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Spirit Matters

the newsletter for the Sufi Movement in Australia

However good or spiritual a person may be, yet, if his life is not fruit giving, he has not fulfilled the purpose of life. Hazrat Inayat Khan

Volume 18, Issue 1. April 2014.

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What’s in the April issue? 3 4 5 6-9 10 11 11 12-14

Letter from Nuria, your National Representative Dargah Restoration and maintenance – Azad Daly Membership Fees – Azad Daly Fikr, Shukr, Fikr: Part 3 of 3 – Nur Al-Alam Winter Retreat – Amberley, Melbourne – 20-23 June 2014 Prayer Beads – a poem by Elif Sezen A poem by Yunus Emre – offered by Chaman-Afroz Universal Worship: Readings on ‘God Consciousness’ – prepared by Zubin Shore 15 The Spirit of Gardens – Freya Paton 16-18 Cenerentola or Cinderella: Part 1 of 3 – Nuria Daly 18 Tanas - Hazrat Inayat Khan 19 Poems by Teresa of Avila – offered by Devaki Muller 20-21 Maula Bakhsh: the great musician & physician of the heart – Zubin Shore 22 International Summer School – Holland – 11-27 July 2014 23 Heijarat Retreat – Sydney – 12-16 September 2014 24 Contacts

MEMBERSHIPS & SUBSCRIPTIONS Membership to the Sufi Movement in Australia is open to all. If you find yourself drawn to the ideals of universal spiritual brother-and-sisterhood, you may be interested in becoming a member. The Sufi Movement in Australia offers an annual Sufi summer retreat, classes in centres around Australia, and a quarterly newsletter. In addition, members are affiliated with the International Sufi Movement, its teachers and activities. Annual Membership Fees Single-$75 Family-$100 Please contact the treasurer for more details (see the back page for contact details)

A message from the editor Dear friends, Welcome to the new-look Spirit Matters. You may have noticed that this issue is coming to you a little later than the three month interval. From now on, Spirit Matters will be issued every four months instead of three. Because of this, it is not possible to continue with the seasonal motifs and a new layout has been chosen.

The next issue is due in August, so please send contributions by 1 August. The following issue will be in December – so keep that in mind if you are working on an article and you are not quite ready! If you attend a retreat or Summer School, it would be wonderful if you share something of your experiences, and/or send photos. Please send all text contributions as Word documents, and photos in a standard image format. Sometimes it is impossible to reformat non-standard files so that they can appear in these pages, and I don’t like to turn contributions away. I hope you enjoy the articles and poems in this issue, and that they give you things to ponder in your minds and in your hearts. Thank you, as always, to our contributors, who keep this newsletter going. Wishing you well as we head toward winter in this southern continent.


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Letter from Nuria, your national representative Beloved Sisters and Brothers It seems like such a long time since I last wrote to you all and so much has happened. The New Year isn’t so new anymore and I can’t believe that the first quarter has just passed and Easter will soon be upon us. Our beloved Sufi Sister Sabura and her family are moving to the USA and leaving at the end of May. Her house, which we had been using as our Melbourne venue, has been sold and so we now have a new venue. We thank Sabura for allowing us the use of her home and it has been a lovely and unique experience. Our Peace Days there allowed us to explore the nature reserve close by and this was very lovely. I would also like to thank Sabura for being such an active and dynamic part of our group and for leading the Melbourne group while I was away. We also thank her for fulfilling the role of secretary these past few years and for instigating the ‘virtual’ AGM. Sue has very kindly invited us to use her lovely apartment for our new Sufi venue and we have settled in nicely! The atmosphere is very peaceful, light and airy. It is very close to the Botanic Gardens and has a beautiful view over the city.

many challenges. She has also submitted one of her very beautiful poems to share with us. I was thinking how great it is that we have seven mureeds who have attained the accomplishment of a Ph.D., with another two, I think, who are still in the process of reaching this goal, and it makes me realise how our movement attracts deep and philosophical thinkers and artists. Our Sufi Movement Blog has been transformed into one which deals with the Sufi / Spiritual interpretation of fairy tales. I have loaded the Frog princess story, which has been serialised in this Newsletter, onto a Blog page and look forward to your comments and feedback. I invite you to explore this on our website: If you go into the blog and click on the page, you should come to the story. I have finally finished working with the story Cenerentola, which is really the very old and original version of Cinderella, and this has turned out to be a surprising and fascinating glimpse of a Spirituality of the feminine. Sakina is serialising this also as you will see in this newsletter. Planning for the coming winter retreat is underway and it promises to be a very profound experience, I hope! The topic is Gratitude and Forgiveness, which blend together in a very lovely way. We will hold the retreat at Amberley again (our Sufi home from home). The Winter solstice falls during this retreat, so we would like to incorporate this festival of the return of ‘Light’ into our retreat. I would encourage you all to make the space both inner and outer, to come to this retreat as it is this year’s major Sufi event, given that Murshid Nawab is only here every alternate year. Note also that the Hejirat retreat in September is coming up in Sydney and I encourage you to make space for this one as well.

Fatma and Atila are also in the process of moving to a new unit, so this is an exciting time for them as well. I am thinking of alternating the Geelong group with Zora’s place in Daylesford, starting in April, to give Fatma time to settle into her new home and also to save Zora the time and effort to come to Geelong. Fires raging in the area came extremely close to Zora’s place, so we are very happy and relieved that this was averted and all is well with her, the horses, sheep, dogs, cats and other beings on her homestead.

Azad and I plan to travel again this year and, as well as visiting our families in Ireland, we are looking forward to exploring the Sufi / Moorish and Jewish sites in Granada and Cordoba Spain. We will be away from 20th July to 8th September – back just in time for Hejirat retreat! Wishing you all a beautiful, cooler autumn and hope to see you at the retreats.

With love, Nuria

We would like to congratulate Elif in having been passed so very well in her doctoral thesis. This has been a major undertaking for her and she has achieved it in spite of IMAGES ON THIS PAGE: Melbourne Botanic Gardens; Dove. Retrieved from Google Images.

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Dargah Restoration and Maintenance by Azad Daly We have a problem in our Murshid’s Dargah in India! A large crack has appeared in the marble floor (see photo below). This appeared some time ago but it now seems to be worsening. This has been examined by an architect, Rajat Kumar, who has carried out an extensive examination of the problem and has proposed two possible causes for this. One possible cause is the settling of the earth due to seepage in the sewer pipe which runs along the alleyway parallel to the Dargah back wall (the wall with the Prayer Panels attached to it). There are also water supply pipes in this alleyway, and this could be the cause or adding to the subsidence. This is thought to be causing the wall to bulge, but we will have to wait for some time to check if this wall is indeed getting progressively worse.

we gave Murshid Nawab $3,800 in 2013 for this purpose. So, as I’ve already said I would like to widen this appeal to everyone to contribute any amount – no matter how small – to this very worthwhile cause. Further upgrades are planned, although it must be stressed that these are only in the aspirational stage at present. These are to replace the dome of the Dargah, which has become very dirty and impossible to clean, so that it regains its translucence and can be seen as a beacon in the Basti area. When this is being done it is planned that the windows directly below the dome be replaced by ones that, rather than being fixed as is at present, could be opened, thus making it possible to access this area for cleaning on a regular basis. It is hoped that this will prevent the build up of grime on the inside and outside of the dome. Yaqin has kindly drawn a sketch to illustrate the planned work.

The second possible cause is that the roots of the Kikar tree, which grows up though the Dargah floor and roof, is the culprit. Again, this will necessitate tearing up the floor to evaluate if this is the case. A new floor will then have to be laid down. Either way – whatever is established as the cause – and it could be both, work will have to be commenced to correct this. So I would like to appeal to anyone who reads this to contribute to the Dargah Fund to help with the costs associated with this work. Over the years the Melbourne Group have made contributions to the Dargah for its upkeep and Maintenance. Along with other contributions from Mureeds in Australia

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Contributions can be made to the following account: Commonwealth Bank of Australia Sufi Movement in Australia Inc. Account No: 10251994 BSB – State & Branch Number: 063587 Thank you!

