THRESHOLD SOCIETY NEWSLETTER ~ SEPTEMBER 2016
The Mysterion (Seek the Sovereignty of non-existence)
~ Reading from UK Annual Retreat in Dorset
“The city of your dreams you found lacking nothing except noble men.”1 In a city where you find all the beauties, pleasures, delights and various adornments of nature, you won’t find an intelligent man. Would that it were the other way around! That city is the human being. If it has a hundred thousand accomplishments but not the intrinsic meaning, it would be better for it to be in ruins. If it does have the intrinsic meaning, no matter that it have no external embellishments. The mysterion must be there for it to flourish. In whatever state man may be, his mysterion is concerned with God, and his external preoccupations in no way hinder that inner concern. In whatever state a pregnant woman may be—war or peace, eating or sleeping—the baby is growing, is being strengthened, and is receiving sensations in her womb without her being aware of it. Mankind likewise is “pregnant” with that mysterion. But man undertook
[Discourses of Rumi (Fihi ma Fihi): Discourse 50]
1 The line of poetry is quoted by Rumi, with slight variance, from the Diwan of al-Mutanabbi, p. 93.
Under the Mantle of the Beloved’s Veil
~ Offering from Shaikha Camille at Dorset retreat
under the mantle of Your veil;
is not meant
but Mary drew herself
aside into Your Sanctuary,
beyond the intimations
that she might know
her heart was,
where no one saw,
Fruits of love
from the Garden
of Your Love,
even in the cold
and closer still
behind the veil
of this existence,
where Prophets gather
in the Orchard
the ears of their hearts,
as they bend
to the Ground
of Your Being
and catch Your vibration
through their feet,
cascading in rivulets
down into this atmosphere.
in the Highest,
Ya Rabbil al Ameen!
Adorn yourself with good nature and Allah will ease your account. ~ Imam Ali
We welcome your reflections on this theme.
UNVEILING THE DIVINE: Honouring the Sacred Feminine
October 14-16, 2016
with Elizabeth Anne Hin, Fatimah Ashrif,
Tania Henzell-Thomas, Rabia Malik and others
Threshold Society through Rumi’s Circle are holding a weekend gathering to honour the Sacred Feminine, and dedicate the event to our beloved teacher, Shaikha Camille Helminski.
Join us for a weekend honouring the Sacred Feminine through spiritual conversation, heart reflections, meditation, prayer, music and movement. We are blessed to offer this gathering in the beautiful setting of Kendal in the Lake District, with its rich spiritual heritage and long tradition of social activism. The weekend includes a Sacred Music concert with the sublime voices of Latif Bolat and Zeliha Akdan, with whirling dervishes.
We believe that deep respect and harmony between the masculine and feminine principles of existence is necessary for the wellbeing of communities and society as a whole. The present imbalance is reflected in the increasing sexualisation of women and young people and in structures which continue to favour male biology and perspective. These are damaging not only to women but also to men. We trust that human beings should be free to discover and determine for themselves what it means to be male and female. We begin by reconnecting to the Sacred Feminine.
We aim to create an inclusive and safe space which encourages authentic and open enquiry into these issues. Our speakers hail from different faith backgrounds with experience of working at various levels within, and for, communities. Participants will be invited to reflect on and share what the Feminine means to them, and consider how this understanding might be integrated into their own lives, work, and beyond.
(accommodation not included)
More details about the range of speakers, the programme and to register your place: unveilingthedivine.com
Let us know what you think by commenting on the posts — join the discussion at www.patheos.com/blogs/livingtradition and “follow” The Living Tradition.
Women of Sufism study group
Friends of the Threshold community are invited to a study group to read and discuss Women of Sufism: A Hidden Treasure, Writings and Stories of Mystic Poets, Scholars, and Saints by Shaikha Camille Helminski.
The book has been split into segments to be studied over six months. At the start of each month we will post an invitation for you to offer reflections. See the website for more details, guidelines and access to the monthly discussion posts.
The password to access the discussion posts is khadija.
See the Resource page for the recording of the community call last month and an excerpt from Shaikha Camille’s poetry collection Words from the East.
“Thank you Aliaa R Rafea and Aisha Rafea – and for the reminder for the Mercy of our Prophets – the Mercy of striving and to read my own book. I loved the walk into Hagga Zakiyya arms – surprised to feel the embrace of a mother.”
~ Uzma Taj
Join the discussion: womenofsufism.com
The monthly breakdown of the book has now completed – we will continue the discussion to allow people to catch-up and re-reflect on previous chapters.
Oct 14-16: Kendal, UK. Unveiling the Divine: Honouring the Sacred Feminine. With Elizabeth Hin, more details.
Oct 20-23: San Jose, US. Science & Non-Duality Conference; Shaikh Kabir will lecture on Spiritual Perception. www.scienceandnonduality.com(K)
Dec 13-17: Konya/Ankara, Turkey. Shaikh Kabir will speak at the Celebrations for Rumi’s Urs. Other guests include Cemalnur Sargut & Omid Safi. (K)
Feb 24-26: San Francisco, US. Mercy Center Retreat. (KC)
May 5-9: Paradise Island, Bahamas. Meditation Symposium at the Sivananda Ashram. Sivananda.org (KC)
July 7-9: Whistler, Canada. Annual Retreat British Columbia, deep in nature, following Ramadan. (KC)
Events with Sh. Kabir and Sh. Camille marked (KC)
The recent UK Annual Retreat in Dorset
Excerpt from Exaltations
~ Shaikha Camille Adams Helminski ~
Ya Malik al Quddus
are moving fast this morning,
stirred by Your breath,
to gather quickly
in Your Presence.
We are summoned
by the force of a new day
all our actions,
We might miss the opportunity
to see You
in everything we do.
Open our eyes,
Ya Malik al Quddus.
O Sovereign, Most Pure.
Holy breath enlivens us.
Your sight restores our seeing.
Your touch guides our hands
beneath the carpet
of this existence to the Source,
of Your Infinite Treasure.
There is no lack,
only shortsightedness in the extent
of the offering from our hands,
and feet that would run out
into the street of Your Love
with full loaves
of Your baking
in the ovens of bliss.
Fish still swim in Your seas;
let us treat them well
and not pollute Your waters
with our greed.
Hand over hand we weave
the nets to catch
You continually provide.
May we share
in every moment
of Your Love.
~ Love’ville, August 2016
We’d love to hear from you – get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org