Monday, August 19, 2013

A Worthy Spouse

A worthy spouse is not of this world, but of the next"
- Abu Sulayman Ad Darani

In other words, the worthy spouse allows you to be free to engage in the work of the next world.
When you keep to your worship, if a boredom should appear such that the heart is wearied and you fall behind in worship, looking at her/him and witnessing her/his intimacy and ease to the heart.
That power of worship will return and your desire to obey God will be renewed.

(Sachiko Murata, Tao of Islam)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let us be grateful

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” 
― Epicurus

Today many people are no longer satisfied with a simple, family-oriented life. As the commercial world produces more and more products and uses its advertising skills to try to entice the public, millions of fathers and mothers spend long hours at work so that they can buy these products. Other millions face a day-to-day struggle just to put some food on the table. They have to spend far more time at work than used to be the case, perhaps holding down two jobs, simply to pay for necessities. Yet others would be happy to find a job, since unemployment is a widespread problem. Yes, life is not always easy for the modern family, but Bible principles can help families to make the best of the situation.

The apostle Paul experienced economic pressures. In handling them, he learned a valuable lesson, which he explains in his letter to his friend Timothy. Paul writes, "We have brought nothing into the world and neither can we carry anything out. So, having sustenance and covering, we shall be content with these things."(1 Timothy 6:7,8).

True, family needs more than just food and clothing. It also needs somewhere to live. The children need an education. And there are medical bills and other expenses. Still, the principles of Paul's words applies. If we are content to satisfy our needs rather than indulge our wants, life will be easier. []

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Creation of Adam

Allah, Exalted be He, says: "Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: 'I will create a vicegerent on earth.' They said: 'Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?' He said, 'I know what ye know not'" (Al Baqarah: 30)

Ibn Katheer states: This is a report from Allah to His angels explaining to them the wisdom behind creating Adam and his offspring, and how they will succeed each other on earth.

Allah says in another verse: "It is He Who hath made you (His) agents, inheritors of the earth: He hath raised you in ranks, some above others: that He may try you in the gifts He hath given you: for thy Lord is quick in punishment: yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" (Al An'aam: 165)

He also says "Or, who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides Allah? Little it is that ye heed!"  (Al Naml: 62)

Allah tells that to His angels as a hint to the creation of Adam and his children, as He sets the scene for the occurrence of a great event before it actually takes place.

It is a great grace from Allah endowed upon Adam, as He created him with His hands, breathed soul unto him, taught him the names of all things and commanded the angels to prostrate themselves before him. Allah says: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit fall ye down in obeisance unto him." (Al Hijr: 29)

Allah also says that it is He who created Adam and gave him shape and bade the angels bow down to him, and they did; except Iblis that refused to be among those who bowed down. Allah says:
"What prevented thee from bowing down when I commanded thee?' He said: 'I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire and him from clay.'" (Al A'raaf: 11-12)

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reports that Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said: "When the son of Adam recites a verse of prostration and the prostrates himself (before Allah), Satan isolates himself, cries and invokes curses on himself and says, 'The son of Adam was commanded to bow down and he obeyed (his Lord), thus he will be destined to Paradise but I was commanded (by Allah) to prostrate myslef (before Adam) yet I disobeyed and thus I will be destined to Hell"

(Ibn Katheer. Stories of the Prophets)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Working With Light

With focused intention and the power of our Beloved we can penetrate the places of worldly power from within. Then we need to hold a place of light in the darkness. This light will grow, and then a subtle change will take place. The light will reveal that the darkness is full of misplaced human hopes and dreams, full of misunderstanding and unhappiness. There is a deep sorrow in these places, like the pain in the drug addict's restroom. Here is the collective sorrow of the soul. We need to work with this helpless despair, this longing for something other than material illusions. Our light can begin to change the substance of the darkness, to infuse hope into hopelessness. The power of our presence can reveal fundamental weaknesses in the logic of material thought-forms, their denial of humanity's prime purpose to praise God. We can bring the light of praise and remembrance into the darkness.

But the purpose of this work is not to dispel the darkness. that would take too long, and certain energies of darkness need to remain - they belong to the density of life. Our work is to have access to the power generating the illusions that govern our culture. There are specific places where this power is concentrated. Being present in this places of worldly power, we can infuse the seed of change, a potent catalyst that can constellate new thought-forms, generate new ideas.

