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Toward the One - Archives
Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Sun Aug 19th 2007, 05:09 PM
How many of you are familiar with Qwalli Music? It is the devotional music used by Sufis to help them get to a state of spiritual ecstacy. One of the best Qwalli singers of my generation was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who borrowed from many different musical genres to create his music. His classic "Allah Hu" is wonderful--and, unlike Western rock musicians who basically play their hits more or less the same way every time, Ali Khan changed the style and instrumentation of "Allah Hu" for different performances in different venues.

To give you an idea what Qwalli music sounds like, you may wish to click on this link:

http://www.last.fm/music/Nusrat+Fateh+Ali+...

If you turn on the sampler player, the second selection is "Allah Hu"--well, one of many versions of it.

Salaams
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This is cross-posted from R/T. I'd really be interested on all of your responses, as they will be from a different point of view from many of the posters at R/T.

It is from The Bowl of Saki, a book with daily contemplations, by Sufi Inayat Khan:

July 27

Belief and disbelief have divided man into so many sects, blinding his eyes to the vision of the oneness of all life.


My first thoughts about this were that it appears to be human nature to divide itself into different groups, and subgroups within groups. We see this in various religions, but in the last week, I noticed several threads here posted by atheists about how all atheists do not share the same beliefs or worldviews or concepts. Then I looked at the last phrase of the contemplation--we are all one-we are all one species, live on one planet, and, I think, must learn to work together for the common good of the world if we are to survive as a species. Perhaps one step in working together is to acknowledge our different outlooks, look at them so we can gain better understanding of each other AND so that we can more effectively communicate with one another. It is only with effective communication that we can get together and be able to craft solutions to our global problems.


What are your thoughts about Inayat Khan's contemplation?
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Ever since Fire the Grid on Tuesday the 17th, it appears that things are getting more chaotic, more "dark"--Bush refusing to comply with Congressional subpeonas, the filibuster against the bill to end the war, etc.

I really think this is a time that we, for our own sakes and the sake of the planet, continue to focus on the Light. It is soooo easy to slip into anger, fear, or despair. But I have noticed that dark forces often appear to gather and menace whenever there is a bright light--and boy, was there a bright light on Tuesday! Experience has also taught me that if one focuses the light on the negative forces, they flee -- and very rapidly, too. The key is to keep focusing on the light. I do this by meditation but ALSO by laughing and finding silly things to laugh about. Last night, after reading some rather dreary posts here, I went to youtube, put "cats" in the search engine, and spent half an hour watching cats "talk", run around chasing their tails, and other silly stuff that had me laughing out loud! I found my spirit lifted doing this.

Another thing to do is to try to be in the present moment. Be as totally present as you can. Bush has not become dictator yet--don't think of that. Think of how it feels sitting or standing where you are. Feel every part of your body. Be aware of the environment around you. Feel gratititude and look for beauty. This is another way of rekindling light and keeping focused.

I'm not saying to stick your head in the sand and pretend that a drama is not unfolding before our eyes. I am saying to take charge of your own being and feel the power within.
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Wed Jul 18th 2007, 12:05 PM
It seems that we hear the most about the three faiths that have greatly influenced the West, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

But from what I understand of Eastern and Native American religions, their way of looking at things and viewing the world are different--and could, perhaps, give us clues as to how to fashion a more caring and compassionate society.

I have experience only in Lakota ceremony, but have read some of the holy books of the Eastern religions. Anyone here who could give information about them?

Thank you.
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Sun Jul 15th 2007, 06:45 PM
I'm not talking about material things but rather how you wish you could feel inside. Is there a feeling you have experienced that you wish were with you most if not all of the time?

How did you get that feeling?

How can you recapture that feeling if it is now gone?

And how do you relate these questions to Religion/Theology?
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Sat Jul 07th 2007, 11:11 AM
is the title of an article to be found in "Sacred Fire" magazine issue 5. It is an interview with Shaykha Tasnim Hermila Fernandez, representative of the Sufi Order International. It's well worth reading the entire article, but there were a couple of paragraphs I thought would make for an interesting discussion here:



"All religions are man-made", Shaykha Tasnim says, "so we forget that Jesus did not come to found a church, capital C--the Christian church or the Christian religion. He came to awaken the people, to give them a message from God, to speak to them in a way they could understand. Given his audience, he used a lot of agrarian metaphors--mustard seed, fig tree and vine. They knew what a mustard seed was. The important thing is that the messenger connects the message to the immediate experience of those who are to receive the message.

