Inayati Order New Moon Practice

Dear friends,
Greetings from the beautiful Alpine mountains, where we are preparing to gather for our first week of the Zenith Camp where alongside other programmes, Sarafil Bawa, Shaykha Hayat Nur Artiran from Istanbul and Reverend Pastor Lutimothy May from Pensacola will be leading us in a seminar on the stages of prayer. Their sharing of spiritual practices and dialogue are a reflection of the activity of the Universal Worship.
Murshid said about the Universal Worship:
“At this time when the world is divided into so many sections, one working against another, it is most necessary that humanity must at least unite in God. For whatever difference there may be among human beings, before God there is no difference. He is the father of all humanity, and we all go before Him as His children. This Universal Worship reminds us of this, and this Universal Worship prepares us to sympathize with one another and to be blessed by all forms of wisdom which have come to us by different great teachers of humanity.”
Religious Gathekas

Thank you for this reminder of the beauty of our path in helping us to create harmony.
With love,
Gulrukh

Seed thought:
Now if I do anything it is to tune souls instead of instruments. To harmonize people instead of notes. If there is anything in my philosophy, it is the law of harmony: that one must put oneself in harmony with oneself and with others. Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Contemplation:
One may feel that there is a prevailing atmosphere of polarization and aggressive divisiveness in the day-to day dynamic among people at this time. This is especially evident in the public discourse around politics, policies and online commentary. Most would say we are in a state of disharmony in all aspects of life: with global climate change, disintegrating standards of ethics and manner, fear and hate in the heart of human relations.
“Life in the world has a constantly jarring effect, and the finer we become the more trying it will be to us. And the time comes when the more sincere and full of goodwill, the more kind and sympathetic a person is, the worse life becomes for him. If he is discouraged by it he goes under, but if he keeps his courage he will find in the end that it was not disadvantageous, for his power will someday increase to that stage, to that degree, at which his presence, his word, and his action will control the thoughts and feelings and actions of others. Then his rhythm will become powerful and will cause the rhythm of everybody else to follow it. This is what is called in the East the quality of the mastermind. But in order to stand firm against the inharmony that comes from without, one must first practice standing firm against all that comes from within, from one’s own self. For one’s own self is more difficult to control than other people, and when one is not able to control oneself and one has failed, it is most difficult to stand firm against the inharmony outside”.
One could begin to become dispirited or even give in to despair, yet, as mystics we have a rich treasure and a most unique opportunity to impact this. We belong to a caravan of those who have committed to a path of love, harmony and beauty, we have been given training and we have our daily practice. There is no lack of opportunities for using concentration, breath, intention and practice.

For this month each morning begin with
Ya Karim, Ya Rahim: x11
Begin with the rising sun, calling upon the spirit of guidance with the intention of building an atmosphere and manner of generosity, loving kindness and mercy towards all beings. Each time a disharmonious thought arises, go back to the essence of the practice; attuning ones heart to an active process of pouring through your breath, your thought, your glance, your words and your touch loving kindness to all you meet, or see, or think about.

In service, love and blessing,
Amina

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Dear friends,

Our new moon journey takes us to the activity of Ziraat, which is explained below.
And to lead us into the practice for this month I found these wonderful words from Pir Vilayat at the beginning of Nature Meditations:

“Obviously man’s need for oneness with nature is not fulfilled simply by hiking or
camping in nature, but by penetrating into the consciousness of the trees and the
flowers, of the planet and the atoms, experiencing what it would be like to be that
flower or tree and getting into the spirit of the wind on a landscape or of a musical
note: in fact, switching to a totally different focus of consciousness, tuning into a
transfigured world which, as the Sufis say, “transpires through that which
appears.” This means discovering a whole other dimension of life and reestablishing
a bond with nature which has been so often violated; and it requires a
sacred tryst between man and nature, his promise to respect her and to sanctify his
relationship with her in the name of God.”

Maumud Waterman, one of the Vice Presidents of Ziraat, takes us to the heart of our relationship with Nature.
Thank you dear Maumud for this beautiful and inspiring practice.

With love,
Gulrukh

“The spiritual life is given in Ziraat as a seed. In Ziraat the person digs in the ground and cultivates the heart to find out its real essence, its inspiration, and its life. He cultivates the power to make a spiritual life out of everyday life. The whole secret of Ziraat is in this: “What is the seed?” The seed is the spiritual life itself. The seed is the life of the Messenger. As a seed, it grows in your heart and from there, it changes humanity and society, and makes all things new; it grows out in the new, reborn man, who is to live forever.”
Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Caravan of Souls.

Dear friends,

We, in the northern hemisphere, have been blessed with an unseasonably warm Spring. We emerge from the long, cold and dark of winter with joy and thawing bones into the warmer, lighter days. Nature bursts forth in new growth and almost unbearable beauty. We apprehend as if for the first time, blessings of the simplest yet most moving kind; swathes of glowing daffodils, glorious tree blossoms and rejoicing birdsong. We come round again to the time of new growth, rejuvenation and the stirrings of new possibilities.

Yet Spring without may not coincide with Spring within. The opening line of T S Eliot’s epic poem, written in the aftermath and devastation of the First World War and in his own depression, was ‘April is the cruellest month’. He was unable to greet the Spring or we could say that the ground of his being was not ready to receive the seed: the farmer needs to attend to the soil before the seed can be sown.

When we find ourselves, like T S Eliot, with the soil of our hearts not ready to receive the seed we need to compassionately and gently prepare it for planting.

Practice:
Turn within and watch the breath. Be mindful of the state of your heart. Be with it, accepting whatever is there. Using the breath of compassion, gently soften and moisten your heart with tender love. Allow the warmth of that love to radiate in the heart. On the out breath, saying Allah internally, trust that the healing you need will permeate your being as Spring follows your Winter.

In this season of new beginnings and always may we hear the voice constantly coming from within.

With love and blessings,

Maumud

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Greetings friends,
We are carrying on with the theme of Kinship and our practice this month is given to us by Ta’lim Knobel from Switzerland, who is the 2nd Vice President of Kinship.
In reviewing his practice I was reminded of the chapter in the social gathekas called the interdependence of the life within and without, where Murshid talks about the power of beauty. In our current world climate, the practice suggested by Ta’lim is a reminder that every action counts and as Murshid says:
“The one who always follows in one’s life, in every little thing one does, the rule of beauty, will always succeed, and will always be able to discriminate between right and wrong and between good and bad.”
Thank you dear Ta’lim for this beautiful practice.
With love,
Gulrukh

Contemplation:
“The Rose”
>From Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), there is a story which takes place during his first stay in Paris. Together with a young Frenchwoman he passed a square at lunch time, where a woman sat begging for money. Without looking up to any giver, without expressing any other sign of need or thankfulness beside her constantly outstretched hand, the woman always sat in the same place. Rilke never gave anything, his companion frequently gave a coin. One day the Frenchwoman, surprised, asked for the reason why he never gave anything, and Rilke answered her: “we should give to her heart, not to her hand.”
A few days later, Rilke brought a white rose with him that was just beginning to bloom. He laid it on the open, emaciated hand of the beggar woman and wanted to continue on. Then the unexpected happened: the beggar woman looked up, saw the giver, struggled to her feet, groped for the hand of the stranger, kissed it and left with the rose.
For a week the old woman disappeared; the place, where she had previously begged remained empty. In vain, Rilke’s companion searched for an answer, who would give the old woman alms now. After eight days, the beggar woman suddenly sat again as in the past at her usual place. She was silent as then, again showing her neediness only by her outstretched hand. “But what did she live on all those days when she received nothing?”, asked the Frenchwoman. Rilke answered: “the rose”….

Dear friends on the path of love,
As task for this month’s exercise, let us be aware of our natural affection and empathy for the people in our environment. There is no lack of opportunities for practice. We only need walk along a street in our neighbourhood, pass a busy train station, see the face of someone coming toward us in a cross walk. Their conditions are complex, hidden, often desperate and yet visible to the eyes of the open heart. What is called for in these chance encounters? What is the response the heart is longing to give?
Rilke suggests an ancient truth. The true gift is the heart gift, a loving connection from heart to heart. In giving the rose, he gave the old woman inner food. Giving was not an act of a guilty conscience, nor an act of obligation but a spontaneous out pouring of the heart that transcends appearance and recognizes the true hunger of every heart – the need to be seen with eyes of beauty and respect.

Practice:
The exercise involves three aspects: inner awareness, attunement to a situation, and outer action.

“What is given in love is beyond price” (HIK, Gayan Boulas)

Internal tuning: Ya Karim (absolute generosity and boundless mercy)
The practical meaning of Karim lies in the fact that one is there for someone who is in need, that he keeps his promise, that he is concerned about the affairs of the weaker.
„People in whose heart the seed of Al-Karim has blossomed give without expectation anything in return, without paying attention to the other’s reaction” (Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi: Divine names).

Outer action: Go lovingly, without much concern, in the way of the heart. It will guide you. If you face a situation take a recommendation from Brother David Steindl-Rast: stop-look-go! Hold down briefly (what requires my attention), connect with your inner voice (what touches me), act if appropriate.

I wish you many golden bonds of connection!

Ta’lim Knobel

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Dear friends,
Our new moon practice this month comes from Ischtar Marita Dvořák. In what for many feels like a time of darkness, Ishctar has provided us with words and practices that can open us to the light that shines in the awakened soul:
“Then there is a further awakening which is a continuation of what I have called the awakening of the soul. The sign of it is that the awakened person throws a light, the light of his soul, upon every person and every object and sees that object, that condition in this light. It is his own soul which becomes a torch in his hand, it is his own light that illuminates his path.” Hazrat Inayat Khan (Volume XIV.1.XIX)

Thank you dear Ischtar for this timely reminder of the power of light that lies within us.
Until next month.
Love as ever,
Gulrukh

Dear friends,
The shock about the outcome of the election is still working in the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the ocean. Anxious questions are arising: How will this decision affect our life, our country, our neighbours and the whole world? But the most burning question for us seekers on the path of love, harmony and beauty is: How could it happen that the majority of the American people voted for a person who openly and shamelessly disregards human values like equality, social justice, respect, human dignity, compassion? And how is it possible that in Europe xenophobia is growing, walls against the influx of refugees are being built and nationalistic and populistic ideas are gaining ground? Where will this decline of human values lead humanity?

Murshid’s words spoken a hundred years ago describe perfectly the situation of humanity today.
“Color prejudice, class distinction, differences between East and West and the dominion of one sex over the other are not yet out of sight; they are rather on the increase. In whichever direction we look we can see everywhere the demoralization of the world bringing to an end the ideal of friendship and personal relationship. Education qualifies us to become selfish to the best ability, and to get the better of another. As individuals, as communities, as nations, and as races, the world has been going from bad to worse in the way of selfishness. In the absence of a higher ideal the constant striving after material inventions has led us to such devices as have set the world on fire.” (VIII, p. 216)

Are we in the process of forgetting what a privilege it is to be a human being and to strive for the highest values in life?

“Man is so absorbed in life’s pleasures and pains that a man has hardly a moment to think what a privilege it is to be human. Man is the culmination of the whole of creation, in him the whole universe is manifested. Man’s greatest privilege is to become a suitable instrument of God.” (VIII, p. 113, 124, 116)

So it is up to us and all the people who value the great gift of living on this earth as human beings – as instruments of God to make God a reality on our planet – to prove that it is worthwhile to become a “true human being”.

“The first thing is to be man. It is not enough to have the form of man, we must be man.” (VIII, The Privilege of Being Human, Self-Realization)

“We want a human spirit, and self-realization is the search for this human spirit; everything must become human in us. But how should we accomplish this? We must find the store of goodness that is within us, in our heart.” (X, p. 87)

“If we cannot be trustworthy with our surroundings, with those who rely upon us, we are not human. If we cannot be self-sacrificing with our surroundings, our relations, we are not human. We must have tolerance. We must be true. We must have shame. We must keep our promise. We must share with others. We must be accommodating. We must have sympathy. We should check the animal passions that carry us away. To become human is the most difficult thing. Hali, a great Indian poet, says, ‘What can there be easy when it is even difficult for man to become man?’ – How much do we have to learn before we can say that we are truly human!” (VIII, The Privilege of Being Human, Self-Realization)

PRACTICES:
Facing the possibility that “the world is going from bad to worse”, as Murshid puts it, what can help us to keep our spirits and our motivation high to redouble our own effort in creating “a beautiful world with beautiful people”, as Pir Vilayat used to say? In the bible we read: “Even if everything passes away, three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13, 13)

Faith, hope and love – it feels that this is what we need right now. Murshid calls these qualities the natural qualities of a pure mind, the essence of the human spirit.

“What is natural to the mind? We find first of all faith, the natural tendency to trust; then love, the natural tendency towards friendliness and affection; then hope, the natural expectancy of joy and happiness.” (VI, p. 241)

Faith – “the natural tendency to trust”
YA MU’MIN
Mu’min is a divine gift that allows us to feel safe, confident and secure as a child in the arms of the Divine Mother. Murshid’s Murshid Abu Hashim Madani used to bless him at the time of departing saying: “May God strengthen your faith!” Mu’min is the unshakeable trust that the universe is a safe place and we will get help and support whenever needed. It is the power of the heart that dissolves all fear and doubts and enables us to stay firm on our path towards our highest ideal.