The work of the friends of God has always been hidden, taking place in the inner realms. Part of the demand of the present is that this work become visible to some degree; part of their work needs to be known. Humanity can no longer afford to be ignorant of its spiritual nature or of the spiritual potential of the planet. A certain knowledge needs to be given to humanity about the real purpose of life and the evolution of the planet.

(Llewellyn Vaughan Lee)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Veiling of Spiritual Power

In the heart of the world there are sources of power needed for the evolution of the humanity and the whole of the planet. Without this energy we will remain stuck at the dawn of the coming era, unable to step into the sunlight of the future. At present, the doors to these places of power are closed, inaccessible. And we remain distracted and dominated by the dynamics of physical and economic force.

Real power does not belong to humanity. It is a gift from the inner worlds and carries a stamp of the divine. It is given for the sake of the whole, not for our own personal gain. The next step in our evolution includes accessing this power, and using it to assist in the tremendous changes taking place in our world.

In order to access this place of power, we first need to understand why they are hidden. There are many reasons that power is hidden from humanity. Often it is to protect it from being used for the wrong reasons or by the wrong people. We know of the danger of the dynamics of power and domination, how easily power corrupts and is corrupted. Spiritual power, power which belongs to the non physical realm, is as corruptive as wordly power, and often more dangerous because it is invisible and not so easy to recognise or defend against.

Traditionally, only initiates have access to frequencies of spiritual power; the greater the power the more demanding the initiation. Supposedly these initiations rejected those who were not pure enough, only giving access to those who could not be corrupted. However, such safeguards are rarely perfect, and human nature is too complex for any safeguard to be fully effective.

Because our present culture's focus is on the physical world, we are familiar with this misuse of power that belongs to this dimension; we have little awareness of spiritual power or its misuse. We see economic and political corruption around us, as well as the underworld forces of drugs, prostitution, slavery, and other form of human exploitation. Our history, present and past, tells story of military power, including the Catholic Inquisition and other forms of religious intolerance. But all these forms of power still belong to the physical, material dimension. Even psychological manipulation mainly has its end in physical or material gain.

Spiritual power belongs to a different dimension, and is invisible to someone who sees only the physical world. But this power is real and has a vast range of possibilities. Traditionally it can be used locally, to heal an individual, or in communities, for example to help the rains come. Or it have a global dimension, involving the well-being and evolution of the whole. We can see the remains of past culture that used spiritual power in the pyramids of Egypt or the stone circle in England. We may have lost the knowledge of how spiritual energies were channeled through these monuments, but we can sense their mystery and potency.

If the new era that is now being born around us is to come into fruition it needs spiritual power, on not just an individual but also a global scale. Many spiritual traditions and practices have given individual a taste of spiritual energies that can free them from the prison of a solely physical, material life and open them to other dimension. But if the future is to be for the whole of humanity and not just a spiritual elite, then we need to find the sources of power that can transforms the whole - give the whole of humanity access to a different dimension, a different way of life. Without these sources of power that transition that is beginning will stagnate. It will not move beyond the individual.

These sources of power are present, but hidden. They have been protected form misuse and the dangers of corruption. And these are even forces that resist their discovery. But the time has come for them to be uncovered and used.

(Llewellyn Vaughan Lee. "Spiritual Powers: How it works"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why is life so difficult?

No one will disagree that life brings challenges, but step back for a moment and ask the deeper question, which is why. Why is life so difficult? No matter what advantages you are born with - money, intelligence, an appealing personality, a sunny outlook, or good social connections - none of these provides a magic key to an easy existence. Somehow life manages to bring difficult problems, the causes of untold suffering and struggle. How you meet your challenges makes all the difference between the promise of success and the specter of failure. Is there a reason for this, or is life simply a random series of events that keeps us off balance and barely able to cope?

Spirituality begins with a decisive answer to that question. It says that life isn't random. There is pattern and purpose inside every existence. The reason that challenges arise is simple: to make you more aware of your inner purpose.

If the spiritual answer is true, there should be a spiritual solution to every problem - and there is. The answer doesn't lie at the level of the problem, even though most people focus all their energies at that level. The spiritual solution lies beyond. When you can take your awareness outside the place where struggle is ever-present, two things happen at the same time: your awareness expands, and with that new answers begin to appear. When awareness expands, events that seems random actually aren't. A larger purpose is trying to unfold through you. When you become aware of that purpose - which is unique for each person - you become like an architect who has been handed the blueprint. Instead of laying bricks and fitting pipes at random, the architect can now proceed with confidence that he knows what the building should look like and how to construct it.

