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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom

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Tag: The+Great+Mystery

Spiritual Inquiry, Part Two

In my first reflections on this subject,  I explored the aspects of spiritual inquiry that are most immediately of concern, primarily in our relationship with others in the context of our developing global world. Now I want to explore those aspects of inquiry that are perhaps less obvious but equally important. In our encounters with others, we discover our differences and learn to negotiate those differences in mutually respectful ways. However,  self-inquiry requires us to turn inward toward unexplored depths where certainty is less clear, and at times, painfully absent. There is a very profound reason for this absence, which will be revealed if we are courageous enough to fully acknowledge our own lack of insight or understanding, and to recognize our own limits.

The Gift of the Call

The call comes gradually, or so it seems. We must be called over and over until we hear its whisperings. Then we begin to notice, we begin to respond. Unconsciously, hesitantly, we start to listen. Incrementally,  our response deepens. Finally, we realize that call and caller are one in life lived in obedience to the gift of the call; that we ourselves are the call. We come to recognize that we were called from the beginning, “from the foundation of the world,” as St. Paul says. Yet, looking back, we cannot remember a “first” call.

The Source of Beauty

Long ago, in a forgotten sultanate of the east, there was a group of young men who used to hang out in the “suq,” the open market near the gates of the palace. These were young men who hadn’t yet found their way—some of them not even sure that they wanted to find a way—so they hung out in the “suq,” gambling and joking with each other, and when necessary, getting an odd job to earn enough to buy a little food and gamble with later that night. One day, as they were sitting near the gates of the palace, a little bored with the usual fare and with each other, one of them who was most bored noticed a sedan chair—the kind used for carrying the women of the court through the marketplace—approaching the gates.

Supplication


“As a form of prayer, supplication involves sifting through variegated impulses to find our true desires. The intensity of focused feeling that is the mark of meaningful prayer endows desire with a powerful magnetism. Thoughts take wing and fly toward their destination. The desires that are discovered, articulated and empowered in prayer become extensions of God’s own desire. When we bear our heart in supplication, we know that we are heard, and that a response will reach us—though it may not be the response we expect.” – from “The Prayers of Hazrat Inayat Khan” by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan. Within this offering, you will find a prayer of supplication created by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan.

For the Love of All Created by Thee

Within, you will find a short video from Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee telling the story of a miraculous gift of a prayer found in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Bowl of Soul

For years I have been inspired by images of the body as a vessel, an earthenware pot filled with varying qualities, elements, and energies,  the bowl of soul. It is an image with echoes from many ancient cultures.  Soetsu Yanagi, who pioneered a movement to appreciate the crafts of everyday life in twentieth-century Japan, emphasized the beauty of the natural, genuine, and simple.

An Exclusive Seven Pillars Interview with Robin Becker

Recently, Seven Pillars’ Laurie Lane-Zucker and Corin Girard sat down with dancer and choreographer Robin Becker to discuss her original production, “Into Sunlight.” In the interview, Robin spoke of what inspired her to create this poignant work, the “chaos theory” behind her artistic process, the company’s upcoming New York City performances and the creation of an eagerly anticipated documentary film based on the production.

One Path, Many Paths

Seven Pillars’ founder and board member, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, recently sent a letter to Adam Bucko and Zachary Markwith, two individuals with “a deep sense of the sacred, but…quite different approaches to religion and tradition,” inviting them to participate in a dialogue about the relationship between religion and spirituality. Pir Zia was inspired to send the invitation after reading the recently published manifesto, “New Monasticism,” written by Rory McEntee and Adam Bucko. Both Adam and Zachary embraced the opportunity to discuss this question and the first installment of their correspondence is published herein.

The Wall

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.

The Great Mystery

Awakening to the numinous nature of reality.

Evolutionary Panentheism for the Planetary Era

Though it began some five centuries ago with the so-called discovery of the New World and the first circumnavigation of the globe, the reality of the Planetary Era has, in our own times, finally entered the sphere of collective consciousness as a result of the growing threat of climate change, ecological devastation, and the mass extinction of species.  If the world’s religious or spiritual traditions are to serve in the transition toward a life-sustaining society, they will need, as they come into greater dialogue with one another, to seek out those elements that affirm the sacredness of the earth and cosmos and point to the indissoluble, if still complex, unity of the cosmos, the human and the divine.

Reclaiming the Feminine Mystery of Creation

The feminine is the matrix of creation. This truth is something profound and elemental, and every woman knows it in the cells of her body, in her instinctual depths. Out of the substance of her very being life comes forth.

Meditation

A.E.'s The Candle of Vision is an eloquent poetic prose description of the author's personal experiences, his reveries and inner openings. A.E. uses a form of writing that directly reflects the quality of his inner mystical experience. His emphasis is on the imagination as reality and on the critical importance of the development of concentration. This piece was first published in 1928. We have chosen to maintain A.E.’s spelling and word usage although they may cause the reader to occasionally pause.

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