May 31, 2011

Who I am now
defies defending

I am played
as Your instrument
a song long wending

a melody rippling
throughout infinity

my heart distends
stars dance inside of me

while on their course
in the vast universe

and Your Great Love
is my one reliever
at the times when I feel
like a twisted, rumpled strand

it is then when You come
as my soul’s Retriever
and I never fail to hear
my Self’s soundless requiem

and when
that spindle
wholly unwinds
it is then I find
that all
has been forgiven
and absolved

– From An Unbound Heart, Vol 2, by Morgan Kalani MacLean

Sufi Masters and Disciples of Imagination

May 26, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

A man came to Sufi Master Bahaudin Shah Naqshband and said: “First I followed this teacher and then that one. Next I studied these books and then those. I feel that although I know nothing of you and your teachings, this experience has been slowly preparing me to learn from you.”

Bahaudin Shah said: “Nothing you have learned in the past will help you here. If you are to stay with us, you’ll have to abandon all pride in the past. That is a form of self-congratulation.”

This is true of any mystical path, and almost every initiate, and is a product of their subjective thinking and ego-centered imagination, the very habits the Master strives to cure them of.  As my own late Master, Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh, noted in one of this lectures, Sufis Who Are Disciples of Their Own Imaginations:

Most people who are drawn to the path of Sufism and become disciples of a master have, in fact, an image of the master in their minds, expecting the master to act according to this subjective image of theirs. If, after a while, they come to conclude that the master is not acting according to their mental image, they decide to leave this master, because, from their point of view, the master has not performed according to their expectations, and in point of fact they expect the master to be the disciple of their own mental image, otherwise they conclude that he or she is not a good master.

For ages the saying has been “The master’s infidelity is the disciple’s faith,” meaning that if the master says something contrary to the disciple’s beliefs, or does something against the disciple’s wishes, and the disciple remains loyal to him, it is proof that the disciple truly has faith in the master. There are very few disciples in the school of Sufism who love their master as he is and not as they would like him to be. For this reason, a true Sufi is a rare thing in this world. Most come through their imagination, and leave through their imagination.

– Edited from Discourses on the Sufi Path, by Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh.

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!

May God Have Mercy on Those Who Lead the Way

May 15, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

May God have mercy on those who lead the way
and those who come behind,
and those who fulfill their vows,
and those who seek to fulfill them,
with His Grace and bounty,
…His great benefits and favors!
For He is the best object of petition
and the noblest object of hope;
and God is the best protector and the most merciful
of those who show mercy.


– Rumi

Ya Haqq!

Welcome to the 3rd Sufi Poetry Carnival :)

May 11, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Below are the entries in the 3rd Sufi Poetry Carnival, whose theme this year is The Mystic Heart. There are also a number of outstanding entries on the website of our co-host Sadiq’s blog, Technology of the Heart, which you can read HERE.  Also, poems that first appeared on a blog are linked to that blog in the title.

Bodypsalm for ThanksBeing
By Celeste Snowber

Let go of all your expectations
about the way you think life should be
where you should live, work, play and
how things will or do unfold
or look, or how many pounds is ideal
for your perfect weight,
or the perfect work space,
footwear, friends, food or family
or how much you should or should not have in the bank
or in loans, debt, or all the shoulds rolled into
one BIG s h o u l d
Throw all the shoulds out
put them in the recycling bin
to be transformed into another object
and OBJECT as a verb
instead of count objects
This is wisdom
Nothing ever turns out as you think
it is always different
sometimes worse
and more magnificent than you could have imagined
Live with VERBS
Gratitude is not a one time act, a date on the calendar
it is a way of life
a way of living
that centers with a turning towards
what is really life giving
that is giving life back to yourself
giving in thanks
thanks in giving
thinking as thanking
Stop everything
and smell, taste, see, and touch
what beauty really lies
within you
and before you
What would it mean to live without judging –
yourself or others
cast off your critic
and celebrate you have the ability
to touch and be touched
Find the absolute outrageous love
of being alive
and not having your tasks done
or agendas finished
and drop your hands
open your sternum and chest
get ready for the mystery
that is knocking at your own bodysoul
be in gratitude for what you seldom notice
and see there is wonder here too
all shades belong
recognize we are all part of this complexity
from where stars are borne
and where we shine
grow downwards
to extend your heart
and dance your way
into the next step
which is calling you
to simply
not give thanks
but B E thanks.