(Deepak Chopra. Self Power: Spiritual solutions to life's greatest challenges. Harmony Books, 2002)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Longing in Our Heart

If you have ever been far away in the woods or the mountains, far away from population, consciously or unconsciously there comes a feeling of romance, the wind that is repeating the sound that is coming from the trees, the rock, the murmur of the water running, all are wanting to get back something that was lost. This particular feeling comes to human beings in the pleasure of everyday life. Then there is a joy that opens something in us; then there comes this yearning, and that feeling one feels on every side in the wilderness of the wood. There comes the feeling of longing, the deep yearning of the heart, the searching for something that has been lost.

When we look at the beings living around us we see the same thing. For instance, look at the birds and contemplate on their restless flying, the constant roaming of animals in the forest. The first thought that might come, one might think that they were searching for food. But he who has a deeper sight into the nature certainly will feel the restlessness sooner or later, the searching of that which is lost.

There is the same tendency contains human being, although human being has much interest in life by the various occupations, various moods, he finds thousand and one excuses for his restlessness, for his deppression, for his depressed restlessness. An illusion developed in man is, that reason always comes at his demand. There is always someone that will say to a poor man, "Sad for you that you are not rich."Someone comes and says, "You look depressed, i know there is so much sorrow, that is the reason." But reason is always at command and outside engaged and so cannot find the real reason that is inside. That reason is suppressed behind all the thing that was lost. Nowadays life never gives a man a moment to be tranquil, that he may have a time to breed upon true cause of continual unhappiness, also keeps him in illusion, always looking out, and he can never find it outside. It is as if he were looking for the moon on the earth, but moon is in the sky.

But  then you ask, "What has man lost?"and the answer is, "God himself," that perfect intelligence that is in every being, that intelligence what the Vedantist says is called 'light', the verses of Quran says is 'nur', which means light of God immanent in the world of names and forms, in all that consists in this world of variety.
Various forms of activity giving various results, men in this illusion keeps the same intelligence, to find its perfection in that state of consciousness where he can feel his own perfection. The religious, the mystics, the philosophers of all ages give the key to the secret. That is what sufism will bring back to humanity. Christ has said it so beautifully, "Be thou perfect, as thy Father in heaven is perfect."And the yearning in every soul is in the realisation of that perfection, of everything, every being in this world, consciously or unconsciously. There has been kept one thing in the whole creation to be like an alarm clock set on a certain time, that it will make a sound that one may wake up. That clock sounds through all activity in all evolution, when this is touched men wake up by the alarm. That was the word that was lost and it has its echo in the longing.

And now you will ask, "How can one listen, how can one find it?"That word rises from one's own heart, re-echoing in all mystics of this universe. If it is not rising from one's own heart it cannot be heard in the outer world. And you ask, "What is the sign? what makes it rise? who can hear it?"And the answer comes , "As soon as this word rises in your own heart you touch God, you touch perfection, what is in all beings. In all beings the soul rises to pick it up and begins to understand the divine tongue, the secret that was shut out so long seems to be revealed.

In ancient stories, in the stories of the Bible, it is written men speaking with trees, with running water, that repeats sounds coming from the rocks. A man without patience will not stop to listen, he hurries on, he is ready to laugh at such thing. But  there is nothing surprising or impossible therein. This world which is going on is the inheritance of man. This word only got true to the picture. It re-echoes in all things. Only man must be aware of this privilege, of this oneness which is hidden. The whole treasure of the universe is the understanding of the mystical idea.

The lack of religion, this increasing of materiality, what is it caused by? It is by the lack of knowledge of religion, it is the spirit of religion that is lost. Humanity cannot be turned all one way. The form does not matter, is nothing without the spirit. What is wanted is understanding of each other's fate, to respect each other's idea, to worship that is dear to our fellowman and of the other creatures. An effort to make the whole world believers of one faith would be as if the whole humanity, as if all the people has the same faces, would make the world very uninteresting.

