Be a lover of Unity
Russell Brand Awakens with Living Presence

Russell Brand is a British activist and public thought leader (with several million social media followers) who was recently gifted Shaikh Kabir's classic guide to Sufism and awakening, Living Presence: The Sufi Path to Mindfulness and the Essential Self. Russell calls it "An incredible insight into Sufism and an intelligent way for rational people to know God."

He shares some of his favourite quotes in the video below.

On Whirling, the Heart and How to Be a Dervish

Interview with Camille Helminski by Ibrahim Nehme, originally published on a Dance Mag

Camille Helminski was the first woman to translate a substantial portion of the Qur’an into English. She has been a follower/practitioner of the Mevlevi order of Sufism for forty years, during which time she has authored and translated many books on the Sufi tradition into English. In the following conversation she talks about her journey, Sufi dervishes, and the way of the heart.

You’ve been practicing Sufism for 40 years, have written books and have translated many volumes of Sufi literature. What was it that first got you into the Sufi practice?

Ah, it is always amazing to try and trace back the threads that weave together this life of ours, isn’t it? Where should I begin? I grew up in Florida with a father who was a botanical artist and had a really deep sense of the beauty of creation within a Christian context. But there was always this feeling of thirsting to know the source of being, more deeply. It led to studying various religions along the way. In college I spent time in Zen practice, for instance, and then I encountered the poetry of Rumi. For me, it was really through Sufism when the doorway of the heart opened.

How was it to come across Sufism in the United States?

This encounter with Rumi’s poetry was happening back in the 70s in the United States. There wasn’t really much available at that time, in terms of translations. We found some pieces that drew our hearts to know more and we began to study Rumi’s work with a wonderful woman. She was half Persian, half American, a Baha’i translator; a lovely woman named Marziah Gail. It was a wonderful adventure, meeting her in our little town in New Hampshire, when we were just beginning to dive into Mevlana’s [Jalaluddin Rumi’s] poetry. It was the universe of Rumi’s comprehension, his sense of beauty and intimacy with the Divine, that really opened our hearts to discover more.

I’ve been going through some of your books and was struck by how much you also reference Zen Buddhism and other Eastern religious philosophies in your writings on Sufism.

Well yes, Truth is Truth and it finds its expression through the human vehicle, different languages and ways. Zen Buddhism was a beautiful grounding. There was also a school I attended early on, which explored some Sufi teachings from a Christian background with a mixture of Central Asian wisdom as well. The Sufi practice of Presence resonates beautifully with Buddhist mindfulness. This interweaving has gone on for centuries in Central Asia, between Buddhists and Sufis.

[Continue reading...]

In the House of Remembering Part II

Tazeen Dhunna continues her interview with Shaikh Kabir Helminski about his latest book "In the House of Remembering.”

Mar 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.

March Theme

Be a lover of Unity, abandon separation.
~ Shaikh Kabir Helminski

We welcome your reflections on this theme.

Reflection on February theme: Remember and resonate with the Highest Truth. ~Shaikh Kabir Helminski

~ Skip Maselli [Virginia, USA]

Admittedly, this reflection came as an intoxicant to write some impressive treatise. But I find upon rolling up my sleeves to expound on Highest Truth, I’m drawn away from writing and guided into listening.

Listen to the reed and the tale it tells...

[Mathnawi, I:1, trans. Kabir Helminski]

I hear the resonating song of separation as the reed and the mouth of the neyzen converge in a gentle kiss. The breath of the neyzen delivered to the reed begins with a silencing hush. Here, the body and spirit of the dervish vibrate coherently.

Remembrance, the breath
Body, the reed
Their fire igniting
the truth in between

Resonating in remembrance inspires a state that is essential to a fundamental purpose of existence... to return to our Highest Truth.

Devotional remembrance amplifies an energetic (frequency) response to the true emitting Source. Receiver and emitter converge in coherence, resonating as One; the truth-seeking Sufi, focuses on that Source, so that Source might guide us closer to It.

I was a secret treasure and I longed to be known...

[Hadith Qudsi]

We receive (and emit) many frequencies, interrupting our presence before Truth; whether it simply be from the sting of a slipped wrench and reactive expletive or the deeper existential catalysts that ignite the ego with pangs of regret, pride, envy, and anger. We are blessed with the struggle of walking between this formed world and that beyond, where at highest frequencies, a subtle misstep creates aching dissonance. The Loving One (al-Wadud) envelops our struggle, keeping us near. True Love (Ishq-e Haqiqi), in remembrance, is the balm for all reactive wounds and relief for internal incoherence.

Resonation is felt in the relationship between receiver and emitting source. This energy is universally unique and celebrates the awareness of truth within the core of our identity.

When a human being performs zhikr, their spirit—their heart starts to open... and the divine secret—the things you couldn’t understand or know about before—begin to be revealed to you...

[“The Coherence of Our Souls,” Kabir Helminski]

Words cannot describe Highest Truth; rather it is an energetic essence exuding profound and unique particularities. It is the this-ness of God where the limitlessness of the Highest Truth dissolves the limits of humanity.

