Mevlevis consider murāqabah to be the attainment of the station (maqam) of Ihsan (the gift of benevolence granted by God). They understand it as entering a state (hal) of perpetual proximity and nearness to God, and of coming permanently into His presence. This becomes an ongoing part of the dervishes' spiritual lives.
October's theme. Acceptance is a beginning, a point of departure, as well as the culmination of Heartfulness. Imagine that you are a refugee fleeing your homeland with no more than what you can carry with you. What will give you the strength to carry on? There is nowhere else to begin than with acceptance of where we are right now. We begin by seeing ourselves and our circumstances accurately, seeing things as they actually are in the present. With conscious consent to what is at this moment we can know that this is the center of true beginning where infinite divine Mercy meets our finite self.
September's Theme. The mystics endeavor to make Him their companion in all their spiritual states, insofar as they are able. When God discerns that attitude in them, He is merciful by causing them to attend no longer to their own weakness or strength in whatever they undertake or leave aside. Muhammad’s faith community is therefore characterized by liberality and ease…. This facilitation of every situation is made possible only through the contemplative vision of which I have spoken. ~Ibn Abbad of Ronda
Sohbet with Kabir Dede.
Excerpts from a talk given by Shaikh Kabir at City Circle, Bloomsbury, London, Sept 2, 2015. Egoism is the great corrupter of all human endeavors, including, and tragically, religion. Any true spirituality should methodically lead to the reduction of egoism and self-righteousness. Egoism is the ultimate idolatry, or shirk in Quranic terms, because it places the human nafs in the center instead of God. The out-of-control nafs, engorged on its own self-righteousness, justifies acts of extreme aggression and ugliness. Swelling with insane pride, exulting in finding an outlet for its rage, it spreads fitna, tribulation, and breaks the hearts of the true Muslims.
The Sufi lodge (tekkye, dergah, khaneqah, zawia) is a place of manners—manners which reflect the purpose of the tradition itself, which is to elevate the vibration of human beings. A Sufi lodge is a place where finer energies are generated, and in order not to let these finer energies be dissipated or misused, the wise of the tradition have encouraged a quality of behavior consistent with these finer energies. The totality of these behaviors and sentiments we call “spiritual courtesy,” or adab.
Reflections on this month’s theme, ‘Be cleansed of shallow idolatries; affirm the Real. Ya Haqq.’
What benefit can there possibly be in rushing through some moments to get to others? Every moment is the perfect gift of the divine, manifested for our benefit. Moments of difficulty and challenge are moments in which the soul has the potential to develop and awaken new qualities.
What an awesome and delicate responsibility it is to see through the heart, to live from the heart. Judgment and opinion are like filters, set far back in the mind, that obscure the heart's vision. By noticing the stream of judging mind, by just being aware of it, we are entering a state of self-knowledge where change is possible. The direction of this change, this transformation, is toward refinement of character.
Recently Charlie Rose interviewed Dan Harris, a journalist for ABC News, about his book "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story." Harris, obviously a man of superior intelligence and education, was stunned when he first heard the idea that there is a voice inside us that carries on a boring and negative commentary on our lives, and that meditation could reveal this voice and reduce its power over us. The good news is that mindfulness (or presence) is entering the mainstream, but it was sobering to realize just what we face. When trying to communicate the essential ideas of Sufism, spirituality, and consciousness to a culture so unaware of basic psychological, spiritual, and metaphysical knowledge and distinctions… it is as if we are offering the finer skills of horsemanship to a society where riding a donkey is a new idea (though Sufis also know something about riding donkeys!).