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
It’s nighttime. I am walking outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, that depressing brick behemoth on 42nd Street and 8th Avenue that is the main hub for buses arriving to and departing from New York City. I am looking for homeless kids, trying to spot new arrivals who might still be hanging out, unsure of where to go. I want to reach them to offer help before they disappear into the Manhattan sinkhole. But I am not the only one looking for them.
On a misty Sunday afternoon, Central Park became a temple of Peace for the many hundreds who joined or observed the NY Silent Peacewalk in support of peace in the Middle East. There were intermittent soft showers, the smell of autumn leaves, lovers holding hands, homeless people on park benches, and beside them a stream of nearby traffic and taxis. In the midst of it all we walked as peacewalkers carrying a palpable, reverent, dignified and joyful silence.
From the Introduction to Saracen Chivalry: Creed matters, but deeds matter more. In the annals of valor, courtesy and courtly love, Christians and Moslems figure as friends as often as foes. Harun ar-Rashid and Charlemagne might have been pillars of competing faiths, but it pleased the Caliph to send the Emperor the gift of a white elephant.
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.
Do we live actually in a dualistic world, a world of matter and spirit, mind and body? To treat matter as separate already makes it so. Matter, as we know it, is the matter of materialism (egotism, dualism). Yet it really didn’t come into being until Descartes divided the world into res cogitans and res extensa, thinking things—minds—thought of as spiritual, and extended things—bodies—thought of as mechanical.
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.
Smell is the oldest, most magical sense. In ‘In Search of Past Time,’ Proust tells how, returning home for a visit one cold winter’s day, his mother offered him a cup of lime blossom tea with some plump little cakes, called “madeleines,” molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. At first, he declined, but then, for no particular reason, he accepted. As the lime-tea-soaked crumbs touched his palate, a strange emotion overcame him. The world stopped, and an exquisite, transcendent pleasure, like the effect of love, filling him with joy, suffused his senses.
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.
It is told that Tupala was a great king who was devoted to his subjects, generous towards the brahmins, gentle with children, respectful of wise men and wisdom, and who followed the rules of good governance. On one hunting night, leaving his retinue far behind, he ventured far and deep into the forest and lost his way.
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.
Today we are going to continue our Remarkable Minds series with a spiritual ecologist, an earth pilgrim, a vegetarian who led a civil disobedience movement in efforts to restore humanity’s sense of community. He is Satish Kumar and he is one of the few individuals who fully embraces the principles of Mahatma Gandhi, to promote a spirituality opposed to war and ecological destruction.
“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.
Please join us for a weekend of exploring love as a force and presence in the universe. We will explore the boundary between self and other, enter the flow of divine compassion, and reveal the sacred presence within our loving relationships, all as we seek to deepen our understanding of the ultimate goal: A Cosmology of Love. The weekend will be a combination of interactive presentation and small group work led by the program's presenters. There will be morning dreamsharing, music, and heartful dialogue throughout the weekend, which begins at 7 p.m. Friday and ends at noon on Sunday, at the Abode of the Message in New Lebanon, New York. Photo: David Spangler
By the time my first child, John-Michael, was born in 1983, I had already been a spiritual teacher for nearly twenty years. A major perennial topic in my lectures and workshops was love, and I felt I reasonably understood what love was about. But the first time I held my son in my arms, I realized how incomplete my knowledge was. I knew immediately that this new person was going to teach me things about love that I had never known before. And he has, along with another son and two daughters who came to join him as my teachers over the years....
One evening in Bombay, during a gathering of disciples, someone asked, “All the religions of the world agree that unless man recognizes his own self, he is incapable of any kind of ascent. What is meant by recognition here? Is it the recognition of man’s own being or the being of the cosmos?” Others asked similar things. Responding to the questions put forth, Pir O Murshid ‘Aziz Miyan Sahib, the revered, said that he would provide a condensed exposition. The discourse continued deep into the night. The gathering was large, with every faith, creed and denomination represented. The audience listened with heightened interest and some even penned down the oration. All that was recorded has been divided into six parts and printed. This is an abridgement of the first part.