UK Retreat Registration
July Theme

You are born from a Ray of God’s Majesty.
~Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

We welcome your reflections on this theme.

Feridun Özgören

Feridun Özgören, musician and Ebrû artist, a long-time friend of Threshold has passed away.

Niyazi Sayin and Feridun

He learned the art of ebrû (paper marbling) from Niyazi Sayın (also one of the greatest neyzens of our time) of Istanbul, and has practiced as a master of this medium for more than thirty years. He provided the cover art for Kabir’s The Knowing Heart, and for Revelation, a CD of Kani Karaca’s Qur’an Recitation. Özgören’s artwork has been shown in major solo exhibitions in Istanbul and throughout Turkey, in the US, Germany, and Bahrain.  His works are featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Houghton Library of Harvard University, the Margaret Clapp Library of Wellesley College Special Collections, the Cooper Hewitt Museum New York, the Dolmabahçe Palace Museum in Istanbul, and the Bahrain National Museum as well as the Beit al Quran Museum in Manama. In 2016 he was awarded the Presidential Culture and Arts Grand Award of the Republic of Turkey.

Özgören was an accomplished musician, performing and teaching Turkish classical music, primarily playing the tanbur; he conducted the Cambridge Musiki Cemiyeti in Boston and he was always happy to join us providing music for retreats and for our celebrations of Sheb-i Arus during the years we lived in New England. He was also a maker of Turkish instruments, including tanbur, kemence, rebab, lauta, bendir, and ney: Özgören re-designed the largely-lost Turkish çeng (the Ottoman harp) for contemporary performance, and was awarded the American Fullbright Fellowship for this work.

The Qur'an Vol I on Kindle

Now available on Kindle as well as in paperback from all booksellers.

Numerous keys are available to us to open the deeper meaning that lives within us; the words of the Holy Qur’an are such keys. Camille Adams Helminski offers in this Volume I, a fresh English translation of the first three surahs of the Quran—Surah al-Fatiha, Surah al-Baqarah, and Surah Al-‘Imran, which convey the principles of human ethics, encouraging us to turn again and again to realignment with our Source. Occasional transliterations of the original Arabic are also included to remind us of the beauty of the original revelation.

UK Retreat Aug 2-5

Come to the Circle of Presence, Creativity, & Love
Aug 2-5 2024, The Vedanta, Lincoln Rd, Branston, LN4 1PD, Lincolnshire, UK
with Shaikh Kabir Helminski, Selçuk Gürez, Mahmoud Mostafa & Khadim Chisti

The retreat will support a vibrational shift in our souls through sacred music and movement, through practices of silence, stillness, and remembrance, and through a heart connection with other sincere seekers. We will explore and experience the knowledge and practice of: living with humility, creativity, and inner freedom; awakening spiritual perception, purifying the self; and understanding the cosmic nature of Love.

Join us at The Vedanta, a beautiful Grade II listed Elizabethan estate nestled amongst 75 acres of woodlands, meadows and lakes. We look forward to welcoming you to a contemporary experience of sacred space, beauty, friendship, whirling, music, poetry, and prayer in beautiful countryside with precious community!

Limited Places Available
St Francis Retreat Sep 27-30

The Path of Beauty, The Refuge of Placelessness

Sep 27-29/30 2024, St Francis Retreat Center, San Juan Bautista, California
Kabir and Camille Helminski
with Amir Etemadzadeh, Sufi musician, percussionist, and composer, accompanied by Narin Etemadzadeh, percussionist and vocalist

A retreat can be a time of healing, a reset, a vibrational shift. This is a time to experience the knowledge and practice of awakening spiritual perception, purifying the self, understanding the cosmic nature of Love, living with humility and inner freedom.

Our souls long for a deep shift… through sacred music and movement, through practices of silence, stillness, and remembrance, through contemplating the jewels of wisdom in Rumi and Sufism, and near the day of Rumi’s birth, September 30th.

In the blessed atmosphere of Saint Francis Retreat Center, in San Juan Bautista, California, we will explore the possibility of bringing beauty into our lives and into the world. At the same time, in the midst of today’s overload of images, impressions, and information, the heart longs to experience the refuge of holy placelessness. As Rumi says: “My place is the placeless, my trace is the traceless.”

Join us for these days of spiritual practice, dialog, music, and a heart connection with other sincere seekers.

More details
Salawat Sonnet

~ Shehla Naz Baig [London UK]

I imagine my heart as the city of Mecca, the Prophet returning, he holds his hand out in peace to the parts of myself in conflict, the oppressed parts are freed, the tender parts rejoice, the symbols of the false self in the Kaaba of my heart are smashed and I am made whole.

