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Contents Message from the National Representative




Excerpts from The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word by Hazrat Inayat Khan


Excerpts from Path of Remembrance by Hidayat Inayat-Khan


Zikr by Nuria


Zikr by Zubin


Daily Zikr by Zora


Divine Mother Speaks on Healing Her Creation by Kafia Doris Airey


Sufi Movement in Melbourne Winter Retreat (poster)


International Summer School & The Sufi in the World (posters)


Review by Carole Voss of The Witch as Teacher in Fairy Tales




Photo credits: Royalty-free photos from Thanks to Dan Cristian (page 6) & Giani (page 10)

Page 2 Spirit Matters Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2018

Beloved Sisters and Brothers Autumn 2018 The beautiful and magical festive season is now long gone, and our hot summer is on its way out. I used to love spring and summer, but as I can no longer enjoy the beach, sea and sand, it is not so attractive any more. Life and our experience of life, is about our perception of the world and how we are in it. Over the festive season I felt very strongly that it should be a beautiful and loving experience for our whole family. We never know what will happen, so why not make everything that we do the very best that we can make it. At a workshop many years ago, we were asked to imagine that our death was sitting on our left shoulder, and that we should dialogue with our death in everything that we do. In a sense Christmas could have been my last Christmas, it still could be, so why not make a lovely memory. Pain and suffering are part of life and they often come unexpectedly. On Australia Day my badly arthritic back suffered a relapse. I suspect that I have been taking its wellness for granted! It is three years since my last attack and I was so pleased with myself for having had it all under control. When these things happen we can struggle with our spiritual experience. We become frightened. Will we ever be able to walk upright again? Will we get well again? Will the terrible pain go away? Will I be able to stop taking pain killers which make my brain feel like cotton wool? Is there nothing that can be done to fix it? We all reach for the quick fix. I love watching Supervet on SBS on Saturday afternoons, and wished that I could have one of those amazing operations that the dogs and cats have, where they are running about days after major surgery, with spare parts made by a 3D printer sometimes. So I have been caught in the same dilemma of wanting that quick and ‘easy’ fix. We love the fairy tales where that can happen, but mostly we need to deal with what is dealt to us. So many people, like my father, could not understand how ‘God’ could allow the Holocaust and other such atrocities to happen. And yet there are others who could see the hand of God even in the extermination camps and gas chambers. It is a matter of perception and how we deal with the experiences of life. So zikar is the perfect subject for our newsletter, given the suffering so many of us are experiencing. This practice allows us to experience unity with the Divine, and it allows us to forget our small self and our suffering. It is so very deep, complex and profound. When we have the experience, it becomes imprinted in and on our mind and soul, to such an extent that we mediate all our experiences of life through this. It is a paradox really; there are so many inner levels and realms to experience. Often we do not remember when we come back into everyday reality, but zikar means the remembrance of God, and in remembering, we forget ourselves. Wishing you all a very wonderful and beautiful Autumn. In Australia it is a glorious season. With love,

Nuria National Representative Sufi Movement in Australia

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Editorial When Hazrat Inayat Khan brought Sufism to the West in 1910, he gave his mureeds a singing zikr based on the phrase l훮 il훮ha ill훮 all훮h hu, which can be translated as God alone exists, nothing exists but God. I find it a very deep and inspiring spiritual practice and I wanted to share some teachings and musings on zikr given by Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan and Pir-o-Murshid Hidayat Inayat-Khan, and by some mureeds here in Australia. Zikr (also known as dhikr, zekr, zikir, zikar, jikir and other variations) is the repetition of a sacred phrase or prayer either silently or out loud, similar to other traditions such as japa, mantra yoga, or the reciting of prayers using a rosary. As Hidayat Inayat-Khan says: For thousands of years the mystics of the East have experienced and realised the power of sound and the mystery of repetition. When a master recommends to the disciple a word to be repeated so many hundred or so many thousand times, the disciple does it willingly. Some repeat one single sound or a sacred word for years, and sometimes all their life, without being tired of doing the same thing again and again. The result of this proves to them its value; every month and every year, by repeating the same word, the light of their spirituality increases. Zikar has two dimensions: one is its energy or spirit, and the other is its akasha or matter. The spirit is the breath current, which should be naturally prolonged through each repetition of the zikar. The akasha of the zikar is created by the repetition of the sacred words. The akasha is the fire element, and the breath current is life. When life manifests as fire, the heart naturally becomes warmer, and coldness, which is the condition of many hearts, begins to vanish. Then the word, voice, atmosphere, glance and touch all express warmth, and the presence of the zakir radiates warm vibrations. In time the zakir begins to respond to every form and every being. This warmth makes the fire blaze up, and from it a flame springs forth that illuminates the path of the zakir. Zikar is of special importance in the esoteric training of the zakir, and through zikar a Sufi attains everything on earth and in heaven. I hope that the warm vibrations of zikr in your own heart may similarly kindle a flame to illuminate your path! Yaqin