Love: – “the natural tendency toward friendliness and affection”
“Love is the Divine Mother’s arms; and when those arms are outspread, every soul falls into them.” (GVN 163)
YA RAHMAN – YA RAHIM
Rahman and Rahim describe the compassionate and merciful love of the Divine Mother caring for the well-being of Her children. They both come from the root of rahm meaning the “womb of love” (rahim = womb, rahma = love). Rahman is the great heart that shares the suffering as well as the joy of others, does not judge and makes no difference in caring for others. Rahman signifies the sense of beneficially connecting with all beings in the radiant manner of the sun, Rahim in the reflective manner of the moon. Reciting these two names for the embracing, nourishing and unconditional divine love generates healing energy. It brings self-healing from the deep wound of feeling abandoned by God and a healing of our relationship with other people and with the world. It may even develop “the loving glance” in our eyes attributed to the goddess Aphrodite who is said to see the beauty and goodness in people and by this transforms them into what she sees.

Hope: – “the natural expectancy of joy and happiness”
“In fact hope is more than a faculty or quality, hope may be called the substance of life.” (XIII, p. 247)
“To live means to hope, and to hope means to live.” (GVN 1147)
“Nothing is lost as long as your hope is not lost.” (GVN 1059)

YA MUQADDIM – YA MUNAWWIR
Hope means to see the light at the end of the tunnel and move forward in trust.

Muqaddim: The one who continually moves forward knowing that everything happens in its own time in perfect sequence. The inner conviction that if we let ourselves be carried along in the current of life – instead of swimming against the tide of divine intention – we and all we want to accomplish will develop according to our own inborn purpose.
Munawwir: The one who sees the light in the darkness and follows it until it manifests in one’s own being. By this we become radiant ourselves as “children of light” and are able to lighten up the soul of others. We become “bearers of light”.

Hope gives us strength and endurance in life and – last not least – joy and happiness.
“Verily, the one who is hopeful in life will succeed.” (VIII, p. 246)
“The one who hopes and sees the possibilities climbs toward the summit, but the one who has no hope has no legs to ascend the hill.” (VIII, p. 108)
“The joy that one gets from hope is greater than the joy that comes from the possession of the object hoped for.” (XIII, p. 247)

Riding on the horse of hope,
holding in my hand the rein of courage,
clad in the armour of patience,
and the helmet of endurance on my head,
a lance of stern faith in my hand,
I started on my journey to the land of love.
(excerpt from GVN 725)

Prayer:
Leonard Cohen sang in one of his last songs, before he left this earth:
“You want it darker – we kill the flame.”
Let’s not kill the flame, let’s blow into it and pray with the words of Zarathustra:
“May I be one of those who will make the world shining with light!”

In solidarity,
Ischtar Marita Dvořák, Germany

A little note on doing the practices: Instead of suggesting a certain number of repetitions of the wasaif as a guideline, I rather advise you to do the wasaif as long as you feel fully present with your mind and heart. Pir Vilayat recommended to do the practice for a short time and then to pause and sense and listen inwardly to the effect of the practice on our body, mind and heart, before starting anew.

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Dear friends on the pathless path,

I write to you as ever with gratitude to the person who has taken the time to share what is alive in their heart as we focus on this subject of “the awakening of the human spirit”. This month our contemplation and practice comes from Akbar Appels from Belgium.
These words of Murshid’s seem to reflect the core of what Akbar is offering us:

“Everything becomes spiritual once this door of the chamber of the heart is open…Whatever she may do in life that divine spirit manifests. She need not be a religious person, she need not be a philosopher, she need not be a mystic. It is simply that what was hidden in her and thereby was keeping her life incomplete begins to manifest to view, and that makes her life perfect. That enables a person to express life in its fullness.”
Volume VI – The Alchemy of Happiness – The Inner Life

Thank you dear Akbar.
with love

Dear Friends,
The new moon practice below is about the development of “Insight” and is inspired by what Hazrat Inayat Khan communicates about this subject in: Volume IV – Mental Purification and Healing Part III: Mental Purification Chapter XIX INSIGHT. The quotes below are to be found there.
The contemplation and practice are given in the three stages. You can do all three practices every day or chose to concentrate on one for 10 days each.

As usual Murshid is very structured and clear about this subject.
First of all a inner balance is needed, an anchor so that we can stabilize our ship when it gets stormy
Contemplation:
“The lesson we learn from the developing of our insight is not to become excited by any influence that tries to bring us out of rhythm, but to keep in rhythm under all conditions of life; to keep our equilibrium, our tranquility under all circumstances. It is sometimes very difficult to keep our equilibrium when the influences of life are shaking us, and to keep our poise through it all, it is difficult in the face of influences, which are opposed to keeping a friendly attitude. But at the same time, because it is difficult it is a great attainment. To attain anything valuable and worthwhile we have to go through difficulty. But we do not pay for it; we learn without paying for it. It is something that we can practice in everyday life because from morning till evening we are continually among jarring effects from all sides. There is plenty of opportunity for practicing this lesson of keeping a friendly attitude towards everyone, of meeting every condition courageously, and of taking upon ourselves all influences that come along. It is in this way that a greater insight into life is attained.”

Practice:
If you feel out of rhythm or unstable then you can practice:
Ya Matin (Firm – the One whose nature it is to be firm, determined and steadfast)
This wazifa will bring you mastership and the power to sustain when things become difficult.

The second step in developing inner knowledge is to develop our heart qualities
Contemplation:
“Besides, when once the heart begins to live, another world is open for experience. For generally what one experiences in one’s everyday life is only what the senses can perceive and nothing beyond it. But when once a person begins to feel and experience the subtle feelings of the heart he lives in another world, walking on the same earth and living under the same sun. Therefore be not surprised if you find beings who are living in another world while walking on this earth. It is as natural as anything can be for man to live in his heart instead of only living on the earth. The people in the East call it Sahib-i dil, that is the mastermind.”

I add here a hadith: “I seek refuge in Allah from a knowledge which is useless.” Useless knowledge is that which creates in you a sense of separation from divine compassion, and useful knowledge is that which causes you to have intimacy with divine love. (Physicians of the Heart)

Practice:
How to have intimacy with divine love? Well, as you know the first and most important ‘description’ of the qualities of the One are: Ya Rahman, Ya Rahim. And so it is good to reflect these two qualities in the mirror of your heart. You can do that f.e. by reciting or singing: Bismillah, ir Rahman, ir Rahim.
(When you mirror these qualities in your heart, you feel the need to stand up for those who are in need. That is the reason why my wife Latifa, inspired by a proposition of Pir Zia, started up the Nayaz Sisterbrotherhood, a Circle of people who commit themselves to pray at least two times a week for a list of people we send each month. Let us know if you would like it: vandevennenoella@gmail.com )

This leads to us constantly looking within
Contemplation:
“And then if one goes still deeper within, one begins to live in the soul. Inspiration, intuition, vision, revelation are natural to this person. The soul begins to become conscious of its own domain. And it is the same kingdom of which it is said in the Bible: ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God….’ It is the soul which begins to see.
Looking within helps a person very much in looking outside; then the same power with which the heart and eyes are charged begins to manifest outwardly. And the one who looks within finds, when he looks without, that all that is within manifests without. His influence is healing and consoling, uplifting and soothing. His sight, too, becomes penetrating, so that not only human beings but also even objects begin to disclose to him their nature, character, and secret.”

Practice:
Here we attune ourselves to the right heart center (latifa ruhyia) and connect ourselves with the purity and the innocence of our being (visualize a brilliant white light), the state you are in before you started up all kinds of manipulations to ‘survive’ in the outer world. The more you connect to this center, the more intuition will come through… your soul speaks louder and louder. Pir Vilayat said: “You are guided by your intuition instead of your personal vantage point.”
Wazaif: Ya Alim (Insight, Divine knowledge) – Ya Khabir (to be fully awake and adapting the Divine point of view).

In the One,
Akbar

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Dear friends on path,

Our new moon practice this month comes from our friend Shams Kairys. On reading it and returning once again to the book ” The Awakening of the Human Spirit”. I found this passage from Murshid:

“When the spark that is to be found in every heart, the spark that may be called the divine spark in man, is blown upon and the flame arises, the whole life becomes illuminated and man hears and sees and knows, and he understands. A Sufi poet says that every leaf of the tree becomes like a page of the sacred book, when the heart is open to read it and when the soul has opened its eyes.”

The practice that Shams has shared is one to me helps to blow upon the spark in our hearts.
Thank you dear Shams.

with love always and ever,
Gulrukh

PRACTICE
As Gulrukh announced in January, the inspiration for the new moon practices this year is the awakening of the human spirit on our planet. The first practice of the year included a contemplation from Pir Zia on rebalancing the atmospheric breath of the planet in the face of the global warming caused by its pollution.

In keeping with this theme, I offer a meditation derived from the Zikr for the World (sometimes done specifically for the Earth) that I have shared over the years. It entails chanting zikr with periods when the melody is only hummed. During these quieter portions, participants are invited to name aloud sources of distress and concern that they carry in their hearts — places, peoples, species, nations, individuals. Then, after a number of cycles, participants are invited to name sources of inspiration and blessing that touch their hearts, also for a number of cycles, until there’s a natural close.

The effect of bringing these thoughts and feelings from within, sharing them in the group, and placing them in the sacred pool of the zikr, can be not only moving, but also healing in the sense of whole-making.

For our meditation:

• Sit in a natural setting, or some other harmonious place.

• Sense your body, the life coursing through your limbs and organs.

• Breathe gently and let yourself enter an open, effortless state.

• Now allow the sources of distress and concern that you carry in your heart to come into view, to be recognized and felt.

• Let each be fully recognized and felt; then invite another to arise, and another . . . until all that needs attention has spoken.

• Hold these thoughts and feelings in stillness for a while, then repeat a zikr of your choice for a short time.

• Now allow the sources of inspiration and blessing that touch your heart to arise, taking time for each to be recognized and felt.

• After a short silence, end the meditation with whatever expression of grief and gratitude naturally arises from within.

~ ~ ~

In closing, dear friends, this poem comes to mind:

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

– Raymond Carver

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Dear friends,
Greetings from the Alps Camp!
Please forgive me for the delay in sending this practice, our Internet in the office was down and in the region where we are in, the internet does not have same priority as in urban sitting so it took a couple of days to fix.
I hope that we will all still be able to plant the seeds of our practice this month and I hope I can convey the fragrance of what is happening here to help with the planting.
We are celebrating Pir Vilayat’s 100th Birthday Anniversary. This week we have had a hundred strong choir rehearsing the Mass in B Minor led by Ophiel Van Leer for a project called the Music of Peace. They will be travelling to Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem at the end of the year to sing the Mass and pray.
In the Meditation tent under the guidance of Pir Zia, the Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo and Shaikha Nur Artiran (who is here with a group of 15 dervishes from Istanbul) we have explored the purpose of life as taught by the Sufis and Buddhists. In the silent retreat area Munir Voss and Malik Hirschberg having been leading a retreat on the subject of enlightenment.

There are just under 300 people from all seven continents and it is possible to see what a “beautiful world of beautiful people” looks, feels and sounds like.
All of this is the inspiration for the practice that I am offering.

Practice:
Pir Zia spoke of how at the core of Murshid’s life was his dedication to peace and to that I would add the simplicity of his teaching:
“Everything is a mystery when we do not know it. When we know it everything is simple. The true seekers after truth are lovers of simplicity. The right road is simple, clear and distinct. There is nothing vague about it.”

One thing that we can plant to awaken humanity to the divinity of all at this moment in time is the prayer for peace.

So let us imagine ourselves connecting to the prophets in heaven.
Then let us connect to all of the people around the world from all the different faith traditions and no traditions who are praying.
And from this place of interconnection between heaven and earth let us recite out loud the prayer for peace for as Murshid says: “No word ever spoken is lost; it remains, and it vibrates according to the spirit put into it.”

Send Thy peace O Lord,
which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy peace O Lord,
that we may think, act and speak harmoniously.
Send Thy peace O Lord,
that we may be contented and thankful for Thy bountiful gifts.
Send Thy peace O Lord,
that amidst our worldly strife, we may enjoy Thy bliss.
Send Thy peace O Lord,
that we may endure all, tolerate all, in the thought of Thy grace and mercy.
Send Thy peace O Lord,
that our lives may become a Divine vision and in Thy light, all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy peace O Lord,
our Father and Mother, that we Thy children on Earth may all unite in one family.
Amen.

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This month’s new moon practice comes from Tajalli Lacuisse and takes us to
another core teaching, that of seeing things from the other person’s point of
view.
As Murshid has said:
“This process is called unlearning. If you say of a certain man, ‘This is not a
nice person,’ although you may be quite wrong the general tendency is to stick
to that idea. But the greater evolution is to see from that man’s point of view
also. He has a reason for being as he is. Maybe he is too unevolved to see, or
he is more evolved and less interested in the other person. Yet, by seeing from
his point of view you do not lose your own. Your point of view is still there;
but the other point of view is added to yours, therefore your knowledge becomes
greater. It means a greater stretching of the heart and sometimes the heart
feels pain when you stretch it. But by stretching the heart and by making it
larger and larger, you turn your heart into the sacred Book.”

