A Bed for a Sufi

August 18, 2014

master picSalaam and Greetings of Peace:

Many years ago, on one of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh’s annual visits to the US, he was staying at the New York khaniqah when one of the long time darvishes, who was also studying to become a Persian scholar, said that his parents wanted to meet the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, of whom they had heard so much about, and he was invited to visit their home in Westchester County, New York. and have dinner with them. The Master  gladly accepted the invitation, and since it was a journey that would require them to stay overnight, they drove up in the early afternoon, arriving just in time for dinner.

The darvish’s parents lived in a converted farmhouse, and were delighted to have such a reknown Sufi Master as their guest.  They prepared an excellent dinner, though the Master, as was his custom, ate sparingly, and, although he spoke some English, conversed through their son, who was fluent in Farsi.  As bedtime approached, the father said that the Master was to use the master bedroom so that he would be comforable.  And they showed him a large room with a king-sized bed and adjoining bathroom.

The Master shook his head. “This is not a bed for a Sufi,” he said.

“But it’s the only bed in the house. Our son is sleeping in the other bedroom, and we are going to stay with friends,” his father said.

The Master thought for moment.  “There is another bed here,” he insisted.

The darvish’s parents were bewildered. “No, really,” the mother said. “There is nothing else… well ,except for the mattress in the old Chicken Coop. The kids used it as a clubhouse when they were young.”

The Master asked to see it, and they led him around the back of the house to an old wooden Chicken Coop. They brought a lantern as there was no electricity in the coop, and showed him the plain interior.  It was empty now, though recently swept out, with an old single mattress on the floor.

“Yes,’ the Master said, smiling. “This is a bed for a Sufi.”

Ya Haqq!


The Sufi Master’s Prayer

October 20, 2013

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

O God, illuminate my outer being with obedience to You, and my inner being with loving-kindness for You, and my heart with direct knowledge of You, and my spirit with intimate vision of You, and my essence with the ability of reach Thy Throne. O Glorious and Exalted One!

O God, illuminate my heart and my ears and my eyes and my tongue and my hands and my feet and my entire body. O Light of all Lights!

O God, show me things as they truly are.

O God, wherever I turn, be before me; in whatever direction I go, be my destination; in every endeavor of mine, be my aim; in times of difficulty and sorrow, be my refuge and support; in every undertaking, be my advocate; and through Thy Grace and Loving-kindness, take up my actions in Thy Strength.

God’s greetings be upon Mohammad and his family, the noblest of all families.

- adapted from the Kebrit-e Ahmar (Red Sulpher) of Munawwar Ali-Shah Kermani, one of the past Masters of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, and taken from In the Paradise of the Sufis by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

Ya Haqq!

Note: Kebrit-e ahmar, or red sulphur. is the vital factor in transforming lead to gold for the alchemists. It is used metaphorically by the Sufis to indicate the energy and baraka, the hal, spirit or charisma, of the Master, which is the active agent in transforming the leaden nafs-dominated ordinary state of the human being into the golden, heart-led state of the developed Sufi.


In Memory of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

October 8, 2012

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

October 10th is the four year anniversary of the death of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, for over 50 years the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, and for 17 years, my Master (may God bless his soul and raise him to the highest rank of His beloveds. Ameen!).

To commemorate the occasion, his own poem is a fitting tribute to his life and station:

My heart holds Your home,

my head desiring You;

Night and day have all passed,

while I am pledged to You.

I have suffered at the hand

of the people of the time;

In the world I’ve only seen

fidelity from You.

I’ve been drunk with Your wine

Since pre-eternity;

I’m surrendered to Your will

till post-eternity.

I’ve no hope for heaven

or for the Resurrection;

I have never wanted

anyone but You.

Once I realized that in reality

the Path cannot be traveled

Except on Your feet,

I lost both my head and feet.

With every breath I take

I am conscious of You;

I gave up heart and soul

for contentment from You.

If, like Nurbakhsh, you have pledged

yourself wholeheartedly to God;

The creation then will be ready

to pledge itself to you.

- from the Divani Nurbakhsh: Sufi Poetry

Ya Haqq!


Love is the Answer to Every Question – In Memory of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh

December 10, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

December 10th, would have been the 85th birthday of Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh (12/10/1926 – 10/10/2008), the late and beloved Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order.  In his memory, this poem is dedicated.

Love is the answer
to every question

An ocean emerging
from a drop

This you taught us, by your
every action, every word,

The revealed science
of the heart, the key

to every door that is
never locked to anyone

To serve the One,
serve all, you said,

Eat but a little,
Feed the soul instead

As long as life
remains, and then

The drop returns
again to the Ocean of

Love, of love, of love
Ya Pir! Ya Haqq!


Interview on the Law of Attraction and Meditation

August 11, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A new, short interview with me has been posted on the Egyptian Code blog, with some interesting questions and answers :)  For those interested, it can be read HERE.

Ya Haqq!


The Sufi Question

June 16, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that one day in New York City in the mid 1980s, while Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order, was visiting the khaniqah, someone asked him this question: “Why do so many spiritual orders that have costumes and dancing, and public performances of chanting, etc, have so many followers, and our order does none of these things and does not have as many followers?”

Dr. Nurbakhsh replied, “Because most people are after the color and smell of Sufism, and in our order, the costume is to be colorless.”

Ya Haqq!


The Question of Consciousness

May 21, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

What is it about us that ultimately make us who we are? Our genetic nature, upbringing, culture, religion? If it is a combination of all of them that defines the way we think and feel about things, the way we treat family and friends, the way we think about ourselves, then what is left when all of that is changed or dissipated or lost?

The human mind is a wondrous and fragile thing, a spongy mass protected by a hard shell of bone, and I have known bright, articulate men who, after head injuries, became sad, babbling idiots. I have known dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, including my father, who could barely recognize his own children. What conclusion can be made other than that the mind, the so called seat of consciousness, that central sense of self and ego that imagines the world and visualizes thoughts in 3 dimensions, depends on nothing more than the proper workings of the electro-chemical transmitters in the grey matter of the brain.

And if that is so, what is this “soul” then, this spark, this essential presence said to be within us that is a speck of the Divine Mind, a mote of the Godhead? Is it this undetectable soul that causes us to breathe in reverence the name of God when we glance upward toward the heavens? Is it this mote without locus that is the better angel of our natures, the mirror that when polished reflects God’s light?

It may indeed be so, and even if we come to a state of confusion and memory loss due to age or disease or injury, that place is inviolate; the higher self of consciousness and awareness.

But when consciousness dissipates after death, does awareness remain? My own out of body experience, that I have written about here, suggests that it does in some form. This question was also once put to Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, late Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order. He said in answer, “A drop falls into the ocean and becomes one with the ocean, but it does not lose its wetness.”

God knows the truth!

Ya Haqq!


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