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Membership Fees a message from your Treasurer I would like to thank the people who responded to our recent mail out of SMIA Membership forms. So far 14 members have paid their fees – of which 5 are family payments. Last year we had a total of 29 fully paid up members /mureeds – 5 of these family. I want to take this opportunity to clarify (once again) these Fees, which, as you all know, are collected annually. SMIA’s Financial Year ends on any given year on 30th Sept. In other words, our Financial Year begins on 1st October until 30th September on each and every year. So, obviously, as Treasurer, I would like the payment of Membership Fees to start as soon as possible at the start of our Financial Year and not in a Calendar Year. As you can see we are 6 months into our Financial Year and we have a total of 14 paying members/mureeds. Previously when Summer Schools were held in January, we always tried to collect the majority of these fees at that time, and this was pretty successful as we handed out SMIA Renewal Forms to all who attended the Retreat. With our Summer Retreat now being held on a bi-annual basis and also now held in March, which is almost 6 months into our Financial Year, circumstances have obviously changed quite a bit. Now why is it important that we receive these fees at start of the Financial Year? Well we have a window of 5 months between the end of our Financial Year for which we have our accounts audited and can organize our AGM so that this is held within this time period as required by law. We then have to submit our accounts, the numbers of our paid up members, and proof that we have held our AGM. The Financial Statement of Treasurer & Accountant must also be sent to the Department of Justice, as required by the regulations which govern Incorporation. If we look at our expenses you will see that in November 2013 we had to pay the accountant $715.00 , this was

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followed by $109.00 for the SMIA webpage. We then paid, in January 2014, $738.10 to Ansvar Insurance – Public Liability so that all group meetings held in Australia are covered by this insurance. When you add them up (only these three amounts), they total $1562.00 and if you then divide this figure by $75 ((One Membership Fee) this comes to almost 21 paid up members, which we rarely have at this time. In fact we have a declining membership base. The reason for this clarification is to let people know how our finances, when collected, are used. The other reason is to try to get people to understand that we – if we are to be a viable organization – should cover our yearly running costs by offsetting these by our yearly income i.e. SMIA Fees. This we don’t do! By running the Summer & Winter Retreats we keep the Movement viable by making a surplus at these events. Are we in financial difficulties? No, because of these surpluses we are not. We also have a deposit account. However it would be wise if we could match our Annual Expenses to our Annual Income on a regular basis, as there will come a day when we longer have income from a Summer or Winter Retreat. None of us are getting any younger, nor are we immortal. So change is inevitable. We also can’t expect Murshid Nawab to keep coming to Australia indefinitely. Consequently, what will the future hold for our Summer retreats? So please try and pay your Fees at the start of our Financial Year (October). Also please try and to get all your mureeds to contribute to SMIA on a regular basis rather than leaving it to the stalwarts who do so each and every year.

Loving regards to all Azad

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Zikr, Shukr, Fikr: Efficacy of Sufi Practices (Part 3/3) by Nur Al-Alam This is the final and concluding part of the three part series I started last year on the subject of three powerful Sufi practices: Zikr, Shukr and Fikr. While I wrote on Zikr practice in Part 1 in the Winter 2013 issue of Spirit Matters and Shukr practice in Part 2 in our Spring-Summer 2013 issue, this part focuses on the Fikr practice. To refresh our memory, let me start by repeating the initial definition of Fikr which I included in the Part One:

Fikr The Arabic word Fikr or Fikar (F-K-R‫ )ركف‬means ‘reflection’, ‘meditation’, ‘contemplation’, but in Hazrat Inayat Khan’s teachings, the same word was used to describe silent repetition, such as a wazifa phrases (in contrast to Zikar, which he used to describe spoken repetition). But here in this article, I have used this term ‘Fikr’ to mean contemplation, i.e. deep thinking on the creation of Allah the most exalted. In the Qur’an, the term ‘Tafakkur’ is used to refer to what I call ‘Fikr’ in this article. As I said, it means reflections or meditation (for which other Arabic terms like ‘Muraqaba’, ‘Muhasiba’ are used). There are many verses in Qur’an on ‘Tafakkur’ and the people who do the practice of Fikr are called ‘Mufakkerin’ i.e. ‘Thinkers’. These are the community of people who are on the journey of Suluk (in the Caravan of Souls), seekers of the Truth on the path of God, who have been invited by Allah, the most Glorious, to look for the Signs He mentioned in the Qur’an and in other Holy books. He has asked them to ponder, to meditate, to contemplate, to reflect on those Signs (‘Ayat’) or Sign-Posts, if they are serious about finding God or seeking nearness to Him. Some verses in the Qur’an refer to ‘la-allakum- tataFakkarun’ (so that they ponder and think) or ‘a-fala tata-Fakkarun’ (why not they think?) and in some other verses Allah said the signs for those who are the People of Hearts ( ‘Uo’lil Al-Bub’- People of Lubb or Hearts). Let’s have a quick review of what kind of ‘Sign-Posts’ Allah, most Glorious, wants us to meditate upon. Let’s ponder on this verse in the Qur’an where Allah said, ‘Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the Earth, and in the succession of night and day, there are indeed signs (messages, signposts) for the people of Hearts (i.e. those who are endowed with insights). (Q3:190)

Sign-Posts to find God We all know about rivers. If you look at the water in the river, you can see it is constantly flowing. The water you saw yesterday or one minute ago (if you are standing on the river bank) is no longer there. It has moved towards the sea. We immediately realize that a current of water is flowing. Water in the river is not stagnant, it has a flow, and it has a motion. Rivers carry water from their source

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(mountains) to destinations (seas or oceans). Rivers are the conduit, channel or a tributary for the water to express itself, to show its glory to the plants on the river banks or to float boats or ships so that people can transport themselves from place to place. So we can ask ourselves, is the river or a sea full of water a sign-post that reveals the glory of God? Let’s keep thinking more on this subject. If a river is not motionless, neither is your body. The blood you have today is not the blood you had yesterday. Water in it has changed, all nutrients in it have changed, the sugar level has changed, mineral levels have changed. If you think more deeply, you realise every cell and its cytoplasm, mitochondria etc, have all changed. The body you have today, you will not have in few years’ time. The body you had as a child is gone to where it came from. The body you had as a youth also might have gone to its source. Every day, you are consuming the Earth as plants and animals to nourish your body. I can say, Earth is flowing through your body. The Qur’an says that humans grow out of the Earth, the way plants grow out of the Earth1. This is what is meant by everything in our body being sourced from Earth. In other words, our body is the Earth. I like this analogy from Pir Zia: Think of your body as a world in itself. The head, limbs, torso and abdomen are the continents. Your skin is the Earth’s crust. Microbes are the beasts that roam it. Hairs are trees. Bones are mountain ranges. Arteries and veins are rivers and streams. Your shaking is an Earthquake, your laughing is lightning, your crying is rainfall. If everything in our body is flowing like the water of the river, where with this body, are human beings rushing to everyday? The Quran says, ‘O thou human! Verily thou art ever toiling on towards thy Lord – painfully toiling, but thou shall meet Him’. (Qur’an, 84:6) So can we say our body is a conduit for our soul to reach God? In the same way as the river, can we ask ourselves: Is our body a sign-post that can reveal the glory of God? Let’s keep thinking more on this subject. What about the light in this room, where I am sitting right now, to write this article. This light from the halogen lamp or tungsten bulb seems to be steady, seems to be glowing. How? Excited electrons in tungsten wire, or electrons in halogen gas are jumping up and down, emitting energy as light, so excited electrons are flowing from negative to positive band of charges, causing the flow of current. Isn’t this idea of generating light without any fire or burning of firewood a gift from God to the humanity of this age? Similar to the river, a bulb or a lamp is the conduit for the light to reveal itself and serve humanity. In the same way as the river, can we ask ourselves whether a lamp or bulb can be a sign-post to reveal the glory of God? Let’s keep thinking more on this subject.

