Category: Religion

01

The Sufi Way


whirling dirvishA shepherd of men and women does not need a stick nor a lashing tongue. With his heart, he guides. He has no need to dismantle the gods of others, for he knows his place among all of creation. Superior to none, he does not dissuade those who are seen to be inferior. Blind to comparisons, he takes joy in all that is.

There is no better day, or another tomorrow; there is now. There are no loose threads, or misplaced beads; there simply is. There is no hope or regret; there is eternal acceptance. From the newest newborn to the most eldest among us, there are only wise men and women. There is no first or last and no best or worst. There is just the divine in infinite expression.

5

Prophecy


flood prophecyThe idea of prophecy has captured the minds of many over the ages. From religious and ancient texts to self-proclaimed psychics and seers to seemingly miraculous personal experiences, men and women from cultures around the world have contemplated its purpose and power. From seeing, whether in the waking state or sleeping state, to feeling, physically and or emotionally, the experience and idea of prophecy has left many to question their faith, the workings of the universe and sometimes one’s very own sanity.

For many people, the future is thought to be unknowable, but bound by something we call “time.” Just out of view it serves as inspiration, and hope for something better. It serves as motivation for improving one’s current state of existence. For others, the future is thought to be knowable, but only in dribs and drabs. Sometimes dreamlike, it entices the seer. What could be the reason for having a glimpse into the future? Is it really the future that is being seen, or has all of this happened before?

Regardless of whether what is seen serves as a warning or a fanciful “what if” moment, the experience often serves as a reminder of the mysteries that surround us. When one sees what they perceive as the future, are they an observer, or do they remain an active participant in their own lives? The idea of free will comes into question and suddenly one is thrust into contemplating a future and life that has already been predetermined. If life and existence itself were predetermined, is the value of life suddenly cheapened? Is birth, death and all that comes in between simply a formality?

Perhaps the question of predetermination and free-will are more a matter of perception than practicality. For many the idea of a predetermined life is slavery draped in different clothes. For others it is the acceptance of choices made long ago, but also made in this very moment. What if every choice, and every choice resulting from that choice, and so on, for all possible choices of every creation, existed all at once? What if like the threads of a blanket, by pulling and manipulating one thread, each thread of that blanket were affected? And so in being able to understand one choice, one has the ability to understand all other choices affected by that single choice and all other choices before it.

In that breathe, perhaps the past, present and future are all the same, existing simultaneously, although for many, experienced one at a time. Like a series of dominoes in every which direction that fall and reset themselves, the past, present and future are continuously unfolding. From the view of the domino it only knows itself, and what comes immediately before and after it. When seen together, one path is realized, and sometimes more than one path is realized at a given time. Which is the present? Which is the past? Which is the future? Does it matter?

When our choices are realized, maybe it is not the order in which they are seen that matters, but rather what is learned or understood in that moment. Like an intricate dance, all of existence is being expressed, and what we choose to see is up to us. Suddenly the power of prophecy lay not in the future, but in understanding the eternal now.

 

0

Desert Light


flame in the desertDo not turn your back on love. When all seems lost, and you are walking in the desert aimlessly seeking a way out, do not turn your back on love. Do not follow the haphazard as they flee into the night. Do not turn your back on those who would only show a way out. Do not turn your back on those who would only remind you of what is possible.

Hold your chin up and remember who you are. Hold your chin up and remember the love inside. Hold your chin up and enjoy what is all around. Worry not about those who would proclaim doom. Worry not about those who have run in fear. Worry not about the desert night. Follow the guiding light of your heart.

0

Bathing in the Ganges


Hindus Gather At Sacred Rivers For Kumbh Mela Festival
photo: LIFE Magazine; Hindus Gather At Sacred Rivers For Kumbh Mela Festival

Would you give a piece of your soul to someone or something if you knew it could bring them back? Would you give a piece of your soul to someone if you knew that it would help them see the truth? Would you give a piece of your soul if you knew you could not get it back? What if our souls did not belong to us? What if they belonged to everyone? What if what we thought were individual souls, were in fact the pieces of our self that we remembered? What if our souls were like drops of water in an ocean of souls? What if we were constantly giving of ourselves and receiving of others? Would we still exist as individuals? Would we remember who we are?

We are like the ocean. From many drops We are One. Thrust your fist into the ocean and grab a fist full of knowledge. Through your hands it escapes, but become the ocean, and understand there is nothing to grab. There is nothing even to give. There is acceptance and realization. United in a single dance, We are One.