Tajalli’s poetic meditation is a wonderful reminder to practice something
which it feels to me like it is sorely needed in our world at this moment. The
other’s point of view.
Read it a few times and let it sink in your body.
Can we imagine a world where our hearts have turned into the sacred Book?

Thank you dear Tajalli for pointing us in this direction.

With love,
Gulrukh

« There is no way in which we can gain a clue as to the divine magnificence
vested in our divine inheritance, or even of what it is, unless we reverse our
vantage point and look at things from the divine point of view. This is indeed
the main objective of Sufism. »
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan. Les Etapes vers l’Eveil

If you can do the following meditation in nature, it makes it easier.
Sit quietly. Take your time so that your body becomes peaceful.
Look around you.
Enter in your breath.
You can alternate between closing your eyes and opening them. Take time.

A puff of wind happens. HU… HU…HU is the wind blowing… HU… The Only One. The song of a bird rises from a tree. HU… HU is this bird singing. HU… Another bird, another note, the shivering of one leave, of next, of thousands leaves…HU… Every blade of grass, every flower, every insect…HU… The One silently singing its own glory to Himself/Herself, animating His/Her own life. HU…

Imagine now that you are in a vast landscape, a desert, a plain or a mountain.
It is just before dawn.  The stars are still sparkling in the starry vault.  A vast and gentle fullness inhabits you. All is one. HU… AHAD…  Light arises very gently. This very light that inhabits us. Light is.  Everything is light. Light is my reality.
The power of light reveals one after another the first shapes, the first  reliefs, the landscape slowly emerges in his multiplicity, still bathed in the presence of the only One. All is one. And the one multiplies oneself in innumerable forms.  The divine treasury is revealing itself YA AHAD… YA WAHID…

You could add to your recitation YA AHAD YA SHAHID YA WAHID.
Then to help it burst with joy: YA WAJID.
(From Pir Vilayat: the one who seeks finds, which gives such a joy)

Amen

There is this instant in the zikr when the H from ALLAH (the awakening beyond
life, head up)) enters in the H of HU (the dawn of the awakening in life, head
beginning to bent towards the heart).

During the day, when you are in your daily activity, even by glimpses, try to
remember, welcome in your heart this radical reverse of perspective. HU…

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Greetings on the New Moon, Monday, February 8, 2016

Reading Selection
“O nature sublime, in thy silence, I hear thy mournful cry.” Alankaras, Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Let my soul move in Thy thought
As the green in the forest.
Nature Meditations, Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Practices

Earth Breath: Breathe in through the nose, hold briefly, exhale through the nose. The color is gold, the direction is downward and spreading. Think of the Earth with love and compassion.

Ya Wahhabo: The outpouring of divine potentialities into creation (33x)

Ya Hayyo: The ever-changing and transforming flow of life energy; life ongoing, ever flowing (33x)

Ya Qayyum: Life everlasting, eternal, unchanged behind all change; the victory of resurrection over death (33x)

(Toward the One, the Sufi Order, 1971, p. 670)

Walk in Nature and “consider the areas of your life in which the qualities of earth – stability, endurance, patience and humility – require great expression for the fulfillment of an important purpose. Accordingly, seek opportunities to personify and enact these qualities.”

(The Holy Mysteries of the Five Elements, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Sufi Order Publications, 2011, p. 24)

Respectfully,

Zaynab

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#3 Magnetism and Healing Practice
By Nur-al-Haqq Martin

This New Moon Meditation is a variation of a practice given by Hazrat Inayat Khan to his mureeds to help bring healing and magnetism into their lives.

To begin this meditation, sit tall and erect in a comfortable position, and bring your attention to the physical breath as it makes its way into your body. The breath carries on it a life force; see if you can feel the effects of this life force moving through you for a minute or two. At this time, take a scan of your five domains; the physical, mental, emotional, moral and spiritual domains, taking notice of what you are experiencing.

Now, with eyes closed, bring your consciousness to your hands. Place your hands on your lap with the palms up and opened. Feel the physicality of your hands, the sensations of the shape of your hands, the fingers, finger nails, and the skin. Secondly, bring your attention to the flesh under the skin, and then to the flow of the blood in your hands, and the different sensations you may be feeling: you may be feeling tingling or pulsations in the fingers or palms. Stay with feeling these sensations for a minute or so and see what it is you discover. Next, become very aware of the more subtle and finer vibrations and sensations of your hands. I have found that there are times when the sense of two hands becomes one sensation, not two, but one.

Next with your eyes closed, bring your attention to your eyes, and feel the physicality of this area. Feel your eye lids and the area just above, below and behind your eyes. As you breathe in, feel energy coming in your eyes and moving on throughout your body. As you breathe out feel the energy moving out of your eyes. At this time stop directing the breath and feel the energetics of the eyes.

The next stage to this meditation is to bring your consciousness to your heart center. Feel your breath moving into your heart center as you inhale, and feel the breath moving out of your heart center as you exhale. Stay with this stage and after a while, whatever it is you are experiencing, consider that to be a doorway, a threshold that you can walk right through into the inner chambers of the heart. Stay in this place deep within you for a while, feeling these vibrations and this atmosphere, and allowing these experiences to soften and help transform your current view of who you are.

ARCHANGEL PRACTICE
By Nur-al-Haqq Martin

This New Moon Meditation is a variation of a practice I learned from my teacher, Shahabuddin, and is a meditation invoking the presence and qualities of five of the Archangels: Michael, Raphael, Uriel, Gabriel, and Azrael.

Sitting comfortably, with a sense of lift throughout your physical body, bring your attention to the way your inhalation makes your body expand. As you exhale feel how your body deflates. Notice what part or parts of your body expand as you breathe in, and notice how that part returns to a relaxed state at the end of the exhalation.

Now, check in and visit your mental, emotional, moral and spiritual domains, taking notice of what you are feeling.

Next, bring your attention to the right side of your body, feeling where your air touches the skin. Become aware of the space around your right side, and feel the atmosphere and tone that fills that space. Michael the Archangel is on our right side. Envision and feel the presence of Michael the Archangel on your right side. Michael carries within himself a self-confidence that is felt in his presence, and which is contagious. Stay with this consciousness, feel the strength of body, mind and spirit that is being offered to you. Feel as your self-confidence grows, so grows your ability to trust and love.

Next, bring your attention to the left side of your body. Your left side is the side of Raphael the Archangel, and embodies healing and compassion. Raphael will help us to think less of ourselves and more about others. Continue to envision Raphael the Archangel, concentrating on his presence, and allow these qualities to inform and grow within you.

Uriel the Archangel is at our back, embodying the light of consciousness that guides us: the conscious part of ourselves that reminds us of what is right and just. Uriel helps us to be most honest with ourselves, our family and friends. Stay with Uriel the Archangel and allow this consciousness to inform you.

Gabriel the Archangel is in front, calling and leading you every step of the way, to learn more and more about who you are. He is also there as you become more and more knowledgeable of your particular purpose in life and he helps to keep us true and aligned to this purpose. Gabriel is there beckoning you to move forward in the understanding of your truth of who you are and who you are becoming and is ready to acknowledge every step that is made in that direction. Have you ever thought you heard or felt his trumpet blow as you accomplished something that you had been working on for some time?

Above our heads is Azrael the Archangel. Azrael the Archangel can help guide us through the transformation of our ideal. There is a saying of Inayat Khan’s, “Shatter your ideal on the rock of truth.” This, I feel, is the presence of Azrael the Archangel helping us and leading us ever closer to illumination to God. Stay with Azrael and allow this intelligence to begin transforming and resolving any question you may have on our way moving forward.

Now sit and feel the presence of all these beings and know that they are there to help, guide, and lead us. Whenever there is a challenge or conflict, Michael the archangel is present to help and guide. Whenever there is a healing, Raphael the Archangel is present. Whenever our conscience speaks to us of the just thing to do, Uriel is present. Remember to keep the ears of our hearts open so we can hear Gabriel’s call, and whenever there is a transformation or a realization of our ideal, Azrael is present.

I urge you to use this meditation as a starting point and to create your own story of these different beings of light. Allow whatever intelligence you gather in practicing this meditation and use your own word to describe what it is you discover about these special beings.

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Dear Friends,

I am looking forward to sharing with you the next series of “New Moon Meditations.”

Sense 1995, I have been very much involved in the study of “The Raphaelite Work” and the following New Moon Meditations have grown out of this study of the Raphaelite Work.
These New Moon Meditations will help us in becoming ever more sensitive to what it means to be human. We will directly and indirectly be working with what Inayat Khan calls the five bodies: our physical, mental, emotional, moral and spiritual parts of ourselves. Our physical domain is our physicality, the process of feeling our body’s sensations. The domain of the mind is our mental processes, our mind world, our thinking, our habits of thinking, or thoughts and habits of thoughts and the space between our thoughts, along with the atmosphere and tone of the mind. Our emotional body is made up our feelings and emotions and the atmosphere and tone of the world of our emotions. Our moral body is made up of and centers on our relationship to of all of the other domains in ourselves and our relationship to others and to the universe. Our moral body asks the question, “Just how connected are we to ourselves, others and to the universe?” The last domain, the spiritual domain, flows th
rough all the domains and is our essence, our soul, and our truth.

All the meditations in this series begin with feeling the body, and moves on through all the domains, ending with becoming aware of our essence flowing and moving in all directions. This is a boundless state where in finishing the meditation you are asked to let the experience of the meditation inform you and transform you into the being you are becoming.

Nur-al-Haqq Richard Martin
#1 – A Variation on Yogic Breathing practice

After the prescribed number of breaths stay with each stage of this meditation as long as you are called, and allow the intelligence of sensations, thoughts, and feeling to inform you.
Sitting comfortably, with a sense of lift to your physical body, begin feeling your breath as it moves up and into your nose. Experience this breath touching the cells and nerve endings on the insides of the nasal passages.

Next, follow this breath as it makes it way up and over the top of the nasal passage and begins its descent down the air pipes. How far can you follow this breath, feel it moving down the air pipes and into the lungs?

Now bring your attention to right side of your body: the right leg, the right side of the torso, the right arm, and the right side of the head. While feeling the right side of your body, have the sense of breathing in the entire right side, drawing your breath from the surface of the right side into your core being, into your essence. Holding the breath, count to three, and release the breath out the right side from where it came. Repeat this cycle five times.

Next, breathe in the left side of your body, the left leg, the left side of the torso, the left arm and left side of the head, drawing the breath from the surface deep into your core, your essence. Holding the breath, count to three, and release the breath out the left side from where it came. Repeat this cycle five times.

Now, go back to breathing in the right side of your body, drawing the breath into your core. Hold your breath for three seconds before breathing out the left side of your body. Repeat this breath five times.

At this point breathe in the left side of your body, drawing the breath into the core of your being. Hold your breath for three seconds and breathe out the right side. Breathe in right, hold, breath out left, then breath in left, hold and breathe out right. Repeat this cycle five times.

Next, bring your attention to the right side of your head and breathe in the right side, drawing the breath into the center of your brain where the pineal and pituitary glands reside, and hold your breath for three seconds before breathing out the left side of you head. Now, breathe in the left side of your head, into the center of your brain where the pineal and pituitary glands reside, and hold the breath for three seconds before breathing out the right side of your head. Repeat this cycle five times.

Now, at this time draw your breath into and through the third eye, into the center of your brain where the pineal and pituitary glands reside, and hold your breath for three seconds before exhaling out through your crown center. Repeat this cycle five times.

Now sit for a few minutes and feel.

Whatever it is you are experiencing, draw this phenomenon into the pores and cells of your body. Then draw these sensations, feelings, thoughts and qualities into your flesh and on into the blood stream. Become aware of this experience moving throughout the blood vessels, feeding your muscles and organs. Now, feel these sensations, thoughts and feelings as they move into your bones and bone marrow.

Stay with this, sitting being present to this state of intelligence you are experiencing and allow yourself to absorb whatever is being offered.

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Dear Friends,

Such a beautiful end-of-summer day here at the Abode! Mid-70’s, sunshine everywhere, and the flowers and trees still exalting in the fullness of life thrilling through them. And yet there are those glimpses of sudden color bursting forth in the trees, as if Mother Earth is impatient to show off her never-before-seen wardrobe of riotous hues. But what if we now shifted the focus of our consciousness so that we see not only the beautiful colors of the landscape, but also the divine emotion that is coming through? In Pir Vilayat’s words: “Envision the whole universe as just the projection of what one might call a symphony of emotions. The software of the universe works it all out beautifully and, clearly, would not have any purpose if it were not to serve something much more ultimate than itself, which is the ecstasy of splendor. Can you see that all the different levels of the universe, not only the physical plane, are devices whereby that splendor is made known and concretized?”
This is a brief taste of the splendor that awaits us in Pir Vilayat’s meditation below (and attached), offered here by Raqib Ickovits. It is a lengthy meditation, but every step is a hidden treasure, awaiting our discovery and exploration.