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Zikr, Shukr, Fikr: Efficacy of Sufi Practices (Part 3/3) by Nur Al-Alam What about Earth? Is it standing still? No. It’s travelling. Any idea, at what speed it’s moving? It circles around the sun on its orbit within 365 days. If the perimeter of Earth’s orbit is around 150 million kilometres, it travels 410,959 Km per day. If we divide that number by 24 hours per day, the speed of the Earth per hour is 17,123.29 kph. Earth’s mass is 6.580 sextillion tons (i.e. 6.58 X 1021 tons) according to the World Book of Facts 2003 edition. We can understand the speed of our car when we travel at 150 kph, and the average weight of a car is 1.5 ton. Compared to a car, think about the speed of the Earth, how fast the Earth is moving, but we feel nothing. Similar to a river or body, everything on Earth is changing every moment; over the eons, humanity, plants and animals are changing and vanishing. So can we say that Earth and everything on it is a conduit or a tributary through which God reveals His Glory, Himself. So is the Earth a sign-post to find God? Yes. But is the Earth God? No. But when Allah says in His holy book al-Qur’an, ‘and wherever you turn, there is God’s countenance. Behold, God is infinite, all-knowing’ (Q2:115) What does this mean? In my opinion, it means everything you see is the face of God. Since God is infinite, as a finite human being, we can see only a microscopic portion of His face, probably a reflection of a ray from His infinite face (if we are lucky and His mercy is upon us, we might see only what He reveals to us). When you see a man walking in front of you, what you see is not ‘a man’, but a ray of light (a human soul) walking in front of you. You see qualities of God manifested in the object in front of you, ‘Ya Khaliq – O Creator’, you see a manifestation of ‘Ya Hayyu – O all-Living’. When you see the sky you saw yesterday, you see the manifestation of ‘Ya Qayum – O Sustainer, builder, moulder of the Universe’. When you see a young man and woman kissing each other, you see the manifestation of ‘Ya Wadud- O allLoving’, when you see the image in the news that Saddam Hussein is dying, you see the manifestation of ‘Ya JabbarO Omnipotent, Ya Qahhar – O Subduer’. We are on a journey, a Suluk journey, to our lord. On the path, if we are awake, doing the constant Zikr, Shukr and Fikr practices with a sincere, fully surrendered, calm and single-minded state of our heart, we might see the Signposts Allah mentioned in His holy book for the people of Hearts, people of ‘Tafakkur’ (.i.e. Mufakkerin, Thinkers of God).

An example: How Fikr practice is being used by a Sufi friend As mentioned, Fikr practice can be ‘Muraqaba’ (Observing) or ‘Muhasaba’ (Reckoning) in a meditative state. A friend

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continued from page 6 of mine uses it for both purposes. However, the example here is a kind of reckoning and reflection fikr. My friend told me of an incident in his life, a conflict he had with his young son over opening versus closing of the lounge room curtains at his house. His son was watching TV and he was having his breakfast before going to work. He saw that his son was watching TV at a time when the beautiful sunlight was just on the window. He was thinking to open the window curtain so that light could come inside and give him a good feeling. Whereas his son was watching TV with the curtains closed. Also as there was some darkness, he had put on the light to watch TV. Without asking his son or saying anything to him, he suddenly opened the curtain. But the son did not like it, and he closed the curtain immediately. That hurt my friend, so he also immediately went to the window and opened the curtain. It happened three times; then he got angry and began to hit his son. When he was beating him, he told me that all of the previous anguishes and his son’s misbehaviours came to his mind: swearing, disobeying his mother etc. Because of this anger he lost control, completely broke down emotionally and started beating his son. Luckily the boy’s mother came to the rescue. For the whole day he was upset because of that incident in the morning. But he, being a Sufi (not much of a perfected one, of course), did his regular ‘Muhasiba’ Fikr practice in the evening. When he went into mediation, he started reflecting on the incident. He was analysing his role in the incident, and thinking how he could have behaved better. He realised that he was the victim of his ego. He did not care about his son’s feeling. His anger and ego joined together to set a bad example. His son challenged his authority as the father which hurt his ego. His ego provoked him to think, ‘Who is in charge here?’ He was thinking he had the power; he was paying for the son’s meals and education. He was bigger in size and older in age. So his son should have submitted without question. How dare his son challenge him! So he broke down emotionally and started abusing his ten year old son. But in the calm meditative reflection time, he understood his mistakes. He realised that he failed to control his anger, as a result, it overtook him. In hindsight, he understood that emotions are action signals. His heart gave him the signal of anger to indicate that someone is violating his expectation. So the right action for him would have been to control his anger and do the opposite of what he did, i.e. participate in a fight and fiery response. He realised he could have discussed each other’s needs first, before attempting abruptly to open the curtain. With love and tenderness, he could have explained the benefits of sunlight to his son and then he wouldn’t have reacted the way he did. Also if his son insisted, he should have let it go. Anyway he decided to forgive his son. Later he went to his son and explained the situation about what had

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Zikr, Shukr, Fikr: Efficacy of Sufi Practices (Part 3/3) by Nur Al-Alam happened in his mind and shared the learning he found from the reckoning and reflection exercise. They hugged each other and forgave each other. My friend told me that because of this kind of muhasiba fikr practice, his ability to control his emotions is gradually getting stronger. He said that another way he handles his emotions is through praying. When he feels irritated or feels strong emotional palpitations in his heart, he starts praying. He prays, ‘ I seek refuge from you O Allah from the evil of myself, from the evil of your creation’. This kind of fikr is something that Hazrat Inayat Khan observed through establishing self standards like the ‘Golden, Silver, Copper, and Iron rules’. For example, in the Golden Rules, he said ‘My conscious self: Do not neglect those who depend upon you’, or in the Silver rules, he said, ‘My conscious self: Do not challenge anyone who is not your equal.’ So objective of this fikr throughout the day is to watch the self, become a gatekeeper of the heart, keeping a check on any evil trying to enter into the heart to corrupt it in the way my friend became vulnerable by the ego triggered by anger.

Virtues of Fikr in the Scriptures In the Qur’an Allah said, Say [O Prophet]: ‘I do not say unto you, ‘God’s treasures are with me,’; nor [do I say], ‘I know the things that are beyond the reach of human perception’; nor do I say unto you, ‘Behold, I am an angel’: I but follow what is revealed to me.’ Say: ‘Can the blind and the seeing be deemed equal? Will you not, then, take thought (tataFakkarun)?’ (Qur’an 6:50 ) Allah, the all Knowing, is asking us to do the practice of Fikr (contemplate on this last line: ‘Can the blind and the seeing be deemed equal?’ ). ‘Can those who remain blind and deaf to God’s messages due to pre-occupation with ego-self find their way to God equally well as those who have achieved a spiritual vision and guidance through God’s revelation?’ In the Bible, I found the following verses on Fikr: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Fikr).[Philippians 4:8 ESV2] All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God [a messenger] may be complete, equipped for every good work. [2 Timothy 3:1617 ESV] In the Bhagavad Gita, I found the following verses on Fikr: Humility, pride-less-ness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity,

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continued from page 7 approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; always aspiring for self realisation, constantly meditating (Fikr) on the Ultimate Truth as the goal of true wisdom, all this is thus proclaimed as knowledge and whatever is contrary to this is nescience (ignorance). (Bhagavad Gita -As it is, 13:8-123) As obvious from the above quotations, Allah – the most Glorious – loves us to do the Fikr practices if we are serious about seeking His nearness.