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Excerpts from Volume II - The Mysticism of Music, Sound and Word by Hazrat Inayat Khan There is nothing more important as a means of raising one's consciousness and nothing that can be of greater use and importance on the path of spiritual attainment than the repetition of the right word. When we look at the traditions we find that from the time of the ancient Hindu teachers who lived thousands of years before Christ, repetition of a sacred word was practiced. And so we find that in all the great periods, when a religious reform came to a country, the power of the word was considered to be of immense importance: for instance, at the time when the Jewish religion was given, and also in the early period of Christianity. Mystical words may be used in different languages, but they do not exclusively belong to any one language. Take for example the phrase used in the practice of zikr. It is found today in the Arabic language and one might think that it came from Arabia. But then it is used in the Persian language also; one who does not know its existence in Arabia might think that it came from Persia. It also exists in the Hindu language, and one who does not know of its existence in the other languages, might think that it was Hindu. It also exists in the Hebrew language. It consists of the same words which were repeated by Christ himself as his last words. Even those who came before Christ, mystics whose origin was the ancient school of Egypt, also repeated the same phrase. There are sufficient proofs of this fact: during the time of Abraham, who was initiated in the school of Egypt, these words were already in use. This world to a mystic is like a dome, a dome that re-echoes all that is spoken beneath it. What is spoken from the lips reaches only as far as the ears, but what is spoken from the heart reaches the heart. The word reaches as far as it can; and that depends from what source it has come and from what depth it has risen. The Sufis of all ages have therefore given the greatest importance to the word, knowing that the word is the key to the mystery of the whole life, the mystery of all planes of existence. There is nothing that is not accomplished, there is nothing that is not achieved or known through the power of the word. Therefore the principal and central theme in esotericism or mysticism is the word. The physical effect of sound has also a great influence upon the human body. The whole mechanism, the muscles, the blood circulation, the nerves, are all moved by the power of vibration. As there is a resonance for every sound, so the human body is a living resonator for sound. Although by sound one can produce a resonance in all substances, such as brass and copper, yet there is no greater and more living resonator of sound than the human body. The effect of sound is upon each atom of the body, for each atom resounds; on all glands, on the circulation of the blood and on the pulsation, sound has its effect. The wise considered the science of sound to be the most important science to use in every condition of life: in healing, in teaching, in evolving, in accomplishing all things in life. It is on this foundation that the science of zikr was developed by the Sufis, and that the Yogis made mantrashastra. By zikr is not meant one particular phrase: by zikr is meant a science of words.

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Excerpts from

Path of Remembrance by Hidayat Inayat-Khan The breath in zikr is extremely important, because while singing zikr we are exhaling, and the louder we sing these zikrs the more air is being exhaled. This is none other than a type of purification exercise, because not only are we exhaling but we are also throwing off all negative vibrations, such as those that build up self-consciousness. Now in zikr four, where the “hu” is done on six beats, we have the opportunity of exhaling the maximum amount of air while pronouncing the sound “hu”, and at the same time making all possible efforts for that sound to resound in the heart chakra as the echo of a gong. The meditation during zikr is of course the realisation of the words that we are pronouncing, which is to say, “La El La Ha, El Allah Hu” meaning “None exists save He, God alone exists.” And after having repeated this formula several times, we go on doing it automatically in our minds, after which there comes a time that we can really meditate on what those words mean without having to force the presence of those words upon our minds. After the zikr, it is most advisable to have silence for a minimum of ten minutes, during which one can try to recall in one’s mind the sound “hu” which goes on resounding in one’s whole being, particularly in the chakras, as well as in the space where the zikr has been performed. One can try to retrace the luminous circle if one has been mentally drawing it while doing the rotation, and that circle tends to become smaller and smaller until it ends up by becoming a flash of light, which one sees shining above the head chakra. In other words, the most effective result of the zikr is that one goes on hearing the sound “hu” resounding in the heart chakra, and one goes on seeing the tremendously bright light. Even days afterwards, one might catch oneself hearing the sound “hu” and seeing sparks of that bright light.