With love,
Wahhab

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Capsules of Meditations in Ecstasy Beyond Knowing 3

Dear Ones:
It seems to me that this 22 step meditation practice is a high level staple of Pir Vilayat’s process. While utilizing the building blocks of the light fields and intelligence, cosmic emotion is the driver that powers the realizations of knowing oneself and invoking self-transcendence. Use this meditation carefully in parts or as a whole to approach these maqams recognizing we are all sensitive works in progress, head in the heavens, feet on the ground.
Blessings,
Raqib Ickovits

Cosmic Emotion
1) Rather than being pummeled by your personal emotions, precariously poised upon the whimsical flux between likes and dislikes, success and disappointment, hope and despair, love and hate, attachment and rejection, if you allow your consciousness to shift into its transcendental setting, you will be resonating with emotion at a cosmic scale. You will resonate with the emotion of the trees, of wildlife, of the sea, of the atoms, including those of your own body (even the cells of your body), the emotion of the planet, of the peoples inhabiting the planet, and of collective emotion at an enormous scale: the emotion of the stars, the galaxies, the immensity of outer space. You will be overwhelmed with the power of that emotion.

2) Now imagine that these beings, whether mineral, plant, animal, or human, whose emotions you are now resonating with as your consciousness becomes increasingly all-encompassing, are the expressions of the emotion and intention that has programmed them. That is, you experience the emotion that manifests in the structuring of a crystal, for example, or a snowflake, or a flower, or a symphony, or a person, or a planet, or a galaxy. In the transcendent meditations, we tried to grasp clues to this programming. But at the stage which we have now reached, no sooner do we glean a hunch as to the intention behind it all, than we get a sense of the amazing emotion that expresses itself and actuates itself in these existential formations. This could be exemplified by imagining what it would be like to experience the emotion of Bach that found its expression in the Mass in B Minor, or Beethoven in his Ninth Symphony, or Brahms in his Sonata for Cello and Piano in F Major.
This is the pinnacle in meditation, which will transfix and transfigure your being.

3) Let not only a sense of meaningfulness dawn upon your understanding of the paradox of life, but realize that there is not only astonishing intelligence behind all of this, but also splendor and, ultimately, sacredness motivating the intention. For the Sufis, the universe is the fulfillment of the divine nostalgia for excellence; splendor manifests existentially as excellence. That splendor is, unfortunately, curtailed by our shortsighted activities, limited by the reach of our realization of this very intention, and warped by our personal desires that have alienated themselves from the divine nostalgia. However, that splendor does burst forth in our creativity, whenever the human being is uplifted by a sense of be-wonderment in the pursuit of excellence.

4) Envision the whole universe as just the projection of what one might call a symphony of emotions. The software of the universe works it all out beautifully and, clearly, would not have any purpose if it were not to serve something much more ultimate than itself, which is the ecstasy of splendor. For the Sufis, this is the divine nostalgia: the springhead of creation and of creativity.

5) Can you see that all the different levels of the universe, not only the physical plane, are devices whereby that splendor is made known and concretized? Why did you laugh or cry when viewing the film E.T.? At the physical level, there were shadows on the screen; they featured a hoax. E.T. was outfitted with the head of a turtle and the voice of an old woman; or did you see E. T. through the eyes of that lovely child? Actually, through these devices, you were gaining access to the thinking, imagination, and emotion of Steven Spielberg. If you extend this view to the universe as a whole, you will realize that the universe is a marvelous system of beautifully planned devices to translate, into concrete terms, the intention and emotion behind it. Traditionally, this intention and these emotions are ascribed to God. In our present perspective, we see how easily one slips into confusing God with our conception of God.

Then it is no longer a matter of his imagination or of his belief; it is his actual realization of the experience of God. – Hazrat lnayat Khan

If we were to envision the universe as a being, then this being would be endowed with a global intelligence and motivations and emotion. However, if we adopt Shabistari’s model, updated, it is clear that we must not confuse that image in Gabor’s hologram, however real it is as a discrete entity made of the fabric of light, with the object that it projects. If the universe may be illustrated by this projection, then let us not reduce our concept of God to this projection. So can we leave room in the symphony of emotions for transcendent emotion beyond cosmic emotion. This is corroborated by the insistence on transcendence in most religious traditions.

6) Realize that your lower mind is simply grappling with those devices, trying to make sense of those devices whereby a superlative intelligence, intention, and emotion are trying to come through to our understanding. Meanwhile, we still keep trying to figure out our concepts of our problems, rather than our problems. The emotional springheads spurring those problems would give you a better clue than your assessment of them.

7) By questioning the assessments of your lower mind, you will gain access to the higher levels of your thinking: the understanding of the soul. You may notice that your thinking extrapolates not only between the nature of the holistic paradigm (contrasted with the syllogistic logic, based upon categories, bolstered by our usual sense of causality in the process of becoming), but also the nature of a transcendental mode of cognizance and, beyond this, a subtle sense of emotional values.

8) Keeping the cosmic motivations you intuit ever-present in your awareness, maintain your attunement in resonance with the emotion driving the universe and uphold the vision of the splendor trying to break through in the form of excellence.

9) You can see that it was the awareness of the body that entrapped your notion of yourself in a skin-bound identity. If you realize that your body is just the extension of the intention behind it, just as the hardware of a computer is simply the concretization of the software behind it, if you realize that your faculty of imagining belongs to the level at which the software is planned, it represents a deeper reality of your being than your body and psyche. Yet we must bear in mind that the hardware-your house, for example-is what the blueprint is all about.

10) Observe that your creative imagination is doing precisely the same as the imagination behind the universe. In fact, it is the nostalgia of the universe, customized through you into your aspirations, which will, in fact, mutate the very software of the universe of which it is the expression.

11) Envision the software of the universe as dynamic instead of static, continually mutating. And think that we are the ones in whom and through whom the overall cosmic software is carried forward in the evolutionary process. We are the laboratory of the divine experiment!
Now hoist yourself a degree higher. It will become evident that even creative imagination, with which you had previously identified yourself, is just a projection monitoring an effort to translate your realization and attunement into images so as to make them more tangible.
As we have seen, the Tibetans distinguish three levels of mental activities: a) the gross mind, b) the subtle mind, and c) the very subtle mind. If you recall, we have seen into the relative inadequacy of the gross mind in trying to figure out events. We then identified with the subtle mind, which is that activity in us that is creative and inventive, and of which our psyche is a projection. And we have had elusive hunches about the very subtle mind which represents that level of our being at which we can touch upon the programming directly, without trying to infer it from its actuation in existential events. Thus you have shifted your sense of identity from being the creative mind to being your realization. One could say that every being is in life according to that being’s degree of realization. Furthermore, one needs to account for a realization of one’s own or another’s emotional attunements, and a still deeper realization of the soul. Realization is the basic reality; that is wh
at you are, gauged by the degree to which you are awake.

12) With this in view, try to see yourself in the universe, instead of thinking of yourself within the confines of your planetary inheritance.

13) Here comes the crucial breakthrough when you realize that bodiness and creative imagination are just concretizations of the cosmos. When you can see your participation in the cosmos, then you can evaluate the impact of your realization upon both your creativity and your body functions. Upon reflection, the realization dawns upon you, that if you observe a high attunement as you fashion your personality, you have the ability to become what you want to be.

14) As you try to recollect always having existed beyond time and space you will find that one of the assumptions obstructing us from availing ourselves of the higher levels of our thinking is our notion of space. We have difficulty in assuming that two objects could occupy the same space, interpenetrate, or dovetail. A little present-day physics will point out that waves intersperse, forming wave interference patterns, whereas particles collide. We think of the matter of the universe, including our bodies, as particle-like. Envision your body as wave-like rather than solid and bounded by a boundary.

15) Now embolden yourself to challenge your notion of time. So far we seem to have referred to our temporal being, as opposed to our eternal being, as though they were two entities. But if you take the model of a pendulum, one moving pole alternates as time goes on, whereas the other stationary pole remains unchanged. Both are poles of the same reality, not separated but representing a continuity. Once more, the difficulty that we experience in accepting the co-presence of eternity and transiency, is similar to that which obstructed our sense of being interspersed in space. An event that took place at a moment in time is eternalized in our memory. Memory is, therefore, a faculty that transits from transiency to eternity. By the same token, incarnation is the process whereby our eternal being interjects into transient modes, while remaining unscathed. A good example is that the whole ocean emerges each time as each wave; it is untrue to say that one wave causes another.

16) Try to reconcile being eternal and transient at the same time. Now you will realize that you can reconcile the perfection of your eternal being with the inadequacies of your temporal being.

17) Remember that the code, not only of the body but of the universe, is written right into the DNA of each of our cells; but to ensure the diversity of cell functions, only some genes thereof are active, and the others are turned off. Since a similar principle applies to the code of your psyche, you will find that the key to turning on or off the genes of your cosmic heritage is in the representation that you make of yourself. This is what is holding the potentialities of your being back from unfurling; turn them on.

18) Can you earmark the eternal core of your being, embedded within its distortions in your transient being owing to the influence from other beings and, in general, the social pull towards the lowest common denominator? If conditions are unfavorable, a seed can unfurl as a weedy plant; yet at the culmination of the life cycle of the plant, the seed will re-emerge unscathed. Such is the breakthrough of realization accompanied by the promise of rebirth as one awakens from the dream of maya.

19) Now for the next step. Of course, unfurling the seed of your being, blossoming as a bountiful and beautiful personality, seems indeed to be the objective; but there is yet a further, as a matter of fact, radical step, which is to foster the mutation of the seed of your being, rather than work with your personality. Interestingly, this procedure will manifest immediately in your personality. It marshals a whole other dimension of your being into action; since the mutations start having effect at the inception in the shoots as they emerge from the seed, this is where you will need to work. Capture creativity as it emerges, at its inception in the deep layers of your being.

20) Intuit the intention, the orderliness, the emotional attunement at a cosmic scale that initiated your being, then customize it. Be careful to avoid indulging in fantasy. Follow the whole creative process right down into the very structuring of your personality. Be sure that, rather than satisfying yourself with observing how it works, you intervene in the process with your incentive and inventiveness. There can be no doubt that even our inadequate concept of God will have a contribution to our creation of ourselves, because we are really projecting aspects of ourselves that we do not know how to express or actuate in ourselves, upon this archetypal level of ourselves, on the model of what we project upon God. This occurs at those moments when we are carried beyond ourselves, moved by cosmic emotion.

21) The emotion aroused by the sense of the sacredness of the divine status of your being will enhance your personal creativity.

22) What would be the applications of this in everyday life? Curiously enough, you will realize that you did not have to set off in Challenger to arrive at the outer space perspective: Planet Earth is in outer space!
There is a place one cannot reach by going anywhere. -The Buddha

You also don’t have to be special, or belong to a spiritual group: everybody is special, or holy. Perhaps the changes in you are not visible. According to the Tibetans, a change in the subtle body of a person cannot be perceived except by a few, although it will eventually pervade your body. What is important is that you should hang on to your new identity. And since it would be difficult for most of us to pronounce Bayazid Bastami’s words: “How great is my glory!”

We can still say:
“O God, all thanks to Thee for investing me with such glory and bounty!”

(Thank you for joining me in exploring this magnificent work of Pir Vilayat’s The Ecstasy Beyond Knowing. May we receive this baraka with open heart and delight in this cosmic ecstasy! -Raqib))

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Dear Friends,

Below is the second meditation adapted by Raqib Ickovits from Pir Vilayat’s master work, The Ecstasy Beyond Knowing. Thank you Pir Vilayat; thank you Raqib; blessings to all.

Love,
Wahhab

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Capsules of Meditations in Ecstasy Beyond Knowing – Part 2

An Advanced Light Practice Adapted by Raqib Ickovits from Pir Vilayat’s book, The Ecstasy Beyond Knowing

(Accessing the collection of the thought forms and images (fana fi Pir Vilayat) that we encountered in Part 1, we begin with ourselves as the vortex of light. Our expanse is vast throughout universes.)

1) “Now once more sense the corona of light that appears to be surrounding your body. It does not have a boundary, and seems to flash in rhythm with your breathing. As you inhale, it seems to contract, and as you exhale to expand. Instead of imagining yourself to be a body like a crystal, absorbing and emitting light, identify with your pulsing aura itself.”

2) “Now visualize the starry sky: the planets, the stars, the galaxies, the cosmic rays. The universe is really an ocean of light, and your aura is like a wave or an outburst in that ocean of light. Remember, it is the whole ocean that emerges in each wave; that is, the whole is involved in each part of itself. As you inhale, the light of the whole ocean converges as your aura. As you exhale, your aura reaches out into the starry sky; in fact, each photon thereof travels through space at vertiginous speed and may well eventually hit a star. As you hold your breath between inhaling and exhaling, you identify with your aura, representing it as the template according to which your body was formed and is continually reformed.” (When we accept that we are parts of the hologram of the universe, we can re-generate the universes by focusing our light onto the hologram.)

