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BALANCE is the security of life; not only of one’s own life, but balance helps to maintain all things around one. HAZRAT INAYAT KHAN

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Photo: Azad Roddy Daly

A message from the editor Dear friends What’s in the Spring issue? In Brisbane, spring has come with some gorgeous blue-sky weather and, in my own territory, the blooming of deep red lillies. They are so flamboyant they hardly seem real. Every time I see them I think of the blessing of spring, and flowers in particular.


Letter from Nuria, SMIA’s National



Photo montage from the Australian Hejirat

I don’t know what those beautiful pink flowers are in the photo above, but they also make my heart happy when I look at them. Thank you to Azad for this photo, and for many of the other beautiful photos gracing this issue. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.


This issue is a little late and I apologise for that. Unfortunately it was due during marking season and those deadlines pushed the working on this newsletter back somewhat. Nevertheless, I hope you find this issue worth waiting for. It is filled with the blessings of words on balance and healing. We are also beginning a new story from Nuria, one on a frog princess. As always, thank you to our contributors. Don’t forget to send your contributions for the next issue, due January 2013. Love , Sakina Front cover photo: Talibah Josephine Lolicato Participants of the Hejirat Retreat, September 2012

Spirit Matters - Spring 2012


Sacred Reading on Spiritual Healing

– Hazrat Inayat Khan


Universal Worship Readings on

Balance and Healing

8-12 Universal Worship Homily on Balance

and Healing – Arjuna Ben Zion-Weiss

13-16 The Frog Princess – retold by Nuria Daly 17

Dargah Retreat – November 2012

18-19 Free Will – an essay by Azad Daly 20

Australian retreat – March 2013

21 Contacts

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Letter from Nuria, Photo: Azad Roddy Daly

SMiA’s national representative Beloved Sisters and Brothers, We have just returned from a seven week journey to our ‘homeland’, and I must say that settling back into our old rhythms and ways of being has been a bit difficult. Firstly there is the difference in time zone and season, and then there are the cultural differences in the various places that we visited. Normally I don’t even think about this and just forge ahead, but for some reason this year has been different – perhaps it is because we are older and can’t quite cope with the stresses of modern journeys, at least by air. Trains are so much more comfortable and easy. You just buy your ticket, find your seat and settle down to watching the scenery go by – often at great speed. No security, no baggage limits, comfortable reclining seats with lots of leg room. But I suppose I am not here to promote train travel! Our first stop was in Derry (N. Ireland), where Azad and I both hail from, although from vastly different backgrounds. It was easy to see that Derry had been hit by the GFC with many shops shut down and shuttered, but on the other hand Derry’s restaurants were doing very nicely. The weather was not too bad and there were lots of flower boxes in the streets and lining the new peace bridge over the River Foyle, 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)

Spirit Matters - Spring 2012

which was built to symbolise the joining of the two communities. On contemplating this feeling I have come to understand that when we go ‘home’ we go back to the patterns and feelings within a relationship that belongs to childhood. Those who have not left home have grown and evolved in that environment, but we who have left, return as completely different people. We have risen above nature and nurture to become someone almost alien in our old world. Being a Sufi has both helped and hindered in this. It was a great help for me to know that behind the people (relatives and friends) I met were still the people I knew and loved so long ago. I was able to be open and loving in difficult circumstances. But being a Sufi is not something one can mention or talk about – it would not be understood at all and it made me feel even more alien, especially in such a sectarian place like Northern Ireland. Here the old sectarianism crept up above the veneer of social interactions with my old radiography student friends and I was saddened at how this influenced their lives. In Vienna post war feelings about Jews and the Holocaust were also buried and not spoken of, but they were there, nevertheless. However in spite of this, I did hear stories of those days that I had not heard before and I understood much of the dark shadow behind of my family history. This was very unsettling. So although there were wonderful and funny aspects to our holiday, it has taken some time to bring myself back to what is hopefully the real me. Now we are enjoying the Aussie spring and getting the garden weeded and revamped. This is fun and very energising and has helped us ‘get over’ the post holiday blues. It is also lovely to get back to our Sufi group and feel part of our Sufi family again. With love, Nuria

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Photo montage from the Australian Hejirat Retreat September 2012

Brotherhood and Sisterhood

Thank you to Shakti Celia Genn for these photos. Spirit Matters - Spring 2012

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Sacred Reading on Spiritual Healing Hazrat Inayat Khan Just as worldly occupations are helpful in order to hold a balanced condition when following the spiritual path, in the same way, it would be wise to adopt medical assistance, in those cases [where it seems necessary] in view of a recovery. Rhythm is the source from which magnetism unfolds and secures physical and psychological well being. Therefore, an appropriate rhythm also applies in simple activities, such as lying, sitting, standing and walking, as well as in sleeping, working, eating, and drinking. Physical health also requires repose in all activities of the five senses, which normally respond automatically to incoming impressions. In this respect, it is wise to avoid useless loss of energy, although in certain cases, activity, which is stimulating, can certainly be taken into consideration. Seen from another angle, breath is life itself, and since the five senses are coordinated through the flow of the breath stream (Prana), it is obvious that when developing subtleness, the breath becomes more magnetic, and consequently, there is an increase of the inner awareness of the five senses (Shagal). There are three characteristic types of breath. The first one has no distinguishable counts either in the inhalation or the exhalation, and the breath becomes thereby chaotic at times. In the second type of