0

Persecuting the dEvil


good versus evilCan a person be holy and still persecute someone they deem evil? Can a person know love and then persecute someone for not finding love themselves? Can a person know love and then persecute someone when they find love in a different way? If the devil tried to teach you something, would you dismiss him simply because he was evil? If you didn’t take the time to know, could you ever find out?

Can a person know God and then proceed to tell another they did not? Can a person have a relationship with the Creator, and then wash their hands of His creations? Can a person know love, without knowing the Divine? Can a person love them self and still damn others for their beliefs?

Perhaps if we spent the time to understand others, we would not find it necessary to condemn someone for missing some mark. Perhaps if we really knew ourselves, we would not require others to subjugate their beliefs on our behalf. The dEvil goes by many a name, and yet so do We.

0

Prayer, Meditation with Purpose


people in prayerThe power of prayer does not come from how many times we recite a prayer. The power of prayer does not come from how many people pray for the same outcome. It does not come from facing Mecca, or facing the Wailing Wall. The power of prayer does not come from sitting in a church or peering through a glass floor at the supposed birthplace of Jesus. It does not come from ringing bells, or lighting candles. The power of prayer does not come from intermediaries such as saints or devotees. The power of prayer comes from one’s true intent. Prayer is like having an intimate relationship with the Creator. Prayer allows one to speak directly with God/Allah to give thanks, or to ask for guidance. Prayer allows for communing with all that is. Prayer is meditation with purpose. Prayer is peaceful awakening.

0

Meditate on This


Shiva's third eyeTwo eyes to the front, and one to the totality of all that exists. Visions can be beautiful or downright terrifying, but without context, there is no inspiration. The mind is fed, and the soul is hungry to learn. Seeking bliss in meditation is a wonderful exercise, but to bring that bliss to others outside of meditation is a true gift. Some may say, bring meditation to the masses, but a quieted mind and an open heart will say, bring that joyful love to others outside of meditation and into the waking life. Bring the inside to the outside and allow them to be One. Do not get lost in images. Do not get lost in colors. Do not get lost in tones. Life is more than a vibration. Life is more than perceived levels. Everything is a sgn, with open eyes or closed, with an active mind or a quieted one, everything is a sign.

0

Waves of Transformation


Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai
Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai

Life is full of waves of transformation. Full of peaks and valleys, we are constantly trying to catch ourselves. But if we could just realize that we are those waves, that we are those peaks and we are those valleys, we could learn to appreciate life as it comes to us. In each moment, we are evolving and have a chance to become ourselves. Like the universe, we are constantly unfolding and expanding. We become more aware of ourselves and the happenings around us. Just when we think we have a grasp of ourselves and an understanding of how we fit into this existence, life happens and again, we are transformed. Just as the universe expands and contracts in an endless cycle of creation and destruction, we too are created and destroyed. In each moment we are reborn. In each moment, we again have the infinite opportunities of now. Where we decide to take each wave is up to us. We can choose to conform, we can choose to lay down and give up, or we can choose to live. Ride this wave, and see where it takes you. Ride this wave in an endless transformation of yourself. Ride this wave until it is no more, and then do it again.

0

You, Becoming Me


I am a Sufi.
I am a Jew.
I am a Christian.
I am a Buddhist.
I am Hindi.
I am you.

I am a man.
I am a woman.
I am you.

I am a teacher.
I am a preacher.
I am a lawyer.
I am a servant.
I am a slave.
I am you.

I am creation.
I am destruction.
I am you.

I am you, becoming me.

0

Realization


Buddha under bodhi tree
Inspiration comes to the heart. Aspiration comes to the mind. To become greater than, or to be like something is to tug at the mind’s strings. There is no greater or greatest, and no easier or easiest, for all are one in the same. There is no becoming the other when we are already the other. There is only realization. Realization does not come from Masters or supposed spiritual Masters. There is no mastering the self. There is only realization of the self. Realization of the self is not administered by practitioners through one art or the other. It neither comes from books, nor does it come from ancient writings. All point the way, but the way is self-realization. It is in this moment that there is inspiration.

When inspiration comes, all aspirations shall fade for there is no need to become, because the actuality has already been realized. The rest is a gift, and so it should be shared. Come down from the tree and share your fruit, for sitting in the tree does not make the fruit any sweeter. Take a bite and share in the realization that there is neither a tree, nor any fruit.

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