3) “At a more advanced stage, as you hold your breath, you will discover that the nature of the light at the center of your aura is of a different nature than at its surface. While at the surface, the light of your aura radiates, towards the center it gets interspersed in a like manner to the way that we found energy inverted in the vacuum at the center of our magnetic field. Space being inverted, light is in the implicate order-it is all-pervading. What is more, a new fresh dispensation of light now seems to emerge from the unsounded depths of your being, like a white hole in outer space. Since you did not originally converge it from the environment, you are not therefore simply boomeranging back into the environment: it is self-generated.” (Using the analog of the sun, the light of the solar flares that occur at the surface of our aura are of a different nature that the light that comes forth from the vacuum of the inverted space. There is a continuing plethora of new light and li
fe force from this “white hole” access point, Munawwir, Muh’yi).

4) “Scan your aura with your now sensitized consciousness. In a leisurely manner, scan each chakra. Note the feeling of each chakra and its particular color, starting from the bottom of the spine and moving upward; and also note the zone in your aura surrounding the chakra. The colors of your chakras will fluctuate, sometimes very quickly, according to your mood or your attunement. Conversely, the concentration on a particular color will evoke the desired energy conducive to getting yourself in resonance with the orderliness of the cosmos. To achieve this, try to array the colors of your aura in the sequence of colors of the spectrum. The clue to doing this is to watch the way the particular type of energy you feel in one chakra tends to shift its frequency as it flows into the next one. You will find that when you concentrate on the lower chakras, the radiance of your aura is in the infrared or red frequency range; in the solar plexus, it is orange; and in the higher chakras, shifti
ng from green, through blue to violet. The effect of this visualization is that the infrared radiance of your aura will automatically be transmuted into light in the visible spectrum and, eventually, ultraviolet. In the traditional schools this is referred to as transmuting fire into light. Your aura now appears as a spectrum of diaphanous hues, glistening like a rainbow.”

Bottom chakra (Yoga), latifa (Sufi): muladhara, qalabiya, red;
Second chakra: swadhisthana, nafsiya, terracotta;
Solar Plexus: manipura, qalbiya, orange;
Heart Plexus: anahata, sirriya, golden;
Throat: vishuddha, ruhiya, green;
Third eye: ajna, khafiya, violet;
Crown center: sahasrara, haqqiya, colorless, multicolored.

Pay attention to the corona surrounding each chakra.” (Do not be satisfied with the standard and classical definition of the chakra. Be prepared to be a pioneer in your own universe discovering the wonders of your unique configuration.)

5) “Once you have become a little more familiar with the nature of each chakra, in one inhalation transfer your consciousness from the bottom of the spine to the crown chakra, while visualizing the colors. With some practice, you will be thrilled by the intermeshing of the different colors emitted by the chakras as they dovetail. Note the glorious array of radiance above the head towards the end of the upwards sweep.” (This overlap of colors lead to some interesting new colors and the discovery of energies that have been hidden but are now accessible. The radiance above the head is awakening one’s intelligence.)

6) “As you increase your ability, you will discover a yet further aspect in the radiance of your aura that is self-generated rather than boomeranged back from the effulgence of the environment: phosphorescence rather than fluorescence. You will, with practice, develop the skill of enhancing this.” (Realize, this all comes from within not from the outside, and is self generated.)

7) “This faculty culminates in being able to transmute the frequencies of this light from the infrared range to the ultraviolet. This is a hermetic secret, hailing from the tradition of the Magi: transmuting fire into light.”

8) “We have reached the stage where we may extend the sense of clarity and transparency, which we have gleaned from the aura, to the mind and to the emotions; by clarifying one’s thoughts they become orderly, and the emotions become elegant and refined.” (This extension of the clarity and transparency to the mind and the emotions is an unspoken goal of this practice.)

9) “Holding your breath, imagine that you cross over a threshold into a totally different sphere of reality. You suddenly shift your sense of identity from being made of the fabric of light (your aura), to being a luminous intelligence: formless, colorless, not located in space or confined by time, and therefore eternal. Now your aura appears as a support system, or scaffolding, to serve your intelligence. You may scan it objectively without identification, as the Buddhists say, since it is a transient formation; while you experience yourself as permanent. You will become increasingly aware of the sheer luminosity of your intelligence. Identify with it. One normally assumes that light is the object of perception rather than the perceiving subject, but the Sufis call this the light that sees rather than the light that is seen. This is what the Tibetans mean by the clear light of bliss. Now, as you exhale, you will notice the impact of the awakening of your intelligence upon your aura,
which will glow incomparably more than before.” (This emphasis on this shift from the transient aura to being a luminous eternal intelligence, being the light that sees rather than the light that is seen, allows each breath synchronized with the aura, leads to increased luminosity of your intelligence.)

(A grounding exercise is suggested before engaging the external world.)

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Dear Ones,

This begins a new meditation series by Raqib Ickovits, focusing on meditations and practices from Pir Vilayat’s book that has recently been published, The Ecstasy beyond Knowing. For many years, Raqib helped Pir Vilayat with writing and editing his books, and he wrote the Preface to this latest published work. In this, the 10th anniversary of Pir Vilayat’s passing, let’s journey once again with Pir Vilayat as he guides us into new vistas, unthought of.

With love,
Wahhab

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CAPSULES OF MEDITATIONS IN THE ECSTASY BEYOND KNOWING
With Raqib Ickovitz

For the new moon, and in celebration of the tenth anniversary of Pir Vilayat’s URS, I would suggest that we invite his presence and luxuriate in the elegance of his prose. Everything in quotes are Pir Vilayat’s words from The Ecstasy beyond Knowing. (Words in parentheses are Raqib’s.)

PRELIMINARIES:

Some changes in our understanding and a shift in the many boundaries we set are necessary to understand Pir Vilayat’s thinking.

“First of all, let us bear in mind that as soon as we reach beyond the middle range of our thinking (just as in non-Euclidean geometry or relativity), the commonplace logic breaks down and proves inadequate. For example, we sometimes need to deal with complementarity instead of thinking in terms of categories. Furthermore, rather than being like a section of an orange, we are like a whirlpool, inextricably enmeshed in a wave interference pattern. Such a realization shakes our self-image drastically. Or again, we are a continuity in change. This contradicts the usual view according to which a part of us, the spirit, is eternal, while another part, the body, is transient.”

(Complementarity: Physical manifestation is composed of particles and waves simultaneously not limited to particles or waves sequentially.)

“Our being, considered as a whole (that is, holistically), is without boundary and is a continuity in change, in a state of ongoing transition. And furthermore, while one pole of our being is transient, the other remains unchanged.”

(The metaphor of the cone is useful. Not just that we are the apex of the cone, but that we can shift our awareness to include being the whole cone, a convergence of the fabric, thinking and the consciousness of the universe.)

“Furthermore it is our emotion, not the will, that triggers off the shift of focus of our consciousness.” “Our whole being is coextensive with the seedbed (that is the cosmos) in which it extends rather than a sub-whole encapsulated in its notion of itself and thus alienated from its source.” “Ecstasy breaks through every time we are suddenly freed from a constraint, whether it be our biased assessment of a situation, our emotional dependence upon a person of circumstances or our limited self-image.”

(This ecstasy is reached by freedom from our conditioning and dependence.)

“Meditations: In meditating, we learn to turn within,… by setting up a boundary segregating ourselves from the environment, we tend to merge with the totality in an inverted space.” “It may, therefore, be preferable to envision that our magnetic field or aura intersperses with other such fields, like the eddies on the surface of a lake as they combine to form a wave interference pattern…..”

“If, however, as we turn within in meditation, instead of setting up a boundary encapsulating ourselves in our thoughts, we envision that we are protected by a porous membrane that filters impressions from the environment, at all levels of reality, and that we are consequently able to radiate into the environment, then we will enjoy an incomparably richer experience. Now envision that you are not just filtering these impressions, but transmuting them, just as we digest our food in order to use it, since we can only deal with amino acid chains that match our own. Just as in digestion, we need to break down the ingested elements, rebuild them on the model of our own idiosyncrasies, and reject those elements which, being too alien to our own beings, would prove too difficult to incorporate, or even harmful. Here our sense of having boundaries will help us, on the one hand, reject unwanted impressions or, on the other hand, filter and transmute those impressions that can be put to good
use if adjusted to our particular attunement.”

“Transcendence: there can be no doubt that while our involvement with life at its lowest common denominator fosters greed, limitations in the field of consciousness, and conflict, our quest for freedom from conditioning opens the doors to the wonder and meaningfulness behind what seems to be happening at the existential level. Another final way of putting this, is to say that we must instill something of the way of the hermit into the way of the knight. Our need for freedom is as compelling as our need for involvement. Are they necessarily mutually exclusive? There is a way of reconciling the irreconcilables. One example is to love without being dependent upon being loved. In meditation, detachment frees one from the conditioning of one’s thinking and the constraint of one’s self-image. Freedom from the usual setting of consciousness will enable us to shift consciousness into an inner space or, alternatively, into a mode of self-transcendence.”

(Deepening this meditation practice regularly can open new realms of our own being.)

NEW MOON MEDITATION PRACTICE

1) “With closed eyes, imagine that you are looking into a bright light: the light of the sun, the limelight of a television studio, the head lamps of a car. If you love light, you will brave the hazard of being blinded by its effulgence, because of the sheer joy of being flooded by its welcome glare. The reason that you enjoy this communion with light is because it helps you become aware of the radiance of the light that you emit yourself: your aura.”

2) “Imagine your body to be of the nature of a crystal. The first feature of a crystal that strikes you is its transparency or translucency, as contrasted with our usual representation of the body as solid substance, thus favoring the passage of light. Furthermore, the very sophisticated structuring of the cells, and the configuration of the atoms and subatomic particles within the cells, reflecting a cosmic harmony, determines a configuration of light frequencies in the aura whose complication defies our understanding. But there is a way of thinking or feeling your body into resonance with this harmony, so that the body feels wonderfully attuned, like a ballerina, savoring the effulgence of the aura.”

(We each have unique light frequencies in our aura, and we can seek to feel the resonance of our uniqueness in harmony with the cosmos.)

3) “Think of the way the pores of your skin open up when you sunbathe, welcoming the infiltration of the rays of the sun into your body. Proceed in a similar way with the cells of your body. As you inhale, visualize the rays of the light of the environment infiltrating deep into the ebullience of the cells of your body, and your cells ingesting particles from these rays. Hold your breath and visualize the cells being highly activated by this dispensation of energy in the form of light. As you exhale, visualize the cells radiating outward any surplus of light into the environment and, in fact, into outer space. You are radiant, like the sun, or a star.”

Man is a miniature sun-god. -Hazrat Inayat Khan

4) “Being now highly sensitized to light, try to sense the sparkling of the cells of your body. It will appear as a kaleidoscopic array of outbursts of luminous sparks. As a matter of fact, the more consciously you cast your attention upon this phenomenon, the more you will enhance this process within yourself.” “Can you feel the joy of the cells imbibing the light of the sun (or the stars) to free its atoms from a sclerosed order, exploring the infinite possibilities of a more sophisticated configuration at the service of our intelligence; and then, as it subsides, giving out its last supply of energy as light.”

(We are seeking to align our intelligence with the Divine Intelligence, returning any extra light to the service of the cosmos.)

5) “Now once more sense the corona of light that appears to be surrounding your body. It does not have a boundary, and seems to flash in rhythm with your breathing. As you inhale, it seems to contract, and as you exhale to expand.”

(Synchronizing the breath with the pulsation of the aura continuously enhances the awareness of our limited self [inbreath], recreating our selves [holding the breath and the aura] and our vastness [outbreath].)

(It is noteworthy to mention that my mentors, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, R Zalman Schachter, and Physicist Julian Schwinger started many of their talks with the vastness of the cosmos, and then narrowed the focus of the conversation /meditation to the smaller domain of the specific points to be examined and explored.)

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Dear Friends,

This meditation (below and attached) represents the final installment in the series on The Alchemy of Transformation by Mahdiah Jacobs Kahn. Thank you, Mahdiah, for these wonderful and transforming offerings! Next month we begin a series of meditations adapted by Raqib Ickovitz from the newly-released book by Pir Vilayat, The Ecstasy Beyond Knowing: A Manual of Meditation. Wishing you all a beautiful end of Spring and transition into Summer.

With love,
Wahhab

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The Alchemy of Transformation IV

Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the Only Being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of guidance

In the first three months of this series, we have looked at what we are identified with and how it changes with sound and working with the elements. Now we will look at how our new identity is forged though the process of fana and baqa.

The first stage of the process is to find a teacher or sheikh with whom we take hand. Pir Vilayat said that we see ourselves in another ourselves who is more . We develop a love for the teacher which leads to our opening to take on the qualities of the teacher. In this stage of fana fi sheikh, we begin, often unconsciously, to take on the qualities and manner of the teacher. If we close our eyes, we can see the teacher on our inner eye.

Let your eyes close and imagine your teacher. Get into the skin of that person and see through their eyes, walk their walk and find the qualities of spirit that the teacher embodies. Something of our limited self begins to expand and our sense of who we are starts to shift. If you sense beyond the qualities you tune into the vibration of the teacher. As you become more in tune with the teacher you begin to vibrate in resonance with that being.

In the next stage of this process we reach through the sheikh to the Rassoul. In a process of expansion, we begin to reach into the Rassoul and into the qualities of the Rassoul.