breath, the inhalation and exhalation are done on different counts, each being on a different rhythm. In the third type of breath, the counts done on the inhalation and the exhalation are perfectly equal, and they can therefore be harmoniously coordinated to the Photo: Azad Roddy Daly beats of a sacred word (Wazifa) or to an inspiring phrase. The hands also communicate magnetism, following positive thoughts, which can be directed to the fingertips, like the finger- touch on the piano keys expresses the feeling heart of the musician. Moses is known to have carried light in his hands (Yadi Baiza), and Zoroaster is also pictured holding burning fire. There are many more examples related to the radiance, which can be awakened in the hands and can also be mentally visualized at any other area in need of spiritual healing. Prayer is certainly a deep source of healing magnetism and reaches the depth of the heart of the patient, when expressed in audible words. When spiritual healing is done at a distance, the image of the patient is held in mind as being in a perfect state of health, and the breath of the spiritual healer is receptive to the Divine healing power. In Hindu metaphysics, Nada Bhrama or ‘Sound-God’ is referred to as being life’s secret because sound is motion, and nothing takes place without some type of energy as source of motion. When the spiritual healer is attuned to Nada Bhrama, with the purpose of receiving and transmitting the Divine healing power, that humble attitude is offered as a service to God and to humanity.

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Universal Worship Readings on the topic of Balance & Healing Buddhist Scripture Any monk who is kind and has Complete faith in the Buddha’s teaching Shakes out evil phenomena Like wind shakes out the leaves from the trees That monk with joyful mind and pure thoughts Who overcomes likes and dislikes Will by his many joys Achieve the end of misery Body and speech at peace, mind at peace And in excellent equipoise The monk who gives up worldly goods Is called ‘the one in constant peace’. Photo & Readings provided by Zubin Leonie Shore

Hindu Scripture Bhagavad Gita: Sense control leads to peace and happiness One attains peace who, self controlled, approaches objects with the senses devoid of love and hatred, and brought under one’s own control. In peace there is an end to all one’s miseries for the reason of the tranquil minded soon becomes steady. There is no wisdom to the unsteady, and no meditation to the unsteady, and to the unmeditative no peace; to the peaceless how can there be happiness? For the mind which yields to the roving senses carries away his knowledge as the wind carries away a ship on water. Therefore O Mighty armed, one’s knowledge is steady whose senses have been entirely restrained from sense-objects.

Zoroastrian Scripture: When the sun rises, then he purifies the Earth created by Ahuramazda. He purifies the flowing water as well as that of wells and lakes ... he purifies all the creatures of the Holy Spirit... Zarathustra said: “Praise him who keeps and maintains the Moon and the Sun.” Fire coalesces many flames into one as our souls join in God’s unity; it purifies all it touches as does the Grace of God. It is everchanging, like God’s methods and God’s creations. Jewish Scripture Tanakh/Isaiah 54: 9-11 As I swore that the waters of Noah nevermore would flood the earth, So I swear that I will not be angry with or rebuke you For the mountains may move and the hills be shaken But my loyalty shall never move from you Nor my covenant of friendship be shaken, said the Lord, who takes you back in love.

Universal Worship Readings continued on page 7

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Universal Worship Readings on the topic of Balance & Healing continued Christian Scripture

Islamic Scripture

Matthew 34

Yunus 10:57

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees met together and one of their number tested Jesus with this question: “Master, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered: “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart, with all your soul, with all your mind.” That is the greatest commandment; it comes first. The second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Everything in the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.

There has come to humankind a guidance from your Lord and a healing for (the diseases) in your hearts, and for those who believe, a guidance and a mercy. C87 v158 Say “O Men! I am sent unto you all As the Apostle of God to whom belongeth The dominion of the heavens and the earth: There is no God but he. It is he that giveth both life and death. So believe in God and his Apostle, the unlettered prophet. Who believeth in God and His Words: Follow him so that you may be guided.

Photo: Azad Roddy Daly

Gayan Beloved Lord , Almighty God , Through the rays of the sun , Through the waves of the air, Through the all pervading life in space , Purify and Revivify us, and we pray Heal our bodies, hearts and souls.

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Universal Worship Homily on the topic of Balance & Healing by Arjuna Ben Zion-Weiss The prayer we just heard called Nayaz echoes one of the themes of our universal worship today. Volume 4 of the Sufi Message that focuses on healing begins with: Illness is disharmony, either physical disharmony or mental disharmony; the one acts upon the other. What causes disharmony? The lack of tone and rhythm. How can it be interpreted in physical terminology? Prana, or life, or energy is the tone. Circulation, regularity is the rhythm; regularity in the beatings of the heart, of the pulse and the circulation of the blood through the veins. In physical terms, the lack of circulation means congestion; and the lack of Prana, or life, or energy means weakness. These two conditions attract illness and are the cause of illness. In mental terms the rhythm is the action of the mind, whether the mind is active in harmonious thoughts or in disharmonious thoughts, whether the mind is strong, firm, and steady, or whether it is weak. In The Soul Whence and Whither in Volume 1, our second theme of balance is discussed: Balance is the keynote of spiritual attainment. In order to attain to God-consciousness the first condition is to make God a reality, so that He is no longer an imagination. No sooner is the God-ideal brought to life than the worshipper of God turns into truth. There is no greater religion than truth. Then truth no longer is the object of his seeking; then truth becomes his being, and in the light of that absolute Truth he finds all knowledge. Then in Volume 14 Murshid brings these ideas together in the statement: But truth is the finest thing and most beautiful. If one tells the truth must it hurt? If it hurts anybody can it be truth? Truth must raise a person, must illuminate him, it must be the most beautiful thing on earth, harmonizing, uplifting, inspiring, it cannot be hurtful. If it is truth it is the greatest healing there is. But people interpret truth in the form of facts, and muddle truth with fact, just as they confuse pleasure with happiness. These quotes by Murshid draw attention to the relationship between healing and balance and how they relate to truth.