Fikr Practices by Prophets & Saints We all know that all Prophets & Saints routinely practiced meditation and contemplation practices in their lives in various forms and formats of Fikr (meditation). For example, the Prophet (Spirit of Guidance) Rama (5000 B.C) was a king of Ayodhya (a city in Uttar Pradesh, India). He meditated for fifteen years in various forests and jungles. Shiva (4000 B.C) meditated on the Mount Kailash (a Tibetan holy mountain), Prophet Krishna (3000 B.C) was a prince of Mathura kingdom under Uttar Pradesh. He meditated for 36 years. Gautama Buddha (a son of a Nepalese King in 500 B.C) left the kingdom at the age of 29 and started meditating under a Fig (Bodhi) tree. The Prophet Jesus meditated for years in the Mount of Olives. Under the shady olive trees he used to retreat and teach his disciples. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) meditated for almost ten years in a cave, as did As-Saur in the mountains of Hira in Makkah, Saudia Arabia. This is a prophetic tradition that revolutionised the Islamic Civilisation where the Prophet of Islam said, ‘Tafakarru sa`atin khayrun min `ibadati sabaeen sannah,’ which means, ‘One hour of meditation (muraqaba) is better than 70 years of worship’. This hadith not only created hundreds and thousands of Sufi Scientists, but many Sufi Saints in the last fifteen hundred years, who did the meditation/ muraqaba/Tafakkur as a routine in their daily life. Deep contemplation on worldly phenomenon to discover the hidden secrets of Allah the most glorious was seen as the worship for sure success to the Garden of Paradise and the achievement of the Alchemy of Happiness4. These verses in the Qur’an also confirm the Fikr practices by various Prophets mentioned above:

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Zikr, Shukr, Fikr: Efficacy of Sufi Practices (Part 3/3) by Nur Al-Alam CONSIDER the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai. and this city of peace (Makkah)! Verily, We create man in the best conformation; and thereafter We reduce him to the lowest of low; excepting only such as attain to faith and do good works: and theirs shall be a reward unending! (Qur’an 95:16) Here the Qur’an refers to four examples of perfect human being (insane-e-kamil): Buddha, Jesus, Moses and Mohammad by means of four symbols: the Fig, the Olive, Mount Sinai and Makkah (city of peace & security). It says men are not born in sin but as children of bliss. They are born free, and their bondage is their own creation. If they do meditation (fikr) and become justly balanced in their lives, they can rise up to any height and can even touch the frontiers of Godliness (Nirvana), but on the contrary, if they lose balance by falling into the maya (illusion) of egoself, they will fall into the dark abyss (lowest of the low).

Fikr with a calm & serene state In order to conduct the Fikr practice effectively, one precondition is that the seeker has to reach into the deep calm and serene meditative state of his/her mind. To reach such a state, it is advised to use guided visualisation or other meditation techniques like body scan or music to calm down the brain waves from beta to alpha level. When we are awake, our brain neural oscillations occur at Beta wave level i.e. at 16-31 Hz (cycles/sec), whereas when our mind is quiet and calm, eyes are closed, and we have reached a meditative state, brain frequency is reduced to Alpha level i.e. at 8-15 Hz.5 My friend told me that if we could do meditation daily, at least once or twice and do the fikr practice for few minutes i.e. feeling of Divine Presence and start contemplating on whatever thoughts come in deep meditative state, the effect of whispering or the flow of intuitive thoughts keep on coming during the day even when we were not in meditation, but busy with worldly affairs. Sufi Shaykh Muhasabi of the third century after the Prophet Muhammad wrote about sincerely practicing this method of Fikr every day. He took stock of all his actions, and whenever he felt he had made a mistake, he repeated ‘astaghfiru-llaah’ and turned to Allah for forgiveness. When he thought he had done well, he remembered God as the real cause of his action, and the cause of all causes, and he gratefully repeated Alhamdulillah. When he didn’t know how to assess an action, he recited Subhanallah and emptied himself in acceptance of the divine reality. Muhasabi did his honest self-accounting while always maintaining his central relationship with the ocean of God’s love.

continued from page 8 Conclusion Zikr, Shukr and Fikr are great Sufi practices. The efficacy of those practices cannot be denied. Zikr is a practice of constant remembrance of God by chanting his name or La ilaha illa Allah, the magic formula or a key to open the gate of human heart towards the Infinite. Shukr is a practice of constant remembrance of God through feeling his mercy, and through praise of Allah every moment when any of His blessed food or gifts are consumed. Finally Fikr is the constant contemplation on God’s creation, seeking the greatness in every object, finding the sign-posts which are laid out all over the Universe which leads to the path of God. Finally I conclude with a quote on Fikr or contemplation from Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan: The mystic on the spiritual path perseveres in wiping out this false ego as much as he can, by meditation, by concentration, by prayer, by study, by everything that he does. His one aim is to wipe out so much that one day reality, which is always there buried under the false ego, may manifest. By calling on the Name of God, in the form of prayer, or in zikr, or in any other form, what the mystic does is to awaken the spirit of the real ego, in order that it may manifest. It is just like a spring that rises up out of the rock and that, as soon as the water has gained power and strength, breaks even through stone and becomes a stream. So it is with the divine spark in man. Through concentration, through meditation, it breaks out and manifests; and where it manifests, it washes away the stains of the false ego and turns into a greater and greater stream. This in turn becomes the source of comfort, consolation, healing and happiness for all who come into contact with that spirit6. References 1

Quran verse, 71:17 ‘Allah has caused you to grow out of Earth like a plant’



Bible verses taken from this website:

3 These beautiful verses of Bhagavad Gita are taken from this website: & Gita/verse-13-06.html 4 Please refer to life histories of many scientists mentioned in the

National Geographic book, ‘1001 inventions’ http://www.1001inventions. com/National_Geographic.

5 For meditation and brain waves details please refer to http:// or activity_and_meditation 6 from

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The Sufi Movement in Melbourne Presents our Winter Retreat 2014 Friday 20th June at 12 noon – Monday 23rd June 2014 at 4pm

Gratitude and Forgiveness ‘The person who is thankful and contented and appreciative of all that befalls him in life develops the sense of goodness. The more appreciative he is, the more thankful he becomes and the more he receives. Thankfulness and appreciation inevitably attract more of their like to themselves.’ ‘The one who offers his repentance to God, in whom he sees perfection and justice, and who goes with his sorrow to Him who is love itself, who is forgiveness itself, will experience a phenomenon and see the wonderful results coming from it – an upliftment, an unfoldment. Something breaks in one. It is the wrong which is broken and something comes into the heart of man that is the love of God, the forgiveness of God.’

Registration will take place by 13th June 2014 Contact Nuria 9561 4861 to book Cost is $350 includes 3 nights accommodation - all meals fully catered. Please provide your own linen and bedding.

Venue: Edmund Rice Centre – Amberley 7 Amberley Way, Lower Plenty

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Prayer Beads by Elif Sezen They are as tamed as possible on the thread of existence: carved camel-bones carry the recycled traces of those camels. Silent clues of secret dignity that connect geographical scales of earth-deserts are being discovered, once again, by fingers pulling the prayer beads one by one towards the past lubricious, breathing, semi-precious, semi-animal… How strange it is to string all these planets —as if undoing the creation as if we already knew that they don’t orbit in ellipses. The sun in the middle, they travel upwards in a spiral, yes! Their movement hissing in the DNA of a tranquil body: her eyes rest in the wonder of the unknown whilst the beads are being counted rhythmically declaring their personalized clock, the prayer on her lips transforms into a cloak of light, for those who ask for help.

A poem by Yunus Emre offered by Chaman-Afroz Oh friend, when I began to love You my intellect went and left me. I gazed at the rivers, I dove into the seas. But a spark of Love’s fire can make the seas boil. I fell in, caught fire, and burned. A soul in love is free of worries. With love all problems left me. With love I became happy. When the nightingale saw the face of the red rose, it fell in love. I saw the faces of those who matured, and became a nightingale.

I was a dead tree fallen onto the path. When a master threw me a glance and brought me to life. Yunus, if you are a true lover, humble yourself. Humility was chosen by them all. (A poem from the Book: “The Drop That Became The Sea” Lyric poems of Yunus Emre, Translated from the Turkish by Kabir Helminsky and Refik Algan, Shambhala Press)

IMAGES ON THIS PAGE: Retrieved from Google Images.