Imagine a Master, Saint or Prophet. Visualize that Being and then imagine that you are in the body of that being. Get into their skin and see the world through their eyes. What qualities do you experience? Now let go of the image and reach beyond the qualities to the vibration of that being and let yourself be tuned by that being. Pir Vilayat once had us do this at a meeting and although several people chose that same Master, they all experienced different qualities of the Master. So we go beyond qualities to the vibration of this being.

Finally we go to fana fi Allah. We let go of all visualization and qualities and dissolve into Being. Allah is the vast openness from which everything comes. It is the place of no form. In this space we attune to the vibration that is the first movement and align with the vibrations of the planets and the symphony of the spheres. Allow yourself to be present, to be intelligence without an object and to dissolve.

It is from this state that we begin to reform our being. In baqa we recreate our identity, in what Pir Vilayat called co-creation. We emerge embodying many of the qualities of the Divine, in tune with the vibration of the symphony of the spheres. We know that there is a world within us and that we create not only our identity but our world.

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Dear Ones,

Below is the third meditation in the series on the Alchemy of Transformation, offered by Mahdiah Jacobs Kahn. With thankfulness to Mahdiah and blessings to all.

Love,
Wahhab

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The Alchemy of Transformation III

Toward the One, the perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty, the Only Being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance.

We began this series of meditations by looking at what we are identified with, our rhythm and the effect of sound on our Being and on our identity. The Alchemists talked of transformation as turning base metal into gold. It is the process of refining our base nature and discovering the gold that is our soul. They broke things down to their elements, purified them and then reassembled them in a new way. The elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether are how vibration manifests on the surface.

From Hazrat Inayat Khan: “Vibrations are of five different aspects, appearing as the five elements:

1. Nur – ether
2. Baad – air
3. Atesh – fire
4. Aab – water
5. Khaak – earth.

In relation to these elements, mankind has five senses:

Senses Organs
Basarat — sense of sight the eyes
Samat — sense of hearing the ears
Naghat — sense of smell the nose
Lazzat — sense of taste the tongue
Muss — sense of touch the skin”

Each element has its own sound and color. When we purify the elements with our breath we are aligning with the natural vibration of that element and tuning ourselves. If we go deeply into each element we begin to resonate with that element and see the element or elements that predominate in our nature.

Get in touch with each of the five elements. Find the quality of the breath and the nature of its vibration. What is the sound like in each of the elements?

The earth element is dense and its sound is “dim and dull”. Think of instruments made of gut and wire and of precussions such as drums and cymbals. See the color yellow and know that color and sound are one. Feel the earth in you, in your bones.

The water element is finer than the earth. Concentrate on the color green and hear the sound of rushing water. Feel the water in your body.

The fire element is red and is high pitched. It can be heard in the sound of thunder and volcanos erupting.

The air element is wavering and blue in color. It can be heard in all wind instruments made of wood, brass and bamboo. The air element overpowers all the others as Murshid says it is living and produces ecstasy. What does that mean?

Ether is self contained and holds all forms and colors. It is the basis of all sounds and is the undertone which is continuous. Its instrument is the body because it is audible through it. The body becomes a proper instrument when the space within is opened when all the tubes and veins in it are free. The sound which exists externally in space becomes manifest inwardly also.

The elements circulate through our bodies in sequence and our dominant element can be heard in our voice.

When we do a practice each vowel represents an element and “the consonants are the companions of the vowels, and together they form words. Every letter is related to the planets and the planetary influences. Besides, words have a practical effect, a scientific power working on the body ” HIK

Now do the purification breaths, deeply attuning to each of the elements. If there is one element that you space out in try to explore that further. Each of us has an element that is more pronounced in us than the others. What is yours? Each element has a note on the musical scale and one predominates in your voice. Feel the elements and the vibration that each carries.

After doing this, become present in your body, emotions, mind, connection to your self and others and to your spirit. Be present in your heart. Has anything changed as you have done the practice?

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Dear Friends,

Below is the second New Moon Meditation in the series on The Alchemy of Transformation, by Mahdiah Jacobs Kahn.  Thank you for this offering, Mahdiah, and blessings to all.

Much love,
Wahhab

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The Alchemy of Transformation II

Toward the One, the perfection of Love Harmony and Beauty, the Only Being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.

Last month we looked at what we are identified with and with the rhythm of our breath as it moves us between heaven and earth.  As we continue on this month we will look at how our identity shifts with spiritual practice, particularly with sound practices and sound.  There has been a lot of scientific research on the impact of sound on the brain and how it permeates the brain. There is also some discussion that sound can change our DNA. Mystical paths have used vowel sounds to open subtle centers for thousands of years. The practices this month will be an exploration of sound.

Before and after each practice, become present to five areas that Murshid calls five bodies, the physical, emotional, mental, moral(quality of connection to ourselves and others) and spiritual. When you are fully present in those five areas, become present in your heart. This is a way of tracking the effect of the practices that you are doing. Do this before and after each practice.

Pir Vilayat told us that wazifa and zikr are the staple food of the meditation of the Sufis. Furthermore, he said  that matter emerges from pure vibration. “What we are doing with wazifa is that we are working with universal vibration.” PVIK. “It’s what the Sufis call the secret language of  the universe. So the point of this is to become sensitive to that language and adjust ourselves to that feed back.” PVIK .When we do that our knowledge of who we are begins to shift.

Pir Vilayat developed a system of working with sound that originally came from Murshid that has us directing certain sounds to our chakras.
We sound the ah in the heart, the oo in the throat, the ee as a high pitched sound in the third eye, the m in the crown, the eh sound in the solar plexus. Practice making those sounds in those centers.  Work with each sound separately and be present after each one. Be aware of what, if anything, has shifted.

Now do the practice Ya Allah 11x out loud and then on the breath. Now sing the practice. Is there a difference and if so what has shifted.

Now do the same thing with the practice Allah Hu.

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Dear Friends,

Greetings of Peace from the Abode of the Message, where the landscape is still covered with snow, symbolizing the Divine Purity.  And underneath this covering of snow are layers of rich earth, pregnant with seeds now stirring, impatiently longing to burst forth is a glorious display of Divine Life and Beauty.  In other words, Spring! Just as when we uncover the layers of our selves through meditation and inquiry, we discover the Divine Presence, longing to shape and fashion the rich earth and clay of our being into a manifestation of what Pir Vilayat called the Being of Splendor: Ya Dhul Jelal wa’l Ikram – Ya Khanun Jamil wa’l Ikram.

This is the first in a series of New Moon Meditations offered by Mahdiah Jacobs Kahn focusing on the inquiry into who we are.  With gratitude to Mahdiah for her offering, let us engage in this inquiry, keeping in mind the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan: ” It is not by self-realization that we realize God; it is by God-realization that we realize self.” (Edited to be gender inclusive.)

With love,
Wahhab

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The Alchemy of Transformation

“It is more important to know the truth about one’s self than to try to find out the truth of heaven and hell.”HIK

Who is one’s self and what does it mean to know the truth about who we are. So take a moment to become present. Murshid says that presence is the most powerful practice that we can do for when we are present we invite in that Other Presence. So become present in five areas, your body, your emotions, your mind, your spirit and your sense of the quality of your connection to yourself and others. Then become present in your heart.

We are going to begin this series of meditations with an inquiry into who you are. When you are fully present hold the question Who Am I? and allow for whatever arises in a meditative state. At the point that you feel stuck wait a few minutes as you may be moving to another level of the question. Do this for at least 10 minutes.

When you are done with the question, contemplate what has come up for you and be aware of all of the things you are identified with. Has your ego identified with a spiritual state or found an identity in your maqam?

Murshid tell us that we are vibration, that which arises in the first stirring of life, is movement. That vibration begins to manifest as breath then as sound and light. The light is then divided into light and shadow, giving rise to form and to the material world, to our material self.  So all of the things that we are identified with are a manifestation of our vibration. The ego is with us from birth to death. It becomes refined with spiritual practice with breath and sound. When we do practices, we are tuning ourselves to finer vibrations and to that vibration that is the symphony of the spheres which is God. Murshid was a musician and talks of living a musical life. We’re going to explore what that means as we journey to finding ourselves.

We’ll start with watching our breath. Be present to your breath. See how it changes as you bring the light of your presence to it. Feel the rhythm of your breath as it slows. We’re told that one of the first lessons on the path is to establish a rhythm in doing a daily practice. In music we count notes to a bar. However, that is the western idea of rhythm. In Indian music we establish a count then let it go as we soar and then return to our count. It is called taal. I was told by an Indian musician that taal is the journey from earth to heaven and back again.

Meditate on your rhythm. How do you move between the earth and heaven? Is it a daily occurrence for you or do you have a different rhythm?
Check in with the areas we became present to at the beginning and see if they have changed any with your presence and meditative exploration.

Next month we will follow the rhythm of breath as it begins to manifest as sound.

-Mahdiah Jacobs-Kahn

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Dear Ones,

With the meditation below, Aqdas Newmark concludes her series of meditations, and I am, as I know you are, too, deeply grateful to Aqdas for the beautiful new moon meditations on peace that she has offered us.  And as we are still so close to Valentine’s Day, the theme of love still circulating within my heart, I offer this saying from Hazrat Inayat Khan, showing the connection between love and peace:

“Peace will not come to a lover’s heart so long as s/he will not become love itself.”

With much love,
Wahhab

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Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, the Only Being, United with all the Illuminated Souls, Who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance

New Moon Practice for March 2014
With this new moon, O Beloved, make us instruments of your Peace.

We will conclude this series with a zikr for Peace.  It entreats the Divine Intention to be made manifest for this beautiful Earth and The Divine Presence for the raising of the consciousness of humanity.  Many of you may remember this, the Zikr of the Crown of Glory. Here it is in greater detail by the grace of our beloved Murshid. As always, please consult with your guide before taking up a new practice.

The Practice: Zikr of The Crown of Glory: the Orb, the Scepter, and the Crown, for Peace
-From Murshid and Pir Vilayat

This whole zikr is done silently on the breath.  It is done with deep planetary concentration with profound inner depth.

1: La illaha:
Movement:   Head goes in circle from left shoulder down toward solar plexus, to right shoulder and ending with eyes looking straight (or nearly straight) overhead.
Thought: visualize the beautiful planet Earth, with all of the suffering, problems, and joys of humanity, encircling it with your glance as your head rotates; Imagine the Earth as the Orb.

2: Illa:
Movement: Head goes straight downward with eyes looking at solar plexus.
Thought: The Sovereignty of the Divine Order and Divine Intention is manifest on the Earth now: social justice, equitable distribution of wealth and resources, peace among people, etc.
You can imagine the Scepter of God descending and planting firmly on/into the planet.

3: ‘llah:
Movement: Head rises up, lifting your head looking upward.
Thought: The Divine Order is being made a reality with mercy and compassion for all.  The innocent and vulnerable are protected from harm, and all social, political, economic changes are happening with mercy and compassion.

4: Hu:
Movement: Your head lowers part-way; first the glance strikes your physical heart then is reflected outward straight ahead.
Thought:   Visualize or imagine a diaphanous white vapor, a Presence, spreading gently over the surface of the Earth, infusing every human mind (CEO’s, billionaires, huge corporations, all religions, each mind…) and awakening all to the Sanctity of life, the sacredness of the planet and each being. You can imagine the vapor as a Crown of Sacredness infusing each being and encircling the planet.  Close with the thought of Divine Sanctity, here and now.

Recite the Prayer of Remembrance, which is recited after zikr practice.

O Lord, you have asked us to remember you,
And we have remembered you within the limitations
Of our bodies hearts and souls.
Will you remember us in the infinitude
Of thy divine compassion and wisdom?
Amen.

End with the Prayer for Peace.

Contemplation: A Prayer for Peace

Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
which is perfect and everlasting, that our souls may radiate peace.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that we may think, act, and speak harmoniously.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that we may be contented and thankful for Thy Bountiful Gifts.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that amidst our worldly strife we may enjoy Thy Bliss.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that we may endure all, tolerate all in the thought of Thy Grace and Mercy.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that our lives may become a divine vision, and in Thy Light all darkness may vanish.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
our Father and Mother, that we, Thy Children on earth, may all unite in one family.
Amen
–  Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

Quotation:
“Be fearless // free from all worries, anxieties, and let my mind be restful, calm and peaceful.”  – Hazrat Inayat Khan
This quotation is one of Murshid’s phrases for murids.  It may be used as a fikr, (//) indicates the transition from the inhalation to the exhalation. -Pir Zia, Colorado Camp, 2010.

