Kabir & Camille, as part of the group, Ruby (including Erika Luckett & Lisa Ferraro), read a poem and perform their original song "Little by Little" based on a Ghazel by Rumi.
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.
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.
Late on Saturday night of the recent retreat, "The Alchemy of Character," Kabir gave this short talk about the essentials of the inner life. Within each human being is a witnessing silence, a space beyond thought and emotional reactions, and it is from this state that we can truly practice, worship, and attain communion with the Divine.
At the recent San Francisco retreat, "The Alchemy of Character," Dr. Sara Winter spoke about the tendency to avoid ego development needs and the messier issues of our lives through spiritual bypass, i.e. a state of premature transcendence, trying to circumvent the developmental issues of the self in the name of spirituality. Unresolved emotional issues and wounds can sabotage spiritual practice, interfering with our meditation and zhikr.
A talk by Camille from a weekend of “Rumi Alive” with friends gathering in Alabama in remembrance in 2007. It opens with Mevlana’s prayer offering from Book IV of the Mathnawi which seems a wonderful prayer to offer in remembrance as we begin a New Year.
We can be grateful for the possibilities of service that life presents us with. The more we serve the better we feel, especially about ourselves. The mature character does not need, nor expect, to be thanked by others. The chance to serve, which is so good for ourselves, is itself a gift and is its own reward. Maturity is to serve without any expectation, and to be grateful to simply be.
A beloved dervish asks: I wonder how I can deal with the resistance in me to do my zhikr. I haven’t been able to find the core of this resisting part and what it is telling me. It keeps coming back. Could you help reflecting on this or do you have any suggestions on how [...]
Reflections on the theme for October: “The interpretation of a sacred text is true if it stirs you to hope, activity, and awe.”