Finally we need to consider the part played by prayer in healing, for the Universal Worship both contains the three main prayers given by Murshid: Saum, Salat and Khatoum and consists of readings from the six major world traditions that Murshid considered essential to his message to humanity at this time. Many of these readings themselves are used as prayers within the liturgy of those traditions.

Photo: Shakti Celia Genn

Dear Sisters and Brothers on the Sufi Path ,

Of prayer he says: Prayer is a wonderful means of healing oneself and another, for concentration alone, without the thought of God, is powerless; it is the divine ideal which strengthens the healing power, which gives it a living spirit… And a little later in Volume 4 we read: Prayer is in reality the contemplation of God’s presence, who is the power and origin of the whole creation; and it is considering oneself as nothing before Him, and placing the wish which stands before one’s personality before the Almighty. From all this we can see the value of Murshid’s teachings in relation to healing and balance in the form of today’s Universal Worship that weaves these themes together. As Hejirat Day is a celebration of our Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, let us now reflect on the life of our beloved teacher. Inayat Khan was born in Baroda, India on July 5, 1882, to Khatija Bibi and Mashaik Rahmat Khan. He grew up in a deeply refined religious and musical extended family whose influences were clearly discernible in the young Inayat. His mother was noted for her genuine piety, her interest in literature, especially poetry, and philosophy, and her gentle Universal Worship Homily continued on page 9

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Universal Worship Homily on the topic of Balance & Healing continued and harmonious demeanour. She was interested in both the religion of Islam, the religion of her family, and that of Hinduism. Inayat deeply appreciated and loved his mother, and during his youth produced a poetic tribute to her loving self-sacrifice. His father, Mashaik Rahmat Khan, was trained in classical music by Saint Alias, a renowned Punjabi composer and a Sufi mystic. He earned his living as a professional musician and was a very talented singer of drupad. He provided for Inayat a balancing and practical influence, as well as a foundation in philosophy and morality. Rahmat Khan embodied and imparted the qualities of honesty, sincerity, nobility, self-discipline, kindness and courtesy. He showed his son the beauty of loving and serving others. As a youth, Inayat was brilliant in poetry and music, yet his deepest inner calling was in spiritual matters. 
Inayat’s early life primarily revolved around music, and he was given many awards and medals of honour for his magnificent singing. However when he went to school this tendency to music and poetry in his spirit meant that he took “more interest in poetry than in anything else” as he wrote in a booklet entitled The Story of my Mystical Life in 1919. He goes on to say: This one-sided interest depressed the teachers at the town school very much, seeing that I had no care for any other subject. They thought that with such an independent nature I would never learn anything; that there must have been something wrong with me. I was nearly always at the bottom of my form and I received most of the punishments which was meted out to the children in the school. And yet In 1903 Inayat published a Hindustani collection of some 75 songs as Professor ‘Inâyat Khân Rahmât Khân Pathân. It was around this time in his life that a major transition happened for Inayat. Following a vision of meeting a Sufi teacher, he met Muhammad Abu Hashim Madani who trained him in the ways of the Chishti, Naqshbandi, Qadiri, and Suhrawardi Sufi orders. Inayat would return home from these meetings and remain speechless and silent for hours, pondering over the words which had fallen upon his ears. His friends began to wonder what could have happened to him in such a short time, that his whole life should

be so changed. He had now become quite a different person in his speech, actions, ways, expression, in his attitude and in his atmosphere. In all these, he showed a marked and definite change. It seemed to them as if, while a traveler walking at a certain rate of speed should have journeyed a mile, Inayat had suddenly made such an advance as to cover a hundred miles in the same space of time. His Murshid used to wear shoes embroidered with gold. One day, when Inayat’s eyes strayed to these shoes, a thought arose in his mind: why Murshid with all his simplicity should wear such costly shoes? At once his conscience pricked him, he felt so guilty that such a thought of one who was above question should have entered his mind, that instantly his face turned pale. But the Murshid knew all about it and only said with a smile: “The wealth of this earth is only worth being at my feet.” In looking back on those days with his teacher, Inayat said: I remember my murshid giving me, in blessing me, this wish, ‘May your faith be strengthened.’ Being a young man, I thought, ‘Is that all he is saying to me?’ - not, ‘May you be inspired, or illuminated, or prosperous,’ or something else? But when I think of it now I know that in that blessing there was all. When belief is strengthened, then there is everything. All that we lack in life is mostly because of our lack of belief. But again, it is not something that one can learn or teach or that one can give to anybody. This comes from the grace of God. Shortly before the death of his beloved teacher, Inayat had been instructed: Fare forth into the world, my child, and harmonize the East and the West with the harmony of thy music. Spread the wisdom of Sufism abroad, for to this end art thou gifted by Allah, the most merciful and compassionate. To fulfill that mission, Inayat along with his cousin and brother sailed from India to America on September 13, 1910. In his autobiography, Inayat wrote of that voyage: I was transported by destiny from the world of lyric and poetry to the world of industry and commerce on the 13th of September 1910. I bade farewell to my motherland, the soil of India, the land of the sun, for America the land of my future, wondering: “perhaps I shall return some day”, and yet I did not know how Universal Worship Homily continued on page 10

