A Concert with Yuval Ron and the Guibord CenterSaturday, October 19th, 2013, 7pm
St. John's Cathedral, Los Angeles, California
Dialogue, Reception & Book SigningMonday, October 21st, 2013, 7pm
USC, Los Angeles, California
For thousands of years the purpose of different civilizations was to look after the Sacred Substance of Creation through rituals, ceremonies, prayer, and sacred music—so that the souls of people could be nurtured, they could have a meaningful life and their souls could evolve. If this Sacred Substance becomes lost the soul will no longer find nourishment here. The worst-case scenario is the whole planet becomes a Hungry Ghost.
Appropriately, if only by name, the legendary Bohemian Spa of Marienbad is a place of alchemical associations, harking back as it does to the legendary alchemist Maria the Jewess, “divine Maria” or Maria Prophetissa, the supposed sister of Moses, who was the inventor, among other alchemical apparatuses, of the celebrated balneum Mariae or the bain Marie: the double boiler.
When I first met my teacher, Irina Tweedie, I sat in her small room, looked into her blue eyes and I knew that she knew. From that moment, without knowing why, more than anything, I wanted what she had. Much later I understood this as the knowledge that can only come from direct inner experience, which for the Sufi is imaged as Khidr. Khidr is the most important Sufi figure, the archetype of direct revelation.
In deep meditation I come to a wall. I know this wall. I have seen it many times before in meditation and waking visions. It is a high brick wall. I know what is on the other side of the wall: a world of light. But there is no way through; there is no doorway, no ladder, no break in the wall. When I come to the wall I walk along it, and then I have to turn away, back to the narrow streets of this world.
On Feb. 7, 2011, the fourth in a series of Sufi-Yogi Dialogues organized by the Global Peace Initiative of Women was held at the burial shrine, or dargah, of Hazrat Inayat Khan in New Delhi, India. The gathering, entitled “A Sufi-Yogi Dialogue: The Nature of Oneness,” brought together fifteen leaders from the Sufi and Yogi traditions to deepen exploration of the nature of ultimate reality as represented by these two ancient traditions, and its relevance in meeting the critical global challenges facing us all today.
The execution of the Mughal crown prince Dara Shikuh by order of his brother Aurangzib was a crime that sent ripples down through the ages. A religious pluralist with a deep commitment to mystical hermeneutics, Dara Shikuh had the makings of a brilliant ‘philosopher king.’ His religious, cultural, and political outlook was profoundly imbued with the legacy of his great-grandfather Akbar, who elevated the Mughal Empire to the status of a premodern superpower by uniting Hindus and Muslims under the principle of sulh-i kull, ‘universal peace.’ As heir apparent, Dara Shikuh awaited the day when he would mount the Peacock Throne and revive Akbar’s syncretic vision.
If you had written a large opus about Sufism, its teachings, practices and history, and asked me to write an introduction, I would have shrunk back from such a task. But you intended to write a little book that should primarily be a testimony of your personal experience of Sufism, and a guide for those who feel drawn to follow the instructions of your meditations. For these pages you asked for my presence. How could I have denied my presence as a friend?
Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of Islamic culture knows that it has produced extraordinary works of art and architecture—Persian miniatures, the Taj Mahal, the Alhambra. Few are aware, however, that this rich artistic heritage is firmly rooted in a worldview that highlights love and beauty.
The essence of Sufism is the creed of the heart, or the "School of Love" ( mazhab-i 'ishq). The cornerstone of this school is the insight that the Universe is a phenomenon of love, the ripest fruit of which is the human heart. In this talk, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan will explore the individual and collective implications of the spiritual cultivation of the heart.
"Khusraw! Deep into the night of union, I stayed awake with my love … My body, her heart: both of one color." The words are Amir Khusraw’s, the saint's dearest disciple, his “Turk of God.” Booming drumbeats and the blare of harmoniums drive the message home.
In a small and ancient family plot attached to his ancestral home in Jerusalem’s Old City, Sufi leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari was laid to rest on Tuesday, June 1, at age 61, after a long struggle with heart disease. He was head of the mystical Naqshabandi Holy Land Sufi Order.
We live in a culture of religious diversity that is at present experiencing a reawakening of interest in spirituality.
The images of devastation in the wake of Haiti's earthquake follow me to bed, and continue to haunt my sleep.
Continuing our examination of various moral codes, Seven Pillars is pleased to present Pir Zia Inayat-Khan’s talks on the Iron and Copper rules of Hazrat Inayat Khan as an ongoing series. While this material originates from a Sufi context, it can be helpful to anyone who is looking for practical guidance on applying chivalric principles to the conundrums of everyday life. A new rule will be posted monthly until the series is complete.