I penned this Salawat in the form of an English sonnet.

Our hearts are a city the Prophet has passed through
And Beauty’s gaze has lit the flame of truth
We are lifted now, together in our praise
No longer lost in God-forsaken ways
The appetites we took for meaning life
While slaves and women wept in fear and strife
Are gone. Now each soul takes Justice as its law
Whether Reason’s dawn or Sorrow’s nightfall draws

Today, in the character of one man
The world renewed itself, all faiths, one heart
And Mercy’s sword within his gentle hand
Dissolved the symbols of the self apart
Tender as the blade that cuts the cord*
He freed our souls to turn and serve our Lord

*umbilical cord


~ Shehla is a physician, educator and poet from the London Threshold circle.

Imam Ali's Advice

Imam Ali’s famous letter of advice while Caliph, to the Governor of Egypt, Malik Ashtar, which is based on the translation by Rasheed Turabi.


The Richest Treasure

Be it known to you, O, Malik, that I am sending you as Governor to a country which in the past has experienced both just and unjust rule. Men will scrutinize your actions with a searching eye, even as you used to scrutinize the actions of those before you, and speak of you even as you did speak of them. The fact is that the public speak well of only those who do good. It is they who furnish the proof of your actions. Hence the richest treasure that you may covet would be the treasure of good deeds. Keep your desires under control and deny yourself that which you have been prohibited from, for, by such abstinence alone, you will be able to distinguish between what is good to them and what is not.

Develop in your heart the feeling of love for your people and let it be the source of kindliness and blessing to them. Do not behave with them like a barbarian, and do not appropriate to yourself that which belongs to them. Remember that the citizens of the state are of two categories. They are either your brethren in religion or your brethren in kind. They are subject to infirmities and liable to commit mistakes. Some indeed do commit mistakes. But forgive them even as you would like God to forgive you. Bear in mind that you are placed over them, even as I am placed over you. And then there is God even above him who has given you the position of a Governor in order that you may look after those under you and to be sufficient unto them. And you will be judged by what you do for them.

Do not set yourself against God, for neither do you possess the strength to shield yourself against His displeasure, nor can you place yourself outside the pale of His mercy and forgiveness. Do not feel sorry over any act of forgiveness, nor rejoice over any punishment that you may mete out to any one. Do not rouse yourself to anger, for no good will come out of it.

Do not say: ” I am your overlord and dictator, and that you should, therefore, bow to my commands”, as that will corrupt your heart, weaken your faith in religion and create disorder in the state. Should you be elated by power, ever feel in your mind the slightest symptoms of pride and arrogance, then look at the power and majesty of the Divine governance of the Universe over which you have absolutely no control. It will restore the sense of balance to your wayward intelligence and give you the sense of calmness and affability. Beware! Never put yourself against the majesty and grandeur of God and never imitate His omnipotence; for God has brought low every rebel of God and every tyrant of man.

Let your mind respect through your actions the rights of God and the rights of man, and likewise, persuade your companions and relations to do likewise. For, otherwise, you will be doing injustice to yourself and injustice to humanity. Thus both man and God will turn unto your enemies. There is no hearing anywhere for one who makes an enemy of God himself. He will be regarded as one at war with God until he feels contrition and seeks forgiveness. Nothing deprives man of divine blessings or excites divine wrath against him more easily than cruelty. Hence it is, that God listens to the voice of the oppressed and waylays the oppressor.


Last Instructions

Do not make haste to do a thing before its time, nor put it off when the right moment arrives. Do not insist on doing a wrong thing, nor show slackness in rectifying a wrong thing. Perform everything in its proper time, and let everything occupy its proper place. When the people as a whole agree upon a thing, do not impose your own view on them and do not neglect to discharge the responsibility that rests on you in consequence. For, the eyes of the people will be on you and you are answerable for whatever you do to them. The slightest dereliction of duty will bring its own retribution. Keep your anger under control and keep your hands and tongue in check whenever you fall into anger, try to restrain yourself or else you will simply increase your worries.

It is imperative on you to study carefully the principles which have inspired just and good rulers who have gone before you. Give close thought to the example of our prophet (peace be upon him), his traditions, and the commandments of the Book of God and whatever you might have assimilated from my own way of dealing with things. Endeavor to the best of your ability to carry out the instructions which I have given you here and which you have solemnly undertaken to follow. By means of this order, I enjoin on you not to succumb to the prompting of your own heart or to turn away from the discharge of duties entrusted to you.