An early morning song of a bird
Brings forth a wave of life from the sea of eternity
And the bride of sun unveils its beauty
Its golden complexion attracts and brings everyone within her enfoldment
The green of leaves touches the red of roses
And the scent of roses prevails everywhere
The bud of my heart flowers right here and now
And a song of its fragrance touches the bird’s flight

– Hasan Nizami Meerza

Ramadan 1430
© Noor-Malika Chishti, September 14, 2009

The panorama before me—a vastness reined by mountains and sky,
is perfectly dotted with hawks riding high
on air currents made visible by their wings.
Following the curve of a red-tailed messenger,
I am graced to viscerally feel a moment of suspension
as the wind, billowing his wings, shifts
and his flight pattern drops to continue upon a new course. We never know when the Most Merciful will offer us a glimpse,
designed to let us know,
this is just for you.
In this moment I was gifted a taste of His unwavering Love and
remembered when Musa1 viewed the shattered mountain top.
I imagine I want to experience the One
when all I can handle
is a small sign on the horizon that is felt within me.

Whisperings of the Heart – Stewart Bitkoff

Most travelers make religion too complicated a thing; adding rules and customs that many times get in the way of direct communication. Religion should be a joyous conversation between your self, your higher self, and the Infinite. Travelers must learn to listen to the quiet stirrings of their heart . . . here the communication is the sweetest.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
The Heart
Traveler: What of the Heart?
Master: The Heart dwells within the soul and is the window through which we experience God. It is the fountain through which the river flows and is the mirror of God’s Love. It is God’s Gift to you and I.
Some Hearts easily perceive God’s wonders and others are hardened to God’s Glory. This mystery is God’s alone.
The Heart is like the babe who yearns to be in the mother’s arms. It is waiting to go home, and when God Calls the rejoicing begins.

Wedding Drippings by barsili

This passionate heart set ablaze,
Delighting in others wedding ceremonies,
She’s crazy!

She goes to weddings,
And her heart curls in grief—over and over again.

One would think she’s a masochist!
Bent over in love’s agonizing yearning,
As tears rise from her bowels!

She has no shame!
Silly girl!
She takes engineered words to heart!

What fortitude!
Made anew by the Beloved,
She won’t settle for any other…

But The One!
He who revealed her hidden jewels,
The One who scorns and distances Himself from her!

Look with your inner eye…
Each dripping letter of the word “LOVE” is her Master,
Her Maker—the Owner of her heart.

swaying — a poem by Tashi

I sway on the ocean
of life

riding the waves
floating atop
to reach the highs
of love

waiting to overcome
the sorrow
my ego tells me
to follow

when my heart knows
the true joy
the true potential

hidden in the smallest
grain of sand
deep on the ocean floor
beneath me

the light
the consciousness

of Allah

– By Natasha Carolanne Farmilo-Marouf (Tashi), April 7/2011

The Company of Lovers – Sian Rider, Jan 2008

Welcome to the company of lovers
food for the hungry soul;
no need for candles at our meeting
lit by the light of the Beloved
on every face love glows.

Here, in the company of lovers
‘huuus’ greet weary souls;
traveller, enjoy a dervish greeting
warmed by the flame of the Beloved
and burning, burning, grow.

This is the company of lovers
where friends meet soul to soul
in song, and daf, and music all too fleeting
forever praising our Beloved
this love unfolding like an opening rose.

The Mystic Heart by Sheriff Olanrewaju

Once I met the bint with a foray into mysticism
She sought purification for the love of monotheism
And a sincere intention to flee from hedonism

While on the verge to seek her Lord’s indefinite mercy
She eschewed misdeeds as a matter of urgency
And curbed her sick-heart from arrant indecency

Like Rabi-al-Adawiyya she brooked great insight
Into a rubble-worked hermit she went out of sight
To chant tesbih for much-sought mystic might

Must she forever in seclusion drink spiritual albumen–
While mysticism requires munificence to fellow men?
Would the lion hunt not while preys run from the den?

