Reflection on April’s theme: Your inner being is a sanctuary; cleanse it with the light of compassionate awareness.
I was reminded of this month’s theme when I read the following line, as it speaks of the relationship between my inner being, returning to my origin and seeking refuge in God: “O You who return their servants to their origin! O Most Merciful! O Most Loving One!” (Mevlevi Wird). I am reminded to manifest a kindness towards this self, a kindness which helps me to turn and journey in the right direction – inwardly – knowing that it can be difficult, and that I absolutely must do this work with love.
Recently, I completed the 99 Day Program. I found that there were habits, resentments, conditionings, etc. that were necessarily brought to light as I sought this inner sanctuary. I found myself sometimes delaying the practice because I didn’t like what I was seeing. On some level, I believe my ego was telling me that this inner sanctuary wasn’t really in me, or if it was, that it was buried so deep I couldn’t reach it. But the Prophet tells us, “Whosoever knows himself knows his Lord”, so I found as I stuck with it that this work can only be done with love and compassion towards whatever may come to light. It feels as though this light of compassionate awareness is also the light of the inner sanctuary, and what does it matter what is met when exploring it, as long as all this time is being spent with it? Perhaps this is what is meant by the destination being the journey itself.
This month’s theme also made me so thankful for this beautiful tradition, in particular ibada (worship) in the sema. It’s so difficult to find the words to describe it, but there is a sense of finding sanctuary in turning that brings us nearer to the experience of La illaha il Allah (There is no God but God). A freedom is felt from all thoughts and emotions; even thoughts about God. A quote from the 99 Day Program: “Be certain that remembering God is not thinking about God, but being in that state of presence through which we feel the companionship of God.”
May we all learn to truly know our inner being, and to be compassionate towards ourselves in our seeking of it. Amen.
~ Siema Taj, London
May’s theme is: Your body is a servant; train it with love.
We welcome your reflections on this theme. Please email email@example.com.
Movement as Worship of the One
Shaikh Kabir speaks about movement as worship of the One and why dervishes whirl, exploring the physical dimensions of remembrance and how ceremony can facilitate coherence at the individual and community level.
As the clouds have (almost) unfolded and the sun is once again shining over England’s green and pleasant land, we would like to invite interested persons to get close to nature on a weekend camping trip around the 23rd to the 26th of May. We would probably leave on the morning of the 24th May (Saturday) and stay for two nights, returning on the bank-holiday Monday, which is coincidentally Isra Me’raj. There’s also the possibility of leaving on the Friday afternoon instead or as-well-as if this suits people better.
The campsite will probably be Badgells Wood badgellswoodcamping.co.uk or Welsummer welsummercamping.com and I will book a space when I’ve an idea of numbers. Both sites are about an hour from Farringdon. Cost at Badgells Wood is a simple £12.50 per person per night; Welsummer charges by the tent at £30 per night for a six berth tent or £50 per night for one of their 6 berth bell tents. With food and petrol etc. last time we went we had change back out of £100. Equipment wise, if you have your own tent, sleeping bag, seat, plate, cutlery etc. great, if not, we’ll sort something out. I have a six to nine berth (three pods off a central area) tent and two 2/3 berth tents available.
All are welcome. Please email Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Threshold books are available to buy through Chickpea Press (UK delivery only). For a full list of available titles see here.
May 23-26: Camping trip – see above for details and email Grant at email@example.com.
May 31: Family zhikr in Harrow – monthly zhikr and meal from 6pm hosted by Sania and Amer. For more details and address please contact Sania at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug 29-31: Threshold Annual Retreat at Gaunts House, Dorset. Registrations now open, see here for more info.
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.
How many a generous rain has poured,
so that the sea could scatter pearls!
How many a sun of blessing has shone,
so that clouds and seas might learn generosity!
The sunbeams of Wisdom struck the soil,
so that earth might receive seed:
the soil is faithful to its trust—
whatever you sow, you reap.
The soil’s faithfulness comes from that Faithful One,
since the Sun of Justice shines on it.
Until springtime brings the touch of God,
the earth doesn’t reveal her secrets.[Mathnawi I: 501-511]