“In the Koran, those who delivered the message, known and unknown, are said to number one hundred forty-four thousand. One hundred forty-four thousand simply indicates that the number of messengers is large, not that it is limited to this specific amount—innumerable, really. For instance, I can cite Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Mohammed, Jesus, et cetera—I can county thirty, forty, fifty messengers. One hundred forty-four thousand and more messengers have spoken to the created ones since the first breath was given to Adam. Ultimately, only God knows.


to find out more about the magazine, go to http://www.sacredfiremagazine.com
to find out more about Shaykha Tasnim, go to http://www.churchofall.us
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Peacemaking and Community Group
Tue Jul 03rd 2007, 07:49 PM
From the Bowl of Saki by Sufi Inayat Khan

(a series of contemplations for each day of the year):

July 2

Man must first create peace in himself if he desires to see peace in the world, for, lacking peace within, no effort of his can bring any result.

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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Jul 02nd 2007, 05:25 PM
I printed out the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence and asked some folks around town if they would sign the letter "once I finished printing it." I was shocked at how long it took people to read it--they were obviously having trouble reading the words. And I was very sad when not one glimmer of recognition came--nothing for "When in the Course of human events", or even for "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". What was even sadder was the one comment that "not many are gonna sign this--it's -it's..." I added the word "revolutionary" and the person said "Yeah!" When I told her what it was from, there was a blank look-like what is that, I've never heard of it.

No wonder we are in trouble in our country. Can't read, don't have a clue to our heritage, and besides that, thinking it is "revolutionary" to do the things suggested!

Sigh. Read the whole thing out loud--no one paid attention--but I cried at the end, as I always do.
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Sun Jun 17th 2007, 08:28 AM
This is from "The Bowl of Saki" by Sufi Inayat Khan. This book is a collection of thoughts to contemplate.

When power leads and wisdom follows the face of wisdom is veiled and she stumbles.
When wisdom leads and power follows, they arrive safely at their destination.
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This is from The Bowl of Saki, by Sufi Inayat Khan--a book of daily meditations:

He who can be detached enough to keep his eyes open to all those whom circumstances have placed about him and see in what way he can be of help to them, he it is who becomes rich, he inherits the kingdom of God.
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Got this email, and it said to pass on, so I think it is ok to copy it in full:

I am writing to let you know about a day in July that will be dedicated to world peace and healing of our beloved planet. Many of us are feeling overwhelmed by all the news and stories of violence, war and environmental loss. It is dispiriting to not know where to begin to make some kind of positive difference.

This invitation is extended to share one hour on July 17 at 11:11 GMT dedicated to positive thought and energy toward world peace and healing. This can be expressed in any form which resonates with your method of creativity, spirituality, religious or personal beliefs.

Collective thought and intention can be a powerful force. It may possibly help shift the fear and despair that has become so pervasive in our world. Each one of us is a unique being, a life force with the potential to bring about positive change. That we are alive now at this time in history is an honor and a gift. Share your blessings and commitment to the connection of all life by being a part of this hour of collective positive thought!

July 17 11:11GMT
12:45PM PST
"Fire the Grid"

"Fire the Grid" Project was started by Shelley Yates of Canada . You can read her personal story of what inspired her and find out more about the project at the website below (available in 12 languages).
http://www.firethegrid.org/eng/home-fr-eng...

Please share this message with others you know who may be interested!
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Sat May 26th 2007, 09:10 PM
Mine says:

Tolerance does not come by learning but by insight, by understanding that each one should be allowed to travel along the path which is suited to his temperament.

(from The Bowl of Saki by Sufi Inayat Khan)
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in Religion/Theology
Sat May 19th 2007, 10:21 AM
I have participated in several Lakota ceremonies, and wondered if anyone else had. My experience is that the ceremonies varied, according to who was leading them, but there were certain elements in common.

For an inipi (sweatlodge ceremony):

1. People sang protection songs before entering the lodge, and the chanupe (sacred pipe) was filled.

2.You entered the lodge turned left and went clockwise around the stone pit until you reached your place

3. Some sort of clothing was worn by each person who participated in the ceremony; some places swimsuits were allowed, other places women were to wear long sleeved dresses.

4. There were rounds, usually four.

During the first round, rocks that had been heated in a fire pit were brought in, blessed, and placed in the fire pit. Water was put on the rocks, producing steam. Songs welcoming the Grandfathers were sung.

In the second round, more songs were sung; sometimes, spirits were called in, at other times, the men prayed during this round.