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Universal Worship Homily on the topic of Balance & Healing continued long it would be before I should return. The ocean that I had to cross seemed to me a gulf between the life that was passed and the life which was to begin. I spent my moments on the ship looking at the rising and falling of the waves and realizing in this rise and fall the picture of life reflected, the life of individuals, of nations, of races, and of the world. 
I tried to think where I was going, why I was going, what I was going to do, what was in store for me. “How shall I set to work? Will the people be favorable or unfavorable to the Message which I am taking from one end of the world to the other?” It seemed my mind moved curiously on these questions, but my heart refused to ponder upon them even for a moment, answering apart one constant voice I always heard coming from within, urging me constantly onward to my task, saying: “Thou art sent on Our service, and it is We Who will make thy way clear.” This alone was my consolation.
 Arriving in America in 1910, as well as performing his classical Indian music with his Companions, his 2 brothers, Maheboob and Musharaff and his cousin Ali Khan, as the Hindustani Orchestra, Inayat began to teach and discuss his world view with different people who would ask what to call this mode of thought. For a long time, Inayat refused to give it a name fearing it would create barriers between people. He would say only it was ancient wisdom from the one and only source. He emphasized how none of the great spiritual teachers gave a name to their religious views. Finally, knowing that a body of thought needs some identifier to unify it, he told people it was Sufism. Inayat began to travel and lecture first in the United States and later in Europe and Russia. He traveled widely between 1910 and 1920. He decided to do more intensive teaching during the summer in France, and took up residence there near Paris in Suresnes where he could hold his “summer schools”. His teaching strongly emphasized the fundamental oneness of all religions. He was deeply concerned that many of the western religious traditions had lost knowledge of the “science of soul”, and the prayer and meditation techniques necessary to develop higher consciousness in humankind. This Universal Sufism, or interest in and respect for different religions is reflected in a saying by the thirteenth century Andalusian Sufi teacher Ibn ‘Arabi. This respected scholar and mystic who authored

among other works the classic Sufi retreat manual Journey To The Lord Of Power wrote: Beware of confining yourself to a particular belief and denying all else, for much good would elude you indeed, the knowledge of reality would elude you. Be in yourself for all forms of belief, for God is too vast and tremendous to be restricted to one belief rather than another. (Awakening - A Sufi Experience by Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Jeremy P. Tarcher - Putnam, New York, 1999, p. VIII) It was at Suresnes that Inayat developed the Universal Worship service that we did here today. One goal of the Universal Worship service is to show people from different cultures the many common elements they share in their religious traditions, and to create a sense of unity among people from different cultures by teaching them to read each other’s scriptures and “pray each other’s prayers”. How relevant is that to our multicultural Australia in 2012? This message was beautifully summed up in a broadcast on American Radio he did in 1926. A copy follows this homily on page 12. Our Murshid was a tireless teacher, writer, and lecturer, traveling and lecturing almost continuously for seventeen years. He had established his school in France, and a dedicated group of disciples. But, his difficult schedule had weakened him over the years. He left for India to see his homeland for the first time in seventeen years. He hoped to rest and meditate but was asked to lecture and graciously consented as was common. He died in New Delhi in 1927 of influenza. Hazrat Inayat Kahn is probably the best known teacher of Sufism in America and Europe in the 20th century. His legacy of Universal Sufism or what one author terms “nonIslamic Sufism” is seen primarily in the many groups and orders that were established through his teachings: - the Sufi Movement, Sufi Order International, The Sufi Ruhaniat International, The Sufi Way, The Sufi Contact, Sufi Reoriented, The Sufi Federation, The Dargah in Delhi, The Hope Project, The Omega Institute, and the Dances of Universal Peace. The first Australian representative of Sufism was the Baron von Frankenberg from Germany. A mureed of Inayat Khan, he migrated to Australia in 1927 and married an Australian woman. From the 1930s until his death in 1950, von Frankenberg worked to spread Universal Worship Homily continued on page 11

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Universal Worship Homily on the topic of Balance & Healing continued the Sufi Message and established and led the first Sufi groups in Australia. The next Sufi teacher was Dr Karel Frederik Rechlien Jansen (Murshid Sharif), a Dutchman who lived in Indonesia before coming to Australia. Many of the current Australian Sufi Movement leaders were mureeds of Murshid Sharif, and they remember him well. Murshid Sharif played a major role in the development of Sufism in Australia for forty years, from the 1950s until his death in 1990. Without his teachings we wouldn’t be here today. Murshid Sharif and the Baron von Frankenburg brought Murshid’s Message all the way from Europe after Murshid had brought it there from India. Then Hakim, Hamida, Zubin, Shakti, Kafia and other mureeds of Murshid Sharif continued to pass on the Message. Later along came other Sufi teachers, guides and dances’ teachers into my life – like Nawab, Nuria, Abraham, Shafia, Tomi, Anahata, Sitara, Zahira, Shakti, Devi, Mariam, Tasnim, Alaudin – as well Pirs Hidayat, Shabda and Zia – all contributed to my healing and brought balance into my life.

Now you may ask, what is the Message? The Message is this: that the whole humanity is as one single body, and all nations and communities and races as the different organs, and the happiness and well-being of each of them is the happiness and well-being of the whole body. If there is one organ of the body in pain, the whole body has to sustain a share of the strain of it. That by this Message mankind may begin to think that his welfare and his well-being is not in looking after himself, but it is in looking after others, and when in all there will be reciprocity, love and goodness towards another, the better time will come. In peace, balance and healing, Arjuna Source of quotes:

Photo: Azad Roddy Daly

Let me end with the words of Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan in one of his addresses to his cherags. It is called Our Sacred Task:

The central theme of the Sufi Message is one simple thing, and yet most difficult, and that is to bring about in the world the realization of the divinity of the human soul, which hitherto has been overlooked, for the reason that the time had not come. The principal thing that the Message has to accomplish in this era is to create the realization of the divine spark in every soul, that every soul according to its progress may begin to realize for itself the spark of divinity within. This is the task that is before us. 

