite elaborate and heavy. And yet, the more I do it, the more I discover that nothing sits more lightly on my skin. It is, in a sense, like preparing to be invisible, to wear only the light and lightness of God.

Consider these lines of Mevlana Rumi:

Those who wear clothes look to the launderer,
but the naked soul wears illumination.
Either withdraw from the naked
or take off your clothes like them.
If you can’t become wholly naked,
take the middle way
and take off at least some
of what you wear.

[Mathnawi II, 3524–25, Jewels of Rumi, tr. by Helminski]

Sufi poetry often refers to the nakedness needed for a soul seeking to sincerely awaken. Nakedness for me has a lot to do with vulnerability — the vulnerability that allows us to be honest about our brokenness and realise in humility how totally we depend on the Divine. So much of the transformation possible in Sufism happens when I am willing and receptive to the wisdom of the present moment, which can only be understood when habitual thinking and conditioned reactions are removed from our emotional bodies. In practical terms, this involves an often arduous and painful process of self-reckoning and requires vulnerably expressing and tenderly holding the grief of childhood and ancestral traumas.

And yet, for the short while I’m wearing my whirling attire, I feel many of the layers of conditioning I usually wear are somehow effortlessly stripped away. Even on a surface level, the turning outfit renders the physical body almost invisible because only the face and hands are seen. There is no need for attachment in any way to my worldly persona.

Unlike times when I get ready for an outing in the physical world, I don’t need to do my hair. Instead, I pull up my curls into a ball at the top of my head that can nestle comfortably under the sikke, a tall, honey-coloured camel-hair felt hat that symbolises the tombstone of the ego. I don’t need to choose an outfit or think about what shoes to wear. Nor do I wear any makeup or jewellery. Whirling asks nothing of me but a willingness to let go of my false sense of I, and entrust this body into the loving arms of the Universe, which is itself constantly spinning.

[Continue reading…]

Follow our Medium publication, Awakening with Rumi.

Recent articles:

Wearing God: Mevlevi Whirling and Stripping Away the False Self by Daliah Merzaban

The Threshold Society

The Threshold Society, rooted within the traditions of Sufism and inspired by the life and work of Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, is a non-profit educational foundation with the purpose of facilitating the experience of Divine Unity, Love, and Truth in the world. Sufism is a living tradition of human transformation through love and higher consciousness. Our fundamental framework is classical Sufism and the Qur’an as it has been understood over the centuries by the great Sufis. The Society is affiliated with the Mevlevi Order, and offers training programs, seminars and retreats around the world.

Each month we intend to highlight an article about our lineage and its principles. This month we offer: Practical Aspects of Dervishood.


Practical Aspects of Dervishood
by Mahmoud Mostafa

For me, dervishhood is a total commitment to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet, Mevlana Rumi, Shams, and all the blessed ones who traveled the way of love. There are many aspects to this following and over the years it has been shown to me that the sincerity of commitment to this path is manifest in knowing that one is a servant and living one’s life in this truth. What are the practical aspects of this way of living? For me there are several dimensions, there is a state of being, an active practice, a quality of self-reflection and self-knowing, and a way of conduct in daily life.

State of Being:

When I reflect on how this path has changed me over the years I see a definite shift in my perspective. The meaning of my life has changed, my understanding of the events and interactions that I live every day is very different from what it used to be. If I were to describe how my perspective was before I would say that I saw things as if I were the center of existence; it was all relative to me. I saw things in the context of what I wanted, what I liked and disliked, what I thought I should be like, what I imagined people thought of me, how I wanted them to see me, and what I thought they expected of me. Now my perspective has shifted to what can best be described as being in love with the tremendous and beautiful divine manifestation that is life. It is a state of seeing my life as part of a much greater whole, that my life is an integral part of a oneness that pervades everything and that is conscious and alive. This shift has enabled and empowered me to have the resolve and courage to let go of many of the attachments and conditioning to which I was shackled and to learn to accept, trust, and find joy in what is. Some of the attachments that I am aware have largely left me are: my religious identity, my professional self-image, my desire for social and economic status, my sense of national identity, my relationships and what I want them to be for me, and my self-projections upon my children. I find that I am loving more often, less worried, more forgiving, more compassionate and less anxious and hurried about life. I find myself more aware of the inner dialogue that tries to trap me into fear and worries about acceptance and lack of abundance. I’ve gone through some big stressful experiences recently and this state of being has helped me to not only cope with these major stresses, it has made the difficult experience a blessing and gift from God. By no means do I see myself as truly free of attachments, I still face some major issues with my ego and the road is filled with surprises! What I do see is that I am relating to my being in a different way and from a different place.

[Continue reading...]


1st Sunday of every month: Online Meditation, more details    (KC)

Sep 2-4/5: UK Retreat: Refining Meditation, register now   (K)

Sep 8: Beloved Mary's birthday celebration, register now   (C)


Events with Kabir (K) & Camille (C)

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