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Universal Worship: Readings on ‘God Consciousness’ prepared by Zubin Shore We read from the Hindu Scriptures: Bhagavad Gita: Discourse 23 Matter and Spirit 7­17 Constancy in Self ­knowledge, perception of the end of the knowledge of truth (the cessation of mortal existence). This is declared to be knowledge and what is; opposed to it is ignorance. That which has to be known I shall describe; knowing which, one attains the Immortal. Beginningless is the Supreme Brahman, It is not said to be sat (existent) or asat (non existent). With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes and heads everywhere, with hearing everywhere, That exists enveloping all. Shining by the functions of all senses, yet without senses; Unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of qualities. Without and within (all) beings; the unmoving as also the moving. Because subtle, That is incomprehensible, and near and far away is That, and undivided yet remaining divided as it were in beings, supporter of beings too, is That, the Knowable, devouring yet generating. The Light even of Lights, That is said to be beyond darkness. Knowledge, the Knowable, the Goal of knowledge. It is implanted in the heart of everyone.

We read from the Buddhist Scriptures: Dhammapada: 21 The One Gone Thus 12­15 All the wise ones who generate faith in the teaching of the Buddha Proceed across to happiness Like merchants who had a horse. Ones Gone Thus, unequalled and unique Buddhas, who work with both conceptions, Of happiness and likewise detachment, Dispel dullness, go beyond, and have renown. They found the prize, have power over mind, Are free, uncontaminated, quite free, Free at heart without strife and contamination, Looking to help worldly beings. Like people at a mountain peak, Look down on all below, So too, Pure hearted and free from pain Who reach the height of the dharma abode, Look down on all those suffering, With the burdensome pain of birth and death, And open the door to immortality. You who want to hear, remove all doubt.

We read from the Zorastrian Scriptures: Gospels of Zarathustra:  Pt 2. Discourse 55, 3­4. The Sacred Word To those who wisely speak the Truth for me comes the best, that Holy Word of Righteousness which leads to Perfection and Immortality; for this end God’s Power comes that Love may increase in him. He who in the beginning thought, and the light was filled with Lights, Himself through wisdom created the Law of Righteousness whereby He might manifest the highest love;

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Universal Worship: Readings on ‘God Consciousness’ prepared by Zubin Shore

continued from page 12

O God (my Lord) let it blaze up through Thy Spirit, which is evermore the same! Then O God, shall I in my mind realise Thee as the First and Last, the Father of Love, when with the eye I perceive Thee as true Parent of Righteousness and Lord of all life’s deeds.

We read from the Jewish Scriptures: Torah: 1 Kings 2 1­4 When David’s life was drawing to a close, he instructed his son Solomon as follows: “I am going the way of all the earth; be strong and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and following His laws, His commandments, His rules, and His admonitions as recorded in the teachings of Moses, in order that you may succeed in whatever you undertake and wherever you turn. Then the Lord will fulfil the promise that He made concerning me: “If your descendents are scrupulous in their conduct and walk before Me faithfully, with all their heart and soul, your line on the throne of Israel shall never end.”

We read from the Christian Scriptures: New English Bible: from The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 8­21 To me, who am less than the least of all God’s people, he has granted of his grace the privilege of proclaiming to the Gentiles the good news of the unfathomable riches of Christ, and of bringing to light how this hidden purpose was to be put into effect. It was hidden for long ages in God the creator of the universe, in order that now, through the church, the wisdom of God in all its varied forms might be made known to the rulers and authorities in the realms of heaven. This is in accord with the age long purpose he achieved in Jesus Christ our Lord. In him we have access to God with freedom, in confidence born of trust in him. I beg you then, not to lose heart over my sufferings for you; indeed they are your glory. With this in mind, then, I kneel in prayer to the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, that out of the treasures of his glory he may grant you strength and power through his Spirit in your inner being, that through faith Christ may dwell in your hearts in love. With deep roots and firm foundations may you be strong to grasp, with all God’s people what is breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, and to know it, though it is beyond knowledge. So you may attain fullness of being, the fullness of God himself. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or conceive, by the power which is at work among us, to him be Glory on the church and in Jesus Christ from generation to generation evermore! Amen And reading in the morning Carry their testimony. And pray in the small watches Of the morning: (It would be) An additional prayer (Or spiritual profit) For Thee: soon will thy Lord

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Universal Worship: Readings on ‘God Consciousness’ prepared by Zubin Shore

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We read from the Islamic Scriptures: Quran: Sura 17, 78­84 Establish regular prayers­ At the sun’s decline Till the darkness of the night, And the morning prayer And reading: for the prayer Raise thee to a Station Of Praise and Glory! Say: “O my Lord! Let my entry be By the Gate of Truth And Honour, and likewise My exit by the Gate Of Truth and Honour; And grant me From Thy Presence An authority to aid (me). And say: “Truth has now Arrived, and Falsehood perished: For Falsehood is (by its nature) Bound to perish.

We read from the Scriptures of Hazrat Inayat Khan:

Gayan O beloved ideal of my soul, pray show thyself to me in human guise. Let me feel Thy embrace, Beloved, on all planes of existence. My heart, as a tree in the forest, stands patiently waiting. I went through the thick forests of perpetual desire, I crossed the running rivers of longing. I passed through the deserts of silent suffering, I climbed the steep hills of continual strife, Feeling ever some presence in the air, I asked, “Are you there, my love?” And a voice came to my ears saying, “No still further am I.” Let my imperfect self advance towards Thy perfect Being, Lord,  as the crescent rises to fullness. Every stem becomes Thy reed, every leaf  becomes Thy finger, Beloved, when Thou playest Thy flute in the wilderness. Though the ever moving life is my nature,  Thou art my very being, O stillness.

We sent down (stage by stage) In the Quran that which Is a healing and a mercy To those who believe: To the unjust it causes Nothing but loss after loss.   Yet when We bestow Our favours on Man, He turns away and becomes Remote on his side (instead Of coming to Us), and when Evil seizes him he Gives himself up to despair! Say; ‘Everyone acts According to his own disposition: But your Lord knows best  Who it is that is Best guided on the Way.’ IMAGES ON THESE PAGES: Retrieved from Google Images.

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The Spirit of Gardens words by & images from Freya Paton

It’s over two years since I sold my home and half-acre garden, and it took awhile to get my pocket handkerchiefsize garden started in the residential village I moved to. My neighbour Peggy commented on how well it was coming on, and told me she couldn’t manage hers as well as she used to. I began weeding a bit and planted a few gazanias, pelagonias and coleus. Helen also needed a hand to clean up her patch. Viv’s garden had got out of hand since Gordon passed, so I popped in some plants I had thinned out from Helen’s. Hilda’s trumpet vine was invading her neighbour, so I took to it with my ratchetloppers. Pat has very little sight, so I do some general cleaning up there. One morning I had a call from Tricia: ‘I heard you do gardening; how much do you charge?’ After a visit and a cuppa, I explained I don’t charge, but I’d be happy to re-pot her lovely pots with pansies and daises and do some general tidying up. In conversation I told her about Bright Nepal, a project I support. A teacher in Kathmandu has set up a refuge for girls. She buys them before they are bought by men and sent to the Middle East as slaves; some are only eight years old. When I had finished the

gardening,Tricia gave me an envelope with $30 in it for my fund-raising. Ada loves going on cruises, but her plants don’t like it much, so I duck over and give them a drink and they are doing well. Geoff across from me has helped Roger and Thelma start their new water-wise garden and Alan has built a raised vegie patch for his neighbour, who has dicky-hips. Angie’s azaleas were sick, so Viv suggested Angie talk to me. A good pruning and a spray for red-spider did the trick. We discovered we like the same books and movies, so we now have a lending circle and a movie group who go to the cinema together, followed by a cuppa and ‘movie chat’, which often ends up in us solving the problems of the world. Visitors and residents often comment on our gardens and leave with a cutting or two to try their luck. Viv says, ‘I thank God for putting you next door to me’. I thank God for gardens. When I’m asked if I miss my big garden I say, ‘How can I? I don’t have the time.’ Faringdon Village Nambucca Heads