In the third round, songs were sung about prayers; the one I like best is a song to the Sacred Pipe, where one line says, "All things are sacred" Prayers are said by all, or at other times, by the women during this round.

In the fourth round, thank you songs are sung and the spirits are sent on their way. In some lodges, the Pipe is brought in and passed around and smoked; at other lodges, this is done outside.

5. During the rounds, the door is pulled down so that everyone is in darkness within the lodge. Sometimes the heat from the rocks is intense; you "eat dirt" in that you get down as close to the ground as possible. In some lodges, water is poured only during certain rounds; in other lodges, water is poured during every round.

6. Prayers that are said are for everyone, not just the individual. And what is prayed for remains in the lodge, and is not repeated outside the lodge. It is interesting in that no matter who was leading the sweat, there was no formula for the prayers. I have heard very Christian prayers said; others have prayed to Wahkan Tahkan and the Grandfathers; others to Shiva; and others to Spirit in general. I recall one Wiccan lady who was so happy to be able to pray in her fashion without condemnation in the lodge that she wept afterwards.

In some, but not all, the lodges I have attended, you are encouraged to make tobacco ties. These are made from inch squares of cloth--the colors are black, red, yellow, and white, (the colors of the 4 Directions) plus blue and green (for Wahkan Tahkan and Grandmother Earth). A pinch of tobacco is taken, a prayer is said. The tobacco is placed in the center of the cloth square and then the square is made into a bundle and tied onto a string (usually artificial sinew). Usually the person running the lodge tells the individuals how many of each color to make. The prayer ties are taken to the lodge and either hung on the altar stick, which is in a mound between the door and fire pit, or they are taken in the lodge and hung from the lodge supports. Afterwards, the ties are burned. Personally, I find the practice of making the ties to be one that helps me focus on my prayers and to prepare me for the lodge ceremony.

What I have learned from doing Lakota ceremony is that preparation is very important--getting ready to pray enhances the prayer experience.

Does the inipi ceremony have echoes in other religious rites?

Thank you for your answers.
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Apr 21st 2007, 08:23 PM
to have a method of reaching people around the globe to let them know what is going on and how they can help make it better.

We are so blessed that more and more are aware of our ecological problems and are working to find a solution.

We are so blessed that we have leaders right here at home who are working to make sure the TRUTH is told about corruption.

We are so blessed to have a group where we can visit, rant, and talk with fellow Dems.

We are so blessed because we can choose to emphasize the positive, which strengthens us and gives us courage to go on.

Ho Metaquiatsun.

Namioko rimnikyo.

Blessed Be.

Salaam-Shalom-Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
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Posted by ayeshahaqqiqa in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Apr 09th 2007, 01:40 PM
My friend and Sufi brother, Mikail Davenport, a polio survivor, just finished cycling across the state of Texas using a hand cycle to raise awareness of what disabled Americans can do! (And to raise awareness of what the Texas State Legislature is trying to do to hurt disabled Texans)

"The Legless Lizard is a cave- or soil-dwelling reptile having no limbs and whose sight is limited or absent,
but yet manages to survive and reproduce and thrive in its environment. I consider it an excellent example that "Disabled Does Not Mean Unable." - Mikail Davenport

Please check out the website slide show and pass along the website to others.

http://web.wt.net/~mikail/Lizard /



Remember... The only limits you possess are

those which you impose on yourself or

those you allow others to impose on you!






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ayeshahaqqiqa
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On Sufism and Sprituality
Here are some websites you may wish to explore:

http://www.churchofall.us

http://www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org

My Causes
If you are interested in the world family, especially those in most need, I would strongly recommend you visit Refugees International on the web at www.refugeesinternational.org or at their headquarters in Washington DC. This organization is composed of some rather remarkable people, including folks who have been in government in the US and national and international celebrities.

Why RI? For one thing, there aren't that many folks involved, they work on a shoestring, and they are grateful for any help they get. You won't see money you donate go for expensive airplane trips abroad-the Board of Directors each buy their own plane ticket when they go overseas-and they don't just stay behind in a luxury hotel-they go to the killing fields, the refugee camps, and places where refugees are building new lives. They are folks who know other folks and can, with a word or two, get organizations in place to help with a new refugee crisis or remind countries of the continuing trauma left after wars and genocides are long past.

The folks at RI are true heros to me--and some have even lost their lives trying to bring aid and comfort to refugees. If you'd like to know more about these heros, please go to this webpage I made in honor of them: http://www.geocities.com/ayeshahaqqiqa/her...
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