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The Frog Princess retold by Nuria Daly Part 1 of 5 I would like to thank Murshid Nawab for giving me this story to work with, both as a Sufi story and a story about the evolution of the feminine. I also thank Nirtan for her wonderful insights into the Russian female psyche, and into the meaning of the story itself as one of her favourites. Nirtan has reminded me that in the true Jungian analysis all the various characters in the story are part of one Being and the story itself is the unfoldment of the self through the spiritual journey. It does however also carry and demonstrate the aspect of the feminine which must evolve within all Beings to be the partner and soul mate of the masculine principle. This story, as in many other Russian stories, begins with a Tsar who has three sons. First of all, in Sufi stories the Tsar or King often represents the heart, and the fact that there are three sons simply mean a multiplicity, as three is the first number to which ‘all’ has been appropriated. In Russia the Tsar was all powerful and actually owned not only the serfs but the nobles as well. The word Tsar comes from the word Caesar and he really was seen as a ‘God King’. The Tsar wants his sons to be married so that he can have grandchildren. The sons are in agreement and ask for their father’s blessings, but ask for his advice on how to find a suitable wife.

Like his elder brother, he has not attained a princess, as he should have.

The Tsar answers ‘My sons, take your bows, go out into the open field and shoot an arrow. Wherever it falls, there you will find your wife.’

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

The eldest son’s arrow fell into a nobleman’s courtyard, where it was picked up by his daughter. The second son’s arrow fell into a merchant’s courtyard, and it was picked up by his daughter. But the arrow shot by the youngest, Prince Ivan, rose so high and flew so far that he didn’t know where to look for it.

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

Both sons find their wives or inner anima figures in the realm of the human, or of outer consciousness. The younger brother in fairy stories is always the hero and in this case he is named, as is often the case he is Prince Ivan. Ivan perhaps represents the human being, the noun itself is masculine in Russian but applies to all human beings. He has shot his arrow so high and far that he has to go looking for it. It reminds me of the Longfellow poem ‘The Arrow and the Song’.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

The arrow represents the piercing masculine principle and an arrow shot from a bow represents the consequences of actions which cannot be recalled or revoked.

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of a song?

Long, long afterward, in an old oak

So when the eldest son’s arrow fell into a nobleman’s courtyard, this really meant that this was the result of that man’s actions and inner leanings. His ‘mate’ or anima (inner feminine) was to be the daughter of a nobleman. Although she can be seen as a suitable bride, the true inner beloved of an eldest prince, son and heir of the Tsar, should really be a princess.

I found the arrow, still unbroken;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

When the second son’s arrow falls into a merchant’s courtyard, this son’s inner beloved will be the daughter of a merchant. This is the highest he can achieve, as this is the level of his own anima or soul.

When the young prince Ivan shoots his arrow up into the air, he is in search of higher goals, or spiritual ideals. He represents the human being on a spiritual journey in search of his soul. He started to walk and at last came to a marsh. In the marsh he saw a frog with his arrow in its mouth. The Frog Princess continued on page 14

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The Frog Princess

continued ‘Oh, come now,’ the prince said, ‘how can I have a frog as my wife?’ ‘But you must, for it is the Tsar’s will.’ The frog knows that she is right for the prince and that it is the will of the Tsar.

Image from Google Images.

At first the prince tried to avoid it, but eventually he had to accept his fate and carry the frog home.

Prince Ivan has aimed very high and far and it is interesting that he walks in search of his arrow. To walk is to travel on one’s own two feet, connected to the ground. Two indicates duality, and the opposites which have to be united or integrated, such as male and female, masculine and feminine, the solar and the lunar. His arrow is found in a marsh – a place where there is earth and water, and where no humans reside. It is an otherworldly place. The frog is a lunar symbol and is a rain-bringer and in Russian is feminine in gender. Interestingly it also symbolises eroticism. The moist skin of the frog denotes life and resurrection, as opposed to the dryness of death. The frog really represents his soul or inner Beloved. So although Prince Ivan does not recognise the meaning of the frog having caught his arrow, it has indeed landed in the right place. Once the seeker starts to look inside, he finds his soul all covered up with ugly veils like that of a frog skin and sitting in the marsh. Sometimes when we are stuck in a frustrating situation and cannot see our way out of it, we think about it as being stuck in a bog or marsh. It is a pretty devastating experience. The mouth can be seen as the entrance to the underworld – a place of transition. Ivan asks the frog to give him the arrow, but the frog replied ‘Then take me for your wife.’

Sometimes when we first discover our own anima or animus in the case of a female, they are in a very primitive form. We all have a contra-gender side to our nature – women have an animus side which is the masculine, and men have their anima or feminine soul side. Women tend to be more animus-driven these days, as they have to function and work in the more male dominated outer working world. So women are also on a quest for their soul, but their journey is quite different from that of their male counterparts. In my first dream where I discovered my animus (masculine) side, he was in the ocean – more fish-like than human, and I had to fish him out and shower the salt water from him. He was so weak he could not stand up. So I think that Prince Ivan has really found his anima in the depth of his unconscious and in a very ‘primitive’ frog like form. Through his inner work the beauty of the soul will evolve through this frog feminine side of himself. The Tsar then arranged for the three marriages to take place: his eldest son to the nobleman’s daughter, his second son to the merchant’s daughter, and the unhappy Prince Ivan to the frog. After the weddings the Tsar summoned his sons again, and told them; ‘I want to see which of your wives is the finest needlewoman. Each one is to make me a shirt by tomorrow.’ The sons bowed to their father and went to tell their wives. But when Prince Ivan arrived home he sat down looking very miserable. The frog was jumping around the floor, and it asked him, what was wrong and if he was in trouble. Notice that the frog is talked about as an ‘it’ and is not yet even recognised as feminine, although ‘it’ is the wife of Prince Ivan. As far as the story and Prince Ivan are concerned it is just a frog and yet frog in the Russian language is always feminine. How often is it, that real women are treated like this in the outer world – as this unbeautiful, moist, diffuse type of essence which the masculine does not yet understand or can relate to. However, he is able to tell ‘it’ his troubles. The Frog Princess continued on page 15

