THRESHOLD SOCIETY NEWSLETTER ~ MAY 2019
Leave opinions and blame; be an objective witness, and serve in love.
~Shaikh Kabir Helminski
We welcome your reflections on this theme.
Names of God
Listen to zhikr recitations by Camille Helminski, taken from the Ninety-Nine Names of God Ramadan ecourse from last year.
A wonderful accompaniment to your Ramadan this year!
Under the Cloak of My Meaning
under the cloak
of My Meaning,
and rest here.
You have been out;
The door is open.
Don’t you catch the fragrance
of My Love
you are bathed in Its endurance
and set free
of the dust of the world;
you are blessed
within My Radiance.
can you begin again,
to sing My Songs,
to weave My Tapestry
How could you see,
with eyes so veiled
by the world’s wishes?
I want you—
I have always
for you are of Me.
You want for nothing;
you just need
that is how
you were created.
Once upon a time,
from the blessing
of My Beauty
of My Meaning.
you who are Light,
you who are Love.
And in response we call:
O You Who Are Light,
You Who Awaken Light within us;
O You Who Are Love,
You Who Awaken Love within us;
Ya Hayy, O Ever Living One, Pouring Life;
Ya Qayyum, O Eternal Source of our Being!
Subhanallah! Glory be to You!”
Reflection on April’s theme: The natural state of the human being is worship.The human needs God as the garden needs spring. ~ Shaikh Kabir Helminski
~ Hana Shakeel [London, UK]
The river outside my window teaches me of worship. She flows with majesty and with humility. She shrinks and swells with the tides. She is in continual flowing movement, yet holds deep stillness, both. Sometimes she is a shimmering silver, sometimes a murky brown. She is surrendered to the moods of the weather, the turning of night and day and the cycles of the seasons. In unwavering service to passing boats of all shapes and sizes, fish, ducks, people, all surrounding life, she holds, supports, nourishes and guides. “In generosity and helping others be like the river.” She reflects the sun, the moon and the lights of buildings. She carries flotsam and jetsam with grace, gently ushering it to the edges, knowing this too is part of her sacred contract. She is in uninterrupted communion with her Sustainer, living her true nature, breathing continual praise to her Beloved. Mevlana says, “There are many ways to kneel and touch the ground.”
As spring arrives at the river, new shoots bud all around, the trees are beautified with blossom getting ready to bear fruit, the light brightens and days extend. Winter’s slumber gives way to a sharper, more pristine energy of clarity, growth and creativity. The birds liven and return. The fish frolic as the water warms and spring rains refresh. There is a different fragrance to the breeze. An active buzz now surrounds the river. Hope and new life has returned.
I used to think of worship as ritual prayer alone. My “worship” was, more often than not, driven by convention, guilt, habit, fear and desire. Sometimes it felt “natural”, often it felt contrived. The path of Love whispers that perhaps there is a more expansive way. That the natural state of the human being is the one in which we know with certainty that the Divine is nearer to us than our jugular vein. The state that returns us to the agreement made in pre-eternity when we were asked, “Am I not your Lord?”and we answered without hesitation, “Yes.” The state in which we know and live the truth of in the remembrance of God the heart finds ease. The state in which we truly recognise our utter dependence on God alone. You alone do we worship, you alone do we ask for help. The state in which we know that that dependence is on none other than the Source of Love, and the heart cries out “Rabbana!” (“O my Sustainer!”).
From this state of worship we may become a little more like the river, accepting, whole and in service. These moments bring the impulse for us to realise our potential as conduits between heaven and earth such that the Divine might manifest, through us and to us. We are beautified. We are taken away from the pre-occupations, delusions and tyrannies of our nafs and brought into authenticity, into purpose, into remembrance, into deeper worship. Those moments, often fleeting, always only through Grace, feel like spring time. My heart recalls its most essential need and nature, and light returns bringing vision, growth, creativity and succour. Sometimes we need to be brought into the deepest, darkest winter before spring can arrive. Yet how would this poor one recognise it any other way?
Every autumn He shrivels the garden;
but then He makes the rose bloom
that brightens the garden anew;
saying, “O you who were withered,
open, be fresh, become beautiful again!
[Mathnawi I: 3913–3917, Rumi Daybook]
When love’s spring breeze blows,
Every moist branch starts dancing.
[Divan-e-Shams-e Tabriz: Quatrain 466, Rumi Daybook]
~ Hana Shakeel was brought, blindly, to the path of Mevlana ten years ago and fell in Love. She and her husband Mo live in London; they have just moved house and now live by the river.
Shaikh Kabir shares some of his reflections on the refugee crisis with Humanity’s Heart.
To find out more about what other spiritual leaders, refugees themselves, volunteers, academics and ordinary members of the public feel humanity is learning in the crisis of our time, watch Humanity’s Heart documentary: Humanity Rising in the Refugee Crisis.
Awakening with Rumi
Wisconsin USA, Jun 14-16
We come into this world and experience a profound forgetfulness; we are asleep. Everything that happens from then on is the process of waking up to the fact that Love brought us here, that we are loved by a Beneficent Unseen Reality, and that the core of our being is Love. The whole purpose and meaning of creation is to discover the secret of Love.
Join us for our first Rumi’s Circle event in the USA, a weekend exploring how we can awaken to Reality. With sohbet (spiritual conversation), Persian music, meditation, poetry, zhikr, and sacred movement by whirling dervishes from the Threshold Society Mevlevi Order.
A Sufi Fable by Mary Khalila Platt
Once upon a time, when the earth was parched, the animals broke down,
each one lost heart.
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Threshold’s collaborative blog channel The Living Tradition on Patheos.com is reaching new audiences and sharing the experiences of our community in a unique and vibrant way.
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May 4-5: Sarajevo, Bosnia. Shaikh Kabir will be attending events related to the book launch for the Bosnian translation and publication of Living Presence. (K)
May 5 – June 4: Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr
Jun 15: Madison, Wisconsin. Rumi’s Circle: Awakening with Rumi. Register here.
Aug 11: Eid al-Adha
Aug 23-26: Dorset, UK. Gaunts House Annual UK Retreat (more details soon). (KC)
Oct 18-20: Kendal, UK. Rumi’s Circle/RAY Sacred Roots Retreat with Beth Hin and friends (more details soon).
Events with Kabir and Camille marked (KC)
We’d love to hear from you – get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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