Remember and resonate with the Highest Truth
Designing for Empathy

Shaikh Kabir was invited to deliver a keynote address at the Designing for Empathy Summit in October. He shared his perspectives on creating spaces that can be more coherent and reflective of values that can awaken our true human capacities. Watch the talk below with Q&A, including ney music by Selcuk Gurez and a whirling dervish ceremony.

Feb 6th

Join us for an online meditation with special guests from the Threshold community. Held on the 1st Sunday of every month at 11am Eastern Time (4pm UK).

Zoom meeting:
Zoom passcode: threshold

Watch the previous meditations here.

February Theme

Remember and resonate with the Highest Truth.
~ Shaikh Kabir Helminski

We welcome your reflections on this theme.

Reflection on January theme: Express faith and devotion in practical details & acts of service. ~Shaikh Kabir Helminski

~ Emma Lanham [Bristol, UK]

I was a hidden treasure and I longed to be known and so I created both worlds, the visible and the invisible, in order that My hidden treasure of generosity and lovingkindness would be known.

[Hadith Qudsi, The Knowing Heart]

Incarnation here in this visible earthly realm with its denseness and the frailty of our human condition brings particular challenges. There is much suffering, illness, limitation inherent in our lives. As I write our little dog, Meg, is dying. Can we uphold our suffering intentionally within the dignity of our humanity and allow generosity and lovingkindness to manifest through us?

Surely the Divine Reality dances through all if only we have eyes to see. That Oneness that suffuses All, that Beloved who permeates and connects us all, holding all to His /Her embrace. How can we resonate, attune, align more deeply with this ‘Heart Ravisher’ (Mathnawi III, 4600)?

Faith is surely this awareness that we are in relationship with the Divine as our dancing partner here and now, moment by moment, breath by breath. We are not separate. We are not alone. God is for us.

In the Living Presence glossary we find these words:

Service: Living with awareness of we-ness. The Functional outcome of being connected to Cosmic Energy.

Wow! Makes me stop and think! ‘The functional outcome of being connected to Cosmic Energy’!!!

Perhaps as we become more awake, more present, we can come to know our nafs/complexes more? Perhaps, even, distilling their raw energy in a sacred alchemy, we can increase the vibration of our own state, so entering more consciously a dynamic field of Love – of immense reciprocity – that seeks and cannot help itself flowing out into service, relationship and community.

You are water, but in a whirlpool and engulfed;
Come down among us, since we are outpouring torrents.

[Divani Shamsi Tabrizi 1536, Love’s Ripening]

I am just emerging from a time of intense service with little time for my spiritual practice. At times I despair – my meditation cushion sits in my room unused. I feel I am turning from one thing to the next with barely a moment for ‘myself’. . . I remember reading or hearing somewhere about someone who in intense periods of service would double down on their practice. This heart doesn’t manage that . . . I find I haven’t the strength to get up any earlier . . .

Rarely, when in presence, I can feel my response coming through me with almost nothing of ‘myself’ – it is a joy and I give thanks.

More often in these intense periods I struggle as I am not as I would like to be, and acknowledging this seems an important step. I try to stay in front of that gap between what I aspire to and what I can do. For years now I have been struggling to deeply understand the chapter in Living Presence on the ‘Alchemy of Effort’, on how to work with the denying force creatively – overwhelm and exhaustion, irritation and anger – the raw material for transformation.

Much of my work is attention to the small practical details of daily life – food to prepare, a kitchen to clear, guests to welcome, lighting a candle on the supper table, giving forethought to how to scaffold time creatively to meet everyone’s needs. Mostly unseen but a service nonetheless. Is my work conscious or am I on autopilot? If only I could attend with real presence to each moment of service, really knowing to the depths of my being Yeshua’s words:

Anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me.

[Gospel of Matthew 25: 40, The New English Bible]

Mostly I am not in presence and am constantly losing – and finding – myself, for I find that something brings me back, alhamdulillah: I find the invocation Ya Sabur enters my awareness spontaneously as I enter another negotiation; ‘Lord Have Mercy’/Estaufrullah as my foot falls on the stair; ‘Everywhere you look there is the face of God’ as I look around my kitchen and the grace and love and arguments that fill it! At night I wake with La ilaha il Allah on my breath and I feel immense gratitude for it all, knowing nothing can fall outside of God.

I can feel a sacred alchemy in my own being like the chickpea in the pot (Mathnawi III, 4159-211). Service can be an opportunity for dying before we die. Letting go of ‘my’ needs, wishes and aspirations – a profound kenosis, purifying the heart.

I emerge from these intense times with such joy and gratitude for the abundance of the blessings in my life. For an unfolding in Love, a sweet fragrance that I could never have imagined.

The Wheel turns and I am restored to a little more spaciousness; I can return to my meditation cushion and offer zhikr and contemplative prayer again, with a full heart joining with all you other dear hearts seeking union with our Rabb.

~ Emma opens her heart to both the Christian contemplative and Sufi paths. She lives in Bristol in England.

Remembering the Sufi Shaikh Who Made Rumi Popular in the West

Daliah Merzaban reflects on forming a heart connection with late Mevlevi Shaikh Suleyman Hayati Dede

It was through seeing a photograph of late Mevlevi Shaikh Suleyman Hayati Dede several years ago that my heart learned how to deepen a connection with a being I’ve never met in the flesh. In this black and white image, Suleyman Dede is seated wearing a suit, with a single white rose on either side. He sits before an open window, lips pressed together in a subtle smile, eyes gazing lovingly at a beloved beyond the camera and, in my imagination, a Beloved beyond space and time.

Dede’s smiling eyes captivated me so deeply that I kept the picture as the background image of my phone for months, so his face would be the first one I saw in the morning and the last one I gazed upon before sleeping.

Sometimes, I would imagine the photo was taken in the early 1980s in Konya, Turkey, and that the beloved he was smiling at was me, then a little girl thousands of kilometres away in the Canadian prairie city of Saskatoon. As someone who never met her own grandfathers, the mysterious connection forming in my heart for this Anatolian grandfather healed a void of male affection in my childhood.

I can’t explain in any rational way why I was gripped by love for Suleyman Dede, the teacher of my own shaikh and shaikha, the first time my eyes met his in this photograph. Nor can I explain why the connection and guidance I receive from Dede only seems to flourish, like the roses in this image, with each passing year. It is one of the mysteries of this path, a gift from the Most Loving One and the Supreme Giver of Gifts, Ya Wadud, Ya Wahhab.

Of course, it isn’t merely through an image that a heart connection with a murshid, a saint or a prophet is formed. It is through getting to know their character, which I’ve glimpsed through anecdotes shared by my teachers, like this one describing an Ottoman gentleman whose generosity and kindness was so sincere that he would offer to do their laundry.

Suleyman Dede is widely credited for being the reason that Mevlana Rumi’s poetry is now popular in the West; during trips to the United States in the 1970s, he planted the seeds of love for Rumi in hearts far beyond his Turkish homeland. These seeds continue to blossom today, 37 years after Suleyman Dede passed into the Unseen in Konya on Jan. 19, 1985.

[Read more...]

Follow our Medium publication, Awakening with Rumi.

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 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.

[Read more…]



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

Apr 2: Ramadan

May 2: Eid al'Fitr

Jul 9: Eid al'Adha

Jul 30: Muharram/New Year

Sep 2-5: UK Retreat TBC   (KC)


Events with Kabir (K) & Camille (C)

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