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The Frog Princess


‘My father has ordered you to make him a shirt by tomorrow,’ the prince answered. Here we realise that this is a story, not only about the integration of the feminine, into the masculine psyche, but also a story for the feminine herself. These tasks which the Tsar gives his sons’ ‘wives’ are tasks for all women to work on, within her own psyche. Women have to live in a masculine patriarchal world, while at the same time unfolding their own psyches. The feminine is the soul itself, so for women these tasks are often hidden – intuition and sensitivity are part of this soul quality, which in spiritual life is encouraged and developed, in the outer life is covered over – like with a frog skin.

of his sons know what is correct and proper for a Tsar to wear. There is also a task for the feminine to complete – to make this special garment for the Tsar to wear. The Tsar as representing the ‘heart’ of course also needs to wear a shirt or garment to show who he really is. To wear a skin is also to take on the power or mana of the animal and this puts the wearer in touch with that animal and their instinctual knowledge. She would learn how a frog exists in water, which is the realm of the Great Mother, and the Unconscious, as

The frog answers ‘Do not worry, Prince Ivan, you just go to bed. You will feel better after a good sleep.’ In other words, the task or work is to be done when asleep and in that other realm of the deep unconscious. When Prince Ivan goes to bed, the frog jumped out onto the veranda, threw off its skin and turned into the wise Princess Vassillisa, a maiden so beautiful that words could never describe her. She clapped her hands and cried: Image from Google Images.

‘My faithful attendants gather round and listen to me. Sew for me by tomorrow morning a shirt like the one my own father used to wear.’ The frog jumped out onto the veranda, so first of all it has to go to a place outside the apartments where they live, and yet not right outside in the gardens. The veranda is an ‘edge’ place, sometimes referred to as a ‘thin place’ – an in-between place neither inner nor outer, perhaps one could say that it is in the first and closest level to consciousness. Then the frog throws off its skin and transforms into what she really is – a beautiful princess. She asks her attendants to make a shirt like her father used to wear. So we know that her father was a Tsar, and that being the daughter of a Tsar she knows exactly what kind of shirt to make. Our soul understands and knows how to create wonders. We wonder why she is covered with a frog-skin but the skin is a covering of who we really are – we all develop a skin or persona and some would say that in the development of this persona, we are losing our original essence. In effect, the clothes we wear can be seen as symbolic of our persona, so when the Tsar asks for a shirt to be made, he really wants to know or to test if the wives or the feminine soul side

well as on land or marsh. This is the realm of the intuitive and instinct. When the prince woke up next morning the frog was jumping about the floor again, but a shirt wrapped in linen was already lying on the table. He was overjoyed. He picked up the shirt and took it to his father. Notice that the frog is always jumping about – it is not passive but alive and engaged like the soul always is. Notice also that Prince Ivan takes what she has made but there is no appreciation or thanks given nor indeed surprise expressed. It is taken for granted, which is how we deal with this inner part of ourselves. It is the same when we have an insight or The Frog Princess continued on page 16

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Photo: Azad Roddy Daly

The Frog Princess

good idea – we just accept this and hopefully trust our intuition. Prince Ivan accepts and also trusts his ‘frog’ soul. When he arrived at his father’s home, the Tsar was receiving the gifts from his two elder sons. The eldest son spread out the shirt his wife had made. As the Tsar accepted it, he said: ‘This is a shirt for everyday wear.’ When the second son spread out his shirt, the Tsar said: ‘I could only go to the bath in that.’ Then Prince Ivan unfolded his shirt; it was embroidered with gold and silver threads in intricate patterns. The Tsar took one look at it and declared: ‘Now that is a shirt! I can wear it on important occasions.’ So the noble-born wife of the eldest son had made a shirt which befitted her own level of evolution – an everyday shirt for a Tsar. She did not have the skill, knowledge or imagination to make something worthy of a Tsar. The merchant daughter wife of the second son did not even manage an everyday shirt, but could only make something the Tsar would wear to his bath, not even one to be seen by his family or friends.

But when he saw the most beautiful shirt made by Prince Ivan’s wife, he knew this was something specially made for a Tsar and to be used in important occasions where he was wearing the mantle of a Tsar – in his role as the king/emperor. Only a princess would be able to make such a shirt, as she would know intimately what a Tsar requires. The gold thread symbolises the sun and the quality of sacredness, and the silver thread symbolises the moon and virginity, so that the moon with the sun represents the queen with the king. The intricate pattern on the shirt shows the harmony and integration of the two – the king and queen, interwoven and as one. The soul understands and creates beauty in everything she does. Embroidery was often made with symbols protecting the person from evil influence but in this case it was made to enhance and promote the person of the Tsar. Now the older two brothers realise they were too quick to laugh at Ivan’s wife, but they then decide that she is a witch. Isn’t it interesting that when a female does something very special, creative, mysterious or clever, then she is immediately labelled a witch! The feminine cannot be seen as wise and creative in the patriarchy.

