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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom

A multimedia e-book exploration of the Seven Pillars process



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Music and meditations to take you on the Seven Pillars Journey

 
Seven Pillars

Tag: meditation

Spiritual Principles in Action

I grew up in an England still dreary in the post-war years. Rationing only ended the year I was born. In my childhood there was religion but no spirituality. I went to church every Sunday, sang hymns and recited prayers. But nowhere was there the suggestion of spiritual states of consciousness. Spiritual bookstores did not exist. Christian mystical writings were present but just as historical texts rather than experiences to be lived. It was a grey world aspiring to middle-class materialism—a TV, a washing machine, even a car! Then in the mid- to late-sixties, another color entered the spectrum.

Initiatory Rites

Standing there on that hillside, I knew this could not be a burial site but was probably an ancient place of initiation. The ‘feel’ was of life, not death. As I come from a culture that does not prepare its young for enlightened adulthood with initiation rituals, I wondered if perhaps I’d been called to Brittany to do my own version. Otherwise how explain the undeniable pull that had brought me across a continent and an ocean to climb this particular hill to this ancient pile of stones?

Heaven Is Not a Zip Code

What if we have gotten Heaven all wrong? Many Christians, Muslims, and some Buddhists imagine a heavenly place as an eternal reward for the faithful. While this ‘place’ is often described as a garden of serenity and tranquility, we often see many faithful arguing about who can and cannot have access to this place in ways that are in no way serene and tranquil. Not only do we argue about the place, we also argue about who can get in, and who is locked out. What if we have it all wrong?

A Hidden Treasure

Imagine yourself floating in space with outspread limbs. Thus suspended in midair your recumbent form gives itself over to a delicious languor,  and one by one your senses close down. The eyes cease to see and the ears cease to hear. Smell and taste go dormant. Afterimages linger for a time, but in the absence of new stimuli the eidola that haunt the halls of memory slowly fade into oblivion. The void that surrounds you now pervades you. You are dead to the world—and yet you live.

Reflections on the Life of a Mystic

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.

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.

From Shamanism to Religion

When I was living in Toronto in the late sixties and early seventies, I had the good fortune to go to the University of Toronto’s Coach House where Marshall McLuhan performed for one evening a week. I say “performed” because McLuhan was a brilliant aphorist and artistic master of what he called “probes”—a kind of blast-off into outer space that most academics could not manage, and one that gave us a new look back at life on Earth.

Compass of Truth

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.

Forty Minutes for Forty Days - Mysticism in Action!

Looking for ways to connect your personal spiritual practices with the cry of the world?  The Second Annual Winter Feast for the Soul, A 40-day Worldwide Spiritual Practice Period will take place from 15 January to 23 February 2009...

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