For never in renunciation can the word be disseminated,
And the passport to wusool would be rendered antiquated
Shall mysticism like bidha be ignorantly relegated?
– by One With God

Strange words:

Bint: Girl
Tesbih: Spiritual Praise
Wusool: A height attained by the mystics
Bidha: Innovation

The Rose -by  Rosalind Beeton

Your fragrance drifts into my consciousness,
mists my mind, stirs the longing.
Pink, soft-petaled, you burst open to your love,
a perfect aria as yellow stamens reach out
to a waiting world. Your buds enclose your secret
as they gather energy to unfurl into a world of longing.
My heart uncurls to your embrace,
a sacred sound.

The rose, footprint of the Beloved is present.
I long to merge, wait on your presence,
taste your fragrance, touch your music
that ripples through your pink cells.
Why is the longing so intense
when the space is here for your love to flower?

A Selection from The Sufi’s Garland

by Manav Sachdeva Maasoom


Anything that means anything is usually not said.


Though I may be vagrant I am not beggary…


love knows neither a’s nation nor the boundaries of b’s birth religion…knows only the rupture of torrent springs when in the beloved’s garden


Is the end the beginning or is it not
An approximation of your own hands I have or not


we search for a wine-pourer, server when we serve our companions in our search for the beloved
tired of the influence and authority of the world we choose one but to do just the same


The land of eternity I’ll find, in such search I circled this circle of earth
Deserts and oceans I took
what sights of beauty and bridges
of and in clouds in my wakeful quest
turned and returned, pour and pour.


those who we consider sinners and reasons of our eyes’s rivers
are in the end the doers of their bitterness in lives embellishing

(Note:  See the great Huffington Post review of The Sufi’s Garland HERE.)

Who is God and who is me?

Who is God and who is me?
Who searches whom?
God is searching me
I know I am within His reach.
But how can I reach Him
Who will show me His way
I am in search of my creator
From the day He created me.
I am His god on this planet
And He is My God in my soul
Whom I have not seen yet
Oh my creator, put me in hell
But grant me your audience
Only for once before you send
me to hell.
I may be a sinner
But I love you
More than I love myself.

copyright by Ershad Mazumder

You have turned me

You have turned me
on the wheel of your heart.
You have tuned me
to the sound of your voice.
You have emptied me
in the wind of your storm.
You have turned me
on the wheel of your heart.
You have made of me
a strange vessel,
empty, yet full
of your blessed grace.

(Poem 42 of a series of poems dedicated to Sufi teacher Irina Tweedie)
by Maria Lancaster

Hidden in the White Roses – Fahredin Shehu

open my chest if you want to see the rod of heaven’s river, while it strains in its bed,
where the white roses swim…
The hunger for beauty created canyons of longing for a quantum of moment.
Again leaving is telling me thunder as melodeon, quiver of veins and bones,
while I come to Thy meeting embarrassedly hide life’s broken toy, buried in human darkness; Alas you know my pains, tears in blood percolated as black pressed grapes
While I swirled in the whirlpool of “I”-s, seeking for the spark of the of Your sight
Remained deaf for the multitude of “THEM”, and the multitude of “US”
The moon is full, the moonlight feeds me while I listen lullabys of Gabriel
To sleep the thirsty souls; the starmist flirts to my appearance as it wishes to drop its mercy, at the pain caused by human poison.
These words are arguments of the Threshold of the other side where the describable forms and the audible voices disappear, and the tongue knotted in nine knots.
The eye is stopping the sight to store its image in my consciousness.
Behold oh…”I” of the “US” while we rejoice within the White Roses and while we lick the pearly dews at dawn, and we smell the distant Neroli at dusk
While we celebrate life as cosmic minute that lasts for eternity and a day more.

I Will Not Rejoice in the Death of an Enemy

May 3, 2011

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate: only love can do that.

 – Martin Luther King, Jr.