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Tag: chivalry

Excerpt from “American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country”

The following excerpt describes my research into my father’s service during World War II as an airman for the Army Air Force Air Transport Command—a massive operation that supplied the troops abroad with ammunition, medicine, bombs, and money, and that ferried German prisoners and wounded soldiers—and how learning about this period in his life changed my perception of him and his wartime service.

In Search of a Pledge

It is hard for me to believe that my first blog post about The Seven Pillars appeared in December 2014. Now, just over a year later, here I am at the last pillar, The Pledge. The crossroads at which I started are replaced by the clarity of knowing where I want to go, and the final act in this journey is to make a pledge. I want a pledge that will act as a torch in the dark times, allow me celebrate the good, and remind me where I am headed when I feel lost.

The Courage of Imagination

As I write this blog, I am on my way to Dachau to be part of an honoring ceremony for Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan.  Noor was a Special Operations agent during the Second World War and became the first female radio operator sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance.

My God Lives on the Street

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.

Reflections on the NYC Peacewalk

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.

Saracen Chivalry

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.

Seven Pillars Open House, a Beautiful and Fun Evening!

On Friday June 15th, nearly fifty people joined us for Seven Pillars’  first official Open House at our headquarters in New Lebanon, New York.  The purpose of the Open House was to orient an ever-growing, extremely supportive local community to Seven Pillars’ physical location, as well as to provide a more concrete outline of our plans for the remainder of this year, and into 2013. Of course, we were also excited to have time to just be together with so many wonderful friends and fellow wisdom seekers!

The Endless Flow of Life

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.

Spiritual Chivalry: Answering the Call

Beyond our occupation, each of us has a vocation, a calling toward sacred service.  This calling may be understood as our life’s purpose, our personal contribution to the transformation of the world.  Spiritual chivalry is the cultivation of our capacity to answer the call.  It is to swear oneself body, heart, and soul to the ideals of truth, justice, peace, and beauty—and thus sworn, to go forth into the battle of life.  

Invitation to Attend Seven Pillars’ Labor Day Gathering 2009

Seven Pillars will host Wisdom House Architectonics: Building a House with No Walls over Labor Day weekend, September 4-7, 2009, in New Lebanon, New York.

The Iron Rules, Number Two

The second rule is: Speak not against others in their absence. This is a saying that, like all wise words, has several levels of meaning. On the most literal level it means: do not speak unkindly about people who are not present in the conversation. At a deeper level, one could say that to speak against someone in his or her absence means to speak judgmentally of someone to whom you are not present.

The Iron Rules, Number One

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.

Accessing Prophetic Sources & Wisdom Traditions

Pir Zia discusses the need to access prophetic sources and wisdom traditions for the articulation of a forward-looking world culture. This talk was originally given at the Sufi Conference, held October 2008. For the full audio or set of DVDs related to this event, please visit http://www.suficonference.org/2008preorder.html and for the text of this discussion, please see http://www.sevenpillarshouse.org/article/a_forward_looking_world_culture

“The Knight of Faith”: Imam Husayn’s Chivalry at Karbala

Among the most extraordinary examples of heroic chivalry not only in Islamic history, but possibly any history, is the martyrdom of the third Shi'a Imam Husayn. On the day of 'Ashura, October 10, 680, on the plains of Karbala near the Euphrates river, Imam Husayn, the Prophet Muhammad's second grandson, was mercilessly slaughtered. As warriors on both sides closed in, Imam Husayn and his party found themselves grossly outnumbered. This gruesome, bloody and tragic event, along with its ceremonies of commemoration, is "the beating heart of Shi'a devotion." Shi'a Muslims regularly evoke the centrality of Imam Husayn's martyrdom in the proverb, "Every day is 'Ashura; every place is Karbala."

Pir Zia Introduces Chivalry Theme at Seven Pillars’ Inauguration

Pir Zia Inayat-Khan introduces the theme of Chivalry during the opening ceremony of Seven Pillars' inaugural weekend. Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, Seven Pillars' President, is the spiritual leader of the Sufi Order International, a mystical and ecumenical fellowship rooted in the visionary legacy of his grandfather, Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan. Pir Zia is also the President of the Suluk Academy and founder of Seven Pillars House of Wisdom. Pir Zia holds a Doctoral degree in Religion from Duke University and is a recipient of the U Thant Peace Award.

Shooting Arrows Blindfolded: A Modern Knight Describes His Training

Seven Pillars Review interviews Felix Idris Baritsch, who as a young man completed intensive chivalry training, about his experiences.

Chivalry of the Night and Day

A Christian eyewitness to the rise of Islam characterized the Muslims in a significant way: “They are cavaliers in the day and monks in the night.” Knights belong to the day because it reveals the field of action, and the apparent distinctions between opponents as well as between the lover and beloved; it is the domain of movement, and so of love in the sense of Dante: “Love which moves the sun and the other stars.” Monks belong to the night because it has the quality of stillness; it allows contemplation and knowledge of hidden things, and is the domain of union. While there are no monks in Islam, there is Sufism, which preserves esoteric knowledge and the methods for its realization....

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