The work, therefore, that the sufi has to accomplish, is to bring that idea of the mystic, that it is the spirit, not the form that matters, and to leave the belief of another out of the question, to understand their belief, to come to the realisation of the word that was lost, the seeking of every soul, that men may be enabled to reflect that picture of oneness, and so to hear the word that was lost, to hear it again sounding in one's own heart.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to progress in the spiritual path in everyday life

In the first place one must keep one's heart tuned. Intuition becomes closed when the heart is out of tune. Every individual is meant to have a certain pitch. One cannot be too good and one need not be. The question is that one has to be harmonious, friendly and pleasant.

Depression, ill-luck, bad influences are removed just by keeping oneself in tune. If one is tuned one agrees, disagreement shows a lack of tune. If one is in tune one will have health of mind and body both, it is the greatest healing. There are difficult nature and people of different grades of evolution, but we must try to agree with all. Some say that one cannot remain really honest if one wants to please all. But one need not be dishonest in agreeing with another. The difference is that it is more difficult for a person of a lower state of evolution to understand a person of a higher evolution. By harmony one can hold oneself. The most important thing is to be in tune. WHen one person is in tune he will tune all others in time.

Sometimes it is difficult to get on with people, the best thing is to endure. The endurance of gold, for instance, makes gold precious. If a person has all good qualities but he has no endurance, then he has no control of himself.

A child is helpless, but a sign of being grown-up is that one is independent. An unevolved person is in the hand of conditions. Freedom comes with true evolution. Freedom is an illusion as long as the person is not evolved, it can be attain by evolution. Man begins as a machine, he works by influence. As he evolved there develops in him the faculty of The Creator, the faculty of The Maker, to make his own destiny. The greater master he becomes the greater the faculty will be. First he is the slave of destiny, but in the end man becomes master of his destiny. One has no choice when in being the slave of destiny, but afterwards, when one has becomes the master of his destiny, one has choice. Our motive is that the soul may evolve every moment of the day. The stage of the master is the fulfilment of destiny.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Signs of Spiritual Advancement

Perhaps youhave read the story of Daniel in the lion's den, therefore you can understand that there is no greater sign of spiritual advancement than man's personal influence; this is an example of advancement in spiritual life. People want to know whether they are progressing or going back. One need not see how much one has read or learned to find out if one has advanced. The principal thing is : if one attracts people or if one repels them, if one is harmonious or inharmonious. This can tell us how far we have advanced. No doubt one day is not the same as the other. Life is like water, and it will have its waves rising or falling.

Another sign of advancement is that we must become modest, kind, and respectful to others. Another sign is that we must have wisdom and power; if one has both these things one will create beauty in life.

Now a question is how to attain this advancement. Practices and exercises are the main things. We must have faith and trust in the practices we do. According to our faith we will succeed. Mind and body must be kept in a proper tune. For instance, one moment of excitement takes away the advancement of six months time. It is like a person who is making a necklace of pearls; if the thread breaks, he must do it all over again.

For those who walk in the spiritual path it is of great value to keep themselves tuned in the pitch which is necessary. The difficulty is to endure all the time many things which upset one, conditions which excite and exhaust one's patience. We must have the power of endurance in spite of all.

Life is a continual battle to fight, and in order to keep fit one must keep one's power reserved and preserved. This is done by keeping tranquil and equable in mind. Practices, concentrations, meditations and prayer will win the battle of your life.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan)

Monday, February 4, 2013

I choose to be happy!

Everyone has heard the expression, “What you sow is what you reap.” Obviously, if we want to create happiness in our lives, we must learn to sow the seeds of happiness.

We are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices. Some of these choices are made consciously, while others are made unconsciously. Whether we like it or not, everything that is happening at this moment is a result of the choices we’ve made in the past.

If I were to insult you, you would most likely make the choice of being offended. If I were to pay you a compliment, you would most likely make the choice of being pleased or flattered. But think about it: it’s still a choice.

I could offend you and I could insult you, and you could make the choice of not being offended.  I could pay you a compliment and you could make the choice of not letting that flatter you either. In other words, most of us – even thugh we are infinite choice makers – have become bundles of conditioned reflexes that are constantly being triggered by people and circumstances into predictable outcomes of behavior.

If you step back for a moment and witness the choices you are making as you make these choices, then in just this act of witnessing, you take the whole process from the unconscious realm into the conscious realm. This procedure of conscious choice-making and witnessing is very empowering.