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Zikr by Nuria It is said that there is only one mystery, and this is the mystery of zikr. The words are first a negation: Nothing in the universe exists save Allah, followed by a assertion that – Allah alone exists. This is the meaning of zikr. To remember that we are part of that Divine Unity and to forget our small self. The great mystery we are seeking is the experience of Unity with the One – the Divine Presence. We are part of the Divine, as we are a cell in the body of God, or as our mind is part of the Mind of God. For Jungians we are all part of the ‘Collective Unconscious’. Everything we do, everything we are is there in the depth of our unconscious, whether we know it or not. In a sense the collective unconscious can be seen as God but of course God is much more than that. It is a concept which has been beautifully portrayed in the film Avatar. All of our practices are a means to make this experience and understanding possible – it is the journey which is important. There is no ‘getting there’, there is only the quest and the experience of the Divine. Zikr is the practice whereby we experience this. We turn around our own centre, first in a wider circle, then moving closer and closer to our central core, where there is no more small self, no more ‘I’ but only the ‘hu’ of the Divine presence. This central pole or qutub can be seen as a small point or dot, and sometimes as a column. We are all part of the Divine One, and yet the Divine is much more than everything that comprises it. One we realise and experience this – once we understand the miracles which happen and guide our lives, which go well beyond the bounds of probability (what Jung calls synchronicity), then we understand that there is a ‘God’ - a living, loving and knowing personality or being. When we know this, we feel that we are loved and understood and guided and that we are never alone. How can we be? Everything that happens to us happens for a reason, and we only need to make the best of every situation we find ourselves in. This is where our teacher or guide comes in. We ask ourselves - “What would Murshid have done in this situation?” And we always get an answer. Our first task is to chisel out for ourselves, an ideal of God. This is a hard and difficult task, but when it is complete, it comes alive. We can experience it as the Friend, the Beloved. We are never alone, how can we be when we are part of the Divine. The Holy Spirit is active in us, because we are part of it. It is through the experience of zikr that we come to know this. That we can come to feel our own purpose. We are also guided and supported because we are part of that Oneness. To understand or know the mystery, is perhaps to ‘notice’ everything that happens to us. To be totally aware of everything – to take nothing for granted. Then we realise the miracles of and in our lives. The paradox is that to recognise the Unity of the One, we have to have an experience of it! Page 7 Spirit Matters Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2018

Zikr by Zubin In my youth friends encouraged me to join a spiritual community and I was resistant, enmeshed in the material world. Childbirth brought the awareness of God to my door and thereafter I was keen to pursue the acquaintance. The teachers and teachings of the Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan became the path for me. One of the most compelling forms of meditation has been zikr, meaning remembrance, remembrance of the all pervading Oneness of God. Murshid Inayat Khan offered the gentle singing zikr as a vehicle by which a Sufi community could be guided to surrender through sound and movement to the wordless bliss of intimacy with the divine. Progression through the four phrases of the gentle singing zikr of Hazrat Inayat Khan, La El La Ha, El Allah Hu El Allah Hu Allah Hu Hu emphasizes “nothing exists save God, there is only God.” The sound hu is believed to be the universal name for God, present in all languages and in all nature. Sung and breathed into the heart in this zikr meditation it can have a profound transformative effect. Sufficient preliminary preparation might include quelling of the sensations of the body, the calming of feelings and the allaying of concerns and worries. This prepares the way for the expansion and uplifting of the heart, a sense that one is resting in God, and the group completing the meditation is one in that consciousness of God or God consciousness. In this age of individuality and materialism the consciousness of Oneness of God is a blessing and a guiding light in life. Although words elude the experience, Murshid wrote Oneness of Allah to give us a glimpse.

