Reflection on December’s theme: Freewill is the effort to thank God for His gifts. ~ Mevlana I imagined an ant… She lives amongst a colony of a million ants. One day she drifts away from the colony and becomes lost in the forest. Alone, she wanders. The wind pushes and pulls her; every path she [...]
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Fearless Tenderness - Huddersfield Circle, Tue 26th Feb, 2013
Sohbet held in the Huddersfield circle, reading is taken from chapter 26 of Living Presence: A Sufi Way to Mindfulness & the Essential Self.
This theme is an advanced teaching. It presumes that we have to some extent developed a healthy capacity for will. By will we mean the capacity to choose consciously; and will power is the capacity to follow through on what we have consciously chosen. Only then can we glimpse the meaning of “Claim nothing, let the Divine do.” A healthy will is a will that more often than not chooses what is good for the soul and is independent of the whims and desires of the lower self. It is at this stage that this theme becomes applicable.
Every human soul is in the process of acquiring experience. Does it matter that we acquire experience? Does it serve any purpose? Yes, the Divine has sent souls into the world in order to share in its ecstasy and love. If we go through life relatively unconscious, numb, unappreciative, ungrateful, and absorbed with our petty desires, we are forfeiting our chance to share in God’s ecstasy and love.
In mid-June of 2011, I was a guest of Camille at the Snowmass Inter-Spiritual Dialog, held in the lovely setting of St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. The Dialog is an on-going process with more than a 25 year history in seeking to promote communication and exchange among many of the world’s spiritual or contemplative traditions and to identify “points of agreement” among them. Each of the core members or “mentors” of the group, of which Camille is the current Islamic/Sufi representative, invited several guests.
We are living in the midst of very challenging times. Shams and Mevlana also lived in the midst of very challenging times, yet what a possibility opened with the example of being they unveiled. They invite us into the garden of seeing God’s beauty and abundance in the midst of everything, seeing the Unity, and encouraging souls to be people of Paradise now, here.
It has been a privilege and an honor to be associated with this Mevlevi tradition. It has shaped our thoughts, values, perceptions, and prayers. We draw upon the inspiration of Hazrati Mevlana and we are also grateful for the centuries of wisdom and beauty that true Mevlevis have left as a legacy. We have been following the Mevlevi Path since we took hand with Suleyman Dede in 1980 and he gave us permission to teach and lead zhikrs. In 1990 the honorable Celaletttin Celebi gave us permission to wear the Mevlevi Destar and specifically to “teach the mystic path of the Mevlevis.” Our journey on this path continued with the kind support of the noble and generous Celebi family, and along the way was strengthened by many friendships with beautiful Mevlevis, including the faithful and humble Sefik Can Efendi.
Konya! Mevlana! Ashk! For the past thirty years or more a current has run through my life, our lives, sometimes as a subtle guidance, sometimes as a sense of meaningful coherence, and sometimes as an upwelling force that makes the eyes glisten, if not overflow with tears.
We send you our warmest greetings, just a few days after the end of Ramadan and Mevlana's birthday (September 30th). The Wednesday night before (9/24), in the midst of the current financial crisis, we were gathered to read Mevlana's Mathnawi, III, 1721. . . The reasons Pharaoh's magicians had the courage to suffer the amputation of their hands and feet. It's interesting how Mevlana addresses worldly concerns from the perspective of the deepest spiritual understanding. Pharaoh is, of course, the archetype or symbol of the blind, worldly power that tries to strike fear into everyone's hearts, while the magicians are those who have developed a high degree of spiritual perception and realization
If you feel as if you are living through uncertain, disturbing, hopeful, chaotic times, you're not alone. Given the harsh economic demands, the frenzy of everyday life, the delusions of the prevailing culture, keeping our spiritual life alive requires not just intention but a passion for the Truth. It is that passion that will bring the consistent and deep practice, the deep remembrance and trust that will guide us to the Truth. Recently, a national group of activists held a conference here in Santa Cruz on the theme of a Truth Emergency. Given the national corporate media, not only is reporting distorted, there is virtually a black-out of the major issues that should concern us. There seems to be a tragic failure of leadership.