When you make any choice – any choice at all – you can ask yourself two things:
First of all, “What are the consequences of this choice that I’m making?”
Secondly, “Will this choice that I’m making now bring happiness to me and to those around me?” If the answer is no, if that choice brings distress either to you or those around you, then don’t make that choice. It’s as simple as that.

(Deepak Chopra. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Conception of humanity

The story of creation, as it is told in the Qurán, is remarkable. It all began, one may say, with a testimony and a covenant. Indeed, revelation tells us that in the first stage of creation the Only One brought together the whole of mankind and made them bear witness:

Änd when your Sustainer took the offspring of Adam from his loins to bear witness about themselves.
'Am I not your Lord?'they replied,  'Ássuredly yes. We bear witness to it.'
This is a reminder lest on the day of judgment you say, 'We did not know!'
(Qurán [7]: 172)

This original testimony is of fundamental importance for the formation of the Islamic conception of humanity. It teaches us that in the heart and consciousness of each individual there exists and essential and profound intuitive awareness and recognition of the presence of the Transcendent. Just as the sun, the clouds, the winds, the birds, and all the animals express their natural submission, as we have seen.

The human being has within it an almost instinctive longing for a dimension that is "beyond". This is the idea of the fitra, which has given rise to numerous exegetical, mystical and philosophical commentaries, so central is it to the Islamic conception of the human being, faith and the sacred. We find it mentioned in the following verse:

"Surrender your whole being as a true believer and in accordance with the nature which God gave to human beings when He created them. There is no change in God's creation. This is the unchangeable religion (ad diin), but most people do not know."(Qurán [30]: 30)

and confirmed by a Prophetic tradition:
"Every newborn child is born in fitra, it is his parents who make of him a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian."

(Tariq RamadanWestern Muslims and the Future of Islam.Preface. Oxford University Press, 2004. p.16)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dealing with Islamophobia

It is by acquiring the conviction that they can be faithful to their principles while being totally involved in the life of their society that Muslims will find the means to social discriminations and phobias and act to resolve them.

It is an established and unacceptable fact that the governments of the United States (particularly after the outrages of 11 September 2001) and Europe maintain relations that are sometimes disrespectful of and even clearly discriminatory against citizens and residents of their countries who are of the Muslim faith. It is no less true that they apply a security policy including constant surveillance: distrust is maintained and the image of the "Muslim"often remains suspect. The general picture conceived by the Western population in general is so negative that one would call it Islamophobia, and this is a fact that many Muslims have lived with on a daily basis. One could extend the list of difficulties, complaints and criticisms at will.

My response to all these phenomena is to insist to Muslims that they stay in higher reaches, in awareness of their principles, values and responsibilities. By developing a global vision of their points of reference and their objectives, by studying their situation and being reconciled with themselves, they have the responsibility to become engaged in all areas.

Muslims will get what they deserve: if, as watchful and participating citizens, they study the machinery of their society, demands their rights to equality with others, struggle against all kinds of discrimination and injustice, establish real partnerships beyond their own community and what concerns themselves alone, it will be an achievement that will make political security measures, discrimination, Islamophobic behavior and so on drift away downstream. In the end, the ball is in their court...unless they are determined to remain forever on the margins.

(Tariq Ramadan. Western Muslims and the Future of Islam.Preface. Oxford University Press, 2004. p.6-7)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Exile toward the Beginning

Someday we are bound to come back to the beginning. Even the most distant pathways always lead us inward, completely inward, into intimacy - in the place where there is no longer anyone but God and our self.

Paulo Coelho, in his novel The Alchemist, has brought in one of the most traditional and deep teachings of Sufism (Islamic mysticism). Go, travel the world, watch, look for the truth and the secret of life - every road will lead you to this sense of initiation: the light, the secret, are hidden in the place from which you set out. You are on your way not toward the end of the road but towards its beginning, to go is to return, to find is to rediscover. Go!...You will return. The apparent paradox of spiritual experience is the lesson that the constant effort, the jihad, that we make in order to purify, control and liberate our heart is, in the end, a reconciliation with the deepest level of our being (al fitra) - there where the spark gleams that God originally breathed into our heart, there where our conscience weds our being and gives in to peace (salam). The peace of recognition, the peace of submission (salam al islam) is, deep down, a liberation.