Readings:

“In this present age it seems that the knowledge of warfare has developed; but on the other hand the knowledge of peace is absent; for the full knowledge of warfare is both the knowledge of battle and the knowledge of peace. This can be learned according to the mystics by battling with oneself, and by bringing about peace with one’s own soul. The life of an individual being is not very different from the life of the world. An individual person’s home is not different from the world. An individual’s body and mind and spirit form the whole universe. An individual life can fill the gap between the dawn of creation and the last day.”  (The Message Vol 6, “Life a Continual Battle”)

“What the world needs today is not so much preaching or religious teaching; what the world needs most is the mystical outlook, to look upon the world with the mystic’s attitude, and to see the whole of humanity as one, the single Being, the only Being. In order to bring this idea to the world it is not only necessary that there should be esoteric centers, but also that the message of universal [kinship] which is essential to mysticism should be given freely to all people, to those who sympathize as well as to those who are not yet ready to understand it. It is by bringing this idea to every soul one meets and can speak to that one will be able to accomplish the work which many institutions in the world today are trying to accomplish, calling themselves peace leagues and various other names. [A person] may have a good motive, but a good motive can only give good results with right methods. Whenever there is a good motive but not a right method, the good motive will be of no avail; on
the contrary, the good motive can bring very bad results. And throughout world history whenever real [kinship] has been taught to humanity, it has always been conveyed by the mystical ideal.” (The Message Vol 11, “Mysticism in Life,” Ch. 10)

… “What is necessary just now is to create peace in ourselves that we ourselves become examples of love, harmony and peace. That is the only way of saving ourselves and the world.”  – Pir Zia, letter to murids, March 2003, when US intervention in Iraq was being considered.

Q:  Can you tell something more of the time that God grants wishes?
A:  God grants wishes at two times.  One time is when your heart is free from every thought, or feeling, or emotion; in the most peaceful and tranquil condition; at that time every wish that is sown is just like a seed sown in fertile soil.  If one had the patience to wait in the great power of God, whatever be the wish, it will certainly be granted.  The other time when the wish is granted is when somebody is satisfied, has been made happy by you, and naturally, out of his heart, springs a kind of fountain which pours upon you a kind of blessing.  It will be just like rain from above, which in time will bring its fruits and flowers. – (Murshid, Gatha III, Superstitions, Customs, and Beliefs, Toasts.)

Thank you for joining in these New Moon practices.  May peace prevail!
With love and light,
Aqdas

Toward the One,
the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty,
the Only Being,
United with all the Illuminated Souls,
Who form the Embodiment of the Master,
the Spirit of Guidance

NEW MOON MEDITATION: PEACE #3
For January 30, 2014
Offered by Aqdas Newmark

With this new moon, let us pray for peace together.

Our Beloved Pir-o-Murshid taught that peace in the world will come when humanity has found peace within. The practices shared this new moon are ones that encourage a state of inner peace while praying for peace on earth.  Pir Zia has shared these practices in several retreats and meditations.  Here are his words:

“Let our path of meditation not foster in us a sense of isolation and apathy, but rather open us to the inner source of peace so that we can more effectively demonstrate that peace, live that peace, and extend it in prayer all over the world especially those trouble spots all over the world…
We pray especially ….for the families, elderly, and children and ask for refuge for the vulnerable.  We use a prayer that is used specifically for such moments: the mantric word, Aman, which means sanctuary. So in our prayers we seek for all who need sanctuary and protection, succor.”

THE PRACTICES:

Aman,  (Phonetic:  AAAHH – maan)  11 or 33x daily.  This practice is said with full concentration upon a situation or region in conflict that is in need of refuge for the vulnerable.

Next, a second practice is a prayer, Allahumma anta as-Salam. It is excerpted from supplications to God, to say after private prayer in Islam.
For those of you who like to sing or chant, an audio file of this practice is available by emailing me ataqdasn1@gmail.com.
This beautiful prayer calls upon God for peace and the blessing of peace, with power and grace.  It brings peace to the soul, as well.

Allahumma anta ‘s-salam wa minka ‘s-salam tabarakta ya dha’l-jalali wa’l-ikram. Amin

~ Phonetic: Allah who-ma on-tah salaam, wah mink-ah salaam.
Taa-bark-ta ya (z)thill jalali, wahl ee-krom.

~English:  “O God you are peace and from you is peace. You are blessed, o possessor of
power and grace.  Amen.
Say or sing 3 times a day, or when you feel called to do it.

CONTEMPLATION:

Contemplate the 5th and 6th lines of Murshid’s A Prayer for Peace

Send Thy Peace, O Lord, that we may endure all, tolerate all in the thought of Thy Grace and Mercy.
Send Thy Peace, O Lord, that our lives may become a divine vision, and in Thy Light all darkness may vanish.

QUOTATIONS:

“While I shall not use my role in the Sufi Order to advocate a “position,” I do heartily encourage us all to recite Murshid’s Prayer for Peace, meditate upon the Divine Peace (Ya Salaam), courageously and compassionately confront and transform the sources of fear and hostility within ourselves, embody peace (which, of course, is not the same as laxity) in all of our relationships, and reflect the essential unity of the human family in all of our dealings.”  – Pir Zia, letter to murids, March 2003, when US intervention in Iraq was being considered.

“According to this point of view, the message has been given each time in a form suited to the evolution of the people in that particular age. Man divides, God unites, humanity. Man takes pleasure in thinking and feeling, ‘I am different from you; you are different from me’ in nationality, race, creed, or religion. In animals this feeling is still more pronounced. But as man evolves, his tendency is to unite, to become one. Did Jesus Christ come to form an exclusive community called Christian, or Buddha to found a creed called Buddhism? Or was it Mohammed’s ideal to form a community called Mohammedan? On the contrary, the Prophet warned his disciples that they should not attach his name to his message, but that it should be called Islam, the Message of Peace.” – The Message Volumes, Vol. IX, The Unity of Religious Ideals. Hazrat Inayat Khan. The Message and the Messenger, The Sufi Message.

Wage Peace   by  Mary Oliver, a contemporary poetess

Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don’t wait another minute.   (c)Mary Oliver

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Dear Ones,

In this season of Peace, when Christians celebrate the blessed birth of the Prince of Peace, yet we find the world torn asunder with narrowness, conflict and needless suffering. Send thy peace, O Lord, and let us discover that Peace which passes all understanding deep within our selves, as the very nature of our souls. And let us then bring this Peace into our daily lives, into the midst of the strife and despair we find here, where we are now, doing what little we can each day to bring Peace on Earth and goodwill to all beings.

With Peace and Blessings to All,
Wahhab

 

Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, the Only Being,
United with all the Illuminated Souls, Who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance

New Moon Meditation: Peace #2
For January 1, 2014
Aqdas Newmark

With this new moon, let us begin a new year with the thought of peace.

When Pir Vilayat began to teaching us how to pray for peace at Ocate, a great stillness descended upon those of us gathered around him. It was a sober and sacred moment. With deep gratitude and reverence, this is passed on to you. The steps of this prayerful practice are:

Meditate until one is in a still and peaceful state.

As you inhale, rise up to Allah, to Ya Ali, to the Source of all Light. As you exhale, imagine sending the thought of peace to a particular country, region, or situation at war or in crisis at this moment. One sends this thought as an arrow, with the precision of a Zen archer, wherein the arrow (the thought of Peace) reaches the center of the target (the place at war), before it has even left the bow.

You may send the thought of Peace from your glance while visualizing the place in conflict.

Imagine Peace reaching the region and descending as a light snowfall, white or very pale, glacial blue in color, falling gently upon the land, cooling and calming angry, wounded hearts.

Simultaneously, on each exhalation think: Salaam. [Note – In later years, Pir Vilayat added Rahim (again always on the exhalation), saying that he found it more effective to add mercy and compassion. Salaam – Rahim]

Take all the time you want with each country or region that you are praying for. Sometimes one deep, complete breath with full concentration is most effective.

Pir Vilayat described how one can offer to be of service to the Aegis of Peace, which is like a shield or buffer, and to which Sufis have lent themselves throughout the ages. At times, some have sat in the middle of a war zone attuned to Divine Peace, emanating Divine Peace, and creating a buffer between warring factions. By collectively offering our peaceful, prayerful thoughts sent out on a corridor of light through our glance, our intention is to facilitate the Reality of Peace. Amen.

Contemplation:
Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that we may be contented and thankful
for Thy Bountiful Gifts.

Send Thy Peace, O Lord,
that amidst our worldly strife
we may enjoy Thy Bliss.
– Hazrat Inayat Khan, Prayer for Peace, third and fourth lines.

Quotation:
“Grudges against relatives, complaints about servants, finding fault with neighbors will all cease to occur, and the world will continue to improve in all aspects of life until the day of Gayamat, when all vain talk will cease, and when everywhere will be heard the cry, ‘Peace, peace, peace!'”
– Sufi Teachings, Vol. III, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Part III, The Birth of a New Era.

May we each look for ways to enhance Peace in daily life, both in outer life and in inner forms.

With heartfelt wishes for a peaceful and joyous Holy Season, Aqdas

 

Toward the One, the Perfection of Love, Harmony, and Beauty, the Only Being,
United with all the Illuminated Souls, Who form the Embodiment of the Master, the Spirit of Guidance

With this new moon, let us contemplate peace.

In a wilderness in New Mexico in 1982, Pir Vilayat led a 10 day silent retreat. After a week of intensive practice, he said that now we were finally in a state where we could lend ourselves to the inner work of promoting peace on this beautiful planet. In that spirit, you are invited to join together for this first month, in contemplation and practice which enhance peace within, that sense of well-being and tranquility which reveals to us the Divine Presence in every moment and every breath. The following months will include his teachings on working for peace on the inner plane, collectively offering that peace from within to wherever it is needed in the world. We will also be blessed to share in teachings and practices from Pir-o-Murshid and Pir Zia Inayat Khan.

As Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi said, at the 2010 West Coast SOI Camp in Colorado, it is up to us, to Sufis, to bring peace to the Abrahamic religious traditions to overcome the darkness of spiritual enmity and prejudice.

Peace Within our Heart
Peace is not a knowledge, peace is not a power, peace is not a happiness; yet peace is all these. Besides, peace is productive of happiness; peace inspires one with knowledge of the seen and unseen, and in peace is to be found the Divine Presence. – The Sayings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Aphorisms.

Suggested Daily Practices:

1. WAZAIF:
Ya Batin – Ya Salaam, (Baa-tin – Saa-laam), Inner Peace. 11X
Ya Batin – to enter into the interior space of the Veiled One, to ‘turn within’. One can focus on the depth of the heart in the solar plexus. Shift one’s orientation from the outer world to the world within, perhaps experiencing an internal, cave-like deepening. Enter this space, and settle in comfortably.
Ya Salaam – to be at peace, the state of Peace
These two wazaif together form a wonderful practice as a fikr in daily life: for example, in a committee meeting, while waiting for an event, when agitated, as well as in one’s daily practice. As always, please check in with your guide before adding a practice.

2. CONTEMPLATION:
Send Thy Peace, O Lord, which is perfect and everlasting that our souls may radiate peace. Send Thy Peace, O Lord that we may think, act, and speak harmoniously. – Hazrat Inayat Khan, Prayer for Peace, first two lines. These phrases may be practiced as a walking fikr, standing, or sitting.

3. QUOTATION:
“A person must first create peace in one’s self if one desires to see peace in the world; for lacking peace within, no effort of his/her self can bring any result.” – The Sayings of Hazrat Inayat Khan, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Sayings.

Note: Gender inclusive language has been added throughout.

4. READINGS:
These teachings from Murshid provide guidance for clearing away the debris that accumulates in the course of a lifetime, and preventing us from being more useful instruments for peace:

“The nature of the memory is to hold an impression, agreeable or disagreeable, and therefore a person holds a thought in mind, whether it is beneficial to him or not, without knowing the result which will come from it. It is like a child who holds a rattle in his hand and hits his head with the rattle and cries with the pain, and yet does not throw the rattle away. There are many who keep in their mind a thought of illness or a thought of unkindness done to them by someone and suffer from it, yet now knowing what it is that makes them suffer so, nor understanding the reason of their suffering.
“They go on suffering and yet hold on in memory the very source of suffering. Memory must be one’s obedient servant; when it is a master then life becomes difficult. A person who cannot throw away from his/her memory what he/she does not desire to keep in mind is like a person who has a safe, but the key of that safe he has lost. One can put in money, but one cannot take it out. All faculties in man become invaluable when a person is able to use them at will, but when the faculties use the person, then he/she is no longer master of him/herself.
“Concentration is taught by the mystics in order to exercise the will, making it capable of making use of all faculties. A person with will-power can remember what one wishes to remember and can forget what one wishes to forget. All things that deprive one of one’s freedom in life are undesirable. The mind must be free from all bad impressions of life, which take away the rest and peace of life. By concentration one is able to hold a certain thought one desires and to keep away all other thoughts, and when one is able to keep away all the thoughts one does not wish to think about, it becomes easy to throw away the impressions of years, if one wishes to forget them. Bad impressions, however old and intimate, are like rubbish accumulated, which should be removed in order to make the house clean. The human heart is the home of the soul and upon this home the comfort and peace of the soul depends.” – Esoteric Papers, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Taqua Taharat, Everyday Life, Gatha
II: 2, P
urification.

