Reflection on March’s theme: This is the work of the heart, not the work of the head. ~Shams
What is the work of the heart? Wouldn’t I know, if I knew myself better? So I wrote down some of my qualities. As I wrote I saw so many positive things! I was filling pages with compliments and I found myself being grateful for just being me! I found a place of love and self acceptance within myself. I felt like I was flying. I was becoming my own best friend. Getting to know oneself and loving oneself heals most problems. I felt confident, as if at the start of an amazing adventure. I realised that criticism, guilt, fear, and resentment cause all our problems, so why not choose not to feel them?
If we choose to love we will know Love is the answer. Loving yourself transforms your life. When you love yourself, you love others and you find so much to love in life. I was told once that a “grateful heart is a magnet for miracles,” and I started keeping a gratitude journal. Each night I wrote my thank you’s to God for all that He had given and would give. Initially, I had found it difficult, thinking what is there to be grateful for? That sounds ungrateful now, but at the time, I took so much for granted. It all changed with my journal. I had so much to be grateful for. We all do. From the air we breath, sunshine, flowers, our families, friends, our health, our love. You can fill pages of thank you’s. I’m still working on it, learning to be grateful and seeing good in everything.
I found a “Friend” through my gratitude practice – God. I was praying and saying thank you for our friendship. My Friend lives in my heart and that’s why I trust it and follow it. It’s exciting as I look forward to where this takes me. Al Ghazali wrote, “Dear friend, your heart is a polished mirror. You must wipe it clean of the veil of dust that has gathered upon it, because it is destined to reflect the light of divine secrets.”
I want to say I love you and thank you for this moment that you and I have just shared.
This is the work of the heart, not the work of the mind.
The mind constricts, love unbinds.
The mind says, “Don’t let go or overflow.”
Love says, “Be free without formality.”
~ Ashfia Mohammed-Ashrif, Hale Barns
April’s theme is: The natural state of the human being is worship. The human needs God as the garden needs spring.
We welcome your reflections on this theme. Please email email@example.com.
Integral Sufism: Living Tawhid (The Practice of Oneness)
If you have booked a place and can no longer attend, please let us know so we can offer your place to someone else.
Sunday 12th April, 12:30-6pm. Talk begins promptly at 1pm. Tea break at 3pm. End at 6pm.
Christ Church Hall, Wanstead Place, London E11 2SW
Tickets: £25 Adults, £15 Concessions. Pay on the door.
Shaikh Kabir will also be offering an event for a different audience and context (Christian, psychology-oriented, a beginner’s talk on Sufism) at The Meditatio Centre in Islington on Saturday 11th April, but he considers the Wanstead talk a priority for Threshold friends.
The Whirling Dervishes of Kentucky
It’s Thursday night in the Highlands of Louisville, Kentucky. Noisy bands of young people roam the commercial strip of Bardstown Road, anxious to get an early start on the weekend. And the bars are glad to accommodate them, advertising everything from free WiFi to “Thirsty Thursday” drink specials that extend happy hour until 4 am. But a few blocks away, on a street of tall trees and stately old houses, a different sort of gathering is taking place. In the living room of one of the neighbourhood’s redbrick Victorian homes, about a dozen people sit on couches beneath framed verses from the Koran. Most of them have their eyes closed, breathing silently. The smell of oud incense wafts in the air. After a few moments, Sheikh Kabir and Sheikha Camille Helminski enter the room, taking their place on two identical chairs draped with white sheepskins…
Download the full article from the recent Forbes Magazine (of India) profile of the Louisville community, written by Anna Rohleder.
Discussing Spiritual Bypass
At the recent San Francisco retreat, “The Alchemy of Character,” Dr. Sara Winter spoke about the tendency to avoid ego development needs and the messier issues of our lives through spiritual bypass, i.e. a state of premature transcendence, trying to circumvent the developmental issues of the self in the name of spirituality. Unresolved emotional issues and wounds can sabotage spiritual practice, interfering with our meditation and zhikr.
Listen to the talks here.
Mevlevi Zhikr recording
Access the full Mevlevi zhikr recited by Shaikh Kabir and Shaikha Camille and support your daily practice. Listen online or download.