Threshold Society Theme for April 1998 Faith is different from belief. Beliefs are relative and vary from religion to religion, culture to culture. But faith is universal: the same everywhere. In the Quran, the term faith is often coupled with salahaati, or beneficent actions. Such actions are the evidence of faith, as well as the [...]
Threshold Society Theme for March 1998 One form of remembering is to remember that we have given our selves to a tradition and that The Tradition is a source of energy and strength. Of course, in English tradition can mean as a little as accepted practice. But here we mean something sacred, and beyond forms--a [...]
The heart is always seeking contentment. Discontent arises from the attractions and distractions of the world, many of which are just bait in a trap we may not see. If you are a seeker of the rose, do not be content with just its fragrance, let alone heresay about the rose. The fragrance is perceptible as long as the rose is somewhere near. Real Contentment is to become the rose, and so become a source of the fragrance in this world. We should not be content with just a shadow of God's grace.
Everything you do with regard to people, and every mention you make of them, good or evil, will all return to you
Threshold Society Theme for February 1998 Consider these words of Mevlanas from Signs of the Unseen: If you speak well of another, the good will return to you. The good and praise you speak of another you speak in reality of yourself. A parallel would be when someone plants a garden and herb bed around [...]
The month of Ramadan began on December 31 and will continue through most of January. Ramadan is much more than a time of fasting; this is a time of spiritual intensification...
It is said, "Allah is greater than anything." We can remember that the greatest power is Love. As we say Allahu Akbar we set all our circumstances, challenges, questions, and difficulties in the greater perspective of Allah's Sovereignty, which is ultimately the Sovereignty of Love.
We separate ourselves from God. Our subtle (or not so subtle) habits of pride, arrogance, and of pretending to knowledge cloud our awareness of the Divine Presence. In this state we ignore how beautifully and subtly Allah has arranged our education, how perfectly events and circumstances are designed and measured to reveal to us our illusions.
All our work prepares us for moments in our lives when we can choose to act, to give, to love. Consider these words from the Mathnawi [IV, 2917-19]: In battle, the cowardly have chosen the means of retreat out of fear for their lives, while the courageous, also from fear for their lives, have charged towards the ranks of the enemy. Heroes are borne onward by their fear and pain; from fear, too, the human being of weak spirit dies within.
This path is not only friendship, love, and ecstasy, but a long and sometimes painful struggle. What is the nature of the discipline needed on the spiritual path? The discipline or struggle of this path is one in which we find our right relationship with the nafs, the ego-self. This relationship must come from a higher level than that of the battle of like and dislike, desire and aversion.
Learn to see as many people as possible as friends and to approach all our relationships with consciousness and sensitivity
Sufis are not called "the friends" by accident. If we can remember the principle of Friendship it will help to keep us aligned with the purpose of our lives. It is always a good idea to consider in our relationships both within this Order and with the wider spiritual community, whether we are conducting ourselves as friends. What does it matter if we experience high spiritual states or acquire esoteric knowledge, if we neglect friendship? If we wish to have Allah as the Friend, we would do well to befriend His friends.