The Frog Princess will continue in the Summer issue 2012-2013

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collect all that is good and beautiful

November 5-12, 2012

An eight-day retreat at the Dargah of Hazrat Inayat Khan, New Delhi, India Under the guidance of Murshid Nawab Pasnak

When a person is absorbed in self, he has no time to build his character; but when he forgets himself, he collects all that is good and beautiful. This is the key to the whole of life, both to worldly success and to spiritual attainment. —

The angels were made to sing the praises of the Lord; the jinns to imagine, to dream, to meditate; but man is created to show humanity in his character. —Hazrat Inayat Khan— This retreat on the theme of building character is for mureeds of Hazrat Inayat Khan; some experience with the teaching style of the retreat guide is recommended. Each day involves both group practice and suggested individual exercises. The retreat is limited to fifteen places.

Cost, Deposit and Accommodation: The retreat fee is INR38,000/-, or the equivalent, with 50% due upon registration, and the balance payable upon arrival at the Dargah. The fee includes food and accommodation for ten days (the retreat plus two days extra) staff gratuities, a contribution to the Staff Welfare Fund, and a donation to the Dargah. Additional contributions and donations are of course welcome. Extra days of accommodation can be arranged at a modest cost. Accommodation will be either in the Dargah retreat house or a nearby guest-house. Food and lodging are simple, Indian style, but most rooms have western style toilets. Please note that during the retreat, accommodation can only be provided for retreat participants; those planning on further travel in India with friends or family should arrange to meet them before or after the retreat. Arrival: When planning your travel, please be aware that because of staff holidays we will not be able to accept guests at the Dargah before November 1st.

Health and Visas: When planning your trip, remember that all foreigners require a visa to enter India; a simple tourist visa is usually the easiest to obtain. Also, you may wish to discuss your trip with a doctor or travel clinic.

Registration and Information: Currency regulations in some countries may make it difficult to transfer a deposit, in which case please let us know. To register, or to request further information, please contact Nirtan Ekaterina Pasnak at

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Free Will an essay by Azad Roddy Daly This is a follow up on the article “On Pain and Suffering” in last season’s Spirit Matters. I would like to thank those people who contacted me about the above-mentioned article.

“When we speak about men we all understand this to mean individuals, but about God everyone has his own meaning. To the one, God means the abstract, to the other a personal God, and according to others, again there is no God. In this age of ever-growing materialism the ideal has become so obscured that its light is no more to be found… Today, many people question the idea of God. Among the so-called civilized nations there are some who have erased the God from the textbooks used in the schools… Many others who have been educated in science and literature think that it is unintelligent to believe in God or to use the word God. They think that, as it is used by so many primitive and simple people, who are not intelligent, they can better forget the name of God. And so a path which has been traced for thousands of years by great masters has been blocked by the pride of man”. (The Vision of God and Man – as used in the Dargah Retreat of 2006) I would like to quote the opening sentences from Gatheka 49: “The consciousness is the intelligence; the intelligence is the soul; the soul is the spirit; and the spirit is God. Therefore consciousness is the divine element, the consciousness is the GOD part in US. [my emphasis] And it is through consciousness that we become small or great, and through consciousness either we rise or fall, and through consciousness we become narrow or we expand.” (p. 89) Murshid writes that to “explain God is to dethrone God”. In addition, he writes in “The Idea of GOD” that: “God is to be understood in two ways – God idealized and God analyzed. The former makes a person a

Photo: Azad Roddy Daly

The subject of God is, obviously, a very difficult and complex topic that by its very nature is impossible to categorize or be definitive about, because in the end it comes down to an individual’s belief or non-belief. Many people have arrived at their own definition of God, rightly or wrongly – who are we to judge? A great many factors come into play on this topic and of course the dogma of religion has formed many people’s views.

believer and the latter makes him an unbeliever. Yet there are two classes of believers and two of unbelievers. Among the Believers are the idealizing believer & the realizing believer and amongst the Unbelievers are unbelievers from the lack of idealization and unbelievers from the lack of realization.” (1) If we dismiss the notion of (a) God who watches our every move or who like a master puppeteer pulls the strings – in any given situation – and we accept that we have been blessed by the gift of freewill, then perhaps we can turn our attention, or focus, onto our lives without feeling that God is responsible for our actions and, more importantly, for our feelings or emotions such as suffering. As I said in the previous article, pain is unavoidable but suffering is optional! If we lose the idea that God is a God of Suffering then our whole outlook will change. Again I will use the words of Oscar Wilde where he writes in the second part of De Profundis. (My thanks to Zora for reminding me of this.) Wilde writes these beautiful and moving words: . . . Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain. The paralyzing immobility of a life every circumstance of which is regulated after Free Will continued on page 19.

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Free Will


an unchangeable pattern, so that we eat and drink and lie down and pray, or kneel at least for prayer, according to the inflexible laws of an iron formula: this immobile quality, that makes each dreadful day in the very minutest detail like its brother, seems to communicate itself to those external forces the very essence of whose existence is ceaseless change. Of seed‐time or harvest, of the reapers bending over the corn, or the grape gatherers threading through the vines, of the grass in the orchard made white with broken blossoms or strewn with fallen fruit: of these we know nothing and can know nothing. For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us. Outside, the day may be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down through the thickly‐muffled glass of the small iron‐barred window beneath which one sits is grey and niggard. It is always twilight in one‘s cell, as it is always twilight in one‘s heart. And in the sphere of thought, no less than in the sphere of time, motion is no more. The thing that you personally have long ago forgotten, or can easily forget, is happening to me now, and will happen to me again to‐morrow. Remember this, and you will be able to understand a little of why I am writing, and in this manner writing. . .(2) “Pain, my life – long comrade, if all went and left me, you would still be there.” (The Dance of the Soul p. 137) When we do our daily practice and prayers we pray to an omniscient and omnipotent God who has blessed us with the gift of free will. We place our hands on our knees and we recite ‘To Thee do we give willing surrender” Stop! Pause! Reflect on what we have just done. We have just freely surrendered our self to God. This willing surrender is our choice! We don’t bow to some external or transcendent God who is ‘out there’ somewhere but to our intimate, immanent God. A God, who is within us, who shares and experiences our pain, and yes, our suffering. A God who in the darkest periods of human history has been there with us. The history of the human race is littered with catastrophes, both man-made and what is commonly called Acts of God or Acts of Nature. But the human ‘spirit’ has overcome these and in some cases has triumphed over some of the most horrendous and heinous acts throughout the ages. “Those who are given liberty by Him to act freely, are nailed on the earth; and those who are free to act as they choose on the earth, will be nailed in the heavens” (The Dance of the Soul p. 137)