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Cenerentola or Cinderella: Part 1 of 3 by Nuria Daly This story of ‘Cenerentola’ is the first part of a series of 3, to be continued in the next issue. Cenerentola is an original version of the Cinderella tale which goes back to the early 17th century and is one of the tales that came from Crete and Venice. I think that the source of this story could have come from the Middle East or even India as it has elements of Sufi story-telling in its narrative. It is certainly a story about the feminine, although the introduction of the tale indicates that it is about malice and envy in girls and how they get their come-uppance. Unusually, in this tale the main characters are all women, whereas the males are more archetypal or in a role. Zezolla is the main character and actually the only one who is named. She is the heroine whose task it is to evolve herself as a complete woman and Queen. In the setting of the story, there is a prince who is a widower, and he has an only daughter, Zezolla: ‘so dear to him that he saw with no other eyes than hers’. So this girl has no mother, the prince no wife: so there is no mature feminine aspect in this household. The prince who sees the world through the eyes of his daughter is limited in his own inner feminine. The prince ‘kept a governess for [Zezolla], who taught her chainwork, knitting, and point lace, and who showered her with such affection as no words can tell’. However the princess was very lonely and longed for her mother. It shows that although the governess seemed to give her everything she could, there was still something lacking. So often we all long for the mother that we perhaps experienced in infancy – all giving, all loving, meeting our every need and desire; the good mother. There is also a spiritual aspect to this longing. It is a longing for the Divine, the One Being who provides all the love and provenance we need. Sometimes having everything one wants is not a good thing, and prevents us from following our own longing and our own path. The path of wisdom comes from the real inner mother (Sophia). The princess is so obsessed with the desire for a mother that she eventually convinces her governess to make an attempt to woo her father the Prince. The governess now instructs Zezolla to do as she says, so that the princess will have everything she wants from her as a mother. It is clear from the story that her mother has not been dead very long as the mourning period was not yet over. At first the prince does not take his daughter’s suggestion for him to marry the governess seriously, but as time goes on she wears him down, so that he finally marries the governess and gives a great feast for the wedding. It is interesting that at the feast there is already an intimation of things to come. While the young people are dancing Zezolla is standing at the window of her house. Why is

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she not also enjoying the party? Whilst she is standing there a dove comes flying in and perches upon a wall, and says to her, ‘Whenever you need anything send the request to the Dove of the Fairies in the island of Sardinia, and you will instantly have your wish.’ It seems to me that the dove is like an intuition or inner voice which tells Zezolla that she can ask for whatever she needs from ‘the Dove of the Fairies’. A dove is a spiritual messenger and it is interesting that there is a small dove carved into the canopy over Murshid’s tomb. Most importantly the dove is sacred to all Great Mothers and Queens of heaven and they depict femininity and maternity. There is a difference between the dove which visits Zezolla with the message and the Dove (spelt with a capital D) who is clearly a person or leader. The Island of Sardinia is a very interesting place for the Dove of the Fairies to reside. Sardinia is much older geologically than Italy itself and seems to have had a very old and mysterious history / mythology. Its people could well have been Phoenicians or Carthaginians but much has been written suggesting that it might well be the Atlantis written about by Plato. It would seem that ancient mother Goddess religions have had a strong hold in Sardinia. It is clear also that the princess already has had a connection and knowledge with Sardinian Fairy culture, perhaps through her late mother. It is intriguing that Sardinia also has impressive standing stones which are oriented eastwest i.e. to the winter and summer solstices, similar to the megalithic stone circles in Britain and Ireland, but which have not been found anywhere else in the rest of Europe, according to a recent documentary. So for five or six days, the story goes, ‘the new stepmother overwhelmed Zezolla with caresses, seating her at the best place at table, giving her the choicest morsels to eat, and clothing her in the richest apparel.’ But before long the

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Cenerentola or Cinderella: Part 1 of 3 by Nuria Daly new stepmother ‘began to bring forward six daughters of her own, for she had never before told anyone that she was a widow with a bunch of girls.’ I have been wondering at the significance of six girls, why six? Six is the number of harmony and equilibrium, the most productive of all numbers. Six also signifies love; health; beauty and chance – it is the winning throw at dice in the west. It could also simply mean twice times three, which means very many daughters. In other words all other girls in her acquaintance. We could say that all girls our age are our stepsisters. The stepmother praises her daughters so much to her husband and talks them up in such a way that ‘at last the stepdaughters had all his favour, and the thought of his own child went entirely from his heart. It fared so ill with the poor girl that she was finally brought down from the royal chamber to the kitchen, from the canopy of state to the hearth, from the splendid apparel of silks and gold to dishcloths. Not only was her condition changed, but even her name, for, instead of Zezolla, she was now called Cenerentola’. What a huge change for the Princess, even in the change of name! As we know, when we are initiated we are given a new name to represent this new part of ourselves. It is a name that we learn to grow into and become. Sufi names are usually related to an aspect of the Divine, so if a person was given the name Karim for instance, that person would develop kindness and in effect become kindness. Our teacher would choose a name which was appropriate to our true nature. Imagine what this change of name would have done to the princess and her concept of herself. It also shows how we are affected by how we are treated and women especially at that time had no status or standing except through the patriarchy. In other words, who their family was and who they married. Many women who are mistreated in a relationship suffer from a loss of self-esteem. It is also understandable that the governess should look for betterment and security for herself and her daughters through a marriage with a wealthy man of position and who had a good heart. He was a man who loved his daughter and respected her but who was perhaps easily led or manipulated in his feelings. His own

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continued from page 16 feminine feeling side was not developed and so he relied on the women in his life to take care of these things. This is something that I find difficult to understand. Men can often leave the emotional side of life to their womenfolk, but to forget his own daughter is really unforgivable. It could be that the prince had got so caught up or involved in the hard outer material side of the feminine (from his new wife and step-daughters), that he easily forgot his real daughter, or at least put her out of his mind as perhaps her existence was not comfortable for him. Sometimes women get very obsessed with the material life and believe that they are entitled to beautiful possessions and forget the value of a loving relationship and family. ‘It happened that the Prince had occasion to go to Sardinia upon affairs of state, and calling the six stepdaughters, asked them one by one, what they would like him to bring them on his return.’ It is interesting that he is going to the very ancient land where the matriarchy was once powerful. The girls want girlie things – dresses, head-ornaments, makeup, toys and trinkets. ‘Then the Prince asked his own daughter, as if in mockery, “what would you have, child?” “Nothing, father,” she replied, “but that you commend me to the Dove of the Fairies, and bid her send me something; and if you forget my request, may you be unable to stir backwards or forwards; so remember what I tell you, for it will fare with you accordingly.”’ This is extraordinary really. First of all the Prince asks his daughter ‘as if in mockery’. Does this mean that he is afraid to show his daughter kindness and courtesy in front of his new wife and stepdaughters? Perhaps his attitude has changed so much that he no longer sees her as his beloved daughter, and possibly as an irritant from his previous life or marriage. Again we see that Zezolla wants to establish her connection to the Dove of the Fairies in Sardinia. That her father is going there on business surely means that there has been a familial connection with the place and that the princess is well aware of this and connected to it. What is also interesting is that Zezolla knows or intuits that her father will forget her request and so lets him know that his forgetfulness will have certain consequences. Zezolla has a knowledge and understanding of the group and culture of the Dove of the Fairies and the required procedures in that relationship. All spiritual groups have this kind of understanding in their process. I feel that Zezolla’s mother was probably part of this group and so Zezolla had knowledge of this mystical process from those early days. ‘Then the prince went his way and did his business in Sardinia and procured all the things that his stepdaughters had asked for, but poor Zezolla was quite out of his thoughts. Going on board a ship to set sail to return, he found that the ship could not get out of the harbour, there it stuck fast just as if held by a sea-lamprey.’ So by ignoring

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his daughter (soul) or forgetting her completely, his whole psyche was stuck and unable to move in the ocean of the unconscious Unity. This happens when the true feminine or soul is ignored. We get stuck and cannot move out into the vastness of the inner ocean. The Prince was now completely involved in the material outer world with his new wife and stepdaughters. His inner spiritual connection through his late wife and daughter was forgotten. ‘The captain of the ship who was in despair and tired out, laid himself down to sleep, and in his dream he saw a fairy, who said to him, ‘Know you the reason why you cannot work the ship out of port?’ It is because the Prince who is on board with you has broken his promise to his daughter, remembering everyone except his own child.’ We could see the captain as being the ego who controls our ‘vessel’, just as we are often given information through dreams or intuition. ‘Then the captain awoke and told his dream to the Prince, who in shame and confusion at the breach of his promise, went to the Grotto of the Fairies, and, commending his daughter to them, asked them to send her something.’

already said before, Sardinia was known to have such centres and groups from its distant past. Note also that in the story Grotto and Fairy are spelt with capitals! There is a megalithic complex of stone tombs in Sardinia shaded by groves of trees, called ‘The House of the Fairies’ in the old language. The Prince knew where to go to find the Grotto of the Fairies, and this again suggests a connection with his first family.

