We often attempt to deepen in a Reality that may seem fragile, distant or not there at all. Experiences of devotion come easily within certain external frameworks, like holy places in Turkey, the Mevlevi Tradition’s homeland. The challenge is to sustain some of that orientation every day. In speaking about Hajj, the Mevlevi Tradition says the Kaaba is the heart of the perfected human being and that the Kaaba is potentially in our hearts. Mecca, Medina, the Dome of the Rock, Sultan Ahmed Jami, Mevlana’s turbe, Shamsi’s masjid–-all Realities–-are within us. Sometimes we have to discover our heart through something outside ourselves. In this manner, we build the inner masjid, the inner turbet, the inner tekke. We’re lucky to be in this situation: our work helps humanity as well as ourselves.
Breathing with awareness benefits us. We can qualify the breath with the names of God. The breath touches all levels in a human and through it we can experience all levels of Reality. The seven levels in humans are: (1) a trust in God as our foundation and with that trust, knowing no fear; (2) nurturing the sensory side of our being, loving it, keeping it within the context of the Divine Reality, and mastering it so we can be at home in this body, in this natural world; (3) having a healthy sense of life purpose that is in service; (4) using the heart’s capacity for unconditional love and openly embracing life, relationship, the imperfect, and the unlovable; (5) expressing that capacity creatively, appropriately, in relationship and in devotion; (6) a sense of vision connecting us to everything beyond time and space–-a very refined, vibrational knowing where we perceive meanings, envision possibilities and glimpse our sense of Unity, even beyond unconditional love. The seventh level is virtually inexpressible. Like the Fount of Abundance, it flows upward and outward to Infinity, into the Higher Dimensionality of which we are part.
Mevlana beautifully advises us to repent, to start fresh or open–-or to open more. Repentance creates a framework for devotion. In our spiritual practices, we dip into the Higher Dimensional Reality of which we are a part for a little while. The perspective of that other Reality–-Haq, the Creative Truth–-remains. Everyday life is experienced within the context of Devotion to the Dost–-that Higher Dimensional Reality known as the Beloved or the Beloved Friend, which is loving, harmonizing, healing, and redeeming.
Shams tells that “the seeker raises his head also amid The Sought.” A Quranic passage shows the murid being the seeker and also the one who is wishing, desiring, longing for Unity and then becomes the murad (the one who is willed by God.) Shams tells us the one who is useful to others is doing what needs to be done. Mevlana’s It is Thou tells there is “never room in this house for two I’s.”
Painting: Big Red Heart by Paul Tokarski
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