“Purity of mind requires the destroying of all bad impressions which are already collected there or which the mind receives instantly. One can destroy these impressions by five ways, and the way is adopted according to the impression one has to destroy. Some impressions want to be washed off from the mind; some require to be erased from the surface of the mind; some want to be shaken off like dust from the clothes; some require burning like the wood in the fire, which, after its test through fire, turns into ashes; and some impressions must be drowned, so that they will never come up again. Bury certain impressions like a corpse; find every way of annihilation which is suited for that particular impression, so that your mind may be clear. The mind is not only a means of thinking or reasoning, but it is the king of one’s being; and upon the condition of mind one’s health, happiness, and peace of life depend.
“Now the question is what to destroy and what to keep in mind. Collect and keep all that is beautiful, and destroy all that is void of beauty. Collect and keep all that is agreeable, and destroy all that has a disagreeable effect upon you. Collect and keep all that is harmonious, and destroy all that creates in harmony in yourself. Collect and keep all that is restful, and destroy all that disturbs the peace of your life. As some dust gets into the mechanism of a clock and stops it from going, so the effects produced by all impressions which are void of beauty and harmony and which disturb your peace, keep you from progress.” – Esoteric Papers, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Taqua Taharat, Everyday Life, Gatha II: 3, Purity of Mind (1).

May peace be with you, Aqdas

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Dear Friends,This is the final new moon practice in the series of mediations with light that Maria Cristina Fernandez and Yaqin Aubert have offered us.  With deep gratitude to Maria Cristina and Yaqin for their inspiring guidance.Much love,
WahhabNew Moon Practice November 2013
Yaqin Aubert and Maria Cristina FernandezForgiveness (transcript PVK 10/12/85)”I did find that just imagining light is not good enough. One has to really go through a kind of catharsis of light to the point when one’s thoughts are luminous and one’s emotions are luminous, and one will find that any thought of resentment or impatience, anger, or so on, immediately does take away one’s radiance. So, rather than just trying to radiate photons, physical light, by your will, it’s just – you know, that just doesn’t work. I find that sometimes even thinking of human problems, like thinking of somebody who’s done one a lot of harm, and just even the thought, ‘Well I can forgive that person’ or ‘Yes, well, it’s over and forget it’ and – or even, ‘Well, even if that if that person continues to harm me, well, it’s their business, but I don’t want to hold it against them’ – just a thought like that will immediately make one radiate more light.””The whole universe was created for the purpose of illumination that Divine luminous intelligence may assume a form and may light up that very form and transfigure that form that it may convey the meaning of the Divine luminous intelligence. When this happens you will be vested with great robes of light, and the great Halls of the Temples Lights will be filled with rejoicing and the souls of men will be intoxicated by your light”. -Shahabuddin Suhrawardi”One of the purposes of our sojourn on the planet is to bring a new dispensation of light upon the planet, to communicate further light upon the planet”.Purification with Light.1. Inhale, go through the chakras with colors, turn your eyes up to the crown, hold the breath. Exhale, radiate light out the heart. 11X2. Go through the chakras as above, hold the breath at the crown. Concentrate on the light of the angelic spheres – (uncreated light frequency). Exhale through the chakras aware of bringing the high frequency light down into each chakra. At the Muladhara – low frequency and high frequency light meet and patterns are changed. On exhalation – your light will go to the stars at 186,000 miles per second. Concentrating on the light of the crown, the higher spheres of light, “the light appears as a gate to other spheres of light”. -Hildegard von Bingham3. Discover the white whole (space within). You discover a fresh release of light that is not the product of the converging light of the universe. You are sending new light into the physical universe!Inhale – concentrate on drawing the light of the universe into the aura.
Hold the breath – be conscious of the eternal light welling up from another universe in the depth of your being.
Exhale – radiating the light of the universe.Working with the GlanceBegin again by inhaling, turning the eyes upward, and curling one’s tongue back and pressing it against the palate. Hold the breath identifying with luminous intelligence, rather than the aura. “One has to be inspired rather than trying to do it with one’s will.” Pir Vilayat says it’s a matter of passive volition.As one exhales, feel the descent of the light through the crown center, not thinking that one is a receptacle of the light. “One is a being of light, and one is funneling that light into beams, concentrating it into beams, or one main beam in the third eye and then the two beams of the physical eyes.” It’s like the beams of the eyes are rails on which the beam of the third eye travels. Focus on the beams of the eyes and the third eye converging at a point about six feet in front of one. Again inhaling with eyes and tongue up. Hold the breath.”This is where some of the thoughts of what I like to call the quest of the sublime. Somehow one’s idealism has an effect upon – even upon the body, but of course upon the aura and upon the various bodies. So rather than willing it to work with the third eye, there’s a moment when there’s a real breakthrough that happens to you during the light meditations, and that is that moment when you remember having always been a being of light. It’s not just an idea. That’s the clue – is innocence, of course. That’s a clue. That’s why Christ said you have to become like a child in order to be able to have access in the heavens.””And this is the breakthrough when one realizes that one is a being of light, so that it’s not just imagining spheres of light above one’s head and imagining that one is just a person on the earth. But one has to lift one’s being into those spheres of light, and then it is one’s being of light that comes through one’s eyes. One thinks of one’s eyes as channels through which one is bringing light. So one should not identify oneself with the channel.”Now as one inhales the brain is flooded with light. The cells of the brain sparkle and dance with light. Then on the exhalation that light flows forward along the optic nerves, through the retina and is projected forward and the light of the third eye follows. Repeat: inhale, the brain is lit up from within, exhale projecting the light forward.”Now, you do the same practice, but you open your eyes as you exhale, and do not allow the objects in the environment to force your eyes into focus. When you inhale you close your eyes again; as you hold your breath you keep your eyes closed.” One has to resist the pull of the environment and keep one’s eyes unfocused.”You’re not perceiving objects, except that you have feelings that you’re casting the light of intelligence upon objects. You’re not dealing with thoughts; you’re dealing with meaningfulness.” Instead of using one’s eyes as instruments of perception, one is casting the radiance forward, a very different experience of the glance. With eyes open it may feel like you are projecting light from the back of the skull forward out the eyes. You may have to close the eyes again to regain the concentration. Repeat.”Now, the result of this is that the world looks much more beautiful, people look much more beautiful, flowers look much more beautiful. The consequence is that one is so turned on by everything that one sees that one is in a state of ecstasy. That accounts for the fact that the dervish is in ecstasy. I think that what we suffer from most is being low-key. Life gets boring and we don’t feel happy about ourselves. We feel that we lack glow, a sparkle. This is the way of doing it.”Lastly, as one exhales the light descends and branches through the throat chakra, then radiating through the heart center in the middle of the chest.  Alternate between eyes closed and eyes open.”Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world.
Behold I am the. light which ye shall hold up-that which ye have seen me do.” John 8:12″I come from a perfect source and I am bound for a perfect goal. The light of the perfect Being is kindled in my soul. I live, move, and have my being in God. And nothing in the world of the past or present has power to touch me if I rise above all.” HIKBe the Al – Insan al Kamil. This is the transference of light from the divine to the human, who in turn shines this newly acquired light through the world. Light upon a Light.All quotes from Pir Vilayat unless otherwise noted.http://www.physics.uc.edu/~sitko/ReflectanceSpectroscopy.pdf
Dear Ones,Just so recently we had a wonderful series of New Moon Meditations on light by Amida Cary.  And today we begin another series of meditations on light by Yaqin Aubert and Maria Cristina Fernandez.  Why?  Can we ever have enough pathways that guide us so beautifully home?Maria Cristina and Yaqin are senior SOI teachers who live near the Abode and who are currently working on the Leaders Training Module on Light Practices.  I am so thankful they are sharing these practices with us.  Ya Shakur!With love,
WahhabNew Moon Practice: Light Meditation 1″The soul is light, the mind is light, and the body is light – light of different grades; and it is this relation which connects one with the planets and stars.”-HIKAlthough it may seem obvious, let’s ask the basic question: Why do practices of Light?Because it is who we are.Light practices help to dispel bad intentions and abuse, and awaken our nostalgia for light.Light is part of our yearning for freedom. It can take us out of the “narrow constraint of our self image.””By communing with that light we reinforce each other’s light in mutual recognition.”-PVKPractice
Purification:We must remember that we cannot travel very far on the path of light if we are holding on to grudges, resentment, or dishonesty, or gossiping about other people. These and other negative emotions will stand in the way of our becoming radiant. This is why starting with elemental purification breaths with a focus of releasing these feelings is a good practice to begin with. We must be open, straightforward, while balancing this with considerations for other people’s feelings: no manipulation, no scheming. Whatever poor judgments and bad decisions one has made in the past, remember one’s soul is always pure, free from the contamination of the past. We need to awaken to the realization that we already are beings of light.The beauty of it is that just thinking about light affects our attunement. “So we have an immediateeffect of mind over body,if one could say, or soul over the mind or whatever, all those different levels.We come across the great secret and power of imagination,which is the ability to transport something which started in the mind as a realization, and will work right down into one’s body and awaken body functions which otherwise would not be active; and also develop idiosyncrasies in our being which are lying dormant and make all the difference in our achievement in life.” -PVIKMeditation:Imagine that you are out alone walking in the mountains or high desert in the early morning before sunrise. There is a slight chill in the air, the sky is filled with stars and their light ever so subtle is reflecting back your own light. You begin to lose your sense of individuality and to commune with the stars. Then you notice in the east that the sky has a dark blue color, while behind you the sky is still dark with stars. You walk toward the east. The landscape around you becomes more discernible as the sky in the east turns lighter and different hues of colors begin to reveal before you the landscape. You can see on the far horizon the point where the sun will rise. You continue walking and the horizon becomes pale blue. Then, before the sunrise, giant shafts of light rise above the horizon reflecting beautiful hues of the rainbow filtering through the clouds in the sky. And then…and then the slightest sliver of shimmering white light rises on the horizon, shimmeri
ng like liquid silver! The orb of the sun rises majestically above the horizon. The atmosphere around you becomes charged, alive with light. Inhale feeling the light washing over you, penetrating the cells of your body. Your whole being is radiant. Exhale out the Lataif Sirriyya (Sirr) in the middle of your chest. Your heart center is a miniature sun, luminous, effulgent, radiating in all directions.”The task at hand is to become conscious of being a being of light and to make it real.”-PVKPractice – Visualization
The following visualization can be accompanied byinhaling-feeling the light streaming toward you, over you, within you. Thenexhaling-feeling you have incorporated this lightinthe heart centerLatifa Sirriyya(Sirr). The light radiates not only forward,but backward through the shoulder blades, out through the shoulders from the Sirr.  Theaura around the upper part of the body becomes radiant and expansive. The face becomes like the full moon reflectingthe effulgence of the heart.Facing bright light contemplation:”One learns how to let oneself be inspired by the thought of light, and at the same time one needs to concentrate on very concrete things. That’s where I suppose emotion is a stronger factor than will in meditation. Imagine that you’re facing a very bright light; and the imagination itself won’t do it, but of course the emotion of the joy of feeling that glow of light on one’s body – and one has to imagine the very concrete way that your body is glowing under the light – the effect of the light that you’re exposed to.”Imagine that you’re looking into the head lamps of a carand enjoying the glare upon your whole body. See what it doesto you psychologically. If you have the courage to keep looking into that light, because in fact of not only observing that light, but that light makes you aware of your own light. So it’s a communion with light.You start by imagining that you’re facing a bright light, but eventually you become aware of your own light, namely the light of the aura. I suppose it’s because the glow of the light that is cast upon you is very reminiscent of the light of your own aura. Now at first there’s just a feeling of just havingalotof light around the body.At the moment one is trying to radiate you haveto let yourself really be inspired by the thought of light, and that’s where I suppose emotion is a stronger factor than will in meditation.”-PVKNow begin by exhaling fully, followed by a natural inhalation and hold the breath briefly. While holding the breath become aware ofyour heart beat. Feel your physical heart beating. Then again exhale extending the exhalation slightly, gently lean on the exhalation. Inhale fully, hold and againbe aware ofyour heart beat. After several of these breaths, when you hold the breath focus your attention on feeling the subtler pulsing of your blood in the circulatory system of the body, perhaps in the arms, neck or legs as you hold the breath. After several of these breaths, when you hold your breath focus your attention on feeling the still subtler pulsing of the aura, the lifefield, the electromagnetic field surrounding the body and how it pulses at the same rhythm as the heart & circulatory system.Raise hands to the level of the shoulders with palms up. Breathe in and out the nose focusing on the fingers. Take one breath for each finger,focus on sensing the little finger, then ring finger, to the thumb. Next breathe focusing on the palmssensing the life and magnetism in your hands. Now, with eyes closed, turn eyes up toward the crown (Latifa Akhfiyya) and repeat eleven times “Pour upon us Thy Love and Thy Light”, feel the Divine Light washing over and within, penetrating the crown, down into the heart and radiating. Raise the hands slightly higher, turning the palms toward the head, bringing them down several inches away from the body charging and purifying the aura. Breathe in and out the heart and feel the radiance of the aura. Open your eyes. Can you still feel imbued with light?”Are you really just in love with light, like that’s the most wonderful thing in the world? Intoxicated by it in all its various manifestations, whether it is a sunrise, or whether it’s a rainbow, or whether it’s lightning, or whether it is in the sparks of a fire, or even firecrackers. Or whether it is the light in the eyes of a child. Or just the reminiscences that we store in our unconscious of worlds of light.”-PVK
The Sufi Order of Rochester Center for Sufi Studies, 494 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607, the Carriage House behind the AAUW mansion (Carriage House is 492).