God is "the One who created death and life to test you and to find out which of you would behave best." Death, life, experiences, ordeals, pain, solitude, as well as joy and happiness, are so many lessons along the road to reconciliation. Wounds, separations, tears, as well as smiles, "say" something; if you live in unawareness, they touch you; with God, they guide and lead you. Where to? Toward Him, toward you, close to Him in you. Such is the most beautiful and the most difficult lesson of Islam: you find God only by rediscovering your own nature, and the essence of your nature is the only thing that can free you from its appearance..."I" must set out to discover another "I": such is the meaning of life. Ordeals drive you not to your limits but to your origin, where "the need for Him: has its root. Ordeals will lead you back, whether you like it or not, to what you are, to the essence from which He has formed you. Exile will take you home.

A man once exclaimed to the mystic Rabia al-Adawiyya, "I have discovered a thousand proofs of the existence of God!" She closed the conversation by saying that she had only one proof and that was enough for her. "Which?" he asked. "If you are alone in the desert and you fall down a well, to whom will you turn?" "To God," he said. "That proof is enough for me!" A strange reply, seemingly simple, even simplistic, that a rationalist or atheist would without hesitation take as confirmation of what he had always believed: "God is the refuge of the destitute, the hope of the hopeless, a consolation, a reassuring invention!"

On the surface, on the surface only... suffering and the unknown seem to press the mind to look for a refuge, a consolation. This is the logic our reason proposes when it looks on the human being on the outside of its nature. The Islamic tradition says exactly the opposite: the ordeals of life, sadness, the death of those we love, for example, take the human being back to its most natural state, to its most essential longing. Consciousness of limitation brings it back to the need for the Transcendent, to the need for meaning. To call on God is not to console oneself - it is to rediscover the condition God originally wanted for us - the spark of humility, the awareness of fragility.

Before your eyes is a, dependence, fragility and innocence. To be with God is to know how to keep this state: a humble acceptance of your fragility, a comprehension of your dependence - going back to the beginning. In fact, the temptation to pride consists in thinking that man can cut himself off from his nature and attain total intellectual autonomy to the point where he can take on his own suffering, deliberately and alone. Pride is to affirm outward independence by maintaining the illusion of liberty at the heart of one's being. Humility is to rediscover the breath of the primordial need of Him at the heart of our being, in order to live in total outward independence.

Go!...You will return.

(Tariq Ramadan. Western Muslims and the Future of Islam. Preface. Oxford University Press, 2004)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Initiation : Hazrat Inayat Khan's Personal Experience

Initiation is not only a formal ceremony. It is an outside form of something which is meant to take place. As all things in life are appointed and fixed on a certain time, so initiation is fixed on a certain time. And when that time comes, you are brought to your teacher, who gives you initation. Many in the mystical path have this experience, if not all, that after the yearning of many, many years to come to some person who will give them his guidance on the spiritual path, that they were brought to him after many years' time. Some had visions and warnings in the form of dreams, or in the form of inspiration.

If i were to tell you my own experience, that i was meditative from childhood and that tendency grew by my growing. And there was a certain time in my life when i felt more urge from within to be contemplative. Since i had no teacher whom i could call my spiritual guide, still i had learned as every child in the East, who knows more or less the path of discipleship. But there came a certain time when the inner urge began to be more concrete, more clear, even to such an extent that it became audible, louder than a spoken word, it became visible in the form of vision. And when i was looking for some soul in the eagerness of being guided on the spiritual path, i happened to come in the presence of a soul that at my first sight i recognised that this was the person whom i had seen in my meditations. I knew this was my teacher.

You need not be surprised about it. In the spiritual path it is natural  to have this phenomena. But even in everyday life we have that phenomena. If we are serious, earnest that, in business, in our profession, in our work of wordly life, when we meet someone who is really meant that we must meet, is always a feeling we have always known this person. And if there is not that feeling, then people may come and be together for hundred of years and they will remain strangers. And another time, once a person may meet someone and he feels, "I have known that person for thousand years."

(New York, January 15th 1926)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A wife complaining about her husband

There is an amusing tale in India. It is told that a housewife went to a magnetiser and asked him if he had anything to say or to help her trouble at home. The magnetiser asked what was the trouble. The housewife said, "Everyday when my husband comes home, he is in a bad mood, and there is everyday a quarrel."
The magnetiser said, "It is very easy. I will give you some magnetic sweets. What you must do is to keep one in the mouth,  especially at the time when he comes home."