Eyes see Him not through sight's observation,
but hearts see Him through the verities of faith.

[Imam Ali, A Shiite Anthology: The Vision of the Heart, trans. William Chittick]

...there are no letters or voices where the Truth is.

[Rumi’s Sun: The Teachings of Shams of Tabriz, trans. Camille Helminski and Refik Algan]

I will not find the heart’s Truth in the words of scholars and poets. It is in the silence of God’s Threshold where the true heart manifests.

Love itself describes its own perfection.

Listen and be speechless.

[Divani Shamsi Tabrizi, In the House of Remembering, Kabir Helminski]

In knowing ourselves, that we might know Truth, we turn from “I” consciousness toward Creator-consciousness. The voices of dervishes in unison or in personal, silent reflection (zhikrullah, salat, sema, muraqaba), cultivates coherence. There is refuge from, and clarity beyond, the discordant events around us. Here, the quest for true Truth converges with the Sufi practice of remembrance, guiding us through the distractions of false truths.

As human beings we can know that a single creative energy connects everything and that we are integral to it. We are one with the Whole. This is the Truth on the highest level.

[Living Presence, Kabir Helminski]

Receptivity to the current of love nourishes our relationships in this world. The current dissolves our illusion of separateness from Truth and from each other, revealing unity behind forms through a focused perspective and immersed presence.

...the human heart is a threshold between two worlds [spiritual inner and limited physical]... When we live in that reality and are aware of that presence, we are in remembrance.

[In the House of Remembering, Kabir Helminski]  

We feel resonance in the heart’s threshold; where True love goes when it has no words.

I am tricked by my quest
for a poem’s last line
I keep remembering Her names
until the truth untwines
this tangle I’ve made
in the garden of love.

’Come in, O thou who art entirely myself,
not different like the rose and thorn in the garden.’
The thread has become single...
Whether the feet be two or four, they traverse one road,
like the double shears makes one cut.

[Mathnawi I:3077–81, trans. Nicholson]

We are each the entirety of the wheel of Truth; each spoke of our being traveling in 360 directions. However, each spoke moves centrally inward from the outer rim of earthly existence to the hub of non-existence. Many routes, one True destination.

The resonating sound of skilled musicians and vocalists is intoxicating. They are devoted practitioners; simultaneously both skilled player (emitter) and listener (receiver); each part of the whole and, thus, the whole Itself.

When we begin to develop an independent attention, one that can look outward and inward at the same time, we start to acquire the presence that is the enabling factor of all spiritual work.

[Living Presence, Kabir Helminski]

We too are musicians playing from the score sheet of truth, conducted by our Master; the chord of coherence plucked within our remembering hearts:

...coherence in a group is increased by the state of coherence of each individual...

[“The Coherence of Our Souls,” Kabir Helminski]

Our spiritual journey along the path of remembering is sustained each day in extraordinary moments of mundanity. So much to ponder and explain; let us pause and surrender in those moments between our words and breaths; while passing beneath the picketed shade and light of a forest-green, Allah-Allah-Allah...; in the pulsing glow of the traffic light, An-Nur; in the toils of turning the wrench, Al-Halim; awaiting the coffee to brew, As-Sabur. As we silently bow toward Beauty (even in disbelief), Al-Wali. Be comforted and resonate with Highest Truth.

Truth, it is I. Huuu.

~ Skip is a dervish living in Northern Virginia, USA.

Spirituality & Practice

Some of you have in the past participated in the online retreats facilitated by our partners at Spirituality & Practice, the multifaith website founded by long-time Threshold Society members Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Spirituality & Practice is built around 37 spiritual practices common to all the world’s religions, and now S&P is offering immersive trainings in these practices. One element of the first year program will be monthly Zoom meetings in which “exemplars” of the practices will speak about how they apply them in their own lives. Kabir and Camille will be the exemplars of “Love,” offering one 90-minute session.

The first cohort starts March 26. Real all about elements of the program, see the list of other teachers and exemplars (Jamal Rahman, Thomas Moore, Mark Nepo, among others) and explore the benefits of this unique training at this page.

Please be sure to use this link (especially for Threshold members) if you register.

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: Love in Islam by Mahmoud Mostafa

Bismillahi Rahmani Raheem

Praise be to Allah. We bear witness that there is only one God who has no partners beside Him, and we bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

Praise be to Allah who blessed us with the guidance of His prophets and messengers. Praise be to Allah whose Mercy encompasses everything. Praise be to Allah who knows our needs and answers our calls and brings peace to our hearts.

Praise be to Allah who breathed into us of His Spirit and placed the light of His guidance in our inmost being. Whomever Allah guides, no one can misguide, and whomever Allah misguides, no one can guide. We put our trust in Allah and seek His forgiveness, aid, and support.

A man once came to the Prophet (puh) and asked him about the hereafter. The Prophet asked him, “And what have you prepared for that time?” The man replied, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and I love you.” The Prophet (puh) answered him, “You are with the ones you love.”

[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   (K)


Events with Kabir (K) & Camille (C)

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