Oneness of Allah Allah is One Alone! Look on the Universe and find the proof; Within the House of Life are many rooms, Above them all the one o’er-sheltering Roof. And round the unit One All numbers circle if ye reckon clear, To add or to divide, the great, the small, One as the centre symbol doth appear. Page 8 Spirit Matters Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2018

Within the world of men Allah has shown His oneness in each face; For each is different, and is unique In all the changing crowds that make our race. And not in man alone: The earth is earth in ever-varying guise: The rocks, the trees and even man himself Are dust, as that which ‘neath his footstep lies. And water too is one, The rivers wild, the gentle streams that glide, The quiet lake, the kindly drops of rain, Are one with ocean’s never-resting tide. And light and fire are one; The sun that rules the day, the moon by night, The wild volcano, and the electric spark That tamed can yield our homes its kindly light. The gentle air we breathe, That bubbles in the water, can arise And, passing through the earth, can wed with fire, To form the ether around the air that lies. From ether come they all, The primal elements that four we name And know as individual, yet they pass Returning to the ether whence they came. Some can no deeper see Than Nature, and to all beyond are blind; The Sufi sayeth, “Allah ho Akbar”The All-in-All, Within, Beyond, Behind. Some worship many gods, And some, denying, bow the knee to none; By diverse names, in many varying lands, Men call on Thee, - but Thou art only ONE. And yet to call Thee ONE Were limiting Thy infinity! How can I speak to Thee as separate Since I, as all beside, exist in Thee? But language follows Thee with halting feet, And bows the knee in all humility. Page 9 Spirit Matters Volume 22 Issue 1 March 2018

Daily Zikr by Zora Conscious first of birds singing Feeling the comfort of the familiar And turning toward the rising light Wonder what it will bring today Slipping from the warm nest Bare feet touching down Beginning again yet again Without much to hang on to One thing comes after another All arising and passing on Short spurts of determination Of tenderness and forgetfulness But evening spreads and deepens Re-turning in its own sweet way The unaccountable spaciousness In between awake and asleep

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Divine Mother Speaks on Healing Her Creation By Kafia Doris Airey Go back to the beginning of time Find there the Great Mother Of seen and unseen beings View her creating the fish and the seas Watch her seeds evolve and grow See how she buds of Herself Hearts and Souls of all species Including mankind and kind women Observe with reverence their initiations As spiralling she penetrates her creations Whispering “Go forth; be kind; be Me, “The Perfection of Love, Harmony and Beauty “Tread gently on Me as you move “Be harmless to each other “Know I hear your thoughts “For we are One for ever “Help those that sleep and forget Me “Bring them gently back Home “I will reawaken their meaning for life “Create your own vision of God “Its alright that they are all different “But remember there is a Divine Truth Beyond “Unfathomable Light and Pure Love “Come, I am there still creating “Be at peace, Become that Love “Remember, remember, re-member “Be Love in the Stillness of Eternity “Your pains and distress will then be healed”

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Review by Carole Voss of The Witch as Teacher in Fairy Tales

This beautiful treasure “The Witch as Teacher in Fairy Tales” by Nuria Daly seems sprung from the heart of wisdom herself. Importantly it is a lovely resource for lovers of Baba Yaga, The Frog Princess and The Fairy of the Dawn! The author explores many hidden mysteries embedded in these stories and others that reach into the language of the region of the heart. It’s a responsible and serious fusion of Ancient folk cultures, Esoteric mysticism, Alchemy, Sufism and Jungian psychology with an endearing and uplifting perspective about the Witch Archetype. Importantly there is a prompt in understanding the subtle differences and yet unique spiritual journey for women. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is on the soul’s journey, story tellers who would like the opportunity to gain greater depth into the stories they may tell and anyone who studies about or feels an intimate connection to the mysterious divine feminine.

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Spirit Matters March 2018  
Spirit Matters March 2018  

Newsletter of the Sufi Movement in Australia