She was very happy  to think that these magnetic sweets may help her in life. And so it happened. The man who used to become nervous and excitable when he came home, and found no answer to  his irritation, he, after being a little uncomfortable, became quiet, for there was no stimulus to his agitation. When two or three day passed, he began to value his wife so much, he thought, "What a great improvement!" He began to see his own faults and began to blame himself, how foolish he was himself and how good was this housewife.

After a few days the wife had finished the sweets, she went to the magnetiser to thank him and said, "I would give anything if you would give me a lot of that sweets, it is such a wonderful sweet. It has brought harmony in our home, he is so kind and good to me now, all things are changed because of the sweets.

The wise man said, "My good lady, it is not the sweets, it is the lesson which was behind it. The secret was in keeping the lips closed."

(Hazrat Inayat Khan, January 1923)

The Power of Silence

Silence in the work of a mystic is not necessarily stillness. Silence to a mystic is self control.
In the conception of a mystic silence does not mean only the closing of the lips or the closing of the eyes; silence for a mystic is suspension of every activity, which he gains by different degrees, by controlling the movement, by controlling the words, by controlling the breath and by controlling the thoughts. The mystic attains mastery over himself, which he considers the only mastery worth having, by the practice of silence.

Silence does not mean a few hours meditation, sitting quiet, talking to no one, but it means the work of control continued throughout one's daily life from morning till evening. If not, a few moments silence everyday do not suffice the purpose.

If one was to count how many useless words one speaks throughout the day, words which are unnecessary, and thus spends energy and vigour, the center of which the breath, in this way wasting his breath by speaking the words that are of no use either to himself or to the other. Many times a man talks because he thinks it is good to be pleasant, and being pleasant means speaking uselessly. If there is nothing to speak about, then he wishes to grumble against the weather.
Many disagreements are caused by excessive talking and many misunderstandings can be avoided if only a person had the control over his words.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan, at the Netherlands, January 1923)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Man, the master of his destiny

Man is an engineer and at the same time man is a machine. There is a part of his being which works automatically, subject to climatic and personal influences and to favourable and unfavourable conditions. And there is another part in him which is the engineer part, and that which manifests from that part man calls free will. It is this outlook of life out of which comes the saying, "Man proposes, God disposes."It may be very well said that in the case of one it is more so than in the case of another. In one case, man continually proposes and God continually disposes; in the other case, it is quite on the contrary, man proposes and God grants. This gives one a key to understand the mystery of life, that the more the engineer part of his being is developed, the more man controls his life and affairs. But the more the machine part of his being is nurtured, the more helpless he becomes in spite of all the success in the world he may have. There comes a moment in man's life when man's efforts fall flat and he finds himself to be helpless before conditions.

Motive is a power for action and yet it limits power. The secret of the mystic is to be able to rise above the motive power in order to draw power from The All-Powerful. Once man realizes that he is an engineer and a mechanism at the same time, he studies that mechanism with which he must work, and he avoids being caught in this mechanism as the spider in the web. He keeps watch over it as an engineer to control and utilize this mechanism to the best purpose, in which the secret of mastery is to be found.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan, December 1925)

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Freedom of the Soul

Freedom is the object of every soul; each soul strives after it in its own way. Often not knowing the real way to freedom, man, instead of attaining freedom, falls into a captivity. Many wish to begin life with what they call freedom and arrive at the end to a captivity. It is the path of discipline which leads to freedom in the end, which very few know.

When one sees that for the freedom of one, the freedom of another is robbed, so it is with individuals, races, or nations. Man, striving after freedom, disregards the freedom of another, and so people are busy in the world trying to get freedom, who use it on the contrary.

Life in the world is a gambling of freedom. Few get it and many lose it, and those who get it must lose it someday or the other. There is only one freedom worthwhile, and that is the freedom of the soul. The soul, which is captiva not only in conditions and situations of life, but also in the mind and body, never has a chance to free itself, being caught in the web of life. The way to the soul's freedom is for the soul to realize itself first; the soul realizes itself when it has detached itself not only from conditions and situations, but also from mind and body. To bring about such detachment, meditation is practised by Sufi, who interpret the idea of dying before death as the upliftment of the soul. Resurrection follows crucifixion.

(Hazrat Inayat Khan, December, 1925)