Reflection on January’s theme: Awakened Being is attention guided by the Heart in everyday life.
Surely we are immersed in everyday life for a reason? But reason often appears when we stop searching for it. Rumi says, ‘If you are too careful, Love will not find you.’
Looking aside from the bright star we see the light’s source in sharper clarity and intensity, without being dazzled. There is to be found the mystical in the everyday, the sacred in the banal. There are dear moments when, indeed, the caller, the call and the one called are one and we dip into the timeless sea.
Once this autumn an impossibly pink, iridescent leaf bejewelled with translucent waterdrops set in the concrete ground of a city caught my eye as I walked across the carpark. Was it really that colour? No. And neither was it any other colour, rather it was both every colour and no colour. But in the shiver of becoming is recognition. ‘I was a hidden treasure and I longed to be known.’
Wordsworth said we come into this world ‘trailing clouds of glory’. But as we grow we are wrapped under successive layers of consciousness, like an onion. As a lost traveller who heads east instead of west, we will eventually arrive by the opposite route – we leave home on a journey home. During the passage there are revelations of our origin shrouded in mystery, uncertainty and unconsciousness.
One afternoon on a day out with my mother, driving through lovely scenery, I became lost in our conversation. I began talking nonsense too, but it was later when I realised, when I became conscious of the absurdity. The words had been devoid of sense, dreamlike, I think we were talking about bananas – maybe we were both bananas! I’m reminded of that surrealist painting by de Chirico, ‘The Uncertainty of the Poet’. Certainly I had lost all certainty – but without realising it!
Unaware I had passed into her world, and who can say which was the madder? What unseen hand had guided me there? I had taken my hand off the steering wheel – metaphorically! It was simply that emptiness of meaning that meant so much. It spoke clearly of our closeness, familiarity and affection that persisted down the years. We had melded together – or rather a togetherness that existed had become manifest and, later, apparent by recollection.
‘But isn’t it in ruins that we mostly find the treasures? A broken heart hides so many treasures.’ Rumi
~ David Aldred, Knaresborough
February’s theme is: Character is the spiritually infused balance of Love and Intelligence.
We welcome your reflections on this theme. Please email email@example.com.
Shaikh Kabir’s April visit
Shaikh Kabir will be in the UK in April. Dates for your diary so far: day event on Sunday 12th April at Christ Church Hall, Wanstead Place, London E11 2SW. More details will be emailed when available or in the next newsletter.
The Spiritual Practice of Rumi
Rumi’s Circle are excited to host Mahmoud Mostafa who will be speaking about ‘The Spiritual Practice of Rumi’ on Valentine’s Day afternoon in Manchester. We look forward to seeing some of you there. Join the Facebook event page.
Sat 14th February, 2pm, Council Chamber, Students Union Building (Steve Biko), University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PR
The 99 Names of Allah
Some of you may know that Chickpea Press have launched a crowdfunding bid to help publish their new book, The 99 Names of Allah, an inspiring and colourful guide for younger readers, parents and teachers. Creatively introducing the Names that describe Allah, this book aims to engage the heart and illuminate the richness of Islamic spirituality.
This project fills such an obvious need, and does it so beautifully, one wonders why it hadn’t happened until now. Probably so that exactly these people would be the ones to do it. It provides an entry point into a spiritual Islam that every parent would like to give to their children, and illuminating their own understanding in the process. Inshallah, it will be recognized as a classic.
~ Shaikh Kabir Helminski
The crowdfunding bid finishes on March 22nd. Please share and support this work: igg.me/at/99NamesofAllah
Cycles of Witnessing, Tree of Life
A Letter from Shaikha Camille on her ancestor, Mary Dyer, and the amazing connection with 17th Century Ottoman Court.
My ancestry led back directly, I discovered, through Deacon John Dyer and his wife, Freelove Williams, and further back to such a strong woman of Spirit whose story I had never known—Mary Dyer, the only woman in the history of the United States of America to be martyred for religious freedom. It was 1660 when she was hung on Boston Common by the Puritans, for promoting freedom of religious conscience. She went to her death with joy, witnessing to Truth, determined to honor the freedom of each soul to discover and relate to the Truth as he or she felt moved by the “Inner Light.” She was a Quaker. Read more…
Feb 7th: Threshold London Monthly Open Group, 7pm. Newcomers to the group are asked to seek a telephone introduction and briefing with the host/facilitator before attending. Please phone Sadat on 07710 511517, or e-mail Mahmoud on firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number so he can call you back — please do this at least two days in advance.
Feb 14th: ‘The Spiritual Practice of Rumi’ with Mahmoud Mostafa, 2pm, Manchester University Student’s Union. More details: www.rumiscircle.com
Feb 28th: Family zhikr and meal in Harrow from 7pm hosted by Sania and Amer. For more details and address please contact Sania at email@example.com.
Mar 7th: Threshold London Monthly Open Group, 7pm. Newcomers to the group are asked to seek a telephone introduction and briefing with the host/facilitator before attending. Please phone Sadat on 07710 511517, or e-mail Mahmoud on firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number so he can call you back — please do this at least two days in advance.
Mar 28th: Family zhikr and meal in Harrow from 7pm hosted by Sania and Amer. For more details and address please contact Sania at email@example.com.
Apr 12th: Day event with Shaikh Kabir, Christ Church Hall, Wanstead Place, London E11 2SW. More details will be emailed when available or in the next newsletter.
Get in touch
We’d love to hear from you — a favourite piece from Mevlana, your own poetry, reflections on the path… please do contribute. We learn so much from each other, may this space be an opportunity for community, connection and companionship. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I Was a Treasure
It is from My kindness that the smell of fresh bread
awakens hunger in My servant
and causes that living one to weep.
A mother tickles the nose of her babe,
that it may wake and seek its food,
for it may have fallen asleep hungry, unawares,
and on waking it prods her breast for milk.
I was a treasure, a hidden mercy,
so I sent forth a rightly guided, merciful Prophet.
Every grace that your soul so passionately seeks,
I revealed it to you that you might desire it.[Mathnawi II: 362-366, The Rumi Daybook]