This Grotto of the fairies was most likely the spiritual centre of a feminine ‘fairy’ mystical spiritual group. As

This story of Cenerentola will continue next issue: volume 18, issue 2 – August 2014.

Tanas Glorious sun, are you setting? Yes, to rise again. Sublime nature, my ears did not hear your music, Your heart has heard it, your soul has danced to it.

by Hazrat Inayat Khan Crystal, what are you? I am the shadow of Christ’s heart. What quality do you possess? I am empty of self, so that by gazin, one sees in me His heart reflected.

Trees to the clouds:— With raised hands we pay you our homage. Clouds:— In tears we grant your request.

Desert to the rain-clouds:— We have no longer trust in the hard-hearted.

Nature, where do you borrow your sublimity? From your loving spirit.

Glorious nature, wonderful picture, where shall I keep you? In the frame of your heart.

Rain, why do you not come in the desert? I keep away from where I am not welcome. When once passing through the mountains, I saw rocks, some resting on their knees, some bending, some standing. I asked, ‘O hard-harted monsters, what secret is there in your charm?’ They answered in a silent voice, ‘That we do not assert ourselves’. Rocky mountains, what are you? We are the tombs of the world’s past.

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Wilderness, why does your cry touch me so deeply? Because it rises from the bottom of my heart. Wilderness, what is in you that is so overwhelming? The expansion of my heart. Good-bye, nature’s vision, shall I ever see you again? Yes, whenever you open the album of your heart.

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Poems by Teresa of Avila offered by Devaki Muller The Search for God

Loving Colloquy

My soul, where must you seek your own self? You must seek yourself in me and seek me in yourself.

If the love you have for me, my God, is like the love I have for you, tell me, why would I hesitate? And why do you hesitate? —Soul, what do you want of me ? —My God, only to see you.. —And what is your greatest fear? —My greatest fear is to lose you. What can a soul that is hidden in God desire except to love and to love even more, and to be burning with love to begin once again to love you? I ask for a love that engulfs me . My God, may my soul possess you so it can make a soft nest and a resting place for you.

Love is powerful enough, dear soul to reproduce in me his likeness, with a skill that no painter could, despite his knowledge, paint so finely Love made you all beautiful, beautiful soul: and since you are made, my heart holds a true likeness of you, and if you become lost, my beautiful one, you have only to look in me. For I know you would find, painted in my heart, a portrait of you that is so lifelike you would rejoice at seeing yourself so beautifully portrayed. Now, if you do not know the place where you can find me, do not go and make it a difficult task, since, to find me , you only have to look within yourself. Since I have made in you my dwelling-place, my house and my resting place, I can knock at any time if I find, my love, your door and my dwelling-place shut. Do not seek me outside yourself since your prayer is enough to find me. I will come to you quickly, for you must seek me in yourself.

IMAGE ON THIS PAGE: Retrieved from Google Images.

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Teresa of Avila lived between 1515 and 1582. Poems were found in Women Mystics of the Modern Era, edited by Thierry Gosset, published by St Pauls Publications, 2003.

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Maula Bakhsh: the great musician & physician of the heart by Zubin Shore This article is on the life of the grandfather of Hazrat Inayat Khan, the great musician and physician of the heart, Maula Bakhsh. Maula Bakhsh (1833-1896), the grandfather of Inayat Khan, came from a family of Zamindars. Left an orphan, he was brought up by his uncle. He was an athletic boy, good at wrestling, fond of riding, and friendly to all. When he was about fifteen years old he befriended a holy pilgrim, a dervish who belonged to the Chishti Sufi group. This meant he expressed his devotion by means of music and meditation upon the divine. After this dervish had experienced the help of the boy, he said to him: ‘My soul longs for music, would you sing to me?’ The boy answered: ‘I have no skill in singing, but I will sing what I can to you.’ After he had sung his song, the dervish thanked him, saying ‘I am a poor man but it is in my power to give you a treasure. I will baptize you with a new name – Maula Bakhsh – God-gifted. This shall be your name and this name shall be known throughout this land of India and your music shall make it famous.’ The boy received the blessing of the holy pilgrim and locked this saying in his heart. From that day he used this name: Maula Bakhsh. Some three years later Maula Bakhsh set out to travel to hear different musicians and to instruct himself in their art. Ghasit Khan was a wealthy man and though acclaimed in Gujerat as a master, he had never had a pupil. Young Maula Bakhsh felt an overwhelming desire to hear the music of this famous man. He listened in secret and trained himself in the style of Gasit Khan. One day it happened that as he was practicing industriously, Ghasit Khan passed his house and stopped to listen. It seemed to him that it was one of his own compositions that he heard and moreover, one that he had not yet sung to anybody. His curiosity was so aroused that he entered the house where Maula Bakhsh lodged and spoke to the young singer. ‘May I ask who your teacher is, young man?’ ‘My teacher is great, truly,’ said Maula Bakhsh, ‘but if I reveal his name to you, then indeed my hope of progressing further under him must be given up.’ ‘Whoever heard of such a teacher!’ said Ghasit Khan impatiently. ‘What teacher forbids his pupil to speak of him?’ ‘Since you urge it, I will tell you; it is yourself, you are my teacher.’ ‘I ? Why, I have never seen you before.’ Then Maula Bakhsh explained what he had done (some say for two years) and as Ghasit Khan listened and stood there wondering at such perseverance, the young musician continued: ‘But now what chiefly grieves me is that when I leave – for now I cannot go on listening to you as I did before – I must say that it is from you that I have learned; for indeed I have not yet gained enough of your knowledge to be worthy

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of being called the pupil of such a master as yourself.’ Then Ghasit Khan invited Maula Bakhsh to learn from him. There was nothing of his art which the master withheld from the only pupil he had ever accepted. When he died, Maula Bakhsh, who stayed with him until his death, was a living record of his accomplishments. After the death of Ghasit Khan, Maula Bakhsh traveled from court to court in what seemed to the young man a triumphal procession – for everywhere he met with praises and rewards, such as filled his ardent spirit joy in existence and the pursuit of his chosen art. At Mysore, where he was destined to reap his greatest success in life, he was keen to study the ancient science of the Karnatic, pure as it was from any foreign influences of the Mogul schools. But he was told ‘If you wish to learn, then you must learn when you are born a Brahman. You must wait until a future reincarnation.’ Since he was such a devoted disciple of music, Maula Bakhsh felt that he could not tolerate the atmosphere of the court any longer. And so once more he travelled. In Malabar he met with Subramani Ayar, the most honored musician among the Brahmans of his time. This Brahman took such care of his his manuscripts that he was never parted from them, not even at the time of ablutions. He developed an attachment for Maula Bakhsh and taught him all he knew of his science besides the ancient classical music and Sanskrit songs and the harmonies of Tyagaraja and Dikshitar. Maula Bakhsh was not yet thirty when he returned to the Court of Mysore, where he enjoyed the personal friendship of the monarch who wished to bestow upon him the highest marks of honor that it is possible to give in India: gold circlet, the chaplet of pearls for the turban, the gold canopy, the stick of honor which a servant carries before, and the Mashal, the torch that is carried before and lighted at night. But these honours were challenged and after a contest lasting ten months, Maula Bakhsh was acknowledged, by those learned in music, to have surpassed all the other performers. And so he was duly honored by the Maharaja with these marks of distinction and the conferring of them was made the occasion of a stately procession.