I seek the refuge of the might of the Almighty and of His limitless sphere of blessings, and invite you to pray with me that He may give us together the grace willingly to surrender our will to His will, and to enable us to acquit ourselves before Him and His creation; so that mankind might cherish our memory and our work survive. I seek of God the culmination of his blessings and pray that He may grant you and me His grace and the honor of martyrdom in His cause. Verily, we have to return to Him. I invoke His blessings on the Prophet of God and his pure progeny.

[Read the full letter here]

Online Masnavi Study Group

During the 2023 UK Retreat, many friends expressed an interest in joining a Masnavi study group. With this in mind, inshallah, Daniel Thomas Dyer will be facilitating a Threshold study group beginning in September. Daniel has been studying the Masnavi for the past ten years in a study group led by Mahmoud Mostafa (now on Book IV), and intends this new group, beginning at Book I, to be suitable for all levels of familiarity with the text.

The group will be open to anyone who has attended a retreat led by Shaikh Kabir and Camille or anyone who regularly attends a local Threshold circle (worldwide).

Meeting once each month, two possible days are being proposed: either the second Tuesday or second Wednesday of the month at 7pm (UK time). Each meeting will last approximately two hours. We ask that participants initially commit to attending six meetings over a period of six months; after which participants can reassess their commitment and new participants can have the opportunity to join.

If you are interested, please contact Daniel stating your preference for the Tuesday or Wednesday at

Read Daniel's reflection on the Masnavi and the art of translation:

Rumi's Works

Translating Rumi

July 7th

Join us for a monthly online meditation and sohbet with Shaikh Kabir and Camille, and special guests from the Threshold community. Held on the 1st Sunday of every month at 12pm Eastern Time (5pm UK).

Zoom meeting:
Zoom passcode: threshold

Watch last month's meeting below and see all our videos here.

The Threshold Society

The Threshold Society, rooted within the traditions of Sufism and inspired by the life and work of Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi, is a non-profit educational foundation with the purpose of facilitating the experience of Divine Unity, Love, and Truth in the world. Sufism is a living tradition of human transformation through love and higher consciousness. Our fundamental framework is classical Sufism and the Qur’an as it has been understood over the centuries by the great Sufis. The Society is affiliated with the Mevlevi Order, and offers training programs, seminars and retreats around the world.

Each month we intend to highlight an article about our lineage and its principles. You can find our core articles here. We encourage our community to read and reread these regularly.

This month we offer: Lessons in the School of Love: The Adab of Sacred Space

Sufi training is accomplished, above all, in the Sufi lodge and the network of relationships cultivated there. Sometimes the Sufi lodge is an actual tekkye or dergah, a private home, a rented hall, and sometimes it may even be a “tekkye on wheels,” as when we travel to a foreign country together. What is most important is the intention and an understanding of why we come together. We are seeking to create and sustain an environment where spiritual realization can be optimized, where the influence of egoism can be minimized, and where the values and knowledge of the tradition can be preserved.

When we step over the threshold of the Sufi tekkye (lodge) we are leaving one world and entering another. We are leaving the environment of the mundane and entering sacred space. We do this, above all, with our intention. Our intention is to be present, courteous, and aware of our own self (nafs).

Everything within sacred space is inherently intentional; whereas the secular world, which is the result of egoistic and commercial forces, is much less coherent, harmonious, and holy.

Ideally, every thing within sacred space has meaning and purpose. If we are fortunate enough to have a sacred space that was designed specifically for a sacred purpose, even the proportions of the architecture will be intentional, reflecting the Golden Mean, for instance, or embodying sacred geometry and number in other ways.

Proportion also applies to human relationships. Relationships are more harmonious when we know where we fit, what our place is. In the tekkye relationships were proportioned by reciprocal humility and respect. The beauty of relationships in Sufism is one of the qualities that captured my heart. As a beginner on the path and as a guest, I encountered a quality of respect I had not seen in any other circumstances. In fact I felt that I received more respect than I deserved.

[Read more...]


Turkiye Trip

1st Sunday of every month: Online Meditation, more details   (K)

Jul 7: Muharram

Jul 12-15: Assisi Italy Retreat, more details   (K)

Aug 2-5: UK Annual Retreat, The Vedanta, Lincolnshire, more details   (K)

Sep 27-30:  St Francis, California retreat, more details   (KC)


Events with Kabir (K) & Camille (C)

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