Spirit Matters - Spring 2012

Again we read what Murshid has said in ‘The Idea of God’: The Sufi by his experience of idealizing as well as analyzing becomes stable. He does not by his analyzing stand against the numberless creatures who have believed in God since ages, but his analysis of God he calls Sufism, the knowledge of purity. He never claims that he is God; neither does he feel that he is a separate entity from Him. His veneration is for the harmony of the world and for the sweetness of personality, and his analysis is to realize the truth of nature and things, as they ought to be. His idealization is for Love, Harmony and Beauty, and his analysis is for illumination. [My emphasis] He bows before God, not considering Him as a separate Supreme Being, but the Sufi’s homage is to the consciousness, the unmanifested God within, who watches this temporary manifestation which exists for today but tomorrow will be no more. The Sufi by his bow trains the world by showing them the right path. At the same time he purifies consciousness from its delusions. The Sufi, by repeating the name of Allah, kindles the fire of his heart that all aspects of the Beloved – God in the manifestatio – either good or bad, are beautified, at least for his view. Thus he creates Heaven within himself. God bless you.(3) Now with the Higgs Bosom discovery – the ‘God Particle’ as it is frequently called – the debate will be heightened as to whether there is a God or not. The very fact that Matter can appear out of ‘nothing’, caused by a singular event (a singularity) which is the origin of our whole universe, and countless other universes, does not diminish, but strengthens my belief in God. We, as human beings, unlike any other species, are aware of our mortality. The fact that We are here to witness and to question, or reflect on, this existence – regardless of what science may discover in the future – poses the real question, which is: Why Us? References Gathekas 49 The Dance of the Soul (1)& (3) ‘The Idea of God’ (source Unknown by me but author is Hazrat Inayat Khan) (2) De Profundis by Oscar Wilde, p. 1 Suggested Readings: ‘06A the vision of God and man’ and ‘the vision of God and man (continued)’

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Australian Sufi Retreat

‘A Natural Life’

18th – 23rd March 2013

Edmund Rice Centre ‘Amberley’ 7 Amberley Way,

Lower Plenty, VIC 3093 Registration and Enquiries to: Nuria Daly Tel: 03-9561 4861 Join Murshid Nawab Pasnak, the International Co-ordinator and Madar-ul-Maham of the International Sufi Movement, and the members of the Sufi Movement in Australia in this annual opportunity to deepen and grow through the practices and teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. Murshid Nawab is an experienced Sufi teacher and has led summer schools and retreats over a number of years in many countries all over the world. We are privileged to have him with us again this year. Our annual Sufi retreats are open those who are currently travelling on a spiritual path. It is preferred that participants have prior experience of a Sufi group, and / or Sufi teachings. Sufi teachings are the distillation of the same spiritual wisdom which has inspired all traditions throughout time. This five and a half day retreat gives us all an opportunity to delve deeper into our practices and our own progress and insight on the path. It is also a community gathering of all those seeking to give their souls the taste of peace and harmony, to be found in an atmosphere of love, and beauty. We will share love and friendship, breath and concentration practices, spiritual walk, stories and music, silence and remembrance of the One Beloved, who is in us all. This is a retreat, which is designed specifically to explore deep into our ‘selves’, we are mindful of the energy and containment within the community. Thus we encourage you to register for the whole retreat to gain maximum benefit. th

Commences 10am, Monday18 March 2013 rd Closes 2.00pm Saturday 23 March 2013 Costs: Shared room & bath facilities $695 Shared with en-suite $760. Single Occupancy shared bath facilities $725 Single Occupancy en-suite $800 This cost includes full accommodation and all meals. Deposit: non refundable $100

Registrations by 30th January 2013 th Full payment by 28 February 2013

Spirit Matters - Spring 2012



Nuria Daly


Phone: 03 9561 4861 Email:

ACT Talibah Josephine Lolicato


Phone: 02 6297 5107

Celia Genn


Phone: 07 5494 0724 Email:

NSW – GRAY’S POINT Kafia Airey


Phone: 02 9525 0137

Sabura Allen


Phone: 08 9533 4658 Email:

NSW – NEW ENGLAND Karim and Bahkti Parkhurst


Phone: 0429 996950

Azad Daly


Phone: 03 9561 4861 Email:

NSW – SYDNEY Hamida Janice Phone: 02 9387 5263


GENERAL REPRESENTATIVES 24 Banstraat, 2517 GJ The Hague, Netherlands Phone: +31 70 3657 664 Email:


NSW – ROCK VALLEY Zubin Shore Phone: 0478 679 533 Email:

QLD – GLASSHOUSE MOUNTAINS Celia Genn Phone: 07 5494 0724 Email:

Spirit Matters Spring 2012  

The newsletter of the Sufi Movement in Australia.