Blessed Openings

“The Most Important Questions”

~ Offered by Hazrati Shams of Tabriz

“Bind yourself to these questions:
Who am I and what is my essence?  Why have I come here and where am I going?
Where is my origin?  
What am I involved in right now and towards what must I turn my face?”

May your New Year be bright with the blessing of Nur (Holy Light)!
May the Nur of all our hearts brighten our world!
May it be Light upon Light! Ya Nur ala Nur!

~ Excerpts for the New Year from Rumi’s Sun: The Teachings of Shams of Tabriz, translated by Refik Algan and Camille Helminski

Rumi's Sun now available
January Theme

Ya Nur. Our original food is the light of God.

We welcome your reflections on this theme.

San Damiano Retreat Feb 23-25

The Radiant Eye of the Soul

Feb 23-25 2024, San Damiano Retreat, Danville, California
with Camille & Kabir Helminski, & Amir Etemadzadeh, master of Sufi music

The amazing soul qualities latent within a human being are begging to be awakened. The spiritual path of Rumi awakens and develops the soul leading to a joyful relationship with the Divine Friend.

Whatever dark curtains seem to drop before our eyes, the radiant eye of the soul is neither deceived nor distracted from the Eternal Presence. We come together to deeply experience and nurture our souls through community, spiritual dialog, prayer, meditation (muraqaba), music, and zikr. All are welcome, especially the young at heart.

All-inclusive from Friday afternoon until Sunday lunchtime.
$510 Residential double/twin ensuite
$390 Commuter (meals only)

Assisi Retreat Jul 12-15

Tending the Heart: Rumi’s Path of Transformation Through Love

with Shaikh Kabir & Selçuk Gürez, Master Sufi Musician

The human heart is the most precious faculty in existence, needing conscious tending, and energetic purification. Our retreat will be a deep synthesis of mindful awareness, a sharing of practical teachings from Rumi, an introduction to the practice of “turning” and dynamic group zikr. There will also be an opportunity for dialog about the spiritual challenges we face in a dramatically changing world.

More details soon.

Jan 7th

Join us for a monthly 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.

Reflection on December's theme: Dervishood is fulfilled with humbleness and certainty.

~ Anna Rohleder [Berlin, Germany]

One of my favourite passages from the Mevlevi Wird is:

O Allah, I ask You for a humble heart that prays in awe, for certain and continuous faith, for useful knowledge, and for wholesome deeds.

[Mevlevi Wird, p. 55]

Each line of this passage opens a new perspective on the idea of dervishhood being fulfilled with humbleness and certainty.

A humble heart that prays in awe... another way of saying “content” and “grateful”. When my heart is humble I am aware of how lucky I am. Not only are my material needs more than fulfilled on a daily basis, but my spiritual blessings are beyond counting.  With that awareness, my gratitude can extend beyond thankfulness for the gifts themselves to become awe and wonder for the Giver. I can let go of my limited ideas about what I deserve and simply be receptive to what comes.

Certain and continuous faith
I have a funny relationship with doubt. In my worldly life, I often have trouble making decisions when it comes to comparing different options: A vs B, B vs C, A vs C and so on. (This is why I can’t do online shopping!)

At the same time, I feel certain of other things which are beyond logic or reasoning. I feel certain of being loved by the Divine, for example, because I’ve experienced this as a bone-deep feeling. And maybe that’s the key: faith as an embodied experience is a steady flame of knowing rather than a flickering belief of the mind.  

Useful knowledge
Recently for my job, I attended a workshop about AI with a group of academic researchers. The question was not only how AI could make them more efficient and productive, but also how it could help them throttle back the amount of information they have to process every day. Like the rest of our media landscape now, science has become more about the proliferation of data than the distillation of meaning. Information by its nature is fragmentary; it doesn’t necessarily add up to more than the sum of its parts. By contrast, useful knowledge contains insight and fosters understanding. It helps us perceive the truth of spiritual reality and respond with wisdom and presence rather than reacting from the nafs.

Wholesome deeds...
...or “deeds of wholeness”?  Verse 96 of Surah Maryam speaks directly to this question. I recall Camille Ana once explaining that the meaning was closer to, “Those who have faith and do the deeds of wholeness and reconciliation will be blessed with love.”

What might that look like in practice? For me, it would mean acting from the perception of tawheed: that is, if we really knew that we are all created from a single soul, and that our lives are inextricably woven into the fabric of all of creation. If we felt we were kin with all of the life forms on the planet, from bacteria to blue whales, would we elevate ourselves and our desires at the expense of other beings and the Earth, or would we support their thriving too? Wouldn’t we work to overcome separation and offer healing, and wouldn’t that make us more whole ourselves?

May our dervishhood be fulfilled. May we be emptied of our idols and filled with the Divine Presence.

~ Anna Rohleder’s collected “Letters of Love to Prophet Muhammad” were translated into Urdu and published as a book by Mazhar Farid Chishti in 2023.  She lives in Berlin, Germany. Read more of her past work and find out what she’s up to these days on her website.

Moments in Bali

~ Ita Mucharam [Jakarta, Indonesia]

In front of Ulun Danu Beraten - Balinese Hindu Temple which is located nearby a mosque. An example of tolerance and the harmony of cultural diversity.

After participating at the important R20 International Summit of Religious Authorities or R20 ISORA, Kabir Dede spent the weekend with some very lucky members at Sava Eco Retreat, Tabanan, Bali. An unexpected yet very welcome and blessed informal retreat surrounded by natural beauty, insightful sharing and a feeling of love. Naturally, some discussions included the state of current injustices against humanity which makes character building, seeking Truth, individual actions, inner spiritual belief, and hope (even more important).

A checklist  for purifying the ego was designed, helping us through self-observation to become a free human being, a true Muslim, free of egoism. We were also reminded to ask for God’s help and listen to His Guidance/Call. Always believe that He will not make a demand which we cannot bear.

O You who make demands within me like an embryo,
since You are the one who makes the demand,
make its fulfilment easy;
show the way, help me,
or else relinquish Your claim
and take this burden from me!
Since from a debtor You’re demanding gold,
Give him gold in secret, O rich King!

[Mathnawi III, 1490-92, The Pocket Rumi, Helminski]

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: Adab; The Courtesy of the Path

The Sufis created a system of human development grounded in love and using the power of love to awaken and transform human beings. Rumi taught that it is everyone’s potential to master the art of loving. Love is the answer to the problem of human existence.

The way to God passes through servanthood. The point is to love and be connected with others in that love. The form of Sufi work is typically a group, or spiritual family. The Sufis created a milieu in which human love was so strong that it naturally elevated itself to the level of cosmic love. All forms of love eventually lead to spiritual love. “Ashq olsun,” they say. “May it become love.” They cultivated a kindness and refinement in which love fermented into a fine wine. They encouraged service to humanity as an expression of the love they felt. They accepted a rigorous discipline in order to keep the fire of love burning strongly.

[Read more…]


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

Feb 23-25: Retreat with Kabir & Camille, San Damiano, Danville, California. More details   (KC)

Mar 12: Ramadan

Apr 9: Eid al'Fitr

Jun 17: Eid al'Adha

Jul 12-15: Assisi Italy Retreat, more details soon   (K)

Aug 2-5: UK Retreat, more details soon   (K)


Events with Kabir (K) & Camille (C)

We’d love to hear from you — get in touch at



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1288 Cherokee Rd Louisville, KY 40204
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