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Maula Bakhsh: the great musician & physician of the heart by Zubin Shore About this time, Maula Bakhsh married the grandaughter of Tippu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore, ensuring the regal, musical and spiritual heritage that they passed to Inayat Khan. Maula Bakhsh was now enjoying a period of great prosperity. Several ruling princes invited him to their Courts and he at last accepted the invitation of the Maharaja Khanda Rao of Baroda, however he found he had to face the opposition of the courtiers, until finally the Maharaja sent an ironical word to him, saying: ‘If you wear crown and sceptre, what shall Rajas wear?’ And Maula Bakhsh answered with a quotation from the Sanskrit: ‘The king is honored in his country,
 a chief is honored in his district, a fool is honored in his home but a genius is honored everywhere. Your Highness, my kingdom is everywhere’. And so it was for Maula Bakhsh to prove that he was a genius, which he did. Maula Bakhsh demonstrated himself superior to the four greatest musicians: Kanhai, the acknowledged master of dance and rhythmical movement; Ali Hussain, the great vina player; Nasir Khan, a master of rhythm and pakhawaj player; and Khadim Hussain, the great singer. However, finding that the Maharaja was prepared to believe he had hypnotised them and the audience, Bakhsh left Baroda. He settled for a time at the Court of Hyderabad and spent many months in fruitful work. He saw that it would have been difficult, perhaps impossible, for him to have held his own against so many specialists if it had not been for his knowledge of Karnatic music, of the system preserved by Southern India. His position was thus perhaps unique and his music reflected the skill of the North together with the depth of the South. He took the opportunity to travel to many parts of India, to make known his ambition about the future of Indian music and the system of notation which he was evolving, in which he hoped to combine the theory and practice of the North with that of the South. For all this time Maula Bakhsh, with much patience and thought, was working out methods of reform. With great perseverance he was endeavouring to perfect a system of notation which should he acceptable to all India. He also diligently studied Western music. At Calcutta he was the guest of Maharaja Jotindra Mohan Tagore and that family, so capable of artistic devotion and expression, was keenly interested in his enthusiasm and ambition. Surendra Mohan Tagore, who was later to prove himself so great in the world of music, was not a little inspired by the genius of Maula Bakhsh. He was anxious to prove to the English that the musical art of India was indeed an art; thus, he took every means that he could to raise his art in the eyes of those with whom he came into contact and to kindle enthusiasm for it.

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continued from page 20 The interest of the Maharaja Gaekwad in social and educational reform drew the best minds of India to Baroda and the house of Maula Bakhsh became a meeting-place for philosophers and poets as well as musicians. Maula Bakhsh had never lost that gift of sociability to which he owed his well-found name. Finally the brilliant young Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad made it possible for Maula Bakhsh to realize the dream of his life, for he founded the first Academy of Indian Music at Baroda and appointed Maula Bakhsh its first director. Maula Bakhsh devoted the remainder of his life to the formation of the Academy and to the ideals enshrined in the Academy, and to perfecting a system of notation that would be acceptable to all India. The last years of Maula Bakhsh’s life were filled with a new interest in his hopes of his eldest grandson, Inayat. There seemed a special connection between these two, as close as that which exists between an old plant and the shoot that springs from its roots. It was as if the hungering and thirsting child drew into himself the whole soul of his adored grandfather and as if the grandfather fostered and watched the child in the belief that here was the most complete fruit of an existence spent in the pursuit of the ideal. We can conclude that Maula Bakhsh was a commanding presence, endowed with remarkable gifts, a man of upright character. He had a tremendous sense of the value of life, of the dignity of the human being, of the beauty of the world. Hazrat Inayat Khan’s grandfather Maula Bakhsh taught him the very first lesson of Sufism: You must guard the heart of a human being, which is as fragile as a glass. Never hurt them by your speech, actions or deeds. That is the very first lesson of Sufism, because the heart of the human being is the abode of God, [it] is the throne of God.


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The International Sufi Movement International Summer School 2014 Universel Murad Hassil 11 – 27 July 2014

MEET LIFE WITH A SMILE ‘The light which comes from the soul, rises through the heart, and manifests outwardly in man’s smile, is indeed the light from heaven.’ Hazrat Inayat Khan, Aphorisms The International Summer School is now open for registrations. Information can be obtained and registration can be made through the General Secretariat of the Sufi Movement: The Summer School is open to members of the brother-/sisterhood activity and mureeds. It is an opportunity to meet your fellow Sufis from all over the world during activies such as sacred readings, breathing practices, musical and element attunements, meditations, the Element Rituation and the Singing Zikar. Costs for attendance are low, especially for those coming from outside of Europe. Information about staying in Katwijk aan Zee can be found at

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THE SUFI MESSAGE OF HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN ‘Intuition – the Inner Voice’ A celebration of 104 years of the Sufi Message of Love, Harmony and Beauty in the west. ‘When the ears which open outwardly are closed to the outside world and focused upon the heart within, then instead of hearing all that comes from the outer life, one begins to hear the words within.’ Hazrat Inayat Khan

4pm Fri 12th September to 12 noon Tuesday 16th September, 2014 At The Chevalier Resource Centre 1 Roma Ave, Kensington, Sydney NSW 2033 (Parking onsite). The retreat will be guided by experienced leaders of the Sufi Movement in Australia and include a focus on Intuition and the Inner Voice

Cost: $490 includes retreat, meals, accommodation, linen and parking. or

For further information please contact: Zubin 0478 679 533 Hamida - 02 9387 5263 m 0420 302 739

REGISTRATION To register, please email participant name and contact details to Zubin and you will receive program, map, dietary needs. Please pay deposit $50 by Friday 1 August, full payment by Friday 29 August 2014 to Commonwealth Bank, Brandon Park Branch, Sufi Movement in Australia Inc, BSB 063 587 Account number 10251994, Payee Reference: Your name. We look forward to deepening our practice of the Sufi Message with you.

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Contacts NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE Nuria Daly Phone: 03 9561 4861 Email: VICE-PRESIDENT Celia Genn Phone: 07 5494 0724 Email: SECRETARY Sabura Allen Phone: 08 9533 4658 Email: TREASURER Azad Daly Phone: 03 9561 4861 Email: INTERNATIONAL SUFI MOVEMENT CONTACTS GENERAL REPRESENTATIVES 24 Banstraat, 2517 GJ The Hague, Netherlands Phone: +31 70 3657 664 Email: GENERAL SECRETARIAT 78 Anna Pulownastraat, 2518 BJ The Hague, Netherlands Phone: +31 70 346 1594 Email: SUFI MOVEMENT WEB SITES International: Australia:

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REGIONAL CONTACTS AND REPRESENTATIVES ACT Talibah Josephine Lolicato Phone: 02 6297 5107 Email: NSW – NEW ENGLAND Karim and Bahkti Parkhurst Phone: 0429 996950 Email: NSW – SYDNEY Hamida Janice Phone: 02 9387 5263 Email: NSW – BRUNSWICK HEADS Zubin Shore Phone: 0478 679 533 Email: QLD – GLASSHOUSE MOUNTAINS Celia Genn Phone: 07 5494 0724 Email: TASMANIA Habiba Aubert Phone: 03 6223 6085 VICTORIA – MELBOURNE Nuria Daly (details above) EDITOR, Spirit Matters Sakina Kara Jacob Phone: 0448 839641 Email:

Spirit Matters Autumn 2014  
Spirit Matters Autumn 2014  

The newsletter of the Sufi Movement in Australia